Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lulu Cat as Eye Candy

Happy Surgery Day! (Hmm... Remind me to turn that into a card, as I just got a fun idea for it!)

As I won't be able to post here for a short time, I thought you would enjoy these pics of Lulu cat, our 12-year old ragdoll who thinks she is still a kitten.

Enjoy! And I'll be back soon!

~Laura

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Pinterest Etiquette Primer



I was a writer, and then an editor of the Handmade Spark blog until the spring of 2011, and one of the regular features I wrote for Handmade Spark was the Thursday Blog Links, a compilation of various blog posts and articles from elsewhere on the web that I knew would be interesting for our readers. That's one of the things I plan to do on my blog here from time to time, although since this blog is still in newborn phase, I'm still sorting out all my ideas.

However, it is Friday afternoon, almost the weekend, so why not start with one of these helpful posts now? 

Today's topic? Pinterest. Specifically? Pinterest Etiquette.

You've heard about, you've tried it, you know someone who can't stop blathering on about it, you're addicted to it, and you've been told it is good for business. I've been on Pinterest a short time, since early Fall, and definitely love looking at all the eye candy - i.e. amazing photos - that are shared on just about any subject you can think of.  But there's been a few times where something has been nagging at the back of my mind. Several "somethings" nagging at the back of my mind.

In no particular order, here's what can nag me on Pinterest: 
Pins of a handmade item with the description, "I could so make this better and cheaper!" 
Please realize that handmade creations are just that: one artist's handmade creations. I'm not doubting you that perhaps you are talented enough to make the product better and cheaper, but I do question your need to tell the world. 
Pins of a handmade item with the description, "I need to copy this!" 
Again, I'm not so naive that I don't know that copying is going on all the time, most unfortunately, at all levels of the playing field from the big-box stores down to artists copying fellow artists. However, a surefire way to have yourself pegged as a mere copycat is to blatantly post something so stupid like this. 
Pins of an item that you have merely grabbed from a Google image search, or Yahoo images, etc. 
Again, why would you do this? Those pins will not go back to the image's original home, whether the photo is from a blog post, or a particular website, or news article, or online magazine. Do yourself, and your fellow pinners, a favor and make sure each pin that you submit has an actual link attached to it. And by "actual link" I specifically mean the original link.
Pins of an item - let's say for example a fun crafty tutorial - where the pin description contains the entire tutorial, thus negating any need for anyone to ever click through to the originator's own blog post. 
It's just not cool. Period. Don't do it. The crafty blogger spent so much time to carefully photograph their tutorial, let alone write out clear instructions for their readers, they deserve to have people click through to see their efforts first-hand. You say you were innocently doing it as a favor to other pinners? Well... stop.
Pins of an item that don't have the "correct" link to them. 
This one is a bit tricky, so please follow closely. I subscribe via email to many blogs. I have noticed that when I click within an email to be taken to a blog post - and then decide to pin said blog post, that the URL that comes up is a super-long crazy URL. Please take this extra step: cancel the pin and just simply "click" again on the blog post's title from within the blog itself. This will refresh the blog's page, and now when you pin you will see there's a nice and neat URL associated with it. Makes it much better to insure that your pin will provide the proper link ongoing. 

There are many more "somethings" that nag, and since each of the following articles covers those little somethings, I've collected them here all in one spot for you to use like a little Pinterest Etiquette Primer, if you will.

In all cases, I suggest not only reading the article, but also the comments readers left following each article because there are lots of valuable bits in the comments too. Lots.









I'll leave you with some fun links to some of my own Pinterest boards:

Red Glass, Pyrite, and Red Patina Copper Earrings | Dreambelle Design

Handmade Earrings - this is my ongoing collection of handmade earrings that I come across mostly on Etsy that I would just love to own, would just love to wear, such as the gorgeous pair above. I'll be sharing more on this addiction love of mine in future posts.

Jane Austin Candy Cane Ball Art Doll | Deirdra Doan

Handmade Art Dolls - I just adore art dolls, such as the one above. My collection in real life is zero so far, but my growing collection on this Pinterest board is lovely to look at! I have already begun to notice what I like, what I'm drawn to, and this - noticing your own tastes over time - is yet another cool benefit of using Pinterest.

OK - tell me your own thoughts and opinions on Pinterest. And let me know your own link on Pinterest too so that I can follow you! (You can follow me on Pinterest by clicking here.)

~Laura

Monday, February 6, 2012

Surgery Hair and other random thoughts about the upcoming surgery

Pre-surgery, 2011: Husband amused and had to take this shot of me because of "fall risk" band. He wished we had these for me to wear ever since I broke my foot in a total klutzy way 3 years ago. Probably not a bad idea!

Thoughts popping into my head while I am trying to do other things . . .

I wonder if I'll snore so badly in the hospital that I'll get my own room?

Will the hospital room have an ocean view? (will be at a hospital along the coast) Since my previous surgery was 364 days before this one, any chance for an upgrade, like they do on cruise ships? Thus, an ocean view?

Will Aliza Cat be ok without me for several days? She tends to pull out her hair and make ugly "holes" in her fur when she gets stressed. It doesn't happen too often, but she's been working on one now...like she already knows I'm leaving.

I need surgery hair. Need what? You heard me: surgery hair. I'll talk about it more in a minute. 

Hope I can wear my own slipper socks in the hospital - mine are way cuter.

Will I actually gross my own self out with the tube coming out of my side? I know it will only be like that for a few days, but I just might gross myself out. Haven't thought of any way to make the tube idea any less gross, other than possibly Mod Podge-ing the tube and covering it with glitter. Although supposedly the doctors need that tube to remain see-through...so much for that idea.

I can't wear my wedding band and engagement ring during surgery and while in the hospital. That sucks. I don't wear tons of jewelry, and that's fine if I have to forego earrings, but at least if I could keep my wedding band on...it is a calming thing to me.

I keep replaying the conversation between me and the anesthesiologist during pre-admission testing:
Me:  Since this surgery will be between 3 and 6 hours, and I'll be getting lots of anesthesia during that time, is there a high potential I'm going to get sick from it?
Anesthesiologist: Yes.
Me: Sooooo.... Can you give me the anti-nausea stuff too?
Anesthesiologist: Yes.

Surgery Hair


The last thing I need is to feel gross in the hospital, then look in a mirror and not see coiffed hair. (And by coiffed I mean my usually artfully orchestrated messy bed-head style curly hair. I work at making it look naturally messy and unkempt, let me tell you!)

I made an appointment with my favorite hair stylist in the entire world, and when I told her I needed surgery hair - and because she "gets" me - she knew exactly what I was talking about. I'm thinking of something a bit shorter, easier to "not" deal with, that will look fine for a few days while being sprayed and fluffed with dry shampoo by my hopefully willing husband or more likely by my Mom. And getting the roots done while I'm at it isn't a bad idea either. Then, when I'm home and uncomfortable with a tube still stuck inside of me for a month, I don't have to worry about my hair at all. Smart, right?

You think it's a crazy idea? You don't know me very well yet!

~Laura

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is it Fuchsia or Fuschia?

Fuchsia and Plum Acrylic Bubble Magnets | © Pet Scribbles

So there I was last night, diligently working on uploading my new acrylic bubble magnet sets onto Etsy. I had just spent quite some time editing the photos for each listing, and now I was ready to enter in the data - titles, descriptions, etc. When I got to the magnet set pictured above, I was part way through typing the first word in the title, like this:
F - u - s - c - h...

Wait, was that right? How's that darn word spelled again? Was it fuschia or fuchsia??
I had typed this word numerous times, so why was I getting myself so confused?

A quick search on Google didn't immediately help, as all it did was show me how many others are just as confused by the spelling. I'll spare you all the reading I did to get to the bottom of this mystery - which included consulting my husband who is a lover of etymology and just happened to have his Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology handy - and just do you the favor of providing the answer:

Fuchsia

Fuchsia plant, from The Magazine of Botany published by Joseph Paxton
16 volumes between 1834 and 1849

Most of us know this word by either the flowering plant or by the color hue itself. The word originated when the flower was discovered in the 1700s, and the botanist who made the discovery named the flower after a well-known German botanist Leonardo Fuchs. Thus, the word fuchsia.

Now I have an easy way to remember the word: "Fuchs" with an "ia" tacked onto the end. Problem solved!

Or is it?

I went to Etsy to do a search on both the correct and incorrect spellings of the word, and found some surprising results:

Fuchsia (correct spelling) - produced almost 27,000 listings across all three of Etsy's main categories (handmade, vintage, and supplies).

Fuschia (incorrect spelling) - produced 19,000+ listings across all of Etsy's three main categories.

What does this tell us? Well, after spending time on Google, with the incorrect spelling showing up on many reputable websites, plus seeing how Google seems to recognize that the incorrect spelling actually seems to mean the correct spelling - thus providing search results with both spellings mixed in - I guess that fuschia has become an accepted incorrect form of the word fuchsia.

So where do you stand? Were you spelling fuchsia correctly? Are you surprised at how many people are using the incorrect spelling? Do you like the shade?

Let me know know your thoughts!

~Laura

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