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!

Happiness Patches

Happiness Patches

A few Grand Meetups ago some of my awesome colleagues started a new cool thing, Happiness Patches. For any team you have been on, or done a rotation with, you get a patch. There are a few fun patches as well and they’re expanding a bit. The idea is similar to merit badges.

Each Grand Meetup I’d collect new patches and then they would live in a bag in my office, I never knew what to do with them. The one main idea I had saw others do was to put them on a backpack. Backpacks wear out though and I didn’t want to lose these. Finally this weekend I did something with them and I’m really happy with the result.

While the kids were doing a craft at our local Michaels store I went and grabbed a shadow box to frame the patches in. Had I just been doing the patches a regular frame would have likely worked, but I had a few pins to throw in as well so needed a big more depth. It has now joined the Automattic wall in my office.

The wall started out with just the print based on the Automattic creed, then shortly after I added the three logos and it has continued to grow since then. A local business, who creates custom pillows, made the WordPress logo pillow for me. Jen wouldn’t let me use it in the living room so now it lives on the top of my bookcase. The next additions were the award I received at work, and the WordPress pennant. One of my previous team members brought me a big glow in the dark Jupiter sticker which made it’s way to the wall as well. Jupiter is our team name. Last night I re-arranged things a bit so I could make room for the new shadow box. The wall can still use some adjustments to fit things better, but I really like it and it makes me happy when ever I walk into my office.

 

 

 

Visit Automattic East

This morning we left our friends house in New Brunswick and continued on with the next part of our vacation. While we were stopped in Bangor Maine I thought a next good stopping point would be Portland, or just outside Portland anyway.

I didn’t plan it in advance but on the drive started messaging people who regularly work out of the Automattic office there. Like the rest of my co-workers everyone I wrote was awesome, but no one was at the office. One of them was willing to let us in though so we could take a look around, but as it turns out just as we pulled in received a message from one of the other people who had just shown up. He gave us the tour and let us look around.

The kids played some foosball and ping pong, but I think their favourite part was looking through the swag!

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

Winter to Spring Time Lapse

Since February 16th I’ve had a web cam setup in my office window looking out over my backyard. It’s set to capture an image every half hour when it is light out.

The camera is not great so the quality isn’t very good but it’s still pretty cool watching the snow disappear and the grass take over. This time lapse shows the images from February 16th until May 6th 2015.

Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Another gorgeous day out today. I took advantage and spent a while working outside at my favourite cafe in town TAN Coffee. Fresh air and good coffee make the work day even better! Kentville might not be as exotic as some of my co-workers “offices” at https://officetoday.wordpress.com but it still felt great today!

Office Today

Kentville, Nova Scotia

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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