Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Rainbow Question Marks Wrapping Paper

A gorgeous best-selling design. Click to customize or personalize. How would it look with your name or monogram on it - why not have a look-see right now?


tagged with: fun, rainbow, gradient, queries, query symbol, question marks, question mark symbol, questionmark symbol, hrbstslr, surprise package

A design featuring fun question marks with a rainbow gradient fill and heavy black outlines.

»visit the HightonRidley store for more designs and products like this

Monday, 3 August 2015

Monogram Pony Portrait - Dartmoor Pony Mare Barely There iPhone 6 Case

A gorgeous best-selling design. Click to customize or personalize. How would it look with your name or monogram on it - why not have a look-see right now?


tagged with: mane, black and white, dartmoor pony, dartmoor ponies, running free, wild horses, pretty horses, pretty ponies, wild pony, hrbstslr hrmon251 fineart, monochrome, stunning

Animals and Pets series: A portrait in nature of a mare of the ancient Dartmoor Pony breed, still running free in the wilds of Dartmoor. Her unkempt mane is falling over her forehead and eyes.
more items with this image
more items with ponies

image code: hrmon251

»visit the HightonRidley store for more designs and products like this

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Archaeologists Unearth Trove of 2,000 Mysterious Gold Spirals in Denmark

Fun and Random

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Bronze Age gold spirals found in Boeslund, 900-700 BC. Credit: Morten Petersen / Zealand Museum.

A team of archaeologists working in Boeslunde, Denmark recently stumbled onto an intriguing mystery: nearly 2,000 tightly-wound golden spirals dating back to the Bronze Age. The discovery of gold in Boeslunde isn’t uncommon, as numerous gold objects have been unearthed in the region over the last few years. But the purpose of these coils has stumped archaeologists who refer to the find as the “golden enigma.”

The spirals are made from extremely pure gold that was hammered flat to just 0.1 millimeter thick. Some pieces measure up to 1.18 inches long and all together weigh between 200 to 300 grams (7-10 ounces). Their exact purpose is anyone’s guess, but Flemming Kaul, a curator with the National Museum of Denmark, believes the coils are most likely related to prehistoric Bronze Age people who were known to offer gold to higher powers as part of sun rituals.

“The sun was one of the most sacred symbols in the Bronze Age and gold had a special magic,” Kaul writes. “Maybe the priest-king wore a gold ring on his wrist, and gold spirals on his cloak and his hat, where they during ritual sun ceremonies shone like the sun.” It’s also suggested the gold was simply buried as part of an elaborate sacrifice.

Whatever the use or meaning behind the pieces, it’s an extraordinary and priceless find. The local museum in
Skaelskor already held a temporary viewing before the spirals find a permanent home. You can read more over on the History Blog. (via Neatorama, Gizmodo)

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Gold spirals surrounded by flakes of birch pitch. Credit: Flemming Kaul / National Museum of Denmark.

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Gold spiral in situ. Credit: Flemming Kaul / National Museum of Denmark.

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Credot:Morten Petersen / Museum Vestsjælland.

 
#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/D_BuhCSYOiU/

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!)

Blogging with purpose

original post »
Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!) on ProBlogger.netThere has been a definite shift in the blogosphere over the last 12 or so months, and I’ve heard story after story of people who feel a real sense of transition in the air. Blogging can take a toll on the strongest of people, what with its 24-hour cycle, it’s relentless need to be updated, and its ability to totally take over your life if you let it.
What I’ve noticed, though, is how hard it is for people to let go. Either to let go of their blogs completely, or to let go of the parts of blogging that don’t serve them (me included!). It could be fear holding them back, or resistance to change, the motivation is different for all – but I wondered how helpful it would be to hear from people who dealt with all of these feelings very differently.
From someone who straight-up quit, to someone who hung in there, to another who merged blogging with other pursuits, the experiences I’ll be sharing this week have given me hope. I always find it useful to see how others have made huge changes and not only survived, but thrived, and I know you’re going to find some solace in the stories  from Megan Tietz today, Nicole Avery of Planning With Kids tomorrow, and Heather Armstrong from Dooce the day after.
Megan blogged at Sorta Crunchy for eight years before finally laying it to rest at the beginning of 2015, and setting off for pastures new. If you’ve ever thought of just walking away and starting afresh somewhere else, this one’s for you.

When did you start to realise it might be time to stop blogging?

I happened across a post from my archives a few weeks ago, something I had written in the summer of 2012. That was shortly after my book had been released, and I know now as I read back over it that in my heart, I knew it was time to stop blogging back then. But I had a book to promote and a platform to maintain, so I powered through and kept at it for a few more years.
In the late summer of 2014, I had one of those rare but wonderful epiphany moments where out of the blue, the thought “I’m closing my blog” rolled through my mind, and it felt so incredibly hopeful and liberating, I knew that the time had finally come to be finished.

Were you making an income?

Sort of. I experimented with different income streams including private ads, sponsored campaigns, and affiliate work, but it was only ever enough to pay my blogging bills and have a little extra play money on the side.

Did you know you had a different direction you wanted to go in, or did that come later?

My friend Tsh Oxenreider had been generous in asking me to be a frequent guest on her Art of Simple podcast, and that experience gave me the confidence to being exploring creating my own show. I knew that I was deeply burned out on writing, yet my personality is one that craves connection and community. I’m solidly in my late thirties now and the thought of teaching myself how to work in a new medium was exhilarating and inspiring.

How did you finally make the decision?

I know this sounds a little woo-woo, but I genuinely feel like the decision was made for me. Once I knew it was time to close the blog, I found it excruciatingly difficult to write anything. It was as if after writing easily and frequently since I was in the fifth grade, I had finally used up all of my words. I couldn’t have kept blogging even if I wanted to. The well had run utterly dry.

What were the factors that led you to stop? Were they internal reasons or external?

I would say it was 95% internal and only 5% external. The external reasons include the pressure to create Pinterest-worthy posts, click-inspiring headlines, and content that would perform well on all social media platforms. But as I said above, it was mostly this internal assurance that the time had come to move on and move forward to taking on new projects.

Have you felt/seen/heard evidence that this feeling of discontent is widespread among bloggers?

It’s funny, having been part of the blogging community for over eight years, I’ve certainly seen bloggers far more widely-read and well-known step away from their platforms for a variety of reasons long before I chose to do so myself. Yet I think it’s one of those things when once you’ve tuned into a certain vibe, you start to feel it everywhere you turn. Yes, I think there is a feeling of discontent amongst my peers who are still blogging, but I think that’s the nature of this beast; a beast which on the one hand has done away with the gate-keepers and made a path for creatives to share their work in ways never possible before, but on the other hand, it requires of you the creation of awesome, amazing, share-able content day after day into perpetuity.

Why podcasting?

I have dreams of exploring lots of new mediums in the realm of new media, but I decided to start with podcasting because I am an unrepentant podcast junkie. The more shows I discovered and the more I found myself delighted by what others are creating in this realm, the more I became consumed with the idea of creating my own show. Even just a few months in, this is one of the most exciting, rewarding, and thrilling things I’ve ever done. I’m in love with the process and product, start to finish. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of stopping, but are a bit frightened to totally pull the pin?

When you are dating someone seriously and begin to ask, “is this person The One?” you’re often told, “when you know, you know.” I feel it’s the same way with blogging. When it’s time to stop – not just take a break to recover and rediscover your purpose and mission in blogging, but truly stop blogging – you just know. And it is absolutely scary. I spent a few months scribbling in my journal thoughts revolving around the question, “but now what am I going to do?” So take the time to work through the fear and any other negative feelings that surface as a result of such a big decision, but know that everything good and valuable and important that you learned from blogging can be put into practice in a dazzling number of ways outside of this medium.

What’s life like on the other side?

Liberating. People often ask me if I miss blogging, and I can genuinely say that I don’t! I think that’s because I didn’t take my own advice and pushed myself to keep blogging long after it was time for me to be done. I didn’t realize how much mental real estate blogging was taking up in my mind, but now that that chapter is over, I feel so much more free. There’s a wonderful lightness that comes with following your intuition, no matter how scary the path is that it leads you down. It’s a newfound freedom that I am enjoying immensely.

Do you feel a bit like quitting? Like there’s something else on the horizon you’d like to explore, but you can’t just walk away? Let’s chat in the comments, cos I feel like that too…

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!)

The post Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!) appeared first on @ProBlogger.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!)

The post Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!) appeared first on @ProBlogger.


 #bloggingtips 

Kenyan Artist Digs Through Electronic Refuse and Found Metal to Create Dazzling Sculptural Eyewear

Fun and Random

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Digging through electronic refuse and found metal in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, Cyrus Kabiru refashions found materials into different wearable forms. Often these take the form of flamboyantly composed glasses, large eyewear that can often mask the entire face.

Kabiru explains that his glasses obsession started at a young age, and blossomed as his father crushed his dreams of owning his own pair. “When I was young, I used to admire real glasses but my dad was a bit harsh and he never wanted me to have real glasses. That’s the reason I started making the glasses.”

His creations situate themselves in several different areas of art, shuffling between performance, sculpture, and fashion—embodying the playfulness of the youth generation in Nairobi. “When you walk in town and you see someone with my glasses, the glasses will [get] all your attention,” said Kabiru. “If you have any stress it is like a therapy.”

In addition to his found object sculptures and glasses, Kabiru is a self-taught painter, his subject matter being humorous portrayal of contemporary Kenyan life. His most recent series uses thousands of bottle caps sewn together to depict African nature. “I really love trash. I try to give trash a second chance. I change it to be something else, which is like it will stay for more than 100 years now.” (via prosthetic knowledge)

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#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/orX2Qcc39S8/

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Cute ponies for the bedroom and school

Minty Pony Canvas Print - Horse Wall ArtHorse head cartoon sleeve for MacBook airCartoon Horse Courier Bag

Cute ponies for the bedroom and school

If you know a boy or girl who loves ponies then here's a collection that should give you some gift ideas.
Any boy or girl will love them - some for bedroom and some for school. Which of these would be best?

Click the image for more details and to buy. You'll also see more designs from the artist there.

Nathan Walsh’s Unusual Urban Landscapes Painted Atop Precise Graphite Sketches

Fun and Random

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Trying to pin down exactly what makes these urban landscape paintings by British artist Nathan Walsh (previously) so unusual is difficult, in part because of the variety of techniques he employs to get from a vision in his mind to the final, exacting artwork.

Starting with his own photographic references, Walsh first draws an elaborate blueprint of sorts by establishing a horizon line and a host of perspective strategies that varies from piece to piece. This is followed by several months of painting with oils to achieve the final landscape that appears to be a strange hybrid of both illustrative and photorealistic styles. Photography, architecture, and painting converge to create a “painted world which in some ways resembles the world we live in,” says Walsh. “The work aims to create credible and convincing space which whilst making reference to our world, displays its own distinct logic.”

Walsh is currently preparing for a group show titled “Cityscape Paintings: Looking from the Outside In” at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in October, followed by a solo show during the same period in 2016. You can follow more of his work in progress on Facebook.

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#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/Al-aU5eJSVM/

The ProBlogger Podcast: Digging into Statistics

Blogging with purpose

original post »

Almost the last day!

While yesterday we looked to the future to build a plan to find readers, today we’re going to dig into our stats to find out what kind of effect the last 29 days have had on our sites. What can you see is different after the changes you’ve made?

Some of you will be seasoned pros at looking at your stats, but if you’re newer to blogging and want some starting points, these are the metrics I recommend you keep track of regularly as you go on with your blogging.

In the show notes I also link to a post I published recently that gives you an overview of how I use Google Analytics to do this kind of investigation, and I’ll describe how and why these are the metrics I choose to keep tabs on.

Every month or so I go through each of these and compare them to the previous month (I give you a quick tip on how to do this easily), and also think about how I can recreate successes in content, on social, and how well other types of traffic are doing.

Today we’ll also go a little deeper into channels to look for trends, behaviour, and other hints that will help us keep the trend on the up.

If you are indeed in the newer camp, please don’t fret about stats. It can be easy to get disillusioned in the early days, but we all feel small when we start out! Most successful blogs go for 2-3 years before they hit a tipping point of sorts. We discuss that a little more in today’s podcast also.

So open up Google Analytics and take a little dig with me. Feel free to share your most popular post from the month in the comments too – you might be surprised what has worked better than you thought it would!

See you tomorrow for the wrap up of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Podcast.

ProBlogger Podcast Avatar

Click here to listen to day 30 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

The ProBlogger Podcast: Digging into Statistics

The post The ProBlogger Podcast: Digging into Statistics appeared first on @ProBlogger.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

The ProBlogger Podcast: Digging into Statistics

The post The ProBlogger Podcast: Digging into Statistics appeared first on @ProBlogger.


 #bloggingtips 

Italian Sculptor Carves an Impressive Dragon Head from a Watermelon

Fun and Random

Hey it’s Friday and it’s summer, so here’s Italian sculptor Valeriano Fatica carving an awesome dragon head out of a watermelon. I especially love how he accomplished the details of the scales that seem to gradually emerge from the flesh of the melon. You can explore a bit more of Fatica’s fruit and vegetable carving here. (via Laughing Squid)

 
#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/ryUqiDnwNm4/

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Motivational Words #2 fridge magnet

A gorgeous best-selling design. Click to customize or personalize. How would it look with your name or monogram on it - why not have a look-see right now?


tagged with: positive thinking,, positive attitude,, encouragement,, positive outlook,, hrbstslr,, motivational words,, mowds2,, motivation,, values,, encouraging

Motivational Words series Give some positivity! Here's a great design using motivational word-art. Each time you look at them, you should get a subtle positive boost!!
more items featuring these motivational words
more items in the Motivational Words series

image code: mowds2

»visit the HightonRidley store for more designs and products like this

Monday, 27 July 2015

Kujira Carbon Steel Knives Mimic the Form of Whales

Fun and Random

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Designed by blacksmith Toru Yamashita in Japan’s Kochi-prefecture, these high carbon steel knives are designed in the form of five different whales, the blades forming the baleen mouth of each species. The Kujira blades were originally made for children as a tool for sharpening pencils or cutting paper, but have since been marketed abroad as a general purpose utility or chef knife. At about $50 each the knives aren’t cheap, but it appears the whale shape is strangely perfect for small hands and with the right care they would probably last a lifetime. Some of the models are available through Hand-Eye Supply, but it looks like a few are sold by Yoshihiro Cutlery on Amazon. (via Core77, Attics of my Life)

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#funandrandom 
 » see original post http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/colossal/~3/9xhSCfzw_qk/

Update Your Blog’s Archive Pages (including Broken Links)

Blogging with purpose

original post »

We’re going on a link hunt, we’re going to catch a big one!

Today’s the day to check everything that might be turning readers away from your blog, but don’t be overwhelmed – it’s not as onerous as it sounds.

Over time, you’re bound to have some broken links. The sites you link to shut down, change their link structure, move their URLs… anything can happen. It can be bad for readability, but also for SEO.

In this episode I will explain how best to find the links that are broken, whether you are a beginner or have an established blog. Small steps in this instance will help you tackle what might be a huge task (but worth it in the end!). I also go through what to do when you find the broken link, and what you can do while you’re there on an old post

I also go through a few tools that will help you on your expedition. Check the show notes for links to each, and happy hunting!

ProBlogger Podcast AvatarClick here to listen to day 27 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Update Your Blog’s Archive Pages (including Broken Links)

The post Update Your Blog’s Archive Pages (including Broken Links) appeared first on @ProBlogger.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Update Your Blog’s Archive Pages (including Broken Links)

The post Update Your Blog’s Archive Pages (including Broken Links) appeared first on @ProBlogger.


 #bloggingtips 
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