Things that make you go 'hmm'…
Category Archives: web design
Well, I’m back. Christmas and New Year passed off very smoothly and enjoyably – ate too much, drank too much, watched too many movies but I am actually facing the New Year (despite the downbeat news) with optimism and equanimity, I am going to make it a good one. It was great to spend time with my boys and my lovely friends. Santa must have thought I had been a good girl last year, as he was extraordinarily generous and somehow managed to get a new 24″ iMac down my chimney.
The dog loved having the boys home as much as I did, and he adored having two large creatures willing to roll about on the floor with him and brave the arctic conditions to chase around the garden and take him to the beach. Boy toys as opposed to toy boys, I guess. Now they have returned home, Milo sits looking at me with a tragic look on his face whimpering quietly, wondering why I am such a boring replacement ( answer – because I am playing with my iMac…..)
I haven’t been blogging (what do you mean you hadn’t noticed?!) but I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. Yesterday I decided to delete all the outstanding ‘notifications’ (almost 60), so apologies if you sent me ‘Karma’ , a plant for my Lil’ green patch, an invitation to play poker, scrabble or a war game, or just wanted to poke, hug or throw a sheep at me, but there were so many I decided to start afresh. New Year and all that….sorry.
The new year has begun on a very good note. I was very gratified to read that it is a really bad idea to go on a diet at the moment, what with the flu epidemic and the horrid sickness (and worse) lurgy doing the rounds, apparently if you are on a diet, your body’s ability to fight off the viruses is reduced. Read more here. So that’s one less resolution to have to worry about breaking.
More good news is that Andy Murray has just won an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi defeating both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the way. And the BBC are announcing who the new Doctor Who will be in 30 minutes in a special program on BBC 1 – all very exciting.
I’ve also been asked to do several web design projects and a big bookbinding project which I will tell you about in a few weeks time. Who knows? Maybe my ‘hobbies’ will start to earn me some money – which would be a fine thing indeed.
I found a really funny image which keeps making me laugh…
So it’s been a really good start to the year. I hope yours has begun as well and I wish you lots of wonderfulness for 2009. The best New Year wishes I read were two both by the great Neil Gaiman
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
“…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”
Wonderful. You can’t put it better than that, can you?
Happy New Year everyone.
Later : Ooh, couldn’t wait so I have seen who new Doctor Who is and thought I would tell you all…it’s ……..Matt Smith. Matt Smith? Who?
Ooh I’m not sure about this at all. My year might have just gone pear-shaped already…
I’ve been busy. Yes, me. Holiday Queen. I designed a website for a friend and she mentioned this to her friend who happened to need a website and her brother, who happened to need a website and Lo! and Behold! I have been working. All a bit of a shock to the system really especially to poor Milo who can’t understand why I won’t play with him every minute of the day.
The other down side is that it has dramatically curtailed my blog visits – sorry! But after a day of coding html and css and wrestling with the vagaries of Internet Explorer (Please, World – buy a Mac!) I haven’t had time to visit or post here either.
I have come up against a very thorny, perennial problem working for friends – and friends of friends – how much to charge for my services. I’m obviously not a professional but I would like to think that I do a good professional job – basic with few ‘bells and whistles’ and that is what a lot of people seem to want. ( Check out Duck House) However, given the time it takes to code a website ‘properly’, if I charged a reasonable amount an hour, the costs would be huge, so I charge a fairly low fixed fee. Compared to a ‘professional’ web designer, I am cheap as chips. So my dilemma is, do I pretend to be a ‘professional’ or admit I am a beginner. I would like to make some money doing this. My #2 son who is a newly graduated graphic designer is going to send me a ‘rate card’ which he has taken to using, having suffered the problem of agreeing a fixed fee and then ending up with the job taking much longer than anticipated. It’s a minefield!
I am rubbish at negotiating. Or standing up for myself. I have been attempting to sell my books at an art sale in the town where I live. I don’t want to undervalue them yet I don’t want to over charge for them and I would like to sell some. I put them at a lowish price (bearing in mind I’m not in the West End of London) and haven’t sold one. Do I lower my prices even more and almost give them away? They are getting lots of positive comments so I think that it’s just not the right marketplace for them but it is disheartening. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on all this. Sorry this has been such a serious post but it has been bothering me.
So to cheer things up, here is a clip from ‘Outnumbered’ which is quite my favourite thing on TV. The second series is fabulous. Last week Karen, the little girl held a funeral for a mouse caught in a trap in their kitchen. It was priceless.
Her teddy bear stood in for the Pope and she said ‘ Dust to dust. For richer for poorer. In sickness and in health. May the force be with you. Because you’re worth it. Amen and out’.
She also asked why Gordon Ramsey swore so much. ‘Shouldn’t it be people like doctors and soldiers and artists that swear? Not cooks. All they are doing is making salad.’ I love her.
And finally, that time of year which I prefer to ignore is looming fast. It’s a minefield and now the boys are grown up and I’m single, I dread it. I don’t want the boys to feel they have to come home but of course, I hope they do! The first time they both had other plans, I went to stay with friends in Vancouver. I had a great time but it was so weird not being with my boys. Last year they both came home and as I had just broken up with my partner and was not in the best of moods, my ex joined us – which was weird but OK. At least he was a welcome distraction! This year, one son has said he is home, the other is negotiating where to spend Christmas, with his girlfriend and I am waiting to hear his plans. Thankfully, a dear friend has invited us to spend Christmas day with them. #2 son is thrilled as she does cook THE BEST Christmas dinner. Yes, even better than mine….
I’m determined to be organized this year. I’ve already ordered my Christmas tree from Crocus, I am going to buy my cards soon so I don’t end up with the horrible leftovers and if I write and post them early, I won’t be stuck in the horrendous queue in the Post Office for hours on end on the last day of posting and maybe the cards I send overseas might actually arrive before Christmas this year.
This book is a work in progress. It is covered with a gorgeous Japanese tangerine silk bookcloth which matches the end paper perfectly. I have a very soft spot for this end paper, I used it in a very special green leather book I made as a gift for someone last year and it always looks classy.
I say this is a work in progress, as it is a binding I have not tried before, only two sections sewn so that the stitching forms the design on the spine. I’m not sure if this type f binding has a name or not. I wanted the stitching to highlight the end paper so instead of the usual cream linen thread I used this lime green embroidery silk which worked quite well. Now even though the book is almost finished, I am going to continue with it and for the first time, I am going to fill it with calligraphy and other goodies, so you may be seeing this one again when it is finished. I started making books to do this very thing but was completely sidetracked by the process of making the books, which became an end in itself instead of a means to an end, if you see what I mean. So we shall see how this goes….
Now, I’m not saying that vegans are annoying, but there is no doubt that life would be a whole lot easier if my Number 1 son was a vegetarian. I took him shopping this morning for smart shoes to wear with a suit. He has some job interviews looming and needs to look sharp. Easy task you might think. Not if your son is a vegan and refuses to wear leather, it isn’t. We came to an impasse when I refused to buy cheap and nasty plastic shoes (I notice people’s shoes and plastic one’s are just plain nasty and won’t last 5 minutes) and he refused to wear anything leather (although there are lots of leather shoes out there that looked like plastic!). We may just reach a compromise if we can find some leather looking but not so ‘training shoe’ looking shoes which I think is his only hope. There must be something suitable out there, I can’t believe all vegans only wear jeans and casual shoes. Or maybe I should let him wear casual shoes with his suit to assert his individuality? Who can say?
I have also been working on my web site (not my Etsy store though unfortunately). I am determined to finish my web site as I do enjoy coding the html and css. I find it strangely therapeutic. It definitely appeals to my inner Maths teacher :-) I was stuck for ages this afternoon with a problem which turned out to be a simple coding error but talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees, it took me forever to spot it. It’s times like this when I miss my ex, who was my encyclopedia and guru for all things Mac and technological. It was great having someone at the end of the phone or an email away who could always tell me what to do or where to find out what I needed to know. This just about sums up my afternoon…click to enlarge.