Is honesty the best policy?

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So today was the start of my 4th weeks at ESM Solutions. It doesn’t seem like I’ve been there that long but it also does. I know that doesn’t make sense. But time has really flown by and I can’t believe it’s already week 4. On the other hand, I am a lot more comfortable that I expected to be at this point so it seems like its been a lot more than 4 weeks. Make more sense now? Like I’ve said, I am the only GD at the company which is exciting and scary but so far its been nothing but positive feedback. I’m getting to do a lot more stuff then I thought. Of course as a graphic designer you expect to do the brand designing and all sorts of collateral, website stuff maybe, but I’m also getting to do a lot more. Its really a good experience.

This past Saturday I went to the Manayunk Arts Fest. I don’t do a lot of things like that, although I really should. But I went with my sister and it was really cool. Of course I couldn’t afford half the stuff there but I saw some pretty cool work. I bought something from this one guy who had shrunk his work down onto cards so I could afford those. Charlie Barton.

I remember back in 20th Century Art class where Gene suggested if we invest money in anything, it should be art. Ever since then I did decide that I would start to collect art, but right now just isn’t the time for me to be spending money on that. But here are some of the business cards I collected so you can see the awesome work too, and in case you’d like to start collecting =)

Greg Turco Photography. I almost bought the second photo on this page with the records.

Charles Cushing Fine Art. I actually did buy something from this guy. The first print on this page of Connie Mack Stadium for my dad.

And this is not quite art but more craft. But since I’ve pinned this kind of stuff enough I thought it was cool. Although I do have to admit I bought two of them even though I know they are totally simple to make. Mitch Gale Brandles.

But after enjoying a nice sunny day in Manayunk I did decide, I’m going to be a little more active in the art world. So I’m going to plan a few museum trips and look into some other stuff to do on the weekends.

You must be wondering what the title of this post is about since nothing so far has been about honesty. I got an email the other day from Linkedin with some of their news articles. These emails are the kind that I skim down and only click on the links with catchy titles or interesting picture, yes I am guilty of that. But I have 4 email accounts feeding into my iPhone mail and I just don’t have time to read everything I get via email because I typically wake up to about 15 new emails every morning. But anyway the article that caught my eye was called “The World’s First Completely Honest Resume of a Graphic Designer”. I didn’t know what to expect at first, what sort of honesty this person was going to write about. After the first paragraph I thought, “Okay, so this is creative. This guys chose to layout a resume in paragraph form. Some people would frown upon this, especially for a graphic designer and if this wasn’t featured in a linkedin email, I probably would have skipped over it as a HR director myself, but it was so I’ll continue.” It was when I got to the job description about Lucid Concepts that I was intrigued. “I loved everything about this company and regret I only worked there three short years. It was run on chaos in the morning, hear in the afternoon and Ritalin at night, all qualities for producing great design.” I loved this part because although I’ve only been out in the field for four weeks and I’m not working at an agency where this would apply more, I completely understand this. You don’t have to be in the field to relate, we were all students we know too.

Obviously at this point I realized this is not meant to be serious but I love how relatable it is as a designer. When he talks about the bad direct mail design and not putting it in his portfolio. We all have those pieces.

My favorite though is the last line. Skills: All the computer skills known to man, except for Microsoft Word. That is where graphic design goes to lay down and die. This is the perfect closer. I’m currently in the process of rebranding all the collateral material at work, producing templates and such for inter-office use. I do everything in adobe programs. I do my layouts in InDesign and Illustrator and everything else in Illustrator. I know Word and the other Microsoft Office programs but I’m rusty when it comes to doing things in these programs because I rarely use them anymore. So transferring the templates I design into files that are accessible in the Microsoft programs is going to require some research. Whoops.

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It’s been a busy few weeks.

Recipes

It’s been awhile since my last post and I apologize for that, but I started my new job 2 weeks ago and this got pushed to the very back burner. It’s been quite an adjustment going from waking up at 7am to hit the road and travel the New England to waking up at 7am to hit the road to travel 10 minutes to work. Yes, my commute is probably the best I can ask for but I’m still adjusting to being a full-time grown up.

The job is going really well. I’ve been given a lot of tasks because I was hired at a very crucial time. My company is going through a lot of changes so I’ll be busy for the next few months. It is very exciting though and I have enjoyed the experience so far.

So a few weeks ago, maybe even longer I did a recipe off my pinterest “yummy in my tummy” board. So going way back to a much older post, to my list I get to double check #4 off my list. Wow kinda really slacked on that list huh..? Well I hopefully will get to check some more off it.

  1. Chrisy’s wedding Paper Cut completed
  2. Peter Callesen inspired Paper Cut
  3. Minimalism Harry Potter Book Covers
  4. Make at least one pin on my ‘Yummy in my Tummy’ board completed twice
  5. Complete one project on my ‘Art to-do list’ board
  6. Chrisy’s wedding place cards completed
  7. Wiggles n Wags website
  8. Email blast for UMFOD

Anyway, awhile ago I made stuffed peppers using a recipe off pinterest and they were pretty good. Here is the recipe I started with but I didn’t really follow it completely.

  • Olive Oil ( I used Tahitian lime olive oil)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 heaping tbsp of homemade taco seasoning (or you can use the packaged type if you like)
  • 2 cups of cooked rice (any type you like – I like brown)
  • 3-4 organic bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
  • ½ cup of organic frozen corn
  • 1 (15 -16 ounce) jar of salsa (my favorite is mango peach)
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Toppings:
  • fresh cilantro
  • sour cream
  • sliced avocado

When I lived up in NY as a nanny I cooked all the time. I did the cooking for the whole family so I cooked at least 4 times a week, since then I haven’t cooked a lot so I kinda lost my knack for it. I totally forgot to put rice in my stuffed peppers. Whoops. But here is what I did do:

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly coat the sliced peppers with olive oil and roast in a baking dish about 20-25 minutes just until cooked thru. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow to cool until you are ready to fill them.

While the peppers are in the oven separately cook the turkey and onions until cooked through. When both are cooked combine with the corn, beans (I left this out because I don’t like beans) and rice (which I let out because I didn’t have cooked rice prepared- so if you’d like to add rice cook it ahead of time or buy the easy cook rice and then add). Also add in the taco seasoning. I didn’t have seasoning so I made my own. And by that I mean I grabbed a bunch of seasonings (onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper) and that worked pretty well. I mixed it all right in the skillet.

After mixing everything together, spoon the turkey mixture into each bell pepper half. Cook the peppers for another 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are cooked all the way through. When the peppers are almost done, sprinkle a little cheese on the top and place back in until the cheese it melted. Top with cilantro and some sour cream.

They turned out really well. So well that my sister made them again the next week.

I also worked on another paper cut project for my aunt. She wanted to give her boss a gift. He had just had brain surgery and everyone was giving him very normal, conventional gifts and she wanted to do something different so I suggested a paper cut illustration. Here is the project.

And the final cut is here. My aunt decided to frame it herself so this is just the paper.

This was my most wordy project yet. It was a little challenging, very tough on the fingers but I think it turned out very well. The only issue I had was with the gluing. I may have to rethink my gluing process to make it easier so I have better outcomes.

But after doing this project I definitely realized I want to do more of them. Just for fun or for people. Awhile ago I added a store page to my website spomykacz.com so hopefully more people will want me to do these. As you now I have a slight addiction to pinterest, so I have also created a board for new quotes and such that I want to use in my next paper cuts. Hopefully I will start to use my weekends for this.

Road Trip

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I’d like to apologize ahead of time for the very long post. I just got back from the road trip this morning. Because of the weather conditions north of home we had to spend an extra night in a hotel and wait out the tornado that was approaching. It was the best trip I have ever been on though! I would do it again in a second. We left early Tuesday morning at 6am to get the most out of the trip. We packed a bunch of fruit and pastries so that we could snack and not spend too much money on breakfast.  The plan for Day 1 was to leave Philadelpia and head up north along the coast line stopping in New Haven CT and Newport RI before getting to Boston for the night. We stopped in to see Yale in New Haven and the Newport Mansions in Newport.

Yale was beautiful. The buildings were so nice. We stopped by a small coffee house called the BruCafe walked around to see the campus of Yale. Our time was very limited in New Haven but we got to see some of the school.

We were surprised by the number of people around the town. It was a very nice day, sunny and warm yet when we went to “the green”, a nice park, which is what the man at the coffee house told us to see there really weren’t a lot of people out. We assumed because school was out the town may not be as busy. But when they weather gets like that in Philly, Rittenhouse Square gets packed with people laying out and tanning.

Nonetheless, it was beautiful and was really nice to see such a great campus. After New Haven we drove up to Newport and stopped for some lunch. Our main goal at Newport was to do the cliff walk but first we stopped at Yesterday’s for lunch. Their calm chowda was a little different then we were used to; it was a very thin broth but it was good. After that we did the cliff walk, which was really cool. Right along the coast they have a walkway that you can walk and some areas have paths that lead out to the rocks. Not quite sure if we were allowed to do that but we did and the views were amazing.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to do the whole walk, so we actually missed seeing the mansions on the walk but we did drive to them after the walk. We didn’t have time to do the tours either but we did get out to see them. This is the Breakers Mansion

After Newport, we drove up to Boston. My friends Aunt lives up in the city so we stayed there for the night and went out to dinner with them at a place called The Gallows. We left pretty early in the morning because we had a lot to accomplish that day.

The plan for Day 2 was to drive up to Portland ME along the coastline, spend the morning there and then head up and over to Vermont via route 302 and through the White Forest Mountains. The one thing I wanted to do on this trip was go on the Auto Road up Mt. Washington. We did and it was amazing. It was definitely the highlight of the trip.

First, though in Maine we went to Cape Elizabeth to see the lighthouse which was pretty.

The weather could have been better but it was pretty nonetheless. After the lighthouse we were determined to have some real New England Clam Chowda so we went to Gilbert’s Chowder House. I had some good chowder and an awesome lobster roll.

After leaving  Maine we went to Mt. Washington. The drive up the mountain was a little scary at times but it was the best experience I’ve ever had. I definitely recommend making this drive. The view was amazing and pictures do not do the view justice.

The roads were very narrow at times.. with roads going straight to the edge of the cliff..

Amazing views..

They had pull offs at times on the road so we pulled over and climbed down a bit of the mountain.

The views got better the further we went up.. obviously.

We finally made it to the top.

And just imagine, the pictures don’t do it justice.

Talk about being on top of the world. This picture is kinda funny because we are literally standing in front of this amazing view and what are my two friends doing.. they are both texting. But we were texting pictures and etc so I guess I can’t assume..

If you ever have the chance to do this I highly recommend it. It was amazing!

After Mt. Washington we drove through the rest of NH and VT and stayed the night in Burlington VT.

For Day 3 we had planned to go to Camal’s Hump in Huntington VT but we misjudged the distance and we realized we may not have the time so we decided to stop at Lake Placid in NY and we had a long day of driving so we figured we’d just stop wherever we wanted. Before we left for this trip I bought maps and planned the route on google maps but we ended up using our iPhones for directions. So on the way to NY we thought we were taking Ferry rd or Ferry Bridge or something and instead we ended up taking an actual ferry, very unexpected.

On the way we went on some really cool roads with some awesome views like this one.

For lake Placid, we didn’t really know where to stop so we asked the locals where the best place to view it was, we ending up finding a resort that had a dock and we were able to see the Lake really well. Again, not sure if we were allowed to be there but nobody stopped us.

Also in Lake Placid we got to pass by the Olympic training building which was kind of cool to see.

From there we drove and stopped in a little town to have lunch and continued on to Niagara Falls. We chose to stay in Canada, which I would not recommend. If you ever go I would recommend staying in NY but going to Canada to see the falls, there’s definitely a better view from there. The Canadian side is just very similar to AC. Most of the places to eat have a falls view its just a bit of a wait to sit there so we didn’t. This picture is a little dark but I didn’t want to blind everyone in the restaurant.

When we woke up in the morning it was raining. I was a little upset but it actually turned out okay because we got soaked anyway from the things we did. We went on the Maid of the Mist which takes you right into the falls. We didn’t bring our camera because we were afraid they would get wet but here is a boat we weren’t on.

Definitely recommend doing this if you ever go to see the Falls. We didn’t get as wet as we thought so if you do don’t be afraid to bring your camera. There were plenty of people who had brought their nice DSLR cameras. Like I said we did get soaked though but they give you ponchos which do their job. After that we went over to the NY side and did the Cave of the Winds. If you so anything do this. It was amazing! But again, beware, you will get wet. The whole thing is pretty cool but if the hurricane deck is not open which it isn’t sometimes, it might not be worth it. Although it is really cheap. But this is really awesome. Here we brought our phones for a camera, but if you do I might bring a bag to put it in because we got even more wet on the hurricane deck. You literally stand under the Falls.

It was amazing. From there we drove a little outside of Niagara Falls and had lunch at the Blackthorn Restaurant and Pub which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We had planned to drive straight home from there but we hit bad weather and had to stay the night in Lake Harmony and came home this morning.

I spent the day cleaning out my car, which was a mess and now I am extremely road trip sick. It was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to do something like this again.

I start my new job on Monday so it was nice to get something like this in before I become too busy to do anything like this again. I’m excited for my new job and also a little nervous. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I think that’s enough for now, hopefully with all these pictures I don’t have a problem uploading this post.