Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Directory of Clip Art, Photo Editors and Sign Generators (Part I)

The following list includes some of the best sites I have found online. Each of them I've explored and used, found helpful and believe are worth passing along to you. While almost all are free, to gain use of the larger images and better quality features there may be an upgrade required. Still, for the amount of creativity and inspiration you can find, even the no charge options are pretty good. From icons and buttons, to map generators and photo editors, creating professional-looking images can really spruce up the visual presentation of your website or blog. Explore catchy ways to post tips or reminders (that you might use in an online group), help readers navigate content more easily (and give your site a clean look), or just have fun with creative options for color palettes, photograph enhancement or visual creations. See Part II @ Directory of Image Generators, Free Clip Art and Visual Design Resources.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sometimes We Struggle - Yet Sometimes We FLY

10:54AM. That’s what time it was before I looked at the tiny clock in the corner of my laptop screen and realized it was well past the “I’m just going to get online for a few minutes and update my pages” zone. I wasn’t even wasting time playing on Pinterest or Googling craft ideas or fabulous vacation homes; but WRITING (yes, using real words…. the kind which when assembled together correctly , create complete and well-defined sentences).

I added my thoughts to a blog post discussing the value of spending locally, replied to comments about small business and shared concise directions for a marketing technique I’d created. Seeing the announcement for an upcoming event, I summarized and wrote an invitation for a select group of individuals, updated my client’s social sites and researched a topic online - and all this without having to backspace sixteen times to reformat what was in my brain. I was ON IT, humming along and cranking tasks out - because the all too familiar sense of “being stuck on what to do or say” hadn’t yet surfaced and for a little while I was free. Free from the baggage which often weighs me down; unencumbered by the weight of struggle and the repetition of having to go back over; re-write and edit. It was all falling into place for me as I soared above the usual constraints and limits I’ve come to know, as I flew high above such petty roadblocks and instead created statements and summaries and concepts with meaning. Lasting only a few hours, it was as if I’d found my way into a world of magic, and in that time I rose above the challenges which generally ground me so often.

I’m all too familiar with struggling so often, fighting to stay focused and searching endlessly for the right things to say or write. I grasp for fleeting moments of productivity which fly by so quickly, wishing I could catch those bright spots in a day and somehow keep and hold onto them. I LIVE for the times in life which aren’t so painfully difficult, thinking perhaps that “success” is a temporary experience for me, and that I’m not privileged to reach it as often as others. To find that such achievements are within one’s reach I mused, on a regular basis, maybe even simply whenever one wanted to be productive - well, I can’t imagine what that could feel like.

No one has ever shared with me that they fight constantly, or how rare the moments of magic happen for them, and thus I’ve come to assume that for regular people the struggle which overshadows my life isn’t present in theirs. Reluctantly, I’ve come to accept that I’m different; to know that a process which may take you an hour to complete may well involve eight hours of challenges for me. Planning ahead and building in extra time, consistently having excuses to use when running hopelessly late on a project; those tools have become part of my life and how I operate, since it’s never clear when I’ll hit the sweet spot and fly. But today….today something clicked and connected…, if only for a short time, I flew.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

"Classic Trucks and Vintage Advertising" | Vehicles at the Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Show

These beautiful old trucks were on display at the Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Association Show held annually in Easton, Maryland. The show, which is hosted by the Tuckahoe Gas & Steam Association each July, features an incredible array of farm equipment and history, steam engines, tractors, antique trucks and vehicles, along with demonstrations of the machines and pulling competitions. Check out the links at the bottom of this post for more on the show!