Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
From: Cover Idea: Tree of Life
If I turned the design for #3 upside-down and took away my idea for 'roots', the overall look is very leaf-like. If I were to bifurcate it along the center axis then I would almost have a quill. This got me thinking again. One of my friends suggested a "Leaf-Quill" as a design element so I started doodling in Gimp (thy name be praised).
So I selected the image and cleaned it up so I had something to work with.
From there I wanted to turn it into more of a tree / leaf shape so I altered the base into a long stem. I think it really became more of a 'tree' than a 'leaf' but you get the idea. I needed to create some space where I could try and work in a quill.
(Below) Then I tried to attach what I thought would be a quill tip or nib to the shape in the hopes that it would become something of a writing instrument. Oddly enough it started to look more and more dart-like but I just went with it to see where it lead me.
(Below) In an attempt to make it look less dart-like and more quill-like I bifurcated it and dressed up the 'cut' line to give it some shape.
(Below) Once I turned it on its side and had a different look at it, it started to look more and more quill like.
(Below) then I turned it to an angle so it would look more 'swept' like a quill should.
...and I'm still not sure what to do with it.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
And Bookplates and Letterplates
The idea of a "letter seal" or an "Ex Calamus" (From the pen of...) has been something that I've been playing around with for the past few weeks and I think I have it. Using the triskelle of oak leaves with a twisted rope border I added some text to even out the layout on the page and I'm left with a right and proper letter head.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Usually, all they want to do is to do enough to just get buy. Why push themselves more than necessary?
Well, here's my simple method of conducting information from articles and other print-sources for later use; I call it the Index Method.
Originally I got the idea from a professor of mine at Ohio University; Dr. Elliot Abrams. The Index Method, perhaps unimaginatively, gets its name from the use of simple, 3x5 index cards.
The process is fairly simple and has only three phases:
Phase I: "Data Collection"
1. Buy a package of ruled (or graphed or unlined or whatever) index cards.
2. Grab whatever you're doing research on.
3. Add caffeinated beverage of your choice.
4. Record the basic citation information about whatever you're reading on an index card and tuck it into the front of the book. Collect the important information like:
- Title of the material you're reading
- Copyright date
- Author's Name
- ISBN #
- ...and anything else that looks handy for identifying the material for a later date.
4. Begin reading.
5. Rather than highlighting anything that seems important (which is the graffiti of the academic world), write down the line that you find most important about the paragraph that you're reading. Whenever you find something meaningful like a bit of vocabulary or some statement that defines what the material is about jot it down on a fresh index card.
At first I would write the title at the top of the card as well as the author's name and copyright date. Then in the body of the card I would write out the quoted section with the page number in the bottom corner.
This way you have all of the information you would need to cite the source and the material all on one card.
6. Continue reading material.
7. Make more cards.
8. Apply more caffeine as necessary.
9. Once you're done with whatever book or article that you were reading collect all of your cards and throw a rubber band around them (or something there about) and set them to the side while you go through your other material for whatever project you're working on.
Take a break and come back to the cards once you've let your mind relaxed.
Phase II "Data Filtering"
This is the phase where you turn the raw cards into something more useable.
1. Re-read the cards and on the back of the card write a one or two word summary of what the citation deals with.
You're looking for a simple category of information that the card deals with. You could list a card with "VOCAB", "SYMBOLS" or simply "THEORY" or something like that.
2. Once you have all of your cards categorized (and be sure to give a category to the title card for each article, book, etc.), put them back in their rubber-bands.
PHASE III: "Data Application"
This is the phase where you need to figure out what you're doing with the information that you've gathered. Whether this is a research paper, journal article or something in between, you'll need to put the information you've gathered to good use.
1. Start by sorting the cards based on the categories on the back.
2. Figure out some kind of logical order of your paper based on the requirements.
3. Use the categories like sections in the paper.
- If you have a lot of cards about 'SYMBOLS' then figure out what you need to say about that topic.
- Jot down some ideas about what you want to say about a given topic based on what you read. Usually it only needs to be a short sentence or so.
- Once you have a number of those topic cards, start linking them together with the citations that you have like paving stones.
- You may have to introduce another topic card to tie one quote to another.
4. Use the topic cards and the citation cards as a skeleton to write your section.
- I would recommend just writing the topic cards and citation cards into a word document and start to throw on 'flesh' and 'skin' to make it all make sense.
Once you've finished with whatever assignment you're working on - don't throw the cards away. You don't want to have to go out and do more research if you don't have to. The problem is that it's way to easy to misplace or damage a stack of index cards.
So...move on to the last phase:Phase IV: "Data Storage"
Index cards are great for working through things since you can sort through them and put them in some kind of logical sequence for the assignment at hand. But there's a better way of storing the information.
1. Go find a photo-copier or, if you have the patience, a digital scanner.
2. Copy (or scan) the cards in groups of 3-4 on the page.
3. Once you have all of your cards copied and stuck into a 3-ring binder, throw them, still bound, into an old shoe-box. They can still be used down the road.
4. Organize the binder into sections depending on your research field.
You can reduce a 300 page book into a dozen pages. You can turn a 20-page article into 2-3 pages of copied note cards.
So whenever you have another assignment or project (or if you're geek enough - do your own research), you can continually add to your files on a particular subject so that the next time you have to work on something - half of your work is already done.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I'm going to see if I can get it turned into a rubber stamp first. I'll work on getting it made into a wax seal later.
Same design with a braid rather than a coil of rope as the 'edge'.
send out a number of letters every month (and the number is starting to pick back up now that I have more people who send letters BACK) and I'm always interested in how the world was different when information and personal correspondence was well...personal.
Don't get me wrong - I love the convenience of the digital age, but it always seems hollow and cold when compared to a book (rather than an 'e-reader') or a letter (rather than a post on facebook or an email). So I am continually looking up little details about books and letters and found several groups on the net that are attempting to keep those old traditions alive.
One of the more interesting traditions that seems to have all but forgotten is the idea of marking your books. Ideally, a book that you owned my be lent out to another person and it was important to know from where they came so you could return them. Therefore you'd need some way to mark each of your books. Printers would make up personalized plates (small pieces of paper that were often glued into the end pages of a book) to help reflect the character of the owner and to denote the book as theirs. These were called 'Bookplates'.
A bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, "from the books of..."], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner. Simple typographical bookplates are termed "booklabels".
Bookplates typically bear a name, motto, device, coat-of-arms, crest, badge, or any motif that relates to the owner of the book, or is requested by him from the artist or designer. The name of the owner usually follows an inscription such as "from the books of . . . " or "from the library of . . . ", or in Latin, ex libris .... Bookplates are important evidence for the provenance of books.
This is an old practice but one that I think is very cool.
A letterplate, then, would be essentially the same concept as it would record from whom the letter was sent. Sort of like a stylized 'return address'. Rather than being an 'Ex Libris' it would be an 'Ex Calamus', meaning "From the Pen of..."
As you can see from the image I cobbled together - it's not that hard to put something like this into your letter writing habits. Conceptually you could have the letterplate printed on labels that are then affixed to the back of the envelope - or have the envelope printed with them via a home printer.
I've added some additional ideas for an "Ex Calamus" below to get some ideas rolling.
I have no idea if there are any examples out there since I can't find anything on Google's image search.
Second to the quill, though older in use, was that of an oak leaf -specifically a white oak leaf (quercus alba). Green, the color of nature, and the image of the oak tree were all images that had a deep-rooted connection for me. In the SCA I was known as 'Thomas the Green' which came from 'Thomas the Green Guy' or 'Thomas the guy wearing the Green Tabard".
So in creating a symbol that would accurately represent me I had to incorporate those three concepts into one design.
Then I tried a triangle of oak leaves. That really got my attention because the interior space started to look like some celtic twist-spiral thing; a triskelion. This was a cool, if unintended design feature but it didn't look quite right. I might still use the design element - but not sure in what.
So then I pulled an image of an envelope and added the symbols to see what the seals would look like in action.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Messages like "I'm leaving," or "You're leaving" can liberate you (or the other person) and they will, eventually help in the casting off of burdens long-carried, but that is not to say that the process will be easy, quick or clean. Messages like these have Resonance (Yes, BIG R, Resonance). They affect not only the people that they're directed to but can (and often do) create ripples around them.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Then A Miracle Occurred.
The expression is used in high-end math when you can't work through a problem's process but you already know the outcome. The situation is usually described as working one's way from what is known backwards and then working it from the other end hoping that the two meet in the middle.
If it doesn't meet or doesn't meet exactly, the researcher can just type "TAMO" in the margin and it's considered 'complete'.
So...how many people out there would just like to be able to write TAMO on an electric bill or a rent check for when the goals don't meet the means?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
So this morning I was trying to get ready for my last day of classes. Low and behold when I pulled on the button to turn the shower on - the faucet snapped.
So there was much water pouring in all the wrong places. Much more cussing.
No time to fix it so I had a =very= cold shower before going to campus.
Good news: Tomorrow my grandfather is coming over to look at the problem and (slightly more importantly) I no longer have to deal with my criminology students.