Spider mites came back with a vengeance. I ended up having to pull up one of the tomatoes, the eggplant, and a couple of beans. Hopefully, the others are salvageable. Tried the leaf wipe down method. Hoping that combined with the neem spraying will do the trick as the other plants only had them on a few leaves so far.

I know losing plants is all part of it, but it is still hard to take.

Link - If β€œLabor Is Entitled to All It Creates,” Where Does That Leave Graphic Design?

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Q: How can graphic design be more receptive to alternative models of ownership and class-consciousness?

Fisher: An important way is to actually understand how complicit graphic designers are intuitively with the interests of capital. Polemically within the discipline, there are a lot of narratives that get espoused about the capacity of graphic design to make social change. To imagine graphic design itself as actually outside of the class struggle is a flawed position. Just remembering how conditioned design is by its subordinate position in relation to capital is really important.”

- Read More

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I needed a distraction today, so I went to the library (+ their bookstore) and swung by a local bookshop to finally pick up Incredible Doom Vol 1 by @bogart
One of my current goals is to get back into reading comics regularly. Forgot how much I love them and I’m hoping to pick up some tricks on how to make my illustration work feel less stiff.

A stack of books (Trail to California, Trails of the Angeles, Shrubs and Trees of Southern California Coastal Region and Mountains, Shrubs & Trees of Southern California Deserts, Incredible Doom, Gender Queer, PTSD, Cannonball) next to a cookie jar that is shaped like a head of lettuce with a bunny figure on top..

Currently Reading: The Runner’s Handbook : The Bestselling Classic Fitness Guide for Beginning and Intermediate Runners (2nd rev Edition) by Bob Glover πŸ“š

Found this little gem at a second hand shop for .99cents. I sometimes to get into modes of thinking I don’t need resource books because I already have the internet, and he horrible mindset of, “how hard could it be?” which usually leads to failure. The book is great, goes into detail on a lot of important topics, provides training plans for different goals, and discusses how to handle sickness/injury/lack of motivation. Plus it is written in a friendly and encouraging way that does not feel intimidating. Excited to get back into running and and to have an actual plan.

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Feels like everything I’ve been reading points back to Buckminster Fuller. Might be time to dig more into his work. He put out so many books though, not sure where to start.

Link - Climate colonialism and the EU’s Green Deal

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“The EU’s apolitical narrative on climate change – ignoring the impact of colonialism and capitalism and heavily influenced by the very corporations who profit from them – could result in climate action that is not only non-impactful but, worse, could be unsustainable and damaging for marginalised communities on the continent as well as the Global South.

It relies on tech solutions and silver-bullet ideas, promising to lead a β€œgreen, sustainable” economy with electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines and other exciting renewable innovations.

But the question is, who will this be sustainable for?

In order not to fall into climate colonialism, the European Green Deal needs a clear plan to eradicate harmful extractive models, recognise its historical responsibility in the climate crisis, and provide accountability for the damage EU companies cause in the Global South.”

Read More

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First time growing tomatoes that are not cherry/grape.
Managed to fend off the mites with nightly neem oil and morning water blasts.
Everyone seems to be recovering well, but I will need to plant some replacements.
Malabar spinach are all popping up. They sprouted fast. Excited to see how well they do.

Close up of four green tomatoes growing on the vine.

Bits and Bobs

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Made a playlist last week for World Goth Day. Just a short little mix of some of the standards/intro bands. It is a little heavier on the post-punk side. Recently I’ve been focusing on digging up newer groups so it was nice to spend some time with the favorites.

Went through a period of slowing down my usual reading amount. Suppose that goes hand-in-hand with reading three back-to-back books that required a bit of a pause and reflection after each chapter/essay. Trying to get back into the swing of it. Was lucky enough to find a used copy of Extra Bold: a Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers. That should push me to pick up the pace a bit.

The garden is being attacked by mites right now, but neem oil seems to be doing the trick. I know they have to eat too, but it is just out of control. Sorry little ones.

A few weeks ago I attended a portfolio review event through AIGA. I was lucky enough to give five one-on-one presentations. The feedback was almost entirely positive. So thankful to have such a great free resource. Wasn’t sure what to expect when joining AIGA, but the experience has been excellent.

Canva Impressions

Recently did some work helping to create some images and worksheets for an online course presented by The National Alliance to End Homelessness and created by My Dog is My Home.

What was different about this project was that everything was done with Canva. This was my first experience with this tool. I’ll admit that I’ve always been a little nervous about Canvas presence, mostly for job security reasons. But at the same time, I understand that not everyone has a budget for a professional designer and easy-to-use tools and templates can help small groups accomplish what they need.

Overall it was a better experience than I was expecting. Incredibly easy to use and a lot of the hotkeys were the same as those in adobe products so that helped. It was also nice to be able to simply send a link over to other members of the project and they had instant access. This way if they want to edit or repurpose an image on their own they can without having to call me up.

It has limitations. For example, you can’t adjust kerning. It didn’t look like you can adjust the dpi directly. There is no CMYK option, as far as I know. There are probably more, I didn’t do a full dive into all of its capabilities and only used this for a week to create very specific things.

At the end of the day, it is a tool like anything else and the success of the outcome has more to do with the design abilities of the person using it. Users can start with a blank slate or use a template, but even a well-designed template can go awry in the wrong hands. I would not use it for print, even though they have templates and sizes for posters and postcards because of the CMYK and dpi issues. Plus if one is going to spend the money to print something it is best to also just pay the money to have a designer look it over because there are too many things that can go wrong.

However, if you are a smaller organization that needs some social media posts or digital flyers for events and the like this could be useful. Especially if you are part of a team that needs to share assets, proof, and approve things easily.

Just cant get enough:

🎡 Beauty of Poison by Specimen

πŸ“Ί Star Trek: The Next Generation

πŸ₯ͺ Sandwich made with Violife feta, fig jam, and two fistfuls of arugula.
The bunnies are obsessed with trying to get a bite, but I will only allow some sniffs and a couple pieces of arugula.

Link - Biophilic Cities: Embracing the Optimistic Future of Natureful Cities

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“In Pittsburgh, the city has established an EcoInnovation District, the first of its kind, which seeks to invigorate underutilized commercial districts by planning and designing a neighborhood that is rich in opportunities to access nature. Biophilic include the reuse of vacant lots, improved access to fresh food through community gardens, and the planting of new trees and green infrastructure to capture stormwater and reduce the heat island effect. The project was recognized by C40 Cities in its report Cities100 for creating local solutions for climate change. The EcoInnovation District is one project among many that the city is pursuing to address the impact of its industrial history.”

-Read more

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Took a few minutes to thin out the planter.
Turned these into a pesto with some radish greens.

A group of young carrots sitting on a white tiled surface.

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Went to my first volunteer event at the community garden last night.
Collected the finished compost and moved the dumping and curing piles over.
Felt good to shovel and sift again.

Still not feeling very well so I went home and was essentially dead for the rest of the night, even though it was only two hours of work.
Worth it though.

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Just cracked open Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Got a free copy because our library is participating in Book to Action. Hoping to learn a bit and maybe meet some neighbors with similiar mindsets.

Got on the list to be a volunteer at the community garden too!

Going through and cleaning up the online portfolio today. Mostly minor changes.

Still stumped on how to best display all of the performance flyers I’ve made. A big grid feels like the easiest, but it doesn’t totally fit in with how the other projects look.

Frustrated with how little space Behance gives you for alt text. That is kind of important and you can only just barely fit in the basics. Also when you import a project to your Adobe Portfolio from Behance it doesn’t import the alt texts on anything. That second one isn’t a huge deal but is just something that can be easily overlooked. I only noticed it just now and have to go through and add them all in. At least they give you more characters on Adobe Portfolio.