I’ve been doing stuff!

So I haven’t posted on my blog for ages. OK, I post the other day, but that was a post I had written ages ago and had just saved as a draft, so it doesn’t count. I haven’t actually written anything on my blog since NaNoWriMo. I didn’t even do the traditional New Year post of stuff I planned to do. That probably wasn’t a good start. But I have been doing stuff!

1) I’ve been drawing

Quite a few sketches and a couple of RPG character portraits. I’m still not great but I am practicing and I think I’m getting better.

2) I’ve been sewing

I have designed and cross-stitched some Steampunk buttons from scratch.

I also have a Steampunk coat in progress (thanks to Claire for the fabric!), though motivation is slightly lacking since I currently have nowhere to wear it. As soon as someone invites me to a Steampunk party I’ll be right back on the case!

3) I’ve been knitting

I learned how to knit (like a needed another hobby) and I made the kids a penguin.
I’m currently knitting a Nightmare (perhaps I should call it a Knitemare?) and I’ve ordered some yarn to make a top for myself over the summer holidays. I have not yet mastered the art of crochet but it’s next on the list!

4) I’ve been playing the ukelele

I have been strumming away on some hits from Glee, Linkin Park, RHCP, and some nursery rhymes for the kids. I still cannot play well, but I’m willing to say I can play it a little now. But I’m not posting a video to prove it 😛

5) I’ve been writing…a little…

This is the one I feel bad about. I haven’t finished the last book. I haven’t finished the diary. I started out the year quite well with editing but then got distracted with other writing things that didn’t work out. I’ve not written any short stories. I’ve tried to finish a book I started a while ago, and I’m struggling. It’s not sounding so good.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. I have learned I really write best when I have an outline, and from now on I’m going to stick with that. I’ve tried a few times to just write with a basic idea and see what comes out and it’s safe to say that mostly unusable rubbish comes out. I guess I’m just someone who needs to plan. I’ve also learned that I need to focus. I have a lot of hobbies and I’ve tried doing schedules and rotas to fit them all in but I just end up procrastinating if I don’t feel like writing on writing night, or I’d rather be drawing on crafting night. This is the road to unfinished projects and too many hours on Facebook. So from now on the plan is focus on one thing, do it, finish it, move on! The philosophy is a bit trickier with something big like a novel. I’m not really going to put all my other hobbies aside for months while I write a book from start to finish, but certainly I think one big project at a time is enough. If it’s not working then fine, ditch it and move on, but don’t leave things unfinished with the hope you’ll get back to them one day!

And I should blog more. Not because I think the whole world should be very interested in me failing to finish my projects, but because a bit of public accountability can be motivating :). So the next thing you will see on here is my Nightmare. That’s what I’m making, I will finish it, I will post it, and then I will move on.

Well, that’s the plan anyway 🙂

The Ultimate Geek Dad Card

Due to travelling back from YAPC::NA poor Markie missed his first Father’s day as a daddy of two, so I thought it would be nice if the kids and I made him a special card. I do a lot of homemade cards and I don’t usually write blog posts about them, but I’m pleased with how this one came out and there are some nice elements you can involve young children with, so I thought I’d do a little ‘how to’ guide in case you fancy having a go with your own kids for the geek in their life :).

you will need:
1 sheet of A3 white card
3 sheets of A4 coloured paper/card of choice
1 sheet of White paper
A selection of geeky stickers
Children’s art supplies (finger paints, crayons, paper, etc)
Craft knife

Basically this card will look like a laptop when finished. Mine looks like a MacBook Pro, just because that’s hubby’s laptop, but you could make it look like any computer. Just adjust your colours accordingly.


Start by folding the A3 card in half. This is the base for the laptop and you’ll be sticking everything onto this. You can use smaller card if you like but the smaller you make it the less room you’ll have inside for your little geeklings’ contribution.

Next get a sheet of A4 card for the cover of you laptop. This should be decorated with as many geek culture stickers as you can get your hands on. This is a nice bit for kids to help with. I placed the Apple logo and the ‘happy Father’s day’ letters and let Ben put the rest of the stickers on. Once you’re happy with it you can stick it on the A3 card and put it somewhere safe, because the next bit might get messy.


For the laptop screen you need a piece of artwork from your little darlings. We did finger painting. Ben loved it. Elliott had no idea what was happening but I managed to get a hand print out of him. The possibilities are really endless here depending on how old your helpers are, but that’s for them to worry about and you to provide materials for. The screen is very much their bit of the card. If your little geekling is too young to contribute you could decorate with family photos instead :).


Stick your piece of artwork to the left hand inside of the card, then using another bit of coloured card cut out a frame to make the casing for the laptop screen. Mine is 1cm think at all sides except the bottom, which is 1.5cm. Stick it over the top of the picture and that’s another bit done!


Finally you need a keyboard for the laptop. To make mine I got an Apple keyboard off google images and used photoshop to rub out the letters that were on it. Then I printed it out and wrote my own message on the keys. Alternatively you could make your keyboard out of square stickers, or you could find a fun keyboard themed font and print out a message. Whatever you use, you need to stick you keyboard/message onto the last bit of coloured card, then stick the whole thing onto the righthand inside of the A3 card.


And now it’s done! One collaborative geek-parent appreciation card :).


And one messy child. Sorry about that.