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November 22, 2013 9:20 pm

Secret Quonsar

I got assigned my Secret Quonsar person! Unfortunately, like last year, they’ve left their request really open-ended which makes gifting way harder!

I have no idea if they hate spicy food or have a pet or are allergic to peanuts or would kill for some homemade goat’s milk soap.

I love getting people gifts they enjoy, not something that’ll go in the Goodwill bin the next morning. But… I am just going to have to guess and hope that they like what I come up with. Which may be some homemade goat’s milk soap, because my mom makes it and therefore I have some on hand. And who is going to throw away soap, AMIRITE?

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February 13, 2013 2:31 pm

The Feminist Developer

Because I’ve evidently become the feminist developer on Twitter recently, I decided to turn my thoughts into a full-fledged post.

“…a bunch of hot chicks…”

I was spurred to start discssing this when, while at work, I heard the organization Women In Technology described as “a bunch of hot chicks working for agencies.”

Truly. “A bunch of hot chicks working for agencies.”

You’ll recall that I’m the only female developer in my workplace, and I don’t consider myself easily offended. This is not the first time something ridiculously sexist has been said at work (and, sadly, I’m sure it won’t be the last) but this particular instance made me really angry. There is a time and place for describing women as “hot chicks” – if you must – but that was emphatically not it, most especially because it was Women In Technology that was being described, an organization that works with women to help combat this kind of thing in the workplace.

[Our mission is to] advance women in technology from the classroom to the boardroom by providing advocacy, leadership development, networking, mentoring and technology education.

I tweeted this incident and mentioned @everydaysexism, a Twitter account that welcomes any and all reports of this nature to help everyone get a better picture for what it’s like living in a very sexist world. They’re an extremely high-volume account, but I’d recommend giving them a look – they’re doing important work. Sexism is so rampant that we often overlook it, and @everydaysexism tries to highlight the everyday instances in which sexism affects our lives. As for my tweet, @everydaysexism ended up retweeting me and I got several more retweets over the next few days – it made me feel less alone.

Spot the Woman

I’ve also been looking at a lot of websites for apps and startups and other companies, and I started noticing a disturbing trend. If the company even had any ladies on their team at all, they were often listed last, even if their qualifications superceded some of the men’s qualifications!

  • The Outbox team employs a woman as their Director of Sales, and she is dead last on the page. Their lead designer, who is also a woman, is second-to-last. The list seems to be in order of “importance” with the C-levels at the top, but I don’t see why their Director of Sales couldn’t be after the SVP of Operations and above Lead Developer.
  • At 37 Signals, they list fourteen men before they list a woman on their team. Additionally, only seven of their thirty-six listed employees are women.
  • Seesaw is passable; women working there don’t seem to be listed last, but only two out of eight employees are women. Their “posse” leans male too – only three out of twelve investors and advisors are women.
  • Envy Labs does not appear to organize their employees by gender, so well-done there. However, out of 29 employees, only four are women.
  • Other companies like Rdio, Iceber.gs, Userfox, and Plain do not list a woman amongst their team.

Are these stats meaningless? Well, yes and no. I picked these websites more or less at random based on links to various apps and development companies I’ve viewed recently – so there’s some amount of bias there. Plus, some of those companies are made up of only a few people! However, I think it’s telling that it wasn’t very hard at all to find websites with poor representation of women on their team pages.

Maybe it’s just because I last worked at a company with a really great gender ratio and as such, the gender disparity at my current job is extremely obvious to me, but I don’t think I’m seeing things where they aren’t, either.

Future Woman in Tech

Today I stumbled across the website Future Woman in Tech, which is a letter from an aunt to her eight-year-old neice who wants to be a game developer. It says so many things I think developers (male or female) need to hear.

I hope that you never have to hear a co-worker disservice a colleague by describing their physicality before their competence.

…and that’s exactly what happened in the workplace incident I outlined above.

Takeaways

I didn’t set out to write this post. It sort of wrote itself, out of irritation and outrage on behalf of what women working in male-dominated fields like technology put up with every day. I don’t need to hear that website feature described as “TOTALLY TITS!” even if my bowling name is often Tits McGee. Neither do you.

If you hear sexist remarks made in your presence, tweet them to @everydaysexism. You’ll find support there, and even if that’s not what you’re after, you’re helping highlight the obnoxious things that happen every day to women around the world.

And please, show the Future Woman in Tech website to everybody you know. I want it to come true.

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December 15, 2010 9:30 am

The Quilting Bee

There are so many nice things I could say about The Quilting Bee, but this holiday season I want to highlight just one:

Holiday Cards

I’m at an age where I know practically nobody aside from my cousins that sends out holiday cards. And I LOVE receiving cards! Every year on the Qbee forum, a Qbee member organizes a very informal card swap where we all exchange addresses and send our cards and then you sit back and watch the greetings roll in.

Sometimes people include stickers, or a sweet note, or maybe they just took special care in picking out the card. The exchange is open to members in all countries, and it is SO COOL to get an envelope from The Netherlands or Norway!

The holiday card swap isn’t the only great thing about the Qbee, but it’s the one I think about the most during the Christmas season. It makes the holidays that much more enjoyable, and I look forward to it every year!

If you want to learn more about The Quilting Bee or why you might want to join, check it out!

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August 13, 2010 7:27 pm

Old Navy endorses formula-feeding

I was browsing Old Navy yesterday looking for some clothes for Wesley when I happened across a onesie that gave me pause. (Keep in mind I was looking for clothes to buy for my baby – I did not go to this site with the intention of finding something that irritated me.)

I came across this:

formula-powered

I am not angry that this shirt exists. I think it’s cute and if I formula-fed, I would consider purchasing it for my baby. However, since I breastfeed, where the eff is my shirt? Why can’t there be both versions?

breastmilk-powered

Is Old Navy afraid to put the word “breastmilk” on a shirt? I would be okay with “Powered by Mama’s milk” if they were squeamish. (Which… GRAH to that, I see no reason to be squeamish about feeding a baby.)

I just want to see equal representation. This says to me, “At Gap, Inc. we support formula-feeding instead of breastfeeding to the point that we will take the time to design and manufacture a shirt to communicate our stance.” Had both shirts been offered, I likely would not have even noticed this.

Given that Old Navy provides nursing tops to breastfeeding mothers, the production of this “Formula Powered” bodysuit without an accompanying “Breastmilk Powered” design baffles me.

I’ve sent an email to their customer service department outlining these issues, and I’m looking forward to their response.

7 Comments >

July 31, 2010 8:35 pm

Awesome things I have seen recently

Octophant

There are so many wonderful things about this print. Elephants! Octopus! Narwhal! Walrus!
$40 from octophant.us.

Dueling Talking Carls

I’ve had a wallpaper of Carl as my computer background for a while, so when I saw this I immediately had to play it. Daniel and I were in hysterics by the end as it just gets more and more bizarre and funny as it goes on. Sound required!

Taga Bike Stroller

Fascinating! It’s like an inverse tricycle and it can fold up into a stroller. I think Daniel wants one.
$1495 from Tagabikes.com.

Birthday Cake from Hagrid

I made this cake today. Basically, I really just wanted a chocolate cake, but since today is Harry Potter’s birthday I figured I’d dork out and frost it like Hagrid’s cake.

Harry's birthday cake from Hagrid

See the movie version of the Hagrid Birthday Cake

Shabby Streamside Studio

A perfect little gingerbread house! It’s only 125 square feet and has no kitchen or heat. I find the entire interior awe-inspiring and adorable, like a real-life fairy tale house. I would have loved this as a teenager. (Hell, who am I kidding? I love it now.)

Read more at the owner’s blog, My Shabby Streamside Studio.

Owl Bookends

owl-bookends

I randomly received a catalog for this company in the mail, and I basically either actively disliked or felt neutral about every single thing in the catalog except this, and now I am convinced I need owl bookends.
$39 from Company Kids.

Anything totally awesome you’ve found recently?

1 Comment >

June 11, 2009 9:55 am

nienie: Love

As you may or may not know, a blogger named Stephanie Nielson and her husband survived a terrible plane crash several months ago. She has been writing about her recovery and I stumbled across this post today, written about her husband.

She has a lovely, almost poetic stream-of-consciousness style of writing. I may not be in step with her religious values but I think that’s immaterial here; this is one of the best descriptions of all-encompassing love for one’s husband that I have ever read.

Love, by nienie

Enjoy.

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May 13, 2009 11:23 am

Design Music!Inspiration

The lovely Nikki from SnailBird has organized a Design + Music + Inspiration Project, and I’ve agreed to participate! She’s trying to get a feel for what designers listen to and what their combined playlists would sound like. If you’d like to participate also, check out the Design Music!Inspiration entry and comment to sign up.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should preface this with the note that I am a web developer by trade and only an occasional web designer. The majority of design work I do is only for this site (and my portfolio site, I guess) because even if I take on freelance projects, it’s usually for someone who already has a design and needs it built out. That said, I still think this applies and I’m excited to participate. :D

What’s your favorite genre of music?

Metal. That said, I listen to everything from alternative indie pop stuff to scary things in other languages, so I am pretty open. I listen to a fair amount of black metal (Borknagar, Opeth), industrial (Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein), folky Nordic metal (Storm, Otyg), goth/doom metal (Type O Negative, Sisters of Mercy), alternative (They Might Be Giants), indie (The Decemberists, Neutral Milk Hotel), and pop (Lily Allen). I tend to have favorite bands rather than favorite generes, because I listen to so many different kinds of stuff.

Do you listen to that genre while designing or does it change?

Not generally. If I have a particular song stuck in my head, I will listen to that, but I think most stuff I listen to is too abrasive for thoughtful work.

Do you tend to listen to any artist in particular while designing?

Sigur Rós! Their stuff is so amazingly perfect for design or development work. It’s symphonic enough to be calming, but has either a beat or is loud enough that you get a rhythm going in your work. Plus, depending on the album, the lyrics are either in Icelandic or a nonsense language that mimics Icelandic, so you don’t get too caught up in what the vocalist is saying and can focus on your work. Phenomenal and totally recommended. (If you’ve seen The Life Aquatic, Starálfur is the song that comes on when Zissou & co. are in the sub and they see the leopard shark. LOVE IT.)

Do you find that different song styles or beats influence the style of your designing? Vice versa?

Hm. I’ll say that if I really get on a roll, I want some pumping music behind me. That’s more for development, I guess, but Rammstein or NIN are great for that. When I’m thinking, or working on fiddly designy things, I prefer something more mellow like The Decemberists or Neutral Milk Hotel so it doesn’t get in my way. I think my designs and my development needs influence my listening rather than the other way around.

What program/site do you use to listen to music?

iTunes. I don’t use Pandora since we’re not allowed to stream music at work, and then I forget to use it once I’m home. I usually prefer to listen to a whole album at once rather than a party shuffle or something, so I like iTunes for that because I can play things by album easily.

And finally, could you live without music? Design?

No, and no! ALL THE BEAUTY WOULD BE GONE FROM THE WORLD. I just rediscovered this article on A List Apart called “In Defense of Eye Candy” and realized it’s more or less what I wrote my thesis on in college. People perceive attractive things to work better and to be more trustworthy, and it’s the function of the designer to facilitate this experience. I’d be so sad without that!

What song best sums up your design style and/or the music you listen to while designing?

Since I mentioned it before, let’s say Starálfur by Sigur Rós. I think it best sums up the music I listen to when I do either design or development. I’d definitely recommend that entire album though; it’s called Ágætis Byrjun. (And since I was thinking about all this, I had to grab my iPod to listen to this album!)

Thanks, Nikki! This was fun and I hope you get some great responses.

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May 6, 2009 8:00 pm

An Event Apart

Yes, the rumors are true: I was finally able to attend An Event Apart! There are so many wonderful things to say about this conference, but I will try to be reasonably brief.

Point #1: It is totally worth the money.

Since I was lucky enough to have my workplace pay my way to SXSW this year, I was therefore ineligible to have them pay my way to AEA. So… I used my tax return money. :blush: Daniel was kind enough to not be upset about this (YES, I cleared it with him beforehand, and apparently you can write educational expenses like this off on your taxes anyway) and I brought him along for the ride. He didn’t go to the conference, but got a nice little vacation in Seattle whereupon he managed to hit EIGHT DIFFERENT COFFEESHOPS in one day. That’s got to be a record.

Point #2: The swag rocks.

Most webby-type conferences seem to give you a huge, hideous tote bag plastered with some sponsor you’ve either never heard of or don’t particularly care about, and the tote bag is filled with postcards from other sponsors or vendors whom you also do not care about. It’s really wasteful (I just recycled all the postcards) and kind of annoying. You know what An Event Apart gave out? USEFUL THINGS.

I received:

A tasteful laptop bag:
An Event Apart Laptop Bag

A classy pen:
An Event Apart Pen

A nice little notebook:
AEA Field Notes Notebook (Front)

And a much-needed USB hub:
AEA USB Hub

THINGS THAT ARE USEFUL. And pretty! With a nice logo on them that I am not embarrassed to carry around!

Point #3: Everything is thought out

It was obvious that all the speakers spent a ton of time on their presentations. This was not a hit-and-miss, “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of conference – every single session was awesome.

I think AEA does a great job of picking people that are super relevant to the industry and that have a ton of knowledge to impart. They were all passionate about the industry and about what they do. It showed.

Overall, I was super impressed with the quality and thoughfulness throughout the conference. It’s only two days, but they cram stuff in and it’s all worthwhile. Plus, there are parties:

eROI crew at AEAphoto from dondondon

…and one of my co-workers won an iPod Touch. Jealous!

Conclusion

If your workplace supports learning and furthering your creative endeavors and is willing to pay your way, this is totally a conference to hit. There are ones coming up later this year in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. If they are not-so-willing, you might try writing a letter to the person in charge and suggest that they consider sending one or two people from the company as a way to keep on top of the industry and schmooze with other professionals. It will make you smarter and may therefore garner your company some more dollars, if they are concerned about that.

If you are saving your money for it and are not sure if you really want to spend a zillion dollars on it, DO IT. It is so worth it. It’s definitely a whirlwind experience (I didn’t feel like I got a lot of downtime) but you will come away incredibly inspired with new tips, tricks, and techniques that you can then use to become better at what you do. And who wouldn’t want that?

If anybody has any questions about a particular session or about attending the conference in general, just ask them in the comments and I’ll respond. I’m still giddy with excitement.

Edited to add: Jeeze, so giddy I forgot to mention that I got to meet both Jeffrey Zeldman (success!) and Eric Meyer (yay!). If THAT doesn’t convince you that AEA was awesome, I dont know what will.

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April 29, 2009 11:40 am

Things on my mind

  • The most surprising Internet gossip I’ve seen in a LONG time.
    I have no idea why this surprised me so much, but it did. Congratulations to Jem and Karl!
  • This text effect.
    I don’t know that I’d call it “letterpress” per se, but I do like it and I’ve been wondering what fancy things to do in Photoshop to achieve it. Then I saw this tutorial!
  • Swine Flu
    Epidemics annoy me, I think. Perhaps it is because I am on the West coast and therefore feel less likely to be affected? Whatever it is, I still love piggies and I will wash my hands a lot but I am not panicked about Swine Flu.
  • Beta-testing Melly.me
    Melissa (formerly of Guitarangel.net) has been redesigning her site on the sly, and I got to be a beta tester! It is super cool and I hope she releases it soon!
  • Heidi’s surprise visit

    Daniel’s sister Heidi called me at 8:30pm on Sunday like, “HI I AM 10 MINUTES OUTSIDE OF PORTLAND. SURPRISE!” Apparently she decided to get in her car and drive and then after a while decided to head to Portland. From North Idaho. Making it a 7.5 hour drive to get to Portland. (She might be crazy!)

    I took yesterday off of work to hang out, and we went to breakfast and coffee and Powell’s. Daniel got his hair cut and then he had to go to work, so we hung out at the coffeeshop for a while before she had to take off to go back home. It was nice to have the day off and great to see Heidi.

What’s up with everyone else on the Intarwebs? Anything fun happen lately?

4 Comments >

March 24, 2009 9:17 am

SXSW!

Skipping right over my lengthy absence from my website, I am here to tell you about my trip to Texas for South by Southwest! I was there for five days, and here is a list of the famous people I met:

Okay, okay, so my list is pretty short. I did, however, see both Jeffrey Zeldman (several times!) and Jason Santa Maria while I was there. Whee! Zeldman was shorter in person than I expected, and I totally would have introduced myself if he had not be engaged in a conversation EVERY TIME I SAW HIM. Argh. JSM was a moderator on one of the panels I attended, and then I saw him in a mexican restaurant where he was engaged in a conversation that I didn’t want to interrupt. Argh again!

I went to yoga in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday. Later, I realized that I had been doing yoga with two of the Web Typography panelists. Hee!

Texas appears to be enamored with brown countertops. Really marbley brown countertops, so you can’t actually see if you’ve set anything down on them because they are too camouflage-y.

One of the best panels I attended was “Are Women Taken More Seriously on the Web?.” These women were FASCINATING. I loved hearing their experiences being a woman in “tech” and how they have dealt with being taken seriously in a dude-centric environment. I didn’t really come away with any concrete notes from that session, but they brought up a couple of good points:

  • Do you come off as a woman online?

    One panelist talked about how her mother frequented a college football forum and noticed that the women’s opinions were never taken that seriously or were made fun of. She created a profile on the forum that was deliberately androgynous. She did not state her name, her picture was of something innocuous like a football, her username wasn’t indicative of her gender, and when asked about herself, all she would say was that she had “a son who plays college football.”

    She eventually became one of the most recognized and respected members of that forum. Should she really have had to disguise her gender in order to be respected?

  • Online “handles” have changed and the pseudonym is dying

    More and more people (not just women) are realizing that names have power. In relation to the first point, an unusual side effect is such that if you have a complicated or unusual name (like panelist Blagica (“blah-geet-zah,” like “pizza”) Bottigliero), you may accidentally end up coming off as a man online.

    Blagica said she sometimes consciously cultivates this misconception via email by using more “manly” terms or words. She related that she had a lengthy conversation with a confused client on the phone, during which she had to really work to convince the person that, yes, she was the developer on the project and not just the secretary that had taken over for the “real” developer. The person could just not believe that the “Blagica” developer he had been speaking with over email was the same, womanly “Blagica” developer on the phone.

Again: FASCINATING.

I learned why analytics are crap: Let’s say you see a peak of activity on your site. Is that peak because the person loved your site so much they stayed there a long time? Or could it be because they were hopelessly lost, stuck, and confused, and were trying to work their way out of a hole? Conversely, if you see a drop in activity, is it for sure because your site sucks horribly? Or could it be because your user found exactly what they needed in a short amount of time? There’s really no way to know.

B = f(P,E) Behavior is a function of a person and his or her environment.

Think about your default avatars. If it looks “okay,” people will be less inclined to change it. I think Twitter does a lovely job of this – their default avatar is scary and people want to be rid of it.

A user’s ultimate goal is NOT to be on your website. They want to be done with it and LEAVE. (This, I feel, is different with personal sites/blogs. Users elect to be there. For sites that sell things or offer services, this is much more relevant.)

I did learn an awful lot while I was there. I’m in the process of going through my notes in order to have a good write-up for our creative team blog at work, but I wanted to share some of the tidbits I learned with you. (I am omitting the story about the Worst Airline Seat Partner Ever that I encountered on the way back to Portland, mostly because I am still seething about it. The dude talked, nonstop and loudly, for the entire four-and-a-half hour NIGHTTIME flight. Also he was creepy. And I still want to punch him in the mouth.)

Any questions? Anecdotes? Want to slap me for not actually talking to Zeldman or JSM when I had the chance?

3 Comments >

December 31, 2008 7:50 pm

Here’s to you, 2009

Since everyone else seems to be doing it, here are my resolutions for the upcoming year:

  • Entertain at home more often

    I know you are supposed to quantify goals (“once a month,” “four times a year” etc.) but I’m not really interested in quantifying this particular goal, since anything I choose will be vastly higher than how often I entertained people last year. I really want to have a dinner party or a cocktail party or something early in 2009. Perhaps once our new couch gets delivered (January 10th!).

  • Wear skirts / dresses more often

    I am pretty sure that most of my skirt + shirt outfits fit better on me and look nicer than most of my shirt + jeans outfits, and I would like to encourage myself to dress that way more often.

  • Use all 10 times on my snowboard pass

    For “owning all my gear,” getting ready for snowboard season this year has been expensive. Okay, okay, I did choose the nicer snowpants, but I budget shopped on everything else (boots, bindings, and goggles). Still, I’d like to make the most of it by not wasting any days on my pass. This should be a pretty easy goal to hit since a lot of my co-workers are going boarding this year and I will be going with them, but I am writing it down so I can hold myself to it.

  • Sew a throw pillow cover

    Also pretty simple. Now that we bought a new couch, I want to spruce it up with some festive throw pillows and it is much cheaper to sew your own than spend $30 per pillow in stores.

  • Post at least once per week

    This posting schedule looks like it will be my comfort zone from here on out. For several years, I posted every single day (YEARS of NaBloPoMo!) and once I got a job, I just couldn’t keep it up and my post rate dropped dramatically. I have been better in the last month or two, but I’d like to commit to definitely posting once per week if not more.

2008 was an eventful year, mostly because of the wedding. WE GOT MARRIED WOOOO! Planning took up most of the beginning of the year, and then the actual wedding seems to have taken up the middle. Work stuff took over my autumn, and then here we are in winter!

Daniel and I are about to head out to dinner with some friends so I’m off, but I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year and say thanks for all the support, comments, and well-wishes you’ve sent me over the past year. I appreciate it very, very much. :)

3 Comments >

December 15, 2008 10:42 am

The Quilting Bee

Several years ago, around this same time in December, Jem posted something about The Quilting Bee on her website. I was intrigued, since I had seen a bunch of people with links to their Qbee quilts on their site, but I figured I wouldn’t have enough time to be a part of another club with mandatory activities.

What I gathered from that post was:

  • It’s okay if you don’t have a lot of time. As long as you keep up with your trades, you aren’t required to participate in the activities.
  • That said, the activities are actually really fun and they don’t take a whole lot of effort.
  • It’s okay if you aren’t the best at pixelling. You will learn! Lots of members started out pretty crap at first but they practiced (activities are a great way to practice!) and got better. Besides, the club is more about friendship and fun than it is about the artwork.

Jem convinced me with that post and now I have been a Qbee member for three years. I still don’t participate in every activity, but the major holiday activities are the ones I prioritize and make time for.

This holiday season, we are exchanging Christmas cards! I made cards for my Qbee neighbors and have received cards from some of my other Qbee pals. There is also an ornament hunt! Last year’s activity ornaments have been hidden across the entire website and it’s up to us to find them. Supposedly there are 54 and I’ve accumulated a paltry nine, but I will keep plugging away in my free time to see if I can find some more.

Through the Qbee, I’ve made some more Internet friends and it’s been just lovely. If you can commit to about 30 minutes per month to trade with other members and do a bit of upkeep, you are golden. It takes a weensy bit of setup up front (installing Bubs’s MyQuilt Admin, for instance) but overall it has been very manageable.

If you’re interested but want more info, feel free to comment and I’ll answer your questions!

(Today is “Post About The Quilting Bee Day” so if you see a bunch of these around the intarwebs, that’s why. ;) )

4 Comments >

November 10, 2008 5:31 pm

Addicted to Design Blogs

After Kerri responded to my tweet asking which design blogs I read, I thought it would be appropriate to post them so everyone can enjoy. Behold!

I visit Design*Sponge a LOT. They have a nice mix of furniture, food, stationery, pillows, everything. Everything designy.

The first “house” blog I really got into is Making It Lovely. Nicole is SO sweet and her house is adorable. The older archives are more house-related but I love it all. Don’t miss the large dragon mural! (Also, Nicole and her husband are having a baby and I can’t WAIT to see what the nursery ends up looking like!)

Everyone cites Apartment Therapy as a big inspiration, but I find their site too obnoxious to browse. I hate their archiving method (you used to only be able to see one page before you hit the “archives”
which only gave you post titles. Now I think it’s better, but might only be five pages?) and I hate the giant square ads before the comments. They post questions but don’t answer them or offer suggestions before they open it up to the commenters. It’s okay, it’s just not for me.

I used to visit This Young House off and on, but in the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten totally obsessed with it. Just ask Daniel, heh. They offer a consulting service where you can send in photos of your house, or room, or whatever, and for a fee they will create a color palette and research items you should buy for your room. They have fantastic taste and their readers have great before-and-afters. I emailed the couple to ask them to post a “rugs 101” because I am a total dunce about rugs (Why would you cover up hardwood with something pretending to be carpet? What size do you need for a given room? How do you pick a pattern?) and Sherry posted it the next day! I’m forever grateful.

Decor8 is good for visuals. I tend to save their images to my computer so I can look at them later. I think they offer deals a lot, like “20% off X store for all readers of this blog!” so that’s nice. One of the girls that writes for Decor8 also has a personal blog called Haus Maus where she talks about getting a place in Germany and decorating it.

I stumbled on Coveiter this morning and had a field day.

How About Orange has some nice visuals too.

I tend to not read Martha Stewart websites (even though I secretly love her stuff) because there’s too much going on with the rest of the site and not enough article. I always feel like I’ll click into something that looks like it’ll have helpful info, and it’ll be two paragraphs and three bullet points of common sense and then NINE ZILLION ADS and PROMOS and OTHER THINGS TO LOOK AT. Her ideas are great, but I tire of her sites easily.

Occasionally, I’ll stumble on other house blogs and read all the archives and then forget what the sites were called, so there are definitely more out there that I’m just not remembering. Do you have any other sites you want to share? I’m always up for other things to read!

6 Comments >

August 27, 2008 9:26 am

Ditch the Downers?

I don’t think I’d consider myself to be a negative person; I have my moments I guess, like anyone does, but on the whole I’d say I’m mostly positive. In my experience, most people I follow on Twitter (or other similar services) post positive things, or neutral at the very least. The problem I am having is dealing with the people that, for whatever reason, feel the need to make everything they post about be how awful everything is.

I would like to keep up with these people. I really would. I like them and they write witty things on their websites and seem like people I would hang out with. But it’s getting really, really draining when every single thing I hear from them is how this one bad thing happened and then they got a migraine and had to go grocery shopping and they got stuck in traffic and it rained and they came home and their favorite show was canceled and they got in a fight with their significant other and now the dog is sick and meanwhile I am almost starting to question how one person’s life could really be that awful.

Everyone has bad days. I get that. I myself have had a lot this past month. What I don’t get is how consistently awful these people make their lives sound. Surely your child did something cute today? Or perhaps after it rained you saw a rainbow? Or you thought your dog was sick but it turned out he was just faking and you saved a $300 vet trip?

Maybe it’s because I tend to post really banal things on Twitter – I see it as being more lighthearted than anything, and when people post these gut-wrenching missives on really depressing topics it gets to me.

Do I unfollow these people because I feel like they are bumming me out more than they’re amusing me, or is that totally heartless? Does it make a difference if they don’t follow me (meaning: we are not at all close)? What to do?

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