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Archive for February, 2010

Here is a list of four of my favorite blogging posts this week. I’ve been trying to keep up-to-date on all of my interests in the blogging world, and these are the ones that struck me as keepers. (And yes, I’m trying to post five, but I’m already late, so it’s four again this week. Deal.)

1. The Storque: Etsy’s Handmade Blog
Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Artist in the Office

I think what struck me the most about this article is that as an artist, you don’t have to completely divorce yourself of that aspect of “you” as soon as you walk in the office and take your desk. I’m going to have to consider how I can incorporate my creative self into my paying job.

2. The Beaducation Blog
Catching up with our Teachers…Barb Switzer

I discovered the Beaducation site this week, which is a post for another time, but I really liked this article.  The Fiore Selvatico creation is divine, and I was struck about what Barb said about her workspace. Mine’s not all that neat either, but I’m not sure it’s due to amazing creativity or disorganization.

3. Sharon’s Jewelry Garden
Bernz-O-Matic, Oh How I Love Thee!

This site came to my attention with the Bead Soup Party, but I visited again this week because Sharon made a comment on one of my posts. I was struck by all of her cool enameled pieces made with a torch.  And she made me aware of the Art and Soul Retreat that is going to be in my “area” in October. Oh how I wish I could go!

4. Rasmussen College
25 Creative Uses of Twitter

So the article is six months old, but I discovered it this week. The Twitter uses range from the funny, such as tweets from your plants when they need a drink, to the practical, such as the tweets from your package in transit. Worth the read, and I’m pretty sure you’ll find someone else to follow on Twitter.

Join me next week when I try to be on time.

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Lan Su Chinese Garden

Last weekend, my husband and I spent three days in Portland.  For Christmas, as our gift to each other, we decided to take a short trip without the children. It was a great, laid-back trip.  It’s nice to take a few moments and remember who it is that I’m married to amidst all the busyness of day-to-day life.

One of our activities was to visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland.  This garden takes an entire city block and is just gorgeous.  We were very lucky to be able to take advantage of the unseasonably warm and nice weather for February. It was also fun because we were there during the celebration of Chinese New Year. There were several kids groups performing while we toured the garden.

Of course I brought my camera, but I was “lazy” for this trip and decided to keep my 1.8/50mm lens on the camera instead of switching to the more traditional kit lens.  It made some of the shots more challenging, but I actually loved the results.

I wanted to share some of the pictures.

river carved rock

There was one other thing that I was really fascinated about and took a lot of pictures with my iPhone. I plan talk about it at another time, but I’ll give you a little picture hint.

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I see this sort of thing all over the Internets, the weekly blog post of all the other interesting things in the blogging world.  One of my bloggy friends (Angry Julie Monday) started a weekly post of her five favorite posts from the week, and I think that’s a fantastic idea. I like seeing what everyone is doing, but at the same time, I don’t have the time to visit everyone’s blog.

So here you have it, the posts that I liked this week. I only have four this week, but I have other blogs I need to add to my reader, so maybe there will be five next week.

1. Artbeads.com Blog for Beaders

Swarovski Spring 2010 Color Trends

This is a fantastic post about the colors for Spring (I’m assuming this spring even though the post says 2011), and matching them up with Swarovski crystals and pearls.  I thought it was a great resource because it also includes complimentary colors.  Well done artbeads.com!

2. Strobist: Learn How To Light

After the Light: High-Pass Post Production

I like reading Strobist, but for the life of me, about 80% of it goes right over my head.  One day I hope to have any idea what they guy is talking about. 😉 But I thought this brief Photoshop tutorial was pretty easy to understand and useful.

3. Oopsy Daisy Photography Blog

{She . Reads}

I loved her quote at the beginning, and the photos reminded me to work more at my perspective and depth of field.  A simple, but great post.

4. Inspirational Beading

Inspiration Tip: A Deck of Many Things

This post was one of those “ah ha” moments for me.  A tip so simple, and yet, just outside the realm of what I would have thought to do. She’s a jewelry designer, but I think many others could benefit from this tip as well.  I’ll give a hint; it’s about keeping track of your many ideas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little trip around the blogs I’ve highlighted this week. I hope to be able to gather some other fun posts for next week.  Thanks again to Angry Julie Monday for the idea!

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What I’m Learning: CSS I

I started my Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Level 1 class last night, and I am so excited to be taking this class. Up to this point in the Web Design program, I haven’t learned a lot of new stuff. The HTML II class started to touch on some new things that were pretty exciting, but CSS is something I know very, very little about.

It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I realized I was going to work for eight hours and then to class for nearly another four hours. It was at that point I came to the conclusion I must be nuts. But class was fantastic! I loved it.

No idea what CSS is? Well, imagine if HTML was the meat and potatoes of your website, then CSS is the gravy. HTML is the content, and CSS is what makes it readable and interesting.

CSS takes something like this…

http://csszengarden.com/zengarden-sample.html

And turns it into this…

http://csszengarden.com/

As my instructor said, the appropriate response is ‘Wow!’

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Spring Disc Beads

Yesterday, I received another fantastic set of lampwork beads from BeadIntrigue. This time I managed to purchase from her shop. I love these spring-colored, clear-glass beads with polka dots!

Unlike the tile beads that I just had to have, I have a plan for some of these. I’m thinking some spring earrings for my Etsy shop-to-be. Looking forward to getting a chance to play with these when things slow down a bit. Probably not until early next month

How does that always happen? Beautiful beads and no time to play!

If I haven’t said it enough, go check out BeadIntrigue. Oh, and interesting fact I learned yesterday, she is self-taught. What have you taught yourself how to do?

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Going Old School

I love my iPhone. It’s one of my favorite pieces of technology, but the calendar feature falls pretty short with keeping my scheduled organized.

I’m a visual person (which I hope means I’m creative) and this wasn’t doing it for me.

One of my girlfriends whipped out a calendar the other day and proceeded to use pen and paper. What a concept!

About the same time Vera Bradley was advertising 50% off their agenda books. I decided to visit our local store on Saturday and managed to score a cute book for 50% off and an additional $5 off because of the weekend sales. My cute new calendar cost me just over $8.

So far, I love it! I’m having all sorts of fun writing in the things we have going on and using the daily sections for lists of things to do and remember.

I’ve used this type of calendar before and start out strong and soon forget to carry it around with me, so I’m trying it out.  If it works well for this year, I’m going to upgrade to the fancy Mom Agenda Day Planner for next year.

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Tile Beads for Me!

This has to be my all-time fastest post ever – aside from the ones I do on my 365 blog with my iPhone.

Today, in the mail, I received one of the coolest treasures I’ve found in my beading travels. Thanks to this post from Silver Parrot, I was introduced to BeadIntrigue on Etsy.  She has some adorable and clever lampwork beads.  About a week ago, she posted some fantastic tile shaped beads in clear and black.

I’m not much of a black and white person, so I convo-ed (is that the correct term??) her about whether she made them in any other colors.  I figured she’d have some standard colors, and I’d wait until she posted more.  I loved this shape so much, I almost just bought the clear and black ones.

She responded quickly saying she could make them in any color.

Oh! The possibilities.

Seriously.

Well, I love blue and brown, so I asked about that combo.  She gave me a few options, I made my choices, she made them over the weekend, mailed on Monday, and…

I

got

them

today

Don’t you just love them?!!

While I was waiting for these to arrive, I just had to order some fun spring colored disks that she made too.  I can’t wait for those to show up.

Now I just have to figure out what to make.  And I love them so much, that I hope it doesn’t take me six months to decide on a design. I’m thinking a bracelet. Maybe.

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