2014 Resolutions Review 10: Final Review

Groundhog Day Resolutions December 12, 2014
With everything that’s going on at the end of the year, I forgot that today was RESOLUTION REVIEW DAY. There’s a good reason that 12/12 is the last review of the year…from today to February 2nd, it’s time to take a break from self-improvement and just make it through the holidays!

Again, I am presenting an abbreviated report this month, as I don’t have the patience to do a full-blown deconstruction of the month in the way I used to in years past. There’s a personal upside to this change: I no longer am feeling the need to do it, as I think I am more curious to see what happens next than figure out what went wrong.

More about that after the jump! Continue reading →

Post Mortem: Takeaways from the “Thing-a-Day” Challenge

It’s been almost two weeks since I wrapped-up the November Thing-a-Day Making Challenge of making “30 things” that were tangible and sharable, improved process, and/or helped me sell something I’d made before. I kept the threshold of success low so I wouldn’t freak myself out; I was happy if I carved out the time for myself, which I think is an important habit to cultivate if one wants to achieve personal growth.

I didn’t know what I would take away from the experiment, though I knew that I wanted to do something during the month of Nanowrimo. As expected, I enjoyed the process, and have come up with takeaways that will affect how I approach creative acts in the future. Continue reading →

Thing-a-Day 30: Backup the Backup

Storing Backups

[POSTING THIS A DAY LATE on 12/01]

The last day of the November 2014 THING-A-DAY challenge got away from me with the extended family visit, so I spent today doing the work I had wanted to do: start the big backup of my network-attached hard drive. The process of backing-up my data is worth talking about, because a lot of what I do is completely digital in nature. Creating a backup process that’s easy and covers all the bases is important; I’ve added a couple of new backup devices to help me do that.
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Thing-a-Day 28-29: ETP Almanac and Shop Updates

ETP Almanac Updates

With the holiday weekend family festivities, I’ve been forced to merge all the work for the past two days into one. First was the big ETP Almanac Update for 2015, followed by updating two online stores with collateral. It’s a big chunk of work, but thanks to some prep I did last year it wasn’t as time consuming as it could have been.
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Thing-a-Day 27: Turkey Dinner

Turkey Dinner

Today’s thing-a-day is Thanksgiving Dinner, which happened despite the power going out last night and threatening everything. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! :-)
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Thing-a-Day 26: TPT with DONE on the left

Flipped Version of TPT

Before the Emergent Task Planner, there was the Task Progress Tracker (or TPT). It was designed as a to-do list that measured effort; you would fill-in a bubble for every bit of time you spent so you could feel momentum. A regular to-do list item can be checked-off only when it’s done, which might be a long time coming.

I had a request yesterday about flipping the DONE boxes from the right-side to the left, which I thought was a great idea because it would be fast! I wasn’t sure what it would look like, but here it is!
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Thing-a-Day 25: Picking Colors and Textures for ETP Hardbound; Pork Shank

Covers and Possibilities

My printer left a message about the arrival of “sample cover material” for the hardbound covers of the upcoming full-size ETP notebook, which will be 8.8×11 inches of double-wirebound goodness. Originally, I had specified that I wanted a pebbled cover just like my beloved Cachet Classic Graph notebooks, but apparently there are other options
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Thing-a-Day 24: Thimble-full of Patience Card

Visualizing Low Reserves of Energy and Patience

Continuing the theme of low energy, I had an idea about taking a macro photograph of a thimble and putting some kind of cathartic wording around it. I went thimble shopping yesterday, busted out my 50mm macro lens, and took a picture with extremely shallow depth-of-field. Then I winged it.
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Thing-a-Day 23: Visualizing Perseverance Experimental Form

Visualizing uncertainty

This weekend I have been feeling extremely low on motivational energy. Possibly it’s because of the shorter days and me waking up later; this week I am going to switch to a “waking with the sun” schedule to maximize daylight exposure. But I suspect the problem, if there is one, is related to my ongoing struggle dealing with the tedium of doing mundane solitary tasks.

I spent a few hours at Starbucks thinking about how to represent the problem; this experimental “visualizing perseverance and uncertainty” form is the result.

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Thing-a-Day 22: Reviewing Shipping Methods

Shipping Method

Today’s thing-a-day is related to process improvement! I spent some time reviewing PayPal options for shipping products. The trigger to finally look into it was a friend who needed a simple solution to sell her books. The last time I used PayPal for fullfillment was for the first run of ETP pads in 2009, and I found the experience so tedious that I vowed to outsource everything as much as possible. It’s been five years, though, so I figured it was time to see if anything’s changed, and rethink my shipping strategies. Continue reading →

Thing-a-Day 21: Not Working Today Card

I am too busy

[POSTING ON 11/22]

On Friday I was in the midst of restoring all my programs and data to the PC Workstation, and also was going to a photographic exhibition in the early afternoon that would kill the rest of the day. Too dang busy. So I made this card to get out of doing a Thing-a-Day for Friday. Booyah!

What’s notable, though, is that I’d been looking at all kinds of clipart this week to make a certificate with cool guilloche patterns and nice ornamentation. I wasn’t sure how I was going to DRAW them, but I just made patterns and it turned out that it’s a lot easier to just PLAY with them and figure it out. Gotta learn to get over these notions of perfection before play; as my friend Gary says, it’s all about being persistent. They’re not AMAZING patterns, but I can see how they can evolve quickly with just a bit of repetition and refinement. Lesson learned, again!


This article is part of a series: challenging myself to create something new every day for the month of November 2014! The November Challenge Page lists everything in one place...check it out!

Thing-a-Day 20: Attaching a Card to a Small USB Drive

USB Card

[POSTING ON 11/22]

On Thursday I started reinstalling the operating system on my PC workstation, where I do most of my photo processing. As I was digging up the install media (on a thumb drive), I found a Mac OS X “Mavericks” mini flash drive that I was supposed to loan to a friend. However, the drive is SO SMALL that I was worried it would get lost. So I spent more time than I perhaps should have learning to attach it to some kind of card.

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