More office art changes

Over the past few years, I’ve been enjoying and adding new art to my office walls. If you’ve been around my blog for a while you’ve likely seen a few posts about it. There is the Automattic Creed, a frame of Automattic logos, Happiness patches, my Son of Krypton print, and most recently my big old map of New Orleans.

When I added the big map it meant I had to take down my WordPress wall as that was really the only wall in my office which would fit it. This caused me to rethink the other walls. The map sits on the wall directly behind me when I’m sitting at my desk, on the wall right behind my desk I’ve had a print of a photo I’d taken of the look off area of the Annapolis Valley where I live for the longest time. I’ve not been happy with it for a while though as the color in the print never really turned out right. It’s also a spliced together panorama from three individual pictures and I didn’t notice until after three copies were printed, framed, and two given out as gifts, that in the splicing there was a little bush in the foreground that was duplicated.

With that picture in the middle, there were a couple of small plaques with pictures of Apple Blossoms I had received years ago from being a Sponsor of our local Apple Blossom Festival on one side, and my diploma from University on the other. During the reorganization, I tossed the plaques, but I’m certainly keeping the diploma up on a different wall though, it’s the most expensive piece of paper I own.

Here’s what the wall above my desk looks like now.

It has my three previous frames from my WordPress wall up in the middle with two smaller items on either side. The far one is a print I picked up at the French Market in New Orleans. The artist is Tesfaye Nequsse and I really liked his work. It sat on my desk for a while but with the adjustment, I bought a frame for it and put it up.

The print closest I’ve had for a while. It was a gift from my mother to Noah, but it has ended up in my office for a while now. It is a print of a painting by Liz Lemon Swindle. It was in a different frame but it didn’t really match the other black frames on the wall so I bought a matching frame to the print above. I should have measured first though as it didn’t fit the new frame. Luckily my sister came to my rescue and made me a new mat for the frame and now it looks great.

I’m pretty pleased with how it all turned out in the end even though it meant a bit of work moving it all around. I’m running out of wall space now though so I might have to start choosing what stays and what goes as I add more in the future.

Here’s a gallery showing most of the items on my wall now including some better images of the prints themselves.

New Office Art

New Office Art

This is something I came across a few years ago and have thought about it off and on ever since. After coming back from our big trip I began thinking about it again and finally decided to get to it. It’s a big old map printed in a rough home made frame.

As it had been a while since I thought about it I couldn’t find the old bookmark I had made, but found the tutorial online again pretty easily to follow along with. There were a couple adjustments, but followed this pretty close. It really was pretty straight forward to do and I’m so happy with the results. The map came from the site the tutorial suggested, Big Map Blog, and I found a birds eye view of New Orleans from 1885. We spent a week in New Orleans during the trip and it holds a special place in my heart, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

One of the adjustments I made from the tutorial is where I had the image printed. It cost a bit more than what they described but Acadia University has a print shop who has printed some large format images for me in the past and done a good job so I had them print this too. It came out really nice and was only $40 for a 3′ x 2′ colored print.

The other adjustment I made was the wood and finish I added to it. From Home Depot I picked up a couple knotty pine 1″ x 4″ x 8′ boards and cut them to size. The tutorial called for pickets and the only ones I could find when I looked close were pressure treated and seemed heavier than the pine boards. I wanted it to be as light as it could be. For the finish I used a technique my sister let me know about called the baby wipe method. It’s really easy. You put any color toll paint you want to use on a baby wipe and essentially use it to paint the wood. It’s really quick to do, and it dries quick as well. I tested on a piece of the left over wood with a couple of colors but settled on black as it better matched the picture and the other frames in my office.

It’s hardly a complex project, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!

The Automattic Creed

Right in the offer letter when you accept a position at Automattic you are presented with the creed right above where you sign to accept. I love this. It really describes how things are here. You can read more about the creed in Matt’s post Why Your Company Should Have a Creed. You can read the creed below.

I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.

A little while ago a co-worker, Nick Hamze, commissioned a design for a t-shirt around the creed. He also did one on canvas. The things Nick creates or has created is awesome. I love his creativity. I printed one out and just put it in a frame and on the wall today. I might try shrinking it down a bit more to have it fit in the frame a bit better, but I love the look of it hanging in my office.

Edit: I did re-print it so it is smaller and fits in the frame better. I replaced the old picture with a new one.

Photo 2015-07-22, 9 50 54 PM

Afternoon at the Shore

This afternoon, together with a bunch of friends and family, we headed to the shore. The beach is a all rocks and is at Scot’s Bay on the Bay of Fundy. The tides are huge and as we were getting there it was on it’s way out. It doesn’t take long before there is a long walk to get to the water.

It is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon. We had a fire which we used to cook hot dogs for lunch and then roast marshmallows for s’mores afterwards. The kids love playing together running around. Digging in the rocks, collecting shells and playing in the water.

There was an installation of Uncommon Common Art there which was very cool. The artist, Genny Killin, created an installation called What was Left Behind: Ribs. It is the ribs of a ship made from recycled cans. In the past there have been some installations with this project that I didn’t appreciate but most, including this one, are really neat to come across.

Spending time laying next to the ocean having great conversation with friends is the perfect way to end a weekend and recharge for the weeks reality to begin again.

Son of Krypton

For sometime I’ve been semi following along local artist James White. If you’re not familiar with him you should be. He was recently featured with Lynda.com celebrating 25 years of Photoshop. Seeing his incredible talent I knew from early on that I wanted to have at least one piece of his work eventually. I’ve tried to catch a few different items over the years but always ended up late when they were all sold out.

Back in the summer of 2013 he wrote a post about a poster he had done for an upcoming show he had been invited to. Shortly after reading I was in contact with him to see if he would be releasing prints of this. At the time he wasn’t sure so I kind of forgot about it.

Luckily about a month ago I was checking out his site again and happened to see prints being offered and was lucky enough to snap one up. While I was working today it arrived in the mail which absolutely made my day. It’s now hanging in my office beside my desk so I can admire his version of Superman all the time.

Thanks James for creating this and allowing me to get print for myself.

Here it is hanging on my wall. My picture doesn’t do it justice so I’ve included the picture from his site as well.

Son of KryptonSuperman