Sometimes I can be somewhat dorky. By that I mean that the silliest things make me happy – things that are so small and insignificant that most normal people wouldn’t notice.
I spent the entire day yesterday cleaning up and organizing my computer, and boy am I happy! As usual at this time of year, it really was a mess. I think that when I am pressed for time, I tend to not put things where they should go immediately and as with anything, they tend to build up. Even my desk top was atrocious. There had to be fifty files and icons on it and whenever I tried to find anything it took me much too long to sift through everything and locate it.
I thought it was funny how a virtual desktop could get just as cluttered and messy as a real one. You wouldn’t think. I use my desktop to put stuff on temporarily when I know I am going to email it or upload it and then it is supposed to go into a file that is its permanent home. Usually things only stay up there for a day or two and then get filed into the system. I also have probably about 20 or so shortcuts up there to my most used files and programs. Twenty may seem a lot, but I have tried for many years to pare down the number and I have come to the conclusion that every one of them is necessary to me. The less clicks the better as far as I am concerned. I am all for efficiency.
I also enjoy my set of custom icons that I use throughout my system. I found this program called “Icon Packager” and it allows you to change the icons of your entire system quickly and easily. It was only about $15 and I felt it was well worth it, as I look at my computer all day and being a graphics person in general I love having my computer unique and cool looking. That along with some beautiful desktop backgrounds makes my computer a very pleasant place to work. When I am not working, I enjoy the beautiful artwork displayed on the screen.
My partner is what I call a minimalist, and teases me incessantly because of these things. He also thrives on organization and he prides himself on his own computer desktop which has only four icons on it and a black desktop background. Neat. Clean. Simple. I must say it is very appealing to see things so streamlined on his computer, but I still prefer my cool eye candy. I suppose that is why they call them “Personal Computers.” To each his own.
As far as the guts though, everything is neat as a pin. And more importantly, everything is backed up. I don’t believe that I have ever housed so much information on a computer before and had it so efficiently stored and organized. From drawings to movies to music to web stuff everything has its own place and everything is now in it. And everything is backed up on totally separate disks and computers. The chances of everything going at once are very small. If they do though, my patterns themselves are backed up on a DVD so they are completely safe. I have even gone so far as to store the said DVD at my friend’s house so that if there is a fire or something like that, I still will have my pattern files. There are over 400 of them and losing them would not be good as you can imagine.
Even the hundreds and hundreds of reference photos and pictures I have are all tagged for easy indexing and locating. I love that Windows 7 has a great search feature in its file explorer. I believe that feature came out in Vista and although I was a die-hard XP fan, that feature alone won me over. When I first realized that it was able to do this, I spent more than a month tagging the thousands of photos and pictures that I have. I would sit at night and spend an hour or two just renaming and tagging things so I could search by keyword and find all the relevant pictures I wanted. What a job! But once set up, it is a marvelous efficient way to find things and quite easy to keep up. When I find new reference photos or pictures, I put them in a separate folder I call “new pictures” and it is kind of a temporary holding tank until I can properly name them and tag them. Once that is done, I file them into their respective folders (bears in the bear folder, etc.) My temporary new folder had over 300 pictures in it to be named and filed and that was a large part of my work yesterday. But now the folder is empty and I can start fresh.
In looking at all of those files, I was reminded of so many projects that I want to get busy on. There is so much cool stuff to do I can’t wait to get started. I just have to decide on a direction.
I have had many requests for some more non-seasonal candle trays so I think I will begin there. I want to do many more geometric Frank Lloyd Wright type candle holders as well as geometric swirls and such and I think it will be a fun way to get drawing again. The trays are still selling quite well and I believe there are many who want to have them all so I need to strike while the iron is hot and get going on them.
My partner spent the day yesterday rewriting and coding several articles for the site. I have had the articles as downloads on the site, but they are in PDF format and it would be more beneficial for us to have the actual articles up there as it would not only add relevant key words to the site which will help our ranking with the search engines, but will also give people reason to keep going back to the site to read them. The template that our site is on doesn’t really support the format that we want, so he is hand-coding everything to make it look attractive and easy to read and include the pictures. They aren’t there yet, but when they are done and up there, they will be a great addition and look very professional.
We were looking at some sites of web-designers yesterday and couldn’t believe how crummy some of them looked. We wondered how one could proclaim themselves a web designer and offer such ‘blah’ stuff. Many of them looked like a third grader put them together. As I said, we are all for streamlining things, but there is a difference between ‘simple’ and ‘plain’. Many of them were not easy to navigate either, and were missing several important features. It just made us think.
The sun is coming up now and I just can barely see out the window and much to my amazement there appears to be a blizzard outside. The snow is blowing and swirling and coming down really hard. I don’t have regular cable or TV (I watch everything from my computers) and with being as busy as I was I didn’t really get to read the news yesterday, but this morning a few people were talking about a big storm that occurred across the bay from us on the eastern coast of the US that was heading our way. I think it is here.
I have been wishing for snow for the past week now and I think that my wish is coming true. but I am prepared. I have food, water, cat food, etc. and even if I do lose power, I can paint and draw. It is good to be prepared. I don’t know if I will be going for my walk today though. If I do, I will bring my camera. It looks like we already have about six inches of snow and it doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon.
If you don’t hear from me for a day or two, you will know why. Keep warm and be happy! And have a wonderful and creative day! :D
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"