May 25, 2012

Neil Gaiman's Speech

If you're a writer, artist, freelancer, entrepreneur, creator of any type, or a human, you'll enjoy this commencement speech by Neil Gaiman. I sure did. If you'd rather read it, here's the transcript.


I've only read a couple of Neil Gaiman's books, but my sister recently recommended The Graveyard Book. I'm reading The Jungle Book first since it's a twist on that; the boy is raised by ghosts instead of wolves. Interesting, eh?

And while we're on the subject of inspirational commencement speeches, be sure to watch or read J.K. Rowling's Harvard address from four years ago if you haven't already. These British authors are just too brilliant. I could listen to them speak all day.


Have a great Friday!

May 8, 2012

Weekend at Bear Lake

We were lucky to be invited by my sister-in-law Mindy to her friend Myrick's cabin at Bear Lake for the weekend. The weather was a little cold, but still beautiful.



Can you resist this smile?
View from the cabin



Ivy fell face first into the stream moments after the picture was taken. Jared forgot to take a picture of her covered in mud. Too bad.
These bikes take waaay more energy than they should for four adults--still fun though.
Just another unsuccessful attempt at a family picture

Thank you so much Mindy and Myrick! We really loved it and hope you invite us again. :)

May 1, 2012

Check Out These Blog Makeovers

I know, the A to Z challenge is over and I should be taking a blogging break, right? Well, I will soon, but first I wanted to share three blog designs I did this past week.

Kelly Barnes from Words Have a Way

Now:

Before:

I ended up offering him the free makeover from the giveaway Michelle did a couple weeks ago on her blog because the original winner never responded to me (either she decided she didn't like me or my emails went to her spam folder, who knows?).

Kelly is an entertaining and offbeat kind of guy. As he says on his blog, "I talk about History, Science (OK, theory), Art, Education, writing, steampunk, spec fiction, flash fiction, cosplay..." He's also into puppet making and he has built a few "friends" who guest post on his blog. One of them wears a monocle, hence the monocle image in the header.

Adrienne Woods from Free Time Frolics

Now:


Before:


Adrienne has a craft-oriented blog. She is an excellent seamstress and is going to be making me something cute soon, so I'm excited. She's a friend of Michelle's and is pretty cool, from what I hear. Plus, her kids have really awesome names. In fact, her etsy shop, Cosette's Closet, is named after her daughter.

Dawn Malone from Here's the Story

Now:


Before:


Dawn did the A to Z series in April, too, and she was an entrant in the blog makeover giveaway, which is how I found out about her. She enjoys writing young adult and middle grade fiction. You can tell by her blog that she's very sweet and interested in things that matter. She is great to work with, and guess what? That butterfly on the flower image in her header is her own photograph, so she's talented too. I did change the color, in case you're wondering if there's such thing as blue monarch butterflies.

What do you think? Go visit their blogs and tell them if you like it.
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