Monday, June 28, 2010

Project 365 Roundup: Weeks 24 & 25

June 11 - June 17
162/365: Bridge Toward Greenery 163/365: Farmer's Market Honey 164/365: Downtown Carrollton Silos 165/365: Yummy Blizzard
166/365: Homemade Laundry Detergent 167/365: Sarah Blue-Eyes 168/365: Car Registration

167/365 (Extra): Vintage Baby

June 18 - June 24
169/365: Pizza Buffet 170/365: Birthday Serenade 171/365: Thrifty Bling 172/365: Pattern Hunting
173/365: Summer Nectarine 174/365: 4-Year Anniversary 175/365: Red Paisley Fabric

Friday, June 25, 2010


One of my favorite bloggers, The Thrifty Decor Chick, is running a contest on her blog.

The prize? A Silhouette SD. What is that, you ask? It's a digital cutting tool for personal use.

The cool thing about this cutting tool (because there are several on the market like it, like the famous Cricut), is that you can use your own fonts and images as well as those found online (freebies, their store, other stores). You don't have to buy separate cartridges. I love all the things it can do. Basically, it's like a printer that cuts instead of prints. Can you imagine all the cool, crafty things I could do with it?! *dreamy sigh*

So, if you'd like to try and win one, then head on over to her site. Her contest is way cooler than mine was. ^_^ But then again, she has a bajillion more readers than I do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Photo Contest Results

Below is a screencap of my photo folder, detailing the day the 10,000th shot was taken. Can you see it?

If you can't make sense of it, it means that I took the 10,000th shot on Saturday, June 19. BUT ... can you look closer? What do you see ...?

My camera didn't technically reach 10,000!! It hit 09999, and then ... rolled over to 00001. So, really, shot 00001 is really shot 10000, and the joke's on me! *LOL* I had no idea it would do that, since I thought there was space for one more digit.

So, what does this mean?? I thought about going ahead and just giving it to those that guessed correctly, but frankly, because I had so few enter (*sad*), and since my camera technically never actually shot #10,000 ...

everyone who entered is a winner!

Below is a listing of the winners and the photos they chose. If you did not choose a photo, comment here with the photo of your choosing from my photos (see previous post below for my photo sets), so I can update the list.

BTW, if you want to change the photo you chose, that's okay with me, just comment and let me know which photo you would prefer!

Also, I will try and contact each of you to make sure I have a mailing address, and you should get your photo prints soon!

Thanks for being loyal readers! *hugs*


no image yet

120/365 (Extra): Pink Water Lily
"Pink Water Lily"

176/365 (Extra): Yellow Flowers
"Yellow Flowers"

Water Dragon
"Water Dragon"


Very Large Tree
"Very Large Tree"


Wide View of Water Feature
"Wide View of Water Feature"
(or would you prefer "Another View of Water Feature"?)

114/365 (Extra): Bamboo Fountain
"Bamboo Fountain"
(or would you prefer "Water Dragon"?)

no image yet

Thanks again to all of you awesome people! *hugs*

EDIT: Added Claudia's "Pink Water Lily."
EDIT: Added Melinda's "Yellow Flowers."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

10,000th Shot Photo Contest

I have had my trusty Sony Cybershot since April 2007, and I recently noticed that I am about to hit 10,000 shots taken with my camera! (It helps that I've been doing the 365 and I had some time out of town -- I started the year in the 4,600 range.)

So I knew I had to do something to celebrate, and I thought ... why not do a blog contest?!

Over the next few days (Thursday, June 17 to Sunday, June 20) I will take the 10,000th shot on my camera. To have a chance to win the contest and a prize, all YOU have to do is the following:

1) Leave a comment with your guess of which day I will take shot 10,000 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday) -- you don't have to leave a comment ON that day, just tell me which day you think it happened.
    * All winning guesses will go into a drawing for a prize.

2) To increase your chances of winning, go to my Flickr site, then come back here and comment again, letting me know which photo of mine is one of your favorites, and why.
    * Some good, recent photo sets include:

3) For yet another chance to win, blog about this contest on your own blog (you'll have to comment and let me know that you did so), linking to this specific post (if you click on the title itself, it'll take you to the specific URL for this post -- just copy and use that).

4) Contest ends on Monday, June 21 at midnight CT (1 am ET/11 pm MT/10 PT) -- that gives any of you with a busy weekend or Father's Day celebrations time to enter. (I will try and post results by Tuesday morning -- June 22.)

And that's it!

Yes, yes, that's all fine and dandy, but what will I win?!


The prize for the winner will be any hi-res photo of mine, of your choosing, printed on premium luster (semi-gloss) photo paper. I can go as high as 8x10, but if you would prefer smaller (5x7 or 4x6 I can do that -- it will still be on the larger paper though). And, I will possibly also include another goody or two (maybe a handmade card, or the like).

While I know that I'm not exactly a photographer, or probably even that good of an amateur, I'd like to think that my skills have increased over the last several years. And, it doesn't hurt that I use an awesome program like Lightroom to enhance many photos. I'm guessing, also, that if you're entering, it's because you'd like a photo, but maybe that's just crazy thinking. ^_^

So, good luck, and may the best or luckiest blog stalker win! ^_^

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Proofreading Work

So it's been 10 years since I began my career as a proofreader. I'll admit that, even though I had an English degree, I hadn't really thought that proofreading was something I would do. Sure, my collegiate career had begun in the track of grammar and composition (as opposed to literature, because even though I love to read, I felt the mechanics of English would be of greater help than how many times I had read the great classics), but I probably fancied myself more in the "I want to be a writer" frame of mind, than anything else.

Well ... anyway, I was in need of a job, and found a great one, where I stayed for seven years. Granted, there were times when I really got stressed and burned out and wanted to change so badly. And I thought what I really wanted to do was work in an ad agency and proof all of their creative, because I would love to be in a creative environment such as that, since that's the way I am. But boy, was I surprised! For a brief stint, I did just that. Usually, at ad agencies, there's one proofreader. Depending on the size, maybe more than one. And they're overworked, highly unappreciated and don't get one ounce of creativity to circle through their minds.

Maybe I'm just an anomaly -- a proofreader who is actually creative. And who has a personality. Seriously! I interviewed at a placement agency late last year and was told by my interviewer that I had a great, outgoing personality, which, she said, is not usually the case with proofreaders, mostly because, she thought, proofreaders tend to be the only ones in their department/company and don't get much interaction with others.

Which brings me to my current gig -- freelance proofreading. I'll be honest, trying to make a go of it myself has been ... not really lucrative. The nice thing is that my own personal investment (as far as money) has been minimal (some inexpensive business cards, a few books, red pens/pencils, etc.) -- waiting until I had some money coming in to really indulge in things like a company name/logo, web site, etc. I have tried calling, emailing, sending resumes via mail, well ... it's slow going. However, over the last month or so I have been working extra hard to find and make more contacts. So far, nothing, but ... I am still trying. We'll see how I am in a few months, because at that point I may have to consider going back full time somewhere.

Except, I dread that. See, a few weeks ago, I went on a temp assignment for one of my placement agencies (I'm with three, in case anyone cares to know) at a "marketing company." They have a decent-sized group or proofreaders and have the amount of work to justify it. I was there to help out during the week as they had people out and needed the help. Oh my gosh. I was BORED out of my mind! The work was easy enough, but ... boring. And, you know, I could maybe deal with boring, simple, tedious work ... if the atmosphere was a little more ... fun? Okay, I get not really talking to the temp or getting to know me much. I mean, I'm just going to be there for the week, right? And, at first I thought maybe it was just me ... and then I realized ... they don't really talk to each other much, either! They're quiet and stick to themselves and when they do talk, it's with low voices -- which I could understand if they were in the middle of many other areas, but they have one side to themselves and they have tall cubicles so that talking in a normal voice would be OKAY -- and usually about work. Then I realized what that interviewer had meant. I counted down each day and each hour before the assignment was over. I mean the people were nice enough, but ... they weren't really engaging or personable, and really, for 10 years of experience*, I am worth more than they were paying me! LOL. But, at least it was money.

However, I have to say that not all temp jobs are the same. A few months ago I had THE most awesome experience with temping. I went to a company that designs and makes high-end outdoor furniture and fabric. (I have a 365 of my time there.) Even though I was in their marketing department that is quite small, the feel of the entire company is ... amazing. There is a friendly, creative vibe that really resonates with everyone and throughout the entire company (which is shown in one way, with the owner bringing his two giant dogs to work with him every day). They had rooms devoted to fabric and fabric creation, even containing looms so test fabrics could be woven. How cool is that? Then they had a back area where actual fabric was being sewn together for different items. I was given a tour of the place and met some nice people and was awed by the creative design rooms filled with swatches of fabric so designers can go in and piece looks together to their little hearts desire. It was amazing. And even people I didn't know would see me in the hall or the break room and stop me to introduce themselves. The people in the marketing department talked to me and each other, and not just about work, about their actual lives. I was only there for about a day and a half proofing their spring catalog (which, in and of itself was pretty basic), but I wished I could have a full time job there, it was that cool of a place to work!

It's so interesting how different environment can make a job seem palatable.

And as I've done these temp jobs and other small freelance assignments, I do know that I DO want to do this proofreading thing from home, if I can make it work. I really want to try to exclusively read books, but I can do other things. I don't know if I could truly find a proofreading job full time that would fulfill my needs of a person. I have the proofreading thing down!* (Which doesn't mean I don't have things to learn, because I do. I used AP Style for a long time and am now having to learn Chicago Manual because that's what publisher's use. But those are nuances.) Now, if I can only translate my desire and work into a full-fledged business that brings in decent money.

You see, I realized that while I can do the stay-at-home thing and live okay on Brian's salary, if we truly want to move forward in our lives, we need money to save (not necessarily be a two-income family, but use my income to put into savings for a house and the future) -- and that's where I come in. Which is why I'm working harder on my business, while Brian is trying harder to help me at home (so I don't feel like I have to do it all).

So, one of the things I did to help me sort of visualize success, is to think of ourselves in a home, me with a room/study that's the office I work out of. I have it planned (for now): dark wood floors; purple paint on the walls trimmed in black molding -- perhaps one wall with a cool wallpaper treatment, with dark/black furniture pieces; a comfortable office chair in a delicious fabric; chairs that would work for anyone visiting in my office, but could easily be taken out to incorporate into the rest of my home if any additional seating would be needed; a few mirrors on the walls to bring light in, along with some art and other wall accessories, including a memo board to hold important info (along with some photos); and, depending on the size of the room, either a sleeper couch so I could relax, but also some room for overnight guests OR a comfy chair and ottoman for a comfy place to sit while reading or on the phone (this would be for a smaller place). Although, maybe I COULD have both if the space was VERY large. (But, if so, I would have to change the colors a little to be more complementary.)

I put together a mood board (using to give a visual representation of what my dream home office would look like (at least, what my mood is expressing currently). And, I'll be honest. I found a lot of high-end pieces that I loved (like from Horchow or Haverty's) that unless I do REALLY well in my business I couldn't afford. But, part of me thinks that even if I COULD afford it, would I really buy one exquisitely executed purple velvet chair, much less two, at $1300 each? Well, probably not. But a girl can dream, right? (Besides, you never know when I'll run into a thrifty, similar piece that I can redo. Ah, more dreaming.)

I left off smaller accessories, like lamps and a side table for the couch or chair, mostly because of the time finding and putting this together. Besides, I doubt my home office will end up looking like this -- except for the purple walls and black trim and molding. I am not budging on that. For now. ^_^

* Disclaimer: While I may be a proofreader, and I try to read over my posts before I publish them, this is my blog and I have my own writing style that may not be exactly the norm (like my use of ellipses ^_^, oh, and anime smiley faces). And, the occasional typo does slip in. So ... sue me! LOL

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Project 365 Roundup: Weeks 21, 22 & 23

May 21 - May 27
141/365: Udder Covers 142/365: Baby Gift 143/365: Bell Pepper Surprise 144/365: Tres Leches Cake
145/365: Grocery Store Cart 146/365: Atrium at the Research Center 147/365: Living Room Wall

May 28 - June 3
148/365: Temp Job 149/365: Shopping Haul 150/365: A Rose E'er Blooming 151/365: Chocolate-Covered Goodies
152/365: Lunch Room 153/365: Milk Fresh from the Cow 154/365: Funimation

June 4 - June 10
155/365: Run for the Border 156/365: Book on Cameras 157/365: Trickling Waterfall 158/365: Friendly Flower
159/365: Tennis Partner 160/365: Kids of Summer 161/365: Lemon Chiffon Frozen Yogurt

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Before and After: Gold Mirror Redone

I have a gold-framed mirror that I got very cheap inexpensively at Walmart many, many, many years ago. I thought that before I decide to get rid of it, that I might try painting it, like so many thrifty sites I come across.

So, here's the small, cheap mirror:

So I got some spray paint in black, with black spray paint primer and, after carefully covering up the mirror, and adding some swirly rubons (the scrapbooking type) in the corners, I finished with this:

For my first attempt, it's okay, but really, I have to say it wasn't my fault. You see ... I did this on a hot Saturday afternoon, and let it sit outside while it dried. Might have worked for a normal wood mirror, but this one seemed to be cheap laminate over particle board. Unfortunately, the wetted laminate, combined with the heat, warped the laminate and caused it to bubble in places (mostly the corners). Prior to that (but after painting it), the mirror looked really nice! Ah, well, lesson learned. Oh, another lesson learned: wear a mask of some sort. Even though I was outside and well ventilated, later I was blowing bits of black paint out of my nose. Gross!

Anyway, we'll see how long I can live with it before I get rid of it. It serves its purpose for now -- it's across the sliding glass door in the dining area. I told Brian I can probably wait until we move again before I decide on getting another mirror.

And, I'm linking this to:

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