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Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

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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Five Ways with Lilly PilliesLilly Pilly TreeDown our street and around the corner is a rather majestic Lilly Pilly tree, whose branches hang over a little lane-way.  Many Lilly Pilly trees are native to the East Coast of Australia and carry striking pink edible fruit. This vitamin-C rich fruit formed part of the diet of coastal Aboriginal communities. The fruit is quite acidic and tangy…I would describe it as being similar to a not-yet-ripe green apple with the texture of crisp watermelon. I’m surprised that my children snack on the fruit straight from the tree, undeterred by the sourness. While eating native foods is becoming much more common in Australia, it’s still not very widespread. Given the overabundance of this little native fruit in our lives recently, I’m pleased to present my top five ways with lilly pillies.

1) A native substitute for fresh flowers.Lilly Pillies in a Vase

2) Lilly Pilly Smoothie. Pictured below is two freshly juiced organic apples, a small organic banana and a cup of pitted lilly pillies blitzed in the food processor.

Lilly Pilly Smoothie

3) Table Decor. A sprig of lilly pilly tied with brown twine to a white cloth napkin.Lilly Pilly Table Napkin

4) Lilly Pilly Muffins. I adapted Donna Hay’s recipe for Blueberry Muffins to make the Lilly Pilly Muffins pictured below.DSC03833Lilly Pilly Muffins

5) The way nature intended…from the tree to the mouth.Toddler holding Lilly Pillies

A note on cooking with lilly pillies

If you’re planning to eat and/or cook with Lilly Pillies, please note that there is a hard little seed in the centre of the fruit, pictured here.
Lilly Pilly Seed
It’s easy to remove the seed by squashing the berry between your fingers. The prepped lilly pillies should look something like this.Pitted Lilly Pillies
This image shows diced lilly pillies in muffin batter. Cooking the lilly pillies makes them sweeter and more palatable.Lilly Pilly Muffin Batter
This NAIDOC week embrace some lilly pillies into your life!

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Dioramas have a school project loveliness about them and are wonderfully tactile in this digital age.  I’ve been meaning to make a construction site for my son for some time now and was motivated again after organising his toys and seeing all his little yellow diggers together. This project is easy to make and came in at a grand total of $0.00 as I sourced all my materials from around the house and yard. Here’s a step by step guide:

Materials

  1. Large cardboard box
  2. Garbage bag
  3. Stanley knife / scissors
  4. Tape and glue
  5. Blue paint + brush
  6. Several printed sheets of rocks and other construction materials
  7. A sheet of white paper
  8. A couple kilos of slightly damp sand
  9. Small assortment of rocks, paddle-pop sticks, bark etc
  10. Building site accessories and signs
  11. Yellow diggers

Instructions

  1. Cut the box on each side diagonally from the top back corner to approximately 10 cm (4″) above the bottom front corner. Cut along the front and remove this portion of the box so that it resembles a stage.
  2. Paint the inside walls of the box a sky blue colour.
  3. Cut a plastic garbage bag to size and secure firmly to the base of the diorama with tape, making the bottom of the box water resistant.
  4. Cut out white clouds from a sheet of paper and glue to the blue sky.
  5. Glue the construction site imagery around the bottom inside wall of the diorama.
  6. Fill the box with a layer of slightly damp sand and pat smooth.
  7. Arrange accessories and diggers on sand.

This diorama was loads of fun to make and a big hit with my son. The possibilities are endless; zoo, farm, space station, jurassic…

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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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