It’s the first week of March and I gave up two things for this year’s Lenten Season aside from the usual no-meat Fridays: First, I’m abstaining from playing video games in general, both MMORPGs and console games.1
Second, I’m abstaining from turning Skype on and talk to the usual people.2 The only thing that is somewhat disappointing for this Lenten season for me is the inability to attend church on Sundays anymore. That’s because I had no choice but to work on the weekends if I were going to keep my (part-time) job at Amazon sorting and carrying packages to be delivered to our local residents here in my area. With that being said, I make them up for missing the masses and temporarily quitting church choir just by reading Bible passages from my app on the phone. Besides, I still get emails from the choir director listing out the songs to sing for that Sunday, so at least I just sing along with them in my head if I know or remember them.
Every devout Catholic can never avoid or ignore Lent, but we are still human. By the latter, many of us Catholics can be forgetful about Lenten Fridays. Since most of us have been attached and addicted to our cellphones nowadays, there is a solution to that. Download the Lentsanity app, available for iPhone and Android phones.3 This app will remind you that it’s Lenten Friday and that you need to abstain from meat on that day. I didn’t download it because I didn’t need to, but I’m posting this to give a tip to those who forget that this period of the year have Meatless Fridays until April 3rd.4
After several months of being hiatus on the internet since the last half of 2014, I went back to redesigning my web host‘s main website. I decided to enroll in the Skillcrush WordPress Development Blueprint program so that I would be able to learn how to develop websites (especially custom themes) quicker and more efficiently. I posted a screenshot of how the homepage was going to look like as a first draft in the Little Dancer Facebook page, but after looking at it more carefully, I felt that my design is lacking a lot of things. Jennifer said that she loves it, but because I am my own critic, I was somewhat dissatisfied with it. First and foremost, I was heavily relying on pattern backgrounds and poorly/amateur-ish edits of whatever royalty-free stock photography I could find around the net. Second, the overall design is becoming to look like everyone else’s business sites5 and I’m the type who likes to stand out from the rest.
I was even pondering making my transition from my ages-old Adobe CS2 (Student Edition) to open source programs like GIMP, but because I’m so familiarized with the functions and the basic structure of Adobe CS2 since Adobe Photoshop 66 it was really difficult for me to learn a rather different interface that GIMP provides. It was then that I became desperate and asked Jenn for any other solution that would solve my digital artistic dilemma. She then lent me her copy of Adobe CS6, which is a major huge upgrade for me both as a struggling, penniless digital artist and a web designer. My prayers have been answered.7
Ever since the arrival of CS6,8 my creative juices suddenly came back… that is, digital art creative juices. I still haven’t figured out how the new redesign of Little Dancer would look like. In addition, I have to drop the project again because my instructor recommended me to rebuild my portfolio first. My portfolio, on the other hand, I have some ideas. In addition, I did some research on some not-so-obvious plugins that I may use to try out as well to get my portfolio up and smoothly running. For example, a WordPress plugin called Better WordPress Minify will “minify” all the files9 in your theme, as well as files outside your theme, such as your plugins for example, so your site’s speed can load up and execute faster.
I got all graphic/extension-crazy with CS6, especially Photoshop, when I started downloading free and purchasing some Photoshop CS6 effects, actions, etc. from various graphic/web designing online shops. I even started creating digital art again using photos I already have. Some of them are a little pricey but for a desperate digital artist like myself, they’re definitely worth it. And with those goodies added in to CS6, I can finally go crazy with my designs and praying they would at least stand out from the other layouts that we’re already used seeing.
For instance though, I thought about having another makeover with my blog. I don’t want to install any more plugins because I know they would probably slow my site down again, but I do need a social media plugin that would display all of my social media networks not included at the header area. I’m using a child theme based on another theme, and I’m only allowed to put a certain number of social media links there without looking overcrowded. Maybe it’s time for yet another change.
Any fellow designers out there have an account on Dribbble? I’ve had this account for a really long time now, since early last year I believe, but the link I just gave you is all you’re going to see that has my name on. I won’t be able to post and share any of my work without an invite. Please?
Oh, and finally, I got an about.me page now.
On the sidenote...
- on a sidenote, I still use my PS3, except that I use it for Netflix, watch a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, or just browsing around PlayStation Store to see what’s new in the gaming world. [↩]
Mainly because I need complete concentration on my assignments on my WordPress Development Blueprint program that if I end up talking to people, I lose my concentration quickly.A friend of mine whom I haven’t talked to for months suddenly messaged me on Skype and wanted to talk to me about something important. *sigh* Oh well, I guess it’s just abstaining from video games then… [↩]
- they should have available for Blackberry and Windows Phones too… [↩]
- April 3rd is Good Friday, the strictest holy day during Lent season, where not only you can’t eat meat, but you can only eat one full meal (of any time) and two smaller meals (of any time) with no snacks in between or after. For example, you can have a small breakfast and small lunch and then a big dinner… or small breakfast, big lunch, and small dinner, etc. with no snacks in between— that includes dessert. [↩]
- in terms of layout [↩]
- in short, college days, back in the late ’90s… OMG! [↩]
- For the side note, I still have GIMP installed in my machine. [↩]
- it may be old to industry standards and subscription-based CC is now the “in” thing— still can’t afford it because I use 2-3 programs from the suite itself… [↩]
- Good article from Elegant Themes about minifying websites here! [↩]