Category Archives: Freebies & Fun Stuff

How I wish I were like Norman Rockwell

When the Space Shuttle Endeavour flew over Tucson on its farewell trip to California, I was not going to miss another opportunity to see the shuttle. I remember a shuttle being carried by a 747 making a stop at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, and then there was that ill-fated trip to Florida to see a launch – I mean a scrub. My youngest son was getting out of school 15 minutes after the shuttle was to come through so this fell well within the guidelines of «Expose your children to science whenever possible» and I got him out early and we headed to Himmel Park. The park was packed and he chose to stand at the top of the retro-looking slide, scanning the skies for the 747. I spotted it way north and ran to the south side of the slide and that is when I thought, «This might make a great photo with him up there.» When the shuttle banked south of us I got the lucky shot. No, he is not saluting but shielding his eyes, but it made for a great image. I had to go through and make it look even more like a Norman Rockwell painting. If he had been wearing shorts above the knee, he could have been any young boy playing outside near Cape Canaveral and watching a rocket launch back in the 1960s.

Also, with a little coercion by friends, I submitted the images to CNN and the shuttle feed on Flickr – my photo is the seventh at CNN.

First off, the original – about what you might expect with a point-and-wish camera, cropped down to where it really is a great composition.

Colorize it just a bit [and no, Instagram was nowhere near any of this] and it looks like a good 1960s image.

Throw in some scratches and color modifications and voilà! It is a photo in London, 1941. I can almost see Captain America in the background.

And this is where I wish I had true Norman Rockwell skills. Yes, the image is great, but to express it in painting would be phenomenal. I will be making a large canvas print of this image [yes, we can do that] and hang it up at home. Norman Rockwell – ’nuff said.

And then the CNN page if you must [image 7]. Or I must. Hopefully my son remembers that day forever.

Free St. Patrick’s Day coloring page

This activity page will make my wife happy, as she is a special ed teacher and would always like more activity pages. Mixing Irish and Mexican heritage is always an easy hit. Two free versions for download are provided. I am okay with the one where it backtracks, but cutting those out and ending up with just 17 numbers is just as good. Hey, 17, March 17th…

I just had to color one for myself.

Backtracking version [shown below] — Simple 17 numbers
Free St. Patrick's Day Coloring Page

100 Years of Arizona Statehood Activity Page!

A connect the dots and coloring page? Seriously? Just go back to second grade for a moment and you know that right about know your teacher would be handing this out and you would be eating it up. 100 years – some thought that Arizona was too crazy to make it that long, but it did and we have. Have fun connecting the dots, and have fun coloring. If you like it, I might make more and make them funny [some may say Arizona is funny, but nah, really funny ones and not just off-kilter].

Click on the image below for a printable PDF that is just dying for you to complete and color. I am already coloring my third activity sheet. So much for getting work done today.

Free Arizona Statehood Coloring Page

Free February 2012 Desktop Calendar

Here is a quick calendar I drummed up as there has been a lot of work the past few weeks and not a lot of white space to do much else [always a good thing]. Now if Tucson’s weather was cooperating, it would fit the mood, but so far we have been very warm this winter. Usually there are great storms rolling through and Tucson can get the crazy dark mountains with the sun still shining through onto parts of the desert. Instead we have shorts and flip-flop weather, which is exactly what was predicted from Roadrunner day. Once again he outran his shadow, and once again we will have a winter that requires us to wear a sweatshirt for the first 2 hours of the day [and maybe closed toed shoes] and after that it is perfect weather.

You have a choice of 3 desktop calendars, two of the stormy Catalinas [one without the roadrunner] and then one of just the roadrunner – click on the image to download a desktop-sized version – enjoy!

 


 

Demo Online Ordering System Posters

We have had an online ordering system for years, but not everyone has been taking advantage of it. It is really strange – I don’t like shopping in person, but shopping online I do very well. Maybe the introvert in me gets all giddy when I do, but all I know is that 15 minutes in Target is about all I can take. That said, I just updated the demo version of our online ordering site. As a side note, the site it runs on is called Four51, so I have taken to calling this pretend site “Faux51”. I know, so clever. The biggest part is personalization, where large companies can enter the info for their business cards, HR books, manuals, certificates, etc and we can get rid of the proofing process. I wanted more than just the customizable business card on the site so I created a pair of marketing posters. For years I have wondered who bred a hamster with a grape and got a kiwi. Rather gross if you think about it too much [fuzzy on the outside, grapey on the in] but it made for a fun pair of posters. In case you can’t read the text, it is included below each poster. The logo is mine – I created that a few years ago as a christmas present for a friend and have been using it ever since.

If you want to try out the demo site, head to our AlphaGraphics Palo Verde site and log in at the upper right hand corner. The username is “agSample” and password is “demo”. It is set up to only allow one person on at a time so if someone else shows up, sorry! Fully functioning sites have individual logins.


Are you thinking of breeding a hamster with a grape? You really should be using our services. One consultation with us and we’ll let you know it has already been done. And it is more than just a little freaky.
Utilize Kiffinite Consulting and we’ll make sure you don’t do something nutty.*

*Not available for teenage boys with skateboards or fireworks – you are on your  own

Dennis Rodman didn’t use us. Charlie Sheen didn’t use us. The creators of MySpace didn’t use us.
But they should have.
Kiffinite Consulting keeps you from doing something that you may regret.

Free January Desktop Wallpaper

Tucson just had one of its coldest Decembers on record, with 5 days with record lows. This follows a very chilly January ’11, though our first few days of ’12 were 79 or 80 degrees. Go figure.

I love calendars, but rarely get to design super cool ones [they sure do take plenty of time]. How about I fill 2012 with desktop calendars? Click on the image below to download the full size version. The photo is taken from the roof of my house of the Santa Catalinas in Tucson, Arizona. The highest point is Mt. Lemmon at 9,157 feet which makes for a great bike ride [Lance Armstrong lived in a cabin up there for 6 weeks to train one year, or so the story goes].

Free January ’12 Desktop Wallpaper

Our Free 2012 Wall Calendars are here [almost]!

This is our 14th wall calendar in a row, with some of the prior years being much funnier than others. Last year was all about the 50th anniversary of man in space [go Yuri!], and this year it is about the Olympic games. It also has a bit of the sailing theme as we happen to be sponsors of the U.S. Sailing Team. Go, er, floaty-boats! Okay then, first up: get the sailing team a mascot so that cheering is more than just “Go U.S.A.!”

Let us know if you want a calendar [and are local] or we can let you know when we are done with printing them and you can swing by and pick a few up.

Click here for a pdf version that is easier to read, but sorry, you can’t print it out. We aren’t scrooges, we just know that the final calendar is going to be much better than what can be printed out on an office printer.

AlphaGraphics Tucson 2012 Wall Calendar

Good at Color[ing hair]

I forget that not all of my life is in front of a computer or with a sketch pad [really] and that there are other designery type things I do. Other than paint choices for home interiors [I really enjoy those], I was also coloring hair for my wife and friends for a bit. I did receive the best complement back from a friend that had just gotten her hair styled before a wedding at a high end shop — the stylist asked where she had her color done as it was fantastic and must have cost quite a bit. Nope, just me in the backyard underneath my huge grapefruit tree under a speckly rain.

Hair Coloring

Hair Coloring

Hair Coloring

Hair Coloring

2011 Calendar

This is our twelfth year of making a calendar for ourselves, and we have been filling them with silly dates and events. Do you remember when Google launched GoogleCountry and took over much of South America, or when the Niña and the Pinta called shirts in 1492 and the Santa Maria was not happy about being “skins” for 2 months? Ah, those were the days…

This year we chose a different tack. The last few years have not been easy on many of our clients both local and around the world. We’ve all had to cut back and be a bit more purposeful and wise. That is why we have centered this year’s calendar on mankind’s 50 years of man in space, beginning with Yuri Gagarin being the first in space on April 12th, 1961. It isn’t a big jump to put these hard years together with getting humans into space. It would be an understatement to say there was a lot of hard work and effort put in by hundreds of thousands to get people into space. And that is exactly it — we’ve done it before, and we can do it again. Sure, there is no easy answer to all of this, but at least we can all put our noses to the grindstone and crank out the best we can do. With that spirit in mind, this calendar is for all of us that will be giving it our best shot, with long hours, dedication, ingenuity and hopefully some wisdom.

If you would like a calendar [and you are in Tucson] drop us a line and we’ll work on getting a calendar out to your workplace. We’ll bring extras, just in case anyone you work with wants one [or you can just take one and become the envy of your coworkers – that would be our choice].

If you don’t want to wait, here is a pdf of the calendar that you can print out, though it isn’t very legible on an 8.5×11 sheet.

Click here for a larger jpeg, though you still won’t be able to read the date. If only our year had fewer days…