In Which I Repine

The thing is, every time I feel moved to get back into blogging and otherwise sharing my art, I get stymied by my technology.

I don’t have a smartphone, or indeed a dumbphone. And I don’t really want one, but there’s apparently no way to use Instagram without one. You can’t set up a Flickr account without one, either, because Yahoo won’t let you. And anyway the only photos I can take are with my Kindle Fire, which as you have seen doesn’t really cut it as a camera.

I don’t have a camera, and I can’t justify spending money on one, especially when I’m not sure how well it will work (because I definitely can’t afford a good one).

I can scan stuff, but to do that I either have to rummage around in the downstairs studio/guest room/storage room, or go to the library, and scan what I need onto a flash drive and then take it back to my computer and I just don’t have the spoons to do that most days.

Technology used to be my friend, allowing me to do stuff I couldn’t do in real life. Now it’s increasingly just another obstacle.

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In Which A Computer Has Ideas Above Its Station

I am so peeved, O blog reader.  You do not even know.

Okay, so I made these little mini coloring books, right?

A hand holding two small handmade booklets titled "FLOWERS" and "BUGS".
Volume 1: FLOWERS. Volume 2: BUGS.

I could do these all day.  They’re what the kids call “zines” — a regular sheet of paper folded cunningly into a little 8-page booklet.  They’re super cute and fun to make and I thought how fun they’d be for you, the bloghopping public, to print out and stick in your purse to give to the kids at the doctor’s office or whatever.

Open booklet showing simple line drawings of two flowers.
Isn’t this cute? Don’t you want half a dozen for your kids?

So I got them all carefully inked in, scanned, cleaned up, and printed out to test how they’d work as printables.

You’d think scanning in a piece of paper at its original size and resolution and then printing out same, yielding two identical pieces of paper, would be a simple operation.  But you would be WRONG.  Because the computer has an opinion on this, see, and its opinion is that it knows better than you.  Did you already carefully lay out that page, including the margins, with nearly mathematical precision?  “LOL w/e,” says the computer, and messes around with it until it fits the COMPUTER’S idea of correct margins.

Open booklet showing simple line drawings of a beetle and a ladybug.
I really hate bugs, you guys. But I drew six of them. FOR YOU.  And what do I get?

Which would be merely irritating if you were just printing out a flyer for your lost dog or whatever, but in this case I am trying to print out a page to be precisely folded in eighths.  Not to have all the edges cut off at some arbitrary distance and then folded in eighths, COMPUTER.

Tell it to just print without margins, you say?  Oh ho ho ho, my sweet summer child, that would be way too easy.  If I do that the computer says to itself, “O! so I take this scanned image that I arbitrarily shrank, right, and stretch it out again by, eh, it doesn’t really matter how much, I’ll just eyeball it even though I don’t have any eyeballs. Close enough!”  And lo, I get a printout that’s cut off in random places.

A photocopier can handle this just fine.  I don’t understand why three hunks of arguably higher technology between them can’t get it right.

So, long story short, I don’t have any cute free printables for you today.   But at least I have photos of  my cute drawings.