It's a recent Tuesday in May and I'm sitting at a front table at The Living Room for John Platt's On Your Radar Series. Natalia forsook the classical arena to become, among other things, a slide guitarist in the folk realm.
In some photographs, with her hair pinned up, her long features and her high forehead, she reminds me of a ballet dancer.
I'm suddenly desperate to say hello, to meet her and tell her how smitten I am with her music.
The monster chops she shows on guitar are a result of an upbringing that was sewn into her DNA at an early age.
She had learned a little guitar when she was a grade school student at Bank Street School, where she sang songs by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Harry Chapin. Although forced to study violin from age 5 to 13, she sees it as having been inspirational, rather than burdensome.
She was completely immersed in the life -- "That's what you do -- you wake up in the morning, you have a cup of coffee and you play your instrument.
She bought her first good guitar, made by James Goodall in 1998, which she says she felt unworthy of.
Natalia was fortunate to be able to go directly from open mics and playing at friends' gigs, -- no extensive performing experience-- to going into the recording studio. When Natalia began to play slide guitar, she attended the Ali Akbar College of Music in Marin, California, founded by Ali Akbar Khan, master Indian sarod player, for one semester. She had the opportunity to open for Kelly Joe Phelps a number of times when he still played slide and learned more. However, before I noticed the similarity, what jumped to the fore was the crisp smoothness of the delivery.
Had I done a bit more research before listening to her music, I might not have been so surprised at her literacy.
While the poetry of Natalia's lyrics might be a tad obscure, as good poetry often is, there's no mistaking the weight of their meaning. In "The Last Few Miles, we follow the protagonist, approaching her lover's house by car and listen to her tell us about the small minutes that fall into place as we move from moment to moment, on our way to life's next chapter.
As she ponders the way family myth and fact live side by side in her perceptions (and ours), we can feel the way she is turning over the unfolding of events and the impending sense of loss.
Natalia was fortunate to be able to go directly from open mics and playing at friends' gigs, -- no extensive performing experience--A  to going into the recording studio. I saw Lois Morton play a Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) showcase, then reviewed her debut CD, As I See It, for our December 2011 NERFA wrapup issue.
I listened to a€?Side Effectsa€? about those TV ads for drugs and learned how perfectly Lois could encapsulate their lunacy. The wonder of all of this was that I was listening to a grandmother who had, for a number of decades, been a teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL), an administrator and a therapist. She was a little prodigy, always performing for the family and picking out songs on the piano.
Lois was a voice major at the Music and Art High School (There were two coexisting schools, Performing Arts High School and Music and Art High School on West 46th Street. At age 16 or 17, she could perceive how high the level of talent was at the school a€” television and stage actress and singer Diahann Carroll (Carol Diahann Johnson then) was in her senior chorus. She had taken piano lessons for two years in junior high school, but had such a good ear that shea€™d fake it a lot of the time and didna€™t practice. Lois played basic guitar and sang in a program called The Musicians Emergency Fund, which sent performers into hospitals to play for patients.
After he died, Lois began to explore other avenues of coping and expression, entering several programs. Lois described how the song gained exposure: a€?I was involved in a community theater group and we were doing a show at that time.
In a€?The Cell Phone Song,a€? another of my favorites, written about two months after the Clutterholic song, she skewers egocentric, obsessive cellphone users perfectly with: It doesna€™t seem to matter, youa€™re assailed with noisy chatter when you only want a quiet, peaceful walka€¦ Pretty much everything I despise about those people is in that song a€” but humorous.
Lois began playing open mics on Long Island and found that she could cross over into the folk arena. A big component in driving Lois to embark on a new career was having a source of purpose and income taken away from her.
As she perused her earlier resume as a teacher, therapist and author, she looked at what she was doing as a performer and thought, a€?Who is this woman?a€? At first glance, nothing seemed relevant. Designed by the team behind IconCrafts, this icon set consists of 55 carefully crafted vector icons. The post Freebie: Hotel And Spa Icon Set (55 Icons PNG, SVG) appeared first on Smashing Magazine. Get the right tool for the job; whether that job is website or app design, information storage, or flowcharting. If the best product design and collaboration platform available is at the top of your wish list, your search ends here. InVision features all of the design, collaboration, and testing capabilities a web designer or small team needs.
InVision’s usability testing features go far beyond enabling you to display your prototype on a real device in the hopes users will provide you with some feedback. is a great investment for those who seem to be juggling too many priorities at once. Use this tool’s native UI elements for iOS, Windows mobile, or Android, import your own design elements, or use some of both. Given a choice between quantitative and qualitative usability test results, knowledgeable web designers generally pick the latter.
While we humans can interpret tabulated information and usability test results presented in neat, color-coded graphs, we are primarily visually-oriented creatures. Appsee data is based on visual user journeys, results of touch heatmap testing, and user session recordings; a rather personal kind of testing. As you start using this tool, you will find it’s like having an experienced tour guide taking you around and showing you useful and important information you need to achieve a perfect UX.
If you are a big fan of PowerPoint, and you would like to improve on its prototyping capabilities, all you need to do is add PowerMockup to your design toolkit. You can then apply PowerPoint’s slideshow and animation features to showcase your interactive prototypes to others. It is an excellent tool to have at your disposal if, in addition to wireframe and mockup design, you have a need for flowcharting and diagramming. In addition, its clever keyboard shortcuts and master page features help you avoid reinventing the wheel time and again because of their reusable design-saving capabilities. If usability testing has never been your strong suit, or if it is an area where you have tended to be a reluctant participant, Loop11 will change all of that.
Loop11 is an invaluable tool to have for use during prototyping or when refining a final design. If you have ever been unsuccessful at filling out an online form because of a system glitch, you know how irritated it can be. Forms Analytics by UseItBetter helps users avoid these situations with its ability to quickly drill down to the source of a form or form field problem.
What this tool will do for you is enable you to avoid doing time-consuming, repetitive tasks, and allow you to apply reusable design elements and blocks rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel. Notism Collaboration combines the best in web and mobile prototyping with an effective, powerful, and reliable collaboration capability. You may even find one or two you haven’t thought of, but will soon begin to wonder how you every got along without it. Last week I saw Una Kravets give a very inspiring talk at Generate Conf about using CSS Filters and Mix Blend Modes. I was pretty excited about this idea and got to thinking: could we create visual regression testing with just one line of CSS? The above pen shows that the text block of our layout only changed slightly but the button has been modified more dramatically, and the illustration had small triangles that were altered.
To make things even more interesting, I was pointed to this post by Franklin Ta which might be patient zero to this whole idea and it beautifully explains the concept behind creating visual diffs with CSS. Una then took all of this one step further and created a tool that we can use in the browser to readily create visual regression diffs without a lot of scripting, called Diffy.
This Facebook social plugin creates multiple widgets all of which provide important features for Facebook.
When you want to create HTML tables based on a CSV file’s data, this plugin could be the one for you. This simple plugin allows you to use shortcodes within the comments, within widgets, and the category, tag, and taxonomy descriptions.
This plugin adds a password protection to the Publish box on the page for the creation of new articles. A useful little plugin for all people that have converted their website from HTTP to HTTPS. The Youtube Responsive Video Player Plugin optimizes the display of videos of all known services on smartphones.
Picking colors for a design, a piece of art, or a living room for that matter, has never been easy for a lot of us. Apps like Color CC (once called Kuler) and sites like ColourLovers have given us a way to store and share our favorite palettes. After muttering something under our breath about how “Rembrandt probably never had a hard time picking colors, the jerk!”, we look to their work for examples of timeless, ageless, trend-transcending beauty. Color Lisa is a curated list of color palettes based on masterpieces of the worlds greatest artists.

Just browse down through the page ‘til you find your favorite artists, and click through to see which of their many works have been boiled down into color palettes. Have a scroll through Color Lisa, see if you don’t come out feeling a little more inspired.
The power of SVGs lies in their flexibility to adapt to any size while remaining crisp and sharp. To help you make best use of this potential and tackle SVGs the right way, this article will provide you with tools and resources to simplify editing, converting, optimizing, and delivering SVGs.
The post Tools And Resources For Editing, Converting And Optimizing SVGs appeared first on Smashing Magazine. TN3 Gallery is a full fledged HTML based customizable jQuery image gallery with slideshow, transitions and multiple album options. With this plugin you will be able to add pop up message boxes complete with dimmed background to your existing site.
QuickFlip works by using an animation shortcut that is barely noticeable when flipped quickly (hence the name). Contact us pages are usually boring static pages with a form, not very exciting so what we’re going to do is place the contact us form at the top of the page and create a button that slides out and reveals the form when clicked. This is a simple plugin that turns properly formatted HTML forms into forms with in-field label support. This type of animation gives life to the page because it’s meant to be a replication of physics.
For example, a larger block element could be seen as heavier and thus move slower along the page. But many other pre-built styles exist and it’s even possible to create your own from scratch.
Motion feels natural when it blends into the design and fits with the object being animated.
As you practice web animation you’ll start to get the hang of how certain objects behave. If you want to learn more about animation on the web try skimming through a few of these links. WordPress for iOS 6.1 is now available, and it comes with several new bug fixes and improvements, including geotagging support and comment moderation gestures. With the help of gestures on the notification screen, you can now swipe left and right to approve and disapprove comments.
As she continues to sit, still smiling, through the next half hour of the show, in the half-light from the stage, she's intensely radiant.
Suddenly, before the last few songs, she bolts for the exit, needing to be somewhere else on short notice. Initially, we discuss how hard it is to excel as a writer on a steady basis and I mention Steve Earle as an exceptionally steady writer and she agrees.
She gave up any idea of playing guitar because she felt that studying violin was expected of her. When she did pick it up again, around 1998, she tuned it to an open tuning -- open D -- for the first time. She started listening to slide players from Mississippi Fred McDowell, all the way up to Bonnie Raitt. The picking is very clean and the slide work is some of the most satisfying that I've ever heard. Life's page is turning and we'll savor the sound of wind in the trees as they sigh outside the car window.
It's a scary fact that she's still growing, still changing, digging deeper, looking for more ways to express her roiling emotions.There is so much beauty here, it's almost excruciating.
What was lacking for me was the spiritual, which I didn't find in that kind of music and still don't.
When she did pick it up again, around 1998,A  she tuned it to an open tuning -- open D -- for the first time. Both times I was confronted with a sly, satiric commentary on the idiocies of human nature.
She had as keen a mind in viewing modern foibles as anybody Ia€™d ever heard and had only been pursuing this avenue of performance for a couple of years. Her father died when she was an infant, so her mother moved to The Bronx to live with her parents. She decided to go into education, something a€?with a greater chance of successa€? than she foresaw in performing. She also advertised as an international songstress, doing a few shows she called a€?Around the World in Song.a€? Lois was in a Broadside concert during that time. After teaching school in Manhattan full time for five years, Lois took a maternity leave and she and her husband, son and daughter moved to Long Island.
The following year, 2007, she attended a conference of organizers in Minneapolis and got a standing ovation from 900 professional organizers a€” a€?Me, the client!a€? she exclaimed. She got her biggest response when she played the open mic at the Mansion at Acoustic Long Island in St.
Shea€™s been using French in her songs for some time including the conclusion of a€?The Last Goodbye.a€? In 2009, an audience member, hearing her sing in French, asked her if she could do an Edith Piaf show, Lois asked, a€?How much time would I have to prepare?a€? The woman said shea€™d need it the following year.
Therea€™s a new CD coming (one of her new songs deals with GPS users a€” whata€™s she going to say about that GPS womana€™s voice?) and a new concept show in the works a€” a show in Yiddish using a Jewish theme. She decidedA  to go into education, something a€?with a greater chance of successa€? than she foresaw in performing.
It began with a€?Confessions Of a Clutterholic,a€? rising from her experience working with a professional organizer.
The more roadblocks we experience in fulfilling the demands of our workplace, the more we look forward to a seamless holiday experience to break out from our everyday tasks. Seeking the best is always a wise investment, since it tends to lead to greater productivity and higher quality products.
If you select this tool, you will inherit some truly powerful qualitative usability testing capabilities. As an added, long term bonus, all of your design and testing efforts can be accomplished without a single line of code. This incredibly useful tool can manage a large number of test participants (up to 999 per test), and it will provide you with invaluable path analysis data and clickstream and heatmap test results.
With Forms Analytics at your side, you won’t have to worry about users abandoning one of your forms, and perhaps abandoning the website as well. The result is an ideal tool for use by large teams or organizations where effective sharing, reviewing, and discussing design and video work among project members is crucial. There is something here for everyone, whether it is a multipurpose tool with strong prototyping and collaboration features, a tool dedicated to qualitative usability testing, one specifically created for PowerPoint users, or one of the other specialty tools.
One demo in particular got my attention because Una showed us how we could overlay two layouts on top of each other and use blend modes to spot all the differences between them.
Furthermore, certain parts of the external content on your website can be altered by other users without them needing access to your blog. I love free WordPress plugins, as they allow me to extend my CMS of choice with useful features almost infinitely. It creates an own dashboard widget which can display fully customizable messages on the user dashboard. This includes all buttons in all versions, a Facebook like box, Facebook embedded posts, and videos, as well as a Facebook comment widget. It can create appealing tables, based on one or multiple CSV files when the CSV files are located in your upload folder. This is an effective way of preventing other authors from altering or prematurely publishing an article. The “adaptive” speech analysis identifies the best comment and automatically puts it into your article’s upper third. The smartphone’s screens are used optimally, and the aspect ratio is optimized and adjusted as well. Some of them are meant for a rather narrow scope of application, but that’s exactly what makes them so interesting. What none of these design partisans gets is the place of delight in a much larger process that everyone can enjoy: the hearing of a good joke. Each palette was painstakingly created by color obsessed designers, artists, museum curators, and masters of color theory.
This makes them perfect for responsive web design and, since users can zoom in without sacrificing quality, meaningful from an accessibility-centered point of view. We’ll take a look at what you can do to make your SVG code lean and performant, dive deeper into dealing with browser bugs, and provide tips for designing an icon system. It is possible to filter through the big list to see articles that apply to certain categories. It provides an attractive alternative to other slower and more resource heavy Flash and jQuery flip animations.
Professional animators undergo quite a bit of training and work for years to master their craft.
The methods used by Disney to animate a character would be far too complex for use on the web.
When using exaggerated features the animation feels more cartoony, but still relies on a foundation of gravity and mass. This may seem obvious but the subject of motion is vast and requires careful attention to detail.
If an element behaves like it’s made of gummy material then it should be somewhat bouncy and flamboyant.

It’s designed in the Google material design language which is defined by flat icons and simple animated effects. Trust your gut, and more importantly your eye, to let you know when something looks right or wrong. Consider all the different styles of animation from sliding, swinging, bouncing, fading… the list goes on. The same can be said about learning how to view composition in web design – you’ll pick up ideas the more you practice. Modern design techniques have made animation much easier than ever before, and there’s plenty of free information to go around.
Furthermore, you can geotag your posts by typing addresses and locations in the search box. The geotagging feature, quite obviously is directed more towards personal blogs and folks who like to blog about their travels. We digress over Steve's son Justin's recent rise after succumbing to some of his father's bad habits.
My guitar teacher was a total hippie, We'd do a little classical and then he'd help me to learn songs by people like Cat Stevens and Susanne Vega. Natalia found videos unhelpful, and just kept experimenting and figuring out things on her own. Then, to learn some jazz chords, I got a fake book and took a few lessons from [jazz guitarist] Mary Halverson. As I See It is categorized by iTunes as a€?Easy Listening.a€? This is true only if youa€™re not paying attention. As I See It went on to lampoon a range of topics such as rude cellphone use, pack rat clutter, the weirdness of digital communication and kooky dieting. Her grandfather, a€?a little Jewish tailor from Russiaa€? had a voice like operatic tenor Jan Peerce.
In junior high, a€?The Ballad of Rodger Young,a€? a song about a martyred World War II infantry hero, was one of her strongest pieces.
In 2009, she did another cabaret show in Manhattan and included the a€?Dieta€? and a€?20th Century Girla€? songs. New York state licensing laws changed in 2006 and, uninformed about required paperwork, she was left unable to practice professionally. This wonderful hotel and spa icon set can help you to design a visually delightful holiday experience for the customers of your tourism clients.
Several of these tools feature capabilities in an oft-neglected area, an area where some web designers fear to tread – usability testing.
InVision Enterprise has everything large, interdepartmental teams need to create, iterate, and gather feedback on clickable, high-fidelity prototypes—including unlimited projects and unlimited team members. You’ll see and hear what users are saying, which is what truly valuable usability testing is all about.
Quantitative usability data may have its place, but qualitative data is much easier to work with and provides more useful results. This is a handy tool to have if many of your designs include forms, and a real time saver as well. After distributing a password, only the article’s author can modify or publish said article. The automatic implementation can be turned off for each article, and also, a shortcode can be used for the manual integration. These animations are created through the use of easing functions which are primarily built into JavaScript libraries. When focusing on web elements you’ll want to create motion in a manner best suited to each individual item. Their layout also uses a hamburger navigation which relies on animated links sliding into view from offscreen. Good animation shouldn’t steal thunder from the design itself, but rather compliment the design as an extra feature.
Sometimes these can change for different items but other times they’ll stay the same across the board.
Easing is slightly different for the bell and the notification popup, yet they both seem to work together harmoniously.
Start by replicating animated effects from other websites and eventually you learn how to incorporate relevant ideas into your own work. If you have a passion for digital animation then you’ll enjoy finding ways to created motion in your web projects. The comment moderation enhancements, however, will come handy for many users with busy websites. Her mother is flutist, journalist, novelist and CBS Television music correspondent, Eugenia Zukerman.
Early on, briefly, I struggled to decide which is more prevalent in her musica€¦ strength, or grace? Before she could quit, her mother told her she had to learn a standard set of music -- which included Mozart, Beethoven and Bach that she hadn't studied yet, before she committed to leaving violin study.
This album, with every track recorded in one take, with no overdubs, shows off Natalia's guitar work in all its nimbleness and raw power.
Also when she stated playing out, she played gigs with Nadine Goellner (a favorite of WFUV-FM DJ John Platt), and they learned a lot of jazz standards together so they could get restaurant gigs.
Her exceptional guitar chops extend over a wide range of styles and her writing has been the most delightful surprise.
The torrent of descriptive terms dealing with the less attractive activities of homo sapiens demands complete concentration.
She was supposed to teach drama to 6-year-olds, but the music counselor turned out to only play the tuba, a€?and he hadna€™t even brought it!a€? she said.
Pete wrote back and encouraged her to keep writing and told her to send her songs to Sis Cunningham at Broadside Magazine.
She decided not to do that after conferring with her husband, telling me cautiously, a€?It was not something that would have worked out. To date, shea€™s done about 25 Piaf shows, accompanied on a number of songs by Larry Moser on accordion. Although she might have chosen to give herself another title in order to practice, Lois had already made a conscious decision to commit to a career path as a performer. A genre that I had not written in before came popping up, that was very Gilbert and Sullivan with some Tom Lehrer thrown in.a€? Because she and her husband never threw anything away, after he died, she began the process of letting go of clutter. We’ll take a dive into the almost infinite plugin index, and find the ten most exciting, most interesting, new, and free WordPress plugins for you. Print work and other static mediums don’t have the luxury but web design is the perfect outlet for digital animated effects. The basic principles should suffice and provide enough of a starting point to learn how to design your own animated effects for buttons, icons, slideshows, and other web widgets.
Although each one is invariably different, they all feel like one group of links animated in a similar fashion. Granted, there are some ballads that mean only to entertain, but theya€™re outweighed by tongue-twisting rhymes laced with brilliant sarcasm. She had an aunt with a a€?wonderful singing voicea€? and an uncle who played a€?at least six instruments.a€? Like Lois, many in the family a€” her aunt and her cousins a€” thought easily in rhyme. The camp administration a€?put him in a canoe,a€? she said, a€?and I became the music counselor.a€? She played the morning sing-alongs. One of the places was Queens College, where her husband was chairman of the Political Science Department. In early 2010, Lois screwed up her courage and asked Dave Dircks, the director, for a slot in the regular performance schedule. She got involved with making a CD and putting together promotional materials and getting them sent out. Later in 2010, she made her first trip to the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference, staying briefly, since she had Piaf shows scheduled that weekend. She had to develop a mindset in which she did not fret about every cent it was costing her.
In 2011, she was sponsored for a DJ showcase at NERFA by Barbara and Graham Dean of radio station WBCR-lp in Great Barrington, Mass. As Lois described it, theya€™d role-play and her opening words to the person playing the patient were: a€?Hello! She characterized this opening phase as a€?a different path on the mountain.a€? She wondered if she could write more like these. So, in May 2012, Lois did her own show and considers it her first successful gig in a folk venue The huge following she already had from the Mansion open mic was there for her. I worked with the organizer for about a year and a half, not so much in throwing things out, but in organizing it.a€? While they organized, she wrote a song about it. In grade school she was, as she put it, a€?a big fish in a small pond.a€? This changed when she got to high school. These days when she plays for Alzheimera€™s patients or older ailing people, without using sheet music, she just asks what their favorite songs are and she always knows them.

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