RibbonsAndStitches.com is in existance!

My latest small victory has been the purchase of one ribbonsandstitches.com! There are only a few small issues with this, first the site is redirecting to my portfolio and I cannot figure out why, second I still need to get WordPress working correctly.

After conferencing with the all mighty Chris Kirkham he helped me figure out why the site was redirecting, and awesomely enough it was not my fault at all and one polite email to the wonderful customer service reps at fatcow.com and the problem was fixed so the site is now made up of an old index I made for the Application Development class.  It is just an HTML index with absolutely no CSS and no content at all about what R & S is but the good thing is that I own the site, and that I can now upload things to it and they will be going to the right place.  I am feeling pretty good right now, but I assure you that feeling is only temporary, for I still have lots to do.

Hours and hours of logo design

Under pressure from Allen I started my logo design so they could get it up on the IMX website.  I toyed with it for quite some time and I really like what I have come up with.  I love the name Ribbons & Stitches and my favorite part of the logo by far is the ampersand.  It will probably change from what it is right now, but I have spent so much time on it, I need a break from looking at it and if more ideas about it come to me that would be great.

I think the next think I will focus on will be social media.  I think that twitter will be really useful because I have a lot of people and companies that will be great to follow from my own Twitter.  I am also going to start a Facebook and I think I will link the accounts up so that when I tweet a picture it will go directly through to Facebook.

Alas the only thing that is becoming difficult for me is WordPress.  I read a lot about it on when I was doing my research and I guess I just put it off, so that is my next goal. I need need need to figure out WordPress and install it so that I can really get going on this project.

Oh Spring Break

My initial intention for Spring Break was to make leaps and bounds with my Capstone project.  Alas that is not how it went. Even though I did not make any real headway I did fill my notebook with ideas and sketches as ideas came to mind.  I have been thinking a lot about branding and logos.  I have also come up with the name ‘Ribbons & Stitches’ which is significant because it is my initials.  I wanted something that was both representative of what I am doing and of me.  I really love the name and I think that there is a lot of potential for the logo design.

My next step is to buy a url (I think I am going to do that over adding it to my current url) and finalize the logo design and get the WordPress situation under control.  That is to say I have a lot to do and a finite amount of time to do it, yay me.

Mid March…

During the month of March I have filmed more videos for the site.  When the site starts the grand total number of videos will be around nine, depending on how many I decide to do and how the footage looks for each particular instruction.  I would like to do more, but I am going to see where I am at as things come together and see how much time I have as the semester nears its end.

I think that 8-9 instructional videos will be plenty to start with.  I also have notes about tons of little tips and tricks for beginning sewers. I have my notebook filled with little things that I have learned along the way.  I would like to make a whole page dedicated to these tips.  I would also like to include photographs of the things I am doing, not necessarily instructional in nature, but aesthetically pleasing. I think doing this would be cool because I just try to take pictures anytime I am making anything, and that is how the background picture for my portfolio cam about.

Beyond planning my main stress is WordPress.  I have played around with the idea of just building the site myself but I really want it to have a community aspect.  I think the site will have  a much better potential to grow if I go with WordPress, not only that but it will give me experience working with WordPress.  I have a lot ahead of me but I know the end product is going to be good and I just have to keep working toward that.

Prolific + Brilliant = Good Work – The Accidental Creative – Todd Henry

My thoughts about creativity have evolved a lot during the course of this year.  At first I just thought creative ideas would come to me out of thin air, and I soon realized that it just wasn’t going to happen like that for me.  Looking back on the work I did last semester, I am displeased with some of the aesthetics I used.  But at this point in time I can look back at what I did and change it to apply things that I have learned about both design and usability.

I did and interactive infographic last semester, it was kind of ugly and not at all usable to the average person.  So I left it alone for the rest of the semester and re-visited it again when I went to do my portfolio (talk about a creative break!).  The long break seemed much needed because I changed several aspects of the project and the new product is a huge improvement from what I had originally.

I think when at the beginning of last semester I was lacking the prolific part of the equation, only because I was not really sure of myself and I was stressed out.  The stress forced me to finish things that I was not totally happy with, but I just did not have the time to really evaluate what I was doing on this particular project (it was the first one) but once I was able to step back and gain more confidence it allowed my work to be more prolific.

Reading that equation made me reflect on the work I had done and it is easy to see which projects I did while I had all the elements and which ones were.  This is hlepful because it will allow me to avoid the pitfalls I ran into during the first semester with some of the creative projects I had done.

The Filter Bubble – Pariser

As I willingly accept technology into my life more and more everyday it has never occurred to me that my information could be being stored and used to track me and profile me.  I knew that ads in Gmail are customized, and they are based on the content within emails. I did not realize how customization had taken on a new life without users even being aware of it. It sounds great right? Having the whole Internet tailored specifically to your personal thoughts and beliefs.  However this does not allow us to fully experience what is new on the Internet.  Pariser give the example of two totally different results for the search query ‘Egypt’.

The fact that Google searches are so different between people is kind of frightening.  This phenomenon could potentially pigeonhole users and it will surely prevent many moments of ‘serendipity’, and happening upon new things. There is no easy way around it either, companies want things to be personalized to their users so that the users will be satisfied with the content.  In his TED talk Pariser talks about the 57 signals Google uses to filter results, they look at what kind of computer you are using, what browser you are on, as well as 54 other variables. Prior to reading this I had no idea that what I was seeing both on Google as well as Facebook was filtered.

I know that I encourage the filtering of Facebook because if I see something I think is not valuable my first instinct is to hid the story.  I have done this several times, and I have recently notices that I see less in my ‘news feed’.  I used to think that this was because there are just so many people on Facebook and they could not possibly put everything each of my friends does through my ‘news feed’.

There is no getting completely away from the filter, and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds in the coming years, and if it will actually upset people or if they will embrace the personalization.  It all comes down to advertising and it is currently taking huge steps to personalize what we see, and it makes me wonder if it is actually all worth it.

The Shallows – Carr

At times the Carr book seemed arduous because he would delve into the history of learning and as I was reading I could not see the point he was getting to.  However looking back having already read the entire thing I am so glad that he included so many historical accounts about learning and development.  It has given me a wider and more clear understanding of the brain and how we have come to be.

I was relieved many times to see that people with PhDs were skimming readings, I try not to do that because it makes me feel guilty that I am not learning as much as I could.  However it did ease the tension I feel when I graze quickly over a news story.

When Carr described the situation he put himself in while writing this book, leaving all technology behind him and concentrating on the book, to me it sounded painful.  However his description did give me hope that if we want to change how we learn and absorb it is possible.  Detaching and remaining detached (As Carr did not do as soon as the book was finished) is a difficult thing to accomplish.

I have said in class before that I think knowing about the pitfalls will help us to avoid them.  For me knowing that skimming and not absorbing whole topics and generally getting swallowed up in the culture of ‘just google it’ is becoming a problem has helped me to think about how I operate with technology.  Actually shortly after reading this book I ordered two books from a series from Amazon and I am happy to report that I finished them both.

It was obvious that Carr was able to get back into a routine of reading and concentrating deeply for long periods of time he just had to put an effort in to do it.  He essentially had to retrain himself to concentrate on things for long periods of time without having distractions.  It is obviously possible for us to retrain ourselves but the first step is knowing that there is a problem.

That being said, is it really a problem that our brains a changing and adjusting to new technology?  It is hard to tell because we are in such an infancy with technology.  With all the history Carr talked about it gave insight into what people said about new technologies in the past.  There seems to always be some fear in the accounts Carr gave about new things being negative, when after time they turned out to be positive.  It is impossible to tell if the advent of the internet will affect us in a negative way, it may just be a stepping stone on our way to the next thing and it very well could improve society.