Chocolate Bonsai Wallpaper

purple-chocolate-gemmel-thumb

Inspired (if that’s really the right word) by all this new Ubuntu artwork I decided to have a little go at creating a new wallpaper. As I said in my last post I like brown, it’s smooth, sexy and natural. So, after a little tinkering with an old photo of my Bonsai tree – ‘Gemmell’ – I created this.

It’s now the default wallpaper on my desktop: could it be yours?

If anyone does like it I’ll upload the (somewhat mammoth sized) gimp xcf file so anyone can play with the colours or whatever they wish.

Wow… the real world looks weird

Okay, I’ve spent the best part of the last 48 hours coding/designing constantly. Looking around the flat just seems weird to me now, nothing looks as it should. It’s similar to the effect you get while walking out of the cinema after watching something like Knowing (longest feeling film I’ve ever seen I swear..)

But moving on from that peculiarity my coding stint means that I’ve not only nearly finished my own wordpress theme (I know… I have one, but take the time to look at the code that powers it and you’ll see why I don’t count it as a real one) but, more importantly, I’ll be finishing the website for Nico’s Restaurant: a great little place near to where I work. Who knows, when it’s online maybe I’ll put a link up to it :p

Anyway, that’s really all for now: you may have noticed I said nearly finished..

Bye for now.

P.S I forgot to say, the wallpapers I made ages ago are now available to download in the artwork section. Back to work and some more Radiohead to help me along I think.

Ridiculously good-looking but just ridiculous underneath

Finally I’m nearly there with the basics of this theme. The look and feel is about right, and when I load the page I like what I see. I just don’t like the code that creates it.

The code behind it is a hugely modified version of the Writers Blog theme by Eric Crooks. I loved his simple yet elegant theme and knew it would be a great starting point. However; there are a few things now I need to do with the theme to finish it that require a rewrite of the basics to accomplish.

I don’t like monolithic programming structures. That is Microsoft’s biggest mistake in my opinion; and the reason Windows gets so slow after even a short period of use. But what I have here is a combination of so many little css hacks and alterations that reviewing my code makes my eyes water.

Bad Benjy.

So, it’s time to stop it and tidy up (fantastic cartoon when I was growing up – anyone else remember it?) With all this colour and panache I’ve lost what I hold dearest in web design: semantic markup + clear and concise CSS = ease of use/adaptation for all.

Once I’m happy with it I can get on with uploading some of the other wordpress themes I’ve been working on.. and everything else I tinker with when I’ve half the chance.

Linux Mint Generated Button

Linux Mint Button

After a little discussion and some information about how wordpress.com functions from mesanna I’ve quite quickly made the first demo version of a generated button. And here it is.

So far it’s really just proof of concept, and its code is a little limited but could very easily and quickly be improved, depending on what information you actually wanted to share. The reason I’ve put the date in for now is because it’s the simplest way to show the principle involved here. The date comes from the php function of the same name in this case I used:

Continue reading →

Another theme update

Yet again I’m posting up another screenshot of my work in progress theme.

Basically, with this theme I wanted something really personal, the kind of theme you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. I also wanted to make its palette slightly ubuntuesque with oranges and browns. I think it’s coming along pretty well. Continue reading →

Tweeting with pleasure, courtesy of Inkscape

Today I was inspired to draw.

Well, strictly tonight, technically this morning…

Anyway. I quite accidentally found this Twitter style tutorial and decided I wanted a twitter icon of my own, that would go with the colours of my new design. However, I don’t use Adobe Illustrator… or whatever. Just Open Source programs.

Tweeting the way I like it

Tweeting the way I like it

So out came Inkscape, off ran an hour or two of my time and I produced this.

After a relatively (for me) short period of time tinkering with it, I decided I didn’t really like the way the eyes and cheeks were done in the original article so went back to my more cartoon-like style (seen in my previous doodles.. keep your eyes peeled for when my portfolio goes online).

Actually, I’m pretty pleased with it. I could’ve spent much longer tidying it up, and I probably will go back to it and do just that, but I’ll write up a tutorial to go with when I do.

For now, it’s just gone half three in the morning… and I should really sleep.

EDIT –>

Just thought I’d put the source file up for download as well, I bang on enough to my friends about Open Source, what kind of en example am I setting if I don’t follow my own advice!

My Tweeting Birdy – SVG :: Download source

Pulling myself together with OSS

For too long now I’ve worked on too many little projects, snippets of code and web designs to really stay sane.

A few months ago I was assaulted at work. It has been a crap time in all honesty but if I can take one positive thing from the experience it is that I need to get organized. I really do love working at Plonkers (who wouldn’t want to work at an off-license called that!?) but it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Continue reading →