Blurb Photobook

While I was out at BlogHer12 I got my hands on a code for a Blurb Book.  I’ve never had the opportunity to make a hardcover photo book before, but boy does the quality shine through. The book that we bought (a wrapped hardcover) came in over the weekend and was absolutely gorgeous.   Here’s a sneak peak.


Blurb Books create high quality custom photo books

According to Blurb’s website:

Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the joy of books – reading them, making them, sharing them, and selling them…So we put our minds together, and developed a creative publishing service simple and smart enough to make anyone an author – every blogger, cook, photographer, parent, traveler, poet, pet owner, marketer, everyone. (This means you.)

What is wonderful about their service is that you can use several options to create your book, including a very structured model through the site, a little more detailed option requires you to download a program, and finally for professionals, they have a version that has a plug-in for Adobe In Design and also gives you access to typographic and layout changes, as well as publishing for iPad. I used the middle level (Blurb Booksmart) on my computer and felt I had enough control to create my book, yet still enough structure to not get lost in the weeds.

So far everyone we’ve shown the book to has been extremely impressed.  The book will be displayed at our wedding on the Guestbook table.  Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to using Blurb again when we get ready to immortalize our wedding pictures.

You can learn more about Blurb here:


My New Apple TV & The Slow Churned SocialLuxe Lounge

licensed under Creative Commons

I won an Apple TV from Netflix. Short story- I LOVE IT! Check out more about my time at the SocialLuxe Lounge and my review of the Apple TV and Netflix account I won. Continue reading

Painting like a boss

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend Camp Groupon.  An amazing event sponsored by Groupon in conjunction with many other merchants across the city of Chicago.  One of the great parts about Camp Groupon, was that I didn’t have to put any thought into my weekend of entertainment.  They also picked out activities that I would never have splurged on myself to do.

One such event was a painting class called Bottles and Colors that was hosted at Bar Louie.  During the session, we were given canvases that had a trace of the Chicago city skyline, and we were then given instruction on how to paint a picture like the instructor.

His painting looked like this:

What the professional did….

Isn’t his turquoise pretty?  Look at those beautiful colors he mixed using just primary colors.   I’m sure I can create the same color.  I mean, it can’t be that difficult, can it?

Yeah- so I haven’t painted in probably 10 years, but as soon as I got my Styrofoam plate, I started mixing to try and get a gorgeous turquoise since it’s my favorite color.  So I mixed and mixed and mixed.  And failed to get a pretty turquoise.  Do you want to know why I failed.  I failed because he cheated.  Up front he had a turquoise that he actually used to create that painting.  What a great way to set us up for failure, Mr. Instructor Sir.  So, I gave up- and went with a dirty greenish blue.  Think of the way the Chicago River looks just as the green from St. Patrick’s day is wearing off.  Something like that.

After much drinking, and much mixing, I finally settled on a color palette I could be somewhat at peace with.

Obviously, I’m the real artist

Clearly, I did a great job!   You can still see some vestiges of the nasty green blue color I created in the blue sky. And you know you had a great time, when you return from your adventure, and someone asks you if you’ve been painting.  How did they so clairvoyantly discern this?   It’s the blotch of paint you apparently got above your eye, unbeknownst to you. Either way, it was a blast picking up a paint brush and painting again like you’re in the 8th grade.  Which really mean just chatting through the whole hour.  Thankfully, this time, it was allowed and you didn’t have an old bat telling you that this was a class and you should focus on your “masterpiece”.

But that’s not the only similarity to 8th grade.  I’ve learned that I apparently still can’t mix any colors than those I could back then.   When I was in the 8th grade I mixed that peachy color almost identically for a rain stick I was painting.  That was also the project that got me kicked out of the class to sit in the hall because I argued that my stick was ready, since the paint was dry, and that she could grade it now.  My art teacher, apparently super sensitive to all things moist, argued that it was not.  I clearly  touched my rain stick to prove it was dry (which it was) and that audacity to prove with my hand landed me in the hall for the rest of the class.  Personally, I think she just didn’t want to grade our crap sticks any more that afternoon. Which was okay with  me. I was sick and tired of the smell of acrylic paint and the sound of dried kidney beans trying to sound like real rain…

Speaking of real rain- I really should look for that damn thing, we’re apparently in a drought.  Maybe it still has some mojo?
Special thanks to Groupon and Bottles and Colors for a great time at Camp Groupon!