Friday, January 20, 2012

It is that time again... Another photo challenge

So Allison Lehman is doing another photo challenge for February. An iPhone (or phone camera) photo challenge. It is similar to NOPHO, in that it is a weekly challenge, with a set theme, and a judge and a neat prize at the end for the winner.

I am in! I love these little challenges. As an extra challenge to myself, I plan to write a poem a week, to go with my photos or somehow is related to the theme, or ideally both.

The challenge is open to anyone, you must submit all 4 weeks to be eligible for the prize and these have to be phone pics! It really is that easy and Allie has a button on her blog side bar, for easy uploading.

Go check out the challenge.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Looking Back...

Two days ago, I revamped my blog a bit. I believe this is the third time I have changed it around, updated the lay out, changed the colors. (The third time I have made a major tweak.) I like it.

As part of this process, I reread some of my early entries. I started this blog in December 2006. This was my first post; I am the queen of creative titles let me tell you. It was shocking to see myself talking about my 4 year old. (Yikes she is now 9.) Also I was cleaning away clutter back then. (I am still struggling with clutter, today.)

In 2006 my MIL had recently passed away, in 2011 my mother passed away. My MIL never read my blog, my mother read it often. During December 2006, H and I were cleaning out his mother's house and preparing it for sale. In December 2011, H and I (and my brother) have been cleaning out my mother's house, preparing it for my brother to move in.

I only wrote a few entries in 2006, but in 2007 I wrote alot. I wrote about missing my MIL,  about my miscarriage in 2004, the kiddos and I adventure to Germany for Easter, how JFK actually stands for Just Freakin' Klueless, I wrote about sex (more than once), I wrote some book reviews like this one, I came down hard on the barbaric practice of FGM, I blogged about my first rejection, I talk about my mother's rediagnosis with thyroid cancer, I blogged about my food issues, it occurred to me I might be too old to read Cosmo, I come to terms that my "baby" is becoming a "little dude", and I mention Iceland on my blog.

That was all in the first year of blogging. It was great fun wandering around the archives of my blog. I have been writing for a long time. Honestly, in 2010, I almost gave up the blog all together, but last year, with the help of the photo contests, I keep it alive, even though I was very busy, stretched very thin and emotionally exhausted the latter part of 2011.

I am committed to another year of blogging in 2012. I do enjoy it, even if not that many people are reading my posts. I still haven't decided if I am going post regular features or go with the flow. For now we wait and see.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Silent all these...Stop SOPA & PIPA

I am going silent - to join in the January 18th BLACK OUT... there was no easy way to black out my blog on the blogger platform - so I am posting these guys to remind everyone that the 1st Amendment  protects our right to speak up, speak out, to read, to seek out, and to listen to what we deem appropriate.

Piracy of copy written material is horrible, it hurts artists and authors and those who work to bring those works into the market place - but these proposed laws - they hurt us more.

I will not be online tomorrow. I am going silent, in protest of this pending legislation, written by people who obviously have no clue how the Internet works and who are so beholden to special interests they will throw together a bill that basically shreds the 1st Amendment.

As a writer, I own my work - until I sell it.
As an American - it is my right to read, speak and write my conscious - until Congress takes that away.

We must all be silent tomorrow - to prove our point - the information superhighway must come to a grinding halt.

To learn more  -- visit Stop American Censorship. Let your voice be heard - the silence is deafening.

Monday, January 16, 2012

rockibot - Nerd Herder Gadget Wallet

No one answered my Facebook poll, so I guess that means people either like what I post, don't particularly care or dislike polls. Anyway, too bad, ship has sailed and I will write about what I want to write about. I have decided to write more posts, which deal with cool things I discover and like and use all the time.

A few years back, at the urging of my good friend and college roomie, SS, I joined Facebook. Reluctantly, I might add. I was not sold on social media, at all. I hardly used my cell phone, couldn't text a word. Fast forward to 2012 and I have embraced social media, love my Iphone, rarely talk on the phone but text like there is no tomorrow. Now I hang out regularly on Twitter, update my Facebook, tried google+ and decided it was for the birds. Then along came Pinterest. At first I ignored the rumbles and praise of the online bulletin board. Then I joined, thanks to an invite from a Twitter pal and I have been pinning ever since.

I think most guys don't get Pinterest. In fact it was a topic at my NYE party and the men close to me, just look at me when I have spoken about it. "You pin stuff",  "it is like a bulletin board you share?"

"Can you buy stuff?" Well yes and no!

My new nerd herder gadget wallet is an example of something someone pinned, I followed the link to the rockibot etsy site and I ordered it, along with the wristet. I loved the concept. A wallet, which controls your smart phone, ear buds, has a place to tuck a few bucks, your flash memory and off you go. Easy to keep track of in my purse and makes for an easy transfer from purse, to writing bag, less to carry when I run out to pick the kiddos, perfect for trips to the park.

Also as L pointed out, I will hopefully now, stop yelling in exasperation, "Where IS MY PHONE." as I root through my purse, bag or coat pockets. I have been using it all week and I love it. I even carry it up to my room in the evening, effectively keeping the ear buds and audio playing device always together. No more frantically searching for ear buds when I want to listen to my audio book or music after the kiddos have gone to bed.

I also have to give kudos to rockibot, not only do they make a great little gadget herder, they have exceptional customer service. First of all I got an email letting me know my item had shipped, shipping was quick, and my nerd herder came all wrapped up in this pretty package.

I loved the little present. It felt decadent to unwrap it, even though I knew what I was opening. I also thought the little card and pencil were very cute.

On Twitter the other day I chimed in on a Twitter conversation about buying local and American made. That is my goal for 2012, to support local artisans and shop owners but to also put more energy into searching out and supporting small artisans, hand making beautiful items in the United States and around the world. Corporations have lost touch with their customers and perhaps it is time to show those corporations we just don't need then as much as they think we do. Also as a creative person, I enjoy supporting other creative people.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Fun Day - Mission Hedge Hog

L learned about claymation this summer during her art camp at The David Myers Gallery in Uptown Westerville.

This fall she applied the concept using some of her Japanese erasures. She has H's old old digital camera, which makes uploading the photos challenging, but we managed it this morning and found free software to allow us to share the slide show with you. This "video" contains over 90 still shots. Make sure enable the sound, because her choice of music is perfect.

Enjoy Mission Hedge Hog...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting Organized

I got a great organizer from Thirty-One Gifts for Christmas. I have been considering how best to get a bit more organized in the new year. I feel like I am drowning in the kids papers. It is a full time job, just keeping their schedules organized and sorting and storing their important papers, never mind keeping coupons and grocery lists organized.

I have a kitchen desk area, but it just keeps getting cluttered. I know what the experts say - go vertical, but there isn't much space.

This is where the door to the basement came in. Door to basement, meet the Thirty-One Gifts wall organizer. Perfect really, but how to get them together without wrecking the hallow wood door?

At first I thought, over the door hooks. Which frankly would have been an amazing solutions, had I been able to find any plain, over the door hooks. Sadly three stores later, all I had were an amazing array of "decor" hooks. Not helpful.

I am the first to say, do not believe everything (anything) you see on TV. I simply do not believe that you can clean your grout - your entire shower and the neighbor's shower with a container of grout goat, when the container is 4 oz and turns white grout purple... Sorry, I think there is something fishy. I am also not sure about hooks for hanging things, heavy things, that adhere to the wall.

However, I was out of options and decided to gamble on the 3M Command strips and hooks. Honestly the two pack was less than $5. I decided it was worth a try. The organizer isn't that heavy and if by chance the paint on the door is impacted, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Step 1 Prep the Door. According to the package, you should clean the surface with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry.

 While I was waiting I opened the package and assembled the hooks and applied the adhesive pads/stickers.

Then you stick it to the surface, hold it there and remove the hook and allow the the adhesive to bond for 1 hour. I timed this with the kitchen timer.

Then I reattached the hooks to the adhesive mounts and hung the organizer. It really was that easy and a full 24 hours later, I am happy to say, the organizer and the hooks are holding firm.

 What I really like and what I doubt I could have achieved with over the door the hooks, is the organizer hangs flush with the door. This is very nice.

I still don't think I would hang pictures or anything heavy or weight bearing with these hooks, but so far, they are working out perfectly. So maybe I can believe some of what I see on television after all.