Monday, December 19

Happy Holidays

Hello there everyone! Long time, no talk. First and foremost I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday. I hope that you get to enjoy your time off and spend it with the ones you love.

I myself will be visiting family and heading back to Colorado for Christmas. I can't wait to see them again and to see the snow. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to feel very festive until now because I've been working. The snow will help with that, and the SNL Christmas episode this weekend put me in a good mood.

I'm 43hours into my new artwork, and I still haven't begun to color. That's just the drawing. So I will be MIA until mid to end February trying my hardest to complete this painting. That, and I'm planning two videos for it. First, a step-by-step video; just to show the process (not intended to be a tutorial) and then the second one will be a retrospective were I go back in and talk about the painting and how it came about (which will be more tutorial-like). So that will be fun.

Also, I have a video commission that I'm excited about. I will be creating an intro for a client's YouTube videos. So it's nice to be working with video again, and a good change of pace. That also means that commissions probably won't be open again until the beginning of spring.

Okay then! I best be off, I have to pack and get ready to go. Hurray for travel.
Is anyone going anywhere for the holidays as well?

xoxo,
~Claudia

Tuesday, December 6

Artist Feature: Neha Jain - 3D Artist

Does anyone remember this painting of mine?

Fish Shop | Painted in 2006

Well recently the lovely and talented Neha Jain was inspired to create two 3D renders based on the concept. How cool is that! I'm so thrilled to see that she brought the artwork to life in a whole new way.

So go check them out here:

Also, she just launched her new blog:

Go show some love, and tell her that Claudia sent you.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Thursday, December 1

Look of the Month :: Winter 2011 :: December

So this winter is extremely different then last year. Coloring blocking is huge this season, so it's more about bright, bold, colorful fashion and less about makeup. This look complements that perfectly. It's a subtle way to wear monochromatic toned makeup (which is still very in), but natural enough to pair with loud colored clothing. Have fun this month; fashion hasn't seen color like this for the winter in quite some time. Typically those are reserved for the warm spring and summer months. Also, gold eyes are great for posh parties. Happy Holidays!

The current look is:
D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 1


Color trends for this month:
Claret, pumpkin, cobalt, cream, and silver

Current motivation for the look:
Color blocking, art, and the holidays


Previous Looks this Year:

Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Tuesday, November 22

Autumn Farmer's Market Haul

Claudia’s Corner videos are dedicated to topics
outside the realm of digital art.

Autumn Farmer's Market Haul

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.



Content, editing, and compositing by Claudia Sutton.
Music composed by Alvin Muolic.

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Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

♡ Claudia

Thursday, November 10

Florence + the Machine's New Album

Lovely Florence and her beautiful voice has put me in a trance this week. Her new album Ceremonials just came out and I adore it. It has inspired me so much and it was just what I was hoping for after her amazing first album Lungs.

Before I got my hands on it, I stumbled across her single "What The Water Gave Me" and I couldn't stop listening to it. She has such a powerful, but sweet voice. Something that she can turn on and off in an instant. That contrast is what's so compelling about her sound. That, and her artistic themes about death, relationships, whimsy, and nature are all so fascinating to me.

I even painted Robert Dean's portrait to that song. He's a talented English fashion stylist that needed artwork done for the launch of his new website. That song was all I wanted to listen to during the entire creation of that painting (I'm excited to show it off when the time is right). I get that way sometimes. The music will just move me, I get into a flow, and don't stop until the art is complete. Surprisingly enough, the direction of that painting had similar themes, so it was too perfect.

If you haven't heard it yet, you have to check it out:



Cheers,
~Claudia

Thursday, November 3

Scarlett Johanssoning

Kitty insisted on taking the photo.


NSFW

If you do one, please oh please leave me a link. Bwaaahh!
~Claudia

Wednesday, November 2

Look of the Month :: Fall 2011 :: November

Wow! Where does the time go? I feel like I'm watching my life pass in fast-forward because I can't believe it's November already. So here's an autumn look that I've been loving and wearing out recently that includes all of the hot trends for the season: Strong brows, cat-eyes, matching makeup colors, and wine-colored lips. So if you're feeling daring, wear this look to a cocktail party. Just remember to bring the lip liner and gloss with you because this lip is extremely high maintenance and will require multiple touch ups throughout the night. Especially if you're eating and drinking. 

The current look is:
N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 1


Color trends for this month:
Burgundy, chocolate brown, ivory, black, and gold

Current motivation for the look:
The beginning of the holiday season, the cold autumn air, and dinner parties


Previous Looks this Year:


Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Tuesday, November 1

Detox and Lose Weight After Indulging In Holiday Treats

So the holidays are here and I can't help but to indulge in some of my favorite goodies. I'm very nostalgic about certain foods and drinks, so I find that despite the fact that I know they're no good for my health, I still treat myself to the holiday foods that I love. All in moderation of course.

Whenever I do this though, I notice how sick to my stomach I can feel or my skin starts to lose its glow and even break out. So when the holidays are over I quickly return to my normal habits and start detoxing my body right away to try to repair any damage I might have caused by overdosing on treats.

Here are some tips to help get back on track:

1. Get Rid of the Junk Food - Finish up your treats right away or give them to a friend that might enjoy it. I never throw food away, so my rule is to enjoy the last of it and don't repurchase it again. If it's in the house it will get eaten. So why tempt yourself and go cold turkey.

2. Say "No" to Clearance Items - After the holidays stores have all sorts of sales on leftover goodies. If these sales are too tempting for you, allow some time to pass before going shopping. Or don't go down the clearance aisle. If the holiday is over, so is the snacking.

3. Eat Lots of Plants - It's best to get back on your whole-foods diet as soon as possible. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Try your best to eat even more within the following week, because they will cleanse your body from the inside out. No need to get any fancy detox products, because plants are a million times better for you. Why waste the money, organic produce is cheaper most of the time, especially from the farmer's market. Also, juicing is a great way to quickly provide the body with the nutrients it craves. I prefer green vegetable/herb based juices because they're amazing for weight lose. Start your morning off right by drinking or eating a sufficient amount of plants for breakfast.  

4. Drink Plenty of Water - Drinking water is one of the simplest ways to flush toxins from your system. Especially in the fall and winter when your body needs the most water because the harsh temperatures and high heat from fireplaces or furnaces dehydrate the body. Adding a slice of lemon without the peel to water or tea (green or white teas are my favorite for this) is a great way to detox as well. The acidic juice from the lemon naturally helps with this and can burn fat. Why no peel on the lemon? Because I eat it after I'm done with the drink for a little extra help from the fruit.

5. Epsom Salt Baths - Run a warm bath, add salt as directed on the carton, and soak in it until the water cools. The salt will release impurities from the skin and detoxify the body. Epsom salt also helps to soothe aching bones and muscles, so these baths are great for the cold months that leave the body achy. They're great just before bed to help relax, and gives the body a head start to help heal during the night.

Good luck to you, and here's to good health.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Wednesday, October 26

The Robots Speak the Truth about the Game Industry

When I saw William Gibbon's So You Want to Work in the Video Game Industry video about two robots talking about the game industry and what it's really like, I couldn't stop laughing.

Watch the video here:

This is so true and I just sat there thinking to myself, "This is the stuff they don't teach you in college." It's the kind of information that I wish I would have known about as an artist as well. My professors always talked about the "art" of video games and how awesome it is to be a part of something grand, but at the same time I could have benefited from learning about the corporate side of things instead of learning first hand without any warning at all.

As mentioned in the video, GAMES ARE PRODUCTS, nothing more to the publishers and suits that are selling them. It truly is about money and what sells. So having to deal with that as a developer can be quite challenging at times. I am reminded of when Infinity Ward wanted to make a game called Modern Warfare and all the executives fought it tooth and nail because WWII games were what sold, and they just wanted more of the same. Of course we all know how that went down. Very well indeed.

It's the developers and the individual employees that have to fight for those changes, so of course that can wear one down and put a lot of stress on the team to try to make things work despite all of the craziness. Because at the end of the day the people with the money win. Not the artist with a vision, the designer with an amazing idea, the programmer with awesome code, or the writer with a fantastic story.

I noticed that there are a lot of negative comments on the video, such as, "You're crushing young people's hopes and dreams." I'm assuming that most of those are coming from gamers and not industry professionals, because as stated previously, the points made are valid and it's just to inform others about what they might be unaware of.

I would never trade in my video game experience for the world, but I was one of those artists that went in with higher expectations than I should have. It would have been nice to know more about the business side of things to help me prepare for what was in store. That goes for anyone on the team, not just artists; producers, programmers, designers, writers, testers, etc.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Monday, October 24

Forks Over Knives

 "Either you can or you can't." - Fortune Cookie

I was super excited when Matthew Brown, a fellow artist on Deviant Art, mentioned this awesome film called Forks Over Knives that I have never heard of before. That same night I queued it on Netflix and watched it after dinner. Of course I found it to be fascinating and wanted to pass it along to anyone that hasn't seen it yet. Basically it's a "Claudia Documentary", meaning, it's about the amazing power of a wholefoods plant-based diet. It even convinced me to change up my breakfast a bit. Now only one turkey bacon strip instead of two, and more veggies or homemade juice in the mornings. Just to cut back a little more. I still eat meat, just very small portions.

One thing that stood out to me as well is how scientists are finding that you can easily turn on and off your genes just by what you eat.

Eat Processed Foods: You will get fat and diseased. 
Eat Good Wholefoods: Turn off those genes and live a long happy life. 

I quote a lady from the documentary that says, "If you go through life thinking what happens to you from a health perspective is based on your genes, you're a helpless victim." Your health is in your hands. That same lady comes from an obese family, where she is the only member that is slim and healthy. Showing that you as an individual can make a difference in your health. You are what you eat.

Watch the trailer here:

Happy movie watching!
~Claudia

Friday, October 21

Boulder Creek




Photography from my fantastic trip to Boulder Creek in Colorado. 


Also check out the Boulder Creek Photography Video here:

Thursday, October 20

I'm Back From Vacation

Going on vacation to CO is always awesome. For me, it's mandatory to take time off and I needed to unwind a little, so I felt that the invitation came at a perfect time. It was just long enough for me to clear my head and relax for a bit. I got to see my family, walk through a wonderful corn maze, dress up in silly costumes, carve pumpkins, watch old Halloween movies, and drink lots of hot apple cider. It was a time to remember!

Twisting the camera with a long exposure in the corn maze under a full moon.

The hottest chicks in town (Carin, Carla, Claudia).

Hurray for pumpkins.

I even got to go up into the Rocky Mountains for a bit to explore around Boulder Creek. It's so beautiful up there and I was able to capture some of the autumn colors in my photography. So I'm excited to share those with you. I just have to pick out the best ones. 

♡ Claudia

Friday, October 7

Favorite Bagged Tea

It's getting cold out isn't it? Brrrrrr! That means it's tea time, and there's nothing better than snuggling inside under a warm blanket with a hot cup of tea. It's so relaxing and I love it. Then of course there are all of the health benefits of tea, like antioxidants and the detoxifying effect it has on the body. It's also a great way to get your daily dose of water; which is important to help flush out impurities and keep the body hydrated. These days I prefer white, green (all tea comes from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis), and herbals (tisanes) just because in recent years I've learned that caffeine can exacerbate acne. So I save the dark fermented black and oolongs for a special treat. That, and I don't want to stain my teeth.

Tea gurus will tell you that loose leaf tea is best because the large tea leaves have room to expand in the pot releasing all of the plant's true flavor (depending on your tea's grade, the taste will vary). But what do you do when you're in a rush or just can't tell the difference between the taste? Choose a bagged tea of course!


Here are some of my favorites right now:

Celestial Seasonings - Sleepytime Vanilla Herbal Tea 

Pros: A flavorful tea with a sweet aroma, it's herbal so there is no caffeine, no individual packaging to throw out, and it makes about 4 cups if you prefer your tea very light like I do.

Cons: It's not certified organic or fair trade, the bag consists mostly of dust & fannings so flavor might vary, and it's not sold in large bulk for saving on packaging for eco reasons.

Trader Joe's - Organic Mint Melange Tea

Pros: A wonderful tea with a fresh minty flavor, herbal so there is no caffeine, organic, and this one is a bit darker so I can get about 6 cups out of it.

Cons: It has a ton of wasted individual packaging including plastic wrapping, not fair trade, consists mostly of dust & fannings again, and it's not sold in large bulk.

 Archer Farms - Organic Fair Trade Green Tea

Pros: A potent green tea because the bag is large enough to let the leaves uncurl, a tiny bit of caffeine (green tends to have less than blacks because of steeping time), organic, fair trade, and it makes about 4 cups if you prefer your tea light.

Cons: Wasteful individual plastic packaging (even though the box boasts about it being plant-based plastic, the process of making the plastic is still unclean), and it's not sold in large bulk.

How about you, what are your favorite teas?
~Claudia

Wednesday, October 5

Photoshop Effects: Burnt and Aged Edges

Learn how to make burnt or aged edge effects for your paintings, drawings, or photography using Photoshop.

Photoshop Effects: Burnt and Aged Edges
Level: Intermediate

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.


Content, editing, and compositing by Claudia Sutton.
Music composed by Alvin Muolic.

---

Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

♡ Claudia

Tuesday, October 4

Look of the Month :: Fall 2011 :: October

My how time flies! It's been exactly one year since I started doing my monthly makeup face charts. So what better way to celebrate the anniversary than with another crazy vampire look based on the artwork that I did for White Wolf's Vampire: The Requiem titled "The French Lady." This would be an awesome look to rock for a Halloween party or vampire cosplay. Don't worry about keeping this one neat, the not-so-perfect look will give you a sexy but alarming allure. Also, the striking contrast between beauty and gore is very disturbing; it's always been one of my favorite pieces of artwork because of that. So if you do try it, please send me some photos. I would love to see them.


"Ventrue are regal vampires who value power and dominion to the point of obsession, self-styled 'lords of the night' they represent vampirism as a metaphor for maddening power." - Vampire: The Requiem

The current look is:
O C T O B E R  2 0 1 1


Color inspiration:
Crimson, cream, pale yellow, black, and gold

Current motivation for the look:
Vampire: The Requiem - The Ventrue Clan


Previous Looks this Year:

Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Monday, October 3

APE Con 2011


APE Con was awesome. I had a wonderful first experience. It was so nice to see old friends, meet some new ones, and appreciate art of all sorts. The show was bigger than I expected, but still small enough to see in one day. Also, I'm glad I didn't get a table this year, being that it was my first time. I was able to explore and talk to all the artists, which I couldn't have done if I had a table. Perhaps I'll get one in the future though. We'll see.

Another highlight of the con was that I got to chat with Tim Schafer. He was just standing there in the hallway playing with a yo-yo and I was like, "Hey there's Tim Schafer." *continue walking by... pause* "No wait, that's Tim Schafer... I'm going to go say hello. Yeah!" So I did and he's pretty cool. Sadly, I forgot to ask him what working with Cookie Monster was like. That would have made for a wonderful conversation.

So yuppers, I had a blast and will definitely consider going back next year.  
Did anyone go this year? If so, how was your experience?
~Claudia

Friday, September 30

Understanding Glycemic Load For A Healthy Lifestyle

Recently a good friend of mine, Charlotte, has been going to see a nutritionist to help her live and sustain a healthy lifestyle. I'm very inspired and proud of Char, because she is diligently following the advice that her dietitian has laid out for her. I know most people fall off the band wagon pretty quickly and revert back to their old habits, but not her. She is looking absolutely beautiful these days. Of course she was always beautiful, but there's still a noticeable improvement every time I go to visit her. Hurray for a healthy lifestyle!

Of course she's helped me with a few things as well. Specifically the importance of eating a low glycemic load. I had never really studied up on the subject. I have heard of it, but I didn't understand what the big deal was until now.

The glycemic load (GL) is a system that ranks foods according to the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in them. So an example of a good food would be something with a low glycemic index (a single food item is "index", the entire meal is "load"). Something like berries. Those are great and have a low GI. On the other hand, something like white bread has a high GI, so that is not ideal at all. The lower the GL, the better.

To help understand this better, here is a nutrition chart that shows this more clearly.


Notice how normal white or "whole wheat" bread is not on this list. That's because they're a junk food and are not considered to be nutritious. I'm reminded that The 4-Body talked about cutting out ALL carbs, which I don't agree with, but refined carbs like breads, pastas, pastries, flour tortillas, certain types of rice, and certain types of potatoes are items that should be omitted from the diet.

Also, for more on this subject, check out these Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. videos:


So there you have it!
xoxo,
~Claudia

Thursday, September 29

Precious Little Critter

I just couldn't help but to post more about Critter today. I'm having a hard time believing that she isn't with us anymore. She was so dear to me too. Carla sent me these darning photos today and I wanted to share them.






All photography by Carla Sutton. Photo editing by my.

She was a great little doggy. 
~Claudia

Wednesday, September 28

Tagged by Zeth!

Hurray! Justin tagged me personally! I'm so excited; I love taggy-tag-tags!


10 Random Things Tag

1. There is a man right outside my window with a ladder painting my house. Weird! He's like right next to me.

2. I spend a lot of my day cooking and preparing nutritious meals. They typically take me 30 minutes to an hour per meal and are made from fresh, organic, local foods. Today for breakfast I made a lovely fresh kale, lemon, celery, carrot, tomato, and apple juice (all produce is fresh from local farms) with my eggs. I find that it brings me a lot of joy, that is, to take the time out to make something wholesome and special. So if you ever come for dinner, I treat my guests very well.

3. The only places I've been outside the US are England and Canada. I'm dying to see the world. I renewed my passport two years ago and sadly haven't used it yet. It's been my dream to travel all over and meet some of you wonderful people.

4. I don't have any pets. I do love to observe animals in the wild though.

5. I use my Wacom for everything I do on the computer, including web surfing.

6. Burberry and Chanel are my favorite brands.

7. I've been having reoccurring dreams about going back to high school as an adult. And I never have my schedule printed and have to always find the guidance office to get it sorted out on the very first day back to school.

8. My computer is six years old, but I love it. Its name is Vader.

9. I was born a blonde, but my hair changed colors throughout the years until middle school. It's naturally a neutral dark brown. 

10. I don't have texting.

So there you go. Oh the random madness!
By the way... tag you're it.  
~Claudia

Tuesday, September 27

Critter the Rambunctious and the Beautiful

My sister lost a very dear friend this month. Her baby Critter, a mini dachshund, passed away a few days ago. So I wanted to honor her with a little memorial. She was 5 years old.


Critter was the sweetest thing. I was always so fond of her and looked forward to seeing her when I would go visit my sister. She would get so excited to see someone, that her tail would wag a million miles per minute and it always brought a smile to my face. Carla had her since she was a puppy and recently told me that they were like best friends (that was apparent to me just from seeing them together). Critter was there for her when she needed her most, and was a wonderful and loyal companion. She will be missed.

~Claudia

Owls and Laura Mercier

Hello there fellow night owls. Hoot hoot! I was so busy today that the day just flew by. Speaking of night owls and flying, I saw two owls tonight on my evening walk. Two! I love owls and I rarely see them in the wild, so that was a special treat. Isn't seeing an owl considered good luck because they're so rare?

Anyway, over the weekend I had an appointment to get my makeup done at the Union Square Macy's Laura Mercier counter in San Francisco. It was such a treat because I'm the one typically doing makeup for others, so it was nice to finally have my face done instead. I could just sit back and relax (which was nice because of my busy schedule) and talk to the other makeup artists about their techniques. The lovely and talented Ya-ya Opler did my makeup. She went with something very editorial and in for the fall season, a heavy eye with an inverted crease pared with pink cheeks and lips. She did such a brilliant job, I felt like a celebrity all dolled up for my day in the city. Also, I loved watching her work because I always get a kick out of learning from other artists. It gives me a fresh perspective. One trick that I picked up from Ya-ya was to contour with blush around the temples if the look has a cool palette. I've never done that before, so I'm definitely going to add that to my bag of tricks.

Laura Mercier is a brand that I've been wanted to try for a very long time, because I've heard good things about their products from other professionals. Specifically the foundation. The Oil Free Foundation is absolutely amazing; I'm so impressed by it from an artistic standpoint. I would switch over in a heartbeat if it wasn't for some of the ingredients. It unfortunately has a lot of harmful chemicals in it. But even my Bare Escentuals foundation isn't perfect.

Here are the links if you're interested in the ingredients:


So yup, wearing no makeup at all would be ideal for the skin, but I can't see myself doing that. As a freelancer I'm lucky that I don't have to wear it everyday and when I do it's only for a few hours. Perhaps I shall pick up some Laura Mercier for the rare special occasions.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Thursday, September 22

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

"OMG Zelda Mew!" says Kitty.

When the first screenshots of the new The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D came out it made me so happy, but incredibly sad at the same time. Sad because I didn't want to buy a 3DS. I thought that I would never be able to play this amazing remastered version of my most favorite game of all time.

Fortunately, I have the best friends ever and they lent me both the cartridge and the 3DS. I want to give a big shout-out to Alicia and Andre (check out Andre's reviews on GameXplain). It was like Christmas 1998 all over again! Which is a really big deal.


So here are some final thoughts about the game:

Pros

- This game is beautiful and it's everything I imagined when I was young, except this time around it's really on the screen and not just in my head. It's like rediscovering the land of Hyrule all over again. There are so many "wow" moments that it blew my mind.

 - Seeing all of my favorite characters in glorious 3D, along with a higher poly count and nice textures makes me so happy. I spent so much time in first-person mode looking at all of them. Especially Zelda, I always loved her the most. 

- I like how the majority of the interface is now on the bottom touchscreen, which clears the top screen of all the clutter and makes the game more immersive.

- Rotating the physical 3DS to look around with the camera is a fun little gimmick. Again, it's just one more thing they added to make gamers feel more involved.

- The Shiekah Stones are cool. I didn't mind them because I would have never used them to figure out something, but it's interesting to see officially how the puzzles are solved. Sometimes they're a lot different than the way I go about playing. So that's neat to see a different take on it.


Cons

- Okay, so I'm one of those unfortunate people that gets a headache from the 3DS. When I started playing with the 3D cranked, I thought nothing of it, and then night after night I was going to bed with throbbing headaches. I thought it was work or that I wasn't eating enough, and then I finally figured it out. As soon as I stopped playing with the 3D on, the headaches went away. Nintendo even has warnings about this, but what's point if you can't use it? That's the main reason why someone would buy a 3DS! For the 3D! So I had to be very selective about what I watched in 3D. I always turned it on for the cinematic though.

- Other than the 3D headaches, it's a little annoying as well to keep the 3DS constantly at the right angle for the 3D to be viewed correctly. One little movement and you start seeing double. Now if you're in the middle of a boss fight this can be distracting. I don't need two Ganons, one is bad enough.

- I think I might have glitched out a Big Poe. I'm not sure, because I tried looking it up, but I couldn't find anything. It's the one by the rock by the trees in east part of Hyrule Field. I bombed the rock to get into the hole and then the rock never came back, so when I'm on Epona your suppose to trigger it by kicking it, and well they is no rock to kick. I also tried turning into a kid and then back into an adult and the rock was still gone. So alas, I never got my 4th glass bottle from the Poe Hunter. It's a sad day.

- All of the characters/enemies are not modeled constantly. This is typically the case with most games, but it is really apparent that the secondary characters (like the Bean Seller or the Carpenters) didn't have the same polish that the main characters do. I don't know if the system could handle higher quality, but it would be nice to see them all redone with the same level of detail.

- Princess Ruto is censored! Why? The new shirt and butt flap is really not necessary. She was better before.

- Why is Ganon's blood green? I know they changed this detail in the second edition for the 64, but really?

- I miss the chanting in the Fire Temple song. I had the first edition cartridge, so the original song is still in tack. I wasn't getting my hopes up on this though, because I know that it's a sensitive matter.

- Z-targeting, now L-targeting, is a little difficult for me. It felt awkward to target. I'm here zooming all over the place and couldn't lock on to things properly. It seems like it's the finger placement on the button and the D-pad at the same time that gives me the problem.

- WARNING: I'M GOING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT A POINTLESS ISSUE - Well, not to me at least. They changed two of the spiritual stones. The Kokiri's Emerald and the Zora's Sapphire. They are smooth stones now, not cut like they use to be. The only one they got right was the Goron's Ruby. Why do they have to mess with that?

- WARNING: I'M GOING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT A POINTLESS ISSUE - Again, not to me. I noticed that the port changed a lot of colors. Now I'm huge on colors, so for me this is a big deal that perhaps others wouldn't even notice or be bothered by. The green rupee is not the same sea green, it's now grass green. Link's Zora tunic is not a turquoise blue, it's now sky blue. Adult Zelda's shirt isn't magenta, it's now purple. Oh the madness! Was it that hard to color pick off of the original textures to get the colors right? There's no need to change them. Cosplayers will forever be confused, "Oh dear, what color do I make my Zora Tunic?" Bah!


The Legend of Zelda will always have a special place in my heart, so if you loved the N64 version of Ocarina of Time as much as I do, this game is a must play. Perhaps you can borrow it from a friend as well if you don't have one like I did.

Happy gaming,
~Claudia

Wednesday, September 21

Mola Inspiration

I just finished sewing lovely Rango to my bag. I picked out the perfect blue thread to match the bag color, so that helped incorporate the blue into the design. Isn't he pretty? 

He was a gift from a dear friend of mine, Alfredo Arango (that's why he's called Rango). Alfredo got the artwork while he was in Panama, and thought that it would inspire me to think outside the box and look to it as a way to expand my horizons. So indeed it has. I've been researching the art of "mola", meaning clothing or shirt, and have found it to be quite fascinating. It originates from the traditional costumes of Kuna Panamanian women, which combines two panels of cloth, initially bought by European settlers, with intricate images or patterns sewn into them. That of which, I would have never been aware of if it wasn't for this beautiful little present.

A big thanks goes out to Alfredo. I loved the art so much that I wanted to sew him on my bag and take him wherever I go. That way inspiration will follow me to the ends of the earth and he'll be my little traveling friend.

                                                  Cheers and here's to learning new things.
                                                   ~Claudia

Monday, September 19

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ahoy ther' maties. Today be Talk Like A Parate Day. Yar! The official day for all us pirates. N 'onor of the holiday, I've put t'gether some of me best piratey posts. Arr! Smartly, me maties.

Pirate Retrospective
Balthier and Fran Portraits


Indeed, t' pirate's blood runs deep in me veins. 
So drink some rum on my behalf, and have a happy pirate day!
☠ Poppet Claudia

Friday, September 16

I'll be going to APE Con

Hurray! I'll be going to APE Con for the very first time this year. I'm super excited because I've heard so many cool things about it. Will anyone else be going this year? I know a few of you are, so that's cool.

Anyway, if you see me there, say hi. I'll be floating around having fun on Saturday, October 1st. I don't have a booth, because I just want to enjoy my first experience.

Alternative Press Expo Website
Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco


It'll be fun, hope to see you there.
 ~Claudia

Thursday, September 15

How to Eat A Cactus

So like mentioned in my birthday post, Carla sent me a fresh cactus from a Colorado farmer's market. I have never had one before and haven't even seen them at my local market. So this is definitely a special treat. Carla's significant other Robert (I call him The Plant Whisperer because he's just so awesome with them) knows all about preparing cactus and taught Carla how to do it, and then she taught me.

All you have to do is wash the plant. Be very careful with the thorns because they hurt. 
Despite Carla's warnings I still managed to prick myself. 


Next, cut off all of the thorns and trim away the edges. 


That's pretty much it. Dice and serve. The cactus can be eaten raw or cooked over medium heat with a little water, stone-crushed extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, red pepper, and garlic. Also, I'm going to juice this tomorrow morning as well. I'm sure it will be delicious. Overall the plant has a very subtle taste and crisp texture. Nothing like anything I've tried before. Thanks Carla for broadening my horizons.

xoxo,
~Claudia

Wednesday, September 14

5 Reasons to go to The Farmer's Market

When I was little I remember going to a local farmer's market for the first time with my mother. At the time I didn't understand why we would go there when we had a grocery store right around the corner. It just didn't make sense. A vegetable's a vegetable, right?

It wasn't until I started to turn my life around that I became interested in organic whole foods and farmer's markets. Basically I ran my body into the ground working long hours, sitting in a chair for 8-10 hours, eating crappy junk food, and stressing out about unnecessary issues. So enough was enough, and that's why I ended up becoming more interested in eating right and connecting with people on a more social level (dark cubicles are lonely). So why was there so much talk about farmer's markets? Why were they so special and what was the big deal?

Here's why:

1. Market's sell fresh foods, in comparison to the week-old produce sitting on store shelves. So to answer the previous question: No, all veggies are not treated equally. It's so important to eat fresh produce, because then you get all of the vital nutrients the food provides, which can be lost if the food gets old.

2. Certified organic food is much more accessible and cheaper at a market. You can do your entire weeks shopping for a fraction of the cost. This is a big deal, because this makes organic an option for most people. Most of the food is so cheap that you can't even get it for that price at the grocery store, organic or not. An example of this is that I can buy six tomatoes, a head of lettuce, celery, and six cucumbers, all organic, for only $9. And of course these are always the most scrumptious tasting veggies ever! I'm so spoiled by them.

3. Getting to know your local farmers and where your food comes from is important. It's also a wonderful, fun experience. Farmers are so friendly and helpful. I've learned so much about food, which ones are in season at what times of the year, how to tell which ones to buy, and cool preparation advice. I even get free food from them sometimes, just for being a regular. They'll through in an extra fruit or two, which is extremely generous. Nothing beats the community and being outside in the fresh air, rain or shine. I much prefer that to fluorescence lights and rows of junk food packaged in plastic.

4. Speaking of plastic, I love that the food I buy doesn't have any packaging. If I want a tomato, that's all I get, no waste at all. That, and I use reuse bags, so just imagine how much materials are saved just by that alone. One person makes a difference.

5. The farmer's also encourage you to try new things. For instance, I never even knew delicious white raspberries existed before trying them at a stand. Samples are always given out to get people interested in the foods. Another example is Asian pears or purple peppers. If it wasn't for the interaction and encouragement to try them, I would have missed out. A variety of all sorts of plants and food is crucial for a healthy body. Just think: Where are you getting your red, orange, yellow, green, and purple fruits and veggies from today?


So if you don't already go to a farmer's market in your area, I highly encourage you to give it a try. I got my sisters hooked on going as well. I was telling them for years, "You have to go to a market, they're so great." And finally they started going and couldn't believe they didn't do it sooner. The prices alone are worth it for most people.

This website will make it easy to find a farmer's market near you:

Best,
~Claudia

Tuesday, September 13

Birthday Wishes and the Hookah Bar

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for all of the lovely birthday wishes yesterday. I took my special day off and spent it celebrating. It was wonderful to have so many happy messages, phone calls, and presents. It means the world to me. Birthday's are always so fun, but if you you ask me my age I'll pull a Fran.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day shoe shopping in San Francisco. I needed new shoes, because my old ones have massive holes in them. They lasted about four years, but sadly I couldn't walk in them any longer because the insoles were falling out and dirt can now easily get into them. Blah! I hate throwing shoes away, because I always get so attached to them. They have taken me so far in life, on so many adventures, that I get sentimental. That, and the whole minimalist thing, only buying new things when I absolutely need them. The fact that they're going to the dump is always a sad thought. RIP old shoes, you will probably take hundreds of years to disintegrate.



On a more happy note, I really do love the new one's. They're very 90's combat boot, mixed with a delicate Victorian-inspired toe cap. Casual meets elegant. So that's true love, and I hope that they last me forever and ever and EVER!

Also, my mother sent me some beautiful vintage dresses that have been in the family for ages. One belonged to my grandmother and is from the 1950's. It's so beautiful and I love the fact the she lives on through this dress. To me clothing means something, it should tell a story, your story: Where you come from and who you are. So this dress makes me feel that. I would love to pair it with some red stilettos, pearls, and black little gloves. It would be so classic.

1950's                                                        1970's    

Then there's a 1970's dress my mother made with a charming floral print. The 70's are trending right now, so I'm dying to wear this dress, but I can't fit into it. My mother was so skinny (it's about a 22 inch waist) that it's too small for me. Even my grandmother's dress just barely zips up on me, which is humorously a size 9 (probably equivalent to a size 1 today) and has about a 24 inch waistline. So, that is going to be my new goal. I want to fit into these dresses, meaning I have to get back into tip-top shape. I'm sure the birthday cake didn't help much either, but my sister Carla did send me a wonderful cactus and zucchini to help counterbalance that. This will be my first time eating cactus; which I'm very excited about.

So then there's the hookah bar. My dear friend Alfredo came back to SF to visit this past weekend, and that was an excuse for a lot of AAU alumni/friends to get back together. We spent the evening eating amazing Italian food and then we all went over the Cafe Chanta on Post Street to sit on soft pillows and smoke some Hookah. No, I didn't partake, I'm not a smoker; and yes, I know that the second hand smoke is just as bad. But for me it was more about a cultural life experience that I have never had before. The bar was so much fun and I felt like I was in Wonderland. I told all of my friend that they would turn into blue caterpillars and start speaking in riddles if they smoked too much hookah. So that, plus the awesome company, trumps any worries about the smoke. I'm sure my birthday cake was just as evil.

That pretty much wraps up my amazing weekend. Birthday's always make me appreciate life and reflect on all of the things that I still want to do. So get out there and live a little! That's what I say.

Cheers and here's to a brand new year full of possibilities.
~Claudia

Friday, September 9

My Thoughts on: Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You

I've been listening to this album pretty much nonstop since it came out and I must say that it's not an overall hit for me. It's catchy and some of the songs are great, but as a whole it's not a favorite. YET! That's just my initial impression, some of the best music has to grow on you over time or tastes might evolve. Another thing to note is that RHCP is a very nostalgic thing for me, and therefore enough time hasn't past for me to go "Oh I remember how I felt then, and where I was in life." So that is hard to predict if it will become a favorite, but right now I'm not dying to listen to it. I do catch myself singing the songs randomly, so that's cool.


Here are my favorites from the album so far:
"Monarchy of Roses"
"Ethiopia"
"The Adventure of Rain Dance Maggie"
"Did I Let You Know"
"Even You Brutus?"
"Meet Me at the Corner"

Anyone else out there listening to the Peppers new album? 
☠ Claudia

Thursday, September 8

Never Let Me Go

Hello everyone! Long time no talk. I have been so busy with work recently that I haven't had time for much else. I did however find time to watch Never Let Me Go. It's hard to talk about this one without spoiling anything, so I'll try my best. That's why I'm not linking to any trailers or footage, because it is best to just dive in without any idea of what's going to happen.

First off, this is a must watch for anyone that's into artistic concepts. Meaning, this film was quite refreshing and I haven't watched anything else quite like it. The themes did remind me of other movies, but it was the way that they were executed that interested me the most. Also, it's an adaptation of a Japanese novel, which explains why the story is unique, and of course I love British culture so that was nice as well.

What else I find fascinating is that the film is a reflection of humanity and how we could potentially look past inhuman issues. The problem is quite serious in the story, but again, it's interesting to think that people can turn a blind eye to something so important. The same could be said about issues that we have in the real world. Sometimes it is easier just to except it and do nothing, than to fight it.  

Cheers and happy movie watching.
~Claudia

Thursday, September 1

Look of the Month :: Fall 2011 :: September

It's the beginning of fall and that means that it's time to shift to darker colors, not only in fashion but makeup as well. There are a few prominent runways trends that I've noticed this season including, but not limited to: heavy 90's and 70's influences, along with matching makeup colors, cat-eyes, and wine-stained lips. So what better way to bring in the new season, and incorporate some of these trends, then with vampire inspired makeup looks. I wanted to create the looks from the artwork that I did for White Wolf's Vampire: The Requiem and they just so happen to be perfect for this season (or also great for a Halloween costume or vampire cosplay). Personally, this would be an awesome night look, because I like editorial-looking makeup. Don't be afraid to be daring. Fall is the time to do it. Pair this with crazy contact lenses and tons of jewelry. Facial piercing would also be great; just like the Daeva rock star vamp that this was based on.


"The Daeva evoke the image of vampires as seductive, decadent, sexually transgressive predators who blur lust and hunger together, equating the act of feeding with sensual pleasure." - Vampire: The Requiem

The current look is:
S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 1


Color inspiration:
Crimson, teal, pale green, black, and sterling silver

Current motivation for the look:
Vampire: The Requiem - The Daeva Clan


Previous Looks this Year:

Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Monday, August 29

Dr. Andrew Weil's Healthy Aging

Yesterday I watched this documentary, Dr. Andrew Weil's Healthy Aging, and I wanted to pass it along to all of you as well because it brought up some good points about health and aging. I for one try to embrace aging as much as I can, it's something natural and beautiful, but sometimes in our youth-obsessed culture it can be overwhelming. Why does it have to be this way? Why do we feel like we have to be young forever? Will people stop loving us? Perhaps the answers to those questions may vary depending on where you're from. Some cultures discard the elderly and others embrace them. I found the bit about the siblings from Okinawa, Japan bickering over who got to care for the elderly parents to be refreshingly humorous. Now that's something that you won't hear about in America very often! 

Also, many people fear aging because it's associated with getting sick or living with disease, but this is not necessarily true. It doesn't have to be like that if one chooses a healthy lifestyle. It's perfectly normal to live a fulfilling long life without disease, only to decline within a year before death. Dr. Weil's talks about this happening to his 93 year mother, and the same thing happened to my mother's mother. My Grandma never got sick, and only started to get ill after Grandpa passed away. It only took a few months for her to pass as well. So overall they lived normal, happy lives.

I agree with Dr. Weil about aging being compared to a fine wine or cheese; it can be viewed as something that gets better over time because there are many positive aspects to it. My favorite Gandhi quote is: "Be the change you want to see in the world." If we embrace who we are as we get older, not dreading every change that happens, then perhaps we wouldn't have these social issues. Aging would be okay. I know I'll be an awesome old lady! Rockin' my wrinkles and enjoying life.

Happy movie watching!
~Claudia

Thursday, August 25

How to Make: A Custom Paper Texture


Learn how to create a paper texture for digital and traditional uses. I recommend
starting early in the morning because the process will take 24hrs to complete.

How to Make: A Custom Paper Texture
Level: Beginner

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.


Content, editing, and compositing by Claudia Sutton.
Music composed by Alvin Muolic.

---

Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

♡ Claudia

Tuesday, August 23

Sunday, August 21

"Get Your Freak On" 15 Weird Facts TAG!

An amusing tag from Blair.

Questions:

#1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
They call me Claudia. Nothing really stuck, but when I was little Carla, my sister, called me Cluck-Cluck. My mom told her to stop that though, because she thought that it made me sound retarded. Mom didn't want other people to freak out. Truthfully, the name stemmed from the fact that I liked those Easter Chicky Peeps so much.

#2. What's a weird habit of yours?
I always fantasize about impossible things. Like I wish I could magically heal a blemish, make garbage disappear of the face of the earth, or make my student loan go away. POOF!

#3. Do you have any weird phobias?
Yes! Horizontal claustrophobia (I'm cool with small vertical spaces). When I was little I saw a TV show on cave exploration, and watched some people squeeze through tight holes barely the size of their torsos. It freaked me out and I haven't been the same since. So I can't sleep in bunk-beds that are close to the ceiling. I tried it once when we went camping in our family RV, and I woke during the middle of the night screaming and crying because I didn't know where I was. My family got the point.

#4. What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?
 Recently Lady Gaga - Judas. I can't help it, I just have to sing!

#5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
People that drive too fast and aggressively on the highway. They stress me out.

#6. What's one of your nervous habits?
When I get nervous I tend to make up new words, mispronounce words, or have bad sentence structure. I'm getting better though. People probably think it's cute or silly, but I think it's awfully embarrassing because I like being articulate.

#7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
 The right side.

#8. What was your first stuffed animal and it's name?
Odie. My father gave him to me in the hospital when I was born. He looks like this --- > Oh the cuteness!

#9. What's the drink you always order at Starbucks?
Nothing, I don't go. I answered this one already.

#10. What's a beauty rule you preach, but never actually practice?
Buying products with bad ingredients in them. Sometimes the product's functionality trumps health. Tsk Tsk. I do it for the art I swear!

#11. Which way do you face in the shower?
Towards the shower head mostly. I turn around too.

#12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?
I'm very flexible. Not Cirque du Soleil flexible, but I'm decent. It's good to be in shape.

#13. What's your favorite comfort food that's 'bad' but you love to eat it anyway?
Well, mine's a drink: I love a good wine! I know it stains your teeth, it's bad for the skin, dehydrates the body, and the small health benefits are not worth it.

#14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?
"Hurray, Yay! Hurray, Yay!"

#15. Time to sleep, what are you actually wearing?
Warm pants, sometimes socks, an undershirt, and a hoodie. I get cold very easily.

Bonus Question
#16. What did you used to wear that you thought was cool but now you realize it wasn't that hot?
XL sports t-shirts that I would wear down to my knees. I though I was so cool, but I looked like a little boy. Kinda like the middle school drawing here.

Tell me you're just as weird as I am?
~Claudia

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