Sunday 27 December 2009

2009 Summary

I haven't written in my blog very much this year, so here is a summary of my 2009.
Blogger has cropped all of my images strangely because I used the URLs rather than the upload option, but oddly I rather like it, so I'm not going to fix them :)

Saw in the New Year with a small collection of friends in Keiran's flat.
Fell out with Trish and moved my horse to Dundee.
Went to New York.
Bought Ugg boots and have shamelessly never looked back.

Spent a while up in Aviemore snowboarding with some guys from work.
Partied a lot.
Broke up with Iain.

Was in uni til 9pm every night trying to complete a project for an exhibition.
Calum had quite a good birthday party.
IMD partied like pirates.
Pretty much never saw anyone except my horse, haha.
We partied in our pants to raise money for the degree show.

Went on my Senior Instructor course in Portsmouth and had the BEST week of sailing.
Finished my project for the exhibition, just.
Got offered an internship at Orange.
Finished uni for the year.
Went back to work.

The weather was really, really sunny at work.
Went to see Counting Crows.
Met John :)
"Found myself" whilst lying in the sand at an all-night beach party, drinking vodka from a bucket.
Judging from all the photos from around this time, I was also immensely fat haha.
Got bitten by a monkey and had to endure weeeeeeks and weeeeeeks of Rabies vaccinations.

Came home from Thailand :(
Went to my little sister's school prom
Spent the rest of the month working

Started going out with John :)
Had a spontaneous holiday to France.
Worked a lot more.
Was declared officially Rabies free.

(Am I actually a different race?)

Became a windsurf instructor :)
Got driven out of my job I loved passionately.
I'll never be able to work there again, and that makes me sad :(

Don't seem to have a lot of photos from August for some reason?

My uni lecturer was off on paternity leave so we didn't have much uni.
Spent most of this month in Newcastle.
Got spoiled rotten, went out for a lot of meals, drank a lot of wine.
Had Christmas Dinner with John, Simon and Jenny.

Totally love this person.

Also didn't take very many photos this month apparently!

Turned 22.
Celebrated my birthday in Newcastle.
John spoiled me rotten with a Tiffany necklace plus cake and champagne at midnight.
Drank A LOT of champagne over a few days.
Finally started back at uni.
Went to Belfast and stayed on an oil tanker!
Dressed as a crayon for Halloween.

Was snowed under with uni work.
John turned 24 which made me feel not so old.
He also rolled over and headbutted me whilst sleeping which gave me a black eye haha.
Bought a MacBook Pro. Sellout.

Can't find very many photos from November, so here is my first ever Photobooth photo instead:

Started my work experience at Orange Bus.
Met some pretty amazing people.
Won The Drum's cover competition and was published.
Lived in Newcastle for a month and liked it a lot.
Had an amazing night out in Edinburgh with some old friends.
Forgot to upload all my recent photos before making an end-of-year summary post.

2009 started badly and slid downhill for a while, peaked in May/June, crashed in August and has been slowly climbing uphill again ever since.

I hope 2010 brings me graduation, lots of travelling and lots of surprises.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Orange Bus

I've spent a lovely two weeks at Orange Bus gaining some work experience as a designer. I've learned a lot about the industry, I must say. I was never sure if web design was where I wanted to be but having spent a few weeks working in a design department, I've realised there is MUCH more to it all then I originally thought. Aside from designing websites, I also enjoyed creating adverts, proof-reading things, coming up with ideas, photo editing, newsletter creating and tendering.

I'm also very proud of winning The Drum's Christmas front cover competition. I had big plans for my photograph but was unfortunately wiped out with flu for 4 or 5 days so had to come up with a back-up plan. Never really thought it would ever be considered, but lo-and-behold, it won :-)

Here is my cover on the right, and my A4 page advert on the left:

Also super pleased that I'm credited inside!

Monday 23 November 2009

Early Bird Pegs

I love these Early Bird pegs by designer Fabian von Spreckelsen. I don't know why no one has ever thought of making clothes pegs beautiful before.

via designspotter

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Teapot Dribble

Today the ever-inspiring Richard Banks tweeted today about this blog post on Technology Review.

Solving teapot dribble. What an amazing idea. Teapot dribble is one of those things that is really, really annoying and every time it happens you swear a little bit inside before duly getting a cloth to wipe up the mess.

I personally think that it's one of those common, really irritating problems that are often overlooked. They're the sort of problems designers should love to solve. But that got me thinking - they're so small (albeit VERY annoying) so is an improved product going to help?

A car without power steering. Nightmare to drive but probably cheaper than a car with power steering. So, given the choice, would you pay extra to make your life easier? Probably - in fact, more than likely. So surely, a teapot that doesn't dribble falls into the same category. If you look at two teapots on the shelf in your average teapot shop, are you going to pay £10 for a regular teapot, or £15 for one that doesn't dribble? I can't help but feel that more people are going to buy the regular teapot. Maybe I'm wrong, but a non-dribbling teapot just isn't being treated for the innovative design that it is.

I'd probably buy the one that looked nicest.

Saturday 24 October 2009

LED Eyelashes

LED eyelashes! This is so amazingly interesting and creative.

These LED eyelashes could be just the thing to light up this year's Halloween costume. Designed by Korean artist Soomi Park, the LEDs sit directly underneath the eyes and are powered on or off as the head tilts downwards and upwards, respectively - presumably to avoid blinding the wearer.
The electronics to power the LEDs and detect tilting of the head are cleverly disguised as a set of headphones, so those seriously considering creating their own pair of light-up-lashes need not despair that unsightly wires will ruin this unique look.
But apart from a desire to stand out in a crowd, why would someone bother with this ocular accessory? According to Park's website:
"The LED Eyelash project is brought into the world to find an answer to this simple question: Why do women want larger and bigger eyes? In particular, Asians tend to have stronger needs for bigger eyes as a standard of beauty."
(via wired)

Monday 5 October 2009

Life Update

HELLO BLOG. I have deserted you since March. I do apologise.

I've spent the last 6 months working as a Senior Watersports Instructor and PR Manager at an activity centre in South West Scotland. It was good - being a new senior member of staff brought different responsibilities and challenges. I was also lucky enough to get to spend a lot of sunny days on the water and a lot of wet ones in the office!

But anyway. Life goes on and you can't live in a caravan forever (it gets really cold in the autumn). I have just started my fourth and final year of university. My project is going to me AWESOME.

Watch this space...

Friday 6 March 2009

We Feel Fine

I really, really like We Feel Fine. I wish I had the creativity and originality to come up with something like that.

I love the gallery and the way snippets of blogs have been used with images. I think it produces beautiful pieces which are pretty powerful or, in some cases, heartbreaking.

"At its core, We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone. It will grow and change as we grow and change, reflecting what's on our blogs, what's in our hearts, what's in our minds. We hope it makes the world seem a little smaller, and we hope it helps people see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life."

Thursday 5 March 2009


Buying pens/paper/folders in Tesco in a desperate bid to kick-start some proactivity:

Checkout Man: "Is this so you can do your homework?"
Me: "Hmm yes something like that"
Checkout Man: "What year are you in at school? You revising for exams coming up soon?"
Me: "It's for uni"
Checkout Man: "Oh! I see, planning ahead for September are we?!"
Me: "Um, no, I'm in 3rd year"
Checkout Man: "Oh..."


Tuesday 3 March 2009


Am I the only person who writes stuff and then reads it and cringes? Sometimes I write an entire entry, preview it, then with a shudder and a click I've deleted it. I suppose what this really means is that I actually don't have anything I want to say to the outside world. That or I can't write.


So today at uni I got told that my project is vague, has no direction and is pretty much all nonsense.

Which is funny, because... that pretty much sums up my life right now.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Careers Workshop

Today at uni we have a careers workshop. We're working this term on placement pitches in a bid to create a one-stop shop for prospective employers. The idea is ultimately for each individual to create a video selling themselves, all of which will be uploaded onto the site.

We've been looking at values within ourselves. We took part in an activity in which we were given a pack of little cards with lots of values on them. We all picked out our top five. Here are mine:

I like taking risks.
I like to be independent.
I like challenges.
I need to be in a competitive situation to thrive.
I enjoy being a leader.

So what I have drawn from this, is that I am easily distracted, bossy and a bit of a loner. Great.

Employ me?

Monday 23 February 2009


I'm fairly sure I'm one of the most unproductive people in existence. I realised today I have managed to make it to week six of this semester without doing any work. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

I don't think it helps that I have pretty much no direction in life. I have no long term plans, hell, I don't even have any short term ones. I don't even know what I'm going to have for dinner tonight.

I should probably be doing a lot of work before uni tomorrow but instead I keep getting "distracted". I've managed to waste a fair bit of time today riding my horse, making my Twitter look nice (follow me!) and writing this poor blog entry.

Action brings good fortune. Surfing the net, I'm not so sure.

Saturday 7 February 2009

Microsoft Mosquitoes

Microsoft founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates released a glass full of mosquitoes at an elite technology conference to make a point about the deadly disease malaria.

"Malaria is spread by mosquitoes," Gates said while opening a jar on stage at the Technology, Entertainment, Design Conference in Monterey, California — a gathering known to attract technology kings, politicians, and Hollywood stars.

"I brought some. Here I’ll let them roam around. There is no reason only poor people should be infected."

(Via MailOnline)

Friday 6 February 2009


Today I had a chat with Jonathan Baldwin, my dissertation supervisor, about my progress (or lack of it) regarding my dissertation.

My topic was previously related to attitudes to design. More specifically, I wanted to look at the differences in attitude between designers and non-designers and the way they respectively perceive the design world. I realised very quickly that this is a very broad topic. I wasn't initially put off by the vastness of the subject but unfortunately it was quite hard to research. Usually when one begins researching for an essay, the library is the first port of call; not in this instance. I found the odd research paper or blog post on the internet, but nothing I really felt was concrete.

So today Jonathan suggested that I picked a much more focused topic, something related to an area I am interested in. I like sailing, so he suggested maybe the way technology is used to aid solo navigation around the world in yachts. Naturally I was still indifferent and eventually he "told" me I'm to write about ways in which the 2012 Olympic Sailing Team use technology to aid training.

At first I felt (and looked, apparently) like I'd been slapped around the face with a wet fish. For someone who lacks so much direction in life, I really resent being told what to do. Either way, I thought he was slightly mad. Write a dissertation on something so specific and arguably unrelated to my degree? Sure.

After a grumpy stomp around Tesco, I went to see my horse. He was also in a grumpy mood, so together we both went on a grumpy ride for an hour or so. I thought a lot about my dissertation and design and life in general and, having had time to reflect, I feel a little brighter. If I was the emotionally outrageous, thought-proclaiming type, I would perhaps go as far as to say I had a small epiphany. However I am not, so we'll stick with feeling a little brighter.

I had never, ever thought about writing about something I enjoyed. University seems to have distilled it within me that design is just generic, predictable design. Service design, sustainable design, interaction design, zzzz... I guess that shows how small-minded I am that I couldn't think outside the box. As JB pointed out, any technology a sailing team are likely to use is probably interactive media. Also, any research I do into such an area could lead to contact-making and potentially a future career in a related area. WHY HAVE I NOT THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE?

I would have been a much happier person for the last 2.5 years if I'd stopped long enough to think about all the things I could design. I've been scared about becoming a stereotypical designer, sitting at my desk in my sheltered world, making things in photoshop. Becoming, as my grandad would have put it, a "non-producer of society". Working as an outdoors instructor for six months over the summer made me realise I want to do something that will make a difference and actually help people. I hope this means a change of attitude from now on. I think a little bit more positive thinking will help me realise that I can be a designer and not hate myself.

Still don't know what I'm going to write my dissertation on, though.