Friday, April 27, 2007

My Creative Hand at Wegmans

Much of this work is quite "utilitarian" at catching your eye and getting the product name across. But I'd like to think that I am making the store a little cozier, a little more colorful (you won't see this style at Tops (a local competitor)!) and maybe, actually, even prompting folks to buy the product. I think it's possible! I DO, I DO!!!

These signs, and a majority of what i do for signage at Wegmans, uses what i call "cut-out lettering." It is using foamcore (or sometimes called foamboard) to create the actual letters so that they stand out from the sign. I use various layers to accentuate some signs more than others. Usually, the bigger, the more room for layers. Sometimes I've cut out letters for 'small' signs and it gets very tedious. I go thru hobby blades for my knife like its nothing. I get them by the 100 pack and probably go thru 30 or so a week (though i've never really added them up. Just guestimating).

Please click on the following thumbnails for a larger picture.

Every now and then, I'm actually allowed the time and the particular project to lend some of my DRAWING skills to play. I really had a fun time doing caricatures of the Video Dept. staff. MOST of them were good natured about their rendering, though it is rumoured i made one girl cry (the redhead, Rachel). i can't help it if she actually LOOKS like that (sorta!). hehe. And the sunflower is watercolor. I don't really consider myself a "painter" - more of an "illustrator" - but i was really impressed with myself and how good it came out. Effective and bright. This sign goes atop a spinning display that has four sides. At the time, it's holding Newman's cookies.

p.s. how do you like my "Movie Pick?" I didn't even see it! ;-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

We'll Miss You, Old Girl

Ron, Sam and I went to the vet today to put Nikita to sleep.

For those of you who did not know, she has been very ill for the past month and a half.

ACTUALLY, it all started several months ago with some 'unhealthy' throwing up; we knew she was old, and that maybe it might be heart related,
but she was still full of life. The vomiting never really stopped (only increased), and then soon, she lost her appetite. She'd eat a very modest "meal" every two to three days. I took her to the vet, where the doc took some bloodwork and did an ultrasound. It was determined that her liver might not be doing so well (speculated cancer) as her gall bladder was twice its size.

Keets was given some antibiotics as well as Prilosec (to calm her stomach so that she could eat), and in a day, she seemed back on track. Eating (though small portions), keeping her food down, etc. But within a week, she aborted eating again (this time, for good really, barring 1 or 2 animal crackers every few days!) and Ron and I watched her weight drop even further; at the first vet's visit, she was 20 lbs. lighter than her last healthy visit.

Kita continued at this pace for a couple weeks. Getting progressively weaker, not even an attempt to eat, and showing physical signs of labor (breathing, shakes, etc.). It was breaking my heart daily as she just got skinnier and weaker. Ron and i made a joint decision to help her leave this world in a comfortable way, before maybe it wouldn't be so calm. She really did seem decently comfortable despite the above noted conditions, which is why it made it so hard for us to finally make a decision to put her down. I really don't like that phrase - PUT HER DOWN - so maybe i mean "let her go."

We were all in the room with her, and it was actually a very beautiful thing. She never made a wimper and in 15 seconds, she was at total peace. Ron and i are doing pretty good, though we have our moments here and there. So far, Beegsley does not seem to notice and/or care, not sure. And of course, Sam is too busy discovering that he has sock fuzz
between his toes to notice. Just as well.

Ron and i picked a nice spot in our backyard for her, and I'm going to make a small flat cement plaque to mark the site.

I've never met or owned a dog before with such a gentle demeanor and loving soul. There wasn't a person i know who met Nikita who didn't totally dig her. I'm laughing here: THAT SAID, her and CJ could get into a couple 'queen' tiffs, which only went to show that Kita might have been laid back, but she stood her ground too.

We love you, Nikita.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Top o' the Earth Day Mornin' to Ya!

Ron, Sam and i had a lovely morning together! Finally, some warm, sunny, blue sky weather to match the season we are in. We took a nice long walk down to Denison Park
which is at the opposite end of where we live. It's really cute there. They have a nice playground for kids ages 5-12 (Sam, you rebel!) as well as nice walking paths and places to set up for a big cookout with family and friends. There's even a little pond, but that could really use some tender loving care. Ron was being very Earth Friendly in doing his part to clean up some of the trash (they remove the trashcans in the park for the winter and have yet to return them. Result: garbage here and there).
were gone 2 hours. Sam really enjoyed the slide! I was so proud at how bold he was in going down by himself, only after the first ride with the help of Daddy at the top, and Mommy at the bottom. It was crazy static-y though. Plastic slide and fleece jacket do NOT mix well. He was doing really good walking all around the different "terrains." He's just figuring out the differences between smooth pavement,
woodchips and grass.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Love your Mother!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Flying Solo

This is a little past due (by about 2-3 weeks now), but I am now the Lone Sign Shop Artist at Wegmans; my former boss Amanda has moved permanently to the Olde World Cheese Dept. I make my own rules, my own hours, and have full control of the roost! I kinda like it, not that i was against having a partner. My workload is very steady, and can even be rather heavy at the end of the week (gearing up for the following weeks' specials/sales). I'll take my camera to work tomorrow and take a couple pics. S'been a while since i boasted my skills here. Every now and then, it still hits me that i'm able to use my talent, with an office full of art supplies - - IN A GROCERY STORE!!!! This is not as crazy as you would think though. Check out this NPR article... *pssst* I have to work on matching Trader Joe's and Whole Foods in their "perks-n-pay" dept. Sniffle.

So long, High Chair!

Hello Big Boy Booster! Good riddance to the former. It took up space, was hard to clean and the wheels were always locking mysteriously (Beegs? Was that you?).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stab It!

Why am i so obsessed with this New Skill of Sam's, the Using of the Fork?? At this rate, I'll be posting pics of him peeing on Cheerio's in the toilet when THAT time comes!

Back to the fork thing though: Maybe it's because i'm in awe of the fact that he can hold the fork correctly, stab the food, and eat it, which translates to "This kid in front of you used to be a cell that split many times and then became a lifeform the size of a pea, all in your belly, all before you even knew it. Now he's using a fork. Whoa."

Yeah. Maybe that's it.

p.s. Props to my cous' Kathie for the PowerPuff Girls plate. She gave that to me years ago when i dug that cartoon and was still single, dogless and spending a Christmas alone in NY. Whodathunk I'd have my SON use it? Is that show even still on?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Thanks Easter Bunny, BOK BOK!"

Before you go any further in this post, tell me you don't remember this classic M&M's commercial from the eighties? I wonder where these kids-now-adults are now? The kids at the end prolly went thru JuVee a few times!

So we headed up to Ellie's for Easter weekend. Took off Saturday afternoon and i fully expected Sam to doze off, but nope, he stayed awake the whole time, taking in
the sites, txting a few friends, and dancing like John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever - ALL FROM HIS CARSEAT! It was only in the last 20 minutes that he was a fuss budget, and Ron managed to amuse him in 28 second increments with various crap laying around in the back seat area. This is why it can pay off to be messy!
We spent the night (Sam took to a new environment very well - i'm glad he didn't nap in the
car - he was zonked!). The next morning we "found" Easter Eggs "hidden" around their house. Those words are in quotes cuz the eggs were in plain view and were getting stepped on right and left. I joked with Ellie and Chip that they would have been better off ACTUALLY hiding them, and WELL, since Sam is very good at finding stuff in weird spots that i haven't seen in a long while.

We had supper at Ellie's husband's stepmother's house (get that?). It was
a full spread - turkey, ham and kielbasa - OH MY!!! So delicious. Sam had his own little place setting, with a small fork and spoon that Joyce had kept from her kids. Sam took to using the fork like it was nothing! I was so impressed watching him stab his food, quite dexterously (sp) i might add, and eating like a Big Boy! He ate everything we did, including some dessert.
Again, no nap, but this time, he zonked on the ride home. He did become fussy with 40 min to go, screeching in spurts SO LOUDLY that i could do nothing but laugh hysterically in response. It was that kind of really ANNOYING screech too. Next I noticed that Sam had gotten into the Easter Basket grass next to him, and all was quiet. Messy but quiet. We'll take that! Grass is still spilling out of the car every time we get in and out.

All and all, a really nice holiday weekend. It was rare and really cool that Ron and i had a weekend day off together.

I shall leave you on another 80s Easter Commercial note. How could you not remember (and LOVE) this one too!??!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


It's weird to have my back turned for what seems like 2 seconds, only to turn around and see Sam, sitting in the BIG recliner (of which i had previously only seen him struggle to get into), with a book opened on his lap and him "reading" to himself. All he needed were some half-glasses and a newspaper and i would have expected him to look out from above the rims to say "what's that, love?"
Brother. Next time i turn my back and turn around again, he just might be 15.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Next Great Picasso?

Only time will tell... so far, Sam seems right hand inclined when he draws, but all the rest is left-handed. I love watching him develop with this stuff!