Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Facebook Privacy - Are Your Old Posts Hidden?

Having so much of your personal life online can be a bit daunting sometimes when you realise just how much information people can find out about you. I admit, I'm on so many social sites that you could piece together the history of my life if you looked hard enough (thankfully the Harry Potter film Director takes over the majority of the David Yates Google search results haha). 

Where I draw the line is with people being able to look through my Facebook history. The account is linked to so many members of my family and friends that I need it locked down. Now we all know about making your account private, but I recently discovered this may only apply to future posts and that strangers still may be able to view any posts/photos/videos you have in your history. If you go to settings > privacy, you will see a button which makes all old posts limited to your current security setting. Mine is only allowed to be viewed by friends, and so now only my friends can view my posts - even the ones dating way too far back when it was popular to like a thousand different Facebook groups, and poking was a popular function...

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Liverpool Studio Space - Ninety Squared CIC

For the last few years, I have wanted to do something on the side of my full-time job that could one day grow into something bigger enabling me to go it alone. I have never been one to want to go out searching for clients as for now that is too time-consuming on top of everything else. I have always loved the idea of experimenting with screen printing, and although my collection of things is growing each month (ended up with a drying rack last week) it is just too expensive to get everything at the moment. So for now I am in the process of deciding what it is I definitely want to do with my company Strawberry&Co, but this comes with the other problems - I need some space to work...

I have looked everywhere and I mean everywhere for studio space that I can rent as a place to escape to. Somewhere that I can focus on nothing related to my job, or home, just somewhere to make a real go for it in being creative. It seems that if you live in Manchester and London then you have a great choice of little places to choose from, but when it comes to Liverpool you just have to have a lot of luck. Everyone in the city has heard of the famous Baltic Triangle, an area of regeneration that is saturated with creative businesses - it's THE place to be and so when I discovered Ninety Squared I was too excited for the possibility of having space with them.

Ninety Squared CIC are based in the Elevator Studios in the city and they offer space to independent and startup businesses, and I am happy to say that at the end of July I will have my own space there. Granted I will be taking it slow for a couple of months as designing for a theme park during the busiest time of the year and setting up something on the side would be the death of me if I went in all guns blazing haha. The people who I have been in contact with at Ninety Squared seem lovely and the space just has the feel that makes you want to be creative as there are so many other people from a range of areas on the same floor. I haven't been this excited for things to come in a long time!

More news to come.

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not affiliated with any of the links in this post. I only ever recommend external links that I visit and use on a personal basis so that I know you’ll be in good hands!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Tint / Instagram Widget - BEST ONE YET!

As a blogger... on blogger,  you soon realise that it can be a struggle to find high-quality widgets and so end up scouring the web for people that have created their own, or usually come across posts with recommendations from others. In the last couple of months, I must have tested about 30 different variations of widget to display Instagram posts on my blog and none of them have come up trumps. The biggest gripe being none of them ever want to link directly to my Instagram enabling people to follow me. That is, until now.

Today I came across a company called Tint. Tint isn't just a cool way of showing Instagram posts, but a way of showing every one of your social media feeds - in whatever way you want. 

It is so simple. You join their site, link your social media accounts, and then they will collect them into one feed that you can display wherever you want. I only have the free account for now that allows you to add 2 accounts to a feed, but if you upgrade there are so many combinations it is unreal.

The below image shows how to customise it so you can embed the HTML into blogger, and to the lower right of your screen in my sidebar you can see it in action.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

New Job - One Month at Gulliver's

So a couple of months ago I had a handful of interviews for different jobs. The variety of the lot was crazy, and it turns out the one that I wanted the most I ended up getting. So after two and a half years at North Liverpool Academy I am now the digital Graphic Designer for the Gulliver's Group. I am part of a very small team of support staff and in charge of all digital design work; website, email marketing and external advertising of three theme parks and seven attractions. So all in all a pretty big jump from the education sector.

Never having to deal with printing (or fussy teachers) = sheer bliss!

This far gone I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of it all (the design aspects anyway) and the ease that comes from only having to get design approval from a couple of people is brilliant. For the first time in a long time, I feel as though I am appreciated for the skills that I want to keep developing. The team I work with are also as down to earth as the people I used to be with so that has also made it an easy transition.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows though, I am loathing the extra commuting time each day. People think it is no big deal but with the added half hour a day I work and the 50 minutes there and back, that's over 2 hours a day I am losing compared to my old job - Ludacris! Even this 2014 report from the Office for National Statistics says;
Commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non-commuters.
This clearly warrants me to moan haha!

Anyway as the saying goes "The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time" - This rings so true with how I feel at the moment because God knows that a lot needs doing over the next coming months trying to bring things up to date. I am however still managing to learn more about CSS, bootstrap, MailChimp and marketing while on the job so will hopefully be posting lots that I find from now on.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Jane Foster - Designer, Illustrator and All Round Super Creative

When I started my blog up a few years ago I scoured the internet to find people that could inspire me to get my creative juices flowing. Times were simple ie I hadn’t become addicted to Pinterest haha, and one of the people that I have continued to follow is a marvellous person by the name of Jane Foster.

Jane lives in Devon, UK with her little family in which they have their own studio in their 60s home (which is enviably gorgeous I might add). She has plenty of strings to her bow, being a designer, illustrator, screen printer, author and manages her online presence. I’m not sure how she fits everything in, but it just goes to show you that hard work pays off in all walks of life.

I’m always one drawn to bright colours, and if you team that with bold designs you’re onto a winner. The thing that stood out to me with Jane’s work is the cleanliness and simplicity of everything she does while still mixing up a vibrant colour palette. It always has the right balance.

Jane’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed and even the largest of companies want a piece of it. Ever noticed this little beauty in a shop you may have heard of... Ikea? Her Fish Supper poster was picked up for sale in their stores from 2013 and I knew it was her work as soon as I spotted it.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Miffy the rabbit, created by Dick Buna, of which Jane has been given an amazing opportunity in being allowed to use the world-famous character in her work. I think the mixture of the Scandinavian style with the classic dutch character works really well and I am looking forward to seeing what else gets produced throughout the year.

Finally I'll leave you with a great short film by Alun Callender, shot the night before the launch of Jane's first book (Fun With Fabric) in 2013. 

Hello! Jane Foster - "Fun with Fabric" from Alun Callender on Vimeo.

- All photographs shown have been taken from Jane's blog to the best of my knowledge Alun Callender of has shot her on more than one occasion.

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not affiliated with any of the links in this post. I only ever recommend external links that I visit and use on a personal basis so that I know you’ll be in good hands!