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Welcome!

 

newhome

Thanks so much for finding my little place in the Internet! 

As I explained, I switched back to WordPress primarily for money reasons.

So, you may be asking yourself, if I’m such a cheapo, why didn’t I go with Blogger?

I hate Blogger.  I hate the templates, I hate that the content really isn’t yours, it’s Google’s.  I can never get anything to format correctly.  Blech, that’s all.

And, there was more to it than just paying $10 less a month.  I really wanted to simplify.  I wanted a minimalist theme, and something that just wasn’t going to make blogging a project or a hassle.  So, before I reupped with my hosting company, Dreamhost (Dreamhost always supported the DNS for my old domain, which was mapped to Squarespace, who provided the software/hosting), I found a free theme, Adelle, that I knew I could live with with only minimal tweaking.

I also wanted to be on a responsive platform – meaning that it adapts to the device you are using – formatting to your phone, or an ipad.  And, I wanted to be able to blog from my phone or my ipad – and mobile blogging through Squarespace (5, I don’t know anything about Squarespace 6, but I do think it’s the same stinky app)  really . . . is not good.  WordPress’s blogging app, and specifically, the uploading and formatting photos within your post is just so much better.  Now, if I want to blog on the fly – easy peasy.  Blogging with Squarespace was always a project – blogging on my phone or ipad meant that my photos could only be put, unformatted, at the top of the post, which required more sit down time in front of the PC to fix it later.

If you’re going to start a blog – picking a platform is like renting an apartment.  It’s not like buying a house – you’re not that committed, but, moving will always be a hassle.  So, pick carefully.  Is money your only concern? Go Blogger.  Hosting a business? Testdrive all of your options – most software has a one month trial.  And, if it is your business and your source of income, you’ve got to be concerned with customer service – it stinks to live in an apartment, and hate the super.  Are you going to host an online class?  If so, does your platform allow you to host a private, separate blog/forum?  A photographer? Squarespace might be for you – I’ve never seen better, simpler to format galleries on the web.  And WordPress.com v. WordPress.org – here’s the comparison chart.  Just know that if you’re going to mess with your template/theme at all, changing font, color, etc. on WordPress.com – free is a misnomer – because you’re going to need to buy the $30/yr Custom Design upgrade to do that – which is why I went with WordPress.org through Dreamhost – because I know enough code to change the navigation bar from black to blue without having to pay $30.

I’ve asked a lot of questions in the above paragraph – are you a business? a photographer? hosting a class? without really giving any advice or too much of an opinion.  And that’s because the choice is really personal.  For instance, Dreamhost’s customer service for the plan I’m on is limited to Live Chatting online, or email – phonecalls cost extra.  I’m okay with that – but if it were my business, my livelihood, I would certainly want to be able to pick up the phone.  Also, if it were my business, I’d be concerned about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – and you need to do some shopping.  I also don’t care about social media integration, but maybe you do.  Maybe, esthetically, one platform is just more pleasing to look at to you than another – do you want to live in a split level home or a townhouse?  These are all personal decisions.

I’m not a big fan of shopping for clothes or shoes online – that stuff has to be tried on – and that’s my only advice – investigate, try, then buy. 

And, thanks again for stopping by! 

 

 

Catching Up on Project Life

Slowly, but surely, my project is coming back to life.  I’ve been doing the current week, and then going back and picking up a lost week.  I was tempted to buy one of Becky Higgin’s digital core kits – to go back to her (Becky’s) original notion that this should be simple – take photo, stick in pocket, write journal card, be done. Sometimes, i think if I were doing this in the paper form, it would be that easy – but when I think about printing my photos, I think otherwise.  Right now, even though I love love love all of the Creative Teams I’m on, I’ve been leaning towards One Little Bird’s kits to keep my project moving – I love her journal cards, and she always has labels/journal spots in her kits, as well as cute frames.  That’s not to say that my other teams don’t have those elements – they do – but One Little Bird is just the simplicity I need to just get done what I need to get done now.

So, here’s this past week:

Some weeks you have no photos, some weeks you have a gazillion photos.  This was one of those weeks that the second half of the week was really photo heavy, and the first half of the week was errand heavy.  I love this new template from Amy Martin – I was able to squeeze in everything I needed to squeeze in.  Besides only using one kit (this is her new one, Equinox), I’m also only using one collage maker – Lynne-Marie’s 4 x 6 template builder.  Basically, you arrange your collage through turning on/off layers of collage blocks.  I just leave the PSD file open, and when I need to make a new collage, I toss the old photos, and add the new ones, then plop them in the grid when I’m done.  Also, I’ve ditched the weekly summary card.  I found that I was really just rewriting what was on all of the little journal cards.  It seemed repetitive, so gone.

Here’s the week of August 25 –

I look at this week and think, wow, we really did a lot of nothing.  But, that’s life, right?  Usually, I would have scanned our movie tickets, and the sleep no. bed stuff rather than photographing it, but the motherboard on our desktop is dying, slowly, each day, and sometimes it finds the scanner, sometimes it doesn’t.  So, rather than fight with it, I’m just scrapping on the laptop, and foregoing scanning.  And, again, it’s faster.  The only thing that’s really screwing me up with the desktop fritzing out, is that Lightroom isn’t working.  I normally import my photos in Lightroom, and then export them to dated files.  Now, I’m just working off the CF card that’s plugged into the laptop.  The photos are in date order, so it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just not by regular work flow – edit, organize, plop in grid.  Now, it’s open grid, look in CF card, pick photo, edit, plop in grid.  

I still have to do 8/18, that’s on my list to get done today, and the week of 8/11, the week of the Camaro, is an extravaganza week – the first page is done, the layout I posted awhile back with one of Lynne-Marie’s template is the first page of an insert, and then the flip side of the insert is a collage of car photos, and then the second page is pretty much showing off the Camaro, and my niece’s performance in Guys and Dolls.

So, here’s the week of 8/4 –

Again, one kit – this is Lynne-Marie’s Unwritten bundle.  Something a little different.  

And, the week of July 28 –

So, that’s where I am.  3/4 of August complete, one week of July done.  And the rest of the EHD great harddrive fail damage? 4/14 through the end of April exist in 600 x 600, 72 dpi form – so I can’t print them, but I can recreate them.  May, June and July had been organized into folders, the first two weeks of May were done, but I hadn’t gotten around to uploading them anywhere – so gone – those folders are gone, and those weeks need to be completely rebuilt.  That’s 12 weeks.  12.  When I say the number over and over again, kit really makes my head spin.  It’s very possible I may just do a reality check, and do monthly spreads for May, June and July and just call them done.  We’ll see.  

Ok, I’m exhausted thinking about those 12 weeks.  I need to stop now.

Why I am Now a Choreless Mess Monger

Today’s list – childhood chores.  I’m sure I had them, but they weren’t enforced.  I’m so reluctant to criticize my parents – because I certainly turned out ok, and I think they did a pretty good job – butchores, and responsibility weren’t a big thing in our house.  We had rules – don’t talk back to your parents, be good, do your homework, bedtime, etc., but we didn’t have chores, exactly.  Oh, I was supposed to make my bed, but I don’t recall doing it, and I don’t recall my bed being made, except for when we had company.  And, if it weren’t for my husband, my bed still wouldn’t be made.  I think I’ve mentioned before, when we were dating for a few months my husband informed me that he could not continue to date me unless I cleaned up my act.  So I did, and for the most part – I’m reformed – but there will still be a coffee cup left wayward in the house, shoes by the couch – just a little sign of my old self.  

So, this is the best I could come up with –

The card is pretty though, right?  Maybe messy breads creativity.

List It Up – Catching Up on Lists

Bet you thought I bombed out on another 30 Day challenge.  Could still happen, but I was just busy with the holiday – Happy New Year!  So, without further adieu – back to La Challenge –

 

List 4 – Everyone’s favorite thing, right? Time killers.  There’s definitely a distinction between procrastination tools and time killers, at least for me.  When I’m sitting in court, I need to kill time – I’m constantly waiting.  I’m not procrastinating at all – I’m just waiting my turn, and the public defender is always last.  So, for me, a procrastination device is definitely something like Huffington Post – what’s going on in the world today? what’s the Breaking Bad recap, even if I already saw the episode.  A time killer, on the other hand, is definitely a time suck – and that’s all it’s meant to be – can’t get too involved, or too interested – just need to move those minutes along.

List 5 – Things I worry about.  The only crazy think I worry about is fire, the rest is the same stuff everyone worries about (well, aren’t you?) – money, your spouse, your kids (or stepkids), retiring someday, work, just life stuff.  But, fire is my crazy pants worry.  My second year out of college I lived with two guys – one was a chef with a catering company.  Because of the fast paced cooking environment, and the constant shifting of pans, etc., Doug, my fatso roommate I hated, often left the burners on the stove going, long after the pot was put in the sink.  He did this alot.  So, while the root of my fear certainly was rational – there was constantly an open flame in our kitchen – the fact that I have carried this paranoia with me for nearly 20 years is really insane.  

List 6 – What Rules Do I Break?  Crap, I don’t know.  All of them? None of them?  I say please, and thank you.  I don’t wear white after Labor Day (probably because I don’t wear white at all).  I write thank you notes, I give house warming gifts.  But, I got married at 40, I chose not to have kids, and I have a job that takes me to prison on a weekly basis.  I’m a conventional unconventional.  I just try to do the best that I can.

List 7 – And just like that, I’m caught up.  Sah-weet!  Things I saw today.  Very little really – just my everyday life.  Joe came home from work.  Our new bed was delivered.  The dogs romped around.  I worked on catching up on Project Life, Joe slept, and when he woke, we watched the Phillies.

Very exciting day on this homestead!

How Do You Like My Apples, Jr?

 

Today’s list is a toughie – what would younger me like about current me?  Well, that depends – are we talking elementary school Wendy, high school Wendy, 20’s – 30’s Wendy?  Because to tell the truth, I couldn’t care less if 20’s-30’s Wendy liked me or not, because she had very bad judgment – about friends, about men, about finances.  She drank too much, and did a lot of stupid, selfish things.  All of the other Wendy’s should certainly be glad she’s gone.

So, let’s talk about unjaded, optimistic pre-high school Wendy.  She’d be very pleased that I did indeed live on Pine Street in Center City for quite some time – she always loved that street.  She’d be disappointed that I didn’t write the next Little Women, but she’d be pleased that I’m a lawyer.  Probably confused as to why I was a defense attorney, and not a prosecutor – but she’ll get it as she gets older.  And, she’d be so happy that we have 2 dogs.  And, speaking of we, she’d be happy I am a “we.”  I think all of the Wendy’s were always concerned that no one would ever marry me, and I’d be fated to that Bridget Jones moment where she fears being eaten by a pack of wild dogs while Chaka Chan plays in the background.  She’d be happy that I’m thinner than she thought we’d ever be (although all of the Wendy’s would be unhappy about my arm flab jiggle).  She’d approve of my craftiness, but wish I spent more time reading (young Wendy once read the entire Winds of War trilogy over the course of a snowy weekend).   She would love my third floor craft room, as she always dreamed of having a garret, because all artists create in the attic right?  Well, Jo in Little Women had a garret, and that would be enough for her.

In any event, this all getting  a bit schizophrenic, so here’s my list:

It’s Official – It’s a Streak!

Yep, in my book, two days in a row is a streak.

Today’s list?  My favorite thing.  Projects!  I’ve always got a project going – finishing, well, that’s another story – that would be another list now, wouldn’t it?  So, we won’t go there.

 

Not so many, right?  I feel like there’s more – there’s always scrapbooking going on – but that’s not a specific project I guess, except for Project Life.  Improving my photography is always an ongoing project.  Over the summer, I started dabbling in jewelry making – that’s sitting on my work table – but I don’t have any specific project in mind.

Ok – enough – no need to make projects!

So, yesterday, I finished quilting the Piano Keys quilt.  Whew!  That was hard work.  I learned a lot about free motion quilting – mostly that I don’t know what I’m doing.  But, I think the more important thing, and maybe this sounds like the observation of a second grader, but it really took almost the whole quilt to click – and here it is – just because the needle looks like its going really fast, there’s no need to move the fabric beneath the needle fast.  Free does not equal fast.  If you move the fabric like a crazy person – which I was doing, because I thought I had to be at the same pace as the needle – you’ll get big, wonky stitches.  The only way to have nice, even stitches is to dawdle – and slowly move the fabric in circles, or whatever.

Once Piano Keys was finished, I did once again look at the border I chopped off, and sigh sadly.  What to do – what to do?  Well, when Craftsy had it’s sale a few weeks back, I signed up for a quilt as you go class – so I decided to use some of the border as scraps, and practice this new to me technique.  I started out making a potholder, but I think it turned out a bit small for a pot holder, so now I’m using it as a mug coaster, because it’s too small to be a mug rug.

  

In the class, the teacher rounded the corners of the potholder, and didn’t show the binding part.  Instead, she said, use your favorite bias binding technique.  Funny, I don’t have a favorite bias binding technique, I don’t have any bias binding technique.  So, I googled, and found this Scrappy Bias Binding by Jaybird Quilts.  Unfortunately, I only read the part about making the bias binding tape, and not the second binding tutorial, because while I had no problem sewing around the rounded corners, I had problems joining the ends. 

 

 You can see the scrunchy, sloppy bit at the bottom.  But, it was good practice, and since it wasn’t intended as a gift, and only as a mug rug for my desk, it’s ok.  Next week, it’ll be time for the real thing – the Piano Keys! 

 

 

Another 30 Day Challenge – Don’t Laugh!

I’m not even going to count how many months, days it’s been since I’ve posted.  Which is really totally shameful considering the bill I get from Squarespace every month.  Kind of like when I used to have a gym membership. 

In any event, to jumpstart my blogging, I’m going to attempt to participate in 30 Days of Lists.  I’ve never been successful in any 30 day challenge, but there’s always a first time, right?

In an effort to make it as easy as possible, I’m incorporating my lists into my barely breathing Project Life project.  Why barely breathing?  Because last month, I experienced the Great External Harddrive Fail of 2013, and I lost my entire project.  ALL OF IT.  It was printed through March, but while all of my photos were backed up, the project file itself, with completed, nonprinted layouts, and organized folders was not.  Don’t ask me why – I’ve asked myself a million times, and the only answer I have is that the drive was only 3 months old, and in my head, I could always back up tomorrow.  Wrong.  But, now I’m all signed up with Crashplan, everything is backed up, double backed up if you count the USB drive I had to fill, because now, not only has the EHD failed, the desktop computer is failing as we speak.  FAILING. So, I’m working on the laptop.  But, enough techno misery, here’s my first list!

Let’s see – where to begin – of course, at the top –

1.  The Camaro

 

 

After saving for what seemed like a gazillion years, Joe finally bought his dream car, the 2014 Camaro ZL-1, customized with Ricaro seats, and other what-nots. 

 2.  Joey isn’t speaking to us.  I don’t really want to go into it, he’s a teenager that doesn’t want to hear any criticism – like, you can do better.  ‘Nough said on a blog, but if you don’t hear me mention our stepson, that’s why.

3.  I’m backed up – See above – Crashplan!  It really has given me peace of mind.  Our failing computer would completely be giving my agita right now, if I didn’t have the comfort of knowing that after 17 days of backing up, 1.2 TB of stuff is living happily at Crashplan.

4.  Four Very Fun Creative Teams – After doing a bunch of guesting stints, creative team life has settled into 4 permanent teams – 3 at the Lilypad 

Amy Wolff

Amy Wolff, That’s Life Mini Kit; Messy Marvin Vol. 4; Happy Hipster Element Pack; One Little Bird, Click and Check It Journal Cards

Amy Wolff, Pop of Color; Amy Martin, Whip It Up 11

Laurie Ann

HGD by Laurie Ann, Crush and Crush Button Flair; Lynne-Marie, Press Play 5; and Amy Wolff, Messy Marla And Lynne-Marie

 

 And, I’m also still at One Story Down –

Sabrina’s Creations, LIttle Treasure, Template, Amy Martin

Will I add any teams?  Sure, if one of my favs asks me, but I’m done applying.  This is a nice, manageable number, and while I haven’t been scrapping so much due to my computer woes, I’m getting what I need to get done, with products that I love.

What else, where were we?  How can I get lost in the midst of a list that only has 7 items?

5.  My 50mm macros lens.  For my birthday, Joe got me a 50mm macro lens.  I used to have a 1.2f 50 mm lens, but it broke.  I’ve been using a 15-85mm zoom lens – not very fast, but a good everyday lens.  I wanted the 50 macro, because while I’d be sacrificing a few f stops, I’d have that macro ability – which I can’t get at all with the 15-85.  This was all part of my plan to become the next great scrapbook supply designer.  I signed up for a few courses, started making paper, psyched myself up to learn Illustrator (have you been to Skillshare? – So cheap), and had started to photograph elements – and then, yes, I know, it’s quite the sad refrain of this post – the Great EHD Fail of the Summer of 2013.  Gone, everything.  I lost my mojo, but at least I have the lens, and you’ll see it in action below when we get to item 7.

6.  Our New Sleep Number Bed!  It’s coming, it’s coming, I’m so excited.  When Joe moved in, we got rid of my bed, in favor of his good for his back Ikea memory foam mattress.  Sleeping on it is like sleeping on a plank.  I said goodbye to my featherbed top, and my cushy mattress.  Now, after taking the bed apart and moving it twice, it’s like sleeping on a plank on a sinking ship – it’s constantly creaking, squeaking, and buckling.  But, after Saturday, when the bed arrives, that will be thing of the past, and we’ll be able to set each side of the bed to our own sleep number.  Sweet.

7.  A Return to the Sewing Machine.  So when last I blogged, I think I mentioned that I was taking MaryAnn Moss’s Sewn class.  Maryann’s class started with a gigantic mess, as it always does – painting dozens of patterns to be eventually cut up and sewn together.  I wasn’t too inspired, to be honest.  But then, a lightbulb went off – why do I need to mess with paper?  I have a modest, but lovely, stash of fabric – I could . . . quilt.  And just like that – I was back in my quilting space. 

 

First up, finishing my Piano Keys quilt.  Like my EHD, the Piano Keys quilt is a sad story.  Here’s the beginning of the story, it’s oh so bright beginning.  And, for whatever reason, with all of one quilt under my belt, I thought I was the quilting queen, and decided to attempt free motion quilting on this second endeavor of mine.  It started off ok – for about five minutes.  Then, I realized the spray basting had come apart, and the back of the quilt had folded back on itself – and I had crazy quilted over it.  I never photographed it – too paintful – but basically, I crazy quilted through the top, the batting, the bottom layer, and then the bottom layer again that had gotten folded under.  There was no way I could take it out.  So, the only solution I came up with, when I took it out three weeks ago, enough time having passed that the pain, although fresh on first look, had basically ebbed, and I was ready to perform surgery.  I cut off the piano key border, and was left with the inside blocks.  And, I started up again – determined to finish – some day.  This free motion stuff is exhausting – all of that pulling/pushing fabric through the machine – and I have no idea what I’m doing, and I have zero control.  All of the online tutorials tell you to start small, small steps, small pieces, like potholders, but no – I had to be the queen of quilting with one quilt under my belt, and try this practice driven technique.  Oh well, it’s almost done. 

And, I’ve resurrected this project.  I don’t know why – I guess just to get it done, because I don’t like it anymore.  For the background fabric, I had tried to order a cream color.  They were out of the cream, so I went with a pale yellow.  What was I thinking? Blech. 

And, I’ve also returned to hexies!

 

 Again, while Maryann was happily making hexie paper collages, I thought – huh, I already have a hexie project started.  Now, I know what that project is – these random hexies are going to become a pillow case to match the new quilt we bought for our new Sleep Number bed.

Oh, and that’s the 50 mm macro in action.

And there you have it – List 1 done!

Onward!

I know, I’ve said that before.

That’s More Like It

I’m a pool girl.  Every 4th of July when I was little was spent at the pool, chasing colored sticks in a pool, looking for tossed pennies, racing my little heart out.  This 4th, with my husband asleep, and no place to go, it was kind of a big bummer.  But, yesterday made up for it – my brother had a little barbecue, and I was able to submerge in some leftover 4th firth.

A good time was had by all.

And now, I think I’m going to go play with watercolors.

 

It’s Time to Do the BYOC!

 

I really feel like there should be some kind of ditty that I could sing BYOC too – like WYMC – it’s fun to B-Y-O-C – or Let’s do the Time Warp again – Let’s do the BY again . . .

Ok, now that I’ve put those to classic tunes in your head, let’s do it – the BYOC at the Lilypad.

First up, from HGD by Laurie Ann – Beach Baby Basics, Elements and Papers – 

Ah – “young” love!  The date on this should be 2008 – oopsy.  Time flies! 

 

This date is a ok – I’m really going back in the archives to avoid photos of me in my bathing suit on the beach.  No need for the internet to possess those.

Next, Beach Cottage Papers from Amy Wolff (along with elements from One Little Bird’s Carson Park)

 

 

And, another from Amy Wolff, this time the Beach Cottage Elements:

 

 

 

And here’s my happy husband on the beach – he’s good for a few hours, but then . . .this is with Michelle Godin’s Lazy Hazy Summer Paper and Snarky Snippets – my last layout from my guesting stint, sniff. I will miss Michelle’s team, sigh.  But, two months is two months, and it’s not like I can’t actually buy her products.

BYOC time is really busy – some designers have their stuff ready way in advance, others . . . not so much, and it’s a rush to get the layouts done by release date. So, it’s not surprising that after you’ve finished hammering out your layouts, you like some of them, are eh on some of them, and then, you have a favorite – this is my favorite – with One Little Bird’s Carson Park, Elements and Papers

 I’m going to be so sad when my one month is up with OLB.  Oh well. 

Hope everyone had a great 4th.  Mine was ok – Joe had to work, and it was stinkin hot, so I did indeed make a bezel – it turned out . . . ok – I can say everything is securely soldered on – which is a big improvement over my other soldering attempts – and it’s not messy – it just turned out . . . big.  And, I haven’t poured the resin yet – I’m waiting until I have a few more bezels ready to go, so that I don’t waste the resin.  So, photos to come . . . probably.

Stay cool, and do the B-Y-O-C!

There’s that ditty again . . .

 

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