Monday, October 31, 2005

The happy pumpkin is feeling awfully lucky ...

This was for my group's entry into the pumpkin-carving competition at work.

This is the other pumpkin I did this weekend. Is it appropriate that it was in the fridge for a while? Imagine how disquieting it was to see this ...

... everytime I opened the fridge door. "Eeee-ah!"

Well, things couldn't be as simple as just that.

(You should be thinking, "Uh oh"...)

Evil minds and skilled hands at work.

It can only get worse from here..

Here's one of the little buggers, in action.

Like the little knives?

Well, to see how it all came together ...

... you'll have to ...

Keep scrolling..

Oh yeah, it's worth the wait.

And, yes!, your fears were well-founded..


Be sure to click this one

And, yes, we won.

Victory is sweet.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Happy Halloween!

click me!

Oh, isn't this sweet? Yeah, just wait. There's more. It was a busy weekend, carving pumpkins.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Beach Views

If you haven’t checked the 'L.A. County Beach Views' link in my Favorite Links list yet (you’re slacking), here’s something nice that I’ve discovered. Sometimes they’ll let the cameras keep taking photos after dark. But I’d say that more often than not (or, when I remember to check), I think they try to have the last photos of the day be around sunset. So, no matter where you are, you can enjoy a great Los Angeles sunset, almost everyday (and, I guess, watch the sunrise, too). Nice, huh? These were thumbnails from today. If you go to the site, you can see the beach images at a larger size.


Las Tunas

Topanga South

Marina Del Rey

Will Rogers State Beach

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Niblets

You're in for a real treat!

A New Hope
The Empire Strikes Back

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Meeting eyes"

This is a sure sign that the meeting has gone on far too long.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New acquisitions

Oh, look!
If you know anything about me, you will know to hover closely by.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Spent some time at Starbucks Saturday, enjoying their new Pumpkin Spice Latte, comfy chairs and music.

I picked up a set of watercolor paints later in the afternoon, the kind that comes in little solid square tiles, compared to the stuff in the tube. In theory this should be a little less messy than the paints that come in tubes, maybe for travel. For travel. Righhhhht. Hasn't happened yet; don't hold your breath. Sounded good on paper.

I think since the pigment is dry, I need to add quite a bit of water for the paint to be workable, and so the paints end up being really, really transparent, very light. And I end up applying a lot more water to the pages of my sketchbook than I'd like. I do have another Moleskine sketchbook that has thicker paper, but I like the idea of using the one with the thinner paper. It makes it feel like more of a working book, to just play in. The other book, with the heavier paper, seems to be inviting more finished sketches ... a little more intimidating.

I used the square tile paints for the coffee cup, then went back to colored watercolor pencils for the second sketch. I'm thinking I'll stick with the pencils for my sketchbook, at least until I've played with the paint set for a little bit.

I want for breakfast what those guys had!

How 'bout those Cats?!
ESPN says "Northwestern? First place? Don't laugh. After the Wildcats thoroughly dominated No. 22 Michigan State 49-14, Northwestern, with only one league loss, remains in a first-place tie with three others atop the Big Ten..."

I'll enjoy it for as long as I can! :)
Go U, NU!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Quotes (well, not quite)

And of course, the quotes on the fridge. They usually offer deeper insight into what people are thinking, hoping and striving for. I have to admit that I'm working on hunting down authors for the ones that I have up. But, in the meantime, you can enjoy these movie quotes. You can find more at Endless hours of distraction.

I think it's a koala, an evil koala.
-– from Lilo and Stitch

Anna Scott: I can't believe you have that picture on your wall.
William: You like Chagall?
Anna Scott: I do. It feels like how being in love should be. Floating through a dark blue sky.
William: With a goat playing the violin…
Anna Scott: Yes - happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat.
-- from Notting Hill

You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em.
There's something irresistable-ish about 'em.
We grin :) and bear it 'cause the nights are long.
I hope that something better comes along.
-– from The Muppet Movie [did you realize that there are Muppet USPS stamps now?]

Jane Aubrey: You ever gotten your heart broken?
Billy Chapel: Yeah. When we lost the pennant in '87

Jane Aubrey: What if my face was all scraped off and I was totally disfigured and had no arms and legs and I was completely paralyzed. Would you still love me?
Billy Chapel: No. But we could still be friends.
-- from For Love of the Game

There were more gems, but I didn’t copy them all down. Besides, I don’t like the idea of your being distracted from work for so long. I’d hate to have your work IT department ban you access to my little blog... :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Something about wanting to see some patterns on an air bladder. I think I'd gotten to where I'd had and done just about enough for the day...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You've been waiting for it, admit it


Happy Birthday

(belated) to Gerald!

Evil Demons: Begone!

Three hours spent disinfecting my computer. Here’s a composite of what I wandered off to do while I had to wait. A little of this, a little of that. The quote is on the fridge. I’ll get to posting the rest of the quotes that I have up… sooner or later.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bosses’ Day

Bosses’ Day is today, October 16th, a Sunday. What folly there is in having Bosses’ Day on a weekend this year?

I ran across a poll that asked managers what they’d most like to receive from someone they managed. My first thoughts were of managers thinking “Oh, please let them stop badgering me about raises!”, and “Oh, please let them not be keeping a ‘My Crazy Boss’ blog about me... using work computers, on company time!” (Managers would say "Oh, please"?). But neither is really something that one could give or receive. There’s a snide comment in there waiting to happen about wanting to give someone a piece of my mind, but that’s not what The Fridge Door is all about. We’ll have to all go in search of the ‘MyCrazyBoss’ blog for that.

Anyway, it turns out the best, and most-repeated answer was something like: the best gift is to hear appreciation from those that you lead that you are making a difference in their lives. To my good bosses out there: Thanks. You know who you are, even without having to read it in my little blog. Your faith and trust were always clear to me, and I appreciate it still. I owe you guys some ice cream. :)

Monster Engine

I ran across a unique artist’s project last week. The premise is pretty cool. Dave DeVries is an illustrator that worked in comics and Universal Studios. He found himself intrigued by the monsters that his niece had drawn in his sketchbook, though, and... using line drawings that children did, he’d evolve them into drawings in 3D color and detail. I’m not doing a great job explaining. Here’s an example.

There are more sketches on his website. What’s great is that he doesn’t use the original sketch just for inspiration, but faithfully uses all the original lines that the kids draw. Very cool, huh? I like it! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Occasionally, my buddy Joe asks if I've been painting. I always feel sheepish saying that, No, I haven't. In truth, what I do isn't really painting. I'm too impatient to haul out tubes of paint, mix colors, stare at a canvas. When I took gouache painting (anything that involves a word that I have to check the spelling everytime I use it; too much work..), my instructor would say that you could layer the paint by diluting it with water, waiting until the last layer was dry, and then "...glaze..." on the next stroke. You could get great gradations this way, layering on paint, instead of just plain solid blocks of pigment. I'd think, "Wait until the last layer is dry? You're kidding, right?". Plus we had to mix our colors from the basic set that we had to work with. [sigh] Needless to say, the whole gouache thing didn't pan out so well (let's just say it's not something I kept up with).

Not long ago, I took a watercolor workshop. That was less painful than gouache. I like it, but it's tough to work with preparing the paper, having it be wet enough but not too wet, letting layers dry before adding more paint ... or playing with having the pigment float.. kinda cool. But then there's what's supposed to be the grace of using just individual, mindful, sweeping strokes. Mmmmm. You're not supposed to smoodge the paint back and forth with the brush (You're not?) - it eats up the fibers, breaks up the surface of the paper, so inelegant. As if an artist's inner critic isn't screaming loud enough to begin with, huh? Okay, so the graceful brush strokes? I'm not quite there yet, but it sounds like a plan. For now I'm just smoodging along.

I've always liked colored pencils, especially the water-soluble ones (watercolor pencils). I know you can buy tubes of paint in different shades too, but I like the idea that the colored pencils won't dry out. And if you take them along, you won't have to deal with loose caps on tubes coming undone and having globs of paint everywhere (really, it's not like I'm a slob. I'm just trying to deal with the reality of it, you know?). I also like that you can leave them dry, or hit them with water (and smoodge the paint around into the paper) to mix the colors, and bring out the intensity more. The faster I can get these done, the more I can do, the more I can experiment and play.
And ... the quicker I can scan them and post them, too! :)


Part of Speech: noun
Definition: a tiny piece of something, esp. food like corn kernels; morsel, shred

Wow, are these going to drive you crazy until you can scroll down (or up?) far enough that they're not displayed on your screen? >:)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I've started to spend more time drawing...
Just a note - Your eyes aren't going bad (or your monitor). The Moleskine books have ivory-colored pages. I don't like to color-correct the images to make the paper look white, because the ivory seems to give everything just a hint more warmth..

The real deal

This is what refrigerators are really for.
These were done by my niece, Miyo.

Monday, October 10, 2005

New link

I'll let you know when I add more links or make changes of note.
I ran across this great design inspiration link. Mmmmm. Click here!

Toys and Gadgets on the Fridge

One of the occupational hazards of being a designer is that you're always on the lookout for new designs, everywhere. Which means you are more likely to run into cool things that you just need to have. You know, to remind you of how clever a design is. So I have one of these hanging on the fridge. As it turned out, I needed a bottle-opener anyway (yeah, it’s easier to justify if the nicely-designed piece serves a purpose that you so happened to need). Another occupational hazard .. is that designers tend to look at things and imagine ways that they could be better. Couldn’t the bottle-opener have had a magnet in the outer band so the thing would stay up on the fridge all on its own? [sigh] And, I just wish that the outer band was something softer, more grippy, instead of hard plastic. Then it would have the OXO thing going on, and that would be even better!
And, no, we’re not talking the ‘hugs and kisses’ variety of ‘OXO’, at least not in this case.

I found these little metal containers with clear inserts in their lids that have magnets on the bottom. So you can put stuff in ‘em and stick ‘em up. Seems like a good idea, huh? So, when I want to get some of the stuff in the container out, I pull the container off the fridge so I can hold it better to pry off the cap… and, Ooops, there go all the take-out menus! Maybe I should get more magnets that function just as magnets, so I can relieve the metal containers from having to do double-duty, huh?

The BusyBodies shop at has all these little stick figure dudes, of all sorts of occupations, celebrations, emotions, printed on shirts, mugs, bags, mouse pads, buttons and, hey!, magnets. Me? I draw!

And of course, I could have the little kid alphabet magnets or Magnetic Poetry. Those are amusing, but they take up too much space, and take a little too much time to get to where it’s really entertaining. The longest I’ll stand gazing at the stuff on the fridge is about the length of time it takes to get ice and water from the in-door dispenser. If I had space to spare, though, the toy that I’d really like to have is/are Frigits. Now that’s fun! :)

Sunday, October 09, 2005


And there's always the obligatory photo of Bellows...

Bellows has the best sand ...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Banana Cars

It seems only fitting that the Digital Fridge Door’s (DFD) inaugural post be of the infamous banana cars. The original sketches are still up on the actual fridge. The background on this is pretty immaterial at this point, but involves my saying something like, "Well, if you want color options without having any idea of what the thing will look like, I’d do just as well to show color schemes on something benign like ... Bananas!".

So, the thing about being an industrial designer is that sometimes you have to turn off the internal editor in your brain, and just sketch whatever it is that you hear people trying to describe – you (I) have to draw other people’s ideas, more or less immediately. Sometimes I have to work out the mechanical details, but most often, once I understand the concept, I have to just sketch, so that the idea can be quickly communicated and shared. That’s why they call it "visual communication" (‘viscomm’). Three years of VisComm classes, folks.

I had more fun with the banana-car sketches than the real ones, trust me. As is usually the case, the most ‘fun’ sketches are the quick ones, the ones that come without content editing, during chaotic, rapid-fire brainstorm sessions, where people are going off on tangents, making goofy comments, like, "Hey, that looks like a snake on a rock", "Here, Wendee, you draw it. If I draw it, it’ll look something like a turd on a leaf" (I have sketches of both). Or, when a drawing starts to look like something else, completely unrelated to the task at hand, I go ahead and draw it in its alternate form. Whatever the reason, it’s a good sign that the scribe is still having fun and being playful. Embrace these for the healthy folly that it is.

Expect to see more of these unedited-stream-of-consciousness drawings (or, "Wow, you say it, and it magically appears!").

Special welcome to the Terrapins

I see you sitting way in the back row. You. Yeah, you. You know who you are. Play nice back there, ‘hear? I think you're the biggest excuse for me to get this blog going. Everyone else will end up either thanking or cursing you. I love you guys.

"Dude, did she really just say that?"
"Oh man (smacking head), all over the Internet and everything?"
"Guh! Women! So mushy..."
"Cool! I get to be a superhero! Cowabunga!"