Thursday, February 28

Fuzzins Black Cat

Fuzzins Black Cat is the cutest kitteh in all the land!
Put a smile on someone’s face and share him with your friends and family.

Fuzzins Black Cat Breakdown
Level: Intermediate

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.

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

Wednesday, February 27

I Am Documentary

I only found out about I Am, the first Tom Shadyac documentary, because of researching Happy. This one was another marvelous film. I loved it and recommend it as well.

So the premise is that Tom had a near-death biking accident, and it changed him for the better. He started to reexamine life, and traveled around the world talking to some great intellectual thinkers of our time about the issues that we face as a culture. Well, it was definitely all for the best, because the journey ended up teaching a valuable lesson, and that was that we are all connected. Science is finding this to be mind-bogglingly valid and there were quite a few fascinating interviews and experiments done to back it up.

I feel it; we all do in a way. Apparently the heart does this naturally and is responsible for more of our feelings and actions than originally thought. It's sensory and truly remarkable. It takes that timeless saying, "Follow your heart", to a whole new level. So watch the documentary. It's amazing empowering.

Watch the movie trailer here:

A fascinating interview with Tom:

How Tom chooses to live now:
A Peak at His Mobile Home

Happy movie watching!

Tuesday, February 26

Happy Documentary

Oh my! I needed this documentary so much and I recommend it to all of you. It's about happiness and what makes us happy. Now who wouldn't be interested in that? The film takes us on a journey across the globe to discover what makes different types of people so content.

For the most part it's not money, fame, or power. It's interesting to learn about the real things that bring us the most happiness. Love, community, compassion, giving, purpose, thankfulness, and progress are all things to focus on and will bring one true happiness.

Lastly, be genuine. The people in your world can tell. They feel it. Do it for yourself most importantly though. What does your heart tell you? The kind gentleman that produced this film, Tom Shadyac, had a near-death experience before he realized this.

 About the filmmakers and Happy:

So watch the movie. It moved me so much. Happiness is like a muscle, so I'm going to exercise it more often. It's called learned happiness, and it can be one's default state if one chooses to let it be. What is your default emotion? Be honest. Sad people get sad, angry people get angry, stressed people get stressed, worried people get worried, etc. Well, I choose to be happy!

Find the film on Netflix or YouTube:

Happy movie watching!

Thursday, February 21

Pamper Your Hands: How to Care for Them Naturally

Now let's talk about the hands. I don't take them for granted one bit, because now I appreciate how important caring for them is. Aches and pains will be a thing of the past, and it's easy to keep them looking beautiful as well. We get the best of both worlds. So here's how to do it.

Care for hands naturally:

- Rest and exercise. It's really simple and easy, but few do it. Take time every half hour to take a break from whatever it is that you're doing. It's good for the brain too, because this small break helps one rest and retain information better. Relaxing will help insure that the hands don't get overworked and tight. Which is serious for anyone working at a desk or on the computer. Stretching the fingers is vital as well. I like to extend them for as long as I can, hold, then curl them up as tight as I can, hold, and repeat. Another one that I like to do is to get on my hands and knees, place my hands down flat, splay the fingers out, and rock side to side. These simple exercises help hands stay their best. That, and going outside to exercise is great too. Something as easy as daily walking can help one loosen up and it does wonders for the entire body.

- Try not to get the hands wet too often. My dishwasher broke a few weeks ago and I had to do my dishes by hand. I noticed right away that my hands started to quickly get dry and ugly like never before. So something as simple as wearing rubber gloves while washing and cleaning will do the trick. That way the precious sebum isn't washed away and the hands retain their moisture. Another thing to mention again is over showering or bathing. The hands do not produce a lot of sebum like the face, neck, and back, so they will be left very dry if they get wet often. So keep it to a healthy minimum. This also includes sticking one's fingers in one's mouth. Saliva dries out the skin and nails, and leaves them cracked and unsightly. Fight it!  

- Eat good foods and drink lots of water. Food and water is always a factor. It just makes sense. If one eats awesome raw foods the way they're found in nature, then all is well. When cooked and processed foods start creeping in, we'll have to face more problems. Ideally if one can't find it in nature, then don't eat or drink it. Simple but very challenging, I know. Pay attention to the color and quality of your nails as well. They should be a pinkish-beige color with no ridges. The foods one eats will dictate this. I know because this happens to me. Whenever I eat well my nails are lovely. Then I go on holiday and eat crap and I'll get a tiny horizontal ridge that I now have to spend months growing out. It's like clockwork. Split nails and hangnails are also a dietary issue. When the body lacks water, and it drop to below 18%, the nails will dry, split, and crack. This also can mean that one's consuming too much sugar, and is all over the place with diet. So be kind to the body, constantly eat well, and it will reward you with beauty.

- Wet exfoliation. This is pretty much essential for every part of the body. A good exfoliation works wonders, and will prevent further dead skin build up in the future. With a natural pumice stone, I gently rub away any dry spots on the hands. Typically I like to focus on the palms, the underside of the fingers, and all around the nails. This will definitely take a few sessions to completely soften the area, especially for any calluses that one might have. So make exfoliation a routine.

- Clip away dead skin gently, then moisturize. Last, but not least, I clip away dead skin around the nails after getting out of the bath or shower. It's best to do this right after, because the dead skin around the nails is soft and it's easy to clip away with a pair of small fingernail clippers. Please do not hurt yourself doing this! It's important to only cut away the white skin that's built up around the nail. It's pretty easy to tell if it's done right because it won't hurt, turn red, or bleed. A way to tell is if it can be felt at all, then it's fresh skin. It should be like clipping one's nails. There's no pain at all. I find that the more I live by the following tips above, the less dead skin I have to clip away. I barely have anything to maintain, because my body knows how to take care of me if I take care of it. I'm always surprised by the little things that go away and aren't a problem anymore. It's fascinating. Then of course we can't forget the moisturizer. Coconut or olive oil is great because it nourishes and strengthens skin and nails, especially while sleeping during regenerative hours. Showering and bathing at night is ideal for this, that way one doesn't have to touch many things before going to bed. Spa gloves or long sleeves work well for this, because they can cover moisturized hands at night when sleeping.

So there you have it. Give those hands some love, and start reaping the benefits.

Wednesday, February 20

Pamper Your Feet: How to Care for Them Naturally

Having beautiful feet is really much easier than it may seem. The winter months are harsh, but what can one do to care for them now and prepare them for sandal weather in a few months? Just like everything in life, one's health is a big factor. That's why people love healthy feet, but can't stand them when they're not. That love-hate relationship is because we know what health looks, feels, and smells like and we want this for ourselves and others. The things I'm about to tell you are all real ways to achieve that, and produce lasting results. How do I know? Because I live this personally, and my feet are good to me. So read on for more.

Care for feet naturally:

- Let them breathe. I rarely wear anything on my feet, because it's important to have direct contact with the ground and/or objects. Just like the hands, the feet are designed to make contact with the environment. Not only that, but wearing anything that covers the feet promotes dead skin build up and foot fungus to form. This doesn't allow for the skin to breathe, and is also what causes foul odor. So this includes shoes, socks, and slippers. Free your feet whenever you can! Especially from shoes, because ever since birth shoes have been binding and deforming our feet. Over the years the foot will even take on the form of the shoe. The toes are meant to be splayed out and aligned with the metatarsals. The 4-Hour Body goes into this issue in detail and talks about how great going barefoot is. One can improve their balance and prevent back, leg, and foot injures caused by a lifetime of wearing shoes. Been there, done that. I broke my toes because of a pair of high heels. My feet are so loved and spoiled now, that I just can't do that to them a lot any more.

- You are what you eat. Food plays a huge role in keeping feet healthy. Not only bone and muscle, but skin. One thing that I find to be amazing is that I can go to very cold places in the winter time and still maintain my foot and skin health. Yes, I understand that environment is a factor, and I promote warm weather and sunlight. Food alone can help the body fight back though when it comes to harsh climates. I notice that when I eat raw foods on vacation in a snowy land I can still keep my skin looking good. It's only when I start making poor food choices that my skin sends me the warning signs. Then I lose whatever protection I had from the cold. So eat lots of raw greens, veggies, fruits, spices, seeds, and nuts.

- Book a massage or acupuncture appointment. Both of which are brilliant, and an amazing way to help sore feet. Every time I go in to have my feet done I feel so agile and wonderful. It's always amusing to me too because my therapist will say something like, "We're going to work on your organs today", and then he sticks an acupuncture needle in my foot! Curiouser and curiouser. It's because the feet, like the hands, are linked to many parts of the body. If the feet are helped, then so are the corresponding areas and vice virsa.

- Wet exfoliation. This is a must, and will depend greatly on the environment and the other factors we have discussed above. Every time I bathe or shower I use a small pumice stone to gently scrub dead horny layer skin cells away. Doing this regularly will help maintain soft skin. One considerable thing to note though is to not over shower or bathe. This is counterproductive, because water dries out the skin when it washes away sebum. It doesn't matter if it's hot or cold, this will disrupt the pH balance of the skin. Especially in the cold months when the skin is desperate for moisture. So listen to your body, and don't over do it.

- Moisturizing. This is the last and final step. It's crucial to moisture after ever shower or bath. The skin has been striped of all it's sebum and is left exposed to the elements. This is why our skin gets dry, or on the other hand, oily. Everyone is different. The skin either doesn't keep up with sebum production and dries out, or the body produces way too much and makes us a greasy mess. Do not over shower if you want normal skin! Another thing to look out for at this time as well is if the skin is cracked and white. This is not dry skin, this is foot fungus and is common in cold winter months. To treat this, one should apply tea tree oil to the area first. It will kill the fungus and germs, because it's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Then apply a good amount of organic virgin coconut oil or stone-crushed olive oil over it to encase the area and add moisture back into the skin. It's important to use natural oils to moisturize, and not lotions/creams with synthetic chemicals. They do not heal, and only make matters worst in the long run. This is one of the times that I do recommend putting on some cozy socks for about 15 minutes. That way the oil will have time to absorb and it won't get all over the floor. 

Having amazing feet is as simple as that. Why wait to spoil them. Start today!

Monday, February 18

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is Cool

This one's fun, and it was nice to finally see it. As you know, Emma Watson is a favorite of mine. I've seen all of her movies, so it was just a matter of time until I added this one to the list too. She, along with the rest of the cast did an extraordinary job. It was darker than I expected too, which was great because I like films that make one think and aren't so Hollywood. Perks does this well, and I sympathized with the characters that were going through hard times. Being that it takes place in the 90's is cool too, because that makes one really appreciate growing up today in comparison. It seems like we've grown as a culture, and it's more acceptable to be unique and different these days in America then back then.

This film also brought back good memories of teen movie favorites from the past. Like anything John Hughes, American Beauty, Almost Famous, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The ones with heart are the ones that stick with you. It would have went well with a bottle of wine.

So yup, go watch this one if you like slice-of-life stories. It's worth the time.
Or if you've seen it already, what did think?

Cheers and happy movie watching.

Wednesday, February 13

Minimalism for Your Computer: How to Declutter Digitally

Reformatting a computer is exciting and challenging all at the same time. I recently did this because of the new Windows OS, and am loving it so far. It makes for a fresh start because everything is wiped clean from the machine, and one can begin again. Minimalism in all forms is wonderful because it makes one truly appreciate the things they already have, is a huge money saver, inspires a person to be happy with less, encourages one to find the beauty in simplicity, and makes life easy to manage.   

Here are 5 ways to keep your computer clean:

1. Stop buying and installing things. I'm very selective with what I put on my computer. My rule is, "Add one, subtract one", and that applies to most things in life. If a new file or piece of software is necessary, then find an existing one that isn't and delete it. Isn't digital great! It's as simple as that. 

2. Let go of old files. I call this housecleaning of the mind. Going through old files and deleting the ones you don't need is therapeutic. It also frees up a lot of hard drive space. So take the time to go through every folder and discard anything that you haven't used or that brings up bad memories. Detaching is as easy as pressing the delete key, and revel in the fact that you're better off without it.  

3. Get rid of documents that are older than seven years. If that business or tax document is ancient, then you probably don't need it any longer. Seven years is the magic number for most items with the exception of birth/adoption/death certificates, marriage/divorce papers, year-end summaries of loans/mortgages, military records, retirement related tax forms, and files that pertain to an asset you own like a home or stocks. With this, always check twice before discarding something.

4. Folder organization. So now that the files are cleared out, it's time to organize. Personally, I like to keep a clean desktop. That means no files, and no taskbar shortcuts. Sleek and sexy! That way, if I leave a file out on the desktop I know that it needs to be handled right away and eats away at me until the task is finished. As far as folders are concerned, I use the built-in Windows folders to organize most of my belongings accordingly. Then I have a separate partition for my personal storage which includes an artwork, fitness, and learning folder. This is where I store huge files, especially my digital artwork. I choose to separate them so that I don't have to recopy them if I reformat my system. Everything should have a place, and chances are if there's not a folder for it then it's probably not necessary.     

5. Clean up the system regularly. At the beginning of each month I do system maintenance. Just like every well-oiled machine, one's computer has to be cared for in such a manner to run properly. Updates, anti-virus, disk cleanup, defragmentation, and anti-malware are the things that I run to insure that my PC is at it's best. In doing so, this keeps the computer clean and gets rid of any temp files that might be lying about.

 If you have any special tips and tricks to stay clutter-free, please do tell. 
I always enjoy hearing from you.


Tuesday, February 12

The Benefits of Glass Cookware

They've finally arrived! My new set of Corning Visions glass cookware is a beautiful sight to behold, and they make me so happy. My parents knew how much I wanted them, and sent me a surprise gift. 

Amber glass cookware that includes two skillets, two saucepans, a stewpot, and covers.

Health is essential, and I'm aware that metal and plastic are not the best options for packaging, preparing, storing, or eating food with. Nonstick Teflon is highly toxic, stainless steel bleeds nickel into foods, aluminum can cause Alzheimer's disease, cast iron can transfer indigestible ferrous iron into the body, copper leaches into foods as well, and all plastics are harmful. So ever since I've learned about this I've made a conscious effort to only use paper, wood, bamboo, or glass.

Now, there are some draw backs to cooking with glass, but despite this I've had a wonderful experience so far. Glass needs to be heated slowly. It has to be placed on a cold burner and then heated to allow for the glass to expand properly. Also, most chiefs do not recommend glass for high heat. This isn't a problem for an individual that mostly eats raw foods because ideally one shouldn't be frying or over-cooking meals anyway. Cooking denatures proteins, creates carcinogens, and changes the innate chemistry of food. That being said, I only use high heat for boiling water or tea making and have never had a problem with it. It's safe for the stovetop, broiler, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. So this set gets raving reviews from me.

How about you? Do you use glass as well? Or perhaps are considering the change?

Cheers and happy living.

Monday, February 11

Daily Inspiration: 360 Degree Photography

How was your weekend everyone? I hope it was fantastic. Recently a good of mine friend introduced me to an amazing site full of wonder inspiring 360° aerial photography, photo tours, and interactive video.

Go check it out for yourself:

They're all so beautiful, and it makes me truly appreciate technology. Sometimes we tend to take it for granted, but this really opened my eyes. I could spend hours looking at all of the work! Especially the videos, because I've never seen anything quite like it. For someone like me that yearns to travel, this is the next best thing.


Friday, February 8

Tag of Three

I love tags! Here's a fun one from Tachii.

1. Claudia
2. Sutton
3. Fran

1. claudiasutton
2. ClaudiaMSutton
3. claudia

1. Drank a glass of water
2. Drank a glass of organic mint tea
3. 45 push-ups

1. My confidence
2. Willingness to learn
3. My hands

1. When I get stressed out for no reason
2. Inconsistency
3. My weakness to simple, harmful comforts

1. English
2. French
3. American

1. Dying with unfinished business
2. Scorpions
3. Gory movies

1. Comfy slippers
2. My favorite university hoodie
3. Jammy pants

1. My laptop
2. An hour or two of exercise
3. The people in my world

1. My Wacom
2. My mother's engagement ring passed down to me
3. The artwork I've created

1. The Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Florence + The Machine
3. The Mars Volta

1. Love
2. Giving
3. Wellness

1. 30 Seconds To Mars - The Kill
2. A Perfect Circle - Orestes
3. The Mars Volta - Eriatarka

1. Becoming a personal lifestyle mentor
2. See more of the world
3. Finish my Fran cosplay

1. Not listening more
2. Not learning more
3. Not traveling more

1. Love
2. Passion
3. Connection

1. My parents are both identical twins
2. Our childhood dog was part wolf
3. I love birthdays

1. I've answered this one already here
2. Good hygiene
3. Strong posture

1. An inspiration to be around
2. A caring individual
3. Charm

1. Play a lot of platformers these days
2. Waste my time on negativity
3. Live in a messy home

1. Potent emotions
2. Freedom
3. My loved ones

1. My heart is set on my Mark III Camera
2. Love and respect
3. Financial freedom

1. I create myself
2. The lovely people in my world
3. Unavoidable experiences

1. Travel
2. Art
3. Games

1. Eat
2. Work on my next project
3. See my family again

1. Blogging and YouTube
2. Lifestyle Mentoring
3. Travel for a living

1. The Caribbean
2. England
3. Japan

1. Link and Zelda
2. Balthier and Fran
3. Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann

1. Aaron
2. David
3. Robert

1. Alice
2. Carla
3. Carin

1. Touch the lives of others
2. Make the world a better place in some way
3. To be well loved, well traveled, and well learned

Oh how interesting. Now it's your turn. Tag!

Thursday, February 7

Massage Therapy Changed My Life

“Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change.” - Arthur Burt

It's hard for me to even being writing about this, because of how much I've been impacted by it. So let's start at the beginning. It was one year after I graduated from AAU and was working as a concept artist on an MMRPG. The long hours, bad food, lack of exercise, and poor sleep was catching up with me and my health was slowly starting to deteriorate at a very young age. I remember it hurting bad. The pain started in my hands, then my wrists, my arms, legs, and finally my neck. I was to the point were I was wearing a wrist brace to work every day and I had to tell my art director that I was having problems holding a pencil.

As an artist, this scared me beyond measure. Would I be able to draw and paint again? Was this permanent? Did I have carpal tunnel? Was this the end of my professional art career? So one can see how frightening this all was. It led me to ask other artists about their situations and found that most of them were having similar issues or have lived with it for a long time. How can this be! I was furious, because all of these people were suffering the same way. How is that possible, and why isn't anything being done to change it?

High on emotions, I went to HR at my company and explained what was going on with the artists. They expressed their sympathies, and began to work with ergonomic specialists to help solve the problem. I got a foot rest and was going to be resigned to a desk that was the proper height for my size. That day I learned a valuable lesson, and that was that as an individual we have to look out for ourselves and can't rely on others all the time. If I would have known better, I would have requested this change on day one. Getting a proper setup is vital for one's longevity and productive, but it doesn't end there.

I never liked the way most Western doctors work, but I was desperate for help and my hands and wrists weren't getting any better. So I set the appointment that I credit as being my wake-up call. This doctor didn't care one bit about me, conversed for only about five minutes (I waited a long time to see them of course), prescribed some pills, suggested expensive surgery, and told me that I needed to go out and buy another arm brace for the time being because they wouldn't cover it. I left with a broken heart because I knew deep down that this didn't help and I wasted my hard earned money.

That night I got high on just one of the prescribed pills (half of what was recommended). I hated how it made me feel. Such a little amount caused my tiny body to shake and I felt like I was out of my mind. That was the last time I saw a Western doctor, and I quit my job shortly after.

There was a point to going through all of this though, and I see it clearly now. Around that time I was told about sports massages for artists. Just like an athlete, an artist could hire their own personal therapist and slowly rebuild their strength. Now this was exciting, because it sounded like it could really work out for me. Maybe I could get better, and not have to define myself as 'someone that has wrist problems.'

So I started to look up the best therapists in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it seems like fate now because I found my doctor (it's going on six years now). Anthony has a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and his views align with my own. The body wants to heal itself without drugs or surgery. There's no reason for either of them, and sure enough my wrist problems are a thing of the past. I don't define myself as broken. I'm healed and am stronger because of it.

The way that it works is that massage releases toxins from the muscles, breaks up any stagnation, gets the blood flowing once more, and the caring touch of another human being is stress reducing. This deep-tissue work is painful at times, but it's just the release of all of the built up tension. I walk out of my appointments feeling like I can take on the world again and I'm truly grateful. It's beyond words.

Massage therapy also led me to shift my thinking on a lot of things in life. I began to raise my standards and realize the vital importance between mind and body. They're inseparable and one can't function at their best, in anything, without that connection. I began to work less, started to follow my heart (that's what led me to blogging and YouTube), exercise became a must, and my diet improved.

I close with this, if you're hurting or suffering there's a lesson to learn from it. You're not where you need to be, and a change needs to be made. Look inside, and transform from within. We can't control the world, but we most certainly can change our own thoughts and actions. Fear holds us back. Believe me I was frightened when I quit my job, but it all worked out for the best and now I'm a better person because of it. Find balance in life again my friends. Don't wait another day.

You always have my help and please pass this message on to others.

Much love,

Wednesday, February 6

Look of the Month :: Winter 2013 :: February

February has been amazing so far. I feel free and like I've grown so much as a person. Inspiration is never ending and passionate emotions are as strong as ever. So for this digital face chart I wanted to recreate my default Claudia makeup, something that's truly me. This is my go-to makeup year round, but it also makes for a lovely fresh Valentine's Day look as well. Live, love, and have a fantastic month. 

The current look is:
F E B R U A R Y  2 0 1 3

Color inspiration:
Warm sage green, blood red, nude, white, and gold

Current motivation for the look:
 Being true to oneself, a new beginning, and fresh air

Previous Looks this Year:

J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 3

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.


Monday, February 4

Windows 8 Review: It's Awesome!

Last month I couldn't resist a great sale on Windows 8. Apparently it's the lowest selling Windows in quite some time and the company is trying to encourage users to switch over. Well, I wasn't too excited about it, because I didn't want to reformat and I didn't quite like the changes Microsoft implemented because they're specifically going after the touchscreen market.

On the flip side, I read that it's extremely fast. Which was enticing because performance is a big deal for all of my digital art programs. That, and screen recording for YouTube videos. So after thinking it over for quite some time, I decided to upgrade because the pros were outweighing the cons.

I'm actually quite pleased with it over all and the things that I thought would be annoying aren't. I'm loving the new streamlined interface, complete with a nice design and minimalistic font choices. The metro interface is growing on me as well and it's easy to get the hang of. Most people don't like change, and because Windows has pretty much been the same for a few decades, I can understand why this is upsetting. It's healthy for the brain to overcome new obstacles though, and it truly doesn't take long to learn. I'm already hooked!

One thing that I did miss is the Start Menu. This can be easily fixed by downloading a handy free app called Classic Shell. I recommend getting this if you miss the old layout.

Download Classic Shell Free Here:

This is all one needs to fix that problem and have the classic feel of Windows back. Other than that, I'm happy with how great this operating system is. It boots up super fast and all of the software runs great. I can tell, and this makes life better. Ah, the small things!

Overall it was a pretty painless transition. I'm still working on getting my monitor color profile in order, but that only takes time and patience. As an artist, this is an extra step to insure that I'm creating work on a setup that's professional and color calibrated. 

Has anyone else made the switch to Windows 8? 
Let me know your thoughts. How is it working out so far?

Friday, February 1

Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

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

Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

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

Jojoba Oil Benefits - 10 Amazing Ways To Use It | CLAUDIASUTTON.blogspot: Health and Lifestyle