Friday 27 February 2009

Stamp and Logo

I have to admit to being rather excited right now!
Nope I didn’t make it into the final 50 applicants for ‘the best job in the world’, and I’m not aware right now of anyone wanting to publish one of my stories; this is something far better.
Finally with a lot of help from my Dad I have finally worked out a way to mark my books as mine. It’s taken maybe 4 months to get to this stage, but the end result is worth it!
Basically I wanted to be able to mark my books as mine but without using stickers which I think look a little naff, and come off way to easily; or having to write something on everyone. I wanted something which would constantly look the same on anything I do.
I started by drawing myself a logo using the words ‘Wild Creations’ as this is what I call my self. But how to get it on to the books?
Talking to my Dad we came up with the idea of making a stamp which would emboss the paper or card with the design. This was just what I wanted.
It took a while to get the materials and technologies together but my Dads knowledge of circuit board printing really helped.
And finally I have a working stamp. It’s better than I’d hoped for – remember that I had to draw it onto the metal by hand, backwards! So to have it stamp so well has made me really pleased. I just need to practice stamping now, so I don’t do it too hard or not hard enough.
The idea of opening my own Etsy shop now seems real instead of a dream. Much more to do, but nothing I can’t do given a little time.

Tuesday 24 February 2009


For this month’s writer group we once again had a choice for homework.
We started by choosing A, B, C, or D twice, we were then told what they meant.

A – Air
B – Water
C – Earth
D – Fire

A – 7
B – 14
C – 40
D – 70

I choose C and D so had to write about Earth and someone aged 70.
I thought I had a nice little idea about a blind old lady out in a garden. But it can’t have been that great an idea as I didn’t write it. When I told ‘im outdoors about it he went straight for the death option, which I’d completely missed. Kinda obvious when you stop and think.
Anyway this is what I wrote.

I think I must have fallen.
But I don’t remember hitting anything. Just black.
And now it’s still black, although I’m sure I’ve got my eyes open.
I don’t know where I am. Maybe I’m at Jen’s but she always leaves the door open, just a touch, so I can see the hall light. And I can’t see any light at all.
I did hear some singing earlier, but it sounded quite sad. And then the sound of hail blocked it out.
I don’t remember this bed. I’m sure I’ve never slept on velvet. It reminds me of Christopher Lee in Dracula.
Maybe I’m at Nigel’s, but I haven’t seen him for years. I feel so confused. I always seem to feel like that now. Never quite sure where I am, or what I’ve just been doing. My Linda’s always saying how she drove to work and doesn’t remember any of the journey. That’s how I feel with my life.
Oh there is a light. But I’m sure I don’t know anyone with a sky light. And there’s my Nigel. If Nigel’s here everything will be alright.

I know its not long, but it took me two days to write this. The group liked it, but it was such hard work I didn't enjoy it. Maybe with the next one.

Sunday 15 February 2009


I’m afraid that I might be a bit quiet over the next 8 weeks. I’ve just joined the Mindfulness based Stress Reduction course at work and there is a lot of home practice.
Mindfulness can be described as ‘paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally’ (Jon Kabat-Zinn).

As the handout says; Through mindfulness, we learn to become aware of the small changes in the physical sensations in our body, our thoughts and our feelings. Being awake to our experience as it unfolds from one moment to the next means that instead of reacting automatically to situation, we can respond more skillfully – we can recognize the choices available to us, and from there, make wiser, more creative decisions.

This means I’m going to learn how to practice mediation and yoga and hopefully find a better way to deal with stress – something I think we could all use. So if I’m a bit quiet on here over the next few weeks you know why. Wish me luck.

Monday 9 February 2009

The Best Job in the World Part 2

Remember how I said last week that I had applied for ‘The Best Job in the World’? Well you can now see my video here.

As I’m sure you can imagine, there were quite a few out takes while I was making it, and I have to say my favorite is below. ‘im outdoors enjoyed this too.

But what we both really want to know is what is snooker diving? Is it an underwater sport? Or do they chuck a snooker table out of a plane and then play while sky diving? Now that is something I wouldn’t mind watching.

Saturday 7 February 2009

Alien Planet Part 2

A while ago I wrote about ‘im outdoors and the photos he is taking. Well now he’s gone even further and beaten me to it. Yep, he’s got himself an Etsy shop.
You can find him at Alien Planet.

I have to say I’m very proud of him. It’s hard to keep the motivation going when you have an idea but on one else can see it. His idea is to bring the very small of the natural world into our home and office spaces. He explains this better in his profile. I love what he’s doing and think if he keeps at it there is no reason why he can’t be a great success. Maybe I’m bias, but with photos like the icicle above I can’t see why not.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

The Mslexia Cover Competition

I don’t know if you’ve had snow where you are, but we have, and lots of it. So much in fact that they closed the University! I’d booked Monday off anyway but Tuesday was a bonus. And a welcome one. I’ve got several projects that I wanted to work on, but haven’t had the time.

One of these is to create an entry for the Mslexia magazine cover competition. Now I’m sure I’ve told you all about Mslexia already – a magazine for women who write. To celebrate their 10th anniversary they are running a competition to design the cover of their Apr/May/Jun issue and artwork should be inspired by or reflect the mag. I love the magazine and can think of nothing more amazing than to have my artwork on the cover.

I’ve had some ideas for a while, so when I knew I wouldn’t have to go in to work, I got stuck in. Above are some of my favorites, although which ever one I choose will need a little work before I send it off.

What do you think?

Monday 2 February 2009

The Best Job in the World?

If you’ve read my profile you know I work at the University of Surrey. I’m a programme administrator for the Department of Electronic Engineering and so I look after the undergraduate students and help the academics with course notes etc. It’s not a bad job, and I really like helping the students to overcome problems and make it to graduation.

But the idea of working on a tropical island with no commute to work in the dark, and plenty of time to have an adventure sounds pretty good to me. Which is exactly what the Queensland Tourism Board are offering at the moment with a 6 month job on Hamilton Island which is part of the Great Barrier Reef.
Go here or here for some of the details.
There is no way I could let this opportunity pass me by, so I’ve made my 60 second video and sent off my application. They’ve already had over 10,000 entry’s so I’m sure I won’t get anywhere near the top 11, never mind get the job, but I think this is a real case of ‘if you’re not in it you can’t win it’!
Wish me luck.

Sunday 1 February 2009

CWI Website Design Manager

If you’ve read my profile then you know that I’m working towards the CWI Website Design Manager qualification in my spare time.
I’ve been working on this since November 2007 and some of it has been pretty heavy going. Especially some of the more technical information about ports or routers. I’m much more interested in the xhtml and the design side of things.
But I’ve finally started part 4 of the course which means that the end is at last in sight! Yay!
I’m really looking forward to finishing. It will mean so many things. For instance I’m doing this, not just because I’m interested, but because I hope it will improve my career prospects. To finally finish will mean I can start to think about ‘what next’ properly. It will also mean that Sundays and my evenings will be mine again! Although I am looking forward to continuing my studies with the Open University, so they will go again. But there will be a break first.
So wish me luck on the last push to finish the course. And thanks to ‘im outdoors for giving me the time I need to do this.