paulaskitchenalchemy.com preview

*Whew* this last and final semester was a doozy! I apologize to all who might have wondered if I fell off the face of the planet, but I was taking a full course load (4 classes), and the Capstone class was surely the most time-consuming class I’ve ever had–more like a job. Our Capstone Project was to design a database-driven site in PHP and SQL that had an Admin role, a Member role, and a Visitor view, with each role (visitor being “guest”) showing a bit more depending on hierarchy.

Laravel

For my Capstone project I chose to do a cookbook, as I’ve been accumulating recipes I’ve made on little pieces of paper in a huge stack in a bookshelf in my kitchen. I took the plunge and coded my project in PHP using the artisan framework Laravel. Laravel for PHP is like JQuery for Javascript–it’s not a language, per se, but a complex library of functions that one can hook into to create applications more quickly and securely–Laravel does some heavy lifting, but has a large learning curve, especially as it is all object-oriented. I could (and probably should) devote a whole blog to Laravel–suffice it to say, learning and coding using Laravel has shifted how I code. It’s cleaner, more elegant, and beautiful, from a code standpoint. You can see my code for the project as well as other documentation like the Style Guide for the site, image sources, SQL code for generating the database (even though I used migrations) at my Github page.

I’m also proud to say that my Capstone site is fully responsive, and I can view it (and even enter recipe directions by voice through the microphone!) on my phone. Ā Responsiveness was not a requirement, but I felt it was important, being first and foremost a designer, to make it responsive, which, all-in-all, WAS a lot of extra work, as I spent nearly as much time on CSS as I did on PHP (or at least it felt like it, anyways–I could tally it up in my timesheets and find out exactly what the breakdown was). I came up with the design in about 3-4 hours, doing comps in Adobe CC Illustrator and Photoshop, using fonts from Adobe Typekit. I chose purple for the mystical, and the rich golden brown is the same color as cookies just out of the oven šŸ˜‰

diplomaSo finally, graduation! After three years of hard work, attending college full time (taking a segue from Culinary Arts into Web Technologies towards the beginning), I’ve graduated with an A.A.S. in Web Technologies, able to do development and not just design.

My own portfolio site, however, is woefully out-of-date, being first designed in 2005–ten years ago! Even one year seems ancient in web terms, so ten years is unheard-of, especially for someone purporting to do web design. While I am busy busy trying to catch up on delayed freelance (mostly web design!), I am working on a local install of WordPress on a Mamp server to completely redo my portfolio site from scratch, pulling more recent examples of work, as well as focusing more on web & other skills (i.e. ArcGIS for mapping & geolocation, SEO, and social media) than just on print design.

new Bishop Design logo sneak previewBesides redesigning my site, I am revamping my image as well, having done a logo redesign (see sneak preview at left) and completely changing the color scheme.

For the launch of my new site, I intend to roll this technical blog into my site (though I will keep it here, mirrored, for a while, as well). For my Social Media Marketing class, my final project was to come up with a social media launch to introduce my rebranded site to the world! But first, of course, I have to actually get it up there, which I hope to do within the next couple of weeks (juggling everything else as well, naturally).

I am still adding recipes to my Capstone project site, and also have plans to expand that as well, adding a way for Subscribers (my “Member” view) to access and update their accounts, reset their password, etc. I would also like to redo how recipes on the All Recipes displays using Javascript instead of a simple PHP foreach loop–I simply ran out of time, and need to focus on freelance and my own site, now, but I do want to keep going with the cookbook site, and also transition it into Laravel 5 (instead of 4.2).

The summer is nearly upon us, and I hope to continue using my new skills to practice practice practice, including delving into the more commercial aspect of WordPress, having spent a couple of days troubleshooting a friend’s complicated WooCommerce themed site that someone customized for her in a very convoluted and not-well-documented way. The more I work cleaning up someone else’s code, the more I appreciate good commenting…

Onwards and Upwards!