30 January 2012

A Proper Introduction for 2012

What do I love more than designing, watching movies, discussing movies and geeking out about said things? Nothing! Which is why I want this blog to be a great place for folk interested in them too. I do plan to chuck in some things about my life, work, things I’m doing and experiencing and hopefully some guest posts from lovely readers (just ask).

Hopefully the blog will evolve into something informative and entertaining that readers find interesting and want to come back to.

I hope you will stay with me as I learn the ropes of blogging and how to be successful at it.

I'm also on a mission to teach myself all about the joys and skills of Social Media. I'm picking it up through my new job and getting to grips with how to make it work. It's all new to me, but really very interesting and I've got some lovely folk helping me along the way.
Social Media OutpostsImage by the tartanpodcast via Flickr

The wonderful Leanne MacDuff has been fantastic in helping me get started and has also introduced me to the fab Gisele N. Mendez. Both of these lovely ladies have given me more of an insight in the last 2 weeks than any of the books I've read and continue to read. I suppose it's easier to see it put in to practice and working in real time than it is reading about it and blindly trying it for yourself. So a massive thanks to both of you. I would also recommend both of their blogs - they're great way to start a working day with a cup of tea!

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25 January 2012

The Sherlock Holmes Challenge

After the 1st series of Sherlock on the BBC and the first movie I decided to get a hold of the complete works of Sherlock Homes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and start reading them.
When I bought my Kindle in May last year I did get a hold of them, but got caught up in the ridiculously addictive Langdon books by Dan Brown and the Millenium Trilogy!

So on the 1st of January I made only 1 New Years Resolution and that was to read the Sherlock collection, but again I got caught up in...  ahem, Lego Harry Potter.   I got it for Christmas I couldn't help myself!

Anyway, now that the 2nd series of Sherlock is finished and I've seen and loved the 2nd movie I promised myself that I would finally read them and enrich my life with the work of Sir Conan Doyle. And so begins my own Sherlock challenge.

I was thinking of setting myself a time limit, but I've never kept track of how long it takes me to read. I can obsess over a book and get it done in a week while other times it will take months.
2011 was a pretty eventful year book-wise as I read 13 in total, and like I said earlier, was obsessed with the Millenium Trilogy and stormed through them. The Hobbit was another fantastic read. I'd never read it before, but I LOVED Lord of the Rings and what with the film out in December thought it was about time I read it. It was so enjoyable that I might just read it again before December.

I don't think I could pick a favourite from last year as I read so many good ones. I couldn't put most down, but I have to admit The Black Dahlia was a tough read. It was just so dark and pretty brutal with some description. The fact that I was playing LA Noire at the same time and just had to research the story it was based on didn't make it any easier.
The most surprising book last year was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It was so different and enjoyable and much better than Pride & Prejudice with Zombies. And now there's a film on the way with none other than the brilliant Alan Tudyk involved -Amazeballs! If you like graphic novels, vampirey things (proper vamps not Twilight "vamps") and action books, then its a must. It was fun and pretty interesting. After reading, off I went again to do some research on Abraham Lincoln and it works well with the history, making it even more fun.

I've found myself doing this a few times now after reading a book. I have to go and research any truth that is involved. Dan Brown's books are so convincing that I had to go and look in to different religious beliefs and articles about the Goddess and all sorts and it actually changed my perceptions a bit. Not that I've taken in any of the books as solid truths, much the same as I don't take religion as solid truths, but the books did make me think and that's what a good book/movie/TV show or doc should do!

2010 was a good year for my literary adventures too. I got all the Harry Potter books under my belt just in time for the new movie and rekindled my love of Bryce Courtenay with The Potato Factory and Tommo & Hawk which led to me starting 2011 with Jessica, still to read Solomon's Song though. (cue research in to the development and history of Australia)

Anyway, back to my challenge. There are 9 books with 59 stories of Holmes and I think I could get them done by the end of Summer. I've already read A Study in Scarlet and loved it!

I had read a review that said it was the worst of the Holmes adventures as Arthur Conan Doyle was young and hadn't fully developed as a writer. I thought that was a bit harsh as I believe that, as with all creative folk, you never stop developing and learning. If A Study in Scarlet is what someone calls a bad Sherlock book, then I must be in for a treat as I get further on with the collection.

Next: The Sign of Four

What are you reading at the moment? Have you read any of the Sherlock Holmes books? Tweet me

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23 January 2012

Pixar's Brave and Scotland

Last week I read an interesting article about Pixar's new movie Brave and how it could boost Scotland's tourism. Basically VisitScotland's chairman Mike Cantlay said that as Brave will be shown in 72 countries and dubbed into several languages it would give Scotland and the Highlands huge exposure, which will boost our tourism industry more than Braveheart ever did!

Camping Scourie 2008

This article made me feel a wee bit warm, fuzzy and patriotic inside. I am Scottish, slightly ginger and proud to be so (and yes I have a soul). I am also a film and animation lover and have been in love with Disney and Pixar since I was a kid. That Pixar have chosen to create a film set in Scotland and cast mainly Scottish actors is fantastic and something I've hoped would happen for a while.

Quite a few film productions have rolled through Scotland recently and it was pretty exciting. Like lots of other guilty parties, I went out to take loads of photos of American cars that were lined up around George Square for World War Z. I even stood about 3ft from Hugo Weaving without realising around Blythswood Square for Cloud Atlas - was truly gutted the next day when I saw it in the paper. Not that I would have said anything as no doubt a quote from The Matrix or Transformers would've slipped out and I'd have made a complete arse of myself. It's not even like I was too busy trying to see Halle Berry who was also there. Oh no, I was too busy taking photos of the Highland Green GT 390 Mustang and black Dodge Charger from Bullitt to notice one of my favourite actors standing quite close to me!!

Just discovered I don't actually have any pics of the Dodge Charger, gutted again!

I've had 4 celebrity/movie star interactions in my life (signing tents and autographs after gigs don't count) and each time I've not been at my most observant - as previously illustrated by the Hugo Weaving incident.

  1. I spoke to Jackie Bird without realising it was Jackie Bird until 5 mins after the brief conversation
  2. I kind of insulted Gerard Butler's new accent within earshot of Gerard Butler.
  3. I nearly bumped into Peter Capaldi, almost knocking the massive pile of books and paper he was carrying to the wet ground at Royal Exchange Square - we both said "sorry" and went on our way.
  4. The daddy of them all... and technically #2 in my sightings of the main cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, (I'm counting Hugo Weaving) General Zod in The Sneck!
    I sold Terence Stamp some DVD's in Inverness and for some reason I needed to ask him for ID. He handed over his New York driving licence and only then did I realise it was him. The black jumpsuit and flying towards the counter didn't give it away. Just joking, he's not really an evil General from Krypton!
Now all I need to do is to have an odd interaction with Guy Pearce, whilst not realising its Guy Pearce, to complete the Priscilla set!

Anyway, I love that big film productions are coming to Scotland and long may it continue. More and more content is being created here for all the creative industries and I hope we're on the brink of some sort of massive creative boom and we can show off what a massively creative country we are.

I really can't wait for the movie and am really looking forward to seeing the new style that Pixar have gone for. Also as an animation nerd, I'm really excited about Merida's hair. Disney worked wonders with Tangled so curls should be a cinch, but they just look fab!!

As a massive Pixar and Disney fan I'm usually first in line for the cinema queues, but I think this time I think I'll be first in line for the applications to Disneyland when they start recruiting Princess Merida's for their parks!!

What do you think? Looking forward to Brave? Tweet me

Other things that look set to give Scotland's tourism a wee boost are 2012 being the Year of Creative Scotland, 2013 the Year of Natural Scotland and the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in 2014

21 January 2012

Back to Work & Social Media Training

It was my first week back at work in RTRP and it was good to be back!
I've been catching up on all my emails and posts and of course all the lovely crafters of the Kirstie's Handmade Britain community. It has been amazing getting to know some of them through emails and posts and seeing all the talented people we have out there. It has made planning a featured crafter every day very difficult!

I've also been continuing with my Social Media education. I enrolled on Nikki Pilkington's 30 Day Twitter course - Its only been 2 days, but its already making a difference.Can't wait to see where it goes over the next month!
This will add to the fantastic 12 Days of Twitter course I did at the end of last year with Reach Further. The course was great. We got daily notes to work through, did the work when it suited us and had the weekend to catch up on any missed homework. I know I'll keep the notes for reference on my desktop as they were so informative and structured really well. If you need any help with your social media & Twittering I would highly recommend Reach Further. Liz, Bryony, Lucy and all the Reach Further guys were on hand throughout the course to guide us and they were so supportive too.
(search for @reachfurther and #12DoT on Twitter if you want to find out more, check the website too)

Has anyone else done any really good social media training? Tweet me

10 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Here it comes... every year I make a vow to be more active on my blog and social networks and fail miserably. The truth is I've been falling behind because over the past 5 months I've been caught up in some kind of whirlwind that has kept me away from my blog and working on other things.

In my last post I said I had been accepted to take part in the Gen Up Programme, well that has been and gone now and I have to say I enjoyed every minute! I was forced out of my shell and made more aware of the fact that I am actually good at what I do, something us creative folk have a bit of trouble owning up to! I met some great people and networked with industry folk and most importantly ended up with a job.
In my work placement week I spent time at Raise the Roof Productions helping out with release forms and press releases which was really quite interesting. I learned a lot in the short week I was there and really enjoyed it. I also worked on their social media networks and outlined a plan for them to try when I left and they must have liked it as they asked me to come back the day after I finished Gen up!
So that's where I've been since the 7th of October. I was supposed to be there until November, but got extended until December and then on my last day I was told I had been extended until March. So really it was a Christmas and birthday present all in one.
I suppose that now that my job title is Social Media Coordinator I have no excuse to be lacking in my social media endeavours and this blog should be more active and hopefully more interesting as I share my thoughts, works and interesting stuff I've found. At least, that's the plan!

In other news I finally passed my driving test this week after 2 previous attempts and almost 10 years of learning (on and off) what a relief it was to finally pass. I was gutted I failed in December - I had 3 minors and pretty much a perfect drive, if it hadn't been for the cyclist approaching the zebra crossing...
I'm now waiting for my lovely pink licence to arrive although I would have preferred to get a new picture. I am apparently to be stuck with the monstrosity that is my 16 year old self at a time when I was known to my friends as Claire "I HATE my hair" Glasgow for the next ten years, not to mention a signature that looks nothing like how I sign my name now. In fact this licence could possibly get me investigated for some sort of fraud! Let the fun begin :D

Over Christmas I managed to get the rebranding of Daisy*B Design off the ground. Still putting the finishing touches to it all, but overall I think it suits me a lot better than the floral designs I had before. I got rid of the name Daisy*B Design as it turns out there is at least 3 other folk on the net using it and have decided to just stick with DaisyBisley as my working name. Still trying to figure out how to go about changing the Facebook page though. Any thoughts?

Thanks for reading