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Monday, 29 October 2012

I will be back and poppies

We have had a family sadness over the weekend and so I will be diverting my energies elsewhere. I will be back though once things have settled down.

Disappointingly, this post was going to be about two projects that are finally finished and have been photographed ready to put on Etsy and Folksy. But under the circumstances I think it would be wisest to put these plans on hold for a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Changes to the blog appearance

Well I have been doing a bit of blog reading and I came across one blog post by Espiritpatch which alarmed me. It is warning about the dangers of blog scraping and I don't know if this is perhaps happening to me as I have had a couple of odd websites listed in the Traffic Source section of my blog stats.

I copy Espiritpatch's post here as she explains it so well and I want to pass on the possible dangers:

Have you heard of Blog Scraping? No? Read on then... it is not nice

I hadn't heard of it either until Vicki posted about it yesterday. Basically, somebody copies one or more of your entire blog post and post them on their own fake blog. So what's the fuss you might think? On these fake blogs, where your own post is replicated, they are adverts on the side bars. It seems that most of these ads are for porn sites or else. So not only money is made out of your work (your post generates some visits and visitors and visitors might click on the ads) but you are also associated with sites you might not want to be related to.I don't think I have personally been a victim of blog scraping, my blog is probably not popular enough but then who knows? I don't want to be associated with sick and horrible people promoting inappropriate content. My blog is where I share what I enjoy doing in my precious free time, what I have enjoyed creating and taking part in and I want it to stay this way only. My blog has also made me "meet" at least virtually some wonderful people and I don't want those people to be put off me for the wrong reasons.I would encourage you to go and read Karen's post, she has been a victim of it and she is also telling you how to protect yourself by truncating your blog post. If the posts are truncated, the reader needs to click on read more to have the full blog post. But it also makes it impossible for an automated program to copy the entire blog post. So more work for the readers I guess but most probably the only way at this stage to fight back and try to keep our blogs and reputations safe. I think it is worth it. Don't you agree? I hope you will still read me as I am going to put Karen's advice into practice now.Better safe than sorry as they say. Keep smiling, keep crafting and hopefully, keep popping in! All together we might win!Celine

To this end, I will therefore start truncating my posts and I do hope this is not going to be a problem following my blog. Please just press 'read more' to continue reading the post. Who would have thought there are such horrible things happening. Thank you Celine for posting about this.

Another change is that I have finally added the banner to my blog to match my Etsy and Folksy shop. I will at some point redo my banner but this is a good solution for the moment until I get more time.

And finally, I am working on quite a few projects at the moment, all work in progress but I'm hoping that they are all going to be finished in one final flurry over the next week and I can show you what I've been up to!

 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Door stops!

Our best man and his wife invited us to Sunday lunch yesterday to visit their new house. So I thought why buy something from a local gift shop when I can make something that looks similar? Recently I bought a door stop as a present for another friend and as much as I really liked it, I thought that I could make something along the same lines but my own design.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I have a craft room!

This is a very exciting development. So far, I have been lugging my sewing machine around the house according to which room is the warmest and having to pack things away every time so that Jessica doesn't get her hands on things. I think this has also been detrimental to the amount of crafting I have been doing as it was such a chore to get everything out.

However, two things have happened.......

  1. I have purloined a table from my parents' home which has enough room for my cutting mat and sewing machine
  2. And I have bought a chest of drawers for £40 which will need a bit of TLC, however already the chips and knocks are starting to grow on me as a weathered piece of furniture. This is going to house my files and fabric away from prying little hands yet keep everything accessible.
And lo and behold, I have a craft room - which also happens to be J's playroom. This is intentional as she wasn't actually using her playroom even though toys were in there as the room wasn't used and so she didn't really know about it.

This is the playroom before...

 
And this is the playroom/craft room after.....
Yesterday afternoon, after nap time, we all settled in there, me, J and the dog, with the heater on and had a really cosy couple of hours with me doing crafting and J playing happily with her toys. What a revelation, a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Hopefully many more times.

 

Monday, 15 October 2012

A well deserved break

We are back from our holidays. It was truly deserved as it was the first break away we have had since last October and we have some family illness at the moment so good to get away from everything. We went to Applecross in the remote Scottish Highlands. Glorious first part of the holiday followed by a very wet Thursday and Friday but we really didn't mind as we had all our food and drink and logs in the cottage that we needed. We just holed up and had some lovely family time and enjoyed the log burner.

It is also very refreshing to break your home routine and I realised that I need to simplify my life. I had no mobile phone reception for a whole week which was absolutely bliss. I was receiving far too many emails which were disrupting my day and they did not require my attention so the first thing I did on my return was to filter out a lot of junk emails that were just not important and did not require my attention. Half a day into my working week and I have hardly checked my mobile as the red flashing light is not going off any more.

Also, I jumped on the Internet so many times a day to do various bits and pieces, it was breaking up my day too and I wasn't doing anything properly. So I'm going to read blogs in the morning before I get out of bed and that's the only time of day I do that.

Most importantly, I was so busy researching blogs and looking up how to do different crafts etc that I wasn't actually spending any proper time crafting really!

So my priorities are to keep the house clean, feed my family and do some crafts. Internet is going to take a low priority and it feels really quite good!