Q & A: Designing Online for Beginners, Graphic Designers, Amateur Photographers, and Writers

Thanks to @mastersquill on Instagram (a.k.a. David Nelson) for reaching out to me with some questions about my design work! 🎆

I wanted to share the information on my blog in case anyone else had similar curiosities; if anything is unclear, please leave questions in the comments or email them to me here. 📧

> I am most curious about how you found vendors; 
> Do you do all the art; 
> Do you ship products or do the vendors; 
> Do you use PayPal or another collection system? 

> I never had to look for vendors, and I have never talked to the vendors who make the items in my stores. 👍

> A few years ago I did an online search in the hopes of figuring out what else I could do with my photographs, instead of printing them to sell since that wasn't an option and not what I really wanted to do; I can't remember the words I used in my search, but I discovered Zazzle in the process and that was where I started my first shop, Prose & Pix. 🎈

> I now …

Christmas in Washington State with Bing Crosby, Darren McGavin, Burl Ives, Stan Boreson, and Yogi Yorgesson

Q: What do Bing Crosby, Darren McGavin, Burl Ives, Stan Boreson, and Harry Stewart (Yogi Yorgesson) have in common?

A: Washington State...and Christmas! 💁🎅🎄
Here are five famous and fondly-remembered entertainers that my holidays wouldn't be the same without (and maybe yours, too!) who are connected to my home state of Washington. 
Map created with Google Maps & information compiled via Wikipedia by Eve PenmanFollowing the order on the map above; top to bottom, left to right:
> Burl Ives (1909-1995) best known at Christmastime for being the narrator Sam the Snowman in the 1964 classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; an Illinois native where he was laid to rest, he passed away while living at his home in Anacortes, WA, in 1995.

Find Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for listening and watching at Amazon (see disclaimer below).

> Stan Boreson (1925-2017) best known at Christmastime amongst Washingtonians and/or those of Scandinavian lineage (such as myself!)

Housekeeping ProTips: How to Vacuum Happy with Hearing and Hand Protection

Vacuuming literally sucks, especially with my sensitive ears. 🙉

It's not that I hate the act of vacuuming, it's that I hate the sound of the vacuum; I always have. As a kid I would want to hide from the vacuum cleaner just because of the sound -- LOUD. 💢

Ever since learning about misophonia a few years ago due to my issue with the sounds of chewing, I have concluded that my over-sensitivity to vacuums might be part of it, too; along with my dislike for the sounds of blenders and food processors. 😣

While I haven't always wanted to vacuum, I have never made the sound an excuse not to vacuum. Pure laziness seemed to be a good enough excuse, but maybe my sound sensitivities were subconsciously stopping me, only I didn't know it all those years ago. 💁

It's not that the sound makes me have to cover my ears in order to function, but it is unsoothing to my ears and I do not like it, period, so it does not motivate me to clean, and that's really not good. 😞

I had never …

How to Find Divorce Forms Online

(Disclaimer: This is not legal advice; this is information on how to conduct online research to find public documents.) 
A few things I learned as a court reporter: Divorce happens, divorce is not pretty, and divorce comes with paperwork...lots of paperwork.

So, where does one find the paperwork for filing a divorce? Where else in the 21st Century but online, of course; and it's a wonderful convenience, too.

Searching for any state's divorce forms is very easy thanks to search engines.

> Open any search engine and type the state's name with the words 'divorce forms' after it.

For example, I tested it out on Mississippi, a state I have never lived, worked, nor breathed in. 

When I typed 'Mississippi State divorce forms' the first non-ad link that came up in the search was the forms page for the Administrative Office of Courts for the State of Mississippi Judiciary.

Under the Statistical Reporting Forms section is the link Civil Case Filing Form - Complete and Pr…

By Request: Tips and Hints for First-Time Blog Writers

Thanks to the reader who left this curious comment on my blog post Where Do Tote Bags Come From:

"Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it."

Thanks for reading and commenting! Sorry for the annoyance of the eaten comment, I know how irksome that can be.

Here is my list of tips and hints for first-time blog writers, by request and in no particular order:

> Do not spend money on a blog if you do not know what you are doing. 💸

> There are numerous free blogging platforms for a reason -- so people don't have to spend money! Learning for free is awesome in the 21st Century; take advantage of it. 📚

> The best way to learn how to blog is to sit down and actually do it once you have set up a blog…

Monsters and Miracles: Lessons in Gratitude from Elizabeth Smart

Monsters and miracles; that is what I take away from the Lifetime movie: I Am Elizabeth Smart.

I was in my early twenties when the abduction happened, so I've been aware of the story since it broke. I still remember what I thought when I heard she was found alive: There are miracles in this world. 

In my teen years I had read so much true crime that by the time of the abduction I had to block all the real-life cases from my mind to keep internal hope alive; because I didn't want to think the worst even though I knew the odds were not in Elizabeth Smart's favor.

A miracle was in her favor though, and her story is nothing but proof to me that there are miracles in life every day. 

Miracles are a major theme in the Lifetime movie, which Elizabeth Smart had a hand in producing and did not let get produced without her involvement. That's the real reason I watched it; it wasn't conjecture from someone else's view, it was her story from her; she even narrates it.

I like to…

Speaking Out: Why Should Customers Pay for Promotional Products that Advertise a Business?


I am done buying promotional products from businesses when they give me nothing for it in return.

Local Sequim businesses want money for promotional products when some of those businesses, like Sunny Farms Country Store, don't offer any incentive, not even 5 cents off the grocery bill for using their tote bag that advertises them; the bags don't even come with a discount, last time I was there anyway. 

Sunny Farms isn't the only one though; this is a common business practice in Sequim, and Washington State, and I am calling it out for what it is:


Below my opening rant/argument is the e-mail I wrote to the Sequim Co-Op on Monday night regarding their large display of promotional t-shirts they expect locals (and members!) to buy.


I want something for my advertising dollar, because I already get nothing for doing free promotions online. I rarely even get a like from the businesses when I do tag them; that's how businesses treat customers and free p…

Comments Worth Reading from Blogger Enbrethiliel

Thank you, Enbrethiliel, for leaving your insightful comments -- for over 2 years! -- on my Marilyn Monroe/Monica Lewinsky/Bill Cosby quote-mash-up blog post!
Her first comment was left in July of 2015 and her most recent comment was left in October of 2017; while there are only four comments in two years, the fascinating thing I find is that all the comments deal with different issues that have similar social dynamics as to what I discussed in the Monroe/Lewinsky/Cosby post.

From 'Team Woman,' to Cecil the lion (remember him?), to Donald Trump, and finally Harvey Weinstein's bout in the Court of Public Opinion, Enbrethiliel does not miss a step when it comes to seeing the public repeat itself every time a new issue takes the spotlight.

You can read the full blog post here including comments, or read the comments posted below (copied/pasted/unedited).

Thank you, Enbrethiliel, for sharing your insights from your own unique perspective with me and others; they have not gone unno…