Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Twitter and the Global Reach of Kindness

Acorn Coffee & Chocolate from @DoorHardwareLux
A few weeks back I received a package from @DoorHardwareLux, a friend that I met thanks to Twitter.

We have been exchanging tweets nearly every morning over a few months and many thousands of miles (I live in North Carolina and she lives in Lithuania.)

 Some how or another the talk of coffee and chocolate came up . . . (shocker, I know) and she was kind enough to send me a batch of homemade acorn coffee and a big bar of her favorite Karuna dark chocolate.

This experience refueled my belief that not everyone using social media wants to sell you something - there are those rare gems like @DoorHardwareLux that offer friendship.

I am truly grateful each day for Twitter and the global reach of kindness.


Who have you met recently via twitter that has shown you exceptional kindness?

How do you reach out to make a more personal connection globally?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Top 7 Holiday Shopping Etiquette Tips

As the holidays approach and we, the sheep of capitalism, are busy buying those perfect widgets for our list of friends and family they just have to have. . . let us not forget simple holiday shopping Etiquette.

Here are my top 7 holiday shopping etiquette tips. . . 

1. Have a plan. Make a list of places you need to visit and allow your self plenty of time to park and wait in line for checkout. Shopping while in a hurry will only leave your temper and patience running on fumes.

2. Be prepared to pay.  While you are standing in line go ahead and have your preferred method of payment ready and then it's your turn at bat be sure to have any coupons, gift cards or price matching sales sheets ready.

3. Help the cashier bag. If you are standing around doing nothing but waiting for the cashier to ring up and bag your loot . . . offer to bag if the store is short staffed. This will save you and everyone else in line time.

4. Pick up items that have fallen to the floor. Yes I know that you didn't put it there, but it's the right thing to do. Don't leave the item that you happen upon in the store on the floor for someone else to run over or move out of the way. You know that saying lead by example? Well boy howdy is this the way!

5. Let someone go ahead of you.  If you have a cart full of items and the person behind you has only one or two items . . . let them skip ahead of you. You will make their day.

6. Be patient. Understand that many people are in your position and doing their best to get everything done, stay on schedule and in budget and keep their cool.

7. Smile. Simple right? Not always. . . but it sure does help deter frazzled exchanges by those who are feeling overwhelmed. Your smile and a genuine attitude of gratitude is your best defense against the Bah Humbuggers out there.


I was inspired to write this post because of an encounter my husband and I witnessed.  Recently my husband and I were at a store where the three cashier lines open had at least 6-10 people in each. As a new cashier was opening a fourth, she made eye contact with a couple in their 50's (Couple A) and motioned them over to her lane - as soon as she removed a display that was blocking the lane another older woman and her husband (Couple B) pushed by Couple A as they simply stood in shock. The wife of Couple B literally used her overflowing cart as a battering ram to make it to the cashier first.

The husband of Couple A, not wanting to risk profanity in public, calmly walked past us to wait for his wife on the other side of anger. We shared our disbelief and shock and he woefully said, "THIS is why I tell my wife I'd rather stay at home."

Thankfully the cashier motioned the wife of Couple A (who had only one item) past the rude duo and sent her on their way with a smile and a Happy Holidays.

This 'cutting in line' exchange we witnessed was a shock. The offending couple was older and you would think would know better . . . but sadly they proved that the "me first" mentality that many attribute to a younger generation had to be learned from somewhere.

It's easy to only think of ourselves when we have a finite amount of time and an endless list of things to do and places to be . . .  but I encourage you to remember what you are teaching your children and others around you about your character.

Slow down. Be kind. Smile and do your best not to lose your temper when others behave badly.

Here is another great list of Seven Secrets of Holiday Shopping Etiquette.


How have you kept your cool in the face of rude behavior while shopping?

What ways do you deal with rude behavior in public while shopping during the holidays?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why Text-Speak is Bad for Your Brand

Text-speak (txt-speak, txtese, chatspeak, txt, txtspk, txtk, txto, texting language, txt lingo, SMSish, or txt talk) . . . regardless of what you call it, we all have used it.

Text-Speak has become common place in our day to day online and mobile lexicon. Social networks that limit the amount of characters we can use have been the excuse of many to justify this trend and to others, well, we've been using text speak since the pager. On a personal level - many people still think that txt speek sux, so you can imagine what they may think about your brand when you use it to communicate.

When it comes to social media and building your brand, the question is. . . should we take the easy way out and cram as much information as possible into each update? 2 b or nt 2 b: d gr8 txt spk db8.

Now, I will freely admit that I use text-speak and I try to do so sparingly. I'll throw out an LOL and a THX now and then. . . but over all, I like the challenge of fitting my thoughts into a confined space. Having a limited character count helps me focus on delivering my message and challenges me to take out unnecessary words without making my followers/friends take time to look up text message shorthand before responding.

At a luncheon last year with a group of very bright design students, the topic of text-speak came up and the majority agreed that when they had to work to decipher a tweet or status update . . . they tuned out the message and generally avoided engaging with the person using Textese because they had to work harder to understand what was being said.

This insight struck me like a bell. Why on earth would I make it more difficult for my followers/fans/clients to understand my message? Seems counter intuitive to what social media represents.

Learn how to write the perfect tweet and fly with Twitter, discover  32 Ways to Use Facebook for Business and Google+ your business.

If you are building your brand online using social media, remember that you shouldn't cut corners when it comes to your communication. Cultivating a consistent tone of voice across media is vital to long term success.

If you are working on building your brand - drop the gibberish and learn these 9 Keys to Building a Stand-Out Brand Identity.


Do you use text speak?

Do you engage with brands who use excessive text speak to communicate online?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DIY : Aged Paper Frames

Project Library is coming along nicely. It's one part therapy and one part I'm addicted to DIY projects. . . seriously - ask my husband.

I'm a thrift store junkie and love discovering fun items to hack into something awesome. Take these mismatched wooden frames for example. . . found these last year at a local dollar store and bought 12 of them. (mirrors included). I really didn't know what I was going to do with them at the time.

I recently made a book purse and saved the "guts" of the book (purchased for $2.00 at Goodwill) then it all came together. . .

:: Materials :: 
  • wooden frames 
  • Elmers Glue All 
  • warm water
  • plastic container with lid
  • old tooth brush
  • small paint brush
  • cookie sheet or metal tray
  • old book pages
  • coffee
  • large baking dish
  • clear matter or gloss spray paint

:: Directions for Aging Paper :: 

  • in large baking dish pour 1 cup coffee (warm)
  • take pages from old book and soak until wet then place on cookie sheet

:: Directions for Application to Frames ::

  • Mix equal parts Elmers glue and warm water in plastic container and stir throughly
  • Depending on size of frame fold aged book pages in half then half again to form 4 strips approx 1.5" wide
  • With small paint brush "paint" glue on aged paper on a metal cookie sheet (trust me this will save you) until limp
  • Prime frame with a brush of glue and carefully place paper on frame - taking time to wrap paper around edges (this will be sticky and be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid glue debris that can stick to paper) use the toothbrush to smooth out any air bubbles.
  • "Bake" frame at 350* for 2 minutes (carefully watch this process, you don't want to burn your house down) - if the frame is too big for the oven you can use a hair dryer. 
  • Dry frames over night then coat with a clear matte or gloss spray paint.

Voila! You now have an aged frame that didn't break the bank!

For those looking to make a bigger statement you can also "paper" a wall and age it with tinted Briwax for added interest, or cover canvases then stencil your initials or your favorite quote . . .  like this one ::

The purpose - where I start - is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it's reuse.  - Issey Miyake


What fun things have you done with aged paper?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Project Library : DIY Inspiration from Pinterest

As the holidays approach I am faced with a long list of "TO DO" before the family and friend visits begin. Each evening I work feverishly to finish handmade gifts and started painting the trim and book cases in the library this weekend. I was still not happy with the "feel" that the big black and oh so comfortable settee offered the room and wanted the room to reflect our eclectic taste. 

From January's WINTER TIME Jeanne d' Arc Living

So I went to Pinterest to find some DIY Design inspiration for the most fought over room in the whole house. . . the library.

If you don't know already - we read, a lot. (I have even been designing the floor to ceiling book shelves that will be my spring 2012 project.)

This room is not terribly big - so I wanted a look and feel that was restful, welcoming and offered a reprieve from the tech heavy life style we lead.

Thankfully I found this pin that took me to a post from Urban Farmhouse that was *exactly the inspiration I needed to turn my outdated settee and uninspired reading space into a farm fresh place for my husband and I to read and relax!

I used a canvas drop cloth ($10.00 from Big Lots) for this DIY slip cover.

Now, this project is far from complete. . . the wall treatment (grey wall) will ideally look like this when I'm finished. The trim and the book shelves will get my attention every evening until my books are off the floor.

I am happy to say that I am recycling the paper from the Book Purse gift I was inspired to make last week to cover some frames for a fun focal point . . . so stay tuned for more from #projectlibrary.


What projects have you started thanks to a pinterest inspiration?

These are my Top 10 favorite boards on Pinterest - what are yours?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Top 10 Inspiration Boards from Pinterest

Many of you who know me well - know I am a DIY nut. I LOVE to dig, build, create, crochet, sew, paint, cook, share and that I have a soft spot for vintage style.

Since discovering Pinterest thanks to a client  - I am in photo inspiration heaven.

Pinterest to me is a magical, visually rich world where all the crafty cool people live online. It is such a wonderful community of sharing and inspiration that leaks all over the floor and fills any room with potential. 

I wanted to share my TOP 10 inspiration boards. . . be sure to check back as I will continue to add more fab finds! Check out the rest of my boards and if you are the crafty creative type . . . for heavens sake Follow Me on Pinterest

1 - DIY Lighting

2 - Food Porn 

3 - Living Vintage in a Tech World 

4 - DIY Furniture 

5 - DIY Design

6 - DIY Organize

7 - Casual Style

8 - DIY Gifts 

9 -  DIY Outdoors

10 - DIY Cleaning 

What are a few of your favorite boards on Pinterest?