Friday, May 29, 2015

Three Year Update

Hello! And welcome back to my crazy corner on the web. Excuse the dust and cobwebs, I haven't been here in a while.

Since I began working for a company, my time and energy has been focused elsewhere. But I did want to give the website somewhat of a facelift and bring it up to date.

My website is now responsive! This was made possible by utilizing free responsive templates. Because I have been out of the website making business, the thought of trying to learn responsive coding on my downtime nearly melted my brain in two.


No lie.

If you know my site at all, you know it's always had some kind of beach thing. I'm a Florida girl. I love my ocean. So to keep with the tradition, this site also has somewhat of an ocean theme.

Oh and that logo up there ::points up:: yeah, I did it college. And I'm bringing it back. I think it was one of the first things I created for a class project. Not only is it nautical but it also holds nice memories.

All right. Enough of this rambling. Have a great day!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A look back on 2012

This year I had the pleasure of working with Conundrum Stages on two different occasions.

The first occasion was for a show being performed locally and they were seeking local talent to create a flier for the event.

I drew the siren on the computer so the flier has local artistry taking up half the space.

I did get to attend the event and it was a special night filled with wonderful talent.

The next project was for a show that would be taking place at the same avenue. Except this time it would feature more of a variety of music from people from all walks of life.

Again, the silhouette was drawn by me. The blue background was created from scratch.

I think my biggest challenge here was that silhouette. For some reason the siren was ten times easier to create... but a man holding a microphone? HAH! I was so happy when it finally came together.

Sadly, the event had to be cancelled so the flier was never used.

Over the summer, I created a logo for the Maronite Deacons to be placed on their newsletter. It went through several drafts! Draft one:

Unfortunately, they ended up wanting a different Maronite cross.

This is what the final project ended up looking like (but without the watermark).

Aside from dabbling in graphic art, I spent a busy summer helping out with a Children's Theatre Camp. There were two sessions with a show at the end of each one. Both shows went very well. I hope they were proud of all they accomplished. We were very proud of them. I even had a cameo appearance as a crazed cat on catnip in one show! That was fun.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May 2013 be brighter than 2012!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Kinyn Chronicles-site update

If you saw the first website I did for Kinyn Chronicles, it was a purple romantic mess. It was done in a hurry because a website was needed ASAP and it was the first idea that popped into my head.

For the past few weeks I've felt the need to update the website. And I began to come up with ideas on what the theme should look like.

This is just an example of the template used. The watermark is not a part of the design.

I'm pretty happy with this. It makes it clear that the website is fantasy. The color schemes aren't chokingly romantic... 

The woodsy background is a picture I took in Costa Rica. The horse is from Kentucky, also a picture taken by me. It has the wings of a seagull but I think that picture was taken by my writing partner, Julie. I put a painterly filter on it to make it more otherworldly... like someone from that world might have painted it. 

I created the torn paper by filling a rectangle in with paper texture. I then took a brush and erased the edges and then... I burned them! I think it finished off the website nicely.

So if you have the time, please head over to The Kinyn Chronicles and take a look at it in action!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just how grainy is too grainy?

For weeks I slaved over making the cover for the Healer and the Pirate just perfect. It got to the point that Julie was wishing we’d just buy an image. But I was determined. I made my own fonts, took my own pictures... everything was as right as it could be without spending $300.

Then it came time to pull the trigger and finally send the book out into the world to be viewed by millions of people. And to my horror, the image appeared like a grainy mess in Amazon’s book details preview.

I sat for a good two days fearing that my cover wasn’t good enough. Despite the warning that the image in the book details preview would be a little pixelated, I feared ours was too pixelated. How could something that looked that bad in preview turn out fine? I changed the DPI, the size, made a new file and nothing I did fixed how grainy the thumbnail appeared.

I searched Google and found several other people with my same fear. At least I was not alone. But I was still scared. Just how grainy is too grainy?

Well my fears were unfounded of course. I tend to be a worrier anyway. So if you’re like me and adding your book to Amazon, don’t fret over their grainy preview image. They take your large pictures and squish them into tiny thumbnails which causes the low quality and then utter mayhem. Now seeing that you only submit one photo, I don’t know how they get the “look inside” graphic to appear nice when the preview image that is also squished appears grainy. But it does. Nothing to worry about there!

This really bothered me though as I wish they’d find a better way to let us preview what it looks like in thumbnail form before pulling the trigger and letting a million people see it. But all is well that ends well.

The final image was 600x800 and under 127KB per the Amazon guidelines. If you click on the image above, you can go to the our Amazon page and click the "look inside" to see the final product in all its glory! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

#Tweets, #RTs, #DMs... Anyone else #lost?

This week I jumped feet first into the wonderful world of self-promotion. And I landed right on my head. The final score: Twitter 2 / Maggie 0

Twittering, when used correctly, is said to be a valuable marketing tool. It is a way to get connected with people who share in your interests, your pain and sometimes even your fears. It is also a way to connect to those who might be interested in what you're trying to sell.

So far I have trouble reading past all the #hashtags. Which by the way, up until a month ago, I thought putting the number sign in front of words was just another hip internet trend. I'd see this on Facebook and be completely lost. Little did I know they were the mark of popular topics people have been twittering about.

Back in November, I became a co-author with the release of The Healer and the Pirate. Since we chose to self-publish we now must self-promote. I think promoting via Twitter is a little like fishing. You cast a line out there, and you know your hook is short but hopefully it is flashy enough, and you'll reel in a prime catch. The trick is to be patient. See what works and what doesn't and try something else.

I am not sure how many people I've reeled in but a few have reeled me in! Can we say FREE BOOK alerts? I am there! Not to mention the plethora of useful articles people post, giveaways, contests and other fun tidbits. 

If you wish to join some twitter mayhem and keep up with my fight score between Twitter and myself, follow me @MaggiePhillippi! I enjoy a more personal connection so I won't be just an anonymous follower.

I look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Find me on Amazon!

Today marks another chapter in my life... as a co-author!

For the past three years I've been working hard with Julie Bihn to complete our first work of fiction, The Healer and the Pirate.

The road was long and it was full of hardships but in the end we have a great story to tell. I hope you will join our adventures in Kinyn. You can buy Book One on Amazon now!

Website and cover art was made by me as well. You can also check out our Facebook page and keep up to date. We hope to have the book available on Smashwords in December.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mary, Mother of the Light

For the past few months I have been working on a website for a Maronite Catholic church in my area, Mary, Mother of the Light.

The project included a full useable website and the making of one logo.

I created the logo by drawing a traditional Maronite cross and adding the half circles. The half circles represent the Mother Mary and baby Jesus. The icon I drew the inspiration from is found on the website's home page. 

The complete design and content took about three months from start to finish. Getting approval and all content together takes longer than one might originally think.

One thing that I found very interesting about this process was how the event photo album came about. The owners wished to have a web album with photos of events that they could keep updated. I was afraid that it would need to be a link directly to Picasa in order for them to manage it without too much fuss. But then I came across the neatest code that allowed me to embed their Picasa web albums into a page on their website. So the viewers would not need to leave the website in order to view the pictures. It is very helpful and so easy to update. So if you're not web savvy or just do not want to spend a lot of time coding a picture gallery, or have the need for multiple albums on a single web page, I would highly recommend looking into this: Picasa Web Albums Integrator

The website is still under construction in some parts but is up and ready for viewers! Which is very exciting. It's been a joy creating the website and I will be sad to see it end.