Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chasing the clock

When did time "all of a sudden" become so scarce? I feel like in the last 6 months or so I have done nothing but cross the days off my calendar at lightning speed!

When I was a kid I wished for the school term to end, counted the days until Christmas and prayed that my high school years would hurry up and be over already! Now I think to myself... you silly silly girl!! I'd give anything to have another few hours everyday on my watch just to get the "me-time" stuff sorted (or the housework.... Oh my bathroom is in deep neglect right now!)

I'm finding myself getting busier and busier as the days go on. I have to admit, when I got my "cruisy" uni timetable earlier this term I was thinking that this course was going to be a breeze and I'd have so much spare time for myself.... WRONG! So so wrong!

I spend a maximum of 3 hours a day on campus in class lectures or tutorials or hands on workshops. With the little amount of face-to-face time with my lecturers comes a mammoth amount of homework in my "me-time"! Since I have taken up casual afternoon/night work also I am finding myself running from home to class to work then home to quickly whip up dinner and do some more homework and then crash in bed sometime around midnight. Squeezed in there is also an hour gym session and sometimes a load of washing!

When did life get so busy?

I like to pride myself on keeping in touch with friends and family at least via email or the odd Face Book message or comment. Close family I like to Skype with or call but I cant even seem to find the time to do this. I'm flat out squeezing this little blog-post in today!
How do the incredibly successful, highly busy, mothers or wives do it all?! I don't even have kids  thank God for that at the moment because I know the poor things would go hungry right now because my fridge is bare and the groceries might have to wait until tomorrow!

How do you keep on top of everything and stop "chasing the clock"?


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mac vs PC ???

This week I almost had a melt down.

I was rushing last week to get one of my photography assignments completed by Friday before I had to be in Sydney over the weekend for little Sisters birthday (see previous blog post for details!).

Thanks to the crazy nature of the flood evacuations and being unable to return to my house until wednesday last week, my "actual picture taking" stages of my assignment were completely thrown out and I found myself to be all over the shop and unorganised.

Friday night I had everything uploaded onto my PC and ready to go for me to just re size and save as jpegs on Monday morning for my assignment presentation this Monday afternoon. Much to my distress when I got to uni half an hour before class was to begin, I had done something wrong on my PC and putting the PC jpegs onto the Mac computer just didn't work! I was in such a fluster, sweaty and hot, holding back the tears as I frantically re-did all of my photoshop work quickly and managed to get the pics onto the Mac computer just in time. I nearly cried my eyes off feeling so embarrassed that I had even had this problem as it is common knowledge here on campus that "computer problems will not be an acceptable excuse for late submission of assignments".

It got me thinking right away, maybe I need to give up my long love affair with PC computers and invest in an Apple Mac? Practically everyone in the Graphic Design industry uses the Mac's and most of the software that I am aware of is made initially for Mac's then introduced on the PC.

I just don't think I can give up my PC! I love the PC. I know how to navigate everything, it all looks familiar, everything is set out right... it just works!

When I use Mac's I know the basics but for some reason everything feels a bit backwards to me. Maybe this is the lack of practice in using these systems, I don't know but my little "almost meltdown" earlier this week has definitely got me thinking.

Do you have a Mac or a PC? Which do you think is better? Which do you prefer? Are Mac's easy to get used to?

Just like my IPhone post back here, I'd love if you could all give me some of your feedback and thoughts! If you're a Mac user let me know what you love about it! Maybe I could love a Mac just as much as I love my PC too?!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up!

Hey there folks! I'm alive & well! I made it through the floods, and if you had been hearing any local or possibly National news over the last week you would have heard that the CBD and Central Wagga also made it out safely. (Unfortunately North Wagga was still full of water late last week)

I have just gotten back to my "Wagga Home" after a BIG weekend in Sydney! My baby sister is celebrating her 21st birthday (I still cant believe that she's 21, OMG! today and we had a party get-together for her on Saturday Night. We had a ball!!

(Top: My Mum with my little sister Jessie, Bottom: Our Nan and Jessie at her 21st dinner at Chinta Ria, Cockle Bay Wharf)

There's a joke in our family that anyone who hangs out with us at any family functions, bbq's or get-togethers its like "Meeting the Fockers"! We are one loud, crazy bunch and I love it!
March is big in our family for birthdays and Sunday was also my younger cousin Brinleys' 15th birthday so we all caught the train out to Cronulla and saw her favourite footy team (the Newcastle Knights) play (and beat) the Sharks!!! Its was the best arvo, and Brin had the best time.

(Top: Brinnie the birthday girl in her birthday Knights gernsey ready to watch the footy! Bottom: Brinley, Jessie and Me in the footy stands at Cronulla!)

We all hit the streets of Sydney on Saturday hard and shopped till we dropped (and almost couldn't walk - I was dumb enough to wear some heeled boots around all day shopping, arghh my feet killed!).

Mum and I had an experience of our own and went into Sheike in the Pitt St Mall and were totally styled by one of their senior ladies that works there. I am so sad because we didn't even get to catch her name, we were so overwhelmed by how many awesome outfits she kept bringing to us to try on. God I was in heaven! She kept picking up the most trendy and stylish outfits that on my own I would have never thought to pick out and they looked awesome! She was amazing!!
Unfortunately being on my very tight uni budget I could only manage to purchase a few items, but I did score an awesome outfit for my sisters 21st that night (see pic below - sorry about the dodgy lighting, loving my new orange pants - colour blocking, check!) and an awesome outfit for a wedding that I am attending in the Hunter Valley next weekend!!

Sheike outfit

We were so lucky with the weather and were blessed with warm sunshine! We couldn't have asked for better since poor Sydney has been copping a lot of rain lately.

Darling Harbour

(Darling Harbour on Saturday morning - gorgeous day!)

I had the best time and have flown back to town in time for my uni lecture this afternoon and to submit and present an assignment (*sigh*).

Jessie I hope you enjoyed your birthday celebrations and I can't wait to see you again (hopefully before Christmas! lol), Love you little Sis!!

Big plans for me for the week ahead! I have several assignments to tackle and one design that I am super excited about that I cant wait to share with you all within the next week or two!

Any big plans for you this week?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Floods are no fun!

Last night about 10pm-ish, right about the time I was getting ready to snuggle into my bed, I heard a knock on my door. This is strange for my place since I have practically only moved in to this new unit (and I only just met my neighbour for the first time yesterday arvo at our shared clothesline!!) It was my neighbour telling me that we need to evacuate.

"What? Us? Here?!" Was my response. She said that she had spoken to the SES and all of Wagga Waggas' CBD was ordered to evacuate as the river was expected to reach its peak the following morning (this morning at 7am.)

Naturally being from the country (where over the last eleven years or so we are so used to having drought that the new loads of rain we have been getting have been not only unusual but hard to get used to) I started to panic a little. I've never had to be evacuated from my home before. (My hometown never floods like this!)

(I took this picture on my way home from class yesterday arvo of some of the water lying around the uni campus! It has gotten worse in the last 24 hours. These paddocks are usually bare!)

Although I am only 2 weeks new to this town I have a good friend who I rang immediately to confirm if we had to evacuate or not. At this point I was thinking it must be a mistake because I don't live that close to the river and I didn't think the flooding was that bad! She confirmed it with me on the phone and told me all of the things that I should do to make sure my unit was safe.

I unplugged all of my electrical goods (except my fridge) and put everything that I could lift on my own up as high as I could (I ran straight for my new TB boots! A girly thing to do, yes, but the thought of my new shoes floating around in smelly flood water was scary!!)

We ended up loading a small plastic box of my beloved things (including my laptop, some pictures of family and a small bag of clothes) into my car and we headed to higher ground. Thankfully my friend has other friends in Wagga that we are lucky enough to stay with while we wait to hear whether the levy bank that is protecting the city CBD from the flood water breaks or not when the river peaks.

We were told that the river was to peak at 7am this morning, then this time was pushed back to 9am, then to 3pm, now the latest news from the SES is that the river is moving slower than expected and now we are waiting until later this evening to hear that the river has peaked.

So at the moment its much of a waiting game for us. There are 9 of us "crashing" at Heidi's friends house until we get the "OK" that we can move back to our houses in Central and the CBD.

(Yesterday arvo this was my view - stuck in traffic trying to get home from my uni. You can vaguely see the flood waters of North Wagga in the distance. This water has also risen a lot!)

Of course the idea of a day off work or uni might sound exciting to most people but to be honest, I think I'd much rather be at uni class! Sitting around waiting, not sure whether your house and belongings are going to get wet and ruined is not a nice thing to have to do. Plus I miss my bed! :( I am currently sleeping on a couch, which is better than the floor like some of the other couples that are also staying here are having to do, but nothing is quite like sleeping in your own bed!

We are all hoping that the news is over-reacting a little and by tonight we will all be given the OK to go back to our homes, but who knows at this point? All we can do is keep checking online for updates and the listening to the radio and the news to find out what lies in store for us and all of the other 8000 evacuated residents from Wagga Wagga.

Please keep us in your thoughts. Floods are so not fun!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Simple design... primary shapes

This week in design class we have been set a task to look at logos. We have been given a hypothetical task to design a logo and an image for an ecological friendly, luxury resort.

One of the tasks has been to look at the stages of the design process and how long it takes to get from the initial stages of design to the final finished project.

Initially we are just brainstorming and having to use our creativity to use primary shapes (squares, circles, triangles) to create images that could look somewhat like logos.

Working on this task has really made me think about the simplicity of design and how simple shapes can become a well known identity of a major brand or label.

Of course these "Symbols" look very boring at present, but teamed with the right text, font and colour, any of these images could pass for a business logo.

Take the Commonwealth Banks' log for example; its just a diamond right?

Who would have thought that simple "primary" shapes slightly manipulated (added to or subtracted from) could make a simple, effective logo?!

Design continues to surprise me. I love the simplicity of it and how simple it can sometimes be.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bright and happy snaps!

I was cruising the halls of my uni the other day in the Creative Industries department where I take my Graphic Design classes and I noticed something.

I'm studying a Bachelor of Graphic Design and minoring in photography, along the walls of the halls at uni are big prints of (I am assuming) ex-students photography work. They are all really good and interesting but they all have one thing in common.... they look "dark".
When I say dark I don't mean the contrast or shadows or that its hard to see whats in the pictures, I mean the whole feel of the pictures are dark and a little depressive.

I am by no means trying to be nasty or criticize any ones photography work because these pictures are really very good but to me I get a little gloomy when I see these types of photos.

When I think of photography I want to be able to take pictures that give off an emotion of course, but I am thinking more along the lines of bright, happy, beautiful emotions. I think if I do end up pursuing a career down the line that dabbles in photography this will be much more my style.

I get inspired by good pictures, and one photographer that I often follow is a lady by the name of Heidi Rookyard. She is awesome! She does weddings, family photos, portraits, engagement shoots... capturing all of the beautiful things in life! I found her on Facebook through some local people around my home town. She is based in the Central Western NSW area and creates some gorgeous pictures!

You can find her page of FB here.

Heidi's photography is definitely more my "style".

I have my first technical photography assignment due in about 2 weeks so I am going to start brainstorming some bright ideas for my subject!

(If only it would stop raining here so I can get outside and explore for my assignment! It has been non-stop this week and I can hear more coming down on the roof right now, it sounds wild out there! I guess my backyard will be flooded again - which means that my laundry is cut-off, dang it! The washing will have to wait!!!)

How is the weather at your place today? I hear most of NSW is getting down-pour?!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The new girl...

In our lives at some point or another we have all been the "new girl" (or guy... whichever gender you are!).

At the moment I am the "new girl" everywhere. I've just moved to a new town, I've started a new uni course and all my classes are new, new faces at my part-time job, new people at the gym, new neighbours (that I still haven't met or even seen. I've been living in my unit and sharing a wall with this lady for almost 2 weeks now. Isn't that weird?!)

Hi, my name is Ellie and I am the new girl.

I guess I'm not the only one to a certain degree. The fact is that most of my new uni class mates are also "new".

With friends and family or in a place that I am familiar with I feel confident and bubbly and can chat to anyone. Most of my friends will disagree with me when I say this but, when it comes to meeting people, I am generally shy. The only thing that seems to get me by most times is the fact that I talk a lot. (Ask any close friends, or my boyfriend - he bares witness to the "Ellie" chatter a lot) I am an uncomfortable talker. I yip-yap and chitter chat and often do the awkward laugh or giggle when it feels necessary (of course when things get awkward.)

I think being a bit of a chatter puts me at an advantage when it comes to meeting people. Often I find that if someone doesn't start a conversation at some point, one will never start and all the "newbies" sit around awkwardly playing on their iPhones or twiddling their fingers. I'm every shy, new persons dream! That girl who tries to make the uncomfortable silence comfortable... if that's possible?! lol

How do you meet people? What are your "tactics" when it comes to introducing yourself or making new friends?