24 Ways to WEAR Coffee!

We all know that coffee and chocolate are important food groups. Either together or seperately, they help us to feel good throughout the day.

Today I have collated twenty four ways you can wear coffee. That’s right, wear it. Okay, they are from my tshirt gallery.

Below are many designs I have created over the last few years. Each of them has coffee on them in some way. Expect more. Enjoy them all!

Love + Coffee + Wine = Parenthood T-Shirt  Powered on Coffee & Wine (CLR) T-Shirt  Powered on Coffee & Wine (Black) T-Shirt

Coffee + Morning = Function T-Shirt  GENUINE COFFEE T-Shirt  Coffee is a Food Group T-Shirt

Choco' & Cookie Please! T-Shirt  Energy = Milk + Coffee T-Shirt  My Blood Type is Coffee+ T-Shirt

Coffee Job T-Shirt  11th Commandment T-Shirt  Caffeine is a Food Group! T-Shirt

Apocalypticoffee T-Shirt  Coffee Is Slimming T-Shirt  Everybody should Believe... T-Shirt

Everyone Deserves a Second... T-Shirt  Anything is Possible T-Shirt  Coffee Loading T-Shirt

Drinking Coffee Under the Table T-Shirt  COFFEECUPLOADING T-Shirt  Can't Stop Eating Chocolate T-Shirt

Save the Chocolate T-Shirt  Most Important Meal Every Day! T-Shirt  Coffee Sip happens T-Shirt

Liked them? Buy them easily and quickly via Redbubble and have them delivered anywhere around the world. Xmas is only a few sleeps away!

Free Advertising Space

When I first started blogging I had no idea where the future would take my scribblings. I readily admit that blogging was purely an escape from the realities around me.

Since then the articles have evolved into articles about the work I enjoy: photography, art, the art of fatherhood, plus a myriad of random subjects. I really should narrow it down, but then I get ideas that I let flow. Like my last post, I never know where my mind takes an idea.

About two years ago I had a silly idea that I could monetise my blog. I watched many other bloggers add Google Adsense and tried to follow their example. It hasn’t worked yet. See, I have a particularly appearance that I would prefer they adhered to. But they don’t. They are ugly.

So I have finally gotten smart. With my graphic art skills honed over the last fifteen years, I only advertise my family products. All the adverts below are in the sidebar of both mine and the kid’s blog. So here’s hoping you click on the links, go check them out, and maybe buy a tshirt or framed work. A father can dream.


MY WIFE & KIDS


Conversations with my Two Sons


GoFundMe Donations for LSBeezKI


Support LSBeez via Paypal.me


LSBeez Sticker


Buy a Tee - Save a bee



MY PHOTOS & TOG-SHIRTS

Buy a Photographer Pro' TShirt


Peruse and Purchase Photographic Artwork by Stephen Mitchell


Stephen Mitchell on FineArtAmerica


So now you know what I do in my spare time. And how I make a little money from my blog.

FYI: I created all the graphics for these adverts. Some need more work or complete revitalisation. That’s the fun of this game – I can do that. I enjoy it.

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Using my Graphic Design for Good


THIS IS FOR YOU
Just about every day of the week I spend at least two hours creating web graphics for web  advertisements or tshirt designs.

With Xmas just around the corner I have created a bunch of new tshirts for everyone to enjoy.
NYE Resolutions T-Shirt

But today I am showing you the advertisements I created for my wife’s business on Kangaroo Island – LSBeez Honey & Queen-Bee Breeding.

Yeah, many of you would know that I am their online sales and web-guru, but in actuality I only get paid in lodging, regular meals, and the constant love of my two beautiful children and their mother. There is not enough money in the world to cover those rewards. (But don’t get me wrong. I would love a paid job or two.)

Here they are:


GoFundMe Donation Button 800px
Donate via GoFundMe

GoFundMe Donation Button 400px
GoFundMe Donations for LSBeezKI


Ready for New Years Eve
Have a Very Naughty ChristmasLSBeez is a family-owned apiary operating on Kangaroo Island, producing premium quality honey from Ligurian bees. After suffering a terrible setback in early 2016, Sarah & Stephen Mitchell needs funds to relocate to KI to help manage the business. Your support will help LSBeez to continue producing honey for everyone to enjoy.
Donations: GoFundMe.com/LSBeezKI
Website: www.ezcreate.com.au/LSBeez/
Facebook: /LsBeez


As you can see, I love creating graphics. I started back in 1996, and I still use GIMP exclusively and extensively to design and create all my ideas. If you need graphics designed and built for online usage,  contact me via Twitter

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Keeping Myself Extremely Busy

This is the best advice Casey Neistat gives to anyone who is worried about the future…
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Casey: My advice is always the same , which is KEEP YOURSELF EXTREMELY BUSY. As long as you are doing something, you will find your path. It’s when you get lazy that everything becomes skewed or grey foggy.”
Louie: “It’s easier to steer something that is already moving. If you are just static and stationery, it is SO HARD to build momentum!”

It is also the adage I follow most days. Why? Because I hate not working. I really hate not doing anything. I truely hate standing still – unless it is the best thing to be doing (More on this another time). Admittedly, now that I am a parent, I am rarely without something to do.
OI...

Sidenote: Sidenote: My MIL is going to say that is rubbish, because of an incident that happened just a few days back. I failed to change our 13mo-son’s nappy when clearly it stunk like no man’s land. I explained to MIL and wife I had smelt worse, having grown up in my teenage years with a drop-toilet (the link is for the generation of kids who are lucky enough to live their whole lives with flushing toilets.) Fact is: I DO change the kid’s nappies. It is something, it is important, it has to be done. So right after MIL left, the lad climbed into my lap, and I suddenly realised how bad his nappy was. I cleaned him up, changed his nappy, had a bonding moment, and now he walks up to me any time of the day for a hug.

** Actually, that last sentence says a lot about where this article is meant to be going. **
Spinning Top

When we give, we recieve. If only from ourselves, i.e. self-gratification, experience, knowledge, or simple happiness. But when we do something for others, no matter what age they are, it will usually result in recprication of some kind.

I am currently giving a lot of my time to my wife. I really wish I had a day job that pays, but until then, the payoff of helping my wife whilst I am predominately homebound is triple-fold. Aha, triple-fold.

1. I am the Sales, Marketing, and Online Face of my wife’s business LSBeez . Actually, the sales happen too easily, and my wife is working that out. It’s not difficult when we are selling the most delicious Kangaroo Island Ligurian Bee honey on the planet. Check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and website/business-card.

2. I am a Dad, and I like to think pretty awesome. I am far from perfect, I have never done this before. Yeah, we baby/child-sat a lot kids over the years (as young as 2, as old as 13), but having your own is a whole new game. Never being without the kids is sometimes painful, no parent is going to deny that. Waking at the crack of dawn, not going to sleep when requested (4yo’s are the worst for that!), and older brothers getting angry when they are not the centre of attention, just a bunch of things that drive the average parent completly nuts.
But what makes me an awesome Dad? I never hit my child. We have time-out’s, chats about consequences and negotiable stuff. Yep, our #MrAlmostFour is pretty damn smart, he knows those words now! But I never hit him. I have nearly been tempted, but each time I simply say to myself “Violence only breeds violence. This ends now.”
Get it? Don’t hit your kids, work it out another way. I ain’t saying this is going to work for all kids, but we need to stop the reign of terrror everywhere. This ball of mud we call Earth is infinite, humans are not. If we keep fighting, eventually the earth will be returned to the animals and we will be a forgotten moment of time in the revolution of this planet. Stop hitting our kids, Start living smarter.
WHEW! Massive rant. My mind does this. It’s just great that I can type so fast that I can get it out of my head.

3. I said triple-fold didn’t I? Just trying to remember why … oh yeah…
When I help my wife, she helps me. When she makes dinner, I bathe both boys. Or the other way round. When I clean up the very small living space we have (our lounge room is also the family and media and toy room!), she is packing the dishwasher. (Actually, I am not allowed to stack the dishwasher anymore. Apparently I do it wrong. I say someone has OCD, but enough about that. I am happy to be wrong on this issue). When I spend half my night reading, researching, blogging, designing new tshirts or ideas, drawing, creating, uploading, listening to Ted.com, learning from edX.org, she lets me do it … because we need the money for our next big project. More about that VERY soon!

To ensure I am putting in the full effort necessary to achieve my goals, I spend a lot of time finding ways to earn money utilising the internet. Let me be clear here: I am not trying any g3t-r1ch-qu1ck schemes (mispelt to avoid google algorithims putting those awful adverts underneath). Instead I have countless photography galleries, two of which earn me pittance – but I enjoy it. I also have a few tshirt collections, one of them earns me a few dollars each month. It’s infuriating, yet I enjoy it.

Now that I have gym two nights a week (sometimes four times!), I am glad to be on the move more often than not. I also changed my work desk to a standup, but that may not have been totally smart. My feet hurt, but the upside is that I can simply walk away from my desk anytime.
Bouncing Off The Walls
After reading through all my words in this post, I now realise that vlogging could seriously work for me. Since I have a Youtube channel, I am working towards vlogging. The biggest challenge with vlogging is geography and internet plans. Australia has abismal internet upload/download speeds. We get roughly (unresearched, just an exaggeration that may or may not be correct) 1/25th the speed that any other country has – which is goddam crazy. If the NBN ever happens, will it fix that problem? I am yet to be impressed. On the upside, my cameras are now all setup.

This is too much words. Who is going to read all this? Did you? Leave a LIKE and a COMMENT below if you found any of this interesting, or if you like to see me try my hand at vlogging. 

Why I Create Graphic Art

Written for linkage to my graphic art page on my website.

#46 Clothing Combo'
I first started producing really simple graphics early in my internet days, around 1998.

It was quite by accident, yet I have always been the creative type. It turned out to be a good idea because at that time I had a fairly boring day-job, so being able to be creative in the evenings made up for the monotony. [I left that job in 2012, so I can say that now.]

The night 9/11 happened, I downloaded a freebie GIF-maker and made a dozen images that basically said how I was thinking about that whole event. [The images have since dissappeared into the archives].

Shortly after I discovered GIMP [“a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition”], bought a bible-width reference book – and haven’t stopped creating or editing images.

With some amazing scripts (eg: saving all layers individually), I taught myself basic graphic-design – and now produce awesome tshirt designs AND manipulate my photographs similar to photoshop.

Wait, what did I say? Use GIMP instead of Photoshop:
Yep, For about eight years now I have been using GIMP for manipulating my photographs. Yeah, not many people realise that. Whilst everyone was raving about Photoshop, I kept learning GIMP. And I freely admit I still don’t know half of what is capable of doing. But it did teach me how to be creative.

Because producing parts of a graphic often meant asking yourself [Q1] “With the little I know, how can it be done?” For one example, I taught myself how to create (often B-grade) shadows for trees that had been manipulated from another photo and stuck into the current photo. Yeah, (hangs head in shame), I do that. But you wouldn’t spot it, and I am not going to show you where. (Smiles gleefully).

#43 I'm Crazier than Almost Everybody Here
Then in 2012 my tshirt sales started making some series G’s … per annum. Not a lot, but it got me thinking … and I decided [Q2] diversity was the key to success. I now have two Redbubble accounts – stephentrepreneur is photography, ezcreative is tshirts – and I market them like crazy.

Gotta be honest, [Q3] marketing is the key to success in any game, and particulary online. It doesn’t mean whoring your wares: It means seriously spruiking via social media to your full advantage. It works. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, I am there, showing off my skills.

In 2015, sales started ramping up. The monthly balances were not going to make me a millionaire, but my creative side was impressing my corporate side no end.

It is now 2016 and I am trying new ideas. A series of about 30 graphics are in production as we speak; They are based on observation of what sells most in my creative collection. [Q4] Never let your best work stand alone, use the experience to your advantage.

These days I spend a few hours each night drawing my ‘brain-farts’ onto paper, selecting the best, then determining how I can create them with GIMP. It isn’t easy, I don’t deny it, but it is fun.

Someone said I should do tutorials, but I now have two beautiful children who need more Daddy time, so I won’t be spending much more computer time than is neccessary. But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever do a tute.

That says enough, I am quite sure, but I plan to post some related articles in the next few weeks.

Oh, you’re probably asking what is with all the [Q]’s in this post? I have discovered that I really can write some seriously awesome quotes. So I have marked them for reference. I may add id-links soon so they can be tweeted. Noice.

Anyhow, nothing else to say other – except: Check out my tshirt collection here and here – and buy a cup, mug, tshirt, doona cover, and/or phone cover. Buy one of each! All purchases help to fund our next big project.

Farmers are Entrepreneurs

Somehow I stumbled upon Penelope Trunk’s website this morning. Very quickly I read this quote below – which reminded of conversations I have had recently – so I had to share it!

Farming is changing a lot. It’s a lot like what you say about how corporations won’t take care of you and you have to take care of yourself.

… by Penelope’s farmer

Yes, I will most likely become a farmer within the next 12 months. It will mean moving our family to Kangaroo Island; Bees will be our main focus, plus we plan to keep goats, chickens, geese, vegetables, and a dog. My wife and our kids will move over first, I will follow them after I complete a few job contracts here in Adelaide. Many factors to consider first before this is all finalized. But it will happen.

Smoking the BeesThen I found this comment on the article that says exactly why farmers are entrepreneurs. So I have adapted the comment text to best fit our situation:

It’s true: Beekeeper farmers are entrepreneurs and marketing gurus.
We have to be: With family farm’s nearing extinction due to government intervention, middleman markups and overall high economic issues, they have to find a way to make their money at a grassroots level.
Many farmers combat this by creating their own product or restricting their product range. Rather than selling their product to international and impersonal conglomerates, now make their own boutique or unique products – then sell them to niche markets and a smaller customer base.
What’s amazing about entrepreneurial farmers is they manage to create a means of carrying on a family-owned business. By creating high-quality premium products – local products that defy corporate enterprise – they will stand out in their local community. Better yet, they often preserve their land, keeping the environment pristine and natural, instead of selling it off to real-estate developers.

Penelope also says exactly why I look forward to being a farmer after twenty five years of Adelaide city life.

That felt good to tell you all. May the future also be entrepreneurial for you!

Naming Photography Collections Appropriately

Breaking Through to the Other Side A few nights ago I was pondering if I should give my photography collections fancy names.

I wanted to use interesting words that described the nature of the collection yet without sounding all pretentious and prissy.

It still had to sound masculine, yet attracting everyone. So I did what everyone does: I googled a few words, changed the criteria a few times and finally stumbled onto these two articles:

How to Name Your Packages

Lawrence says in the first line: A vital element of packaging and promoting your products is language.”
So true.Choosing each word to specifically convey the message you really want to say is paramount. See I what I did there? Seriously, read this, your product range will go from basic to premium in no time!

Top 10 Tricks for Creating Photography Packages that Sell

Leah Remillét, a strategist for professional photographers, shares her top 10 tips we should all know about offering photography packages to our clientele. She offers better word choices, better structure to your offer, and the difference between cost and value. I love her tips on when best to start on any project.

Line Up I am sure there are more articles regarding the issue.

These two say enough for me to consider where I want to go from here. Look out for MY premium gold collection or the Caviar on Crackers collection! ;)