Matt Haig writes really tender and haunting stories…

BOOKISH FRIENDS: This is the author — Matt Haig — that wrote the great article I shared about hope on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and his book did not disappoint! FANTASTIC STORY and really well written. It’s about a man who ages more slowly than most humans and he learns some beautiful lessons along the way. Poignant and entertaining, tender and haunting (not in a scary way but in a reflective way!). Ben listened to a bit with me and he liked it too.

I’ll be reading ALL of this author’s books in the near future…

#amreading #ad #books #read #amazon #matthaig

How to get FREE Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) Books from NetGalley

I had signed up for NetGalley years ago, but had never pursued receiving a FREE Advanced Reader Copy (known as an ARC) of a book because…life…but as I was browsing book reviews on Goodreads, I noticed several great books had been reviewed by ARC readers and I wanted IN on the latest and greatest — and to follow my favorite authors. Here’s how I got my first ARC books to read from NetGalley:

  1. Create an account at NetGalley.com.
  2. Fill out your profile AS COMPLETELY AS POSSIBLE! This helps publishers confidently approve you to review their ARCs. Registration does ask for a business name, but you can be an Amazon or Goodreads consumer book reviewer.
  3. Choose the categories you are most interested in reading about — I selected nearly EVERY category and there were plenty of books to choose from!
  4. Connect your social media accounts: Goodreads, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  5. Browse the books available and select whichever ones interest you. To increase your chances of receiving an ARC, you may want to choose lesser known authors or niche-markets such as cooking, biography, or knitting — whatever appeals to you!
  6. I received 2 of my first 4 ARC requests within the first 24 hours!

You can even request audiobooks IF you request them through netgalley.com on a browser THEN listen to them in their mobile app – easy!

Join me on Goodreads here!

First: Create an account through NetGalley.com on a browser.
Once you’ve got your ARCs, install the NetGalley mobile app

Have fun reading! Let me know how long before you received your first ARC. #ARC #amreading #books #publishers #publishing

Women who inspire: Female artists you’ve never heard of & late-bloomers who achieve their dreams.

I ran across a few interesting books today about art, women, history, and blooming later in life. I found them both inspirational for similar reasons. Lisa Congdon, an artist who began later in life herself, authored this book on “older women leading extraordinary lives.” It’s inspiring, indeed. In “A Glorious Freedom” Congdon writes about women from all walks of life including Betty Reid Soskin who, at 95, worked as the oldest national park ranger! She says, “My first eight decades were spent collecting dots, and now I’m connecting dots.” It’s a quick, inspirational read.

Contents include brief biographies of late bloomers such as a Cheryl Strayed, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Grandma Moses, and Sister Madonna Buber — examples spanning the ages.

The second book was all about overlooked or relatively unknown female artists spanning hundreds of years. This book was a bit edgier with a more feminist bent but it certainly was educational! I was thrilled to learn about Louise Bourgeois, whose mesmerizing spider sculpture is replicated at Bentonville’s Crystal Bridges’ entrance. Other featured artists include Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Lee Krasner, and Kara Walker, an amazing artist known for her “candid investigation of race, gender, sexuality, and violence through silhouetted figures that have appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide” according to her website at karawalkerstudio.com.

For a more comprehensive look at those late bloomers who stand out in a culture that adores youth, check out Late Bloomers by Rich Karlgaard. Read more about each book at their Amazon links, or find them on Libby from your local library. Worth the read!

#amreading #reading #ad #amazon #books #art #artists #latebloomers

What I Designed Today: Simplify Inspirational Quote Meme

I miss designing inspirational memes.  Mostly because I love quotes and pretty pictures — but also because back when I was designing one a day for RunHaven, I got pretty good at churning them out quickly.  Now, I barely have time to ponder inspirational quotes which is why, perhaps, this one is so perfect for me!  {#ironic} More to come on this ‘simplify’ theme, as these quotes are collected from the Regional Stake Conference held this past weekend.  If you have any additional quotes in your notes that you’d like to add to my collection, please share them with me!  SIMPLIFYQUOTE1

What I Designed Today: Billboards for Adam & Kizzie at OK Mozart’s Ambler Hall

Adam & Kizzie are coming to Bartlesville and it’s going to be a fantastic night of music at OK Mozart’s Ambler Hall.  This is a new direction for OK Mozart’s music selection and this duo with their gospel, blues, rock-n-roll and jazz sound are sure to please.  I can’t wait to hear how they sound in Ambler Hall.  If you’re local, info & tix are at okmozart.com.

Technically I designed these billboards a little over two weeks ago.  The traditional billboard goes up tomorrow and I hope to add a shot of that from the street as well.

Traditional billboard

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Digital billboard

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Digital billboard from the street

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What I Designed Today: Logo Guide for Bartlesville’s Ambler Hall

It’s not a full-on style guide but it’s a step in the right direction with a usage guide for the most common scenarios for a logo.  I’m so excited about some of the concerts coming up at Ambler Hall!  Check out Adam & Kizzie — they’re coming in November.  For more details, visit OK Mozart on the web.

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What I Designed Today: 2015 Bartlesville Oklahoma Stake Women’s Conference Invitations

These invitations use some lovely artwork of a young woman in armor originally created by Judy Cooley.  She graciously gave us permission to use them for our stake events (auxiliary conference and women’s conference) this year.  I love the ENLISTED adaptation of her work.  You can find more of her work if you search for Judy Cooley Deseret Book and Altus Fine Art.

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I’m excited that the service project this year is collecting or creating slippers for women at the Claremore Safenet Shelter (for women who suffer from domestic abuse or sexual assault).  2015stakersconfinvite1back

What I Designed Today, err…weeks ago: Father’s Day Poster & Coupons for La Fiesta

There’s a Mexican restaurant in Bartlesville, La Fiesta, that I’ve never been to — not because it’s not popular but because when we stayed in the hotel that shares it’s parking lot (while our home was under construction), we witnessed the chef puking out back then go back in.  The next night we witnessed an ambulance take away a customer.  We kind of figured that was an omen and wrote the restaurant off without ever actually trying it.  I found it interesting, then, that I was tempted to go when I was requested to design these coupons for Father’s Day.  I was relieved it was on Sunday because that eliminated my temptation altogether since we try our best to not eat out on the Sabbath Day.  I just may have to try it another time, though!

Here’s the original link to pieces of stock art by CharlieZ.  I like my adaptation and his stock art did make it very easy.

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Quotes about the Holy Ghost

I had used these quotes a few years ago for a youth conference talk and I resurrected them (Ha!  See what I did there?!) for a Relief Society lesson this past Sunday.  Just thought I’d share them online, mostly so I don’t have to hunt them down on my hard drive if I ever want to use them again.

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What I Designed Today: Recreated a Farrier Logo

All design work isn’t fun or glamorous.  Scratch that.  MOST design work isn’t fun or glamorous at all because it’s the actual do-this-to-get-paid variety of work (even if it’s ugly).  Take this project:  I was asked to recreate a farrier’s logo for a 73″ wide banner.  It wasn’t difficult to do but it took time to redraw in Illustrator and get it right.  There was no using any sort of conceptual design skills — just rote recreation of a graphical element.  The project used my expertise of Illustrator but I had no creative liberty whatsoever, which is fine.  It pays the bills.  Just like any other occupation, graphic design is work — and work I’m grateful and blessed to have!  After all, there are worse ways to make a living…

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What I Designed Today: Social Media Contest for Tate Boys Tire

One of Bartlesville’s finest local establishments, Tate Boys Tire, is running a social media contest and I was asked to design their promotional signs for print and online/web.  If you want to enter the contest, go to the Tate Boys Facebook Page and just like and share the image!

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What I Designed Today: L’Amore D’Italia Program for OK Mozart

The program for OK Mozart’s L’Amore d’Italia Ball is a smaller, 4-page, 1-fold piece.  I love the interior and it printed nicely on a heavy linen stock thanks to Bartlesville’s best print shop.  It turned out just lovely!  Osage Casinos sponsored the event and the mask picure on the cover was taken by local artist Gary Gibson.

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What I Designed Today: Print Shop Docs with Horrible Fonts

I’m loving the interesting flow of work coming from Bartlesville’s local print shop.  There is, however, the problem of recreating things to print EXACTLY as a client requests — but that is ugly as all get-out.  It nearly killed me the other day to save a print-ready file using the Hobo font.  The project here called for Rage Italic and a graphic with lines that I absolutely do not understand (It’s so abstract, it could mean anything!).  Kill me now.  But, such is the life of a print shop — the client’s requests always come first!  And if you are the client and you happen to read this:  take it from an experienced designer — it’s time for an update on your logo and materials. You don’t even have to hire me.  Just, for the love of all that’s holy, refresh your brand.

Exhibit A:  Rage Italic in all its horrific 1980s glory — letterhead and envelopes.  Because a small town rec center is nothing if not thorough.
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