Plans for Parson Cross Park and other Park Research

Parson Cross Park Landscape Plan Updated Jan 2017

Found the plans for Parson Cross Park, there will be new housing on part of the park with a change of entrance. The old entrance will lead to the new houses.

I have emailed the Council again to see if I can get a copy of the results of the Parson Cross and Colley Park survey.

Further Research – Dog Mess in Colley Park – Litter issues after Football matches in Colley Park – Over 100 playgrounds in Sheffield

Sheffield’s Parks and Urban Green Spaces Under Threat

Vandalism in Sheffield Parks

“Defiant bosses at one of Sheffield’s most popular playgrounds have vowed not to let ‘mindless’ vandals wreck the fun for the vast majority.

Yobs struck overnight on Wednesday at Highfield Adventure Playground, in Sharrow, wrecking picnic tables and destroying toys used by scores of youngsters each week.”


Major Project – Final Stretch of the Course

I haven’t been able to update my blog as much as I would have liked. With a 4000-5000 word essay plus practical piece to do it has been a bit hectic. However, tomorrow we are on the final stretch – Major Project time. This is pretty much it now, apart from has been described as a “long, slim module”, that is Professional Development. But the majority of the time will be spent on the Major Project, and that is the last project.

Juggling family life and studying has been difficult at times but I’ve learn’t to work as and when I can. Which might meaning working for a few hours in the evening and then not doing anything for the rest of the week because I don’t have time and the week after I’m doing little bits here and there but no big chunk of time. I would recommend to any parent studying to do as much as you can when you can because you don’t know when your next study session will be – unless you have a very organised family life!

I’m hoping that the this last part of the course will be easier to manage, time-wise. It will be all done by the end of April, with an end of degree show in June – a chance to show off.

End of Year Show

Not sure of the dates yet or where it will be but it is usually held in June at The Workstation in Sheffield City Centre.

Image result for the workstation

Last years show showcased several disciplines including Games Development/Design, Photography, Art and Graphic Design. Many of Sheffield current Graphic Designer’s and future Graphic Designers will attend.

So here’s to the final part of the course! Bring it on!


The Grown Up Chocolate Company – YCN Brief

Was thinking along the lines of coming up with a Phrase to represent the new ranges, see quote below, of “dairy free”,”nut free” and “vegan”.

I like the idea of the slogan to represent each and then work on a visual/typography to match that. So far I have two slogans “nut to be”, “no moo for you” and not sure on the third for vegan. Struggling with that a bit, not sure if I can get a workable idea. Might need to move onto something else.

The Creative Challenge

We want you to design a tempting new identity for our new range. Please note, the range is currently in development, so we do not have recipes or variations finalised, but we’re keen to prepare the business for its launch next year.
As well as coming up with a name for the range, we want to see how your new identity will be executed as:

Packaging — create artwork that shows how the new identity will look on our packs (see the Project Pack for cutter guides)

A landing page for the new ‘free from’ range on our online store

Key visuals — these are icons for the range that appear on pack, in print and online. Each emphasises a different message about the product (see Project Pack for current examples). For the ‘free from’ range, we need three key visuals which communicate that the products are ‘dairy free’, ‘nut free’ and ‘vegan’.

As the recipes for these bars have not yet been finalised, we do not expect a fully formed idea, rather an example of how you would incorporate your name and identity for the range onto these different touchpoints. If you’d prefer, feel free to make up bars (EG. Naughty But Nice Nutty Nougat) for this challenge!”


Brand/Brand Competitor Research

I looked at several other brands of vegan/dairy free, luxury/adult brands, etc.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramelised Almonds, , hi-res

Dairy Free

Organic Fairtrade Alternative to Milk Chocolate Hearts

Dairy Free

The All Dark Vegan Chocolate Hamper Collection, , hi-res

Vegan Hamper

Vegan, Nut Free

Superb Salted Caramel Truffles

Chocolate Selection Tray

Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Preorder

Heavenly Whole Hazelnut Cups

Graphic Design Placement

Not sure how to start this but here goes. I suffer from Depression and Anxiety and although I manage my Depression my Anxiety does bite me in the arse sometimes. I no longer drive because I’ve developed an anxiety over it. Sometimes it holds me back in life, sadly it’s something I have to deal with and sometimes I manage OK but other things stress me out/build my anxiety up to the point where I struggle to sleep/get tense/can’t switch off.

Anyway, for this to make sense I will start at way back in 2003. I graduated from college with a HND in Graphic Design. And I duly set about trying to get a job or at the very least a work placement. But every time I got knocked back, I guess I went to at least 40 interviews. Not sure how many I applied for, maybe hundreds? Too long ago to remember. The first few times I didn’t get the job I brushed myself off and applied for the next. But I think there is only so many times you can do that before you start to feel down. Basically, every “sorry you didn’t get the job” is a you’re not good enough and after a point it really gets to you.

The last interview I had for a Graphic Design job was just one too many. One too many no’s, and it sent me into a Depression. To be fair I have suffered with Depression/Anxiety since I was about 13 so it’s not like I was “normal”, don’t like that word but not sure what else to use. Hopefully you understand what I mean in that I wasn’t starting from a balanced point of view and it is likely my pre-existing problems contributed to the Depressive episode. After a few weeks of feeling like shit, feeling worthless, not good-enough, stupid – I felt like an idiot for even applying I should have known I wouldn’t get the job so why did I apply?

I then came to the realisation that I needed to draw a line in the sand. I binned my portfolio and deleted all my college work from my Hard Drive. I decided to forget about Graphic Design. Later I decided I wanted to be a Teacher but I was struggling to find a course. I only had 2 years of funding left and so I couldn’t afford to do a full degree – I would need to pay a year’s worth of course fees out of my own pocket. Money I simply didn’t have. I need a degree to do a PGCE but I knew I didn’t want to top-up my HND, I didn’t want to go back to Graphic Design – I wanted to go forward. But after looking at the other options it was the only way, so I applied at The Sheffield College.

I needed to refresh my skills big time. It was Freehand and QuarkXpress not Illustrator and InDesign when I was at college. Plus I knew it wasn’t just the software I needed to brush up it was my design skills too. I was rusty as hell, so I embarked on creating a new portfolio. It reminded me just how much I enjoyed Graphic Design, but I kept telling myself to not get too into it. I didn’t want to start getting ideas about being a Graphic Designer again.

Unfortunately, that it was happened plus going on a placement would look good for my Professional Development. Or at least trying would to get a placement would. But then the anxiety kicked in, I didn’t realise at first and it wasn’t long before I was struggling to sleep. I had written a placement request email, I had looked up nearby Graphic Design companies – I wanted something not too far from home for childcare reasons. But then I just couldn’t send the email. I even got as far a draft email with all the email addresses on ready to send but I just couldn’t do it. All the feelings of failure kicked in again. All I could think is what is the point? Ok yeah if I try it would look good for Professional Development but bad for me mentally when I get a load of no’s again. Why put myself through that? Why make myself feel bad again. In the end I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t face the rejection again. I appreciate this looks bad for my Professional Development but my mental health comes first. I may enjoy Graphic Design but I’m not a Graphic Designer.

Escal Reading Volunteer Training

I was due to to attend a training session this week but unfortunately it has been cancelled. The next training session is on the 26th of February, which is the week that I start the Major project. I’m now wondering if it would be best to leave the training session until after the Major. ??

After speaking to Faye (she runs the Escal scheme) I have decided to attend. She said the council are looking to close down the scheme and there may not be another training session. But once I’m trained and given a school to work with I should be able to keep volunteering whether the scheme itself shuts down or not.

Etsy Shop

I opened by Etsy shop yesterday. I have moved away from “graphic design” and utilised a more “crafty” approach. However, I have used my illustration skills to draw a background. I created a vector from it so I can print it and use it on several cards.

It took a bit just to get 10 items up for sale. I could do with working on the banner and logo for the shop, it was done quickly as I means to get the shop up and running before Valentine’s day. From what I have read online I will need to have Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram account, etc in order to drive traffic to the site. However, I’m not sure I have the time to commit to this level of promotion until after I have finished my degree.

Shop Front

Product Page

Product Page

I’m part of a group of Facebook called Crafty Business Sheffield, here are what some of the members have said about selling on Etsy:

I use Etsy and I like it. There’s a really good Etsy sellers community in Sheffield who have started doing Etsy Made Local fairs and such, which have been really popular. You do have to do a lot of social media marketing to get sales, and that takes a long time to build up, but it’s the same with any platform you use. I’m thinking of trying Folksy this year, too.”

“I have an etsy shop and went a few months before I sold anything. You do have to market it yourself but I’m also getting traffic through etsy search results and I’ve started having more online sales since doing fares and making people know about me that way. There is lots you can do to optimise your etsy and google search results, there’s lots of advice out there and help in the etsy guidebook on their website.”

“It depends what you are selling. Set up is free and listings are inexpensive, but very few make much money on there. Where Etsy failed for me is in the promotion. You sped so much time promoting it is ridiculous.”

This comment was posted in January;

Not too bad to set up, but you need to drive traffic to your shop. As yet I haven’t sold anything been on since October. Still trying.”

The group has been really useful for networking and receiving advice. It’s been a good way to connect with other businesses/local crafters.

UPDATE: Even though I did not promote my Etsy page I still sold several valentine’s day cards.  I now feel working for myself selling online is the best route until the kids are older at which point I will do a PGCE (assuming I get a 2.1 from this degree).

Further Park Research – Website Links

Considering an App to report vandalism in parks, also other issues such as fly-tipping, dog fouling. But also could be used for positive things such as letting park users know about Park events such as fayres, gardening/allotments groups, sports groups, etc.

Thinking about aiming the app and both children and adults. Maybe engaging children with some sort of reward scheme? Or maybe get them involved more in their local park by getting them to plant bulbs/flowers, litter pick or maybe paint murals? Creating a sense that it is “their” park so hopefully this will reduce vandalism/anti-social behaviour. Also create a sense that the park is looked after/maintained/watched. Vandals are less likely to create problems if they think they are being watched. – App for reporting problems like broken street lights to council. QR Codes Can used as inventory management – NFC codes for inventory

Age is just over 10 for getting first smartphone: – app to find playgrounds in your area, not sure if UK? Check if covers UK. Also this one and others. – Sheffield MoveMore – maybe combine with this activity and reporting park problems?