Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Upcycled Shims

According to the e-mail my manager received recently, I've been working for exactly one year as of today!  That means it's been just over a year since I moved south, having left my cozy, rainy homeland for near-daily sunshine.  Although it's odd to be wearing only two layers instead of three (plus a water-resistant shell), I don't regret moving because of the weather.

And most certainly, I don't regret moving because of the shopping.  Not only is far superior to, but there are so many stores here I love to visit!  It took me a while, however, to discover the Paper Source.  <3  Their stores are always full of fun things to look at, and of little crafty knick knacks that make me want to drain my bank account.  In short: an effective business model.

The most recent thing I discovered from the Paper Source, however, that I absolutely love, actually cost me no money at all: a Paper Source brochure!


Here it is, disassembled.  As fun as it is to browse through, I'm not going to order personalized cards, and I'm not getting married yet so I'm not interested in ordering invitations.  However, I do love flipping through it.  And when I'm done with it, apart from making mini envelopes (which will have to be another post on its own, some day), the intact pages are the perfect size to use as Cuttlebug shims.

And once again, ta-da!

I shan't deny that I absolutely love my Cuttlebug.  That's probably slightly because of brand loyalty ("My PlayStation can kick your GameCube's butt any day!"), and I have to admit that the only other manual die cutting machine I've tried is the Epic Six.  But my Cuttlebug (and its suction rubber bottom) can kick your Epic Six's butt any day!  But I've had a lot of fun with it, and I fully intend on continuing this trend.  So to find perfectly sized paper shims that look nice was a very exciting discovery for me.  As the picture above shows, they're just the right width.

Any time I'm doing something that doesn't involve the standard embossing folders or dies, which is actually pretty often now, I grab my pile of brochure leaves and slip them in as necessary.  They're thin enough to give a little bit of extra pressure, but can get fairly thick when piled together--I don't think I've used an entire brochure yet!

Monday, November 16, 2009

one more thing

I forgot to add this in my last post, because I forgot it existed.  That is how horrible it is: I can actually succeed at putting it out of my memory.  At least, that's what I'm going to pretend.

peek (v): to glance, to look at briefly. "She took a sneak peek at the new merchandaise."
peak (n): the extreme, maximum, vertex, acme. "She was at the peak of her career."

As you can see, "peek" is a verb, whereas "peak" is a noun.  The latter is not so unique that it can be, um, verbified, like, "Hey, let me Google that." 

So therefore, this is completely unacceptable: "Let's start off this blog post/tutorial/news article by taking a peak at what's actually going on here."

Argh! I see it so often, too.  I am terrified that one day, it will be standard to use "peak" instead of "peek".  I hate it so much, it makes me want to stab my eyes out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not Proofreading This Post

Sometimes I wonder if anybody even bothers to proofread any more, online or offline.  Proofreading takes extra time, yes.  Proofreading requires thought, yes.  Proofreading is boring, yes.  But proofreading is good! 

Blogs seem to be especially bad with this, since they already carry a "this just came from my head, seriously" type of essence.  But they don't need to sound like that all of the time.  This especially goes to people who manage public blogs.  Shame!  It's not enough to write a post, run the spellchecker, and then click "Publish."  Their are many things that due knot got fixed unless yew seas them when you've proofreading! 

Spelling errors and grammar mistakes usually make up the bulk of these very easy-to-catch items, but the ones that really irk me are the ones that are obviously side-effects of an edit.  The incorrect tense that went with a different phrasing.  The incomplete word that used to begin or end a sentence.  The phrase that is repeated at least twice, maybe more, but written differently each time. It's obvious to me that you took the time to re-edit the sentence.  But did you read it after you "fixed" it?

I'm not talking about small errors, like easy typos, where one letter is replqced by another, or where the order of charcaters gets a little scrambled.  I'm talking about obvious mistakes that you can catch just by doing one read-through.  When you publish something that is obviously not proofread, it says to the reader, "I didn't read my own article, why should you?"

And if you're going to argue that "replqced" and "charcaters" are obvious, well, you were looking for them, weren't you?