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Showing posts from January, 2013

Sim City 5 Beta

Besides doing a ton of homework this weekend, I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos posted of the Sim City 5 closed beta test. A certain amount of lucky people got to test out this new game that comes out in March (unfortunately I was not one of them), so there were a LOT of gameplay videos up on YouTube in the past couple days.

It was extremely entertaining and mesmerizing to watch people build the cities, even though not all the buildings and options were available yet in this beta version. If you remember the older versions, the concept is basically the same, but with a lot of the complicated parts (like managing the budget or laying water pipes) simplified so you can focus on overarching city situations like angry citizens and natural disasters.

A few things I am going to love about this gameZoning for residential/commercial/industrial is super easy. You literally just paint along any road (whether the road is curved, straight, whatever) and the buildings just build up on …

Tips for Pricing Your Creative Work

This topic of pricing is always on my mind. Just as soon as I feel like I've figured it out, some other doubt creeps in and convinces me that I'm doing it wrong. Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way. ;)

I ran across this article the other day (aimed at graphic designers, but would really work for any creative entrepreneur) that gave some amazing advice in this area! Here's a quick summary, but it'd definitely be worth it read the entire article yourself when you've got a spare 10 minutes.

What should I charge? This is the one area that I have the most anxiety about. I'm constantly worried that I'll anger current designers (and therefore come across as amateur) by underbidding on jobs, and also worried that I'll scare off potential clients by overbidding. It makes it even more difficult by the fact that most designers don't share their prices on their websites. (What's up with that anyway?).

The advice in this article is bas…

Coming up with a business name?

I've been pondering what to call my design business this week. I have been feeling the urge to push forward into something more official, which would mean registering a business with the proper authorities... which also means having an actual name for my business.

It would make sense to stick with something referring to Desert Rose, since that's what I've been using on my Etsy shops for years, but that particular phrase is actually a pretty common business name. I think I'd rather use something else a little more unique and catchy.

What do you think? What sort of process did you go through to figure out your business name (if you have one)? Did you do any market research before you settled on something?

Sprucing up my look!

It's been extremely gray here in Oregon this week... more than usual even. I kid you not, we haven't seen blue sky (or any sky, for that matter) in probably two weeks. It's been this weird, hazy, oppressive, dull gray, without even a cloud distinction to break up the monotony. Usually at least we have partially clear skies with clouds and rain thrown in for good measure. This week... nothing but flat gray nothingness that consumes all other colors previously viewable. It's like we're living in the black and white version of Kansas from the Wizard of Oz.

So... I decided to compensate by brightening up my blog a little! I got a sweet background from Making' Cute Blogs and then simplified my layout a bit also. What do you think?

Sims 3: Seasons

I've been playing around with the newest expansion pack for The Sims 3... Seasons! So far my favorite season is winter - your Sim can add Christmas lights to their house, make snow angels and snowmen, build igloos, and even ice skate on the rivers and ponds!

This expansion adds all the seasons and has a town festival for each one, which is really cute. I didn't get any pics of that, but here are some cute ones of winter!

Oregon Beauty

I took a short walk today and the weather was beautiful! We got a touch of frost last night, but no snow yet. The sun peaked out this afternoon and warmed everything up just enough to make it a pleasant walking temperature!

Snafu's Mainly Resolved

Well my meeting yesterday with the department dean went well (see Sunday's post, if you have no idea what I'm talking about). At first there didn't seem to be any wiggle room. The dean was sympathetic to my plight, but the financial aid people weren't budging. Then the dean's secretary remembered a department grant that they still had to give out! The grant basically covers tuition and nothing else, but that's more than I had before!

From there it pretty much steamrolled. They just needed the department head's approval to give me the grant, and since he's also my advisor and the one who was so adamant that I talk to the dean to find a way to stay... well obviously he was more than willing to okay it. I'm just waiting on the paperwork to go through now, but it looks like all will be well. Now I just need to cover fees and supplies on my own, which is still going to cost me a bit, but it'll be less painful than trying to come up tuition by Friday…

Snafu's Abundant

Long story short... I found out this past week that my financial aid had been cancelled for this coming term (the term that starts tomorrow). I had to take an extension on one of my classes from last term, which puts it in the computer as me not having completed all my classes, which kicks me out of eligibility for financial aid, which means I can't attend classes at all Winter Term. Aghhh!!

I emailed my advisor about it, mainly just telling him the situation and asking if he could let me into the building to get my stuff out of my locker. His response was that I should meet with the Dean and that she may have an idea or two to get me back in classes sooner. Which I totally wasn't expecting! I was sure all hope was gone for resolving this quickly, but he makes me think there might be a way for me to take classes this term after all.

So now I'm in panic-mode, trying to gather up all my stuff that I'll need tomorrow. I was already sort of resolved to just taking the term…

INFP Series - Parts 3 through 7

Surprise... surprise... I'm already getting bored with this series. Must be an INFP thing. Lol. I tend to get really excited about an idea and then peter out of it quickly. Let's see if I can move through several points today...

INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place. This sounds like parts 1 and 2 combined... so... yes, I agree this is like me.

Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserv…

A List of Firsts

I saw this over at The Curious Pug and since I love taking surveys... here you go!

First thing you do when you wake up: Hit snooze.

First thing you reach for when you open the refrigerator: Usually soy milk for my coffee/cereal.

First thing you do when you get to the gym: Ha! I can't remember the last time I went to a gym.

First thing you do when you get home from work: If it's okay to substitute "school" for "work" (because trust me, I work much harder at school than I have at any job I've ever had), the first thing I usually do is come home and collapse on the couch.

First car: A purple, used Dodge Neon that cost me more in repairs than it did to actually buy it in the first place. It was a cute car, but I never should've bought it.

First accident: In high school, the week after I'd gotten my license, I wrecked my parent's minivan while driving myself and my sisters home from school. Thank fully no one was hurt (can't say the same for…

Reader Question: Why do I need 100 items in my Etsy shop?

One of my readers asked a really good question about my Etsy tips list the other day and I thought I'd share my answer to her, so everyone could benefit. Keep in mind that this is advice that I would consider generally true for most shops, but of course there are always exceptions to every rule.

Question:Why is tip #1 helpful? Sometimes too many choices is just overwhelming. Maybe I'm strange but I generally don't look through more than two pages of any etsy shop. I'm really curious about why having 100+ items will make your shop more successful.
Answer:It's because it's next to impossible to get any Etsy search traffic unless you have a higher inventory. For most categories, 100 seems to be the magic number for some reason. (Jewelry actually seems to need more items in your shop for you to start being found consistently, since there is so much more competition in that area).

I really don't know why this phenomenon works, but it does seem to have some trut…

Just a little coffee for you!

(Saw this on Facebook and thought I'd share!)