Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Feb Photo a Day

In February, I'll be participating in a photo-a-day challenge. Chantelle, over at Fat Mum Slim, had a bunch of bloggers doing this last month, so this month I wanted to jump in too!

If you want to join in, be sure and tag your photos w/ #FEBphotoaday on whatever social network you post them to. Leave me a comment below if any of you are posting them to Tumblr or Instagram so I can come look - those are the about the only social networks I'm using these days! Lol. (You can find me @desertrose0601 on Instagram and @livingthecreativelife on Tumblr.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Reader Giveaway


I'm gearing up for a big reader giveaway next month!!

If any of you lovely readers have an Etsy shop or small business and would like to donate something for the giveaway, let me know and I'll add you in! It's a great way to gain exposure for your shop and helps you meet people in the meanwhile! Something handmade is best, although gift certificates and store credit is always a nice option as well.

You can contact me w/ questions or for more information at desertrose0601 {at} gmail {dot} com.

Be Creative

What have you done to be creative today?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My week in pictures

We made color swatches w/ colored pencils in class this week.

I made a snowflake puzzle for our Women's Tea at church. Hand-drawn and hand-cut!
Carlita always deserves a picture. ;)

Once I got it in my head to giveaway some clothes, I had to go ahead and do it! My closet is much happier now that it only has things I actually wear in it!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Time-Lapse Video

Found this fascinating time-lapse video the other day. What the Earth looks like from outer space!

I especially love the Aurora Borealis and the thunderstorm clusters. It's so fascinating to see how everything fits together into one large system. What's your favorite part of the video?


Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael K├Ânig on Vimeo.

Technology Detox - Stage One

  1. Delete any online accounts that demand more from you than they give back. Anything you feel obliged to check more than once a day counts.
  2. Check and reply to email only twice a day and never first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Be strict about this.
  3. Get rid of any streaming services you pay for. DVD's by mail are okay in moderation, but remember that anticipation makes viewing sweeter and too much choice makes all your options look dull. Limit your queue to less than a dozen movies.
  4. Really make an effort to do one thing at a time. Enjoy each moment for what it is.
  5. Do nothing for at least ten minutes a day, outside if possible. Lie back and look at the clouds. Don't think about your to-do list during this time.
  6. Turn off all non-essential notifications to your smart phone. It's hard to be present in every moment when your attention is constantly being tyrannized by the urgent.
  7. When in doubt, weigh the pros vs. the cons. Is checking Facebook five hundred times a day helping you achieve your goals or is it merely being a digital task-master? What could you achieve if you weren't thinking about the next time you get to plug in?

*****
READ MORE ABOUT IT!
  1. My first technology fast.
  2. My geeky tech history.
  3. Starting the Disconnect Process.
  4. My general "unplugging" anxiety.
  5. My "Rules" for a technology detox.
  6. Technology detox - Day 7 update.
  7. Technology detox - Day 17 update!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Baby steps... Baby steps...

After a day of partially unplugging --- okay not even 12 hours --- I'm already going a bit nuts. The thing I miss the most is Twitter, oddly enough. I didn't even think I was that into Twitter. I found myself watching a little bird chirping on a tree branch outside and instead of being in the moment, I was thinking, "Okay, I need to Tweet so-and-so about such-and-such... oh wait... I don't have a Twitter account..." And there was this giant panicked feeling, like all the adrenaline in the world entering my body at once. This happened several times yesterday.

Sleeping was strange too. I've gotten so used to reaching over and checking my iPhone whenever I think of something I'm curious about. Google. Wikipedia. YouTube. They're all my friends. But I figured part of the disconnect process was keeping them in their places. Nothing wrong with looking things up, just... not when I'm supposed to be sleeping.

I did something else last night that I haven't done in years. I went to bed without checking my email. I didn't check it when I woke up this morning either. It felt so strange. Rude, almost. Like I was ignoring people. When I had properly woken up, eaten breakfast, and watched a TV show (baby steps... baby steps...), then and only then did I settle in to check my email and deal with online business.

I've been thinking a lot about multi-tasking lately. I've gotten really good at it... or at least used to it. I'm not sure if anyone is ever truly good at it. I've been realizing just how difficult single-tasking is for me. When I eat, I want to be watching the TV. When I pee, I want to be reading a book on my iPhone (tell me I'm not the only one who does this?). When I email, I want to have music playing, Twitter going, my cat on my lap, and Google handy to look up anything I might be wondering about. Whatever happened to doing one thing at a time? It's hard to get back into that mode, but I think it will be worth it.

A commenter yesterday noticed that I didn't turn off my TiVo. There's a reason for that. My whole experiment is to try to regain some equilibrium in my life. I don't intend to completely lose technology - there is a lot to be gained from technology. My intention is to slow down... regain the ability to daydream, have some quiet head space, be bored. When was the last time you were bored?


TiVo gives me the gift of not having to think about when a show is coming on to television. It actually gives me back some of my headspace. Most technology these days does the opposite, pushing it's ever insistent notifications into our quiet moments. Those are the kinds of technologies I'm trying to put back in their places. I'm weighing the pros and the cons of each thing and trying to figure out whether it's helping me be a more peaceful, creative human being or whether it's just insisting on interrupting me a lot.

Although I suppose one could argue... maybe I watch too much television if I need a TiVo to schedule it? That may be true. Maybe I should give myself a 2-week window of time to watch things. That would be interesting. Anything not watched by then gets deleted. If it wasn't interesting enough for me to watch right away, maybe it wasn't worth storing on my TiVo. I'll have to think on that...

Anyway, here's an interesting video I found about observing a weekly technology Sabbath. I think I need to get serious about doing that consistently. Constant technology stimulation is exhausting me.



*****
READ MORE ABOUT IT!
  1. My first technology fast.
  2. My geeky tech history.
  3. Starting the Disconnect Process.
  4. My general "unplugging" anxiety.
  5. My "Rules" for a technology detox.
  6. Technology detox - Day 7 update.
  7. Technology detox - Day 17 update!

What I've Read - #1

Really good, but way too short! A professor gets his first Kindle and discovers that it contains newspapers from alternative timelines! What other histories will he discover?
Fascinating book! Definitely makes me look at marketing and social issues differently. He takes a look at what "tips" a situation from just a once-in-a-while event into a sweeping epidemic. Very intriguing read and quite insightful.



This book was much harder to get through than the first two in the series. I think this probably was because the depths of hopelessness were fully explored in it. I'm glad I read it though and I'm glad it ended like it did, but it was still a very sad and difficult book to read. 


(For anyone not familiar) this is the 3rd and final book in the Hunger Games series. If you plan to watch the upcoming HG movie, I highly recommend reading at least that first book first. That's the best one of the series, in my opinion, and is a very powerful and quick read.



*****
Are you on Goodreads? Come find me! I like to try to keep track of the books I've read over the years. It's also a fun way to find new books to read!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Disconnect Process

I've begun the disconnect process this afternoon and boy does it feel good! Also a little anxiety-inducing.

I switched my Netflix account to have NO streaming and only one DVD at a time. I'd almost forgotten what anticipation felt like! It'll be fun to await each new arrival in the mail. No longer is media instantly streamable for me. Strange but oddly relieving.

I deleted my Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr accounts. As much fun as they were, they were also far too demanding of my time. The constant drug-like pull of them to constantly stay connected was too hard to ignore.

I turned off all notifications on my iPhone (with the exception of texting, which I rarely use anyway), and switched Mail to be manually pulled. Now I'll have to intentionally check to see if I have new messages instead of being demanded upon to deal with them all as soon as they arrive. I plan to check email once or twice day, so if you don't get an instant response from me like you used to, that's why.

What am I going to do with all my free time, you ask? Well, homework, for one thing. And actual book-reading. I might even break out the puzzles and board-games. Maybe I'll finish up the paint-by-number art that I started years ago, or the cross-stitch projects that lay collecting dust in my closet. Oh the possibilities!

*****
READ MORE ABOUT IT!

  1. My first technology fast.
  2. My geeky tech history.
  3. Starting the Disconnect Process.
  4. My general "unplugging" anxiety.
  5. My "Rules" for a technology detox.
  6. Technology detox - Day 7 update.
  7. Technology detox - Day 17 update!

I used to love daydreaming.

I remember distinctly the first time I had access to email. It was 1997 and I was a freshman in college. My roommate's parents were rather well-off and had gotten her a new computer to use at school. This was the exception on our floor. Most college students in those days didn't consider a computer an essential item.

We each signed up for a Juno account. For those of you too young to remember, that was a free email provider that was not even attached to the internet. You had to launch the program and it manually dialed into the modem to retrieve your email when you told it to. Nothing was automatic or always on. I can still remember the beep-beep-beeping of the modem as it connected.

Around 1998 or so, I started learning HTML and bumming around online in chat rooms. It was all so fascinating! My roommate's computer didn't go online, but we had access to some dorm computers that did. I signed up with angelfire.com and hand-coded my first website. No one ever visited it and it largely consisted of text, but it was of my own creation! I was so proud of that website!

It wasn't until 1999 that I got my own laptop. I saved up for it all summer and came to school with it in my junior year. We had a family computer at home, but it ran a very old version of Windows and was primarily used for word processing. Needless to say, we did not have internet at home yet. Not that we weren't allowed, it just wasn't something that normal, un-geeky people did back then.

I seem to remember figuring out pretty quickly how to get internet on my personal laptop, but I can't remember now how I connected. I think Juno may have had a dial-up internet service for a small fee, buy my memory's a bit hazy on that one. I largely used the dorm's computers still when I wanted to go online.

These were the days before wireless too. I remember one summer, dragging a phone cord (remember those?) down the hallway to connect into my laptop's modem so I could check my email. Ahh... those were the days...

Around 2000 or 2001, I got my first cell phone. In those days, texting wasn't even heard of. The signal was terrible too; I had to stand outside on one foot in a certain spot in the yard to even get a decent reception. But it was so cool! Technology was amazing.

To keep things in perspective, remember that we still had landlines in those days. Being that I was still in college, each dorm room or campus house had it's own line that we shared. In the dorms, it was one phone for every two people, in the houses, it was one for every 4 to 5 people. This was normal back then and did not seem like an inconvenience. If anything, it felt awesome to not have to share your family's landline anymore! Very few people had cell phones back then, especially not college students who would rather spend their money on clothes or movies. Cell phones were still kind of a geeky phenomenon reserved for people particularly curious about technology.

I finally had my own TV this year as well and remember videotaping shows like Roswell and Felicity. My family had had a VCR for years, but it was pretty cool to finally have one of my own! I paid about $100 for a small 12 inch TV/VCR combo machine.

Around 2002 or so, my sister got the first mp3 player in the family. It was an iRiver, if I remember right. It held about 25 songs and was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. You couldn't make playlists or rearrange songs in any way, but it was sure more efficient than making mixed tapes / CDs (remember those?). I bought my own at some point and was thoroughly in love.

Netflix soon also barged into my life, as did my first DVD player, and I quickly became hooked on watching TV shows season after season, back to back to back. I discovered old shows that I'd somehow missed... X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How amazing was it that I could catch up on stories that had aired on TV years earlier?!

By 2003, two computers later (those PCs break awfully fast!), I was heavy into bit-torrenting and playing The Sims Online. Those were the days when Limewire was cool and nobody had been sued yet for sharing music, at least not to my knowledge. I soon also discovered podcasts. I'd never heard of iTunes, but somehow had run across various podcasts online. I downloaded each episode manually and click-dragged them onto my iRiver to listen to them. Everything felt so Wild West back then - like we were blazing a new frontier with what was possible.

Around 2004, my current computer died again and I discovered Apple products. Music to my soul! My first iPod was a thousand times more efficient than that old iRiver. Plus, iTunes made things amazingly simple! Playlists! Shuffle! So awesome...

I discovered TiVo around this time as well and got rid of my old VCR. It was a single-tuner that needed an actual phone-line to dial into the TiVo service. Yes, we still had landlines even then. Still, the absolute amazingness of time-shifting TV completely blew my mind. I haven't looked at TV the same way since.

By 2005, I was a full-fledged Mac fangirl. The Mac just "got" me, the creative-thinker that I am. If you're a right-brain too, you'll probably know what I mean. It was around that time too, that I discovered Twitter. Back then Twitter was mainly just a handful of geeks chitchatting about their day. No one in the main stream had even heard of it at that point.

Of course Facebook was quickly becoming popular this year too. As soon as they lifted the restriction that you had to be a college student to use it, I signed up. In those early days, only about 5 of my friends were on there - it was the price to pay for being an early-adopter, I suppose. Now I have over 100 friends, and probably would have more if I didn't keep pruning people out.

I've blogged off and on since those early Angelfire days. Usually on Blogger, sometimes on MySpace, Tumblr, or Squarespace. Always one to try new technology, I think I've probably tested out just about every new platform as they've come out. Most of those blogs have long since been deleted, but they've all taught me a lot about coding, creativity, and writing.

Today, in the year 2012, I sit here with my MacBook in my lap, blogging while also keeping tabs on my email. My iPhone sits next to me buzzing every so often with a new text, Tweet, or FB update. My TiVo is happily recording way too many shows over there on the shelf. Wireless information is flowing all around me from device to device to device. When I stop to think about how far we've come in 15 years, it's truly mind-boggling.

Which brings me to my point. Kudos to you if you've read this far; I'm feeling long-winded today. My point is... we've turned into a people who expect instant gratification and never-ending stimulation. I'll be the first to admit I love my technology, but I wonder at what cost it all comes? Was there something to be said for being excited to get one bar on my crappy cell phone while standing on one foot in the backyard? Technology was magical back then, now it's just expected.

I've managed to convince myself into taking exactly one technology Sabbath this year. I keep meaning to take more, but have this nagging feeling that I'll miss something while I'm offline. Meanwhile I'm just so over-stimulated that I've forgotten what it was like to just lay back and daydream. I used to love daydreaming.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but just wanted to say that I've been re-thinking my priorities lately. Maybe it's time to cut back a little. Unplug a bit. I love my blog friends and have enjoyed getting to know people all over the world, so don't worry, that's staying. I may unplug my Netflix though, and possibly a few of the gazillion online accounts I have. Do we really need to be able to connect to each other through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Etsy, YouTube, Blogger, and whichever other social networks I'm forgetting? Wouldn't just one or two of those suffice?

Hmm... lots to consider. I miss the simple days. I guess that's what I'm saying. I love all the new technology, but sometime I wonder if we've been binging a little too much on it.

*****
READ MORE ABOUT IT!

  1. My first technology fast.
  2. My geeky tech history.
  3. Starting the Disconnect Process.
  4. My general "unplugging" anxiety.
  5. My "Rules" for a technology detox.
  6. Technology detox - Day 7 update.
  7. Technology detox - Day 17 update!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This isn't rocket science.

This has been such a weird day. I'm sick anyway, so that probably isn't helping things...


Earlier this afternoon I got an eBay message from a guy I'd sold a DVD to. He said that the movie was not as described and that wanted his money back. He further elaborated that the item had arrived broken. My crystal ball apparently needs some tuning up. Maybe I should've stated in the item description that the post office was expected to damage this item in transit??

I responded that I'd be happy to refund his money upon receipt of the damaged item. Standard refund situation. This shouldn't be that big of a deal.

This is where it got weird.

He responded back saying how unreasonable it was that I expected him to ship it back, costing him even more money. (He only paid $1.99 + $3 shipping. That's actually $4 more than I paid for the DVD myself, but don't tell him that.) He said he's kicking himself for trusting me in the first place since I have such a low feedback rating. (Yes, 100% positive feedback is pretty low, don't you think?)

Not that I don't believe his story. Don't get me wrong. DVDs get damaged in the mail all the time... anyone who uses Netflix can attest to this. But the point is... any time you want a refund from anyone anywhere, online or not, you should expect that they'll want their item back first. This isn't rocket science.


Trying to be upright and professional about this, I repeated merely that I was more than willing to give him a refund but that it was standard practice to expect him to return the item - any store or business would expect the same.

He basically went ballistic at this point, saying how rude it was that I refused to resolve this issue and that he felt it was his duty to give me poor feedback to warn other buyers of how I do business.

Okay... what part of "full refund" did he not understand? Did he really expect me to let him keep both the DVD and the money? For all I know, he's just trying to get a free item.

I reminded him that this was a perfectly reasonably return policy and that him trying to scam me out of both the product and the money was actually illegal. I assured him that I realized he'd probably not meant it that way and was probably just frustrated, repeating that I was happy to give him a full refund upon receipt of the damaged DVD.

He then launched into a diatribe about how he should've just went to Walmart (where they charge $20 for the same movie - I just checked). He said he couldn't believe what an irresponsible seller I was being and what a hassle this all was.

Sigh... why does this feel like I'm arguing with a 12-year-old?

Luckily one of my Twitter friends sent me a message right then suggesting that I ask him to email me a photo of the damaged item. That way he could prove the item was damaged but also wouldn't have to be "bothered" to return it. Brilliant!

I messaged him the idea, which he surprisingly liked! He then said that he only had a cell phone for a camera and wasn't sure how to email a photo. He said I was probably smarter than he was, so asked if maybe I could explain it to him?

*facepalm*


I gave him my email address and said he could probably text the photo to my email, depending on his cell plan. (I didn't feel comfortable giving him my phone number). An hour and a half later, I got another eBay message from him asking if I'd received the photo yet. I hadn't.

At this point though, I figured I should give him the benefit of the doubt, since he seemed to be clearly attempting to give me proof (as opposed to scamming me out of a DVD). I told him that I'd make an exception in this case and give him a refund, but that he should realize a standard refund policy in any store, online or not, was to return the item first.

***** UPDATE *****


Hopefully I made the right decision. I just went now went over to his feedback account and saw that he's only been a member for a month and has already purchased about 20 DVDs. Maybe he is trying to scam me?? Sigh... It's only $5, but still, I hope he really is an honest citizen just frustrated at receiving a broken item.


He is now on my "blocked buyer" list. What an annoying situation...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Congrats!

Congrats to Kalyndi! She won the giveaway this month. :)

I'm gearing up for a big multiple-item giveaway in February, so get ready!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Clothes in my Closet

I'm trying a new thing this year - I turned all the clothes in my closet backwards. As I wear them, I'll turn them forwards again. Whatever's not turned back around by June gets sent to Goodwill!!

I suppose you might not be able to do this if you have vastly differing weather during different parts of the year, but here in Oregon it stays roughly between 40 and 80 degrees all year round. It does occasionally get  hotter or colder, but generally speaking, the same wardrobe works in every season!

So anyway... here's a look at my closet (taken about two weeks ago when I started this). I'll take another photo when I clean things out in June!!
Maybe I should buy more than black, blue, and gray???
What about you? How do YOU determine what you do or don't keep? Are you a ruthless de-clutterer or do you keep things around longer?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What I've Watched - #1

I've debated forever whether or not to delve into my tv/movie-watching habit on my blog. Every few months I'll decide to blog about it but then end up deleting the posts again in the hopes of culling my blog into the perfect, artsy-fartsy, blogger's blog. But alas... I'm a nerd. And part of being a nerd involves technology, books, and yes... tv/movie-watching.

So... I've decided to embrace my nerdiness and incorporate two new sections to my blog -- What I've Read and What I've Watched. Hopefully you'll enjoy them! :)


New Years Eve

This movie got horrible reviews on Rotten Tomatoes - not sure why because it was great! 

I'm a sucker for romantic comedies, especially ones created by Garry Marshall, so of course I had to check this one out -- I wasn't disappointed! It was funny, romantic, and even coaxed a tear or two. Whenever this hits iTunes, I'm definitely adding it to my movie collection!

I give it 4.25 out of 5 stars.


Gossip Girl

I remember watching the first couple episodes of this when it first aired on tv, but for some reason it slipped out of my weekly viewing habit. Then this December I discovered that Netflix had the first 4 season on streaming and since I had a month-long break from school, I jumped right in!

I'm almost done w/ season 4, but now discovered that season 5 is halfway over (and doesn't fit in my TiVo's schedule anyway), so I think I'm going to have to wait until it shows up on Netflix to watch it. So far, so good though -- it's a very entertaining show! I'd hate myself if I were ever as catty and vindictive as any of these characters, but it sure does make for interesting television!!

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.


The Walking Dead

I'm not entirely sure why I haven't gotten into zombie movies before now, because the story-concept is entirely riveting. I suppose it could just be that this is a particularly well-made zombie story, or it's also possible that I just never gave them a chance before.

I tend to enjoy post-apocalyptic stories in general (Hunger Games, anyone?). It's intriguing to ponder how we might re-build society if all known technology were to suddenly cease to exist. That's basically the underlying premise of this show... plus a bunch of flesh-eating zombies annihilating everything in sight.

I'm not quite done w/ season one, and I haven't started trying to find season two yet, but so far I'm very engaged in this show. It DOES have some gore in it, so beware of that, but the storyline and character development are extremely well done.

I give it 20 out of 5 stars.

Calling all February sponsors!!

Click here for more details!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

48 facts you may not have known about me


I'm a sucker for a good blog survey, as any of my long-time readers will know. Here's one I found over on Angie's blog: Living Aloha. I just couldn't resist taking it myself!

1. What time did you get up this morning? About 9:15am. Loud noises woke me up - I'm normally more of a sleep-in type of gal, especially on the weekend!

2. How do you like your steak? These days I'm trying to eat vegan. However... in the past when I've eaten steak, I liked it pretty well done - no pink!!

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? New Years Eve - great movie!!


4. What is your favourite TV show?
(of the shows on currently...) Parenthood. I swear I cry during every episode. That show is so heartfelt and touching! Plus I love how the characters talk over each other - most shows don't do that, but it really adds to the sense that these people are family.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Right now I'm kind of loving on New York City. I love Oregon well enough, but I've lived here 32 years and would really like to see other places!

6. What did you have for breakfast? A tortilla wrap filled with peanut butter. And coffee... of course.

7. What is your favorite food? I'm a sucker for lasagna. Now to find a good vegan recipe for it...

8. Foods you dislike? Okay, I know this is weird, but I absolutely loath stuffing. Why anyone would voluntarily eat soggy, meat-flavored bread is beyond me.

9. Favorite place to eat? I'm not really a restaurant snob, so pretty much anywhere that I don't have to cook is fine with me.

10. Favorite dressing? There's this awesome poppyseed dressing that my mom found, but I can't remember what the exact name of it is. Very tasty, though.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Kia Rio. It's cute, cheap, and gets me where I need to go.

12. What are your favorite clothes? Generally whichever jeans and t-shirt are clean that day. I'm pretty laid-back in the fashion department.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Sydney, Australia. Not sure why, but I've always wanted to go there.


14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Full, of course!! What's the point in looking at the world negatively?

15. Where would you want to retire? Jetsetting around the world.

16. Favorite time of day? After the sun goes down. Everything gets quiet and peaceful and my brain and creativity kick into high gear!

17. Where were you born? Yamhill, Oregon

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Women's Gymnastics

19. What is your favorite fragrance? Citrus shampoo and powder-fresh deodorant (I rarely, if ever, wear perfume or extra fragrance).

20. What is your favorite face cream? Right now I'm using some by Burt's Bees. I tend to forget to moisturize (I know! BAD!!) so haven't really developed a favorite brand.

21. Favorite baby/kids products? Whichever ones my nephews are currently into.

22. People watcher? Most definitely.

23. Are you a morning or night person? Night-owl all the way! (Here's a picture of me in the morning).


24. Do you have any pets? I've got the cutest cat in the whole wide world! Her name is Carlita, and she loves to snuggle. :)

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? None that comes to mind.

26. What did you want to be when you were little? Everything! A mommy, a teacher, a gymnast, a writer, a magician... The list goes on and on.

27. What is your favorite memory? Nothing's jumping out at me right now.

28. Are you a cat or dog person? Cat person!! (Here's an article explaining why cat people tend to also be intuitive artists &/or Mac people -- this explains so much about me!)

29. Are you married? Nope. Prince Charming must've taken a wrong turn somewhere.

30. Always wear your seat belt? Yup.

31. Been in a car accident? A few, but not for many years now. Nothing terribly major.

32. Any pet peeves? Snobs. Slow drivers who insist on driving in the left lane. People who talk in movie theaters.

33. Favorite pizza toppings? Sun-dried tomatoes and mandarine oranges.

34. Favorite flower? Red roses. (Cliche, right?)

35. Favorite ice cream? Cookies and cream. (Although I've been trying not to eat as much dairy lately - it has a tendency to make me super phlegmy! Yuk!!)

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? I'm a sucker for In-n-Out Burger. Good thing they don't have any here in Oregon.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Twice. I aced the written exam but got nervous on the driving part and made stupid mistakes.

38. From whom did you get your last email? It was a reply to a comment I left on a blog post. I love it when bloggers take the time to respond to their comments!! :D

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Probably Borders bookstore (if I could find one that isn't out-of-business).


40. Do anything spontaneous lately? I went to the movies on a whim last weekend. Just thought to myself, "I wonder if there's anything good playing?" and there was... so I hopped in the car and went!

41. Like your job? Currently my "job" consists of studying hard in graphic design school and knitting a gazillion hats for my Etsy shop. So... YES! I love my job!

42. Broccoli? Yes!! I especially love it with melted cheese on it... which I'm now realizing I should probably vegan-ify.

43. What was your favorite vacation? Probably in 9th grade when my family went to Disneyland for the first time. I just love the happy, magical feeling there!

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My parents. We went to a yummy, local, Mexican restaurant here in town.

45. What are you listening to right now? The refrigerator clicking on and off.

46. What is your favorite color? Mainly blue, but I also tend to love green, and sometimes red and brown.

47. How many tattoos do you have? None. I keep pondering the idea of getting one but get stuck in an endless decision-making loop of what and where. Maybe I should just keep art on the walls?

48. Coffee drinker? Of course!! :D

My Attempt at a Fashion Post

I don't claim to know anything about fashion, but I keep seeing links to Polyvore all over the place, so thought I'd try it out! It's pretty fun actually -- kind of like cutting all the things you want out of the Montgomery Wards catalogs (remember those?).

So anyway... here is my attempt at a fashion post. Just a sampling of an outfit I might buy if I had any money. I'm actually not much of a skirt person, but I'm trying to learn to like them! Paired with the right accessories, it could actually end up being rather comfy, I think!

Rugged Chic

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Handwriting Meme

I ran across this interesting exercise on one of the blogs I read recently and thought it was a neat idea. It's fun to see what other people's handwriting looks like, don't you think? ;)

If you want to play along, here are the questions. Let me know in a comment if you end up doing this too - I'd love to see what your handwriting looks like!
  1. What is your name and blog title?
  2. What is your blog's address?
  3. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  4. What is your favorite quote?
  5. What is your favorite song?
  6. What are your favorite artists/bands?
  7. What is one random thing you want to say right now?
  8. Tag 3-4 people to do this next!

A Great Music Playlist


Earlier this month, Kristen posted a great music playlist over on her blog, Confessions of a Graphic Design Student. I absolutely LOVED the vibe of the music she'd put together, even though most of the songs were new to me. Then it gave me a great idea... what would happen if I plugged these songs in Pandora?

Have you ever used Pandora? It's a great site! I highly recommend it. You can create your own personalized radio stations VERY quickly (& it's free!). All you have to do is seed it with one or more songs or artists and it builds a station around others songs/artists that have the same feel. You can even pick one of their pre-made genre stations to start a station even more quickly.

So anyway, in this case, I seeded a new station with all of Kristen's playlist. What came forth was a beautiful NEW station, filled with music that fit my style but that I'd never heard of before! Wonderful!! I just love it when my radio seems to know me. ;)

If you're a Pandora user, you can click on the link below to hear my station!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anatomy of an Art Project

As some of you probably remember, I've been working on a collage this past week in my Color class. It's been really interesting and fun to scour magazines for colors that grab my attention and then to work them into a meaningful composition.


Obviously the Instagram filters I used on each of these photos is slightly different from each other, but I promise they are same color pieces in each photo! So I started out by finding a bunch of colors that just seemed to want to play together.


My first attempt turned out pretty cool, but my teacher said it lacked composition. For you non-artists or designers, that basically means that my piece needed a focal point and some sort of structure to it.


Last night I sat down and found a bunch MORE colors and started laying over the collage I'd already done. It just needed a little more color support in certain areas. What I needed up with is (hopefully) a pretty strong composition! I guess the moral of the story is, you can alway push your work further than you originally thought you could. ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meet My Lovely Sponsors!

Good morning, lovely readers! If you're interested in sponsoring Living the Creative Life next month, shoot me an email @ desertrose0601 {at} gmail {dot} com
Find out more here: Ad Swap

So anyway... it's time to meet my January sponsors! I just loved teaming up with these girls this month. :) Meet Putdar, Jamie, and Kristen!




Monday, January 16, 2012

Etsy Giveaway: Desert Rose Knit Shop

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!!
39 comments are entered - if there are any more at a later time added, they will NOT count.

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Today I'm christening my new(ish) blog with an Etsy giveaway! I'm offering one lucky winner a cabled beanie of their choice (pick your favorite color!).

This giveaway will run for a week - so you have until next Monday, January 23rd, to put your name in the hat.

6 ways to enter:

  1. Comment below about which color beanie is your favorite.
  2. Subscribe to my blog on Google Friend Connect.
  3. Blog about this giveaway on your own blog.
  4. "Like" my Facebook fan page.
  5. Follow me on Twitter.
  6. Tweet about this giveaway.
Please leave a separate comment below for each entry. At the end of the contest, I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner!!

Here's a look at some of the color options available. Browse other color options over at my Etsy shop!








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Thank you for entering this giveaway! If you have an item for another giveaway, send me an email!
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