In which I blog about other places I can be found online or where I've been online.

On The Internet

Here’s a link post that’s been sitting in my draft folder for awhile. I guess it’s time to call it done, don’t you think?

Young House Love – A Book Review

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One of my very favorite home improvement blogs out there is Young House Love. Not only is a fun read, with John and Sherry having an easy conversational style, but their home improvement ideas range from easy, like spray painting a picture frame, to WOW, like their amazing DIY kitchen remodel.

My favorite DIY dorks (if you read their blog, you know that they’ll probably love being called that) have spent the last couple of years working on a book. Sure, you might say, lots of bloggers have books. But this one is special.

How special, you ask?

Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love is not just a regurgitation of their blog content. In fact, they were adamant about not including anything in the book that has already been on their blog. So now we have 243 BRAND SPANKING NEW ideas that we try out to spiff up our homes. Not only do they give you all these wonderful ideas, they also break down the how-to in easy steps and give you estimates on cost and how much work and time goes into each project.

My head is spinning with all the ideas and things I want to try. And it would appear from the picture above that Greta wants to see more of Burger, John & Sherry’s adorable Chihuahua, who makes a few appearances in the book.

If you love creative home decor and DIY solutions, no matter what your style, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book. Your house will thank you.

On The Internet

There’s a lot of awesome stuff on the internet. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately…

  • Pin N Tell is a new blog devoted to all things Pinterest. One of the things they blog about is “Pinvestigations” where they take a cool idea from Pinterest to see if it really works. Here’s their findings on the glowing Mountain Dew.
  • I’ve been making a decent effort on wearing makeup more often. Makeunder My Life tells you how to remember to throw out makeup so you don’t end up with stuff that’s a decade or more old, like I did.
  • If you’re well endowed like I am, then you’ll definitely relate to these Busty Girl Comics!
  • Jennifer’s zentangle drawing is really cool.
  • Amy has a tutorial on making a blog header in Pixlr. I have to admit, layers intimidate me, but this tutorial makes it look easy!
  • Vivs at Oh Shoot posts about what she learned from commenting on other blogs. Another reminder that I need to get out there and comment more.
  • Have you seen Downton Abbey yet? I just decided to watch it recently and bought both seasons on DVD. It’s riveting! I can’t wait to watch it again, this time with Mister, and of course I’m eagerly waiting for when season 3 starts airing. (affiliate link)
  • On a related note, Aunt Peaches has 5 Ways to Combat Downton Abbey Withdrawal. This should keep me busy for about a week!
  • If you’re in a new city, or just want to check out what radio stations are available worldwide, check out Radio Locator. Not only can you find out the format and frequency of radio stations, you can also find the ones that broadcast online!

On The Internet #8

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve done one of these posts. I stopped because of the work that goes into them, but I do enjoy reading these sorts of posts when other people put them up, so I’m going to start doing them again. I may or may not have a regular schedule for them, but you’ll see them from time to time.

  • Kristen at Confessions of a Graphic Design Student shares some blogging tips she’s learned while she’s been in the blogging world.
  • Jenni at Story of My Life has a 3-part series of blogging tips.
  • After Nine to Five will be launching the Better Blogger Network by the end of April. Sounds like just the thing I need to help my blog!
  • My BFF just had a baby and I made her some bibs, inspired by what I found on Pinterest. Everything Etsy has 101 Handmade Baby Gift Tutorials if you need to craft something for a wee one.
  • As a perfectionist, this post about being mediocre instead of awesome seems to have been written just for me!
  • The fabulous Felicia Day is debuting her new YouTube Channel, Geek and Sundry
  • Finally! A replacement for Picnik, called PicMonkey It’s just as easy to use, and while it isn’t quite as fully featured as Picnik was, they are working on new features and I think it’s the best free photo editor out there for people like me who are afraid of PhotoShop. The Borrowed Abode did a writeup on PicMoneky here
  • Have you heard about Codeacademy? Pioneer Woman reviews it here. This would be worth checking out, since I spend so much time working on the old blog here!
  • I’m going to be making a blog button soon that you’ll be able to grab and put on your own blog. Directions on how to do this are here.
  • Aunie Sauce has a post on bletiquette (blog etiquette), and her first suggestion is to participate in button swaps. Once I get my button up (as mentioned above), I need to do a bit of layout work on my blog and I’ll be implementing this. It’s one of the many changes I want to make that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.
  • And for a bunch of other blogs that feature regular link round-ups, check out Yes and Yes, Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet, Nobody Too, Centsational Girl (for the more home-decor focused links), and Summer Tomato (for health-related links).

I still have tons of stuff to go through – I was without internet for a few weeks during the move, and I ended up starring a ton of posts in Google Reader and favoriting a bunch in Twitter to refer back to, so this will take me quite some time. For now, enjoy!

Bye Bye Picnik

Picnik has announced that it is closing its doors in April. Boo hiss!

Wait, did you just ask me what Picnik was?

If you’re a blogger, you probably already know this, but Picnik is an online photo editing site. You can upload your photos, do all sorts of edits from basic stuff to adding text, frames, borders, stickers and more, then save the edited photo to your computer. I’ve been using it a lot for some of my blog graphics because it’s super easy to use, and offers quite a bit, even in the free version.

But that’s all changing in a few short months.

Picnik will be moving their services to Google+, where it’s already available in limited form. Not all of the editing capabilities are there, and the biggest downside to doing it on G+ is that no only do you need a G+ account to use it, but there is no ability to save the edited photos to your desktop. They’re all saved on your G+ profile. I do not like that at all, as I would like to upload things directly to my blog.

Pretty much anyone who’s ever used Picnik is upset about this change, and discussion has already turned to what the alternatives are.

This older post from Daily Gyan includes Picnik, but also 9 other alternatives.

Chris Perillo lists is favorite alternatives.

You can check out what Susan thinks of some of the alternatives over at Between Naps on the Porch.

Mashable has something to say about this as well.

And this whole post was inspired by Centsational Girl’s post on some alternatives she found and some tutorials.

As for me, I’ve already started searching for the best one for me. I’ve played around a bit, and so far I like Pixlr best. I do need to learn the whole layers thing, though. For those who have never used layers, it’s not really user friendly for a beginner to figure out on their own, but I think I had a breakthrough the other night, hence my latest header:

The one thing I’m not keen on in Pixlr is that the effects and the edits are two different parts of the site, so I’d have to make my edits, save them, then upload the photo to effects to do any of that stuff. It’s a bit much.

I’ve been thinking about springing for Photoshop Elements. I had it a few years ago, but never really figured it out too well. I do know that there are lots of tutorials available for it, and any Photoshop tutorials should mostly apply to Elements. I can’t use Gimp of Paint.net because they aren’t available for the Mac, but those are excellent alternatives to Photoshop if that’s the direction you want to go in.

Maybe this is one of those silver lining things on the clouds moving in on Picnik. I might actually learn some photo editing skills.

What about you? What will you be using when Picnik as we know it is gone forever?