Thursday 15 September 2022

MY USUAL Thursday morning guitar student is coming earlier today…which works perfectly as JonZip is coming to record in the studio.

After the guitar lesson I hit the studio and get roughly set up for what I think JonZip will need then get some day-to-day stuff sorted out before he arrives.

We get set up, chat about what he wants to do then break for coffee. Back in the studio we get the guitar tracks down then over to the garden for lunch.

Vocals and other stuff is all done in the afternoon then JonZip goes back to Glasgow…I start working on the recordings and putting together some rough mixes….

Wednesday 14 September 2022

I sort a website landing page to promote the Meet me in the City pre-save

FIRST job is to pack up a couple of wee things I made for Will’s birthday and get them in the post. We already sent a card with some dosh but I made a coupla bits and bobs for fun.

I drop into the shop to check stock and chat over some new ideas for gifts/souvenirs I’ve had.

Back in the studio I double check all the uploads, files and metadata for digital distribution of the album and call the aggregator to find out how to include Meet me in the City as the same recording on the album as the forthcoming single…turns out to be a fairly simple process, albeit not very obvious. I get the album set for 18 November 🙂

The CD manufacturer missed my email approving the artwork digital proofs so I call them and give them the go-ahead…and pay for the job. Ouch!

I do another few dye sublimation experiments and think I’m getting the hang of it now. Quite pleased with my results so far.

Next, I set up a pre-save campaign for Meet me in the City then design and create a landing page for the website that’ll, I hope, work across desktop, tablet and mobile and still look good. Then I start spreading the word on my socials.

In the house I prepare mushroom risotto to take along to Betty and Joe’s for dinner…

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Still got the lurgy – trying to stay away form lunch on an island seems a good idea!

STILL got the lurgy and we’re meant to be going to my cousin’s for dinner tonight to see Ginny who’s arriving form the ‘States today. I don’t feel THAT bad but, as Margaret points out, Ginny isn’t gonna thank us for passing on the lurgy as soon as she arrives in the UK.

I message Fred and say we’d best not come 🙁 Hopefully we can arrange another get-together before Ginny goes back.

In the office I re-think some of my dye sublimation design ideas to try out later if I have time. meantime, I make up some sandwiches and go for a paddle to the island. It’s fairly calm in the bay but when I get out onto the open loch it’s choppy as fuck. So choppy I have to kneel down to avoid getting blown off course…and possible taking a dip.

Once I reach the island (Inchcailloch) things are calmer and I stand back up to paddle to a wee beach where I relax and enjoy my lunch in the sun.

The paddle home is much the same – breezy but OK, then really windy and choppy until I get back into the bay.

I spend much of the afternoon on the dye sub and end with some pretty good results. I also get in touch with our t-shirt guy Kenny and arrange for him to make up a couple of prototype Devil may Care/UK tour shirts.

Finally I make it into the studio and upload all the new album songs, art and metadata to my digital aggregator (distributor) in good time for an 18 November release across all digital platforms.

Once done, I reward myself with a wee wander up the lochside. I don’t feel much like exercise, but the fresh air might help shift this lurgy…

Monday 12 September 2022

A still from this week’s Wildcats’ livestream

AFTER my usual Monday morning session with one of my Zoom guitar students I sort poster printing for the venues on the November UK tour to promote the new Devil May Care album.

After lunch I do some more dye sublimation experimenting and manage to improve the results considerably. Got some more ideas to up the game, but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Meantime, I approve the digital proofs of the package and on-body CD art from the CD manufacturer…looks like we’re all systems go 🙂

I put some thought into tonight’s Wildcats’ livestream content then go for a walk up the lochside. I’ve still got the lurgy and don’t feel much like it, but I know it’ll do me some good.

The livestream goes pretty well and I use a webcam rather than my usual ‘pro’ camera and audio setup to try and avoid the audio/visual sync issues.I’m wondering if the problem is my now rather old laptop rather than any other software or hardware issues. If I can bring in some dosh in the next month or two maybe I can upgrade…

Sunday 11 September 2022

I’VE definitely got the lurgy. A covid test is negative, so I guess Margaret’s just passed on whatever she’s been suffering from for the past few days.

The kids have us up at 7am…well, Margaret top…I crawl back under the covers for another hour or so.

After breakfast I go through the images from yesterday’s photoshoot and upload the results for the client. In between times Catriona comes for the kids and Margaret and I have some lunch.

The photos – and kids – out the way, I now have time to convert the printer I picked up in Costco for dye sublimation. Takes me a while to work things out then start experimenting. My first attempts are OK for a starter, but I’ve clearly got a lot to learn!

We have dinner then watch our pal Bill’s livestream – his last from Dundee before he and Dorothy head back to the ‘states…

Saturday 10 September 2022

Magical day documenting the Dandelion Trust event in Falkirk

NO LONG lie today…I have to get my ass to the Helix in Falkirk to photograph the Dandelion Trust’s harvest festival event,

The sun is shining and it’s set to be a good day out. I meet Martyn and Jamie on site – they’re doing some filming – then touch base with Angela and Yvonne – my contacts for the event.

There’s a full program of live music, stilt walkers, plants and seedlings for folks to find out about and take away, kids crafts…and a food van giving away the most amazing food. Slow cooked beef shin, dumplings and Irn Bru-glazed potatoes.

I’m on site until about 4pm then drive home. Margaret’s been looking after the kids and taken them swimming so I hang out with them for a while then hit the studio and dump my photos onto a hard drive.

Once the kids are in bed and asleep I light some charcoal and grill the marinaded chicken…

Friday 9 September 2022

I finish off a keyfob for an Etsy customer…

THERE’S an order from Etsy to be finished – I don’t get many orders from Etsy, but I do like the way order fulfilment is made so quick and east. Especially the postage labels.

I get it finished before my 10am guitar student arrives…she normally comes on a Thursday but we shuffled things around this week.

In the studio I give the DDP audio file and CD package and on-body artwork a final check over then send it all to the manufacturer. Even after all those years this is still exciting!

I call Costco to see if a delivery of a printer I’m after has come in. It has but they only have a few so I head into Glasgow to grab one while I can…it’s a bargain and is one of few printers that can be converted for dye sublimation printing. Watch this space!

There’s also a few odds and ends of shopping to pick up then when I get home I go for a quick walk and stop in to see Betty and Joe. Then it’s home…and pizza time 🙂

Thursday 8 September 2022

I get the artwork finished for the CD package and on-body…

WE SLEEP in a bit for no apparent reason…then I need to hit the ground running.

The new album project budgets and project plan need checked and updated. All’s going good and if I can get my shit together today, Hopefully I’ll get the masters and artwork files all off to the manufacturer tomorrow (Friday). I get busy.

Betty pops in late morning or a coffee then i make some tartare sauce and airfried banana blossom for lunch.

Margaret’s getting in touch with all the venues to see how many posters they need for the November dates and i set about creating artwork for each, highlighting their particular show.

Late afternoon the rain’s off and I take a wander through the woods with a container and fill it with brambles. I get a good haul and get back home just as the rain starts again.

Back to the studio to get some more work done then chilli for (a late) dinner…

Wednesday 7 September 2022

FIRST job is finishing the on-body artwork for the CD version of the new album. I also send the cover artwork to Help Musicians for them to check their logo use and placement.

Then it’s time to get on the bike and cycle to the dentist in the village. I had my checkup a few weeks ago and Sandy – my dentist – was concerned about a raised ridge on my tongue. It’s no worse and I’ve to keep an eye on it. I also get a scale and polish.

After lunch I add ticket links to all the November shows then work on poster art.

There’s some progress reports and updates to do regarding the new album project, then it’s time for a Zoom guitar session with one of my students. This one is usually but we made it later this week because of my dentist appointment.

Margaret’s getting the shopping…and making a mince and sweet potato dish to take to Betty and Joe for dinner. I brown the mince and prep the ingredients we have to give her a start.

We have a nice evening with our pals then watch some telly before bed.

Tuesday 6 September 2022

UP early and at it…loads on my list for today.

First job is checking in and getting a quote from the CD manufacturer I’m using for the album. I need to sort a barcode and some other stuff before I can finish the artwork.

Also, I need to chase Help Musicians for a logo to include…I’ve emailed a few times and my contact is normally really good at getting back quick. I’m concerned my emails are getting lost along the way. I call and speak to someone who asks me to forward the email form the same address…it doesn’t arrive either. I try sending from a different address and…success! My contact gets back to me in. less than ten minutes.

The postie brings the magnets I need to finish the outstanding stock for the village shop but I have to get on the bike to the doc for a blood test before I can do the merch.

When I get back I finish the merch and take it to the shop.

After lunch I sort some photos and then get on with the album package and on-body CD art.

Having not released anything in a physical format for about five years, I’d forgotten how time-intensive album packaging artwork can be…it’s nearly 9pm by the time I stop for the day.


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