{Link Love} New Reads…

I know a lot of people don’t like the blog award season, but I always see them as an opportunity to find new blogs to read that I probably never would have come across otherwise.  I’ve been trawling through Apartment Therapy’s nominations for The Homies and I’ve found these little gems which I thought I’d share:

The brilliantly named Broke Ass Home – which is a warm bright home in reality, with a gorgeous new baby girl addition this week.  Congrats Broke Ass Home!

Life in Velvet – such a beautiful lifestyle blog with some great crafts and mini apple pies to die for!

Jade and Fern – some great DIY projects and downloadables.

Poppytalk – not really a new one to me, but I’d somehow lost it off my list when GReader died and I didn’t have it bookmarked *palmface*

PinteriorDesigner – genius DIY ideas go have a look!

Ana White – if I knew one end of a power tool from the other, then this would be my favourite blog. As it stands I’d end up in A&E so best I look at the pictures! But so, so good, especially if you can do DIY!

What new blogs are you guys reading? Let me know if you’ve found anything amazing, I always need new reads 🙂

And this is for claiming my BlogLovin site: Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

 

 

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Pin it Forward with Pinterest

Pin It Forward UK 2013

Pinterest are launching in the UK, well localising it probably a better term. They will have a new British English language setting and improvements, to make local UK content more easily discoverable for UK pinners when searching.  As I’m bit of a ‘Pinterestaholic’ (yes that is a new word and I couldn’t think of a better one!) they asked me to write about how I use Pinterest.

As most of you know I am a long time fan and user of Pinterest,  I find it one of the handiest sites around.  I was banging on about it back in 2011 when it first launched. And although we’ve had our ups and downs, Pinterest has remained I think one of the most useful sites out there if you have a crafty/design bent.

For those of you not familiar with Pinterest it’s like an online ‘Pinboard’ you can create ‘boards’ and pin images or posts from sites so you can have them all in one place (just remember to give credit where it’s due!). They are fantastic if you are planning a new room design, project or just a bit of digital hoarding.  You can have them public, private or collaborative with your friends.

For example I have a few boards, my most useful being Kitchen Inspiration

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Children’s Spaces

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 and Beautiful Gardens

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As I’m in the middle of re-making over the house, these boards and ideas are great for me to see what I want to do to the house and keep good ideas I spot all in one place.  The Bathroom board was invaluable when we were planning the new bathroom and I got so much inspiration from other people’s boards.

But my favourite board has to be my DIY Tips board – if you click on the image below you should be able to sign up to Pinterest and follow my DIY board. Nifty eh?

Screen shot 2013-05-22 at 12.08.30

I started the board as there are some amazing DIY tips on Pinterest and I’ve grabbed a selection from various creative blogger’s sites. I’ve learnt how to get a straight line when painting two colours next to each other (simple but who knew?), how to create a photo wall, paint furniture and clean kitchen equipement – all simple and straightforward.  Just the kind of tips I like.

Pinterest Pin it Forward

I’d like to introduce you to another Blogger Annaboo’s House who pins a wonderful crafty selection here her Crochet Board and Garden Boards are my favourites. And the lovely TeaWagon Tales who introduced me from her site, I think they are both gorgeous.  Go check them out!

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Replacing Google Reader and Re-Subscribing

You know I was going to write a post about Google Reader being shut down, but then Miss L got ill and everyone beat me to it!

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I’m personally trying to decide between Flipboard or BlogLovin’. Blog Lovin has a wonderful simple import from GReader button for the lazy – well it won me over. But I’m also looking forward to seeing Digg’s GReader clone when it’s finished, I think that might be a little bit special.

When I started looking properly at Google Reader to see what needed moving, I know a lot of my favourite bloggers aren’t about anymore. I started to read and I spotted something that broke my heart a little bit. Ages ago you could link Facebook Updates to Google Reader and I’d saved the last FB update one of my friends made before she died. I’ve just emailed it to myself, her FB account is now long gone and I miss her. It’s nice to read some of her words and hear her ‘voice’ again. It feels almost like I’m digitally hoarding something, but I can’t bear to part with it. One of those sad but happy moments at the same time.

If you’re wondering what to replace Google Reader with @paulbradshaw on Twitter tweeted this rather awesome list of RSS Readers and the details of each. I don’t know if he’s the original source but it’s a very useful document.

If you want to keep up with Violet Posy you can follow me on BlogLovin’, Facebook and Networked Blogs. and if you want my plain old feed it’s this http://violetposy.co.uk/feed/ or there is an email subscription top right. I’d be really grateful! x

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An Evening Out

I had the most wonderful time at The Mads on Friday, it was so lovely catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones.  Thank you for voting for me so I could be there! I didn’t win, Heather from Growing Spaces did – hurray! Her blog is fabulous and it was so well deserved – go and check her out. I want her home 🙂

The finalists were really spoilt as we had onsite hair and make up – get in! Just as well as my hair had gone into a Kate Bush style, just huge and curly. Luckily the hairdresser tamed it and then a lovely makeup artist called Sue, sorted out my face. I forgot to take any photos with me in, too busy talking!  But I found this nice one on the Tots100 instagram stream, I’m sitting with Elaine from Mortgage Free in Three who was wearing the most amazing dress!

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As you can see everyone was in a party mood.  I had a good catch up with the very lovely Becky from Baby Budgeting and my fellow Geek Mum, Ruth from GeekMummy (bottom right photo)…

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…(bottom left photo) the stunning Mirka from All Baby Advice and Kat from Slugs on the Refrigerator (who was the big winner of the night – yay!).  Pippa from A Mother’s Ramblings (bottom right photo) who had me in hysterics as usual, she is one of the funniest women I know. I also got to meet for the first time Jen from Love Chic Living which was great as we’ve chatted so much on here and twitter but I didn’t managed to snap a photo of her).
It was a wonderful evening and many thanks to Sally and her team for organizing it and giving us bloggers such a great night out.
 

 

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RSS Readers and Email Subscribers

Hello Lovely Subscribers!,

You get your RSS Feed or Emails to Violet Posy via something called Feedburner which I’ve decided to stop using. But in order to keep you all I need to make some changes so  you can all still follow the blog and I wondered if you could all resubscribe?  I would be amazingly grateful if you could!

So to resubscribe to the RSS Feed the new feed is: http://violetposy.co.uk/feed/  – see what I did there! 🙂

And if you get the blog via your email then there is a new email sign up on the right hand side bar of Violet Posy (3rd Widget down)

If you don’t feel like using either anymore, then you can also follow the blog over on Facebook

If you’re not going to resubscribe, can I just take this chance to say thank you for all your support over the years, it’s been really appreciated!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Liz x

 

 

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The Mads and a Thankyou or Two

The Mads (Mum and Dad Blogging Awards) is coming up next week, and frankly it’s kind of crept up on me – where did September go?

I’d like to thank you all again for voting for me in the category of the Best Home Blog.  I’m nominated with some wonderful other bloggers  Frugal In Cornwall, Growing Spaces, Love Chic Living and The White Approach   I’m rather looking forward to having a glass of wine with them.  I couldn’t have done that without you all kindly taking the time to vote for me, hugs to you all.

It’s being held at a swish London hotel this year and I was having bit of a panic about what to wear.  I was thinking my black maxi dress and some purple trainers for comfort. Last year I wore high heels and they were off of my feet in about 10 minutes of getting there!  But saving the day for me yesterday I got an email asking me if I’d like to choose an outfit from the Littlewoods Catalogue and they’d send it to me to wear – yes please!

Now I don’t get to dress up much anymore, I don’t work in an office, there are no Christmas parties to attend anymore and all my friends are married. Frankly I’ve kind of forgotten how to dress up, I’m in my uniform of jeans, t-shirts, converse and a jumper when it’s cold pretty much every day.

So what to wear?  I had a good look through and there were some lovely clothes on there, but anything strapless or short I don’t think I can wear anymore.   So I’ve gone with fairly tailored red dress and shoes from Holly Willoughby’s collection as she has a similar figure to me . It’s been ages since I’ve worn anything red, probably about 14 years or so, I really hope it looks ok!

 

and these shoes, which aren’t something I would have bought for myself normally because they are red and fun and I have literally nothing to wear with them other than this dress. But they are gorgeous!

And the last thank you is to my category’s sponsor Vertbaudet who send me these beautiful canopy curtains for Miss L’s room. I’m hoping to makeover her room and finally re-paint it this winter and she’s always wanted a little canopy around her bed so these will be perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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{The Mads 2012} Thankyou

MAD Blog Awards 2012 I just popped over to The Mads (Mum and Dad Blog Awards) to see if I’d been nominated for anything and I had such a lovely surprise I’m really chuffed!  Violet Posy has been nominated for Most Innovative, Most Helpful Blogger, Best Home Blog and the big one Best Blog of the Year!

I really can’t thank all of you who nominated my blog enough. I hadn’t really publicised The Mads on here much because I’ve been fortunate enough to nominated the last couple of years and I’ve not really blogged that much this year – work, life and everything in between has kind of gotten in the way.  So this is extra special to me. Even if I don’t get to the finals it doesn’t matter, the fact that people liked Violet Posy enough to nominate it is enough for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart xx

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What’s Your Favourite WordPress Plugin?

Yesterday I had an email from an advertiser asking if their ads could just appear on my homepage, and I knew my theme couldn’t do it so I’d have to hunt for a plugin.  Now there are 18,964 WordPress plugins at the moment – where to start?  I tried a couple of custom sidebar ones and they were crap and then on the Parent Blogger Facebook site Heather recommended ‘Widget Logic’. It was perfect and did exactly what I wanted it to in seconds – thanks Heather!

And that got me thinking, what are your favourite plugins?  What could your blog not function without?  What little gems do you use?  I don’t do a whole lot that is fancy on here, but the ones I’ve used and like are:

Akismet – Keeps away the crazy Spam.

Background Patterns – lots of subtle background patterns you can install in seconds.

Tabber Widget – Add tabs to your sidebar.

Ultimate Thesis Theme Options – Brillant for adding widget areas to Thesis Theme.

WP Google Fonts – Adds Google fonts to where ever you want them on your page.

WP-Protect – You can stop right clicking and protect your blog.

WPtouch – Mobilises your site for mobile devices.

Instagram for WordPress – Nice plugin for showing off your photos in the sidebar.

GetMeCooking Recipe Template – nice for adding recipes to your site.

Linkwithin – not a plugin but a bit of code you can get from their site which generates posts which maybe of interest to your readers.

What are your favourite plugins?  I can’t wait to hear about some new ones so I can play with them 🙂

 

 

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Challenge Accepted!

So lovely blogging pal Pippa over at A Mother’s Ramblings, has tagged me for a super quick Meme:

 

1) Which TV character do you think you are most like?

Monica from Friends, although I attempt not to be an anal retentive control freak – yeah I don’t manage it much! But I’m not as insanely tidy as her thankfully or no one could live with me 🙂

 

2) What time do you go to bed?

Normally about 10.30pm and then read till about 11.30pm

 

3) What was the last meal you made from scratch?

Steak and Mushroom Pie with Mash and Veggies.

 

4) What is your favourite type of music?

Everything? I love pretty much everything from Jay-Z, Wiley, Tiny Tempah to Ed Sheeran and Sarah McLachlan. My iPod is very eclectic, I confuse the hell out of Genius on iTunes.  I think I like anything I can sing along to LOUD!

 

5) In what position do you sleep?

On my left side curled up, and it has to be cold – see control freak!

 

6) What is your first memory?

Sitting in a very old fashioned pram with my Nan stopped in the street talking to someone. I was about 18 months I guess?

 

7) What is your least favourite smell?

Violets!

 

If anyone wants to answer the same questions I’d love to read your answers. Let me know where they are.

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Replacing Picnik

Late last week Google announced the closure of the fabulous photo editing Picnik site, in order to roll out some of it’s functions into Google+ photos.  But that also means from what I’ve read that all your photos edited on it are then also made public via your Google+ account – I could be wrong so don’t hold me to that!   But this move by Google (motto: ‘Don’t be Evil’) pretty much stuffs up loads of Bloggers and small Etsy business people who don’t have access to photo editing software and used Picnik on a daily basis.

So what can you replace it with?  Well frankly none of them out there are as good as Picnik was.  I tried lots of them over the weekend and I could weep for the lack of  decent competition.  So what is there?

Web

Photobuckethttp://photobucket.com/ the adverts on it will drive you mad, flashing intrusive and bloody annoying BUT the photo editing on there is pretty good and you can store images on there. Lots of image editing available change colours, crop, add text and other shinies to it.

Big Huge Labs – http://www.bighugelabs.com/  I love this site, it’s not fancy but there are some great utilities and you can make collages really easily on there.

Avaiary – http://advanced.aviary.com/  this is ok, I found it a little clunky to use but I think this is a service that will rapidly get better now Picnik has gone.

and a few I’ve not tried http://fotoflexer.com/   http://www.phixr.com/  http://www.photoshop.com/  http://pixlr.com/express/ https://www.canva.com/

 

Software – If you want to invest some money have a look at Photoshop Elements. It’s a cut down version of Photoshop, it does a lot but is depending in where you buy it between £60 and £100 but you can get this for Mac or Windows

Also there is Gimp which is free for both Mac and Windows, I’ve personally not used it but I know a lot of people rave about it.

 

For the Mac 

There are now some cool apps you can by in the Mac App Store for editing photos.  I’ve not used any of these as I’m a Photoshop girl but my husband who hates Photoshop swears by this:

Pixelmator – http://www.pixelmator.com/ It’s £20.99

 

For Windows

I’ve not been on a Windows machine for years, but I’m assured by people in the know that the new version of Paint is ok and if you are lucky enough to have Office, have a look at Publisher and Powerpoint – you can edit photos on either of those.  Off the top of my head I can’t remember if you can add text to photos on Windows Photo Editor? But that comes with basic Windows, so have a look it’s possible you can.

I’m sure I’ve missed some, so if you know of any that are brilliant let us know all about it.

 

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Replacing Google Friend Connect

Google in their infinite wisdom are getting rid of Google Friend Connect for non blogger blogs (if your blog is hosted on Blogger you’re ok!), as of March 1, 2012.  This means if your blog is on WordPress, Typepad or something else readers will no longer be able to read your blog through Friend Connect.  So how to replace it?

I’ve created a few ways for Friend Connect people to carry on reading Violet Posy should they want to read my ramblings 🙂

RSS

There’s the RSS Feed – If they click on that and add that to their feed reader it will replace the feed that currently comes through ‘Friend Connect’ – really handy for those already reading through GReader.

Email

Look over in the sidebar in the tabbed area – it’s under ‘Subscribe’.  I’ve found this to be increasingly popular, you don’t need an RSS Reader, you just get new posts straight to your inbox.

I personally use Feedburner to send out the emails, but I noticed that on the new WordPress Jetpack there is an email subscribe widget that you just drag into the sidebar and you are good to go- dead simple!

Facebook

My Facebook page is great (sorry that sounds a bit wrong!) but it’s easy to just pop a post over there (either manually or via automation via Networked Blogs below), have a chat with readers, – I put all my posts over there too.  Loads of people now read blogs through Facebook – why not have everything in one place? I’ve been using to read posts and share with my friends.  There’s a handy ‘How to create a Fan Page‘ here at Mashable.  The only thing I’d say is if you are trying to remain anonymous, create a ‘blog’ facebook account to link it too or it will link into your profile and it’s really hard to keep them separate.

Networked Blogs

Networked Blogs – I’ve just added that one if you use it. It’s a bit like GReader in that you have an account and you subscribe to blogs through it. But it also does some nifty things with Facebook automation – have a play!.

BlogLovin

BlogLovin – This is a new one to me, but also a newsfeeder service, but seems to be popping up all over the place so I’ve added it as people are obviously using it.

Google+

I’ve created a page for VioletPosy and I’ve yet to remember to actually update it – I think I need to find something that automatically does it for me. Someone must have written a plugin for it, so I need to hunt about for one. If I find one I’ll let you all know.

That’s all I’ve found at the moment, have any of you found anything interesting to replace Friend Connect?  I’ll be interested to hear about it if you have.

 

 

 

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Etsy Girl Geekery

I’ve been inspired by Abby over at Little Red Buttons who has been making the most amazing Etsy Treasury’s.   So I’ve made one of girl geekery, there’s tech love there for everything from the iPad and iPhone to the Playbook and Blackberry – not to mention the slightly geeky River Song’s journal.

Personally I am desperate for the the Jane Austen book iPhone charger below – that has just shot to the top of my Christmas list!

Thanks Abby for the inspiration, pop over to her’s to see how to make your own Treasury and join her ‘Treasury Tuesday’s’.


UPDATED Macbook Air 11″…

$79.99

Jane Austen’s Sense and …

$52.00

Kindle 3 Case Felt and Leath…

$30.00

iPhone Phone Cases STANDARD …

$54.00

4GB Princess Leia USB Lego M…

$35.00

Parudao Wood MacBook Teksure…

$24.99

Clear iPad stand

$10.00

iHeart my ipad 1 or 2 —–S…

$43.00

Apple Love – Inspired by Ind…

$4.95

Ipad Sleeve — Cute little …

$38.00

PlayBook Sleeve You Choose F…

$24.50

Ultimate Stash 15″ lapt…

$199.00

River Song’s Tardis Jour…

$47.00

USB Typewriter Computer Keyb…

$599.00

iPhone 4 case / iPhone 3g ca…

$15.00

Macbook pro decal mac decal …

$7.99

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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