Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Under Construction

Do things look weird?  They might.  That’s because I’m switchin’ things up here at Crafting Crazy, and we are officially under construction.  So if things look weird, come back soon- then they will look totally.  Rad.  Soon.

Until then….


Day 7 of 31DBB: aaaarrrggghhh!

I am so overwhelmed.  I think my brain has hit its capacity.  Between figuring out Twitter, managing followers and somehow adding followers, joining BlogFrog, committing to the challenge, trying to craft/sew, evaluating my blog and where it’s going, completing the tasks in the challenge and wanting to accomplish EVERYTHING I am, well, overwhelmed (oh- and remaining a decent mother & wife, to boot.  And friend.).  You know that feeling you get when you’re reaaaaallly excited for an upcoming, happy event?  Like your wedding day, or the birth of a child (yours or someone else’s), or a big party or something like that.  You get that build up, that “something big is coming feeling,” or that, “crap- I have so much to do I hope I get it all done” feeling.  That’s me.  There’s so much I want to do, so much I want to accomplish.

Add to that the fact that I have just a few weeks left of summer and then I begin my final year of teaching.  I am dreading that on many levels.  I don’t want to teach anymore, but we need me to teach just one more year.  I am sure it will all be fine, everything will work out, and one year from now I will look at this post and laugh.  Hard.  But right now I am so excited, stressed, and, oddly happy about this summer.  I’m achieving so much, yet have so much more to do.  The best part is that I’m really excited about blogging.  True to my header, I really have no idea what I’m doing in several areas, but I love it.

That, my friends, is rad.

Whew!  Thanks for the vent.  On to Day 8!

p.s.  If you’re wondering what I did on Day 6- we had a ton of reading.  If you’re wondering what I did for today, Day 7, click here. Or look up above and note the new pages I’ve added to this here blog.  🙂

Day 5 of 31DBB: A Blog Confessional of Sorts

This blog challenge is great- it’s really helping me, step-by-step, understand this new world of blogging.  In my family blog I post about things mainly to help my distant family, both extended and immediate, keep up with what’s going on.  I also have a wonderful group of mommy friends who blog (check out my blog roll on my family blog).  We all read each other’s blogs, and I think (and hope) it will keep us in touch when all of our kids are in school and our lives get even crazier.

But this blog is different, and I want to make something of it.  And blogging to achieve and audience and perhaps, someday make some money off of it is a completely different ballgame.

Today’s task in the 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge is simple:  email someone who comments on your blog.  It also talks about the importance of communicating with readers and writers of blogs you like.  Here’s where my confession comes in….

I’m a lurker.  (Is that a word?)  I lurk.

I LOVE to read blogs.  I LOVE to get ideas from them.  I LOVE to laugh at witty remarks and stories, to ache for bloggers who are going through hard times, to wonder at other people’s lives.  But I rarely comment.  I think this parallels my social life, too.  I’m really shy in situations where I don’t know people in gatherings.  I’ve had to work hard to extend a greeting or introduce myself to someone I don’t know.  My friend of 10+ years, Jane, is the exact opposite.  She doesn’t know a stranger.  I’ve benefitted from that for quite some time- 10 years in fact (thanks, Jane!).

When I read someone’s blog I am often in awe- there are so many wonderful writers.  And even some who don’t write well, necessarily, but their lives captivate me in a beautiful way.  I have a hard time thinking that my comment would add anything to their world.  I think I’m wrong, though.

So my confession is also going to turn into a conversion, I guess.  I need to start commenting more.  I started when I got into SITS a while back, and try to remember, but my new credo is going to be that if I visit a blog, I shall comment upon it.  It might be short and sweet (I really love the word “rad”!), but at least I’ll leave a comment.  When I think about it, it’s rather silly to want people to comment on my blog and not expect to comment on others in return.  What goes around comes around, right?  So here I go- off to comment.

I’m off to dig through my comments and email some peeps, because it truly is nice to receive comments on your blog.  You spend time putting it together, and when someone takes the time to read it’s amazing.

31DBB Day 3: Promote your Post

I am so excited about this challenge.  Excited and overwhelmed.  I really want to make the most of it, which is why I decided to write a new post for the Day 3 task.  My list post was okay, but didn’t really relate to Crafting Crazy very well, so I’m choosing to promote my preceding post instead.  I just finished signing up for Digg, and posted my article there.  I’m curious to see what happens- if I get more hits, etc.  I’m also going to see if I can convince a few blogging friends to link to me.  I need to try link parties, too- haven’t had the brain power to figure them out yet.

Go 31DBB!

What’s in YOUR Bookmark Bar?

This is Day #2 of the 31DBB challenge (see the button on the right to get more info!).

I’ve been wracking my brain with this one, trying to think of a list that I could share that would be helpful and worthy of someone else’s eyes and time.  Something that came to mind is what I have in my bookmark bar in my browser.  This is such a useful tool that, until recently, I didn’t realize could be so helpful in my day-to-day technological life.  So while this may not be a crafty post, it certainly keeps my crafty self a bit more organized.

If you’re a new techie and don’t know what the bookmark bar is, there is a bar that runs across the top of your browser window to which you can add the places you most commonly visit on a daily basis online.  If you’re a tab-o-holic like me, I like to have several tabs open at once, and these buttons make it easier to jump from place to place with less typing and more surfing.

Here’s a screenshot of my bookmark bar, in case you still aren’t sure where to look:

So, you’ll see a few of mine listed above, but I’ll go ahead and list all of my bookmarks here.  I’ve linked them up if necessary/helpful, and given them a description in case you aren’t familiar with them.

  1. Yahoo:  About once or twice a day I click on Yahoo to mentally check out of  my world and see what’s happening in the rest of the world.
  2. Google Maps:  Because everyone should know where they are going.
  3. Cozi:  I’m not completely sold on Cozi yet, but my husband and I are trying it out as a means to coordinate when the school year starts out.  Jury is still out.
  4. Picnik:  If you’ve never tried Picnik give it a whirl- you can do so many cool things with photos in a simple way.  It’s like Photoshop for dummies.
  5. Blog Frog:  If you’re a SITS-tah- holla holla!  This is a great place to find online communities.  This is how I heard about the 31DBB challenge.
  6. Facebook:  duh.
  7. Something for Sanity (my family blog)
  8. Crafting Crazy (you’re reading it now!)
  9. Big Tent:  I’m part of a local group of moms, and Big Tent is where we meet up online to have online forums and arrange get-togethers.  It’s a great tool if you need to gather a group, and you can also start online groups across the country/world, I imagine.
  10. All Recipes:  This is my go-to site for finding recipes.  I love having a recipe box, and now their “pro” app on the iPhone lets you access your recipe box on your phone- no more cooking with my laptop above the range or scrawling down recipes on post-its.  One step closer to paper-free!
  11. Bank:   I’d give you my bank info, but then I’d have to kill you.
  12. Pingg:  I’ve started using Pingg instead of Evite for invitations to things.  My friend Kari turned me onto it and I love it.
  13. Mobile Me:  I’m a Mac girl, and Mobile Me keeps my world connected via my iPhone.   I also love to use it to share photos with family- no clogging inboxes anymore.
  14. Ravelry:  If you knit, you should check out Ravelry.  Tons of free patterns and communities, and you can find a local group to knit with if you want!
  15. Kaboodle:  Do you Kaboodle?  With Kaboodle you can dream of things you want, or keep track of things you need, or a combination thereof.  Kaboodle is like the ultimate registry for your family.  I have a list for my kids, myself and my husband.  Then, if I see something online and think, “That’s rad!  I want that!”  I add it to my Kaboodle list.
  16. Add to my Kaboodle:  This is a button you can add to your bar- see something you like?  Click the button and add it to the list you like.  When you’re done it takes you back to where you were- awesome!  You can get this button on the Kaboodle main page- scroll to the bottom and look for “get the buttons.”

I just realized I need to add Twitter to my bar- off I go!

That’s it!  Hope you find something you like!

Go 31DBB particpants!

Day 1 of the 31DBB Challenge!

Hi everyone!

I am posting something in two places on my blog in an effort to make sure my blog “homework” is done.  You see, I’ve joined in a 400+ women movement to seek to improve my blogging skills.  In the next 31 days I will be posting EVERY DAY.  That’s right- every day.  This is a huge commitment for me, but I think it will be worth it.  Below is my first assignment, which is to write an “Elevator Pitch.”  This is meant to promote myself and my blog by describing who I am, what my blog is, and why people should read it. I’ve also posted it in my “About Nat” page, because it will stay there until I need to change it. I’m so excited to do this challenge, and hope that I can rise to the occasion!  If you want more info about the 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge, you can click here.

My short elevator pitch is simple:  Crafting Crazy:  An Adventure in Threads.

Here’s my long elevator pitch:

My name is Natalie Chiles and I am Crafting Crazy.  The “crafting” part of Crafting Crazy comes from my newfound lust interest in making anything I can.  I have always had a creative side, but lately it just seems to keep coming even when I’d like to take a break.  The “crazy” part of Crafting Crazy comes from several places.  The biggest one is that while I have a lot of creativity ready to let loose, I would not consider myself an expert in the newest craft I have taken on: sewing.  I mess up.  A lot.  But I feel that messing up is often the best way to learn.  (Hopefully I won’t waste too much money in the process)   My hope is that, through this blog, I can show others that learning is the key, not perfection.  I am a lifelong learner, and I’m not embarrassed to make mistakes (most of the time), so I will post the good, the bad and the ugly for all to see.  I’d also like to use this blog as a way to track my journey as I take on this new crafting life and hopefully generate some products that might make other people ecstatic.

Some other parts of the “crazy” in Crafting Crazy:

  • I don’t follow directions all the time.  Need to work on that.
  • I knit.
  • I can be a bit obsessive in some areas.
  • I bake sometimes.  I used to bake all the time, but now that I have kids I think I’ll be baking a lot more.  I will post cooking and baking things from time to time because I do feel that food is a craft all unto itself.
  • I scrapbook, though I haven’t in quite some time.  Perhaps some of that will come through in my projects- we’ll see!
  • I recently moved into a house that needs lots of TLC without lots of cash.  How does one solve this?  One gets crafty, I think.  Home improvement posts will also show up here and there.

Please check out my other blog here.  I wanted to start Crafting Crazy because I don’t want my kids to have to sift through posts about their childhood and come across eight million posts about sewing, crafting and cooking in the mix.  I hope they’ll thank me later.

Thanks for stopping by!   Please leave a comment if you do- I love to know when people are reading my posts!

And since a few people have asked already, yes, those are my eyes in my header.

What was I thinking?

….or WAS I even thinking?  Not sure.  I will have more to post about this soon, but thought this might entertain some of my crafty friends.  If you hear moans and groans of frustration, it’s probably me.

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