Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Blogging Boy

It’s in the way that they take photographs.


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Make Great

Last month I took the plunge and started a self-hosted blog on presentation design to compliment my professional work. I’d love you to pop by for a visit at makegreat.com.au.

Starting a self-hosted blog has been quite a learning curve. Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • It’s great to have a proper website address and building it up this way gives you loads of new skills.
  • You have much more control over the aesthetic elements of your blog…but there’s a huge amount of technical skills required to achieve even the smallest things (thank goodness for my husband).
  • It’s quite a lonesome world outside the wordpress community, with no ready-made audience to embrace you!
  • It’s been a juggling act wearing two blogging hats and trying to switch hats when commenting on different blogs. So for the most part I haven’t been commenting but have still very much enjoyed reading everyone’s blog updates in my reader!

BookI’m still on my journey and Make Great is a long way off looking the way I want it to look. I would definitely recommend The Creative Person’s Website Builder by Alannah Moore if it’s something you’re considering.

If you’re interested in presentation design or just like to look at animal pictures, I’ve uploaded my first slide deck to Slideshare and have had a surge of views thanks to the very kind endorsement of Chiara at Tweak your Slides. I’ve included my slide deck at the end of this post.

Oh and there will be more Roar Sweetly posts coming soon!

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It’s been a busy month in this neck of the woods. We’ve had interstate visitors. First my sister with her husband and one year old son, then my mum and my other sister with her husband and three boys. My little girl has started walking. She took her first wonky steps at 10 1/2 months and now she can trek across the length of the room like a drunken sailor. I’ve been collecting and organising all my no-longer-required baby items to sell at the Baby and Kids Market later in the month and toying with the idea of coming out of retirement to make a few bibs to sell.

At some point during the month of June a niggling little seed in my head turned into an epiphany. Since I started blogging 6 months ago, my house has not been as tidy as it usually is. I don’t spend a huge amount of time on my blog, but in a house with a baby and a toddler…time is a valuable commodity. According to the currency of my life at the moment, each blog post equals one load of laundry that didn’t get washed, dried, folded and packed away.  In fact, the load of washing featured in the photograph above could have been done in the time it took me to draft and publish this post.

So for the next little while instead of blogging 2-3 times per week, I’m going to be blogging more sporadically…according to the state of cleanliness in my house.

In the meantime, to commemorate 6-months of Roar Sweetly, here’s some thoughts on blogging:

Best things about having a blog

  1. Having a creative space to document interesting things in my life.
  2. Getting to know a lovely blogging community.
  3. Improving my skills in photography, photo-editing, design and layout.

Worst things about having a blog

  1. It is surprisingly time-consuming and addictive.
  2. Worrying about having photographs of my children online (will their images appear on the side of a Japanese bus advertising cereal in two years time?)

Interesting Bits n Bobs

My top post of all time has been Donna Hay’s Classic Baked Cheesecake, though I find it odd that such a huge amount of people have visited and left without a comment.

The three strangest search terms that have led to my blog are:

  1. 5 inch heels inappropriate
  2. I didn’t rinse my lentils
  3. Multi-legged bugs

In the last 6 months I’ve been honoured to be nominated for several blogging awards by fellow bloggers. As part of accepting the award, it is a requirement to pay the award forward to other blogs, sometimes to as many as 15. Truth be told, I was always terrible at chain mail which is why I am the tardiest blog award recipient in the world. So here is my official thank you and shout-out to the blogs that were so kind as to think of me.

The Accidental Housewife who nominated me for the Liebster Award

I stumbled across Mrs Accidental’s blog when I was very new to blogging. Mrs A is a former soldier who is now busy raising two little girls. She proudly wears an apron at home and provides a recipe for the best home-made washing powder here.

Dreams of Home who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award

I love this blog because it’s like a version of me living in England. She raises a little boy, loves to craft and has a great eye for design. Her posts are gorgeous.

Frank’s Place who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Frank served in the United States Airforce for 22 years and is now busy at home raising a small family. It’s great to hear a dad’s perspective on things.

That’s all for now!

Roar Sweetly

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Recently I have become interested in design. I love that this blog gives me the opportunity to play around with photography and layout, though my technical skills leave a lot to be desired.

Last week I bought a book called Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans: 365 Graphic Design Commandments by Sean Adams, Peter Dawson, John Foster and Tony Seddon. The book, which is written by industry insiders, outlines 365 commandments for graphic design in a lighthearted manner. These commandments fall under six categories namely typography, layout, colour, imagery, print and the practice of design. Some of the commandments are basic and intuitive, while others are quite technical.

Here’s my top ten:

  1. Thou shall not use Microsoft Word for layouts
  2. Thou shall periodically check a printed copy rather than viewing a layout on screen
  3. Thou shall archive meticulously at all times
  4. Thou shall not use photoshop filters to disguise a low quality image
  5. Thou shall think of white space as a colour and use it positively
  6. Thou shall use layers to organise type, colour and imagery
  7. Thou shall accept that Times New Roman has its uses
  8. Thou shall not add two spaces after a full stop
  9. Thou shall triple check your document size before you start your layout
  10. Thou shall learn the rules before you break them

I love the layout of this book.  I think it’s a great resource for the novice designer and easy to read if you’re time-poor.

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A blog by any other name

When I first considered writing a blog, I thought the hardest thing would be finding the right name.  I had a long list of possibilities.  I let my list sit for a week or two and then after procrastinating a further few days months, I decided upon Roar Sweetly.  Sadly, following my breakthrough, the quirky blog header did not appear, the clever craft tutorials and bran muffin recipes did not materialise, nor the photographs of my son doing Montessori activities in a sunlit room.

Truth be told I’m a sucker for a new year’s resolution and this year I’m determined to give this blogging caper a go. I know very little about blogging etiquette and I’m not sure how much information I feel comfortable revealing about myself.  Only time will tell.

Looking forward to the journey.


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