EKL’s Resolutions for 2015

1995 was a pretty darned good year too LOL!

1995 was a pretty darned good year too LOL!

Emily’s 2015 Resolutions

With all of my 2015 projects on the table, it’s going to be an awesome year, but it’s going to require some discipline in order to succeed on all fronts. These are the values that will drive my BEST YEAR YET:

  • Use less paper products. Last year, I vowed to use less plastic. It has been trickier than I expected, and required an ongoing investment in glass, silicone and metal for things like water bottles, food storage, utensils for cooking and eating, and using reusable bags. This year, I have dreams of soft cotton embroidered handkerchiefs, linen tea towels, natural fibers abounding in eco-friendly goodness. We want to eliminate baby wipes, paper towels, tissues, and we are still in discussion about toilet paper. I mean hey, we are already doing cloth diapers, it can’t be much worse than that…can it?
  • Declutter. We had a plan in 2014 that didn’t last all year. The plan was to declutter one item a day for a year – and supercharge our efforts with 7 items a day in the month of May – but…we pretty much only managed to keep it up until mid-May. Don’t get me wrong, we got rid of a TON of stuff, and learned some valuable lessons while doing it, but it’s time to get back at it! With Christmas behind us, we are going to start with the rule of “one new thing in, one old thing out”. It’s eye for an eye around here, and only the things that actively contribute to a better life will make the cut!
  • Get wicked organized. Not knowing where things are, stuff laying around, half-completed projects, these things are all sapping my time and energy out of me, as well as contributing to an unhealthy level of latent stress. In addition to decluttering (i.e. less stuff to organize), I am going to get some serious order in the stuff I do have.
  • Make health a mission. Stereotypical, I know, but after two back-to-back pregnancies, my body has taken a beating. I want to feel powerful again! On the agenda are homemade whole foods, biking to work, yoga, and…dare I say it…sleep?

What other things should SUPER BUSY PEOPLE have as resolutions to keep their year humming along?

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An Imposter’s Secrets to Awesomeness

One of the first logos I ever made was for the family farm, circa 1994. I made it in Paint (note the beautiful pixels), which only took about 8 gazillion hours – Do graphic designers get paid by the hour?

As I was writing an email to a coworker, entitled Tools that will Rock Your World, I felt a blog entry coming on!  You may have already deduced that I work for Girl Guides of Canada, as a Coordinator for Membership, Marketing and Public Relations.  In short, my dream job.  We have a new staff member at the office recently, who I have been helping to train – she is brilliant (which helps!) – but as I am passing her tips and trucs that have been enormous aid to me, I can’t help but feeling a bit like an imposter!  – And I’m darn proud of it!  So, now here comes the disclaimer:

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a graphic designer.  In fact, let’s just get right out and say it: I am not a graphic designer.  I have no aspirations to become one, freelance or otherwise, and this is mostly due to the fact that I have enormous respect for the profession!  Anyone can acquire Illustrator or Photoshop, but it doesn’t mean you can take the place of the REAL and incredibly gifted artists that are out there making a living at it.  If you need some work done, I recommend you contact either this amazing individual or this wonderful human being.

All that bein’ said, I can do me a darn spiffy job of purty-ing up stuff.

Imagine me saying that with a really hick accent, and you should have a pretty good idea of my design skills.  Self-taught out of part-necessity, part-inkling-of-interest, I have managed to crank out a halfway decent poster, pamphlet, logo, publication, even website or two.  But mostly because I have a particular personality that reunites all of the conditions for the perfect storm: I am a compulsive auto-didact that is stubborn as all hell who won’t settle for less than perfection and isn’t willing to pay for it either.  Yikes.

But hey, you can be an imposter too!

Here is the email I sent to my colleague:

Here are some fun things that will make you feel like a whiz-kid – and it’s so easy (for your “free” time at work).

Stock photos.  Making the transition from clip art to stock photos is a quick and easy way to make a publication look professional and sharp.  Free ones here. or you can just do a good ole Google image search (ps the theory has been tested – it is now impossible to do a Google image search without turning up some naked people).

Fonts. Using a font that nobody has seen before gets people all hot and bothered.  An easy way to make your publication look fresh and original.  Learn how to download and install fonts, but remember to then PDF because people that don’t have that font installed won’t be able to see it on their computer otherwise.  Download free awesome fonts here.

PhotoFiltre.  Don’t know how I functioned before I found PhotoFiltre.  It’s like the really simple free version of Photoshop without bells and whistles.  Get it here.  Get it.  Love it.

Microsoft Office Training.  Want to become an Office Goddess and make people think you are a genius?  Well, you are a genius, but now you’ll be a trained one.  The 2007 module on Publisher has been rocking my socks since 1982: Get it here.

There.  You now know ALL of my secrets to awesomeness.  But remember, mad skills will never replace good taste and bold confidence.  Give yourself permission to be creative and let the good times roll.

I still remember the good old days when one of the first wacky fonts I downloaded for an Erotic Bingo poster was called Fuzzy Cootie. Not your grandma’s bingo.

I guess I should put together a portfolio, but then again, maybe not.  Here are some samples of my work, for better or for worse.  Be kind.

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So, go forth!  Learn!  Create!  Be Fearless, Shameless and Unapologetic!  Je vous aime!