“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ve been wondering a little about why I haven’t blogged lately, nor even felt the true compulsion to get at it. I’ve lost my rhythm and my routine was royally screwed this past year so it’s no great surprise. Mr Fitzgerald has said it quite nicely. The bulk of the starkness (and patronisingly easy image/music posts) is that I don’t feel like I have very much to say. This of course is probably wrong when I really assess things…

What I haven’t said is…

Lots about work. It’s tricky you know, because I do work on some quite interesting stuff but I can’t really talk about specifics online. Work needs to get seen by the client first. Fortunately the folio, long overdue for a refresh is in the works of a facelift which shall include more work and possibly some of what I’ve done. In general terms some of the exciting/sometimes intimidating stuff I’ve done includes:

  • Full building signage, we’re talking large format, stuff I haven’t really done before and it came up pretty well (not a sign, like a whole building wrap and frosted glass areas etc)!
  • An exhibition stand. More large format, and a tricky client topic. It amuses me no end this client, it really does.
  • Web. Doing more of web has further encouraged the little burn of happiness that comes when the code just works and your <divs> can magically make a structure as fast as you can type. I have also learnt much about Adobe Business Catalyst, which is a CMS/eCommerce solution > not always the solution but is pretty darn nifty. Lets just hope they keep developing it further.

I have loved being part of a small workplace where I can have interesting conversations, am treated (although I am technically a junior designer) as an equal where my input is valued and where I genuinely enjoy the company of the people I work with. We also play Triple J, Indie/Folk, The Smiths (a lot) and have MegaMix Fridays. There is the additional bonus of being within throwing distance of a superb cafe, props to Pat and Toby throughout the week and the Monday guy/girl team (I’ll get around to asking names).

I have said something about how the first two and a half months of full time work left me wrecked and incapable of normal function most evenings. Good news is that I’m getting used to it.

I haven’t said much about Missio Dei, and the community of new friends, the openness, the great food, girls group and the inspiring people who encourage me to live a better life… and join with me in making that happen.

and I haven’t said much about theology and God lately. This is not due to the fact (upon initial suspicion – my own) that I am thinking less about that stuff or am ‘less into that stuff’ etc. – however you might put it. But more that I have come to the conclusion (or rather the inkling) that God is teaching me in a different way at the moment and it’s more to do with my living than with my head. This is indeed a good thing although a monster to deal with at times. How to communicate that just yet, I’m not quite sure. Perhaps I will have to have a little think…

On the same lines as Missio etc and even theology/God/life stuff we have talked a fair bit (we had a camp you see) about the Enneagram, as many of may know I’m a bit mad keen on anything personality and so I jumped at it (and I am going to talk about it because I find it interesting)… Interestingly the Enneagram has actually genuinely helped me recognise certain responses in myself that are very ‘oneish’ and not always positive, and consequently I can change my response or attitude. Steve asked (I think… I could have this totally wrong) way back if I – as a one, clenched my jaw a lot – I said no at the time, but it’s currently freaking me out how much I am catching myself doing it, as a natural physical response I never really noticed to indicate something such as stress or the glorious ‘internal critic’. There’s something for you to chew on if you’re interested in blackboards, about as interesting as chalk – still, very helpful. I don’t think I really fully ‘get it’ yet in regards to helping me connect better with God – but I reckon we’re getting there slowly.

Love books, still do, always have. Bookclub is going great guns, we’re up to our 13th book – I think and have a regular tribe reading the Popular Penguins. We’ve had two engagements (Ana to Blake, Amanda to Tim) and there’s a baby on the way for lovely Cat. Currently we are lacking in the boy department and are working hard (if you’re reading this Norman) to get Norman back and suss out any prospectives. Harsh but true, most of the guys we all know don’t seem to be so inclined to read a book (even in the likes of Dracula or In Cold Blood) and discuss it with great food and wine. Society lacks. Society lacks.

And friends. It has been interesting looking at the past year and what our move North has done to friendships. Proximity is a grand thing. Thankfully many of our friends are above and beyond proximity or we would be dastardly lonely (apart from the new friends… but yeh, we’re still getting there). I went to a friend’s engagement party the other night and caught up with my lovely housemate (where proximity is a geniune issue and not just because we’re lazy about it)… but it reminded me of all the truly wonderful people I know and the richness of those I know who are encouraging and so distinctly themselves. It is so ridiculously good, seeing so many of my friends truly happy at the moment.

Geoff. He’s the best. Marriage is grand.

and now, I have said something. Throw some curlys my way and I might just say more.

Church Coffee Design Life Relationships Web Design Work

Had to whip together a simple banner ad for a program that I designed a while back (Will take photos of the postcard part when I get my act together). I am re-doing my folio site at the moment. If anyone cares to check it out and tell me if anything is amiss with the image rollovers etc – I’m warping a folio blog theme for my evil purposes to vaguely match this one, having trouble making some of it behave, as there a quite a few little clever php tricks going on. And I do design not hardcore programming even if I have picked up bits and pieces along the way. It’s dummy data/stuff there at the minute.

On a slightly related note I just finished a website today www.samoasunsetview.com I wish everyone used macs, things always look 80 times more brilliant on a mac, cleaner web fonts and I’m far too used to it now.


Blogging Design Web Design

From the Couch has some excellent little tutorials.

I particularly like this one on moodboards, it’s pretty much common sense but a good reminder and nice to see a particular working style.

…the only thing I don’t like about their site is their logo, it unfortunately kinda looks like warped boobs. :\

(Another little fun thing is this copy/paste site where you click on the character to auto copy it! Handy! ☂ How else do you get umbrellas!)

Design Web Design

There is quite a reasonable and comprehensively linked post over on Design Tech about builiding and customising WordPress Themes.

The bain of my existence at the moment is degbugging WP Themes for the various ugly versons of Internet Explorer. I have been working on a site for work as well as my own personal theme and have consquently learnt a lot in the past little while. The work related one is much more CMS (Content Management System ie. normal website) based and so it’s learning how to get plugins to work effectively for you, using php and wordpress codex to modify what the loop outputs and creating all kinds of member protected areas etc. A marvellous exercise really because all the things it has forced me to investigate. I will share the link once I get it running smoothly in IE. However,

An honorary mention must be given to:

WordPress Download Monitor Plugin – Very useful for cutting out a step and keeping things somewhat organised for those uploading pdf’s (and other) that members can access. It has some limits – in that I can’t get the formatting to work when it populates a list via category – but it’s not half bad. WordPress still lacks a really good free document management plugin.

*Wordpress Download Manager – Seems to a be a far better option than Download Monitor. Organise, upload and output categorical (or otherwise) lists of pdfs and other such uploads. Formatting works a charm. I cannot at this stage get the search to work for me, but one thing at a time.

How to use WordPress as a Member Directory – This article got me both started and then back on the right track. I tried a couple of things but this was the closest and that which worked best. Again there are a few things – that if I knew php better I would alter and it’s a bit of a pain that it leans on two plugins and there isn’t just something that will do it all for you, but hey there’s some scope for some handy programmer out there.

Blogging Design Web Design