Seize The Day Planner Review

I’m a little picky when it comes to planners, I think it’s the reason why I love the bullet journal so much because you can set it up exactly how you want it. But as much as I love my bullet journal I found I was spending way too much time every month getting it set up. So I decided to do a little research into undated planners and eventually came across this Seize The Day planner by Iconic.
Seize The Day Planner Review | bluchickenninja.com

Iconic make two different versions of this planner, you can get the daily planner which has 12 undated monthly pages and 120 undated daily pages. Or you can get the version I have which has 12 monthly and 52 weekly pages. I think the thing I like most about this planner is it’s really simple, you don’t get any of the unwanted extras that might come with a filofax or something similar (how many people really need a metric to imperial converter and a world map anyway). Literally all you get in the planner is the monthly and weekly pages with a few blank pages at the end.

Seize The Day Planner Review | bluchickenninja.com

Everything else you have to do yourself. They monthly and weekly pages are left blank so you can set them up exactly how you want. And I actually really enjoy that, I liked spending time setting up my planner and making it as simple or as complicated as I want. I like trying a different layout every week and maybe even incorporating some stickers.

Seize The Day Planner Review | bluchickenninja.com

But I also like that most of the setup has already been done for me so I don’t spend quite so much time on it. The only problem I have with this planner is that the rings aren’t quite big enough. I find that the pages are occasionally getting caught while I’m flipping through the planner. But I have also created some bookmarks which have bulked it out just a bit and that may be causing the problem.

Seize The Day Planner Review | bluchickenninja.com

If you’re in the UK the best place to get this planner is either The Journal Shop or Sticker Stack. It retails around £16. I’m not sure where you can get it outside the UK but I imagine it’s the sort of thing you could find on Amazon.

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Illustrated MinaLima Classics

This is a really short post today. I just wanted to tell you about the MinaLima classics. If you haven’t already worked it out I am a little obsessed with MinaLima. That is Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima who did the graphic design work on Harry Potter. They also worked on a bunch of other movies including The Fault In Our Stars, The Imitation Game, Sweeney Todd and The Golden Compass.

The latest thing they have created are these gorgeous illustrated classics and I’m more than a tiny bit in love with them. Both books feature colorful illustrations and interactive removable features. Basically they are a work of art in themselves. They retail at £20 which is a little expensive (though you can get them in Costco for £13) but I really don’t care, I want them to do all of the classics in this style and I will buy every single one of them.

Illustrated MinaLima Classics | bluchickenninja.com

Illustrated MinaLima Classics | bluchickenninja.com

Illustrated MinaLima Classics | bluchickenninja.com

Illustrated MinaLima Classics | bluchickenninja.com

Illustrated MinaLima Classics | bluchickenninja.com

Illustrated MinaLima Classics | bluchickenninja.com

Illustrated MinaLima Classics | bluchickenninja.com

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Animating Paper Cats

For this project we had to create an animation where two characters had a conversation. We were given sound clips from Scrubs so we didn’t have to worry about the audio part of this project. The most important thing was designing the characters and actually creating the animation.

This was the most time consuming project we had over the course of the year. I think I spent 5 weeks working on this, and I should point out that wasn’t just time during class. I spent a large part of my free time working on it too.

Animating Paper Cats | bluchickenninja.com

A big part of this project was spent actually designing the characters. It’s actually interesting to see how much changed between my initial sketches and the final designs. As part of my research I actually looked at character designs from the Pixar movies and it was really interesting to see how many different designs Woody and Buzz went through before they ended up on the final characters. Another little thing I learned from this project is the characters from Inside Out are based on shapes that represent their emotions.

As part of the design process I actually spent a day making a cat just to see how everything would go together and what parts would animate in the final movie. Turns out this was really important because I had to work out how much movement I would have in the eyes and ears and how I would make the mouth movements look believable. I actually spent a good amount of time watching The Aristocats that day while trying to work out mouth shapes.

The problem with these sorts of projects is I find it hard to take them seriously. We had to create a background for each character, this wasn’t something you would see in the final animation but it would help you design the character, how they move and the overall setting. For some reason I decided one of my cats was a David Bowie fan (because why not).

This went on to me creating a little Bowie-esk lightning bolt for my test cat. And then finally I created Ziggy Starcat (the photo on the left) not because I wanted to put it in my sketchbook, I just thought it was funny. This also resulted in a friend buying me a card he found in GOMA that features a cat with a David Bowie lightning bolt.

The grey cat (technically her name is Victoria) actually has the lightning bolt in the final design. It’s not in those iconic colours and it’s mostly hidden behind the eye but it’s still there.

The actual animation was done using Animate It, this is a piece of really cheap terrible software make by the people who did Wallace & Gromit. The only good thing about it is it’s ridiculously easy to use. We were animating a 30 second clip at 12 frames a second so it worked out you needed to capture something like 400 frames. We had story boards to work from but it was still tricky working out what things needed to be moved between each frame.

There was also the problem that it was really time consuming. We were only able to do the animations in class (because the PCs had the software) but that meant leaving for the day and hoping no-one touched your setup before the next time you were in. In all it meant this animation was a real headache to make.

And we’re not going to talk about how much money I spent on paper.

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Leuchtturm 1917 Review

Today I’m going to tell you about my new favourite notebook: the Leuchtturm 1917. I actually came across this after I found that the paper quality in the Moleskines had dropped quite significantly to the point where I couldn’t use a fountain pen in them because the paper feathered. The Leuchtturm 1917 is one I’ve seen lots of people use (the dotted version is very popular for bullet journals) so when I had to buy a new lined notebook I decided to give it a try.

Leuchtturm 1917 Review | bluchickenninja.com

The first thing I like about the Leuchtturm is it comes in basically any colour you want. I got it in bright yellow because why not. But there is something like 12 different colour for you to choose from. It also comes with stickers for the spine so you can index your notebooks. I’ve actually found over the last year I like to date when I started and finished using a notebook. It’s just a fun thing to look back on. The Leuchtturm also has 3 index pages at the front along with numbered pages, this is another really useful detail because it saves me from having to do it manually like I did in the Moleskines.

Leuchtturm 1917 Review | bluchickenninja.com

Most importantly I can use pretty much whatever pen I want in it. I’ve found it’s nicest writing with a gel pen but I can use my Lamy Safari and I’ve even used a Copic in it. The Copic bleeds through the page slightly but thats to be expected and the bleeding isn’t as bad as what I’ve seen in other notebooks.

Leuchtturm 1917 Review | bluchickenninja.com

Basically the Leuchtturm 1917 is my new favourite notebook. It feels nice, I like writing in it and it’s slightly cheaper than the Moleskine.

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Advertising Is Hard

For this project we had to create an advertisement for diversity and it was really really difficult. I now have so much respect for people who do this as a job because holy crap this was hard. Designing the posters was actually the easiest bit of this because you also had to create the tag line and what you wanted the poster to be about.

Advertising Is Hard | bluchickenninja.com

The problem with doing an advertisement about diversity is there is so many different things you could do it about. We were given a talk about diversity but it was still extremely difficult and I ended up trying to create something about invisible illnesses just because that was something I had some experience with.

The first idea I had was to not judge people by what you see and I tried to compare that to judging a book by it’s cover but I didn’t like that idea. I was going to incorporate that really popular thing just now where you pick a book based on a few key words without actually knowing what it is or what it’s about. Like I said I wasn’t a fan of this idea.

Advertising Is Hard | bluchickenninja.com

I wanted to stay with the book idea though so I started looking a book quotes. I’ve always loved the quote from the end of Deathly Hallows Harry is asking Dumbledore if them meeting on Platform 9 and 3/4s is actually real. I thought this could be a good way of explaining invisible illnesses. After looking for more similar quotes it became clear that they were more focused towards mental health problems so I started changing my tag line again to fit in with that.

Designing the actual poster was quite easy, I wanted it to have a hand drawn style because I’ve been really liking that recently. I scanned my sketches into the computer but because they are hand drawn it was really difficult to make changes to them. Eventually I gave up on that idea and used a script font instead.

Advertising Is Hard | bluchickenninja.com

Because we had to design a series of advertisements it was really important that all three looked like they fit into the same campaign. I ended up doing this by using the same colours over the three posters as well as having the same layout and typefaces.

Advertising Is Hard | bluchickenninja.com

I wasn’t massively happy with the final designs. The adverts look okay and you can tell they are part of the same campaign. I just wasn’t happy with the tag lines. I think the idea is really important, I just think there could have been a better way of getting that across. And of course because I used book quotes I wouldn’t actually be able to do this as a real advertising campaign because of copyright issues.

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