The Folding Stuff

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Now I ordinarily avoid actual paper. I like books on my Kindle, my notes and task management in markdown formatted ASCII text files, magazines on iPad and technical articles on the web packaged and emailed to the Kindle.

There’s one major exception to my dead tree aversion, Origami paper. I usually buy this online but whilst attending Dreamforce in San-Francisco I found a huge art store selling a wide range of Japanese Washi paper a lot cheaper than in the UK.

Stopping only to buy some brushes and other art materials for Alison I basically filled all the gaps in my suitcase with paper.

These are the spoils. I use it to make the Origami pieces Alison turns into Jewellery.

I’ve still to try the textured and flat foils and a small number of Japanese textured papers dotted with gold and silver leaf.

It always feels a bit sacrilegious cutting them down into the 4cm squares I use to make jewellery pieces.

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Christmas commissions nearly finished

Alison has had a number of commissions for Origami earrings recently so I have been twisting my fingers to make the cranes.

Stock for the Craft Fair
Stock for the Craft Fair

They are made from 4cm square pieces of Japanese Washi paper, folded, unfolded, glued, dried and coated with a water based varnish before being handed off to Alison to make into jewellery.

Ready for fixing & coating
Ready for fixing & coating

Just completed this pair to go to Alison as well as these two commissioned by an old friend and ex-colleague.

I have orders for another two pairs but the client was not sure which paper they wanted (I have quite a lot of different patterns and types). I’m making up three options for her to choose from so there should be a pair left over to add to Alison’s stock for the craft fair at the Scout hut, Carron Grove, Dunfermline on Saturday 29th November.

The next three designs
The next three designs

It takes some time to make these and more still to perfect the models to a standard where I feel they can be sold as jewellery.

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These are some of the prototype/practice cranes in plain blue origami paper. I have a couple of new models I am still practising at earring scale; a Kimono and a paper plane. I am not sure if this plane design is detailed enough so will be trying a couple of other options.

All Alison’s art and Jewellery is listed in her Black Heart Scotland Etsy Shop which is where these will appear as soon as I get them made.

Reskinning a Logitech iPad Keyboard Case

A little over a year ago I started to really use my iPad 3 at work taking notes, mind mapping, email, browsing and research and handling all my planning and task management (more on this in another article).

I was finding the onscreen keyboard inadequate and finally convinced myself to buy a Logitech tablet keyboard. It made a huge difference and barring the problem of only having a solar charge panel which sits on the desk in use (would a USB port have been too difficult to add?) it really turned the iPad into a viable work tool for me.

After a few months, the case started to fray around the edges which was irritating and unsightly. Last week I had enough of the fraying, peeling skin on the case and ripped it off.

This week I figured it was worth trying to improve the ugly slightly sticky case by recovering it using everyone’s favourite gaffer tape.

I quite like the finish on it now. It isn’t quite as precise as I had hoped, first attempt and all that, but it does look better in real life than it does in these photos and a lot better than it used to.

 

I’m betting this skin lasts a lot longer than the last.

New chapters and old dogs

The first week has now passed since I stopped going into work after resigning my position and it has been a bit of an odd one.

I intend to take some time off, relax, recharge, learn some new skills and technologies and pursue some new goals but for now I am doing the school runs and taking my wife to her radiotherapy appointments every day.

This takes most of the day; leaving to get the kids to school by nine then to appointments for the rest of the morning getting home often after two, picking up youngest at three and waiting for eldest to get in after four. Most of the day is spent in waiting rooms, queing for car parks, waiting in cars and, occasionally, going for lunch.

However only six more appointments to go and I am not the one getting their head bolted to a table and irradiated with high energy X-Rays.

At some point I hope to stop feeling uncomfortable that I am not actively doing something (earning money?) and start to relax and enjoy a bit of down time with the family, do a bit of gardening and, once the school summer holidays begin, maybe have a bit of a holiday.

I plan to have more time to make origami pieces and items for Alison’s jewellery lines and see if there is anything else I can turn my hand to.

There will be a lot of work on our old house, replacing the boiler, refurbishing the kitchen and generally getting it ready for the rental market.

After that things get more hazy, I will have to do a lot of thinking about whether I want to look for another permanent position, whether to go back to management or development, revert to my previous path, contracting, or even try pursuing a new career outside of IT altogether.

Amongst many other responsibilities I have been managing a Salesforce team and acting as solutions architect for a large international organisation for the last year or more. I think I might try and pass my administrator certificate as a starter for ten while I learn Apex and Salesforce development. Apple Swift is looking interesting as well.

This is a bit of a leap into the unknown or perhaps the next big adventure.