DIY- Snowman (463 pins and counting on Pinterest)

DIY- Snowman (Photo credit: Julie A. Smith)

DIY- Snowman (Photo credit: Julie A. Smith)

My most popular post on my Pinterest account by far has been an original pin that I posted of a Do It Yourself Snowman project. There have been 463 re-pins and 70 likes on Pinterest since I posted the DIY- Snowman pin a year ago. The project is really cute and easy to make. You use a bar of soap as a base and wrap it with a white hand towel. Next, you use black felt for a hat, add a scarf, and add buttons on the snowman’s body (which you can’t see in the picture) and add buttons for his eyes and nose. My co-worker made this Snowman for me last Christmas as a Christmas gift using the idea she saw at a local craft show.

Here is the Pinterest pin original link:
http://pinterest.com/pin/526850856377914788/

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2012 Flashback (a.k.a. Personal Reflections on this Past Year)

How is 2012 quickly drawing to a close?  Yes, it is true what people say: the years go by faster and faster the older you get.  This past year was a mix of hardships and saying good-bye to several friends who left my area, as well as various events and activities that shaped the year for me.  This list is a personal reflection of the past year, rather than a list of current events or a political piece, with dates as close as possible to the real month of occurrence.  I enjoy reflecting on the past before starting a new year.  It is good to have new goals and aspirations.

January

  • I began blogging on WordPress.  Yay!
  • A mild winter in Illinois. That’s awesome because I walked a 1/2 mile each way to work due to the scarcity of close parking at my job.

February

  • My birthday month.  Why does it feel like the last 5 years or so are gone in a blink?
  • I attended my second ever University of Illinois Basketball game.  It was a nice family time with my Dad, and Illinois beat Iowa, so that was exciting.

March

  • It was fun to co-coordinate a faculty/staff service outreach at my job.  We volunteered at the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, a foodbank that helps provide food to hundreds of soup kitchens and food pantries in the central Illinois area.
  • I become the proud owner of a iPhone 4.  It is super cool, but dislikes when I try to use it as a PHONE from my apartment.  However, the apps, being able to easily check and write e-mails, and the camera are all great features.
  • Winter Jam Tour at the Assembly Hall with my friend, Sabrina

April

  • My church purchases our own building after the building we rented was damaged by a fire.  My church had been dislocated to a hotel for around 3-4 months, so the purchase of our own building was exciting.

May

  • My friend Carolina moved to Arizona when her husband graduated and expediently got a great job.

June

  • Summer= swimming (in my attempt at fitness).
  • Around this time (ish), I become a poet who publishes on poemhunter.  I enjoy writing poetry, especially about love, heartache, and God/faith.

July

  • More swimming.  Summer seemed to go by at warp speed.  I did get to go see the New Amazing Spiderman on the Fourth of July.
  • I covered many job duties for my co-worker who was off work for 3 weeks due to an accident.  I also spent around 4 months (off and on)  for my co-worker typing forms, scanning forms, e-mailing people (some out of state, out of country, or no longer with my department), and playing Nancy Drew with solving discrepancies in legal check-outs of equipment loans, mostly for laptop.  This was to get forms for approxiately a few hundred pieces of equipment updated for legal check-out.
  • My co-worker who was my back-up was promoted, so it was challenging during the 6 weeks before her replacement was hired and started.

August

English: Script logo of the Chicago Bears

  • I took a min-vacation to see my family in my hometown area.  We took a one day road trip to see the Chicago Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University.
  • My friend Amy moved out-of-state in order to complete her degree in Art.

September

  • I spend around $300 on an oil change and new brakes when I am told that my brakes are 95% gone.  I am glad this was found before winter, but sad to try to figure out how to pay for that in my tight budget.
  • My friend Melissa moves to Champaign for a new job.  I was blessed by that fact, but I also got a $100 rent credit when I referred her to my apartment complex.  Yay!

October

  •  After 2 years and approximately 3 months, I got into a close parking lot by my work building.  If you know the ordeals that I went through before this time, you will know why this was a HUGE positive for me (I even paid around $70/month for a few months for a private gravel lot in order to be able to get a break and actually get to places on time after work).
  • I join Pinterest and become semi-addicted.
  • My first ever 5K!  My friend Melissa encouraged me to do it.  I am not a runner, but I loved walking the 5K.   It was a fantastic experience.
  • I voted for my clerical union contract.  We had been without a contract for 14 or 15 months which was pretty discouraging, in spite of my union’s persistent negotiations.

November

  • I paid off my 5 year loan on my 2006 Ford Taurus!  Woohoo!
  • The Woodfield Mall bus trip that I was attending with my Mom got cancelled, but all was not lost when my Mom visited me and we spent the weekend shopping at a outlet mall and many great local places.
  • My first laptop that I have ever personally ordered was stolen when FedEx left it unsigned for outside of my apartment the day after Thanksgiving.

December

  • Old-Fashioned Christmas at my church.  I got to go on a horse and carriage ride!  It was amazing!
  • I bought a new laptop  after my laptop that I ordered online was stolen.
  • E-mail day of action that I participated in (off work time, of course) since my signed union contract giving all clericals a small raise and pay-back got stalled by my University when there was no real follow-through and months of stalemate.  Justice is important.  I will note that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can locate information that can be quite discouraging, such as discovering that “snack bar attendant” and “helper-kitchen” earned more pay than I did, until recently.
  • I reach over 100 likes on my WordPress blog.  Yes, sometimes I am addicted to my Stats!
  • Christmas with my family, after a two-day delay when my car would not start, got jumped twice, and eventually resulted in me paying $420 for a new alternator and serpentine belt.
  • My first ever pedicure, that was at a spa with my Mom, twin sister, and niece,  It was part of my Christmas gift from my Mom.  It was amazing!

Flashback- Me (on left) and my twin sister, Jody (on right), when we were little

Pinterest Top Ten Tips (a.k.a. Pinterest is more than just Home Decor and Party Ideas)

For the last few months, I kept hearing about Pinterest.  I went to a baby shower and the creative and innovative food ideas were taken from Pinterest, and then at a good-bye party, one of the good-bye gifts was a blow-pops sucker knick-knack with a sign saying “You’re leaving here blows.  We will miss you.”  Thus, I sufficed that Pinterest was a hot new social networking site devoted to home decor and party ideas, and it essentially was a digital bulletin board (or pinboard).

However, it was only about 2 weeks ago that I realized that Pinterest had a much broader basis.  My friend, Amber, told me that she was on Pinterest, and she showed me a glimpse of her site.  She had a really pretty hairstyle that she had pinned that was inspiring for a wedding she was a bridesmaid for.  However, she explained more about Pinterest, but I have to admit that I was sold when she told me how she had repined a pin called “Books Rory Gilmore read.”  I used to be a huge Gilmore Girls fan, and I loved to watch the show, especially the early seasons.

Gilmore Girls (season 1)

As you can probably see from where this blog is going, I am on Pinterest now.  I find it inspiring, fun, artsy, cool, hip, interesting, and thoroughly diverse.  Here is my mini-tutorial on Pinterest, with personal insights gleaned from over two weeks of being semi-addicted to Pinterest.

Top Ten Helpful Tips and Info for Getting Started with Pinterest:

Pinterest: Why should we be interested? [infog...

1. Please note the name is not pronounced Pin-interest, as I keep trying to pronounce it.  It is Pinterest.

2. You can get a free app for it or use it on a desktop computer or laptop.  However, the Pinterest website has a great deal more features than the iPhone app.

3. It is possible to login with Facebook or Twitter, but for those who are not connected that way (me and two other people), you can login with e-mail, which makes it more inclusive, in my opinion.

4. Fun things about it: you can follow people and have followers, like Facebook and MySpace.  You can comment.  You can like things. (Important tip from my observation and what a friend told me: when you “like” something on Pinterest but do not pin it, then you are AUTOMATICALLY signed up to follow the creator of that pin.  I had wondered how I ended up with over 60 people I was following initially.  I believe automatic followers may have also come from the pictures you Pinterest has you like at the beginning when you are creating your account.

5. You can add a profile photo or info about you.  The iPhone app does not have this capability (unless maybe it syncs with your Facebook profile pic?), but on the website for Pinterest you click under you name, then click settings, and then upload an image.

6. You create thematic electronic bulletin boards, and you pin things onto your bulletin boards.  You can repin other’s content (always with a link back to the original site for credit), download items like photographs, or pin content found on the internet.

Pinterest

7. It is possible to change the comment under something you repin.  If you just repin, then the comment is automatically the same comment as the person you repined from.  I find this slightly confusing and potentially problematic.  I felt like I was plagiarizing other’s comments, so after a while I started specifying something like “original pinners comment” to clarify.

8. One fun thing about Pinterest is you can explore many categories when you click explore, such as DIY and Crafts, Films, Music, & Books, Geek, Home Decor, Kids, Photography, Quotes, Technology, Travel, and Women’s Fashion.  Note: you can lose hours surfing around categories and repining things, so be careful.

9. You can set the cover of your bulletin board by editing it. This is helpful if you have a photo/pin that you particularly are fond of.  Otherwise the cover is the latest pin for that bulletin board category.

10. Finally, here is the link to my Pinterest site. Feel free to check it out and see what Pinterest is all about or for getting started ideas.  I only have 3 followers, so followers are appreciated, as well.  Happy pinning!

https://pinterest.com/hopeandheart/#