Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I am who I am

Have you ever had someone try and change who you are? Well, I am going to tell you it is difficult and it just isn’t going to happen.

I use the words “I am who I am” to explain that I am happy with who I am and that I am not going to let other people try and change me to be what they expect me to be. Sure, I may listen to the person and if it is something that I also see that could be improved I will work on changing it but I will not let anyone dictate who I should be and how I should act. It is amazing how many people will try and make you fit what they expect even when it isn’t who you are and it is never going to be you.

I have heard people say that I should be taller or I should be thinner. Yes, I know I would like to be a little thinner than I am but at my age, I won’t be growing any taller so that is something that just isn’t going to happen. Being a certain shape is something that I manage and I will not let anyone force me to change my shape if it isn’t something that I would end up happy with. I have been extremely skinny before and I had to admit sure it was nice in some ways but I wasn’t happy so why would I want to go back to being that person again.

What is important is making sure that you are happy with yourself and changing just because you want to make someone else happy isn’t a good idea but you aren’t going to be happy with the results no matter what. The reason you change is to make yourself happy and that is the biggest reason to make any changes. Sure people can make suggestions but that is all they are and that is how you should hear them. If someone doesn’t like how you act or how you look remember it is just their personal opinion and you don’t need to make them happy if it isn’t going to make you happy as well.

Pleasing others instead of pleasing yourself isn’t good for you and that is something that everyone needs to understand. Knowing that you are happy with who you are and being able to stand with your head up high is what is important. Being you and not letting others try and change you to just meet their expectations is important. We are all a little different and no matter if you change for one person you aren’t going to make someone else happy so that is something else you need to remember.

I am who I am is what I say to people that try and change me and I know that as long as I am happy with me and I please some people especially those that love me unconditionally I will remain that person that I am happy with.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Social media

It is amazing how many people think that Facebook is a place where someone else will help them with everything especially if they are in a group.

I belong to a number of groups on Facebook and have seen some very interesting questions that people have asked. Here are some of the questions that I have seen and some of my thoughts about them:

1. I’m in desperate need of a new project, haven’t crocheted in months! What’s everyone working on?
I immediately see this and think you belong to a group that shows projects that people are working on so why do you have to ask to see things, just scroll down the page and you will see a lot of projects that are just finished or are being worked on currently.

2. Are there any patterns that would be considered beachy? I searched the site and didn’t see any.
What site are you looking at because this is a Facebook group but you really didn’t give us enough information? This is something that I have seen very often when someone mentions that they have checked the site but they don’t say the site they have looked at.

3. Where can I find free patterns?
Now this question is from the Crochet Crowd Social Facebook page and it does make me laugh because it is a group for people that crochet and know about the Crochet Crowd website. There is an entire Crochet Crowd website, which is identified in the group, that has patterns and a lot of other information provided so why not check there. My other reply might have been have you googled “free crochet patterns” and what you want to make or are we suppose to guess what you are looking for.

4. Where can I find tutorials on learning how to crochet?
Now this question is from the Crochet Crowd Social Facebook page and it does make me laugh because it is a group for people that crochet and know about the Crochet Crowd website. There is an entire website (The Crochet Crowd) that has access to tutorials and a lot of other information provided so why not check there. Again the website is identified in the group.

5. Where can I find a pattern to make a shawl for myself?
My immediate answer to this question would have you tried googling for ideas or have you checked out Ravelry, which is quite often found through the various google searches? Of course, there are times that I just scroll by these questions because I think it is best otherwise my answer wouldn’t be very friendly. I understand that when you are in a group you can get help from other members of the group but the idea is also not to use the group as your personal Google.

As you can see there can be some very interesting questions asked within social media and especially Facebook. I understand that not everyone knows how to use google extremely well but at least trying to find things and then asking for help is better. I have seen some questions in one group and they are very clear and it makes you feel good.

Here is one of those questions:
1. I'm looking for a chart but I can't remember the name of it or who the artist was. The chart had an owl flying a key to a lock in the ground. It was a relatively recent release. I remember it being a very beautiful chart with lots of soft colors. I've put every keyword I can think of into the search bar and am coming up with nothing (though my wish list keeps getting bigger every time I try to find this thing). Can anyone help me out in identifying the chart that doesn't want to be found?
This question was on the Heaven and Earth Design Facebook group and of course the person provided enough information that someone was very quickly able to tell them the name of the patter as well as the designer. This is the type of question that I enjoy seeing because at least it gives enough information so that people know you have done some looking and just need a little bit of help.

Social media is something that a lot of us understand and are part of but knowing when not to reply to a question that is posted is something that I have learned to do. If you are part of a group and have a question make sure that you are asking the right type of question and also try and show that you have done some of your own research before asking your question. You will probably be surprised at the type of answer you will get and it will probably help you a lot more than just asking a general question.

The other thing that really bothers me about some groups is when people ask what is on your hook tonight or spam me with ideas for a baby girl afghan. Both of these aren’t great for the group because it just means that one thread ends up with a lot of pictures but no descriptions and they really aren’t very useful. Think before you ask this type of questions because remember with all the various groups there are it can get overwhelming to see all of this type of chatter.

If you are working on something or have finished something and you think the group would like to see it, go ahead and post it and remember you will probably be asked a few questions about it so if you have to answer them in your original post it makes things a lot easier for everyone.

Social media is something that can be very helpful when you are looking for things but that is after you have done your own searches. Remember Facebook isn’t a replacement for Google so try that first and then when all else fails ask a question in a group but make sure the question is clear.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Blogging and life

As you can see the blogging that I was doing every week hasn’t been happening for the last little while. It has been a challenge for me to think of the various topics and get the words down on paper. Yes, life has decided to get in the way of me doing a lot of the writing that I like doing and now to see if I can get back to doing the writing that I love.

Blogging is something that I really enjoy doing but when life gets busy and it is a challenge to get thoughts down on paper that is something that I need to think about. I have found that the last few months it has been a challenge for me to get thoughts out of my head and into the various blog posts. I hope that once life slows down just a little bit I will be able to get back to writing like I have been writing.

I have a list of ideas that I would like to write about so now I just need to find the focus where I can sit and get all the different ideas written up. Sure, I know that I have been able to continue to blog at least once each month and I should be happy with that. Now I am going to try and see if I can get back to writing a little more. I don’t think I will be seeing a big improvement in November but I hope that once 2019 rolls around that I will be able to get back to seeing the blog a little more active.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hotel experiences

For a lot of people staying at a hotel is a pleasure event and normally is part of a vacation away from home. For me I have stayed in a number of hotels both for pleasure and also for work as I have done quite a bit of traveling
for work.

A hotel experience can really have a negative or positive experience and lately I am finding that a number of hotels are resulting in a negative experience which isn’t good. I recently was staying at a hotel for work and had asked for no feather in the room. This is a simple request or so I thought because it means that housekeeping has a note about the room for when they are doing the cleaning the morning of my arrival. Upon arriving at the hotel and checking in the room I discovered that two of the four pillows on the bed where duck feathers which wasn’t suppose to be there. As there were two of us in the room we walked down to the front desk and reported the issue and sure it was resolved quickly but again it shouldn’t have happened.

So the frustrating part of the pillow experience was the answer that we received from one of the staff at the front desk, his comment was “We were fully booked the night before so the staff was busy so it was missed”. A fully booked hotel should have meant that the pillows would have been addressed because some one would have had to clean the room the morning/early afternoon of our arrival. Also there is a minimum 4 hour time between last check out and first check in so if there have the right number of housekeeping people on staff getting everything done would have been no problem.

Now I thought that was going to be the only issue at the hotel but it continued with some lights in the room not working. So one lamp was actually unplugged and couldn’t be plugged in because the plug was all bend. Two other lights one over the desk and one that lite an area of the room were also not working so that meant another report to the front desk of the issues. Maintenance did come and fix all three of theses issues but again another excuse was given “Oh, these two lights probably have a loose connection”. If there are loose connections that need fixing say thanks for letting us know and I will get it fixed.

how can I reach the pots and pans?
Hotels make their money ensuring that the guests are enjoying their stay and not having to deal with all of these issues. The other thing that made me laugh was where the pots and pans are as this room has a small kitchenette included. The fridge is a normal size fridge and the pots and pans are in a cupboard above that. Now is someone suppose to get these things out easier without having to stand on a chair. Thank goodness there is a stool in the room with a hard top on that can be used to get the items out of the cupboard if needed.

The hotel seems nice and clean which is one main thing and the staff in general are friendly so now to see what the rest of the stay is like. I hope it is going to be better than this part otherwise I am not going to be very happy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

IT Security Conferences

Going to various IT conferences you get to hear a lot of different talks and also get to meet a lot of different people which is nice. Recently we were at an IT Security Conference in Toronto and had a chance to help out at a booth for the two days of the event.

Now working at a booth can be challenging because you can be extremely busy one minute and have no one around the next minute. This year it seemed so different because we were extremely busy on Tuesday which is the first day of the show but we were also busy on the second day which was nice. Sure we had some times where there weren’t a lot of people walking by but I have to admit that it was great to see the number of people that stopped and chatted with us.

The booth was manned by four of us and yes I was the female at the table but that didn’t bother me at all. We were talking about a Security community called TASK (Toronto Area Security Klatch) and it was a great couple of days doing just that. Trying to show people that there is a strong community within the IT Security industry is always a lot of fun.

The four of us also get along extremely well so it means that we work well together and of course there is a schedule so that everyone knows where everyone else is. We also have the ability to text each other so that makes it great so that if you are away from the booth and are needed it is a quick message to find each other. This year what was nice was the number of times that there were three of us at the booth instead of one or two and I have to admit that there were times that we really needed everyone to talk with the various people that came over to the booth.

During our time at the booth, a number of people asked us about the community and actually figured we worked for TASK instead of being community members. I am thinking that we need to figure out a way to show that we are community members that are at the event to explain what the community is all about. I know some people understood we were community members but there were still a lot of people that figured it was a company that offered the community not just a group of companies that sponsored a community.

IT Security conferences can be interesting to attend and who you meet is also a lot of fun. You can be meeting with someone from a big business or someone that is just learning about IT Security and attending to gain an understanding. The IT Security community is a great community as most of the people are extremely friendly.

Monday, September 17, 2018

ARC from right to left

Original right handed version of my ARC
Right-handed version of the tabs

I have two to-do lists and one is rather large and I actually call it the brain dump.  The reason for that is because there are so many little things that I would like to do that I have been trying to keep everything in my head and that just doesn't work.  The other to-do list is smaller and something that I have with me all the time.

My main to-do list is now in a large ARC system and I love it or at least now I really love it.  I have been using the system for over a year now and this large binder was set up earlier this year when I figured it was time to capture everything on paper and actually get it out of my head and it has been working.  I am now able to focus a lot better on tasks and I am getting things done and I don't feel as stressed as I was before.

About a week ago I discovered that I was getting extremely frustrated when trying to write in my ARC system and it was for a very simple reason.  The rings were getting in my way and it was making it difficult to get my thoughts and ideas down quickly.  Now the reason the rings were getting in my way is that I am a lefty and was writing on the right-hand page.  This is a problem that a lot of lefty's deal with but with the ARC system there is an easy solution once you think of it.  I am not taking credit for figuring out my issue because it was my husband that suggested making my ARC a lefty version when I was sitting and complaining that it was difficult to write in the book.

Now the process I had to do did take some time but I am happy with the outcome because now I have a book that works for me and yes confuses a lot of people.  One of the advantages of being a lefty and being proud of it is showing off the end result and getting the odd looks from people when they see that my book opens the opposite way then their book does.

Punching the new holes
So the steps that I had to do were pretty easy but they meant taking the entire book apart and putting it all back together with some changes.

Step 1: Take all the pages and dividers out of the system.

Step 2: Punch new holes in the opposite side of each of the pages so that the pages would work easily for me and then I could write on the left page all the time. In my planner, I only write on one side of a page so that I can see the tasks a little easier.

Cutting off the old holes
Step 3: Cut the original holes off all the pages so they wouldn't get caught on each other and make it difficult to work with the planner.

Step 4: Move all the tabs that I had set up around so that I could see them easily when I opened the book.  I am really glad that I used a version of post-it tabs because it made this task very easy.

Step 5: Start putting all the pages and dividers back into the system making sure that it was going to work and actually be in the correct order like it was before.  This is where all the time was spent because sure you can easily take a book apart and punch holes in the paper but it is getting it back in order that takes the time.

Finished ARC - lefty version
Yes, I have to admit that the version from the right-handed version of the ARC to the left-handed version of the ARC did take some time.  I am extremely happy with the outcome of this project and have to say that it works well. 

After doing this big version of my ARC to-do I then decided it was time to also change the little version of my ARC to-do into a left-handed version.  Now that version went a lot quicker and it is probably because I had figured out most of the issues with the bigger version.

Finished ARC - tabs have been moved
Sure I have discovered a few little issues with the left-handed version and the biggest thing was that my calendar doesn't work well in my lefty version so that is something that I will have to figure out for next year.

Now if you know someone who is a lefty and gets frustrated with planners and even notebooks like I have for years maybe you should let them know about the ARC (M by Staples) as it is something that can be customized to work for a lefty.  The ARC system is also available at Michaels as a Happy Planner but the ARC system is either a half page or a whole page system while the Happy Planner is a size in between so it is a little harder to make your own pages for it. 

I have invested in a number of the rings for my ARC system as well as covers because it means that I can set up a lot of different books for the various projects and they will work for me and if a right-handed person has a problem with my book that's ok because it is for me to work with and not for them.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


So many people when I mention ETSY look at me funny and the first question they ask is “What is ETSY?” Well, ETSY is a site where crafters are able to list and sell their craft items to a wide audience. It is something that can be a bit of a challenge sometimes but if you understand and do a bit of homework before even setting up your shop you could have success on this platform. I have an ETSY shop and it has been just under a year now that we have had it and with some work it has started to get sales.

Things that I have learned from having an ETSY shop:
  1. Do not list all your items are once because that doesn’t help you be seen when you are first starting out. Sure, you want to have lots of items in your shop when you start but remember that each day you list an item is another day that you can be seen listed with a new item. Also when you list all your items are once all the renewals will happen at the same time as well. The renewals happen at the same time if you don’t have sales so remember that. A renewal moves each time it is sold so that does help.
  2. When you are listing items and if you have more than one of the specific item add the quantity to the listing so that you don’t have to remember to relist the item after each sale. This will help in the management of the site.
  3. Understand that there are fees when you list an item (not very much at all currently only $.20 per item) If you add the quantity it doesn’t impact the fee for the listing as it will only be charged after one item is sold and the new listing is automatically done for you. There are also transaction fees on the sale of an item so remember that as well. ETSY takes a % of the sales price so also consider that when you are pricing your items.
  4. Shipping to other countries. Here is one thing that you have to think about before you even start to think about shipping costs. When you get up your shop will you be shipping your items to other countries and what could the cost be. For me, I decided to ship to Canada and the United States only and that was a decision that I made even before thinking about shipping costs or any of that.
  5. Shipping costs, now this is something that you can handle two different ways. You can include the shipping cost in the price of the item or you can charge shipping costs separately. I add shipping costs separately to the items and have one price for the first item and then a reduced price when you add items to your order.
  6. Consider if you are willing to do custom orders. Custom orders can vary and it is something that you have to think about. Custom orders can be maybe a different size compared to what you make or even a different colour. For me, I have added custom order to some of the items where I have fabric remaining after I have made the first lot of items.
  7. Shipping items out. The other thing you need to figure out is how you are going to handle the shipping the items out once an item is sold. A lot of people have either 3-5 business days or 1-3 business days depending on how often they want to go to the post office to mail the items. Remember you are going to need to package up each of the items when they are sold and get them ready to be shipped. The packaging does cost so remember to add that into your pricing of either shipping or the cost of the item.
  8. Have fun. For a lot of people, ETSY is a little side business that can be a lot of fun and something that you do when time allows. ETSY can also be a full-time business and it is another decision that you need to think about and figure out. The items that you are selling in your shop can you continue to make them or versions of them or are then one off and once they are gone they are gone. Look at the amount of time you are willing to put into your shop because that will also impact how it goes.

ETSY can be a lot of fun if you handle it correctly. Knowing the answers to a lot of the questions before you start setting up your shop will help a lot. I know that I did some research and asked questions before reopening my ETSY shop and I am now glad I reopened it. The first ETSY shop I had didn’t work and I learned some lessons from it and it helped the newly reopened shop.

Remember there are quite a few people that have ETSY shops that are doing it for the fun of it and if you have questions don’t be afraid to ask someone your questions. I know that I am always willing to assist someone who would like to open an ETSY shop because I have learned from having one and if I can help someone else that would be great as well. My ETSY shop is DLKsCrafts and I am enjoying it and will continue to have the shop as long as I have fun with it.