Sunday, November 28, 2010

Evangeline's New Site

I'm working on a new website for my friend Evangeline. It's an author site for her to use primarily as a marketing tool right now. She'll take it on as a full-fledged author site eventually, but we're starting small for now. Awaiting approval on the initial design:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Upcoming Young Writers Workshops

I am thrilled to let you know about an opportunity for young writers that will be offered beginning the second full week of January. Please feel free to pass this on to any young writers you know who might be interested in being a part of a group writing project.

Two young writers workshops will run for 6 weeks with 2-hour sessions each week, held at a local coffee shop or cafe. Together, the group will brainstorm and write a novella over the course of 6 weeks. Details on each group:

Ages 9-12, Beginners
Wednesday mornings, 10-Noon
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Begins January 12, 2011

Ages 13-18, Intermediate-Advanced
Saturday mornings, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Panera Bread (S Carefree & Powers)
Begins January 15, 2011

Cost is $65 for the entire 6-week workshop. Students will have the option of purchasing a final, printed copy of the novella after the workshop ends.

If you have any questions, or if you're interested in attending a workshop--great! Shoot me an email (mangycat (at) gmail (dot) com) to let me know. I'll answer your questions and/or we can talk about forms of payment at that time.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these workshops for you or the young writers in your life.

Blessings on your week!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

RAFL-LOL Blog Design

My friend Donita asked me to spruce up her literacy advocacy blog, RAFL-LOL, which is an acronym for "Reading Aloud For Literacy - Lots of Learning". Blogger has some fantastic template backgrounds these days, you just have to find the right one and give it a few tweaks to personalize.

At that point, all they need is a special header graphic to complete the scene. So this is what I came up with for Donita:

Check out the blog here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Esthetic Revelation (New Shop)

My husband suggested that I create a Cafe Press store to sell some graphics and art and stuff. I created this tonight using an account that I (apparently) started in 2007. Weird!

Anyhoo--I named it Esthetic Revelation to simply signify that it is a store of creative awesome. You can see it here. Once I have a few more exciting things on there, then I'll put a proper link or widget or something in the sidebar.

Two ideas I had for this store:

1. Utilize the incredible artistic skills of my friend Legolas so that we can go in on this side venture together. She and I will come up with the ideas. She'll create the original art, and I will do the legwork of posting it to the store. She has the talent and creative ideas, but no desire for such things as marketing; I have creative ideas and knowledge of marketing, but not nearly the amount of artistic talent she has. We should make a happy team.

2. I had an idea of making t-shirts that tell a story. That is, a small piece of a short story would be creatively laid out on a t-shirt design (or whatever other product you wanted it on), and it could stand alone or make even more sense when paired with other designs. Sounds like a unique idea to me--now I just have to find the story.

I don't expect this to be a huge source of income, but it's a way to get my designs out there and possibly make a little extra income. You never know...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tutoring for Young Writers

Improve your writing skills through unique one-on-one sessions that focus on developing your own stories, your own words. Learn the basics of grammar, punctuation, syntax, and more, while learning how to write a compelling page-turner at the same time.

Students ages 8-18 are accepted; boys and girls; all levels of experience.

We can either work through your existing written novel or you will receive writing assignments to bring to our sessions.

We will go through your piece together, line by line, and work to punch it to its highest potential. Along the way, you will learn how to correct problem areas as we encounter them in your own writing.

In this way, we will use our time more effectively, covering only the topics that need to be covered, and barely touching on that which you have already mastered.

Journaling may also be suggested for additional writing practice.

Locations & Times
Sessions are held online via Skype (audio only), so a strong, reliable internet connection is required.

Colorado Springs area students can meet face-to-face in a coffee shop or cafe setting for our sessions. It's an incredibly cozy (and yummy) atmosphere to learn.

Times are flexible and can be discussed on a per-student basis.

Complimentary Consultation
Prior to our first session, we will meet via phone or Skype for a 15-20 minute conversation about your goals and what you would like to accomplish during our tutoring sessions.

A writing evaluation can be discussed at that time as well.

Rates & Billing
Session rate is $35/hr and includes:
- 2-way conversation time during the hour
- editorial/writing/submission instruction
- writing critiques (length per session is dependent on skill level)
- writing assignments/prompts for short stories (if desired)
- 5 emails (not to exceed 30 minutes) per week of Q&A between sessions

I will come to each session fully prepared, having read whatever we are going to be working on, ready to discuss and instruct.

Tutoring sessions must be paid four (4) sessions in advance.

Contact me directly at mangycat (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Caregivers Team Logo...Controversy?

Does this remind you of the medical Mary Jane dispensary logos? Or does it work as a church care ministry logo?


Monday, September 20, 2010

Sparkles & Royalty

33 Riches of Divine GraceWe're getting ready to order this card for the church to list the message topics for an upcoming year-long series. I'm rather happy with the result of it! The title of the series as "33 Riches of Divine Grace", so I went with the sparkly gold and royal blue theme.

The blue background layer is a free design that I found online. The white is a filled layer with a pattern effect applied in order to give it a crackly, textured look.

The coin and banner were formed in Photoshop. The sparkles around the title were hand drawn using a star-shaped paintbrush (at varying sizes) as well as a glow layer effect.

The title text is a combination of Copperplate Gothic Light and Harrington, which made for an elegant, yet fun design for the letters. I love how the "G" in Grace and the "E" in Riches are touching. Sometimes you couldn't plan as well the things that happen by accident.

33 Riches of Divine Grace (close up)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Change of Seasons: Winter to Spring

You may have noticed the shiny new graphic header at the top of my blog, yes? Spiffy, no? (Don't answer that if the answer is no.)

Due to some recent nudging from the Holy Spirit and a downright kick in the pants from the Father Himself, I am going to begin developing a freelance clientele to both add variety to my work experience and bring additional income for our family. The new business is called MangyCat Creative Design or MCCD. Oh, for the love acronyms!

I'll post later on about what specific services I will provide, what they entail, and general rates, but to give you an idea, here's a short list:
  • General Graphic Design (Web & Print)
  • Writing & Editing (Fiction/Nonfiction)
  • Photo Editing & Manipulation
  • One-on-One Mentoring for Young Writers
  • Blog Design & Other Webmastery
  • Writing & Design Workshops/Seminars
I will most likely be charging a flat hourly rate for most types of services, which is actually a lot more affordable for the client (and much easier for me to calculate). That's how I have worked in the past, and it seems to be a good model that people can understand.

Now to presumptuously answer a few questions:

Is your blog going to become some boring, business-related blog?
Never fear! I plan on continuing to post creative work here so long as it spouts from my fingertips.

Can you do creative services for anyone in the world?
Yes! Well, anyone with an email address anyway.

What will you be charging?
That's for me to know and you to find out. :ninja: It is an affordable hourly rate, but it is different for different kinds of services.

What's this One-on-One Mentoring for Young Writers thing you mentioned? Don't you do that on Cleanplace?
Actually, I haven't been able to keep up on CleanPlace as much as I have in the past. Though the teens on CP are like my adopted nieces and nephews, my focus right now is on my family at home. I thank God for Nia, our invaluable, incomparable lead admin on CP, for she is steering the ship with incredible acumen and a sincere love for the CP teens. I have the utmost confidence and trust in her ability to do so.

What I am offering here is a deliberate, purposeful, and personal mentoring program that focuses on raising a young writer's skill level and help her work toward publication. This would be a weekly meeting (in person or through Skype/IM) that includes critiques, instruction, and Q & A time.

You're not going to shamelessly plug your design services, are you?
Now that you mention it...

[shameless plug] If you happen to know of anyone who is interested in hiring a creative person, please pass on my name and contact info. I would love to get in touch with them. [/shameless plug]


Thank you, friends, for walking through this with me! And thank you for your support of my creative endeavors.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ribs for Dinner (a poem)

Ribs for Dinner (or "Jasper’s First Date")
By MangyCat

BBQ sauce dipped
luscious, tender meaty meat
lays beside my corn.

How can I enjoy
this red flesh upon my plate?
Conundrum indeed.

All I can think of
is just how God created
woman from a rib.

Monday, August 2, 2010

How can I fit the universe into 14 lines? (a haiku)

How can I fit the universe into 14 lines?
By MangyCat

Fourteen lines sadly
won't hold the great universe.
But maybe three will.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Unplanned Poetry

I just wrote this haiku over IM, and I thought I would share.

Annie's Laptop
By MangyCat

Five or six years old
Showing age and uselessness
Brokenness defined

And this is a perfect opportunity to post the poem I wrote on Friday night at my young writers group, Midnight Muse. The prompt was (basically) to begin or end with the phrase "listen to the wings of the nightingale watch." I went for the obvious, but I like the juxtaposition of different senses and affects.

The Taste of Migration
by MangyCat
Lines: 16

Listen to the wings of the nightingale watch
for winds blowing strong from the east.
Tawny feathers scent night currents
for autumn's sweet fragrance.

Icy wisps of northern breeze
whistle between avian claws
as auburn beak lances a hint
of the flock's gathering restlessness.

Rustled leaves blush to lime
as green retreats with summer's defeat.
Gales of gold paint quivering teardrops
that rustle around a watchful nightingale.

Alighting frigid whispers,
the bird escapes its roost,
seeking waves of sun,
green, and boundless freedom of wing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Project 365 Update: Excuses

Pearls Before Swine

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blog Header: Martial Arts Passion

Click for full sized image

I created this tonight in about an hour for one of my young friends on CleanPlace. She posted a request on Facebook for a graphic header for her Martial Arts blog. I had fun finding out how to make smoke and fire effects in Photoshop. (By the way, she liked it!)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Heavenly Bodies in the Cosmos

Thanks to my friend Puella, I spent a good deal of time on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website today. I created a desktop background image like this a long time ago, but the file was lost. Been meaning to create a new one for awhile now. I LOVE images of Heavenly bodies in the cosmos.

Monday, April 26, 2010

CP Vlogging Project III - April 24, 2010

Here's the final installment in the CleanPlace Vlogging Project of April 2010. See the rest of the vlogs on YouTube at CleanPlaceTV.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Project 365: 111/365 - A Lot of Me :oP

Somehow I ended up in the photo and video editions today.

Project 365: Photo Edition - Happy Mom

100421--Happy Mom

The picture is just me posing with the kids. It's so hard to get everyone to look cute at once. XD

Project 365: Video Edition - Office Tour

This is a video I created for work that day, chronicling a day during the big office move.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Project 365: 110/365 - Finding a Rainbow

Project 365: Photo Edition - Rainbow Blossoms


A perfect rainbow, along with spring blossoms. What's not to love?

Project 365: Video Edition - Prize Findings

Found a bunch of stuff that would make cool prizes for the teen writers on CleanPlace.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Project 365: 109/365 - A Day Indoors

Project 365: Photo Edition - Old School

10419--Old School

Even today's youngest generation can have fun playing Pole Position!

Project 365: Video Edition - Nothing But Reading

It was a stay-at-home day today, but I got a lot of reading done. :o) Played around with effects because I look incredibly awful in this one. :oP

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project 365: 108/365 - Tour du Cat

Project 365: Photo Edition - Black on White

100418--Black on White

Of course the black cat has to sit on the only white article of clothing in the entire house.

Project 365: Video Edition - Tour of the Day

Here's the next installment in the CleanPlace Vlogging Project. Follow the rest of the vlogs on YouTube at CleanPlaceTV. This video features a few other CleanPlacers!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Project 365: 107/365 - Anti-Vlog & Fog

Project 365: Photo Edition - Fog Tree

100417--Fog Tree

The fog was settled throughout town practically all. It was absolutely beautiful.

Project 365: Video Edition - Anti-Vlog

Friday, April 16, 2010

Project 365: 106/365 - On the Road

Project 365: Photo Edition - Cuision?


No, it isn't an alternate spelling. I looked it up.

Project 365: Video Edition - New Friend

Thanks for watching the road while I recorded a vlog.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Project 365: 105/365 - Bad & Good

Project 365: Photo Edition - Irony


Is there irony in the fact that someone vandalized the "Stop Family Violence" sign?

Project 365: Video Edition - Good Reads

Here's a sampling of the some of the great books I've read while working out at the gym. Not every book is good for while you're sweating it out on the elliptical. :oops:

Related Link:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Project 365: 104/365 - No Theme XD

I was at a loss for finding a connection between these two posts today. :oops:

Project 365: Photo Edition - Vlog-watching


The kids love watching video and picture slideshows of the teens from CleanPlace. Here, they're watching one my favorite vlogs from the April 2009 CleanPlace Vlogging Project.

Project 365: Video Edition - Old Fashioned Wife

Going over my nightly ritual for Monday-Thursday evenings.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Project 365: 103/365 - New Spaces

Project 365: Photo Edition - New Play Space

100413--New Play Area

The kids have a new table to play on! (See video below.)

Project 365: Video Edition - New Office Space

Sometimes I get a little obsessive when I get an idea.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Project 365: 102/365 - Awesome!

Project 365: Photo Edition - Happy & New

100412--Happy & New

It's my new work laptop! Shiny...with Windows 7.

Project 365: Video Edition - Awesome!

My man is AWESOME.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Project 365: 101/365 - Chain Gang

Project 365: Photo Edition - Workspace


It's not much, but the wi-fi connection at Safeway is fantastic. XD

Project 365: Video Edition - Chain Interview

This is one of a series of vlogs for a collaborative project with some of my young writer friends. The rest of the vlogs are posted on the CleanPlaceTV channel.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Project 365: 100/365 - Deuces Wild

Project 365: Photo Edition - Two Skies

100410--Two Skies

Project 365: Video Edition - Two Movies

Friday, April 9, 2010

Project 365: 99/365 - Writer's Cloak

Project 365: Photo Edition - Cloak of Wonder

100409--Cloak of Wonder

I can't even tell you how awesome this cloak is. It's great fun to wear. Thank you, Mother Elf!

Project 365: Video Edition - Procrastination

This is how two writers get 110 words written in 45 minutes. I cut out SO much from this video, and it's still the longest vlog I've ever made.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Project 365: 98/365 - Batman & Random

Project 365: Photo Edition - Holy Spoons, Batman!

100408--Holy Spoons, Batman!

It's pretty clear that a creative person works here.

Project 365: Video Edition - Ramble On

In this vlog, I ramble. I really do.

Mentioned in this video: CRYSonline

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Project 365: 97/365 - Happy Day!

Project 365: Photo Edition - Happy Birthday!

100407--Happy Birthday

It was my mom's birthday today, but she was out of town, so I made her the best cake I could and sent it to her via cell phone.

Project 365: Video Edition - Weight Loss Update#32

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Project 365: 96/365 - Giving In

Project 365: Photo Edition - Giving In

1004006--Giving In

Project 365: Video Edition - Weight Loss #31

Here's an update on my slackerness when it comes to the weight loss journey.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Project 365: 95/365 - Life as a Vlogger

Project 365: Photo Edition - Coming Back to Life

100405--Coming Back to Life

The rain and snow has been bringing up the green grass. Spring is back!

Project 365: Video Edition - Video Obsession

This is a vlog for vloggers.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Project 365: 94/365 - Renewals

For Heaven's sake...I am SO behind on my Project 365 posts. I will be backposting here someday soon so I don't get TOO overwhelmed. In the meantime, the April 2010 CleanPlace Vlogging Project started today. It also counts for my Project 365 vlog of the day.

EDIT: Photo of the day added to the bottom of this post.

Project 365: Video Edition - 3rd Vlogging Project #1

If you aren't familiar, this is a video project that is done by the teen writers on my young writers forum, CleanPlace. We did two other projects like this in 2009, one in April and one in June.

Project 365: Photo Edition - Forgiven


At our church's Good Friday service, people had the opportunity to nail to a cross pieces of paper with their names or sins written on them. On Sunday morning, we were surprised to find it on the stage with white pieces of paper nailed over them with the word "Forgiven" printed on it. Powerful.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Project 365: 93/365 - An Off Day

Project 365: Photo Edition - Holiday Crafts

100403--Holiday Crafts

Project 365: Video Edition - Bad Day

Um...I had a bad day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Project 365: 92/365 - Good Friday

Project 365: Photo Edition - Communion


This is the communion table they had at our Good Friday service at our church.

Project 365: Video Edition - Good Friday

Taking you on a tour of our church's awesome Good Friday service.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Project 365: 91/365 - Busy as a Bee

Project 365: Photo Edition - Makeshift Theater

100401--Makeshift Theater

This is part of how I keep my kids occupied during our monthly evening meeting at the church. They have a fun time and having the video going is a nice distraction for the 60-75 minutes that we're there.

Project 365: Video Edition - Busy Day

Why I would choose to start a daily vlog on my busiest day of the month, I have no idea. But I did, and it's done.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Project 365: 90/365 - Ad Cat

Project 365: Photo Edition - Rebel Cat

100331--Rebel Cat

The sign says: "Don't sit"

Project 365: Video Edition - Ad Creation

This is the design process for a simple ad in the magazine that I do every month for my job.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Project 365: 89/365 - Man of the Hour

Project 365: Photo Edition - For Her Daddy

100330--For Her Daddy

If you can't read it, it says:

Dear Daddy,
You are the dad of kings.
Love, Julie
I <3 U

Project 365: Video Edition - The Magic Bullet

Making a shake with the Magic Bullet. It's the only Made-for-TV appliance that I would say I'd actually have a hard time living without. It really is what they say it is.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Project 365: 88/365 - Novice

Project 365: Photo Edition - Novice


My daughter was leaving messages on Facebook about pictures of her new cousin.

Project 365: Video Edition - Advice

This one speaks for itself.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Project 365: 87/365 - Girly Stuff

Project 365: Photo Edition - Sweet Cakes

100328--Sweet Cakes

Project 365: Video Edition - How to Farm an Empty Lotion Tube

Don't throw away those squeeze tubes when you can't get the last drops out. Try this if you're bored and want to get the most out of your $8 tube.

©1998-2010 Kevin MacLeod

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Project 365: 86/365 - Guess What

Project 365: Photo Edition - Slumbering


Yes, he does actually sleep every once in awhile. That's why he's so full of energy all the rest of the live long day.

Project 365: Video Edition - Guess the Movie

This is the second time I've seen this movie in the theaters. Yes, it was worth forking out another $8.50.

Music: ©2010 Avril Lavigne

Friday, March 26, 2010

Project 365: 85/365 - All Kinds of Artsy

Project 365: Photo Edition - Sculpture


This was one of the submissions for an art fair for which I was a judge. It was my judge's pick--absolute favorite of all the sculptures. Of course, now I can't remember the title.

Project 365: Video Edition - Contact Juggling

My friend Annie practicing contact juggling. We'll just call her the Wife of Jareth.

Comment if you know the movie reference there--and if you do, you are one of the AWESOME.

Music: ©1998-2010 Kevin MacLeod

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Project 365: 84/365 - Mysterious Words

Project 365: Photo Edition - Skrow


My friend Annie and I were trying to come up with a name for the nasty piles of dirty snow that is leftover after all the other snow has melted. I think "skrow" should be the name--black as a crow, not quite snow.

Project 365: Video Edition - Elixir

The music really makes this one work as an ominous, magical scene.

POST A COMMENT with a description of what this could be in a fictional setting.

Music: ©1998-2010 Kevin MacLeod

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Project 365: 83/365 - Piles of Pretty

Project 365: Photo Edition - Accumulation


I dug this path for when my husband got home after midnight because the accumulation was INSANE. It was snowed-over again by time he arrived.

Project 365: Video Edition - Making Prettiness

This is how I make myself feel pretty.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Project 365: 82/365 - Snow Dance

Project 365: Photo Edition - Light Experiment #3, Snow Beams

100323--Snow Beams

Project 365: Video Edition - B-I-N-G-O

Dancing feet! (And an occassional boy in shorts and snow boots.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Project 365: 81/365 - Locker Clean Up

Project 365: Photo Edition - Locker


Bird's eye view of my gym locker. Another somewhat illegal image--but no one was in the locker room!

Project 365: Video Edition - Cleaning Out

If only we could always put the dishes away on double-time speed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Project 365: 80/365 - Not What It Seems

Project 365: Photo Edition - Road Closed

100321--Road Closed

Sort of closing a road to nowhere here. ;o)

Project 365: Video Edition - Jumping Ball Trick

My daughter bought a magic trick set and we're having just as much fun with it as she is.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Project 365: 79/365 - Toot Your Own

Project 365: Photo Edition - Self Portrait
100320--Self Portrait

One of the more creative self-portraits I've ever done...

Project 365: Video Edition - Choo Choo

Just racing a train on the interstate.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Project 365: 78/365 - All Cut Up

Project 365: Photo Edition - Broken Beauty

100319--Broken Beauty

Our Women's Ministry director gave this Christmas ornament to me the Christmas after I first came on staff at the church. I used to have it hanging on my rearview mirror. It lasted a couple years at least. Then I brought it inside when we got a new car. For another few years, it survived the tree and being displayed on the mantel where the cats could get to it.

This day, my boy got a hold of the ornament and mistook it for a ball that could be bounced against the stone hearth. Yikes. Ah well. It's just stuff. (He DID feel very remorseful.)

Project 365: Video Edition - How To Seed a Cucumber

Another practical kitchen tip! This Project 365 thing is making a lot of useful videos as well as pointless ones. Guess there should always be a balance, eh? XD

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project 365: 77/365 - Kids Stuff

Project 365: Photo Edition - Loose Tooth

100318--Loose Tooth

At this point, she could twist her tooth around 180 degrees, and she would show anyone who would look. Eep!

And a bonus image for today: Guess what this is by leaving a comment. Be specific!

100318--What's This?

Project 365: Video Edition - Swing

Always a childhood fave...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Project 365: 76/365 - Crayons

Project 365: Photo Edition - Well Loved

100316--Well Loved

All crayons should be so lucky to be loved so much.

Project 365: Video Edition - Coloring

Yes, she colored this in March. My daughter's subject matter when it comes to coloring knows no bounds. (And that's fine by me.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Project 365: 75/365 - Census on a Skillet

Project 365: Photo Edition - 2010 Census

100315--2010 Census

We did our part by filling out the 10-minute survey. We did not include Mr. & Mrs. Potato head or their little spud spawn.

Project 365: Video Edition - Skillet

There's a certain someone that ALWAYS comes to mind when I hear Skillet come on the radio.