Friday, 1 May 2015

Cuddle up with the stars - astronomy picture fleece blanket

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: red shift, universe birth, deep starfield, star galaxies, looking back in time, distant galaxies, billions of light years away, outer space pictures, ultravista astronomy pictures, hrbstslr eso1213a, european southern observatory, eso

Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series: A fantastic fleece blanket showing the widest deep view of the sky ever made to date.
This particular image comes from the UltraVISTA survey and reveals more than 200,000 galaxies. In total more than six thousand separate exposures with a total effective exposure time of 55 hours were combined to create this picture.
Apart from a handful of blue-looking stars, everything in this picture is a galaxy, billions of light years away. The tiny red dots are galaxies so remote that the light we see from them started its journey shortly after the Universe itself formed - wow!
more items in the Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series Reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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

Cute ponies for the bedroom and school

Monogram U Cute Pony Personalized Stretched Canvas PrintsMonogram U Cute Pony Personalized Sleeves For iPadsMonogram U Cute Pony Personalized Messenger Bags

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.

Layered Glass Sculptures Mimic the Everyday Drama of the Natural World

Fun and Random

White Water

White Water, all images provided by K. William LeQuier









Curl No. 5

Curl No. 5



Glass artist K. William LeQuier‘s glass work is inspired by the drama of the natural world and its everyday events. His sculptures reflect this inspiration by mimicking the natural movements of the sea and its creatures. Each sculpture is held steady by a simple black armature, a hint to the artist’s hand involved in the creation of each glass sculpture.

After years of blowing glass vessels LeQuier moved to the sandblasting process where he learned he could generate textures similar to natural erosion. In addition to forming works that appear as waves, he creates work reminiscent of sea urchins, sponges, and anemones. Most interesting about the sculptures are their layered composition, a complexity that could easily be looked over due to the high level of skill apparent in each sea-themed object.

Currently LeQuier lives and works in Vermont with his wife Mary Angus. His work can be found in the permanent collections of museums across the country including (but not limited to) the American Glass Museum, Indianapolis Art Museum, National Liberty Museum, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. (via My Modern Met)

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3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger

Blogging with purpose

original post »

There's more things to do with a blog than there is hours in the day. These tips will help you schedule like a pro and get your life back.Do you feel a bit like a slave to your social media? Always thinking about your next blog post, forgetting to respond to that guy on Twitter, and never Pinning at the right time?

I know what it’s like to always feel like you’re running to catch up, instead of being in control of how and where you spend your time.

There’s nothing wrong with flying by the seat of your pants and only writing or hanging out on social media when inspiration strikes – if it works for you. If you’ve found that’s a little too chaotic to be sustainable long-term, then you’ll benefit from being more intentional with your time. Which frees you up to have even more of it.

Three Reasons Why Scheduling is Good

It gives you more time

If it’s one thing I hear the most, it’s that bloggers don’t have enough time in the day to do all the things they want to (or think they should) to build their blog and make it the best it can be.

Time is finite, it’s so easily wasted, and yeah, it feels like there’s just not enough of it. Many of us are working on our blogs in the cracks of time we have around other work, family, and life commitments, and there are periods where we feel as though we are succeeding at the juggle about as well as we’d succeed at performing brain surgery on a puppy.

The reality is, you have to make time. Nobody is going to walk in, grab your kids and say “we’re going to the park, you blog for a couple of hours” (are they? If they are, can you send them to me?!), or take on a big project at your day job to free up time for you to finally get started on that eBook you’ve been putting off. If you’re not scheduling in time to blog, and scheduling your posts and social media updates, then of course you’re not getting as much done as you would like.

Scheduling = more time. Time to live, time to work evenly on all your projects, time to take your own kids to the park. (Tweet that!)

It gives you more flexibility

To be honest, I don’t know of any blogger who can sit on the internet all day and respond in real time, whether that’s publishing at the most appropriate hour, or answering every email, tweet, and Facebook message received. Nobody is up at two in the morning Pinning their latest posts because that’s when their particular audience is online (hello working from the Southern Hemisphere).

There are some people who like to read my blog at five in the morning. There are hundreds who come after I’ve gone to bed at night. The last thing I want to do is hit publish before sunup, but I also don’t want to miss out on the traffic that comes at the most convenient time for them, so post scheduling works in both my favour and theirs.

I know sometimes the word “schedule” makes people shudder, and they’ll tell you they prefer “flexible” any day. Schedule sounds locked down, tight, rigid. The beauty of working online is so we can publish immediately, spontaneously, and so we don’t have to toe the line of a 9-to-5. But done right, scheduling can bring freedom – what you want is a flexible schedule, something that works just for you.

Scheduling means I can more effectively work around my young family, who I really do have to respond in real time to. When my work is scheduled and my home day goes awry, I’ve got the flexibility to be present in the moment. If home is quiet, I’ve got the flexibility to blog and maybe set a few more scheduled posts and updates for the times I can’t be online. This kind of flexibility is invaluable.

It gives you control

One of the biggest lessons I learned last year is that I don’t work well in chaos. Trying to work, live, run a family, and blog all at once however I could fit it in was benefiting no-one. Least of all me. I felt stressed, constantly undone, forever forgetting things, and I went to bed almost every day knowing I’d let at least one person down.

Feeling always behind the eight ball is not how I want to get through each day long-term. I don’t want to feel reactionary to each situation as it arises, I’d rather be a step ahead, with a clear head, and proactive.

Scheduling allows me to control my time online, instead of it controlling me. I can write when I want, I can publish when I want, I can be on social media when I want, and there’s flexibility at the end of the day to rejig it if necessary. My readers get content in the times that work for them, and I can interact in the times that work for me. Win-win!

Three Ways Scheduling will Make You a Better Blogger

You are more present

Well, OK – the beauty of scheduling means you can blog without actually physically being present. But the times when you are online, you can be fully present. This is your time to blog, to interact on social media, to chat on Twitter. You don’t also have to be cooking dinner, finding gym shoes, or emailing your boss.

You can work when you’ve got the time spare, and you can concentrate better during that time.

You are more considered

So many mistakes are made when you rush, when you’re throwing something up and running out the door. If you’re writing something that isn’t going up until next Tuesday, there’s no rush. You can write, edit, and give it a once-over between now and then, picking up issues, typos, and adding that link to the article you just couldn’t remember at the time.

When you’re fully present with your writing or your social media, you write better and are more likely to avoid problems that crop up when your concentration is divided. You look more in control and authoritative. And you’re interacting when it’s best for you.

You’re sharing what matters

I know what it’s like when you’ve just found five cool things that your readers will love, but you can’t share all five at once – and you’re likely to forget or give up if you physically post them across a reasonable period of time. Scheduling helpful or funny articles at the times your audience would most like to see them (i.e. when they’re online and they’ve actually got the time to click through) means you’re being the most useful to them you can be. And we all know Usefulness is King!

You’re also not rushing to share something, anything in order to be seen – you’re sharing what’s useful, entertaining, or inspiring because you’ve got the time to find those things, and you’re giving it to your audience at the right time.

Three Ways To Schedule your Work

Start with a plan

I always say planning is essential to be more efficient and to use your time more wisely. In 5 Ways to Make Your Blogging Life Easier, I talk about planning (and scheduling + automating!) and how they can give you more freedom. In order to schedule your time and your content, you have to know what you want to do, where you want it to take you, and when you work best.

I do everything from long-term checklists and calendars to a five-minute brainstorm and rough outline of the tasks of the day and in what order I’ll do them. I can’t recommend enough that five-minute brainstorm before you get started – it saves a lot of time and heartache later. Slotting your tasks into the time you have available that day will be the best thing you can do that morning to get started on the right foot.

Then, of course, you can branch out into larger, more long-term goals and lists (and refer to those lists when writing your monthly, weekly, or daily plan).

Related: Setting Blog Goals: Why You Need Them, and How To Write Them

Do what works

Get to know the automation tools available out there for bloggers – Buffer, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Edgar, or whichever one works for you. Get to know when your audience is online, what kinds of updates they respond to, and what kinds of content you enjoy creating. There’s no point posting to Facebook 11 times a day if it’s irrelevant, uninteresting, or clickbait.

Related: Boost Your Organic Reach on Facebook with These Tips

Use social media scheduling

Different apps work for different needs, although the ones I mentioned in the previous point usually cover several platforms. For example, I use CoSchedule to schedule my daily posts to Facebook and Twitter, and they make it easier to post way into the future. I can post several times to Twitter without leaving my WordPress dashboard. Facebook prefers its own scheduling tool, so if I can, I’ll delete the CoSchedule upload to Facebook and use the Facebook scheduler. If’I’m out that day, I leave the CoSchedule one – I do find that the Facebook schedule has better reach.

I use Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling, Buffer for tweets on Twitter or tweeting articles from other sites, and I’m interested at looking into Edgar for a couple of other things I’ve got in mind. I’d love to know which one you use though, and why? I think they’re all useful for different things.

Related: How to Socialize Your Posts for Maximum Effect

Stacey is the Managing Editor of 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

3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger

Why ZazMySite is better than Zazzle Store Builder

A question on the Zazzle forum prompted this post. The meat of the question was why are hand-picked product grids better than Zazze Store Builder ones.

I replied by saying that because the ZSB product grids are delivered by RSS feed, the search engine spiders "can't see them".

Ok, not stritcly true, but the end result is the same: the spiders don't see it as your page's content. The SEO value is directed to the source of the RSS feed - in other words, ZSB gives any SEO value to Zazzle, not your page.

Here's a screenshot of how Googlebot sees a product grid built by ZazMySite:

You'll see that the Googlebot sees the content - and, because it's actually there and not delivered by RSS, my page gets any SEO value. I'm NOT worried that the links don't use "rel=nofollow" because, as Matt Cutts, then of Google, said, because they already know that these large stores are places where people earn by affiliating / selling, there's no need.

I'll update this post when I can get a screenshot of how Googlebot "sees" a Zazzle Store Builder page.

Meantime, find out more about ZazMySite and take the trial version for a spin - product grids limited to 5 items.

Metazoa: Mixed-Media Cabinets by ‘ROA’ Reveal the Hidden Anatomy of Animals

Fun and Random

Composition II: Lutrinate, Salmonidae, Anguilliformes

Belgian artist ROA (previously) just opened his first solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in NYC titled Metazoa. The new series of mixed media works feature the artist’s familiar black and white depictions of animals painted on various cabinet-like furniture pieces that can be opened or shifted to reveal anatomical details. ROA often chooses to depict animals native to where he is working, specifically species that have been forced from their native habitats and now live on the outskirts of urban areas. Here’s a comment about ROA’s decision to depict the beaver, New York’s state animal, via Jonathan LeVine:

ROA views the beaver, the state animal of New York, as a metaphor for the idea that nature has the ability to reclaim itself. The recovery of the beaver in New York City after it was previously thought extinct is exemplary of how humans and animals affect each other and reflects the artist’s interest in how animals evolve within urban landscapes. Wherever man settles, the desire to explore beyond the borders of survival leads to the extinction of species. This extermination due to mankind’s impact not only disrupts the natural balance but also leads to drastic cosmic changes, which ROA aims to convey by depicting the life, transience and carrion of animals.

Metazoa will be on view through May 2, and you can see plenty more gallery views and an interview with the artist during a studio visit on Arrested Motion from earlier this year.

Composition I: Castor, Didelphimorphia, Sciuridae

Composition I: Castor, Didelphimorphia, Sciuridae (DETAIL)

Cervidae Tableau Dormant

Composition III: Alligatoridae, Testudinidae, Gastropoda

Erethizon Dorsatum

NY Canidae

Sylvilagus Audubonii

Cabinet Specula Crania

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