Wednesday, June 22

Keep Cool the Eco Way

It's been terribly hot here in California with the current heat wave passing through. Temperatures in the Bay Area stay relatively reasonable throughout the summer months, so our home doesn't have air conditioning.

That got me thinking, what can be done to stay cool without using luxuries such as fans, air conditioners, or swimming pools? All of which can run up the electric/water bills and consume way too much energy.

Here are some things to try:

1. Close the windows during the day and open them at night - This will make a major impact on the temperature inside the house. Throughout the day check to see if the outside air is hot or cold; only opening them if the air is cooler than inside the house.

2. Close the curtains - Keeping direct sunlight from entering the home will help keep rooms cooler, longer.

3. Keep lights off - Lights in any form generate heat (including candles). Try to keep them off when not needed.

4. Turn electronics devices off - Just like lights, electronics generate a ton of heat. Especially computers. Think of this as a fun opportunity to have a conversation, play some board games, or interact in other ways that don't involve electronics.

5. Keep the stove off by cooking raw or cold meals - As much as this is about keeping the room cool; cold foods will also relieve the heat from the inside out. Ice water, raw fruits & veggies, cold salads, etc. are all yummy ways to stay refreshed during the hot weather. For an extra-special treat, try throwing some strawberries in the freezer for a bit. They are delicious!  

6. Stay downstairs - Heat rises, so hangout downstairs or in the basement. I have plenty of found memories doing this with my sisters. We would have so much fun together.

7. Run around in your skibbies - Ahhh! Underwear for the win. Yes, I'm in mine right now and it's loads of fun. Just remember, inside only, and keep the curtains closed. Unfortunately, this won't be an option for anyone that has roommates or kids. Some nice shorts paired with a midriff or tank-top will do. If you actually go outside, it's better to cover your skin from the sun to keep cooler. Long, white, loose-fitting clothing is best.

8. Use an ice pack on neck or wrists - An ice pack is such a relief and will help with weight loss as well if placed on the back of the neck. As for the wrist trick, it's an old remedy that my mother taught us and I remember doing this at Disney World when it was a bazillion degrees out. She was very concerned and told us to put our wrists under cold water when we were at the restroom. This would instantly help, because the back of the wrist is so sensitive to the cold.

9. Keep long hair tied up - If you have long hair, keep it off your neck and back by putting it up in a bun. It's surprising how warm your hair keeps you.

I wish you all the best throughout the summer months. Stay cool.

Tuesday, June 21

Finally Got Around to TRON: Legacy

What an amazing film, at least from an art standpoint. (Not including some of the weird Jeff Bridges' face replacement stuff.)  I'm actually surprised by how long it took me to get around to watching this. I was super excited about it last year when I saw the bike at E3, planned on being at the theater for opening day, and then just forgot about it. Funny how that happens sometimes, because work just doesn't let up.

TRON Bike at E3 2010

I absolutely loved the art direction. Everything about it was amazing. The gorgeous complementary blue and orange, amongst a stark black and white palette - Brilliant! And the minimalistic architecture, product, and vehicle design was some of the best I've seen. I love how some of the set pieces married classic props with extreme modern design, such as Flynn's quarters: seen here. I wish my home looked like that, because I'm a sucker for modern minimalism.

Then you have the costumes and the makeup artistry, which was just as impressive. Every design reflected the characters perfectly. The contrast between the users and the programs was very apparent; keeping the programs very robotic in comparison to the humans, with a slight geek-chic 80's vibe to them. If you're interest in more makeup, here's Rosalina Da Silva's (makeup department head) breakdown for Quorra:

Lastly, oh my my... the music! Daft Punk's involvement made me so happy. Here's fun clip that was full of fan-service: Club Scene featuring Daft Punk's Derezzed. Who does that? Haha, let's just rock out as our club gets attacked. All in good fun, right?

Happy movie watching!

Monday, June 20

Is Everything a Remix?

Is every creative thing that we do in our lives a remix? To put it bluntly - Yes, everything we create in some way, shape, or form is a reflection of something else. Everyone is influenced by the people that came before us, and those before them. Whether it be culture, religion, art, or even our way of life; all of which are impacted by these precursors.

Here is a fascinating project that Kirby Ferguson put together called "Everything is a Remix." In which he explains why this is true in a very entertaining and artistic way. What I find humorous about these is just how little I knew; watch and see for yourself.

Here are the videos:

What do you think?

Friday, June 17

Daily Inspiration: The Golden Rule

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
"The Golden Rule is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment, and a reciprocal responsibility to ensure justice for others. A key element of the Golden Rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group. The Golden Rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard which different cultures use to resolve conflicts." - Wikipedia
I just wanted to share this touching video with you. Blair, a YouTube beauty guru, tells viewers her tenth-grade story and pours her heart into explaining why bullying is not cool. I commend her for this. It took a lot of strength for her to share something so personal; but it relays a powerful message. Her and her sister Elle, were the reason I started making tutorial videos. I figured, "Wow, these girls are helping people in some way. Perhaps I can too." Luckily, no one's going to beat me up for it though. At least not yet; I'm sure I'll start receiving hate mail for something down the line. I'm prepared for it.

See for yourself, and watch the video here:

So if you have a dream, something that goes against the grain, just follow your heart and go for it. The benefits are well worth it. Do what makes you happy, be strong, and don't let the bullies take you down with them.


Thursday, June 16

Fishie Kisses

Painted in Photoshop in 5 hours.

Mermaids are fun, and so are kisses! This was the first time I had the privilege of drawing a clown fish as well, and I enjoyed myself. They're so ridiculously cute.

Wednesday, June 15

Mad Men Yourself

I stumbled upon this wonderful little website yesterday called I love character creators, and this one with it's super cool 1960's style and TV show tie-in is just so fun to play with.



So I want to see what you look like as a Mad Men character. Please link me to all of your wonderful creations or email a widescreen file to claudia sutton at gmail dot com. I'll feature them here on CLAUDIASUTTON.blogspot and post a backlink to your website.

Go ahead! It will be fun.

Tuesday, June 14

Just Take a Walk

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, 
I found, was really going in."  - John Muir

San Francisco Bay at Sunset

Walking is such a spectacular way to relax and just get away from the burdens of the day. Some of us work too hard, which can build up easily, leaving us feeling tired and rundown. So what can be done about this? Well taking a walk might be just the thing you need.

Here are some of the benefits of a good walk: 

1. Clear the Mind - Whenever I find that I am overwhelmed by my work or art, I grab my coat and head out to the beach for a nice long walk. Stepping out and getting away really helps to take your mind off your problems. It's a refreshing, tranquil experience that gives the brain time to rest. So upon returning to your work, it helps bring new perspective to the problems or questions that you were dealing with.

2. Great Exercise - After sitting in a chair for hours or spending the entire afternoon in front of a computer, one's body will crave movement. Stiffness is a big problem for anyone that works in an office-like setting, and study after study finds that walking is the key to staying fit and healthy. It's something that we take for granted, but rarely do. Something so simple that we forget just how important it is. No gym membership required.

3. Exhilarating - "But I'm too tired!" That is the last thing you'll feel after a good walk. All it takes is just one step out the door. The warm sunlight, fresh air, and soft wind on your skin is exactly what a weary body needs to recuperate. I always feel 10 times more energized after getting up and going outside for a bit.

4. Inspiring - Stuck in rut? Just spend some time in nature. Go people watching, take the family pet out to play, read a good book in the grass, journey to a place that you've never been before, etc. This can be truly enlightening.

5. An Adventure Waiting to Happen - When walking, you never know what you'll find or who you'll meet. Really take the time to slow down and enjoy the experience. Last summer I was dying to throw around a Frisbee, but I had nothing to play with and I didn't feel like spending $10+ on one. So I forgot about it. Then a month later, I found one in the grass when I was out for my walk. A shinny red one. I thought perhaps that it belonged to someone and they would come back for it. So I left it, telling myself that if it was still there when I returned after my 1-2 hour walk that I would keep it. When I came back the sun was down and I found it in the dark with my cellphone light. No had clammed it. If I didn't go on that walk or slow down to just enjoy the scenery, I would have never found that little treasure.

Walking is always worth the time.

Thursday, June 9

Next Gen Gaming Consoles: The Wii U

It's that time of year again, E3 is wrapping up and gamers around the globe are left thinking about all of the big announcements made during the week. Nintendo's keynote being one of the major highlights to reflect upon.

 Check it out:

It's all happening so fast, and I can't believe that new consoles are already being unveiled. I'm just not ready! I know it's been five years since the Wii launched, but I didn't get that much mileage out of it. Nintendo is definitely jumping on the tablet bandwagon with this one, but the new controller doesn't even have a multi touchscreen. It seems a bit rushed perhaps just so they can be first to enter the race. That is one reason to never buy a launch system, because the manufacturer always finds something that they can improve. Then a month later the new version comes out, leaving the people that bought their systems first with major problems (remember the red ring of death?) or an obsolete machine. That, and high price points at launch. Waiting can sometimes be a very good thing.


Wednesday, June 8

The 4-Hour Body - Is It Working?

So it took along time for me to finish The 4-Hour Body by author Tim Ferriss because I wanted to absorb it like a sponge. Not necessarily because all of the things in the book applied to me (they definitely didn't), but because I wanted to become knowledge about the subjects nonetheless.

Tim's first book, The 4-Hour Workweek was amazing and it's truly what inspire me to take my first steps as a YouTuber and blogger. Everything in that book was golden, and I learned so much from it. Unfortunately, that was not the case for The 4-Hour Body. This was definitely a man's book. All about the crazy things that one can do; like setting records, lifting a bazillion pounds, becoming a great baseball hitter, running a marathon, sexy tips for the ladies, etc. It's a nice entertaining read, but doesn't apply to the average person that just wants to spruce up their body a bit.

However, a lot of good did come from it. Here's the things that I've implemented:

The Slow Carb Diet - The biggest thing for me was switching to organic brown eggs, lean turkey bacon, and vegetables for breakfast. Which replaced my steel-cut oats, because the slow carb diet suggested cutting out all grains and fruit. I agree with the grains/processed carbohydrates, and for the most part have cut them out completely, but I don't agree with cutting out fruit because it's a vital part of our diet.

Here's my breakfast. Not the best, but a work in progress.

Also, I was petrified by the thought of what eggs could do to me. Aren't they bad? Too much cholesterol and all? Well I figured it was better than processed oats, but it's a middle ground for sure.

Eating 30 Minutes to an Hour After Waking - Apparently your body is ready to absorb the most nutrients from your food right after one wakes up in the morning. So it is key to eat around that time.

Lemon Juice, Garlic, Cinnamon, and Cayenne Pepper Help Burn Fat - I've learned this from other sources as well, but it was a good reminder to add all of these wonderful spices to foods for a little extra fat burning power.

Ice Packs, Drinking Ice Water, Cold Showers/Ice Baths, and Cold Temperatures Help Burn Fat - The example used in the book was that athletic swimmers have amazing bodies because they're working out in cold water for hours at a time. This makes a lot of sense, because one's body has to work to maintain it's body temperature, therefore burning fat like mad to stay warm. So trying these things can work wonders.

Exercising Before and After Meals - I do a 10 minute exercise routine before and after meals to get the metabolism up and running, so that the meals can be burned off faster.

Being Aware of Your Measurements - Writing down measurements so that you can see their progress over time is very important. If there is nothing recorded, how can you see if you're making progress? One thing that I did try was the "do nothing and still get results test." At the beginning of the book there was this guy that lost weight by just being conscious of it alone and taking down his numbers. With no lifestyle changes what so ever. He charts his weight every day and just like magic he sheds the pounds like mad. So I had to try it! Weight is not something I'm working on, but my waist measurements are. I've plateaued with 24" being my best measurement for years now, so I tried the experiment with my waist. Doing nothing different at all, except the fact that I was conscious about the my measurements, and writing them down every morning after waking. And this is what happened... Absolutely nothing.


The only thing that I can think happened is that it's way easier to lose weight at the beginning than that last stubborn inch. So in my case it didn't apply, and I'm still trying to reach my goal of 23-23.5 inches. I was 23" in high school and my mother was too. Please don't think I'm mad; I'm just tiny and love to take really good care of my body. It's my temple.

Sleeping/Naps - I do not agree with taking a bunch of small 20 minute naps throughout the day and not sleeping at night. That's just insane. However, I did find the "Siesta" option more intriguing. In which one takes a 20 minute nap mid day so they can shave off an hour of sleep at night. So I have been taking one 25 minute nap (5 extra minutes to fall asleep) at 6pm everyday and it's working out good. In total, I only sleep 7 hours instead of my usual 8. Napping mid day can also improve brain functionally, read more about it here: The Science of Siesta: Research Finds That Napping Improves Brain Functioning. Also note that this did take about 2 weeks to get use to though.

Barefoot Walking - One thing that I LOVE about freelancing from my home studio is that I don't have to torture myself by wearing shoes all day long. Be free little toes! Don't get me wrong, I own some beautiful high heels, but it feels great to only wear them on special occasions. Wearing shoes in general has become a  special occasion for me.

Like my 30 second drawing?

Over time our feet conform to the shape of our shoes and there was a great picture in the book, that I so beautifully replicated, to show a foot that's been in a shoe all of it's life (the western business man) and a foot of a tribes person that has never worn shoes (which are similar to a baby's foot that has not been harmed by shoes) By going barefoot more often, one can improve their balance and prevent many back, leg, and foot injures caused by a lifetime of wearing shoes.

The Value Self-Experimentation - You know yourself best and it's important to do your own experiments. Try different healthy foods and exercises. Write down all of your findings. Take the things that you've learned and test them out one by one to see the results. Take advantage of the time and freedom to prove things work for you personally.

Overall the only real improvements I've noticed so far is my clear complexion and the maintenance of my current figure. So there are some small changes, but it definitely took longer than 4-Hours.

Cheers and here's to happy, healthy living!
♡ Claudia

Tuesday, June 7

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Documentaries are so fascinating, and Guns, Germs, and Steel is a wonderful example of such. Adapted from Jared Diamond's best-selling book in 1997, this film discusses the professor's theory as to why cultures around the world differ so much, and why some have evolved the way that they have.

Keeping an open mind about the theories, one can learn a lot from watching this movie. Especially how we can all individually extract different lessons from it. So much in fact, that I wonder why we aren't exposed to these subjects at a younger age. Studying past cultures can be captivating, but sad because history can be cruel. Perhaps this would help teach love, equality, and compassion. Learning from the mistakes that people have made in the past. I myself have never understood conquest - it's something to be ashamed of.

Here's the documentary, which can be found on Netflix as well:
Guns, Germs, and Steel 
(An 18 part series)  

Guns, Germs, and Steel Website

Happy movie watching.

Monday, June 6

Last Night: To Cheat or Not To Cheat?

I want to draw some attention to a brilliant little film called Last Night staring Sam Worthington and Keira Knightley. It was a small release last month; limited to only major cities.

"Last Night centers on a married couple apart for an evening when the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love."  - Miramax Films

Here's the trailer:

The whole concept being, what is the worst form of cheating: Still being in love with someone or having sex? Depending on who you ask, the answer might differ. The stereotype would be that woman find it more offensive to be in love with someone. "Do you love her?" they might ask their cheating partner. In comparison to to the male counterpart, "Did you sleep with him?"

Fascinating indeed! So go watch this film if you're into "slice of life films" and let me know what you think. It would make for a very intriguing conversation.

Happy movie watching.

Saturday, June 4

Just Say No to Soap and Shampoo?

This article has been buzzing around the interwebs today and I wanted to share it with you as well. I find it absolutely fascinating, and totally agree with his findings.

Here's the article:

In a nutshell - Chemicals are harmful for your body and they disrupt it's natural balance.  I've been telling others this for years now. So much, that my sisters like to call me "Hippie Claudia." (Thanks girls, love you too) It's true though! Ever since I started to cut a back on soap (I now use a vegetable soap), I noticed how soft my skin is. I haven't done the shampoo thing yet, but I'm eager to try that now too. My shampoo, is not that bad though. It's organic and is made out of semi-good ingredients. I'm sure there's something in it that would make me cringe. *Goes to get shampoo* Like what the hell is PHENOXYETHANOL? Oh, that's just great. It's a immunotoxin that can cause allergies and is apparently restricted for cosmetic use in Japan. So I just can't wait to put that on my head again.

How about your products? Put your shampoo or soap to the test. Here's a link to Cosmetics Database were you can find out what's in your lovely products.

Neurotoxins, carcinogens, developmental and reproductive toxins, etc. Oh my, those all sound delightful.

So what do you think? Is it time to just let your body do what it does best? Think about how beautiful that concept is, because half of the time we are causing our own problems. Like mentioned in the article, when you were a child did your parents make you slather on all of those things? No probably not, they were just happy that you made contact with the water.


Wednesday, June 1

Look of the Month :: Summer 2011 :: June

Arghhh! In honor of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides being a block buster this season, the first digital face chart of the summer had to be none other than Angelica (Penelope Cruz) inspired. Surprisingly this pirate look is quite wearable, sexy, and carefree for the summer. It's fun to be messy with eyeliner! I even wore this look out to Fanime and got quite a few compliments on the makeup. It's easy to tone down as well if you like. Just go a little softer with the black liner and apply it with more care in comparison to the chunky streaky look. Anyway you choose, just rock it! And remember, it's a pirate's life for us!

The current look is:
J U N E  2 0 1 1

Color inspiration:
Black, burgundy, pewter, cream, and gold

Current motivation for the look:

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.


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