Social Media:

Social Media. Who even knew what this was 10 years ago? I think social media is so interesting – how it came about and what it is today. It’s a must for businesses, and the art and science of getting followers. There are so many ideas and people who have tried to start up social media sites, and only a handful of sites actually make it. It’s like winning the lottery if your site makes it big. I still remember seeing the co-founder of pinterest at Alt Summit when no one knew what pinterest was! Crazy.
I am a big user of social media. Personally, I spend a lot of my time on instagram. I love instagram. I’m a visual person and I like seeing what people are up to. I like being able to “photo journal” and document our life and look back and remember where we were and what we were doing.
I’m hardly on twitter these days and I’ve never really been that big of a user of facebook. I’m on pinterest for ideas + inspiration but instagram is still the forerunner for me.  Does anyone have any predictions for where social media is headed? Remember when my space was the site to be on? Wow, what happened? Anyone using google+? I still don’t really get it. But who knows, maybe it’ll replace facebook. I’m curious about you guys! What are your top social media sites you use? Feel free to leave any thoughts and your usage in the comments, would love to hear what you have to say on the subject :)

Contentment:



photo via stay positive.




photo via Whitney CPBG.


Lately I’ve been struggling with contentment and just being a grateful person. I always want more.  I want to achieve more, I want to do more. Not necessarily make a ton of money, though that would be nice. I just want recognition. I feel like a big greedy ingrate! Anyway, this realization came to me the other day when an opportunity for the shop was presented to us but it ended up not working out in our favor. Like a little child, I threw a tantrum and was so upset. I wanted to blame Nick (well, I did blame him) for not acting fast enough and missing out on the opportunity. It totally wasn’t his fault, but it lead to a big fight which even affected our evening with some good friends. I realized then that I needed a heart check.  What does contentment look like in my life? I need to allow myself to enjoy what I’ve been blessed with and what we’ve achieved. I don’t know what it is in me that feels I need to always be doing more and can never find peace or contentment. Maybe it’s some deeper issues with parents, approval, etc. But that’s a discussion for another time 😉

Please don’t get me wrong – I know we have so much to be thankful for. Our beautiful house that we are now living in and our sweet little shop – we are blessed and give thanks to the Lord daily. But I think this blog community we find ourselves in, when we read all the blogs out there and see all the fabulous things other bloggers are doing – it can be easy to fall into this feeling of “wanting more” and it never being enough. Feelings of comparing. discontentment. jealousy – all these are so so dangerous. Or maybe it’s just me 😉

Hope you don’t mind me sharing some of these personal things that have been on my mind … But I am curious to get your thoughts on the subject. Do you struggle with being content? Being thankful? If not,  please tell us your secrets! How do you remind yourself to be thankful or keep yourself in check when you start to compare? Thanks for reading today friends.

Favorite TV Shows:



 

So I’m a big tv-show person. I never used to be but in college Nick introduced me to 24 and Lost so I kind of blame him for getting hooked on television 😉 We’re always so busy so watching shows is kind of our way of relaxing. We watch a lot of shows. These are our current top shows. Homeland is my current favorite. The Game of Thrones is actually Nick’s.. I like it, it’s just kind of intense for me. We started watching Mad Men a while ago and thought it was so boring. But we started up again just because it’s received so many awards and everything so we thought we’d try it again and it is really good! Downton of course, nothing more needs to be said about that show 😉 The Walking Dead made a comeback, it started getting really boring around the farm time but we’re big fans now. and Sherlock, wish they’d release more episodes in a season! and I’ll always be a fan of Grey’s Anatomy but Nick doesn’t watch that with me. Told you we watch a lot of tv!

 


Okay, so what shows do you watch? Any of these? Any good shows you recommend? It’s interesting because I was talking to a friend and she really only watches comedy like modern family and 30 rock. We’re not too big on comedy shows, weird.  Hope you don’t think we’re weird because we watch a lot of television! So share your fave shows and guilty pleasures, I want to hear what everyone out there watches :)

 


photo credits: homeland / mad men / breaking bad / downton abbey / the walking dead / sherlock

Google Reader News:


Some of you may already know about this as it’s caused quite a controversy but I just found out that google is no longer going to support Google Reader. 
I’m a little confused. I’m a big fan of google and all they do. I love gmail. drive. mapsblogger. (obviously) I used to use igoogle but they announced last year they’re getting rid of that too. They’re really innovative. Google Glasses. FiberGoogle’s self driving car. So cool! 
So I don’t understand the deal with dropping reader. Maybe it’s a social experiment to see how people react which so far isn’t good, haha 😉 Their stocks are dropping. Petitions are popping up, people are going nuts. It’s definitely causing a frenzy.

Anyway, there’s an article about it here if you want to read about it. It seems like it all comes down to popularity? Sure, just a few hundred thousand people use it but I guess that’s not enough..?  Or maybe the bottom line is money. I don’t know.

I just was curious how many of you this will affect? How many of you use goole reader on a daily basis? I’m not sure what alternatives there are out there. Google Plus? I’m still not really quite sure what Google Plus is, heh. Wall Street Journal posted some alternatives to reader so you can check that out! Would love to hear your thoughts about this! Feel free to discuss it in the comments!

Morning or Night person?

Images: Evesand / Wider Awake 

I was thinking the other day about how I am most productive in the morning. Like, I really do my best work when I get an early start to the day. I’ve been waking up around 6:30ish and it just keeps getting earlier. The other day I found myself up and awake at 5:30! Crazy. I have never been able to sleep in and I don’t like sleeping in. Poor Nick. He loves sleeping in. 
The other day I called my brother at 10:30 am and he was still in bed! That would drive me crazy. haha. But everyone is different. My brother just stays up super late and works, sometimes until 2-3am. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up that late! I’m usually in bed by 10. He’s more of a “night owl” and says I’m weird for getting up so early. So what about you? Are you a day/morning person or a night time person? I don’t really meet a lot of morning people, but I am sure there are some out there! :)

discussion / handmade:

For today’s discussion, I wanted to get your thoughts about handmade & diy. The handmade movement has been so huge these past years with Etsy popping up only a few years ago. What do you guys think of DIY craft projects out there? Do you like the idea of DIY and do you actually do any of the projects out there in your own home? I know many of you may come here to see DIY craft projects and get inspiration – but are there ever any projects where you think, “that’s weird, I’d never make that.” ? Maybe you’ve seen a project here that you think is just kind of silly? You can be honest, it won’t hurt my feelings. 😉 I did meet a sweet lady in England who made her business cards inspired from the diy I posted, that was pretty cool to see it inspired someone! Are you a “I can just make that” type of person? For me, there are just some things that I know I am not good at so I’d rather buy it instead of make it.
Are you more drawn to supporting a handmade artist over something that’s been mass manufactured and produced in another country? Personally, while I love to support and buy from handmade artists and things made local, I’ll admit at the same time, I am drawn to the $2 necklace from Forever 21. Would you rather buy the cheaper option or support the handmade artist? I definitely try to support handmade when I can. Craft shows like Renegade are really dangerous for me because I usually want to buy pretty much everything. Fellow crafters are just so creative and some things are so unique, unlike anything you can find at the mall.

For small business owners out there who make their own products, do you find having to produce your own inventory limiting to your business? I did a trade show a couple months ago and wholesale was so fun and exciting – getting orders, knowing your products are going into shops. At the same time, it was really hard to meet all the quantities for orders. Took me a while! I have a friend who made 1000 necklaces for a wholesale order, so intense! it was legit. As a business owner, I sometimes wonder about getting my items manufactured. Which at that point, does loose the handmade charm and the fact that I can no longer claim the item is handmade. So I guess there are a lot of pros and cons on the subject.

Anyway, this has been a topic on my mind and I was really curious to get your thoughts.  Thanks for joining in on the discussion today! :)

Discussion / work+life:







Today I wanted to ask you guys your thoughts on work/life and the balance between the two. Over the past few months, it seemed like Nick & I were going at 100 miles per hour. I’d get home from somewhere and then literally the next day or week, we’d be on our way to doing something else. It really hit us a month ago when we spent the whole weekend getting ready for a trade show in Las Vegas  and I had to also get ready for a craft show the weekend after during the same time. We just worked through the entire weekend. That’s when it hit us that we work a lot and forget to take time for ourselves. I had a little breakdown and just started to cry, feeling so overwhelmed with everything. and I thought to myself – at what point is it too much? At what point will I stop and recognize that quality over quantity is more important? I want quality of life. Instead of just working all the time, just to make a few extra bucks. Why don’t I just step back and stop taking on the world. and my poor husband, he has a full time job on top of helping me so he pretty much has 2 jobs. 



So I was wondering your thoughts on this subject. Do you relate to any of this? Anyone out there a workaholic? Do you have a a hard time balancing work+quality of life? For the self-employed friends out there – do you make it a point to take a break? Or do you find yourselves working all hours of the day, every day? Even if you’re not self-employed, I am sure you have other things in daily life that keep you busy. Is there anything specific that you do to be intentional about taking time for yourself?



Sidenote: I don’t mean to sound like a big ungrateful person – I am fortunate to be able to do what I do and the crazy schedule of being your own boss comes with the territory. I love what I do. Lately it just feels like it has become really intense. Probably because I am not the best at time management or being produtive all the time. But anyway. Here are some images related to working. I thought these were appropriate to post 😉






shadowfolds


audrey-kawasakil


worldwide publishers


design sponge

discussion / what’s your story?

While I was on the plane on the way back from my trip, I was reflecting on my blog and how it all got started. Then I had a thought about how all of you bloggers out there and how each one of us has our own story on how our blogs were started.

I mentioned I’m in Vegas for Pool Trade show, so I’ll be sitting here from 9-6. I may be bored. I may take a nap. But if you have a free moment, would you mind posting your story of how your blog came to be? I’d love to read your stories while I’m sitting here… and I’ll probably be sitting a lot, the days are super long at these trade shows :)
Ok, I’ll start with my story! Summer of 2007, I was close to graduating from college and my friends, Curtis and Mayra started a blog on blogger. I wish I remembered the exact moment and conversation but I think we were in a computer lab and I pretty much ended up starting a blog because they told me to. That blog was called ‘hello loveli‘ and it’s actually still online – you can see it here if you’re curious.. but no judgements, the posts are so random and the way I wrote was pretty silly 😉 I actually love that it’s still up, floating around in cyberspace. I didn’t have many entries. But those were the days when posts were so innocent and new.. and I had only 2 readers – Curtis and Mye. I posted about design and random life-things. I think I may have thought I was cool because I didn’t use capital letters at the beginning of my sentences, lol. No real direction or blog-standard to meet, I just blogged true and genuine stuff about my life and interests. I hadn’t visited that blog while until I wrote this post. I went back through each entry and laughed about the way I wrote. Watched the videos I posted and thought about why I posted those at the time. I look at my designs from back then and smile – I used a lot of fonts then. I guess I still kind of use a lot of fonts. I love fonts!
There wasn’t the pressure of putting out daily, consistent, original content, you know? Don’t get me wrong. I love this blog. It is fun putting together new content for the blog and I’m fortunate to have met so many friends through oh, hello friend. I am honored when a reader comes to a craft show and says hi or someone sends me an email of encouragement. There’s just something so innocent about those blog days so many years ago. When I posted things as if no one was reading, but just because I liked it. I posted for myself. Sometimes I feel like we may loose our blog identity along the way as we read + compare to all the other blogs out there. If that makes any sense at all :) Probably not. I think I may still be on jet lag. Going to sleep at 4am and waking up at 8am is not so good. 
I’m not sure why I strayed from that blog and started up oh, hello friend. I think because I wanted to start a shop and just created a new blog to go along with it. oh, hello friend came to be while sitting at my day job at Avery Dennison, super bored and wanting to start an etsy shop up. But that’s a story for another day. I am definitely here thanks to 2 friends who told me to start a blog all those years ago. I’m so glad I listened to them!
Ok. That’s my blog story! If you’re a blogger – time to share your blog story! How did you get started with your blog? Did a friend tell you to start one? Maybe you were inspired to start one from seeing another blog? Can’t wait to hear your story…be sure to leave links too!

blog discussion – blog etiquette:

thanks to alice b gardens photography for the image above!
Today’s discussion is about blog etiquette. I’m actually speaking on this topic at Alt Summit next week and am really curious to hear your thoughts on the subject! Would love to get some of your input and possibly address some of the points/topics.. I’ll definitely come back and report on what my panel discussed with you all.
So what do you think friends? Is there a general ‘blog etiquette’ rule-book out there or guidelines that we bloggers should be following? Are there things you see in the blog world that you may not agree with? Anything can be brought up here – crediting, (which I know we’ve discussed before) copying, content, dealing with mean people. I’ve been blogging for 3 years now (wow, actually going on 4!) and I’ve seen a lot but may also be out of touch with certain blog issues that may be happening out there. Let’s also turn it around and focus on the positive too –what are some ‘polite’ things you notice bloggers are doing? Anything out there you’ve noticed that you appreciate fellow bloggers following proper blog etiquette?
As always, this post is not meant to stir up controversy or point fingers or anything like that. Just an open and friendly discussion. If you have something you’re not sure about regarding blogging etiquette – please be sure to post it for all to discuss! :) Thanks in advance always for a lovely discussion! (and for any input on etiquette-thoughts for the panel!)

Blog Discussion – crediting:

Photobucket
Thanks to Lolasroom for the beautiful photo above!
Hi friends! I know today’s blog discussion topic has been discussed around the blog community several times but I am curious to get responses from my own readers :) What are your thoughts about crediting sources?
So back in the day, I used to credit photos with a plus “+” sign. I know, I know. I really thought I was sooo cool and clever by using a “+” sign (oh my young naive blogging days) The +plus sign would link to the source of the photo, but not always the source, sometimes just a weheartit link or some improper credit. Little did I know or even think about how unfair that is to the person who was due the proper credit.
If a photo you want to use doesn’t have a proper credit, will you still use it? A couple months ago, I was still posting inspire lovely posts with uncredited images. I placed a note in each post that the photos didn’t contain proper credits with a shout-out to ask for proper links and I would update the post. I usually received a lot of responses with helpful links. But those days of posting photos with no credits is a no-no for me now. A sweet reader told me about Google’s Image search, which has helped tremendously in finding credits.
From time to time, I see phrases like “all photographs courtesy of Pinterest” or “source: weheartit” Do you think that is okay? Personally I think sites like pinterest, weheartit, & imgfave are fun resource sites for finding photos but not necessarily a proper credit for the photos themselves. I actually find that some of these sites often don’t even have proper credits to the original source of the photo, which then makes it really hard to credit the actual source. Additionally, I have heard of some bloggers who have even taken a stand and can’t/won’t use sites like these (weheartit/tumblr/pinterest/imgfave) simply because of all the incorrect sources flying around all over the place.
Also – how far do you go in crediting? For example, say you find a photo from design*sponge that you want to post on your own blog. Would you credit it:
Photo credit: Jane Smith , found via design*sponge.
Or is the “Photo credit: Jane Smith” enough?
This topic kind of goes beyond crediting photos too. If you find a great DIY tutorial, create the DIY for yourself, and post it on your blog, would you credit the place you found the idea? Or pass it off on your own? (I am sure all your answers will be the first. But hey, you never know!)
I think at the end of the day, it all comes down to respect! We all just need to respect each other as fellow creatives, artists, friends, human beings. Give credit where credit is due and be kind and generous.
As always, this is a open and friendly discussion, all thoughts/input welcome. This discussion is not meant to point fingers or judge people for bad crediting. Just curious to hear some other thoughts/opinions out there besides my own. 😉