Maralianna Logo Design Collaboration

A few months ago my friend Tam of Things That Make You Go Nom, who is also a kickass photographer (and the person responsible for the beautiful profile picture of me on my About page) asked for a bit of a hand in creating a new logo for her new business card.

I was all too willing to help.

She’d run some designs past me before but I will admit that whilst I am a fledgling graphics designer (became qualified in 2010), I am by no means artistically inclined. Even though I do enjoy the process of logo design, my bent leans more towards retouching, typesetting, packaging and stationery. Tam wanted something that was a little more fanciful than what I could come up with personally and she is a wonderful artist herself, she fiddled around and finally settled on a beautiful monogram logo with her signature lotus flower.

Maralianna.com, Collaborative Logo Design - renlish.com

Gorgeous, aye?

Well, it fell to me to bring the lovely artwork into the digital realm and I had a heck of a lot of fun doing so. All hail Adobe Illustrator!

The design needed to be changed somewhat as the whole thing needed to be squished into what was eventually less than a 2×2 inch space and it needed to be legible. So the M became solid, the lotus was simplified just a little and the borders squared up.

Maralianna.com, Collaborative Logo Design - renlish.com

And yes, I used Trajan Pro for the font… graphic designer faux pas, but I liked it. More to the point, so did Tam.

She will never end up on Clients from Hell.

Thanks Tam, for the opportunity to help out with that. Collaborative design at this level is great fun.

Sunday Stealing, August 5, 2012

Have you ever written a song?
I’ve written some very bad poetry, does that count?

Have you ever been in the opposite sex’s public toilet?
Yeup. When a girl’s gotta go, a girl’s gotta go!

Are you superstitious?
Yep!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve done?
Not saying on this blog, but it was a bit naughty. ;)

Did you have a baby blanket? Do you still sleep with it?
Um… like a security thing? Nah.

Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? If yes, how’d it work out?
I’ve never cut my hair personally. It’s always been a big no-no.

Have you ever sleepwalked?
Yeah, apparently my dad found me in various parts of the house late at night when I was little on a regular basis. I don’t sleepwalk anymore though.

If you could be any age, what age would you be?
28.

What is your dream car?
One with a heater and stereo that works. :(

What is your favorite cartoon of all time?
Gotta say, I do love the old Warner Bros Looney Toons.

If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first?
Open the window and crawl out if I’m still relatively afloat, otherwise wait until the car settles and get out a la Mythbusters style once the pressure has equalised.

Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Nope.

How many foreign countries have you visited?
Japan, China, UK & Scotland

If you fell into quicksand, would you try to swim or try to float?
Float, baby!

Do you talk in your sleep?
Yes. I had an interesting conversation about putting clothes pegs on sharks. No, I don’t know either.

Have you ever slipped in the bathtub?
Just about every day!

If you could invite any movie star to your home for dinner, who would it be?
Ray Stevenson, but we wouldn’t be having dinner… *eyebrow waggle*

Have you ever re-gifted?
No. Presents I think are rubbish get chucked in the bin ASAP.

If you could attend an Olympic Event, what would it be?
The diving.

If you could participate in an Olympic Event, what would it be?
Probably diving. I used to enjoy it a lot.

If you won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, which store would you pick?
No idea… possibly somewhere with the nicest range of stuff.

What do you think is your best feature?
My eyes.

If you were to win an Oscar, what kind of movie would it be for?
Drama or Fantasy. Probably drama. With swords. Yeah.

Which of the five senses is most important to you?
Sight. The idea of living in darkness frightens me.

Would you be a more successful painter or singer?
Would definitely love to be a painter.

How many years will/did you end up going to college?
College equals university here, and it was about 18 months worth that I did before I gave up.

Have you ever had surgery?
Yep. Specifically on my mouth due to some badly formed/forming teeth and more recently I had my gall bladder removed.

What do you like to collect?
Dust bunnies and craft projects.

How many collectibles do you have?
True collectibles? None.

Oh How Pinteresting, August 1, 2012 – Colour Glory

In honour of the big box of makeup that’s arrived on my doorstep today, I bring you a “colour” edition of Oh How Pinteresting…

 

Source: flickr.com via Erin on Pinterest

 

Source: 500px.com via Erin on Pinterest

 

Source: flickr.com via Erin on Pinterest

 

 

Source: fabric.com via Erin on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Champion attitude.

Sharing something that I posted on my Weight Watchers blog today:

I AM A CROSSTRAINING CHAMPION!

YES, I AM.

OH YES, I AM.

Ahem.

No I shan’t mention that in the race I had today I totally got my butt whipped. I’m still a champion.

Here’s the story…

Because you totally knew there would be a story because, hey, this is me you’re reading.

I got to the gym today after having regrouped from the little incident that happened during yesterday’s session with the Bitch Twins (yes, they now have a name) and decided to shake up my routine a bit and do something a touch harder than just the treadmill.

I looked at the crosstrainer.

It looked back at me.

I glared at the crosstrainer.

It glared back at me.

I narrowed my eyes at the crosstrainer.

The crosstrainer was all “C’mon, you ain’t got the cojones to start on me today. Go for a stroll on Mr Treadmill over there, princess…”

And I was all, “OH NO YOU DI’INT!”

(Like my impression of a black drag queen? Am I stereotyping? Oops.)

I punched 30 minutes into that sucker on a moderately difficult setting (because going hard into the unknown is a bad thing, y’all) and hopped on.

20 minutes later I was dying, legs burning, hands clinging desperately to the grips, reps dropping below 60rpm…

Dammit, the crosstrainer was winning.

I was cowed. Beaten by a mostly inanimate object with an attitude.

Epic fail.

But not quite. Salvation was at hand.

Your legs arent giving out. Your head is giving out. Keep going. - Renlish.com

“Don’t stop,” I hear beside me.

Looking to my left, I discovered The Grunter doing his thing on the crosstrainer next to mine. And he was whipping that thing’s ass!

“Huhn?” Me, eloquent always.

“Don’t stop!”

Now, dear reader, I love hearing those words from a man but in a completely different scenario… possibly one that involves leather handcuffs and vanilla custard…

I was despairing. “But…”

“C’mon,” he says, leaning to look at my screen, “You got 10 more minutes. So do I. Let’s see how far you can get.”

Me, out loud: “Um, ‘kay….”

Me, mentally: “ARRRRRGGGGGHHHH NOOOOO IHATEYOUIHATEYOUIHATEYOU!!”

But I did it. I got my reps back up to above 70rpm and stayed there, even when the program started to increase the incline again. For 10 solid minutes The Grunter and I were heads down, throwing our all in on those machines. I was going at a snail’s pace compared to him and got most of a kilometer in distance whereas I think he might have smashed out another six, but hey… I’ve never had so much fun losing a race before.

Why am I happy about it?

Because 18 months ago, I couldn’t manage five minutes on 0 incline and level 2 resistance.

Today I managed, for the first time ever, to go a full 30 minutes on an incline that was anywhere between 10 and 40 on level 4.

Without stopping once.

Yep. I’m a fucking champion today.

Dismay… (A post about Suicide.)

On the 27th of July (I believe), a very talented man ended his life.  I don’t know why, I don’t think anyone but his family (particularly his father) might have had an inkling as to why he might have done so.

The above video was posted two weeks ago.

I will never understand why people believe that a permanent solution to a temporary problem is the answer.  It used to make me angry. I used to rant and rave about how much I detested people who killed themselves. It’s not fair to the people who find them, it’s not fair to the people who are left behind to wonder why. In this case, Nathan has not only left his family behind, but also many thousands of fans who appreciated his ironically positive outlook on life and his extraordinary talent for making music. I was one of them and was luck to have exchanged a few messages with him. He was a kind soul.

I find I can’t be angry about this particular situation. I am, however, extremely sad. 

Disappointed. Dismayed. Disheartened.

 

Jul 27, 2012 | Friday 27th feeling at peace by NathanWills on Keek.com

Knowing that he’s gone now makes that video extremely telling. Extremely telling.

All I can say, to anyone reading this, that if you are feeling like this… solution… is the one for you, think again. Think again and then go get help. Things are never so bad that you need to end your life.

If you are in Australia and you need to talk to someone, contact a professional through Beyond Blue or for immediate assistance, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

USA: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
UK: Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90 (RoI call 1850 60 90 90)

Sunday Stealing July 29, 2012… and Oopsie Daisies Nail Polish!

Welcome to another edition of Sunday, however before we get into the Sunday Stealing part of the program, I’d like to draw your attention to Cathryn at Hot Pink Aurora and her new indy polish business, Oopsie Daisies.  I’ve been following Cathryn for a little while now and not only does she do some of the best nail swatches on the web, but she’s apparently a pretty talented indy polish maker.

She has just realised her first collection of polishes and they are too cool. They’re called The Sweet Treat Trio and consist of Tiramisu, Banana Split and Strawberry Trifle.

Dude, polishes with FOOD names. Of course I’m there. I’m itching to get Banana Split as I’ve a thing for yellowy polishes these days.

Anyway, Cathryn is running a little competition to celebrate the release of her first collection so head over to her site to have a look and enter.

With that said, onto…

26. What type of errands do you like running?
None that require me to leave the house. Actually, I don’t mind shopping when I know what I have to shop for, where to get it and how long it’s going to take me.

27. Have you ever eaten snow?
Never even SEEN snow.

28. What color are your bedsheets?
Brown or dark grey or white. Currently dark grey.

29. What’s your favorite flower?
Violet.

30. Do you do ballet?
Seriously… moving on.

31. Do you listen to classical music?
Yes, I do enjoy a little bit of classical type stuff.

32. What is the first TV Theme song that pops in your head?
Two and a Half Men. *grr* WHY?!

33. Do you watch Sponge Bob?
Didn’t even know what Sponge Bob was until a year ago. No, I do not watch.

34. What temperature is it outside right now?
FUCKING COLD is what it is. And I was awake and out in it at 5.40am.

35. Do people consider you smart?
I have no idea. My loving audience will have to let me know.

36. How many piercing do you have?
Happy to say none at all. Piercings don’t really do it for me. I would have loved to have got my eyebrow done at one point as I love that look but I am too chicken and I need a proper job. Piercings put people off – especially in the corporate world – and I have enough trouble with my nail polish.

37. Are you signed on [to] AIM?
I used to use the AIM instant messager thingie. Don’t anymore.

38. Have you ever tried gluing your fingers together?
Who hasn’t? It took me over an hour to get unstuck.

39. How do you feel about your family?
They’re an endless source of frustration and heartache sometimes.

40. Do you have an iPod?
Nope. I have an iRiver. LOL

41. What time do you go to bed?
Depends on what I plan to do when I’m in there. ;)

42. What CD is currently in your CD player?
CD player? What? What’s that?

43. What movie do you know every line to?
The Court Jester, Monty Python’s Holy Grail, Labyrinth, The Last Unicorn.

44. What is your favorite salad dressing?
Praise Fat Free French Dressing.

45. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A Nikon D3 with a 24-70mm Nikkor lens. Please?

46. What family member/friend lives the farthest from you? Where?
I have an aunt in my immediate family who lives a 6 hour drive away. My inlaws are a four day drive away. (And we like it like that!)

47. Do you like hugs?
Depends on who is hugging me, but generally yes, I do indeed like hugs.

48. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
Since forever.

49. What’s the way people most often mispronounce any part of your name?
It’s sort of hard to get my name wrong. Erin. Though I did used to get “Anne” a lot when I was working on Helldesk. I guess I talk too quickly.

50. Last person you hugged?
The manbeast.

When Pinterest Works (a first post of a possible many)

So, you know Pinterest, right?

It’s my own personal brand of crack at the moment in a way that Tumblr, Twitter and Myspace never became.

Seriously, I was like this:

 

So… yeah.

You should see my boards.

No, really. You should see my boards.

GO SEE MY BOARDS!

Anyway, as you’re also aware by now (hopefully, if you know me or been reading this blog for a little bit) I am thoroughly addicted to another form of crack called nail polish. Adore the stuff. ALL THE PRETTY COLOURS!

So when I got to looking at Pinterest and found this pin:

 

…I knew I had to give it a go.

I was a little more subtle and didn’t quite go with the Hawaiian/Neon purply orange goodness that Makeup Withdrawal used, but I did select a very cool gradient of turquoise to try. Plus it’s winter here in Australia at the moment so the blue theme works for the season.

The specific colours I used were:

Source: ekiblog.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

Mint Sorbet (340), by Sally Hansen and…

Source: google.ba via Biberlee on Pinterest

 

Custom Kicks (721), by China Glaze.

(Yes, I know I am totally using someone else’s photos instead of my own but it’s 9.40pm as I write this and I haven’t a hope of getting a photo done at this time of night. But hey, they’re all from Pinterest. And I did this manicure three days ago already.)

I painted on a thinnish layer of Mint Sorbet and let that mostly dry and then dabbed a mix of the Mint Sorbet and Custom Kicks over that with a make-up sponge.

You could have probably heard me squealing as I realised it was working.

PINTEREST WORKS!

My left hand is a funky gradient (or “ombre”) effect of pale to dark turquoise.

Like so:

Ombre Gradient Nail Polish, Custom Kicks (China Glaze) and Mint Sorbet (Sally Hansen) - Renlish.com

PRETTIFULNESS!

LOVE.

Unfortunately the sponge started to get a little funky and the effect isn’t so great on my right hand (plus I’m right-handed so my right hand will always look a little funky regardless) so if you’re doing this, I would suggest two bits of make-up sponge – one for each hand. And of course this is a manicure you need a topcoat for as it smooths out the nail (the sponging leavings things a little bumpy) and makes it all shiny too.

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve found a really fantastic tutorial on Youtube…

 

High Tea with British Royalty

What on earth happened to the rest of the week? I posted on Monday night and it’s now Friday. ACK!

Anyhoo… Tuesday, if you recall, was the day of the Twinings High Tea event that was arranged via Nuffnang. I left in good spirits, bright and early and full of pep, and got to the city in good time (only an hour on the train – sigh) but that’s where things went a little pear-shaped.

I hate the Crown complex. Hate it with a passion unsurpassed. HATE. However every semi-important event, meet-greet, whatever, is always held somewhere in the belly of that beast. I lose my bearings in there very quickly and find it extremely hard to get around. So when I found out that the otherwise delightful venue, JJ’s Bar & Grill was somewhere in the depths of Crown Towers, I was like… “Noooooooooooooooooo!”

Luke Skywalker has nothing on my personal brand of drama llama, people.

So anyway, I walked… from Southern Cross Station all the way down to Southbank. Not a far walk but then I got confused as to which end Crown Towers was (again)… That didn’t last long as I eventually remembered the entrance was around the back in Whiteman Street. Ok, so I had enough time, thought I, for a stroll around the front of Promenade… but they’d closed off one of the access routes for getting through to the back of the complex. Stupid renovations and construction. Grr.

So I walked right around to Whiteman Street and found the door to the hotel.

“But,” thought I, “that’s the entrance to the Hotel, JJ’s is further down and in a bit. I’ll find another door.”

I walked. And I walked. And I walked. And I checked my watch to discover I had 15 minutes to find the place and I still hadn’t even managed to get inside the building yet.

And I kept walking. Not. One. Door.

I ended up right back on King Street. I’d pretty much gone full circle.

FUDGE!

I found the door to the cinemas and went through there, hoping I could just walk in the general direction from whence I’d come but alas, I hit a wall. Literally. There was now a wall in the corridor I needed to go down.

I gave in and sidled shyly up to a security type person who was dutifully guarding the entrance to the casino and doing a fabulous job of looking more like one of those CIA-presidential-body-guard types than a door thug.

“Yes, darlink!” He exclaimed after I moaned my frustrations at him. Oh god, he was Russian. “You go out deer door to deer right and follow all deer way down to deer Rockpool, understandink? Goodt, then you take deer right again and you see stairs. You can use deer lifts but deer stairs is faster, ‘kay? You be seeink signs for JJ’s. It will be on deer left past Conservatory.”

So I found deer door on deer right and eventually located deer Rockpool and eventually deer stairs (which, I hate to admit was the main entrance to fecking Crown Towers which I’d passed 20 minutes prior) and low and behold, I found JJ’s.

Oy.

And I had time to spare in the end so I took off my jacket, wiped the sweat from under my eyes and peered at all the other bloggery-type people who were already there. They seemed an interesting bunch, not that I could do much dropping of eaves to really find out. I was sort of standing away from them all probably looking completely unsociable. Hmm.

So we were eventaully let in after being allocated tables. (“Tables? What tables? I thought this was just a marketing thing?”)

The first thing I saw was a plate of macarons and I knew I was going to have a good morning, regardless of the tea.

Those on my table introduced themselves around the place (shout outs to Scoop Nutrition and My Poppet and Fleur who was a baby blogger – can’t wait to see hers) and then we got to the business of investigating the food…

Twinings High Teah - Renlish.com

Macarons and fruit tarts and little pies and OMGYUM!

Seriously yummy looking stuff…

Twinings High Teah - Renlish.com

I did mean to focus on the box of tea… really…

Ahem.

Twinings High Tea - Renlish.com

Mr Stephen Twining, judging the prettiest tea cup! (He looks a bit like Prince Charles, eh?)

But we were there for the tea and before too long there was the clinking of a glass and Stephen Twining, 10th generation Twining to be precise, came out and introduced himself before letting us pour ourselves a cuppa from the various selections on the table and pick at the scrumptious offerings before he gave us a lovely run-down of the new tea range being brought out by Twinings. Assam Bold; serious shit-kicking strong tea, Blueberry, Apple & Rosehip; a lovely flavourful infusion, and what turned out to be my personal favourite, Blackcurrant, Ginseng & Vanilla.

Mr Twining also did explain the ins and outs of a perfect cuppa which included:

  • Always refilling the kettle to boil new water for each cup as it’s the dissolved oxygen in the water that draws out the flavour of the tea.
  • Make black tea with just boiled water (100 degrees celcius) in a warmed teapot for steeped perfection.
  • Green tea should always be made boiled water that’s been left to cool for three minutes (to approximately 90-odd degrees), otherwise it can make the tea bitter.

And he was good enough to add that historically milk came before tea but due to the way we do tea these days, it’s impractical.  Good. I didn’t need to take umbrage with him as I suspected I might.

You can hear it from him directly in this video:

Lastly was the highlight of the morning for me.  We got to have a sniff and blend our own individual variety of tea!  Much enthused, I tried a bit of everything and following Mr Twining’s advice about things like complimentary notes/flavours of tea and leaf size (tetchnikal stuff, this tea-making lark), I made a blend of Lady Grey, Russian Caravan and cinnamon.  And it smells like Christmas.

It was a great time! And I have enough tea to last me ages now.

Little factoid:  The cornflowers in Twinings Lady Grey are not there for any flavour enhancing properties.  They were actually an accident that happened when a tea-maker accidentally knocked a pot of cornflowers into the tea!  They’ve kept it in there for tradition’s sake. I think that’s lovely.

Twinings High Tea - Renlish.com

Nom!

Comfort Zones and Kitties

So tomorrow morning I will be taking a quick step outside my usual comfort zone (ie, the shadows) and going to a launch event in the city. I must admit, if I were working right now I wouldn’t even consider it but since I have the freedom to do so – sometimes being unemployed can be a good thing, it seems – I’m doing it.

I have no idea what to expect. It’s a launch of some new Twinings tea to which only 60 people have been invited. Mind you, it was not a personal invite, it was a “we’re having this thing, email if you want to come along”. If you know me, you know I adore a nice big cuppa with a bikkie (or ten) so this appealed to me when I got the email and I shot off a line to the organiser and scored a spot.

Apparently I am going to be learning how to make the perfect cup of tea. Interesting since I thought the cups of tea I’ve been making myself all these years are pretty darn spectacular considering all I do is dangle a teabag for a couple minutes and then slosh in milk.

I will, however draw the line at being told to put milk in the cup first. That’s a no-no. I will take great umbrage with Mr Twinings himself if he tries to tell me that’s the best way of making a cuppa.

The reason why this is a bit out of my comfort zone is because I’m going on my own. ACK! I might actually have to talk to people I don’t know. ACK ACK! I might have to give my opinion about something to said people I don’t know. ACK ACK ACK!

Anyway, I’ll take my camera (if I remember) and will post pictures up.

I suppose if I get really antsy I can skeedaddle and go take pictures in the city. That’s always fun.

Now, the kitties part of this post… not terribly interesting but if you’re familiar with me and my cats, you would know that we’ve had an issue with vomiting for… pretty much since I brought them home… One likes to regurgitate with monotonous regularity. The other who was only slightly less vomitous has decided to join in on the fun and add regular explosions of kitty innards to the house decor.

I took them to the vet where (after getting a stern talking to for not doing something sooner), I took the slightly more expensive route of getting bloodwork done rather than ignoring the problem as my vet assumes that I have done.

Sorry, but when your cat throws up on your bed at 5.30am, it’s KINDA HARD TO IGNORE.

*grump*

As is turns out, Spewkitty (Dugite) is fine. She shows signs of having a lowish electrolyte count – as most people do after they’ve had gastro or been a bit vomity – but that’s nothing to be too concerned over. Bindi, on the other hand, has a rather bad case of Hyperthyroidism. That means medication twice a day for the rest of her life.

FanTASTIC.

And you wouldn’t be wrong when assuming she’s milking the fact that I did not pick this problem up sooner for all that it’s worth.

Bindi - Renlish.com

You must love me MOAR!

Sunday Stealing, July 22… too tired to think…

Hello Sunday… It’s time for Sunday Stealing… while I procrastinate about getting up and going to the gym.

1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get?
A Mars Bar, a Bounty, a packet of Twisties and a Chocolate Big M. Or at least that’s what I used to get. Now it might be a couple of oat or nut bars and a bottle of water.

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be?
Something unedible, and vaguely rude. Like a sea cucumber.

3. Who’s your favorite redhead?
Noooo… I can’t decide. Deborah Ann Woll or Christina Hendricks? I loooove both.

4. What do you order when you’re at IHOP?
What the fuck is IHOP?

5. Last book you read?
Mistress of Rome, Kate Quinn – AWESOME.

6. Describe your mood.
Ambivalent.

7. Describe the last time you were injured.
The last time my L5 decided to remind me it was completely knackered – which was at the gym.

8. Of all your friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with?
Tam, Tam, Tam! We’d sing silly songs to pass the time and bitch about our partners until we were rescued.

9. Rock concert or symphony?
Rock symphony!

10. What is the wallpaper of your cell phone? The number? (We’ll just say “hi” – promise.)
Hahaha… funneh. It’s a photo I took of some purdy clouds.

Big Sky - by Erin Guest, Renlish.com

You can totally buy this print… Just sayin’…

11. Favorite soda?
Don’t touch the stuff.

12. What type of shirt are you wearing?
A very too-large-for-me-now red v-neck.

13. If you could only use one form of transportation?
“Beam me up, Scottie!”

14. Most recent movie you have watched in theater?
Um… that one with the… thing… and that actress… I don’t remember.

15. Name an actor/actress/singer you have had the hots for.
See the question about the redheads. Yeah.

16. What’s your favorite kind of cake?
I DON’T like anything with cherries or marzipan or fake cream. Other than that, it’s all good.

17. What did you have for dinner last night?
OMG… Pollo pumpkin from Baffetti’s… IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!

18. Look to your left, what do you see?
An alarm clock, a headband, a phone, a couple of DVDs, a photoshop magazine and a mostly drunk glass of cordial that’s been there way too long…

19. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Noooo.

20. Favorite toy as a child?
Anything my sister got.

21. Do you buy your own groceries?
Yes. Who doesn’t?

22. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
They always have. And occasionally I like to give them something to talk about.

23. When was the last time you had gummy worms?
Never had them…

24. What’s your favorite fruit?
Very ripe stone fruit. And berries. OMG.

25. Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel?
I have never done a cartwheel though I am sure a picture of myself doing one would be HIL-FUCKING-LARIOUS.