December 26, 2010
November 16, 2010
November 12, 2010
I'm using the internet in the Energizer bunny tent at Camp... just wanted to post that I survived day 1!! It's been an amazing experience so far; I walked about 18 out of the 20 miles, wanted to give up but I didn't!! and I know I will sleep good tonight to take on tomorrow's 22.5 mile route.
November 11, 2010
I love, love, love 1950's design!! I also love when I find something on the internet that I stumbled across ages ago, and forgot about... this post covers both of those things!!
this blog post is specifically about a new collection of Michael Miller fabric being released that is a tribute to a 1950s fabric designer, Tammis Keefe. (never heard of either of these names before, but I am sure I will be researching up on them when I have the time).
while reading the above-mentioned blog post, I realized the blog, True Up, is an all-fabric-all-the-time blog written by a bloggetr I've read before, Dioramarama... one of those blogs you come across in surfing, then forget where you found it?? (I've done that so many times before: find something, click away from the page, then forgot where I was in the first place.... I know, I could bookmark them, but my bookmark list would get so long that it wouldn't help any, in the end!!)
anyway, I'm not going to pull any pictures off these blogs to put into this post, but trust me, if you like 1950s design, fabric, or just color/pattern in general, then click on those links and start oohing and aahing.
November 10, 2010
wow, I can't hardly believe the 3-Day is just two days (really only 1 1/2) away!! Right now, I'm at the stage where I need to pack and make sure I have everything I need- I have my second pair of shoes, I have plenty of pairs of socks, I have athletic tape for my feet, I need to make sure I have new batteries in the camera... I know I'll forget something, but that's really not important at this point. What is important is that I just reached my $2300 minimum yesterday, so I can participate!
Since this is a big cause, Komen makes sure that you commit big when you sign up for this; that's why there's a (high) minimum amount you have to raise... When I signed up in January, I really had no idea whether I'd be able to actually raise it, but throughout the course of the year, I have been continually amazed at people's generosity. Even after getting the minimum, I've been getting last minute donations-- the first time, I said "thanks, but I've got the money; I don't need any more." My donor's reply (very wise) was, "it's not for you, it's for breast cancer."
One of the most recent 3-Days raised over 7 million dollars (!!!) for the fight to end breast cancer-- I can't wait to see the sea of pink at the opening ceremonies, the cheering people along the way, and to experience the emotion of the closing ceremonies when I've actually finished! (I'm sure I can't wait to see the comfy couch, our bed, and my feather pillows at the end of it, either-- lol!)
so, if you've been thinking about donating, if you know someone who had breast cancer, if you've lost a loved one to this disease, or if you know at least 8 women- because one in eight women will be diagnosed (that number is horrible!! we can put men in space, and spend countless millions of dollars on who-knows-what, but we still have to fight this disease) then please think about donating to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Over 75 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to programs, research, and education. You can donate to me here: http://www.the3day.org/goto/jennifer.ahlstrom
donate to one of my teammates who still hasn't raised the minimum by clicking here :
and be sure to check out this page: Research and Grants to see how they use the money.
And wish me (and my feet) luck!!
November 07, 2010
November 04, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 29, 2010
for my fellow Etsy sellers, there have been some very important changes lately that WILL affect you!! PLEASE READ
If you are a seller on Etsy, I think you NEED to read this post, and then browse around the Etsy forums for more information. Link to the main Etsy forums HERE.
Etsy has been making major changes lately, and they never notify all users about anything. So, since I know most Etsy sellers don't frequent the Etsy forums, I'm posting them here---
the first one is wider listing pages that greatly affect the photos and seeing (or not seeing) the item description. The photos were made HUGE-- if you have vertical photos, they will not be seen in their entirety. If your photos are smaller, they may end up with gray bars on the edges to make them fit the new, larger space. Even if you have relatively square photos, the page re-design to huge photos means that in most cases, the item description is "below-the-fold" and people will have to scroll down to read it. In addition, they have redesigned where the clickable things (your avatar, etc) take a shopper when they click on them, and most of them take the buyer NOT back to your shop, but to your profile or even OUT of your shop. Many threads in the forums about this topic, but one of the main (it's huge, sorry about that) is here: wide listing page thread.
the second is a change to the profile pages that will connect ONE profile to ALL the shops an owner may have (if they have more than one shop). Not a huge change, but it still changes the way your profile page looks. Click here to read a forum thread about this.
The third is a change to the way item results are shown-- there is no "jump-to" page box at the bottom of a list, so buyers have to scroll through pages sequentially to look at items in a category or after a search. A buyer can no longer type "34" in the page box to jump to the 34th page of a category or search. This means that realistically, only the top pages (i.e., most recently listed) in a category will ever be seen by a casual browser, because they probably won't want to keep scrolling thru page after page to ever reach the 34th page of a category or search results. Click here to read a forum thread about this.
The fourth one is the most recent (I think) and is a MAJOR change to the way results will be shown when buyers are browsing by clicking on a category or doing a very general search. Etsy says it's only minor, but I believe, along with many other sellers, that it is a HUGE disservice to the sellers, and will be very negative. Etsy has changed the functionality of the site to ONLY list 50,000 results when a buyer clicks on a category page or does a general search. This may sound like a huge number, but depending on how saturated the category is (think jewelry, clothing, art, or wedding, for example), this number of items is a VERY small percentage of the actual items in the category-- as low as 2% or 3% in some cases. And, since the default search is "most recently listed" this limitation will now only show the last few day's listings of jewelry, for example. Read this link for a very concise explanation of this issue.
These kinds of changes are being made almost daily, and can negatively affect casual, low-volume sellers who may not know they're being made. Especially since it's (supposedly) going into the holiday shopping rush-- if your views/sales have dropped off, these changes may be why.
And since Etsy doesn't feel like they NEED to tell ALL sellers about these things, I (along with other sellers who are concerned about these changes affecting our sales and views) am trying to do what I can to get the word out.
October 26, 2010
if you want to see/buy wonderfully shaded and patterned hand-dyed fabric, go here... Random Acts of Dyeness blog... I came across this blog while I was reading an artist's newsletter online. This artist hand-dyes fabric for her own work, and sells her extras. The colors and patterns are luscious!! It makes me (almost) wish I was a fiber artist, but I know if I bought any of this, it would only languish in my closet. Above is a rainbow selection; below is a collection called "Some Like It Hot." All collections of fabric are $30-- not knowing anything about hand-dying,that sounds really reasonable to me.
October 25, 2010
October 24, 2010
October 15, 2010
"A deadline is, simply put, optimism in its most ass-kicking form. It's a potent force that, when wielded with respect, will level any obstacle in its path. This is especially true when it comes to creative pursuits."
from the book No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty.
I found this quote while looking up information about National Novel Writing Month (which is November, by the way), but the sentiment isn't just applicable to novel-writing, it works for anything. Especially for me, since I'm one of those people who gets easily paralyzed by overthinking and self-criticism. A deadline forces me to brush those pesky voices in my head aside, to "make it work with what I have" because I don't have the time to find the "perfect" piece of paper, ribbon, etc. or to make it "absolutely perfect" before I'm done. And in the end, I'm more creative because of it: while my projects sometimes turn out totally different than I might have done them if I had more time, they're usually pretty good results, or ever pretty darn good, actually!
(part of this is because of my ability to be easily side-tracked-- if I actually did take the time to find the "perfect" piece of paper, because I knew it was in my stash somewhere, I'd re-surface two hour later. ...after finding four other things I looked for earlier but couldn't find, paging through a couple magazines that caught my eye, getting an idea for at least three different projects that I'd start if only I had time, and then totally forgetting what I was looking for in the first place.)
see, it's happened here, too! all I wanted was to write down this quote so I wouldn't forget it, and I've gone off on a tangent about my creative and organizational processes...
Anyway, I'll be back soon with more photos of my estate sale finds from last weekend. My friend Melissa sent me a link to a site that lists local sales, and I am trying very hard not to be tempted by the listings.