Oscars 2015

Hey everyone! Nicky here 🙂

Here is the final edition to my Oscars infographic, completed with all the nominations, categories, and winners!

Can’t wait for next year so I can make another one 🙂

Oscars 2015 Complete List-01

DIY Paper Cut-Out

Dragon Paper Cut-Out

This is a project which requires lots of patience and slow movements. I’m not that great with exacto knives, although I can say that I have quite a steady hand, I tend to go either too slow or too fast. This may someday result in a mistaken cut in a piece of paper or even my hand, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Get These Things:

  • exacto knife
  • white bristol paper
  • coloured paper
  • scissors (if you no longer want to use the exacto knife)

Step 1:

Draw a design onto the paper. Basically anything that looks good as a silhouette.

Step 2:

Use your exacto knife and carefully cut the design. Go slowly, and always place your hands behind the blade’s direction to avoid cutting any fingers.

Step 3:

Once the image is cut, place coloured paper behind so the image stands out. Use a stick of glue so it is secure.

And voila!

Now all that is needed is a frame and a wall to hang it!

THE DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR

Reading THE DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR

I used to not enjoy reading books. This was partly because I had a hard time trying to physically read the story, not because I didn’t enjoy the story. Now, I not only read books, but I buy some with my own money! (Usually I have my parents pay for them for me but not always). The kinds of books I buy are not novels though, they are informative books about subjects that interest me. I have one called Guide to Masterpieces of Rome, The Manga Guide to Statistics, Chinese Characters, The Frick Collection, and there are others, believe me.

One of them I bought a couple of days ago called THE DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR: Turning Graphic Design Into Goods That Sell by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico and just started reading. In the book’s 240 pages contain a structure with introductions followed by a series of case studies, containing an interview with each designer and photos of finished products and inspirations. The main idea is about the entrepreneurial process and working for yourself.

Designers know well of the unfortunate truth about their work: Clients are pests!

Yes, I said it. It makes perfect sense though. A client comes to you for you artistic capabilities and visions, but somehow manages to decrease your design to mediocrity. Does any designer want their design to only be… dare I say… COMMON??!!

Hell no!!

This book  basically says to screw clients and design things for yourself and also make some money in the process.

THE DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR offers a lot of insight into the wonderful world of creative freedom and gives hope to those wishing for this freedom. The steps are outlined very bluntly so someone with a low IQ or with no knowledge of entrepreneurship can understand the contents. As well, there are 53 interviews with designer D.I.Y.ing (do it yourself-ing), giving the reader a more ‘real’ outlook.

Overall, this book gave me an optimistic view on what my future could potentially result as. I honestly have no experience with dealing with clients but I do have a fear of certain types of clients like these (I can clearly picture these monsters in my head and they freak me out sometimes!):

The Rich Bitch: the extremely wealthy stuck-up woman who is so critical, even the smallest speck is detected.

The Indecisive Jackass: the slump of a man who can’t make up his damn mind!

The Chatty SHUT THE HELL UP Person: a woman or a man who just won’t shut up! I’m sorry, but I don’t need to know everything about you!

The Brat: the person who cares about nothing but his/her own selfish self.

The Late Payer: enough said.

So basically I’m pretty convinced that being an entrepreneur is a more fulfilling path to go down. Is it hard work?

Read the book and find out for yourself.

DIY Clay Critter (Duck)

Here is a great craft you can complete anytime you are feeling bored and eager to be creative. I am going to be making a duck, but any type of animal is applicable (if for some reason you really don’t like ducks…) As well, I will be using Super Sculpey clay, which I recommend because it works really well for crafts like this.

GETTING STARTED

Preheat your oven to around 275 °F. Condition all the clay you plan on using by kneading until it is soft and smooth or, if you have one, running it through a Clay Conditioning Machine (I used it in my tech class this year and now I really want one. It works really well!)

STEP 1

Grab some aluminum foil and roll the strip into a ball 1 1/2″ in diameter, for the duck’s body. Roll another ball of foil into a smaller ball about 1″ in diameter, for the duck’s head. Afterwards, grab a toothpick and stick the balls on top of each other.

STEP 2

Take some of that Super Sculpey clay and start covering the aluminum foil balls. You don’t need a lot of clay but make sure you have enough so no aluminum is showing anywhere.

STEP 3

Now it is time to add some features to our duck. Make a small ball of clay and flatten it. Cut it in half and place one half near the centre of the head for the top part of the duck’s beak.

Then place the other half below for the lower part.

Next we will make the wings of the duck. For this you with need to make two disks in an oval shape (keeping it real simple so nothing fancy) and place them on opposite sides of the duck’s body.

Now, the tricky part, the duck’s feet. For this you will need to make two small diamonds (or little kites, which ever helps visually) out of clay. Then start to pinch three of the points so they look more like webbed feet. After you have this shape, place both of the pieces underneath the body so they are sticking out.

Finally, make two really small circles for the eyes.

eyes on the duck

STEP 4

Place the duck in an oven-proof glass surface and stick that duck in the oven to bake! Leave it in there for about 15-20 minutes. Once it is done, let it cool.

STEP 5

Now it is time to paint! This is my favourite part of this craft because the clay critter is brought to life (plus it looks super cute when it is done!)

I use acrylic paint for the soul purpose that it works on any surface (and it is the only type of paint I like to use anyway). Use whatever colours you like so your duck critter is unique and cute enough for you!

STEP 6

Admire your cute clay critter! 🙂

It really is that simple to make!

DIY Night Time Photography

I do really like the nighttime, both in the city and also at my cottage. From living in the constant movement to going occasionally to a more remote and peaceful area, it is a fortunate escape into a different environment. Apart from the mosquitos constantly attacking any bare skin on my body, watching the sun set beside a campfire is the perfect activity during summer. For very special occasions, there are usually fireworks or sparklers lighting up the blackened skies after the sun’s light has gone. The only problem is… How do you capture this moment?

Trying to take pictures of fireworks can really be a frustrating experience. By not knowing which settings to use, you can end up with a lot of pictures of blurry lights. I don’t think anyone wants blurry fireworks or sparklers in their photo libraries right? Here are some tips on how to take stunning shots of fireworks and sparklers so you can truly capture the moment:

1. Invest in a tripod that is a decent make and a sturdy model (this will make a big difference). Absolute stillness is required for the slower shutter speeds you’ll need in these conditions.

2. NO FLASH! Just switch it off! Believe me, I left the flash on and the shot I took looked like light crap. Switching to the manual settings on your camera will cover this and give you more control.

3. CHARGE YOUR CAMERA PRIOR TO SHOOTING! The long exposures can drain your camera’s battery more quickly so charge it up.

4. Lower your ISO speed. This will prevent your images from getting somewhat grainy. You can also turn on your camera’s Noise Reduction setting, if you have one.

5. Turn on your camera’s fireworks setting. Many of the recent camera models have a scene mode specifically for shooting fireworks.

6. Use long shutter speeds around 2-3 seconds or even longer. This is the most important camera setting you need to worry about. With a fast shutter speed, your camera will not be able to pick up the illuminated paths of light the fireworks make in the sky. So give your camera a chance to record those streaks with a longer shutter speed. I recommend experimenting different durations to see what you prefer and what ultimately looks the best.

7. Take lots of pictures! You can always delete the duds later.

Remember, taking photographs with your camera is a fun activity and a great opportunity to experiment new settings and features. Have fun!