Thursday, December 7, 2017

Vlogmas day 4

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Blogmas day 5: Behind already, Yikes!



Welcome to Blogmas day 5, and no formal intros, except the one with me making the announcement that I am doing one.   How silly of me?
Let’s see….
First off, there is the preparation of getting ready for Blogmas and Vlogmas (Heh, did I mentioned I was doing that too?)  I did not realize that there is so much prep work going into these things.  There is the mental prep and the emotional prep.  You must be ready to think on your feet at all times.  Heh, no problem.  OK, did I also mention that I have my normal Christmas, plus a cruise to prepare for?  Yep, that’s me in a nutshell, always ready to think at the last minute on how I am doing something.  You would think that in the nine years of blogging I would be prepared mentally, and really I am, but it is the organizational part that worries me.  Don’t worry, I will do fine.  I am getting used to this all over again.  I would not be doing this if I thought I could not handle it. So that is the end of that subject.  On to the next thing smoking.
Shopping for decorations
This is a tip for those of you who, say, misplace your decorations from one year to the next, or have very little to would with:  Dollar Tree and 50% off sales.  
50% off sales have been going on (at least in the United States) for a couple of weeks, and you have to act fast.   I was late this year because I was a late bloomer (meaning I am now discovering this myself).  I went to Hobby Lobby Saturday looking for the sales.  It also helps that I was out of money as well. The shelves were almost empty when I got there.  I am looking for a color scheme of red and silver, with maybe a touch of blue here and there.  I am abandoning my traditional colors of burgundy and gold, with a touch of mauve or rose pink, whichever color name you choose.  It is only for this year (maybe). My plan is to look at Michaels this week. 
Unless you plan on keeping your decorations year after year, including the same color scheme. Dollar Tree is your friend.  In fact, this store is your BFF.  I have found more items that are as good, if not, a little better than name brands.   Now, a word of caution:  There are some items, like electronics, I do leave to the bigger brands like Target and Walmart, but since I am a crafter, I will upcycle the item.  That is another tip:  Upcycle when you can. I plan on posting this as one of my Vlogmas Videos, hopefully, this week. 
When you upcycle a less than perfect product, there are some tools and supplies you will need:
·         Adhesive
o   Wet Glue
o   Tape runner
o   Painter’s tape (blue- I use 3M)
o   Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
o   Double-sided tape (I use Scor-Tape, although there is a cheaper tape at Tuesday Mornings
o   Scotch Tape
·         Stapling gun (one for light projects and one for heavier projects like wood)
o   Staples
·         Paint
o   Gesso
o   White paint
o   Black paint
o   Mediums
§  Gel-to dilute the paint, available in Gloss, Semi-Gloss, and Matte.  You can also use Gel mediums to adhere things to the paper or other materials
§  Texture-to modify the texture of the paint.  Use as Modeling paste, which can be sanded or painted on. Use also with pastels,
§  Flow increase- it allows the paints to flow better on the canvas or wood
§  Slow drying- it allows you to blend colors.  The reason is acrylic paint dries fast, allowing you more time to blend your colors.
·         Paper-I will not go into the different types, but this is something you will need on hand.
·         Fabric-same advice.
·         Sewing machine.  Some people like to upcycle clothing
·         Scissors
·         Markers and pens
These are the basics.  I will have more in a future post or Vlog.
More Decorations…..
I mentioned that I am on a last-minute hunt for decorations.  I went with my folks to look at the different neighborhoods in the city at lights.  We have done it each year when I was a child, and for some reason, I want to start that tradition with my niece and nephews.  Tonight, was not a good night to look, everyone does not have their lights up.  We will try again later.
My plan is to keep the Blogmas blog post short and sweet.  I also will not put a takeaway element at the end of Blogmas posts unless, I decide to combine the two.
Have a good evening.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sitting at a Sushi Restaurant…. Where to work

Photo by P, Lynne Designs


It is Blogmas, Day 3, and I am currently sitting in a sushi restaurant working, enjoying a bowl of Miso soup, and the waiter brought in my “any 3 rolls” combo.  Looks delicious. I ordered the spicy scallop crunch roll, a squid tempura roll, and an eel avocado roll.  For sushi haters, it is quite adventurous, and very delicious.  Ok, I have said delicious too many times already. Let me move on.
While I was waiting, I decided that I wanted to write a blog piece (this one), and before I could finish one sentence, the waiter came out with the meal.  I could have finished this post, but the food was so delicious (there’s that word again) until I wanted to finish every bit of that sushi and soup.
The point to this post is not to boast about my meal (as good as it was), but to mention about an important step in the life of a writer, you do not have to work at home.  This is what separates my handmade business from my writing business, and better still separates my writing business from my direct selling business.  Let me explain
In my handmade business, P. Lynne Designs-Handmade, I need my tools with me.  These tools are big, bulky, and require many trips from the car and back.  It is perfect for craft shows when I go. I can sit there, do my work, and attend to customers at the same time.  I cannot take the tools to a coffee shop or a library.  Too noisy and I would get kicked out.  Same thing with my direct selling company, Longaberger, where I am an independent home consultant, except the noise level is a little quieter, but again, it does not make a good idea situation.
With P. Lynne Designs-writing, all I need is a pen, a notebook, and/or my tablet (I have not owned a laptop in years), go upstairs, away from the cat, who likes my desktop keyboard, cuddle up in my bed, and compose. I can go to a restaurant like Fugu Sushi, get a table in the corner during lunch, and pen my thoughts.  I have even gone to the bathroom to write.  Try putting a 12-pound electronic die cutter next to you in the bathtub, I would not be sitting here typing.  But then again, I have not attempted that feat with the Ipad either.
I have a Microsoft subscription that accommodates all 3 of my devices (Phone, Ipad, and desktop), so When I am saving my posts, I am saving it to my OneDrive cloud, and then I can retrieve the post from my desktop.  Once that is done and edited, then I can upload it to my blog.

So, how do you write?

I am not talking about your writing style.  I want to know where do you like to write?  Is it on the shores of Lake George on a moon-lit night (stole that line from an episode from Star Trek Voyager, when Captain Katherine Janeway tells her commanding officer, Chakotay where she would like to take her leisure vacation after she cheated death)? How about in the tub?  In bed?  Sitting down while sipping coffee on a rainy day (where I am right now in front of the desktop screen with a kitten behind me-I left the restaurant) or a sushi restaurant?  No one will call the writing police on you and no one will know unless you tell them.  The important thing is:

A.   You are comfortable.  My most comfortable spot is in my bed, feet stretched out day or night.  I know sometimes that is not feasible nor does it make the most ideal situation, but it is my space, and I have my pillow and blanket around me (no food or drink, I am not starting that habit). When I am downstairs on the main floor (hence, the reason for the no food or drink rule for me), I am at my desktop, coffee in hand, lunch or dinner, and these days, a kitten to keep me warm (not my cat, Gizmo is my nephew’s girlfriend’s cat, but she has claimed me).  I like to sit forward, and she plops herself between my back and the back of the chair.  I also sit on a pillow for comfort, and she thinks the same way.  Why can’t Gizmo sleep on the floor like my nephew’s dog, Strype, A mini Huskey mix?
Again, it does not matter where you are as long as you are comfortable
B.    Have plenty to work with.    Sometimes, if you are like me, you have this great topic that you think will blow to roof off the Interwebs, and you think that there is plenty of material to support it.  You start researching it, and nothing comes up.  It is the same old stuff that a friend of yours wrote about months ago, and nothing new has been written about your “mind-blowing” topic.  Although I have covered research in a prior post, as well as, adding little sprinkles about it here and there, it is important that you do have plenty of support to cover it, or you are maybe writing something that no one has not written about in the last 6 months. 
C.    Connection.  I am not only talking about connecting with your readers. I am talking about what is your Wifi connection in the establishment or environment you are in.  Not all eating places, hotels, cruise ships, or even places of worship have the wifi capabilities of a mega wifi, and some even charge for that connection.  For instance. Next month is my cruise.  I already know that I will not be able to call family when not docked at a port of call, but that also means that my data rates will become very high too.  My phone and my tablet need to be in “Airplane” mode at all times, except when we embark and disembark at the U.S. port.  While at sea, I could get International charges, which is a US citizen and living in the states, is something that my family plan may not cover.  So, that means, no writing or vlogging, then uploading.  I can, but it must be saved to the tablet or phone.  Once I get back, I have one night at a hotel before flying home, then I can remotely upload to my computer at home, safely under US authority.  So, your connection may not be that extreme, and mine usually isn’t, but you may not want to pay $5 an hour to read an ebook on your tablet or phone, or even write a post, at a hotel, but what you can do is download it at home, and read it offline when you get there.  You can also check to see if there is a free connection where you are at.  Most places have that in place as well, but, you may be limited to what you use it for.
D.   Finally, make sure you are not in violation of the free stuff.  Yes, it is wonderful that technology is this vast thing, where you can hook up with a phone, tablet, or laptop, and cruise the internet (the legal name to what I call, the “interwebs”).  While in places like The United States and other countries in the western world have that capability, not everyone has it, and even here in the states, there are limitations to free access.  There is no free access to cruise ships to certain websites and social media unless you pay for a package. Even when free, there are certain restrictions, like no porn sites and no YouTube videos.  If you are caught, you may be banned for life.  Read all rules to your temporary package of internet access (even if you plan to pay for it).  Once you sign on the dotted line (or click “accept”, you are bonded until you leave the area.
I will have a trip report on what I could do with my family plan and Carnival Cruise line, as well as Delta Airlines.  Anything I do would be under my normal conditions and nothing out of the ordinary.   In the meantime, your takeaway is to be flexible with your writing conditions, even when away.  The best thing about having portable devices is they are portable.  Be careful with everything, including where you lay your device.   That is the last tip.  People are watching, and all they need is for you to misstep and you have a missing device, especially in a foreign country.  Be mindful of your surroundings.  I look up every 10 to 20 minutes, sometimes sooner than that, and sometimes I do not engage in my device at all.  Whatever you do, be safe, and know that you write anywhere.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Attention All Trolls (Yes, that means Me too)





Attention:  If you say mean comments about someone’s post, comment, video, etc…. you are a troll.  I am not talking about those cute little things from the latest movie by the same name, those cute little dolls people were seen carrying in the 1970’s, or those trolls from Frozen, I am talking about those people who feel uncomfortable enough that they say mean nasty things about something that another person post in pictures, video, and in print on the internet.
Before I address that, note I said in the title, me too.  Yes, guilty as charged.  Why did I confess?  Because in the Bible, there is a bible passage (a group of scriptures) that points out that you cannot point out the actions of your brother without pointing out your own faults. (started to use the Old English word, and MS. Word would not let me), so I am not exactly the “Snow White” of comments.  In the beginning, especially, I have been known to have a tart in my comments about another post or video. 
Now, I am not against our country’s 1st amendment rights of free speech.  In fact, sometimes I think we, as Americans take it too far.   Yes, while we do have the right to say what we want to say, we really do not.  I want to ask you (especially if you constantly the one doing the trolling):
·         When is it right to call another race of people names like Pocahontas (for Native Americans) -heard that was said by our lovely POTUS (President of The United States) about another senator in front of a group of Native American Veterans, or calling each other in the same race N****.  If you do that, not only are you hurting that race, but you also do not have any respect for yourself. 
·         Tell a Youtubber that they are fake because they advertise on their channel.  (Also known as having sponsorship).  Last night, I was reading comments on Cullen and Katie’s channel because I thought that the video, which was a sponsored video for Google Home, was cute.  They rarely do sponsor videos, but I had to be nosey, and peek at what others said about the video.  Most people thought that the video was cute, especially Gaines and Brookes (their children ages 3 and 1), but there were one or two who thought that Cullen and Katie were being sellouts, being fake, and other nasty little comments. Folks, I will address the real life as a Youtubber in another post, but this is their job.  Any job, from being an actor, an ordained minister, construction worker, a blogger, mortician, or a vlogger has it's not so glamorous moment.  If you want to make money in this business (blogging and vlogging), you need sponsorship.  Not only that, Youtube has forced advertising on our channels, mine included.  Next, these sponsors will require product placement in videos, which is what television shows do.  You need lots of viewership to see any type of profit, and right now, I have 125 regular subscribers on my Youtube channel, and 556 pageviews from the month of October without posting a single new post on this blog, My Ambience Life.  I would love to see the numbers that Cullen and Katie get on their channel.  They have consistency and cuteness on their side, and I vlog sporadically, and I took off for 3 months on this blog.  
·         When you basically point out how ugly, stupid, or a being an idiot that the person was for posting in the first place.  You do not like the content, but you decided to point out the person instead.  That is being plain childish in the first place.
Folks, I have one word and one phrase for you…. Delete, and don’t watch (read).  You do not like the content, move on. This should be that simple.  This goes for anything that shows up on Facebook and Twitter feed (I have yet to see that much control on Pinterest, Instagram, and SnapChat), but you are in control of your feeds.  I do it all the time.  If a friend posts something on Facebook or Twitter that I do not like.  I ignore it or delete it.  Facebook even has the option for you to receive fewer posts from that person or to delete that one post.  Sometimes, I delete it because I do not like the language or the content is not my taste.  You must remember that this is what that person is thinking at the time.
I wish that the blogger or vlogger would give some sort of announcement when their video is sponsored.  Some like Cullen and Katie or GabeBabeTV will do that, but a lot will not.  For the ones that do not, I do not watch as much.  I am like you, If I want to watch a commercial, I have my lovely television set to keep me warm, but I must bare through it.  This happened when Google bought both Blogger and YouTube. Unfortunately, the interwebs within itself have become one great, big commercial.  This world has become one, big commercial.   
Anyway, all I am saying is (and I am probably talking to the air at this point), that no one likes nastiness and when you spend a better part of your day trying to given information that may help someone, even if it to entertain a person for 10-15 minutes a day, like I do, the last thing a person needs is someone to comment on a person’s hair, weight, their children, or their decision on what they did or not do new on their channel.  For the most part, I personally ignore the comments that are nasty, but I hate it when it presents itself on other people’s channels, news feeds, and blogs.  It makes me wonder why a person would subscribe to a channel in the first place.  I understand that we as bloggers and vloggers ask for subscribers and “likes”, but it is our job.  Yes, I could be doing a 9-5 job, and I do have other jobs besides this, such as graphic designing for others, but I love the freedom that a supervisor at a company could never give me.  I have done it for over 15 years, and it is tough when you must request to get off and get frowned on when you miss work due to an illness. 
Don’t get me wrong, I loved every single one of my jobs, including the temporary ones.  There were the jobs that I hated, and there were jobs that I loved everything about the job, except a couple of tasks that were part of the job itself.  I will have to tell you about the worst job I ever had and why I hated the job.
Well, I am rambling now. 
So, your takeaway for today is real simple.
Please do not be a troll.  I and other bloggers and vloggers understand your opinions, and we welcome them all, but some comments spell out hatred.  There is a saying that I first heard on the movie, Bambi.  This is the part when Thumper was commenting on how small Bambi’s legs were and if he was going to be able to stand on them at all.  The saying goes; “If you cannot say something nice (Thumper pauses), don’t say it at all.”  It is a good lesson and one of many on how to treat someone, especially on the internet.  Most times and before I say something about an article, post, picture, or video, I try to put myself in that person’s shoes.  By that time, the mean thought is out of my head. I also check comments before I place mine because what I want to say may have already has been said.  No use telling that person the same thing twice.

Well, I have covered trolls twice this year.  I am done.  If no one gets it by now, then remember, it is a matter of respect for one’s art, even in writing.  What a person does on their videos, newsfeeds, pages, and blogs is their business.  If a person is wrong, I am sure there are plenty of people to get them banned from Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest, and Youtube.  No use writing a nasty comment to stoke the ego.  Have a good evening.

Monday, November 27, 2017

A different kind of blogging



Hello, I am back.  I have been away since late August/early September, and I decided to take a break.  I had to re-evaluate a few things.

History of blogging
In case you may or may not know, I have been blogging non-stop in some form or another since 2009.  I started out with a blog, called MDN Creates, had to split it into 2 blogs.  Then along the way, those two became 4, which finally became 5.  I although I enjoy writing, I had to ask myself if I was doing too much writing.  After all, by the end of 2015, I had a total of 8 blogs.  (2 on WordPress, 5 on Blogger, and a seldom written blog on Tumblr).  On top of that, I was trying to work at a craft store, which I quit for my handmade business in 2010.  The reason why I quit the job was my hours were severely cut down to 4 hours a week by the new manager.  I was used to pulling 35-40 hours, and suddenly, the new manager decided that she really did not need me, but strung me along.  Another reason for me quitting was the new employee policy was I could not have a business.  I was not even allowed to do any direct selling for not only any company that sold scrapbook supplies (which was the policy since I was first employed there but other companies, such as Longaberger, who had no interest in crafting at all. Anyway. Enough with that.
I decided to focus in on the handmade business, direct selling, and writing, as well as anything that was related to these areas.  By the time June 2017 rolled around, I had cut all but three, and I was keeping them up just in case something from these two subjects popped into my head.  I took a much-needed break in July because I was doing some traveling to family events and I wanted to really enjoy myself, and what the summer would bring me.  I had planned on recapping around Mid-August, and I started packing for my cruise. (The last post was actually August 14, 2017) I decided at that time that I would recap everything from the summer and my cruise on September 16th.
No cruise for me.
I was devastated when I heard the news that my flight was canceled on September 7, 2017.  Hurricane Irma and her children, Jose and Katia had landed in Florida, Puerto Rico, Grand Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, and U.S Virgin Islands, the very places where I was to cruise from and to.  While I was glad that the Carnival Conquest was not caught up in that mess (she sailed 4 days later to only Cozumel for what would have been day 4 of this 7-day cruise), I am glad that I was not stuck on the ship waiting to disembark like guests on 3 other Carnival cruise ships (Carnival Glory, Valor, and one other ship).  It took them like a week to get off those ships.    I am sad for the people who live on those islands. There are U.S citizens who had to fly from their home in Puerto Rico to the U.S. Mainland to be evacuated.  Some may never return to their homes.
On second thought, re-schedule that puppy!
However, I was happy to learn that we (my group and I) could re-schedule for another cruise.  So, next month, I am going to Cozumel, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and one other island, Belize I think.  I will not tell you of the exact date for privacy.  So, my air has been paid for, my cruise is paid for (I need to check in online), and my one night in New Orleans after the cruise is reserved. 
Back to the reason behind this post. 
As I have said at the beginning of this post, it has been a good 3-4 months since I posted anything.  No more excuses for too many things happening in my life (2014), I had an accident (2015) or I have been sick (2016).  This time I was burned out of subjects and re-evaluation.  I am still working on my “Lessons learned or learning” series.  I am finding out that as I learn these lessons, is it a lesson that I would have learned on my own, or would I have learned them by reading it from someone’s experiences?  For instance, when I wrote, Lesson 2: How to be a Dutiful Daughter, the lesson was to learn how to take care of my aging parents.  I now question myself on the premise of, “Should I already know this or is it something that naturally comes out when we get to that point in our lives?”   I helped daddy take care of mommy when she had surgery one year.  I did the washing and folding of clothes, we shared in cooking and cleaning.  She was younger then and I was a teen.  Fast forward to 2014.  She had another surgery, though minor, she still needed time to rest.  Of course, I was well out of the house by then, as well as my nephew, who was 18, but me and my dad did what we could to help mom heal.  This year it was a different ballgame.  This was serious than the other two times, and at times I seriously thought that I was going to lose her.  She stayed in a rehab facility for last part of January, came home and finished her recovery there. 
 What also kept me from writing a blog post in the last 3-4 months was dad’s time in the hospital for some issues.  Because doctors advised mom that she could not stay by herself if dad is cone for any length of time, I had to stay at the house.  Since that time and that post, I wonder what new lessons I would learn now?  In 2018?  Or even beyond that point.  I have concluded that as long as I am alive, I am constantly learning something, rather it is about myself, someone else, or a new skill. Besides that, my goal should not be what have I learned that was new, but what do I have to teach to someone who is younger (or older) than me? 
What I have also learned in that lesson on being a Dutiful Daughter, is something that was taught to me from the moment that I opened my eyes for the first time.  It is the word, Obey.  I know that some people have problems with the word, obey, but let me throw in another word after it, and that word is trust.  I will have a full post on this subject, but I have learned that while I had to obey my parents, any other authoritative figure, such as teachers and first responders, and God, I have to trust them as well.  This is why all these women and children who are now adults are coming out, telling the world that they had to obey these accused men, and they had to trust them with their careers.  Many of these men took the opportunity to say, “If you do or meet me at XX place, I can make your career soar”.  When the act is finished, and these men had their little sexual fantasy, they probably told these na├»ve beginners, “if you tell, no one will believe you”. or “You will wish you never heard of Hollywood because I will ruin you”, The next thing is “obey” and “trust” or thrown out the window and that person is broken and to the point where they do not trust anyone.
No take away this time only explanation.  
I will have some holiday stuff.  I am trying something new.  I do have a video channel on YouTube that I am trying to build viewership on.  In conjunction with my blogs, My Ambiance Life, and P. Lynne Designs, I am going to attempt to do my first, Vlogmas 2017.  I say attempt because I never have done one before.  I heard that you should vlog for 30 days, starting anytime after Thanksgiving.  Since I am preparing to spend time with the parents, family, and friends, as well as, putting new things in my Etsy shop, preparing for things at my church (I need permission to video during those times), and preparing for this cruise, this is a hard task that I am willing to do.  I want to do this.

So, consider this my Day 1 of Blogmas 2017.  I will try to keep up and I may not get to it every day.  See you on day 2.

The start of Vlogmas 2017