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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Thing-a-Day 19: Compact Calendar 2015 Updates

Compact Calendar 2015

2015 Updates!

It’s that time of year…Updated Compact Calendar! I had thought this would be a quicker task when I started it, but it actually took several hours to remember how to assemble the complete package of PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, and now the Numbers spreadsheet. Formatting the PDFs is what takes the longest amount of time, since I have to prep 3 different base spreadsheets stripped of holiday information, then lay each type in both US Letter and A4 size and save to PDF. I do a little extra sizing other than printing them out straight to PDF; I spent a bit of time rejiggering the export workflow to be easier to update next year.

Anyway, you can Download the 2015 Calendar from the usual place!


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 18: The Wrong Paper Rings

A box of currency bands

A Backwards Step

I had ordered this box of 4-1/4 inch currency bands (used to hold together stacks of paper money) last week, thinking that they were self-adhesive. The idea was that I could use them to wrap a small stack of 3-1/2×2 inch business cards together, and stamp them with my rubber stamp as a kind of cheap-but-cool packaging. I didn’t want to use a rubber band for this purpose because it seems inelegant.

Alas, these particular currency bands are NOT self-adhesive. They are pre-glued, so it’s $9 down the drain. Such is the cost of entrepreneurialism. Rather than mail them back, I can probably find some organization that runs bake sales or maybe accepts donations in bills (churches, perhaps?) and donate to them. Worst case, Goodwill probably could find a home for them.

I’m using this setback as today’s THING-A-DAY, because it’s process related and took up my time, and not every day will be a hit. Today, I struck out. The next likely candidate for a cheap packaging solution are napkin bands, which apparently are used by the catering industry, and are self-adhesive. I’m having trouble finding a source of the larger 6-1/4 inch bands online that isn’t expensive, so I may visit a restaurant supply store up in Manchester. I like visiting that store anyway…so much cool stuff to look at!


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 17: Left-Side Full-Size ETP Variant

Left Side ETP Variant

News from the Printer

Over the weekend I got an estimate of the production cost for full-size ETP Notebooks, and I believe I can afford to put them into production for 2015! I’m going to start with a run of 500 notebooks.

First, though, I need to make some prototypes. There are two contenders: a left spread and a right spread. Details follow.
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Thing-a-Day 16: The Annoyed Task Planner (ATP)

Annoyed Task Planner

An Annoying Day

Sunday! I woke up late after sleeping fitfully, having suffered TWO CHARLIE HORSES, which made it difficult to walk around this afternoon when I finally got out of bed at 2PM. Grouchy. Cold. Not feeling like working.

I thought maybe of doing some Calendar updates, but I knew that I didn’t have a lot of energy in me to deal with it. I’m thinking of going to sleep again, but I first had a brainstorm about how I might convert my annoyance with the world into The Annoyed Task Planner.
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Thing-a-Day 15: New Slide, Simplified Front Page

Website Design Comparison

Saturday, where did you go? I was tired all day, and instead of forcing myself to do something, I decided to just indulge my napping until I woke up. Apparently I am capable of a LOT of napping, to the point of feeling sick.

Around midnight I had had enough and went to make something to eat as I thought about what Thing-a-Day to make. It hit me that today was DAY 15, and I had a lot of things; why not make a new slide for the site home page? EASY, RIGHT?! A couple hours later…
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Thing-a-Day 14: Some Project 1401 Documentation

Diagram of Rendering System

Friday was another day swamped with work, and I didn’t know when I’d have time to do anything for Thing-a-Day. However, the work I did was also applicable to Project 1401, my personal video game project, so I shifted some time to making a helpful diagram that shows all the relationships in the graphics rendering code.
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Thing-a-Day 13: Packaging Possibilities

Packaging Design Drafts

Today I have been sucked into a vortex of programming, and did not have a lot of time to dive into Thing-a-Day. But I did manager do some playing around with some of the shipping supplies I ordered last week: some cardboard 8.5×11 mailers, and a bunch of coin envelopes! Details follow.
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