No don’t worry it’s not last minute Christmas shopping panic. It’s last minute sorting out Charlotte’s present panic. Santa is building her a cooker and of course with one of the elves being away a week and not using all the tools that often this equates to things getting left to the last minute.
Oh well have a lego photo instead. It was the advent day 24 calendar and who had to arrive? SANTA
8 years and one day after meeting Val, Charlotte was born. Longest pregnancy or what? :)
Joking aside Charlotte just turned 2 today. It’s the winter solstice and also her birthday so thinking about it one way the world just gets brighter when Charlotte has her Birthday :)
Start the day with pancakes you say? :)
It has been a kinda lazy day of presents / nice food and of course we played with some lego. Is she addicted to lego? no but she does like helping me out and playing with the pieces in her own way. She was driving the little truck around after it was finished as well.
She got to bake cookies with Val.
I ended up cooking her my favourite dinner ever. Chicken nuggets curry and rice all home made. I grew up having this meal every Saturday for as long as I can remember. I loved Saturdays and who knows maybe it’ll become a bit of a tradition now. We don’t have a deep fat fryer so they were done in oil and a bit of butter, while not quite the same as a deep fat fryer it was still really lovely and a complete blast from the past. I’ve probably not done that since well before my mother passed away.
Of course the main dish doesn’t look that amazing but trust me when I tell you it was out of this world. A blended curry really has a totally different flavour to a normal chunky curry.
Little people are now asleep and it’s time to relax with a movie and a beer …
I ended up picking up the Lego City Advent Calendar this year. Why? cus I wanted to, also it was going rather cheap in SuperU compared to the online prices of various places. I’ve opened them with Charlotte most mornings though with being gone a week back to Ireland we may have opened a few more before I left.
I’ve avoided posting a daily picture of each item. Some have been better than others. Val would have preferred if they were all Christmas themed items. I’m happy they aren’t as there’s more potential for reuse and photo ops.
Today’s present is the above. Wonderfully simple items each made from 5 little bricks and I simply find them so cool. I’m also reminding of the below advert which is extremely clever and puts the 5 bricks to shame opting for 2 to do the same job.
It’s lego – unleash your imagination.
I took this lego photo a while back and it strikes a cord with me every time I see it. Yes I know it’s just some little minifig but it’s always got that more serious edge to it as well. What face are you going to display to the world today?
Personally I’ve been feeling a bit fed up and unmotivated not to mention tired don’t think the grey weather helps. November has been a rough month! Still it’s December now and I’m trying to get into a more positive place.
A friend a few days ago posted a rather raw account of something major that had happened in his life a while back and I just thought wow I never realised this.
What face do you show the world and how do you really feel?
So I’ve been pretty quiet over the last while on the blog. Well I’ve been busy … love / life / lust and the eternal search for the perfect donut as always. Well one of the projects I’ve been working on with Blacknight recently is Get Personal With .Me. It has been a fun project to work on why not head over and see if your name is available? :)
It is about you it is about .me :) Enter your firstname / lastname and hey presto it’ll check if your .Me name is available. I always love working on new projects and this one is obviously my new baby :). I especially love working on this as I think the .Me extension is one that has a genuine chance in the new “TLD”s cus hell it’s about ME!!!. I’ve got forbairt.me where I keep my lifestream obviously not my name I’ve also got jameslarkin.me which I’ll probably use for something though might just stick with my username for now.
Of course one of the cool things I’ve also gotten to work on as a result was getting some USB keys made up. Blacknight asked on their twitter account and on facebook what people thought was a good minimum storage capacity for USB keys .. mixed responses mainly however from 2GBs up. And what arrived today my Get Personal With .ME 4GB USB key :) it’s very cool if I do say so myself. Of course I’m biased but to be honest I generally don’t get to see too much print work (I don’t really work with print that often and could probably count on a few hands the amount of jobs I’ve had professionally printed).
Anyways the USB key arrived today and I passed it over to IT support to get it up and running and this is the result.
(this is going to be rather heavy image wise so I’ve decided to break it into a few posts)
The following is the start of my photo diary of sorts for Barcelona …
So a while back on a whim we decided to book tickets to Barcelona they were going cheap and we’ve got a couple of friends up there so we said what the hell. Working freelance means I generally don’t take that much time off (not to mention switching off is a bitch) but I do try to get away from time to time. €60 return flights to Girona (from Madrid) wasn’t that bad in my mind. Of course its Girona (1.5 hours bus trip to Barcelona) and its Ryanair so it means its in the middle of nowhere so you’ve to factor in another odd €40 to get from Girona into the city center (21€ return per person via Barcelona Girona Bus)
I must admit I was surprised to see all the signs for Manuel on the way in (though they seem to have spelt it wrong) Having long been a fan of Fawlty Towers I found it refreshing that he seems to be as popular in Barcelona (where he’s from as in other english speaking parts of the world)
I know I know Valérie-Anne groaned as well when I said it.
Day 1: We checked in and were pleasantly surprised by our accommodation (no pics unfortunately apart from some engrish which Valérie-Anne took on her new shiny toy)
We met up with a friend for coffee in front of the Arc De Triumph and afterwards went for food (bad move going for an all you can eat Chinese buffet :o) .. therein followed a siesta and then onto rambling on the Rambla a very touristy street ( though lots of little pet stalls .. street performers and a very nice local market as well). Down onto the prom and generally just chilling out.
Wandering back we took the smaller less tourist streets (though finding less touristy streets is a challenge in itself)
We ended up going to a great little restaurant up around our Hostal called Casa Alfonso had my usual Patatas Bravas and Valérie-Anne had a Cod Paella (bit too fishy for my liking) and our usual white and red house wines respectively.
My complements to the chef *burp*
After that we called it a night … probably cus it was night :D
End Part I
Pardon the pun of my post title but I thought it appropriate after staring at construction terminalogy the last few days.
So I was approached to do a simple enough move of hosting and a few updates on a website for Deeside Building and this turned into them changing branding / company to Devine Building. They were happy enough with their existing logo and colours but I made a few suggestions and one thing led to another.
Take their old site and see what I changed.
Now I immediately didn’t like the site. I’m not getting a warm vibe from it .. I’m not getting any professional edge to it. I’m not getting hit with what they do apart from the graphic with the keywords. This would have been fine for me a few years back but once you start to consider what you’re trying to do .. impress end users you’ve to change the way you think slightly.
The site had links to the Recent Projects all listed on the one page so the first thing to do was a bit of a rethink of their branding. Now I think their signage works perfectly well on a construction site but once you move over to a computer I found their colours strange to say the least. I suggested toning it down. Now with sites where you’re trying to highlight a product / photo I find that black is a good colour it works well with warm images. ( Take Safari Club as an example of this ). So keeping their logo (slightly updated with the DEVINE wording) I put it against a black background and changed it to white. The front page of the site while linking to Recent Projects / Available Services / Health and Safety .. wasn’t really doing anything and just adding in an extra click to get to what the customer really wants to see the completed projects. So I opted to include a random display of their recent projects on the front page. The other options are still present in the menu so you’re not really losing anything but we’re now showing some high class construction work on the sites front page. I removed the generic house building image as well from the front page and hey presto you’ve got what I think is a rather nice clean and straight to the point website.
You can see an example re the artifacts here ( I do love photoshop )
And so to the final design. Simple, clean and hopefully to the point and highlighting their construction work.
Here’s one I prepared earlier. I really have been having fun with Photoshop and image manipulation this week. Here’s one of Hot Fuzz with Simon Pegg removed and Squishy shoved in in his place. This one was tricky enough to do but good fun all the same to do
Anyone have any suggestions on the next poster to do ? you can see the others I’ve already done over on http://www.facebook.com/catatar
This was a rather fun little image to come up with. Obviously based on American Beauty its taking two separate shots of Yoda / Squishy. I’d actually have loved to have a proper shot of his tummy in high res for it but my camera is currently out of commission (Battery Charger issue .. it blew up)
And … on to the photo
I even had someone ask me for the high res version of it which kinda made my day ( sad I know but … such is life :D )