Busy busy busy…

Cat update

Our poor kitties have had serious down moments and one night Dax had serious respiration problems. My mate took her into the bathroom, opened the hot water tap to generate steam and ease her breathing. Next morning we both took them back to the RSPCA vet. They checked them out, yups it is the flu. We got some anti-biotics and some eye ointment that should help them a bit. That happened last Saturday.Today, Tuesday they are back to being VERY lively cats and it is clear that they missed the excercise as they are racing through the house and ran us over a couple times already.

Cat vs Man

Moogie had to figure out what we do with the toilet. My mate experienced how she dived into the bowl between the morning visit and the flush. Cat and Bathroom got a wash. It was disgusting but funny nonetheless 😀

Dax does not care how she reaches her favorite sitting spot. She uses our bodies as climbing tree without regards of being fully clothed. My mate got quite some scratches from her climbing along his bare legs. She attacks and jumps from the floor to about thigh level. No fun when you just wear shorts 🙁

Job update

The job is fun – currently I just perform small tasks but there are quite a lot of things ongoing. I have to be careful in my planning as time flies. Currently reviewing website designs and making small modifications to wordpress plugins. I have not coded that much in PHP so I need to look up quite a lot, but I am getting there 🙂

Very Simple Designs

With Easter, sick kitties and a new job I have not had too much time to work on new tutorials for the site. I poked Dakka a bit and he told me he would chip in a bit – so hopefully we see some new additions by him soon.



Poor kitties

As I wrote in my previous post, we went to the RSPCA and picked up the 2 cutest kitties. They are awesome! Moogie is very well adjusted and a bit more reserved but loves to cuddle, gives happy nudges and has a purring engine that would make a Benz jealous. Dax is WILD. She was not properly kitty litter trained so that resulted in a few not so nice surprises, but that was corrected relatively easily. Now she seems only a bit confused in the mornings but there have been no accidents over the last 5 days as I dump her in the litterbox first thing after we get up. She is also a bit confused about her role. She likes to be a lap cat, but is seriously considering a job as parrot cat. For some reason she loves to sit on my shoulders while I work. And as she is still tiny it works – but I am sure that won’t last long.

Cat Flu

Then last week Dax started to sneeze. And as my mate says – she sneezes like me: a few careful whisps and sneezes and then HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! 5 or 6 times sneezes that turn you inside out. Afterwards she looks likes she just survived a hurricane and shakes her head to try and put everything back in place. When we were at the RSPCA they informed us that they had cats with cat-flu, and those with symptoms were treated and recovering in an isolated cat house. But they also told us that whilst the kittens we selected were vaccinated, they may have picked up something that is in incubation time.

Well.. the poor kitties have cat-flu. Clogged eyes, sniffing, sneezing, diarhea and low energy. I called the RSPCA-vet early this week, and they told me that as long as they eat and drink and not go in total lethargy that we should let it its run. So it is with ups and downs. Some days they feel not so good, others they seem back to full rascal mode (altho it is only till their energy runs out). We give them their kibbles and they eat wel, and entice them with some tuna as that is very smelly and reaches them even with their blocked noses. Poor sweeties.

Cat versus Man

  • missed the litterbox 5 times
  • destroyed a headset by chewing the cables

My New Job

My new job is seriously cool. This week was a short one, as it is just before the long easter weekend. The first day was quite uneventful as I got some time to set up my new development environment and everyone else was too busy with whatever they were doing. In the following days I had training sessions in the morning and some small development tasks in the afternoon. An easy week – probably the easiest work week I have experienced in the last uhm.. 18 years or so. But a good start. I like the people that work in this place. We only have a virtual office – so I only know them from online interaction – but sofar they all seem to be great and I feel very welcome.

Downside is that I did not do much work on my tutorials site for this week. I am a bit too busy taking in new information and adjusting to a full workday again to sit relaxed at night and write out some tutorial. It was a short week however and now I enjoy already a long weekend – so that will give me some opportunity to work on new things to publish.

Exciting week and more coming…

Job Hunting

I really enjoy my life in Oz and I have enjoyed extreme freedom in doing freelance work and creating our resources site verysimpledesigns.com. And whilst my partner encouraged me to continu my solo ventures, I thought it would be good to look around for a cool job that at least brings in some steady money too. I am a bit too picky to relay on others for that – tho my partner keeps telling me that is the sole reason why some girls marry. Well.. I am a kinda independent girl I guess. Anyways, we talked it over and he told me please don’t go for a high profile job again, you will be all stressed and forget to enjoy life and sure will have no more time for all the cool creative things you do now. So I started looking around for a job that would teach me new things, allow me to develop some skills further and would consider me even tho I might be unqualified for some things (skills that are not much developed yet) but overqualified for others (work that I have done for many years and can do during sleep).

Web Designer/Developer

After a few days I came across an advertisement for a junior web developer/designer for a very company that is known for its search engine optimization work. I have done quite some website design and development, but on a different platform and mainly to provide access portals to adminstrative information systems. So this would be a new area, developing for WordPress and most exciting – learning more about SEO optimization. I wrote a lengthy application letter, included my CV and said there might be a win-win situation – and yes I know it is an entry level job – money isn’t everything (not in my book anyways). We talked about it, I got a technical interview and I ended up with a new job. The very cool thing about this job is that there is no office, except for a virtual one. That cuts 10+ hours travel time out of the working week and should leave me enough time to continu creative work. The contract says that I am bound to work for them exclusively and not to undertake any work in a competitive field – so the freelancing webdesign is put on hold.

Cute Kittens

Also as you may remember our cute cat passed away last month. There was a litter of kittens at a neighbour’s house and my mate came home a few weeks ago and asked carefully if I would be interested in one of those little critters. I thought it would be a bit too soon, but I had to confess I miss a cat around the house. I grew up with cats and have held cats almost all my life. Last Saturday it became clear that all the cats from this litter had found a home already. Sunday we went to the RSPCA – we just went for a look at the kitten home and were sold immediately. There was this cute gray little lady screaming her lungs out to please take her home with us and a few cages down was a cute playful lady that might make a good playmate. We talked to the caretakers and the cats were put together to see if they could make good mates. We went home with both of them. The gray tabby has cute little spots on her belly, we named her Dax. The dark tortoise is 3 weeks older, a bit more dominant but surely the wisest of the two, we named her Moogie. You got to be a Trekkie to see the resemblance.


Freebie Easter Bunnies

I am working on improvement of the Joomla! template we use on verysimpledesigns.com. And as that is mostly an after hours job, it progresses slowly. I have to divide my attention to creating new content, finishing tutorials and re-design. All fun to do, but it is sometimes more fun to just doodle a bit. And that is what I did last night.

I simply opened up Inkscape and started to dabble a bit, with the idea to make a concept for a character creation tutorial. But I ended up making an easter bunny – and as that holiday is upcoming – I decided to share it. The vector is cleaned up and can pass any microstock scrutiny check – all paths are closed, no embedded text, no transparancies and no patterns.

I have published the vector as Inkscape SVG and eps format but also exported it to png in 300dpi and as web-friendly size with all bunnies scaled to 256 px height. The work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License. Check it out: Freebie Easter Bunny Vectors.

Freebie Easter Bunnies
Freebie Easter Bunnies

Seamless Pattern Creation in Inkscape

I started to write a tutorial about seamless pattern creation in Inkscape a long time ago. I really struggled with it, as I was afraid it would not show enough original content, and also because the use of seamless patterns within Inkscape comes with quite some limitations.

Through verysimpledesigns.com I received a request for a tutorial on seamless pattern creation, and I figured I might as well finish and publish the tutorial I started earlier. Total composing time for this tutorial is over 20 hours and I still am not totally happy with it. My Inkscape “guinea pig” still needs to test it – and I hope he’s gentle in his verdict. It is available on the Inkscape tutorials page and I will announce it on the front page as soon as the final tweaking is done.

Create seamless textures in Inkscape