Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How I keep my focus in school.

I don't know if it's like this in other graphic design programs, but in mine, there seems to be a very sharp drop-out rate. We began the year with about 60 first-years, and now, halfway through the year, there's probably about 30. To give a sharp comparison, there are only 9 second-years.

You do have to petition to get into the second and third years, I know that much, but I also see a lot of people psyching themselves out and quitting early. Perhaps graphic design just wasn't for them. It's hard to tell.

I feel like... we're kind of in a competition. I mean, not really, but kind of yes. I know they don't have a set number of people who they let into the second year, but in a way, the more who drop out, the more pressure I feel. The ones who were here just for fun are slowly falling to the sidelines and now those of us who are left are in a more heated battle to the end.

Our teachers are very patient and gentle, but they do push us to try harder, be better, and think outside the box. No one is ever put down or made to feel stupid, which I really appreciate, and we all do generally help each other out when someone is stumbling behind, however... I do still very much feel like it's a competition. Not a zero-sum game, necessarily, but more like we're all racing to beat our own personal score. Some will give up and quit before reaching the finish line. Others will not run well enough and be cut, and those of us who keep our head down and our eye on the finish line will cross it. I can only pray that I will be diligent enough to stay the course and be one of them.

I look around at my fellow classmates, people who are quickly becoming friends and allies, and I secretly wonder who will drop out next. Who will let the forces of life beat down on them too much? Who will not take their classes seriously and be cut or held back from advancing to the second year?

When I start to think like this, I think of my favorite athlete, Nadia Comaneci. You may have heard of her, but if not, I'll recap her career briefly. She was a Romanian gymnast in the 1970's, discovered by Coach Bela Karoly (who now coaches the US Women's team). Nadia was the first Olympic gymnast to get a perfect 10. In fact, the scoreboards didn't have enough spaces in them to show a 10, so they displayed her a score as 1.0! She went on to win 3 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze at her first Olympic games. In the European championships, she won gold nearly every time she competed.

The thing about Nadia that really stood out to me though was that she rarely watched the other gymnasts compete! She stayed focused, determined to be the best gymnast that she could be. The fact that she really was the best was beside the point. Nadia knew that, at least for her, watching the other gymnasts compete was a great way to psych yourself out. Focusing on what you know, what you do, and how you perform... that's the path to greatness... not watching the competition.

As the pressure of my program builds, I remember Nadia and how she focused on the goal, not on the other gymnasts. Mentally, I work hard to maintain my focus and not worry about how the other students are doing and whether or not they're doing better or worse than I am. Honestly, the word on the street is that I am one of the better students in this year, but even that knowledge can be distracting if I let it. Overconfidence never helped anyone, and can be just as harmful as watching one's competitors too closely.

So that's that. Just some things I was thinking about lately. There were a lot of people absent today from class and it really made me realize how important being here is to me. I know it's either this or back to a data-entry/receptionist life for me. I absolutely love what I'm doing, and that certainly drives me, but I also know that I need to learn this the best that I absolutely can because it's my ticket out of here (as cheesy as that sounds). I have no problem being friends with my fellow classmates, but as they drop, one by one, I can't let their absence distract me from my goal. And likewise, even if someone is more skilled in an area than me, I can't let that distract me either.

Focus, focus, focus. That's the name of the game for me. Like Nadia, I tend to be quite competitive with myself, so I strive to absorb her wisdom and not let myself be psyched out by looking around too much. Whether or not I'm the best first-year is not the point. The point is guiding myself to be the best graphic designer that I am capable of being.

Are you more competitive with yourself or with other people?

A painting that reminds me of myself.

My sister does tons of cross-stitching, and we were talking about this cross-stitching website the other day, and anyway... then I stumbled across this pattern, which totally reminded me of myself! Just a day-dream-y girl on the beach with a book. ;-)

Have you ever found a photo or piece of art that seemed to describe you perfectly? What was it and what did it say about you?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A short story about the day I had a flat tire.

Yesterday I parked at the shuttle and took the bus to school. When I got back, my TIRE WAS FLAT!! Sigh... Just what I needed at 6pm in the cold darkness. Luckily my dad was home and only about 5 minutes away, so he came and rescued me. (I am absolutely fine with being a woman who doesn't change her own tire!).

Do you change your own tire? Why or why not? If not, do you know how or do you just not want to?


In other news, we have a winner for this month's giveaway! Congratulations, Tranae! (Email me, please! Your Google account is coming up as, so I have no way to get ahold of you).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tints and Shades

Remember my painting project? I finally finished it and turned it in last Wednesday! Our teacher kind of scolded us a little for not perfectly lining up the 1" cut-outs of each swatch when we pasted them all on the templates we were given. Oops! I should know better by now - it's a really big deal to create perfectly straight/squared-off things as a graphic designer.

Anyway, most of the colors turned out awesome. I could've used a little more blue in the blue-green, but by the time the paint dried and I realized it wasn't quite the color that I was expecting, my blue paint had run out. Oh well...

The purples were probably the hardest colors to get right, mainly due to their darkness. I kept imagining a nice, soft, spring-y color, but you'd have to add white to the paint to get that and we weren't allowed to use white for this assignment.

My NEXT assignment is to paint a value scale of the color yellow. Two tints and two shades. I guess I better get on that - it's due tomorrow! We don't have to have everything cut and pasted by then, just painted, so it shouldn't be too difficult. ;)

Do you know what a color tint and a color shade are? (Hint: they're not the same thing!)

Friday, February 24, 2012


Spring is springing here in Oregon!! We didn't have much of a winter to start with this year, but I'm looking forward to Spring just the same. Easter, new flowers, more sunshine... it's just a pleasant time of year!

I think my favorite thing about Spring is the lengthening of the days. I don't mind the rainy winters we tend to have here in Oregon, but having the sun go down around 4:30 or 5PM can get rather depressing. You can tell Spring is coming when the sun stays around later and later into the evening (by summertime, the sun stays out until nearly 10PM!)

What's your favorite thing about Spring?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interview with a Sponsor: Annie

{Blog} {Twitter} {Facebook}
You have an interesting blog title - is it a nickname or how did you come up w/ that?
Well THANKS! My best friend in 4th grade came up with it. Until recently, she was the only person who called me Aunie. When I met my boyfriend, his family said they needed a nickname for me because Annelise was too long. They loved Aunie.

How long have you been blogging and how did you get more than 50 followers? Do you have any advice for growing your blog into an active community? 
I began blogging with my first blog LastLash in November of 2010. I began Aunie Sauce in November of 2011. I gained followers by swapping! Swaps are so wonderful to help promote your blog. Just get yourself out there and email away! (Make sure the people who you want to swap are blogs you actually read and enjoy reading... )

I noticed when clicking on your nav bar that you actually have several blogs! What made you decide to do that, as opposed to just having different categories on the same blog? Have you noticed that this helps bring you specific audiences to each blog that are specifically interested in that topic? 
Great question. If I could go back in time... I would DEFINITELY have chosen to only have 1 blog with lots of different categories. I've considered it, but all 4 of my blogs have very different audiences. LastLash is for people who like makeup/have trichotillomania. No Naked Nails is ONLY about nail stuff. Bye Bye Beehive is for people who are into hair. Aunie Sauce-- that one's all me. Aunie Sauce is the most recent and will eventually be a combo of all 4.

 I love your banner and all the little icons used around your site (blog button, nav bar, social media icons, etc) - did you design those? 
Thank you! My banner and social media icons were actually done by Leonora from Yellow Heart Art. I took her inspiration and created my nav bar. I did it all in Picnik! (RIP soon Picnik... we will miss you!)

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 
I've always wanted to go to Australia and take a safari trip. It sounds incredible! Plus-- I love animals :)

What's one thing you wish you could do that isn't actually possible to do in this reality (ie: flying, seeing through walls, etc). 
Oh my goodness. Easiest question yet! I would fly, without a doubt. Peter Pan style-- minus the pixie dust. I have ALWAYS wanted to fly!

What does an average day look like for you? 
I'm a rather simple-scheduled person. I'll give you a weekday schedule, which is the same every day of the week.
7:30 am - Wake up
8:00 am - Leave for work
8:30 am - Begin work (I do philanthropy at a local hospital)
8:30 am - 5:00 pm - Work work work...
5:00 pm - Off work... REJOICE!... for 30 minutes or so until...
5:30 pm - Bootcamp or personal training at the gym (6 days/week)
6:30 pm - FINISHEDDDD... yes. Time to head home.
7:00 pm - Enjoy my evening with my boyfriend. We love going out to dinner, watching movies and TV shows like Castle or The River, and simply spending time with each other.
12:00 am - Beddy-night-land time :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blog Pet Peeves

In the lull after midterms and before finals, I've been attempting to catch up on my blog reading. It's a full-time job, I'm telling you! I'm diligently working on starring the entries in Google Reader that interest me, to prepare for narrowing down my subscriptions. Keeping caught up should be a little easier with not as many blogs to follow. The problem is, I keep finding new ones I like! ;)

Reading so many posts right in a row has me pondering some of the ways that blog writers could make it a little easier on their readers. Here are some things that come to mind:

First of all, I really wish more bloggers would realize is that  word verification  requirements are annoying! The original purpose of those were so non-human spam-bot computers couldn't post comments, but I'm not sure those even exist anymore. In any case, I don't think the average personal or fashion blog really needs to worry about that, especially when it makes it that much more difficult for readers to comment.

Next are the blogs that have ads in their feed. I understand that most bloggers are trying to monetize their blog in some way, but listing them in your feed is just tacky and makes the post hard to read. Ads in the sidebar are plenty, especially when they're nice, pretty ads for relavent shops and blogs!

Probably the most irritating thing I run across are the blogs that truncate (shorten) their feeds. It makes me wonder if bloggers even realize that some of us are trying to blaze through 700 posts and don't have to time to click through on every single one just to read the endings of each post?

To be perfectly honest, I tend not to click through on anything unless it catches my eye. A truncated post definitely does not catch my eye because they're generally only a couple of lines long and don't tend to have any photos! I think the reason people truncate is that they're trying to steer you to their site so you can see their sidebar ads, however it generally accomplishes the exact opposite, at least in MY reading habits!


Okay, my rant is over. ;) What are YOUR blog pet peeves?

Interview with a Sponsor: Samantha

I see you're studying Political Science! What exactly is that and what do you plan on doing with that? I'm assuming it has something to do w/ politics??
I have no idea! I wish someone would have told me that even though Political Science sounds like a great major, there is little you can do with it other than go to law school or graduate school. It's a dream of mine to work in East/Northeast Africa, but I don't know whether or not that will happen. I know I want to make an impact, so if I find myself in advocacy or some type of lobbying, I won't be disappointed.

You have a rather new blog. What made you decide to start blogging? Is this your first blog?
This is my first blog. Blogging started off as a way to both journal my day to day experiences and keep in touch with my friends and family while I'm off at school. After a couple posts, everyone kept telling me they loved my writing and I soon realized how much I loved blogging - it's transformed in to something totally different than what I originally expected, but I love it! I can't say enough about how great the blogging community is.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be and why?
Outspoken - A blessing and a curse, I can't shut up or keep my thoughts to myself.
Empathetic - Again a blessing and a curse! I'm just super empathetic, which I think is the reasoning why I'm so passionate about some social issues.
Bookworm - I love reading! Get me a book and we will be friends forever. Unless it's a really bad book which despite popular belief, do exist.

I love your blog header - you seem to have a good sense of visual balance. Have you ever considered going into graphic design?
Oh, I wish! My header is courtesy of a friend of mine. I actually sketched it out and then he made it for me. I think I will leave the graphic design to talented people like yourself.

What's one piece of advice you would tell your 18-year-old self, if you could?
Chill out, everything will work itself out. Oh- AND WORK HARDER! I completely bombed my last year of high school for no reason at all other than I loved skipping class, I developed a habit that follows me even today.

A ridiculous amount of bloggers also do crafty stuff. Are you one of these? Do you have an Etsy shop you'd like to promote?
I pretend to do crafty things. But let's be honest, I'm hazardous with a hot glue gun and deadly with anything sharp. I don't know how some of these women do it. Needless to say, I do not have an Etsy shop, but if I ever do, you will be the first to know! Just don't hold your breath.

Tell my readers one random thing about yourself.
I played rugby in high school, my one regret is not keeping up with it and playing through college. I guess that's another thing I would tell my 18 year old self!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Created a TV Wall

We had a pretty interesting assignment today in Photoshop. We created a TV wall, like you would see on a show like Entertainment Tonight, and populated it with both a background image and a foreground image.

Here's the one that I did. I created all the black boxes, which are supposed to be TV screens. Clearly the movie Inception has been on my brain lately, because I had to add that for the background image! (I saw it again last weekend and I'm still pondering all it's ins and outs.) The lady in the foreground is apparently a new correspondent on Entertainment Tonight, so she made logical sense to put in the picture to create a sense of scale. (I forget what her name is, but you can Google it if you really want to know.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Great February Giveaway

Who wants to win some stuff?? :D

A few of my sponsors have so graciously donated ad space! "What would I do with that?" you might be asking yourself. Do you have a blog or Etsy shop? Advertising on blogs is a great way to get some new eyes looking at your work! And you'll get an entire month of ad space on all three blogs!

To sweeten the deal, I'm also giving away a $10 off coupon to my Etsy shop: Desert Rose Knits. Etsy doesn't actually allow me to make "dollars off" coupons via their automated system, so let me know what you want to spend it on and I'll make up a custom listing for you with the discounted price applied! (Coupon may only be used by you and may not be refunded for money.)


So how do you enter?

1. Subscribe to this blog: Living the Creative Life.
2. Subscribe to Aunie Sauce.
4. Subscribe to Boyish Chic.
5. Follow me on Twitter.
6. ... or Aunie.
7. ... or Melanie.
8. ... or Jillian.
9. Tweet about this giveaway.
10. Blog about this giveaway.
11. Post about this giveaway on Facebook.

That's eleven ways you can enter!! Be sure you post a separate comment below for each of the eleven entries. So spread the word and keep your fingers crossed! You just may be the lucky winner!

Contest will close end of day, Monday, February 27th.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Color Combinations

I've been working on a painting project for my Color class this weekend (well, the project is being done this weekend, not the class). Red, Red-Orange, Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Blue-Violet, Violet, and then a full value scale of Blue (light blue to dark blue).

Last term I did a similar thing with a gray value scale, but I'm realizing I never blogged about that!

Anyway, I'm supposed to have this new project done by Wednesday, but so far I've only done 2 1/2 colors. The "half" is violet, but because I did it but it didn't really turn out right so I'm going to have to re-do it. It doesn't look too horrible in the photo, but in real life it looks brown!

OH!! I forgot to mention, all of this has to be done by using only red, yellow, and blue paint. For the value scale, I can also add black and white. Very cool, but it's going to take a lot of time to get all the shades right!

Here's what I've done so far. I started with red and then did two of the color combinations that use red in them -- orange and violet.

When was the last time you mixed paint colors? Which color did you find most difficult to mix?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Have you ever knit an i-cord?

Today I've been finishing up some cute baby hats for my Etsy shop!! Aren't they just the cutest? ;-D

I used a super soft yarn called Cuddly that I found at JoAnn's. They have quite a few cute baby colors, but I just got a couple to start with.

Surprisingly, these knit up rather quickly. The slowest part was doing the i-cord for the straps. Have you ever knit an i-cord? It's sort of easy, but just takes a long time. This video explained it pretty well for me.

Why I'm glad I'm not a medical student.

I was watching Grey's Anatomy last night and it struck me how glad I am that I'm not a medical student / intern. Not that that was ever an option, but can you imagine me doing that? I'm much more suited to the artistic life of a designer. Lol.

We work hard too, but it's a different kind of hard. We're not in 12-hour surgeries or up to our elbows in someone's innards. Instead we decide from 20 different shades of yellow and work painstakingly to draw the perfect lines with the smallest pen tip you've ever seen. Definitely more my speed! ;)


What about you? Are you suited for where you are in life? Do you ever catch a glimpse of someone else's life and feel glad you didn't choose that path?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chasing Around a Bunch of Squirmy Kittens

Seeing as how it's nearly time to start drumming up sponsors for next month again, I've been doing some thinking about that. Maybe I'm too busy to worry about sponsors. I love the idea of mutually supporting each other's blogs, but the actual practice of it can be exhausting. Every blogger you sponsor wants you to send them a recent photo and a laundry list of hopes and dreams written poetically about. Then there's the hassle of getting everyone's buttons and photos and info to put up on MY blog. Sometimes it can feel like you're chasing around a bunch of squirmy kittens.

I was asking myself, how can I streamline this process so it's not as painful? Is sponsoring even necessary? I love having other blog's buttons in my sidebar - it's a great way to get the word out there about other great blogs. I am constantly clicking through on buttons on other people's sites to discover new blogs to browse. So I really don't want to do away with that.

Here's what I'm thinking. I'll pick and choose which blogs I want to feature each month. If you want me to feature you a little more exclusively, we can talk about that. Provided that you are a creative, inspiring blog or Etsy shop, I'm more than willing to let you purchase a spot on my sidebar for a month or two or three. Other than that, I think I'm done with blog button swaps. They really are taking up way too much of my time, especially considering that they are free.

With that being said, if you want to grab a button, click here. If you want me to re-design one in a different size, I'm more than willing to accommodate you. Maybe when I'm done with school I'll have more patience for this process, but for now I really don't have time to mutually support anyone's blogs. Sorry.

If you want to make sure you're featured on my sideline, click here. Sponsoring me is pretty easy (at least for now). You'll get your ad in a prominent spot on my blog for the month and I'll make an effort to blog at least once about your shop &/or blog at least once during the month. If you want any further interaction, you're free to submit a guest post or a photo or a laundry list of hopes and dreams written poetically about, but I will no longer be asking for them. I'm busy and I'm sure you are too, so that's just how it's going to be for awhile.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FEB Photo A Day {Week Two}

We're on to week 2 of the February Photo a Day challenge (read more about it on the blog: Fat Mum Slim). This has been a pretty fun challenge so far! I'm curious, have any of you been participating in this?

{Week 1} {Week 2} {Week 3} {Week 4}

{Day 6} Dinner

{Day 7} Buttons

{Day 8} Sun
(or lack thereof -- it actually hasn't stopped raining here for about a week!)

{Day 9} Front Door

{Day 10} Self-Portrait

{Day 11} Makes You Happy

{Day 12} Inside Your Closet

Interview with a Sponsor: Lily

{Blog} * {Twitter} * {Facebook}

How did you come up with your blog title?
Well at first it was just my Twitter username, then I said "Heeeey! This would be a great name for my blog."

You mention in one of your recent blogposts that you're home-schooled. Was that your choice or just how it is in your family? What's your favorite / least favorite thing about it?
I begged my mom to be homeschooled after my first year of First Grade. My favorite thing is that I have time to do a bunch of things like blogging, singing, and traveling. My least favorite thing is that people tend to stereotype homeschoolers... other than that I LOVE it!

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Where will you live? What will you be doing career-wise?
I see a LOT of different places... well in ten years I'll be 25 so I see myself getting married. Maybe! Haha. I'll live in Miami- South Beach, honey! I will be singing and writing. :)

I see you love sparkles! Do you wear them or just decorate with them?
I just like looking at them... I actually have no clothing with sparkles... haha.

What is one thing you've always wanted to do but haven't done yet?
Cross the street. Hahaha no no just kidding!!! :D
Um, I want to go to the downtown mall and just sing my heart out. Haven't done that yet....

What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I get to express myself! I get to post about my style and try to be funny, and there are people out there who ACTUALLY like my blogging! So that makes me happy and that in turn is my favorite thing about blogging.
The other thing I like is that it has made me be more faithful. You know you have to post almost everyday!!!

Your blog is very new but you seem to know what you're doing. Have you had other blogs before or are you just naturally talented at it? ;P
My blogging is a gift from God. Well my writing is anyways. I have never had a blog before this one. I tried but it never worked out. Then I decided to make this one and stick to it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You are Beautiful

As you may or may not know, I'm 32-years-old and single. Some days that doesn't bother me, and other days it really does. Obviously today is Valentine's Day, which is always one of the more difficult days as a single person. While everyone else has someone to snuggle with and whisper sweet nothings to, I'm stuck on the sidelines.

I ran across this poster on Nicelle's blog the other day and just had to smile. On days like today when I'm tempted to worry about my life and why it doesn't look like everyone else's life, it's helpful to remember that God loves me just the way I am. In fact, He's the one guiding me to take the paths in life that I'm taking! He knows where my Mr. is and when I'll meet him. It's all under His control even when it doesn't feel like it. And that's a very reassuring truth. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

About Blogging

(found this awesome survey over on Wonder Forest)

1. I started my blog because: 
I think better with writing than with speaking. For years I kept a written diary. Now with the advent of blogging, this has quickly become my brain's default way of processing life.  

2. One thing I love seeing on other blogs are:
When bloggers participate in a fun blog meme or survey (like this one!) that shows off their personality.

3. Something I love about blogging:
Having a little place of my own on the internet. It's fun to think of fun posts and to have a place to share ideas and pictures that I'm fascinated with. I also love meeting other women who think like me &/or are more creative than me and can inspire me to be a greater version of myself!

4. A favorite blog post of mine:
My latest "About Me" post is pretty fun. I like doing those every now and then to introduce myself to new readers.

5. Something my friends in real life know about me that I've never before mentioned on my blog: 
I'm actually really, really quiet. I know I "talk" a lot online, but in real life I tend to be an observer and daydreamer.

6. My new favorite blogs to read are:
Always a fan of: Una Bella Vita - it is literally the only blog I haven't instantly deleted due to auto-playing music. Her beautiful and inspirational style makes up for any minor annoyance that auto-playing brings.

7. Some things I tend to avoid doing on my blog are:
I really try to avoid being negative on my blog. Sometimes I can't help it, but I find that when I allow myself to give in to my negative mood it only ends up fostering it further instead of getting it out of my system.

What about you? If you do this survey, I'd love to hear about it! :)

An Amazing Filmmaker

I love this idea, but not sure I'd have the courage to do it myself! Alycia is an amazing filmmaker (or if she isn't IRL, she should be). This day in the life video was really captivating, despite there being absolutely no dialogue. If that isn't a sign of a good filmmaker, I don't know what is!  ;)

A day in the life from Alycia on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to De-Clutter Your Blog Reader

I ran across an interesting idea that I'm going to try. Have you ever noticed the stars next to each post in Google Reader?

Yeah me neither. ;)

I read a tip recently that suggested that you should star any post that you find engaging / interesting. If your eyes glaze over and you skim through a post as quickly as possible, don't star that one.

Then after a week or two, go into "Trends" and compare starred items to frequently updated items. The theory is that if the most updated blogs are not the ones that you star the most, you should unsubscribe to them. Basically those are the blogs that are wasting your time and cluttering your in-box with things you didn't really want to read anyway.

I just started starring things today, so we'll see if that helps me narrow down which blogs are actually exciting my creativity and which blogs are merely cluttering the landscape. I've already been kind of trying to keep a mental tally of which blogs I tend to skim and which I actually enjoy and comment on, but this method makes it a lot more concrete!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Update on my Technology Detox

I bet you've been wondering... how is Jennifer doing on her technology detox?

Well... I'm glad you asked!

Some areas of detox are going well, while other aspects have crept back into my life. I haven't been strict on myself, but instead remind myself regularly to slow down, observe my restfulness level, and not try to constantly keep my mind busy with technology. Some technology is fine, but constant technology has a way of not letting your brain ever really rest.

I'm doing well with this resolution. I've maintained my one DVD at a time rule, and am still not watching any streaming. It's been interesting to discover that the lack of thousands of movies at my beck and call makes that one movie on the weekend so much more interesting to watch!

I went ahead and deleted everything two weeks and older on my DVR. I still had Christmas movies on there! If I haven't watched them by the middle of February, I probably never will. It's weird how having a bunch of old stuff on your TiVo ends up feeling less like a lot of fun options and more like a "to-do" list. Eliminating that non-essential list took a lot of weight off.

I did re-instate my Twitter account, but resolved to not check it as obsessively as I used to. I like that it's a quick way to converse with readers of my blog, and a very effective way to advertise my Etsy shop.

Google Reader:
I still subscribe to way too many blogs, but I've told myself I need to not put this on my "to-do" list at all. If I get to it, great, but I shouldn't feel like it's something I "need" to do. I love blogs because they're inspiring and a great way to get to know other people like me. But... I also can't spend hours every day reading them. Not that I was before, but I felt like I should be. So now I'm letting myself be okay with not keeping up with everything. Also, if posts get older than 2 weeks old before I read them, I just "mark as read" and move on. I'm never going to be able to keep up with everything and that needs to be okay.

I am still without Facebook and honestly it feels great. Only a couple people have even missed me on there, and they reached out via email or Twitter, so I haven't really lost anything. What I have lost is the noise of hearing about what my 150 closest acquaintances are up to, and that is something I definitely don't miss!


  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, February 10, 2012

Incredibly Busy

Um wow... I've been incredibly busy lately. Midterms are next week and a gazillion projects are due. Three tests as well. Fortunately, if I survive, the week after that only has 3 school days in it and looks like it will be rather light on homework!

Here's one of the things I'm working on today. Trying to correct an old family photo (all those white splotches and dirty grain are not supposed to be there). Definitely harder than it looks...

Interview with a Sponsor: Tam

{Blog} * {Shop} * {Twitter} * {Facebook}

How did you come up with your blog title, "Twelve Discovery Drive"?
I really started thinking about what I wanted to do over the next year. I want to try at least one new thing each month. Twelve new things to Discover who I am and the Drive to complete them. Each word in the title has personal meaning to me.

My tagline is "Creating My Own Happy Ending" - when I think about my "ending," I always see myself in a beach house or lake house overlooking the water, sitting at my desk writing something. That little thought just always puts a smile on my face :)

What did you always want to be when you grew up? Are you doing that? 
I'm not really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was so confused about it that I joined the military right out of high school. I went into the US Marines when I was 18 and stayed in for seven years. Once I got out, I went back to school and got my Bachelor's degree and eventually, my MBA.

What does your "real life" outside of the internet look like? Job? Hobbies? Kids? 
In my "real life," I'm a business analyst in the defense industry. It's definitely not the most glamorous job, but the benefits are amazing! I've been able to enjoy a pretty healthy work/life balance which is great when you have kids. I'm married to a wonderful man named Greg and I have two beautiful daughters ages 21 and 18 and a step son who is 16. Greg and I have been married for almost 7 years.

I noticed that you just started blogging this month! What made you decide to take the plunge? 
I felt that I needed a creative outlet. Besides my regular full-time job, I have had an on-line retail business since 2005 selling team colored camouflage to NFL and college football tailgaters. I was really like a middleman in this business. My only creative outlet was marketing. I am currently in the process of trying to sell that business. Blogging is my new creative outlet. I also recently became an empty-nester and wanted to find something for me. I've spent the last 21 years raising daughters and forgot what it is like to have my own hobby. I also want to continually inspire my girls by showing them that they can be or do anything they set their minds to.

You have a "12 in 12" section on your blog. What a fun idea! Are these things you've been wanting to do for awhile or new dreams? Have you worked on similar goal lists in other years? 
Yes, I have 12 goals in 2012. I tried to come up with twelve things I've always wanted to try. One of the first things on my list was to take a jewelry making class. I went out to Google and searched for classes in my area. I found a really amazing place in Columbus, Ohio called the Columbus Cultural Arts Center that offers classes from jewelry making to pottery to screen printing design. I am so excited about all the classes I will be taking there over the next few years. I hope it gives me lots of stuff to blog about!

A lot of bloggers I know (myself included!) are also on Etsy or somehow selling their crafty wares. Are you doing anything like this? 
I just recently opened up an Etsy shop where I have listings for hand-poured soy candles poured into recycled crocks and domino tile pendant necklaces made from old domino tiles. I'm still learning my way around Etsy and trying to figure out how to be "seen" in the large sea of sellers.

What have you learned so far in your time as a blogger? You've been here almost a month! 
I used to only read information on sites like Yahoo, CNN, MSN, etc. The problem with this is that you mainly get stories about celebrities and sports personalities. I wanted to read stories about real people – and this is what you get on a blog. You get to read about real people, people just like you who are just trying to figure it all out and maybe get a little (or a lot) of support along the way.

It all makes sense now. I always tear up when reading a heart wrenching story about someone in the newspaper. I love movies that are based on true stories and I especially love sports related movies that are based on true stories. A few of my favorites are Rudy, the Blind Side, Remember the Titans, We are Marshall, and the Rookie. I cried in every one of these movies – why, because I love when a hero emerges. Hero’s inspire us to be the best we can be, and we all need heroes in our lives. These movies also teach you how to overcome, even when the odds are stacked against you. I’m amazed at the enormous amount of creative women out there who are doing it all – working full time, raising children, writing, blogging, and photographing inspirational DIY projects. I’m so glad I stumbled across a few really creative blogs that inspired me to start my own!
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