Friday, April 03, 2009

8 Things Friday

For this episode of 8 Things Friday, I'm going to share some of my favorite websites with you instead of posting random things about the last week of my life. This has absolutely nothing to do with me forgetting it was Friday until 11 o'clock at night. Of course I would not forget such a thing!

1. I love Sheldon. I don't remember when or why I started reading the comic--probably because Matt showed me a funny strip and I just read back through all the archives--but I've been checking it daily for at least a year or two now. It's about a 10-year-old boy genius who has his own software company, his grandfather who's raising him, and his weird pets/friends, one of whom is a talking duck. (He downloaded speech software into the duck's brain.) It sounds kind of stupid, but it's soooo hilarious. I'm particularly fond of this one about pugs, and this one on Halloween candy.

2. Cute Overload is always a part of my day. If you haven't at least heard of it by now, I want to know what internet rock you've been living under. Seriously, go see it! Every day there are at least a couple of posts of cute things. Most often it's of animals, and most of those are generic pets: cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, etc. But then they throw in some otters from the zoo, or monkeys, or lion cubs. There are also a lot of videos, usually just low-tech stuff people have done at home, but occasionally there are commercials or clips from the news. More rarely there will be something with a kid or baby in it, or something not real, like from a movie or video game. But the posts always make me smile, and who couldn't use a little more Cute in their day?

3. I also visit SouleMama's blog several times a week. (She doesn't always update every day, but with four little ones under the age of, I think, 7, I can't blame her!) Amanda Soule posts stories about her family's everyday life: crafting, baking, sewing, knitting, hiking, camping, learning, exploring. Her photographs are excellent, very focused on the little details of life. Her house is charming, as are her crafting projects. She has a book out called The Creative Family, about creative things to do with your kids. (Not just crafts, but things to listen to and act out and talk about.) None of the chain bookstores nearby have it so I haven't had the chance to flip through it yet (although I have looked through the Flickr pool of projects from the book), but I do want to buy it someday. Her posts are little tastes of one family's life in the woods of Maine, and they always bring me a bit of peace, somehow.

4. At the other end of the country, in Oregon, there's Posie Gets Cozy. (Mom, this is the one I was telling you about the other day, with the lovely house and the little Corgi.) She has one book out already, Stitched in Time, and another (about embroidery) on the way. (There's a Flickr pool for Stitched, too.) This lady is also an excellent photographer, and her house and craft projects are simple and neat. While both "Posie" (Alicia Paulson) and Amanda repurpose and imitate vintage items in their crafts and home, I would describe Alicia's style as more sweet, while Amanda's are a little more funky. Alicia is a big fan of ric-rack, polka-dots, little floral prints, and pastels, all of which show up throughout her light-filled, Welsh Corgi-inhabited home. She also posts a lot about cooking and baking, often complete with recipes!

5. WhipUp is a website run by several people who find neat crafty things all over the internet and post links to them for our enjoyment. There are a lot of tutorials, but also interesting art shows, contests, and crafting news. I've found many interesting blogs and sites through this place, and while they post almost more than I can read every day (some days I skim), there's just a plethora of crafty goodness, especially around holidays! Take these cupcake lollies, for instance, or these ones! And knitted grafitti! And Threadbanger! And and and....

6. Oh my, Etsy. I don't let myself on this site very often because I can literally waste hours looking at stuff. It's basically a big online store of handmade and vintage items, everything from dresses to mugs to soap to patterns to business cards to envelopes to toys. A person can set up their own shop, name their prices (the listing fee is something like 20 cents for several months for each item), tag their items so they're easier to find in searches, and post up to five pictures of each item. There are also message boards about all aspects of Etsy, and other stuff I haven't even explored yet. Sometimes I search for something in particular to see lots of pictures of lots of versions when I'm trying to figure out how to make my own. (Is that cheating the sellers? Meh.) Other times I get interested in something new and "research" it on Etsy. Here are some of my favorites, my "wish list" items I'll probably never buy, but like to look at none the less.

7. Okay, I'm getting low on websites that other people might like and about which I could write a little review, so if you have about 15 minutes to kill, I highly, highly recommend this video. It's a little independent short and it will just... make you happy. I was grinning almost all the way through it. It's lovely.

8. And for my eighth thing (it took me about five tries to spell "eighth"), since I've had a long day and I'm tired, I will say this: I got the letter in the mail today, and I'm officially in the post-bac teaching program! Woot woot!