29 September 2014

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee63. The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strangely enough this book came out not long after I'd been wondering about Harper Lee, if she'd written other books and if not, why not.

This book gives a look at the reclusive author and her sister and what their lives were like. Or not. Harper Lee has since disavowed collaborating in any way with this book while her sister still says they did. For what it's worth, it feels legit to me.

Either way, it's a compelling look at small town life in the South. Outings which are drives through the country through small communities like Scratch Ankle. The rhythm and pace of life with elderly friends. I appreciate their love of books and language.

It's also a look at the cost of fame. I'm not sure how I would've coped in Lee's situation, winning a Pulitzer for a first novel then made into a very successful movie. To have a singular success followed by decades of people touring your home town hoping for a glimpse or word with you? Or people asking anyone in town about you? Hmm.

Her sister, Alice, is just as fascinating, a lawyer who was still practicing in her 90s.

Quite enjoyable!

Made me miss my grandparents, Southern as it happens. Talk to the old folks in your life while you have the chance!

4 years ago on TTaT: Window portrait

26 September 2014

Life of Art SitRep #242 Homemade 2015 Calendar

"Homemade" is perhaps not strictly proper, but I did finish creating my 2015 calendar from scratch in Photoshop while working at home. It wasn't simple, but it can be done.

I added versions of my calendar to various magnets, posters, and mouse pads.

2015 Calendars:

Added selective designs to iPhone 6 Plus cases and starting adding some photographs as well.
Horizontal Black & White Zigzag iPhone 6 Plus Case
Horizontal Black & White Zigzag iPhone 6 Plus Case by RocklawnArts
Browse for another iPhone 6 Plus Case at Zazzle

Rearranged categories some in my store.

Watched segment 1 of Real Estate and Architectural Photography with Mike Kelley.

How was your week?

4 years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 48

19 September 2014

Life of Art SitRep #241 Arrrr!

Ahoy, me hearties! It is, after all, International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

When we left off last week, I'd started thinking I'd be better off fixing an existing calendar template rather than making one from scratch. I looked into it but the text resolution wasn't up to snuff for me, so I went back to making my own.

Turns out it's also better to do your own math when setting guides. Nonetheless I finished (mostly) my calendar but I'm letting it rest a day (or maybe two) before I proofread it again and reconsider some alignment issues.

Also shot 41 photographs this week.

Made iPhone 6 Plus Cases templates and started adding selected designs to them for my shop:

Watched online The 8-Part MAKING Art Making MONEY Process videos.

Watched How to Create Photo Books with Khara Plicanic and How to Take Your Own Headshot with Erin Manning workshops on Creative Live.

How was your week?

(Links to products are affiliate links.)

4 years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 47: birthday edition

13 September 2014

Evening Snack

3 deer: a mama and 2 fawns. Munching the edge of a flower bed.

Mama saw me watching from an upstairs window and thought better of it. In a few long springing leaps, she traversed the grass path around to the edge of the woods.

The young deer kept munching. One saw Mama waiting and joined her. The other kept eating.

I opened my window and yelled, "Hey!" The youngster didn't even look up.

I yelled again and clapped my hands which caught its attention. Then it bolted straight behind it towards the woods. "Hey, not through the flower bed," I admonished. Youngsters.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #188 It's like thunder, lightning...

12 September 2014

Life of Art SitRep #240 Wrong tool for the job, argh

Anyone know of a good tutorial for making a whole year calendar template in Photoshop? Or have any suggestions? I know Photoshop is the wrong tool for the job, but it's what I've got. I've made some headway, but I'm fairly early on and still game for suggestions.

I confess in past years, I partook of the kindness of other zazzle folk who shared their calendar templates for others' commercial use. There was a set put up this year, but there was a small but noticeable date error. I sent them a note figuring it'd be an easy fix for them from their original layered files but never heard anything back and never saw any updates. It probably would be easier to fix myself even without a psd file than it is to create a new one from scratch. Worth considering.

I was just hoping to create a template I could update each year without too much hassle after I got it set up initially. Hmm.

Shot 82 photographs, mostly flowers.

Finished adding my photographs and designs to the new iPhone 6 Slim Cases, iPhone 6 Wood Cases, Samsung Galaxy S5 Wood Cases, and Wood Coasters:
Navy Gingham Pattern on Wood Coaster
Navy Gingham Pattern on Wood Coaster by RocklawnArts
Check out Classic Wood Coasters online at zazzle

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Wood Samsung Galaxy S5 Cases at Rocklawn Arts!, New Wood iPhone 6 Cases at Rocklawn Arts!, New iPhone 6 Cases at Rocklawn Arts!, and New Wood Coasters at Rocklawn Arts!

How was your week?

A year ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 46

08 September 2014

Evening Stride

Back from a walk, the dim light of eve, the subdued greens of grasses and plants, street lights just on, peepers croaking apace.

Dark where the trees get thick.

3 years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #83 Last chance, yo

05 September 2014

Life of Art SitRep #239 Molasses Progress

Never quite hit a groove this week as a glitch in Zazzle's system is slowing me down with workarounds I've had to add to my procedures.

Nonetheless I made headway and finished adding my designs to the new Slim iPhone 6 Cases, Wood iPhone 6 Cases, and Wood Samsung Galaxy S5 Cases and started adding my photographs to them.
Blue Abstract iPhone 6 Case
Blue Abstract iPhone 6 Case by RocklawnArts
View more Blue iPhone 6 Cases at zazzle.com

Also made templates for Wood Coasters and started adding select designs and photographs to them:

Watched day 3 of Photographing America's National Parks with Ian Shive on Creative Live.

Updated links and LOA files.

Made monthly backups.

Have you backed up lately?

4 years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 45

04 September 2014

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy58. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anyone who is a creative for a living should definitely read this book which discusses the problems with United States' current and outdated copyright law.

Lessig proposes we stop waging copyright wars on our kids because our technology has changed while our laws haven't.

It's a thoroughly researched and cited book that got me thinking.

5 years ago on TTaT: Homemade Rock Star

03 September 2014

Scott and Bailey

My latest recommendation for a female driven mystery series is Scott and Bailey.

It'll date me to say so but I think of it as a present day, British Cagney & Lacey. And I mean that as a compliment. The benefit of Scott and Bailey having first aired in 2011 is that the writing is more nuanced than I remember it being ~25 years ago for C&L.

As much as I loved Cagney and Lacey, their characters sometimes felt like they were trying to cover the whole of women's existences between the two of them. Scott and Bailey feel like two very specific women and have a different dynamic than C&L did. And their boss is a unique woman also which is cool.

Though the show is a police procedural, it spends more time showing us Scott and Bailey's personal lives than typical crime shows do.

The first season is only 6 episodes long, so it's easy to get through in a few days if you borrow it from the library. Looks like it's also on Hulu and I originally saw the DVD set at Costco.

Strong, smart, flawed female detectives. It's a good ride.

Two years ago on TTaT: All-Star Superman, Vol. 1