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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Redbubble quality let down, cheese and more

I'm just processing some photos off my camera for some one of a kind items and new things I'll hopefully be getting online for a website update today, and grabbed these photos that were on there as well.
First one, is a photo of the print quality of the Red Bubble t-shirt I just bought myself. is one of those print on demand product services, and I thought it would be neat to make myself a kinda promo t-shirt with a bunch of my images on. I picked Redbubble over the others since I thought it had an Aussie branch, but turns out the shirts come from germany anyway, sooo....
But meh, I'm SO dissapointed with the quality of the print. I don't think I'll wear the shirt at all... For any artist out there that has designs up on Redbubble but hasn't ordered a sample themselves it'd be worth doing I think. I don't think I'm being fussy... it's all grainy and you can barely make out some of the images.

On a completely unrelated topic, me and David have been very busy lately, and going out a lot. Which means our milk, which the milkman brings each week, is not being used. So I've been making lots of homemade cheese lately. It's fun, and is really yummy, particularly for cooking (cannaloni, cheese pastries, etc). It's also super easy too. You just mix up some plain junket with the milk, let it set, then spoon it into some cheese baskets (getting the cheese baskets will be the hardest part!). Then the curds and whey seperate out, leaving nice, fresh cheese.
My cheese baskets are the Maltese style, so they have cute little patterns in them that make really pretty little cheeses-

And that's my random post for the day! Hopefully I'll have some website news later today!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fun with Fonts

As much as they told me during my graphic design degree that I should only ever need 2-3 fonts on my computer (one serif, one sans-serif, and one script), I've always loved my fonts. I generally have anywhere between 500-1000 fonts installed on my computer at any given time. True I rarely use them all, but I like having them around just in case.
When you have that many fonts though, without a way to see what they are, you don't end up using them anyway. I used to have a font manager installed, but lost it moving to Vista, it just wasn't compatible! So for about a year or so now, I've been struggling with my font collection. Not happy.

Anyway, I've found a great new font manager, MainType. It works with Vista, and does everything and more that my old font manager did. It's really neat, functional, and intuitive, which is something that so many programs get wrong these days (do those designers even USE their own programs? Seriously!).

Basically what a font manager does is pulls up a visual list of all your fonts, so you can see what they look like. You can also install and uninstall fonts, a few other things. What I like to use them for is when working on logotype designs. The programs normally have a screen with the full alphabet showing, or a quick brown fox line, to preview the font (MainType has a few options there). But what you can do is type in whatever text you like, and it will preview the font in your own text. So, just say I'm working on a new Fairies and Fantasy logotype, I type that in and breeze down through my fonts list to find a font that suits the text. It makes things so much easier.

Anyway, MainType is a neat, simple program that does the job. The only thing I wanted to be able to do that I couldn't was flick a uppercaps/lowercaps switch for the preview text.

MainType is from
They also do which is awesome fun! You can create your own font from your handwriting! It's pretty cool stuff... of course my handwriting is too disgusting to consider doing it...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What's happening these days...

So I've been really busy. This morning is the first time for a while I've just sat down for a bit of a break for weeks, so I thought I'd do a little random blogging to release some pressure from my busy head. Even though I should be clearing my inbox and finishing costumes...

So the last few weeks have been a bit of a blur. I've been working hard helping out with a play that will be showing for five nights at Newtown Theatre as part of the Short and Sweet festival
I've been just lending a helping hand to David who's directing, and mostly getting the costumes together, which has been an interesting project. There are NINE costumes required for this 10 minute play, including secret service agents, delivery men, angels, and the devil. And since we basically have no budget... hrm, well I think I've done ok considering. I've sculpted a pair of 14inch long devils horns and created fur pants and cloven hooves for the devil, robes for the angels and more. We should be taking a group photo at dress rehearsal tonight, I'll see if I can post it here later.
On top of working on that, I've been vending at more markets, filling orders (without my helper monkey!), updating websites, and working on some big stages of my business plan, important behind the scenes stuff like contracts, database set up and so on.
My next big import shipment is due in about a week or two, which as usual I'm feeling totally unprepared for. My store room is going to become mighty cramped again all of a sudden, just as I had almost cleared some room again. Of course, this is the way it should work right? Stock coming in on time, etc. But it's nice to have space...

Speaking of space, David and I have been speaking with a real estate agent about a house we quite like, and are maybe interested in buying... yup BUYING! It is HUGE compared to the space we're in now, and even has a seperate studio building outside, and room to convert into a filming studio for David, wow.... Not to mention another 4 bedrooms in the house itself. At the moment we're living in a 2 bedroom townhouse, of which I've completely overtaken one bedroom and the large garage/basement space for my business.
Anyway, fingers crossed... We're still nutting it out ourselves, whether it really is in our afforable range, whether the area it's in is where we'd like to live, etc. But as for the space it has, and the house itself (VERY nice house and gardens!), I like.

Since I'm rambling, I also felt it was time to give everyone a little "cancer update", since I've been thinking about it and realised I've not mentioned anything for a while.
I've been thinking about it a bit because I HAVEN'T been thinking about it. I realised the other day I've basically forgotten last year happened, just pushing it away, trying to not think about it. In some ways it's best that way, because thinking about it (particularly chemo) still makes me feel queasy. Best just to not think about it at all.
There are some things I'll never be able to handle again after last year. Like buck wheat heat packs and crushed ice/lemonade ice blocks and the sensation of icey cold on my skin. All of these things I now associate firmly with chemo*, and make me want to dry retch. Also the sound of drip machine motors running. Bleeaah.
Otherwise I'm doing really well. In fact, a couple weeks time it will be the one year anniversay of my surgery, can you believe that? I'll be going in for scans then too, get a check up and hopefully an all clear for another 6 months.
My hair has grown a fair bit. It's about an inch and a half long now, and pretty much straight brown like it was before. I still get really tired easily if I push myself too much (like I have been this week!) and my boob still hurts all the time from cut nerves in surgery and the further beat up it got during treatment, cooking with radiation, etc, but the Dr's said I should expect that it will keep hurting for years... yay.
But otherwise, I'm feeling pretty much back to normal now which is nice.
So that's basically it. I'm enjoying getting things done again, wish I was painting more right now but have a million other things going on. Should be diving back into painting more again after the play is over next week and I've got my accounts from last quarter out of the way!

*The heat packs were used to heat my veins before chemo, the iceblocks I had to chew on during chemo to reduce damage to my mouth, and the icey sensation is from the freezing chemo liquid running up my arms.