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A couple of weeks ago I was searching the internet for free vector art and patterns and somehow got lost in this site for 2 hours (moo.com). I mean how could you not want to look through a site named Moo? Hard to resist, isn’t it?

Moo is a european company that offers printing services among other things. They do business cards, minicards, notecards, postcards, sticker packs and cards for all occasions. They have a large number of designs and designers works that you can choose from, or if you just want their assistance for printing you can use your own graphics. This fun company even offers unique gift ideas and unique gifts to answer your everyday needs. They have this nifty photo frame that you can arrange mini photos in a wide variety of ways. They also have cute and stylish little business card holders that give you a stylish answer to carry your business cards around.

I found it very helpful that the site caters to more than just their home country. It can be hard to convert the exchange rate, so they have 3 easy buttons that give you currency options, all you have to do is click and continue on looking. It was a plus to know that they have fairly structure delivery dates depending on whether or not you do custom options or their ready made offers. The layout of this website was fairly easy to navigate and I enjoy that it wasn’t overwhelming. I can’t wait to be making money to purchase some of their fun pieces.

“MOO dreams up new tools that help people turn their virtual content into beautiful print products for the real world.”   It’s so true.

Oh the organization!

I can never, ever, ever have enough Ikea. I would live there if it was at all possible, which I actually believe is possible might I add. I am a repeat visitor and I will go with anyone who asks, well almost, and everyone I know invites me when they are considering entering the glorious modern maze. Its no surprise that I was just there Tuesday night and spent an hour today wandering their website and creating my Dream/Wish list. (Of course it’s all in my moving out preparations.)

So to the point I am trying to make is that they have the most organized site ever. It is so ridiculously easy to find anything you are looking for on their site. And they have everything tiled in perfect rows, and when you hover over the picture it shows you an enlarged picture. They have good section of categories so you can narrow down your search if you don’t know what the item would be located under. On the main page under whichever header you have chosen, such as linen, it gives you the quick information and when you click it gives you the specifics on the piece and all the options, such as colors. This is one of the easiest websites to navigate through. I’m am further impressed with my second favorite store.

Ikea

So I spent an afternoon doing homework and watching Disney and Pixar movies, because there’s nothing better than watching my favorite kind of movies while plugging away on my homework.  So when I decided to take a mental break I decided to look up Pixar. (Pixar.com)

The site overall has a very simple and clean look to it. Now I’m guessing that they want to keep it that way and not overwhelm anyone. But the fun comes in once you start navigating through the site. You get to read about current employees and which pieces or characters they have created or worked on, you can read about how they come up with and develop their shorts, watch bloopers and trailers, and read up about their rendering techniques. The one I thought was the most interesting was reading about “How they do it.” It takes you through a step by step of the whole process. Under each step they have written quick blurbs about what the 14 steps involve and added a single shot from each of those steps. Now that we have been learning Maya and know that some renders can be lengthy , its not crazy to imagine that 1/24 of a second of screen time of a Pixar scene takes at least six hours to render, I was however blown away by the fact that some have taken up to 90 hours to render! How could anyone stand to wait for that to finish rendering?

Picture 1

StoryboardingCharacter Sketches

But on that note, I L-O-V-E the people who do! Thank you Pixar, you may just be my God.

While wandering the net looking for presents or some sweet ideas for presents I stumbled upon thinkgeek.com. As I kept wandering through the site I just kept loving more and more of their items.

What is more awesome than a dinosaur lamp that you get to assemble yourself? Whether you are 5 or 25 its still a pretty sweet idea! They have three different dinosaurs, the triceratops, diplodocus, and a t-rex. The dinosaurs are constructed from flexible plastic which you slot together to assemble. The estimated time of construction is about 40 minutes, which isn’t too long of a wait for one of these sweet gems!

This site is so nerd-tastic! I wish I had plenty of money to buy some of the other cute and random things, such as any of the office supplies. These items would make any day more entertaining. And if any one would like to take a trip down the best memory lane ever, you could check out all the  Mario merchandise.

My papercraft toyIt’s an idea that’s so simple but is completely amazing. A toy made of paper that only requires that you cut it out and assemble. No adhesive required.

I recently purchased Issue 126 of Computer Arts Projects magazine, it was an issue dedicated to character design. As I was flipping through the magazine I came to page 54 and discovered paper doll love! As soon as you lay your eyes on Jason Harlan’s creations you can’t help but get excited. He has created hundreds of versions, in different sizes and they come in different series. Harlan has reintroduced the fun of papercraft. It’s mind-blowing to think of how much time it would have taken to make this a glueless creation, let alone the hundreds and counting. They show a few examples of his papercraft work and visual step by step of the assembling process. There was even a contest featured where you can design your own papercraft toy. One could be entertained for hours using his template and coming up with their own creations.

The disc that comes with the magazine has the template on it for a version of his toy. After opening the template I figured I could quickly “whip” something up so I could print it off and attempt my own papercraft toy, but found myself overwhelmed with too many ideas, so I stuck to something basic, got it printed, and then began cutting and folding. After being meticulous about my cutting I found it ridiculously easy to build. I now have 13 more to cut out and fold together.

http://www.computerarts.co.uk/

http://www.harlancore.com/

To Blog or Not to BlogReading blogs has never been something I have ever thought much about. Since we talked a bit about them in class I have done a small bit of digging and realized how many there are and how many different subjects that are ‘blogged’ about. Though I have to admit I’ve never had the urge to start one myself and still feel some reluctance.

While searching through the internet I realized the only blogs I’ve ever read were about celebrities and celebrity gossip, mostly thanks to Perez Hilton (www.perezhilton.com). At the time I never realized they were considered to be blogs, I mostly just thought it was garbage talk that required minimal reading that kept me entertained for a few minutes at a time. But after reading different entries I don’t feel that I know how to go about starting a blog. What exactly are the perimeters? It sounds as though this should be an easy thing to do but I am finding it to be frustrating. What’s the easiest way to set one in to motion?

Through the process of digging for a good blog topic I remembered a friend that has a blog (www.zakkmatticeblog.blogspot.com). He uses his blog to show the progression of the work he is doing on his own and at school.  To me his blog is ideal, with less writing and more pictures of his work, but then that would take away from us starting an online portfolio as the semester progresses.

There have been many hours spent brewing ideas and making attempts at a first blog entry. There is the understanding that these blogs are meant to help us to convey our thoughts about our designs and those of others. My hope is that somehow this will get easier and that I will have many more ideas and opinions to share as time goes on. So I guess the idea is to get past the torment I am self inflicting and realize the positives that will come from this blogging adventure.