Tweet away the shyness

Here I am in a new year with nothing but time in front of me. I've been sick since Friday so I haven't made much progress on my website update. The party I went to on Saturday night didn't help much either. Well, perhaps it did.

A personal goal towards the end of last year was to make more friends, and that I did. My issue now is maintaining those friendships, something I am absolutely horrible at doing. My self-defeating nature has become one of my greatest skills and I'm not very proud of that.

I once happened by a lady who mentioned that she was going to try a year of living uncomfortably (yolu). Basically, she did things that took her out of her comfort zone but made her life better. Yeah, I'm being vague because I don't remember much of the conversation but I got the gist of it: being comfortable and safe doesn't mean you're in a a good place. I loved the idea but it was absolutely terrifying.

So here I am, scared shitless. I can't remember how many posts, tweets, and blogs I have written out only to delete them. This year, they will all get published (unless I was inebriated when they were written). I can learn to be more open, maintain the friendships that matter to me, and maybe have some fun.

Redesigning KC

It's about time. I mean really, this site is stale, broken, and possibly hacked (now clean).

I've begun the process of planning for KaterCreations' new look. I have learned a lot about web development, being a professional, and the tech life since I first put it up about 2 years ago. I need to flex my design muscles and make it do the do. I took a moment to read up on one of Brad Frost's posts on designing in the open and I've decided to give it a try. No one reads this site so I can only disappoint myself.

I started the project by diving head first into neat stuff I wanted to try like SASS and media queries, then I decided to write down all the features I wanted. Fifteen minutes later, I realized that I was writing a project outline and just continued from there. After more mistakes than I care to think about, I realize how important the planning step is. I have spent most of my life as a wage slave where taking time to think is usually frowned upon. This terrible influence has influenced me to skimp on planning phases and just dive in head first. That hasn't gotten me where I want to be in my professional life.

So yeah, less yammer more doing.

Github Repo

Also, after looking over the site, I noticed a bit of spam, so I'm updating it after I hit the post button.


edit 12-30-13: I had a bad extension that has been dropped. That's why it's important to update your software :P

A little spring cleaning.

So, I was thinking about redesigning my website, but after really looking at the layout, it isn't that bad.  It's a clean design, but it needs to be up to date with the new responsive standards.  Although it is terribly refreshing to be working in Joomla again, I am thinking about switching it over to Drupal.  I guess I'll just have to decide.

Ideas are brewing

So, I've had an interesting few weeks.  I attended a seminar for Google Engage for Agencies, which focuses on the Google AdWords product.  I met some really great people that I can't wait to work with and learn from.  I'll go more about how I've learned tons from the seminar and people there later.

I have been thinking about my dear Kater and in which direction I should take this company.  I admit, I started out flailing and now I've had time to think about my weaknesses and strengths and I'm ready to retool my strategy.

I'll post more later, I need to sleep for now.

WHMCS by the Bootstraps

So, before I delved more into the Sunny template, I toyed around with WHMCS today.  I had a theory that theming for most CMSs would be analogous in certain aspects and I wanted to test it out.  I decided to try putting the header and footer from KaterCreations onto a  duplicate WHMCS template.  It did work very well until I found some anomalies in the CSS inheritance.  After poking around I found that the bootstrap file wasn't merely a few add pieces of code, but a layout system developed by twitter.  I had heard of Twitter Bootstrap from a friend but this was the first time I had run into an implementation of it.  It may make designing easier, but in my case, it has added a layer of difficulty.  I'll have to decipher the templating scheme while working around Bootstrap.

I find templating systems to be very interesting and actually plan on learning Smarty and LESS in the future.  For now, I'll just focus on raw code and then learn some shortcuts later.

Sunny Update

So, I've been working on the Sunny layout and I have the basics in code now.  It can be viewed at Sunny.KaterCreations.com.  I had a horrible time with the layout after work last night.  When I woke up this morning, I realized that I hadn't been using a grid to line everything up.  So I settled on a fluid, 16-column grid to line if up and it looks go so far.  I'm still somewhat unhappy about the alignment of the catering image in the footer.  I can't quite put my finger on what is wrong, but I'm sure it'll jump out and bite me later.

I've been using the SciTE editor exclusively thus far, but when I start adding in a few widgets, I'm going to move to Eclipse to make debugging and refactoring easier.  I like SciTE because it is light and fast, much like notepad (which I also love), and it has color coding.

Anyways, I have an idea for a "special of the day" widgit.  I literally scribbled it down on a notepad yesterday and now I have to put it in.  It has ruined my idea of having a database-free website, but that was a silly thought to begin with.

A Sunny Layout

A Sunny Layout

I'm toying around with another layout idea, I call it sunny.  For now, it is nothing but a flat png on a php page, but I'll make it better with time.  There are some alignment issues that are killing me but I know that I can fix them when I put everything into css.

I'll tend more to the fidelis template later this week, I was just struck with inspiration this morning and I decided to act on it.  Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the week.

I also went to Stitches South, a crocheting and knitting convention over the weekend.  I picked up a lot of great yarns, I can't wait to really get into my next crocheting project.

I'm also going to look into installing a lightbox script on this page, some of the images would look better if they were enlargeable.

Fidelis Update

A shot of the site before you log in.

A shot of the current Activity Stream

So, here are screenshots for what Fidelis currently looks like.  I am happy with it, but not quite satisfied.  I still have a Javascript compression issue and I want to add some stock art to is to jazz it up.  I've tweaked the coding to comply with the Drupal best practices.

I also want to work with the built-in calendar and make a few more features super unique to this theme.  Gotta get to it.

Kater: Fidelis et ceterae

It's been a pleasant week thus far.  I am close to releasing my "Fidelis" theme for Acquia Commons.  It was originally created to be used by NobleHeroes but I would like to revamp it for sale as a premium theme.  It is a subtheme of Common Roots and it works on the Fusion theme by Top Notch Themes.  I need to look over the license for fusion and Commons roots to see if I can sell Fidelis though.

I have also launched the first part of a Craigslist advertising campaign.  I want to pick up some new clients from there.

Other than that, it's just me and the kitties on this cloudy day.  I watched a webinar from Acquia, I toyed around with WHMCS, and played with Javascript.  Just another day I suppose.

First Craigslist Flyer

So, I have created my first flyer for work on Craigslist.  I think that it is simple and describes what I do well.  I've also added a blog to the works page so that such posts can easily go up.

Craigslist Flyer