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024. The Bold Adventure

I decided that adventure was the best way to learn…
Lloyd Alexander

In the spirit of adventure, I begin this blog post with butterflies in my stomach and a firm sense of determination to succeed. I recently volunteered to completely redesign and develop my organization’s website, a feat I have yet to accomplish in any kind of amateur experiment and one which I hope to accomplish in just the next six months. Not only will this be my first ever website of any significant size, but it will reflect my own drive, creativity, and perfectionist nature.

By allowing myself virtually no margin for error, I’ve ensured two things: 1) I will do my absolute best on this project, beginning to end, and 2) I will not be pleased with the outcome at launch.

There are good things and bad about both of those things, especially since this is my first project of this volume and depth. (And, while I may not be 100% pleased with the outcome of the site at its launch, because websites are live and can be edited, I will have the opportunity to improve upon it after its unveiling.) However, it is a grand adventure and I look forward to both the extreme highs and the inevitable pitfalls of such a project. It is my understanding that most people, when first learning how to design and develop websites, start off with one piece of the process, master it, then add another piece and repeat until they have fully mastered how to organize, develop, design, code, and launch a website gradually.

Due to the financial restrictions of working in a non-profit and my desire to learn the entire process, I volunteered to take on the complete redesign, beginning to end, as a solo endeavor. It both scares me and excites me.  It is the best of experiments and the most humbling of challenges. I look forward to sharing my experiences, both the frustrating and uplifting, on this blog and welcome any advice or encouragement from its readers.

And so, I look forward to this and embrace the challenges before me. For, as Ovid once wrote, “The bold adventurer succeeds the best.”

Eco Friendly by Katie Kirk

Eco Friendly by Katie Kirk

If you like this image, please check out more of Katie Kirk’s work at her Flickr photostream or on her own website: http://www.katiekirk.net.

This post is part of a weekly feature on this blog called a Simple Image, which is just an image with links to the photographer’s or artist’s own website or blog.  If you would like to have your artwork or photography featured, or if you have suggestions on who should be featured, please contact me via email.

This week’s edition of Twitter #followfriday recommendations includes some great men who provide helpful links, engage with their followers, and are genuinely awesome, as well as awesomely genuine:

christopherscot Christopher Scott (@christopherscot): Not only a great web designer, but also friendly and helpful. He’s a self-professed hipster technocrat and Apple fanboy, as well as animal lover, husband, and home owner. (Check out his site.)
Peter Kobel (@TheEcoist): Peter sends out many helpful green links, his Twitstream is full of interesting articles, blogs, features, and talking points. If you’re into greening the environment, you should also check out his webpage and blog at www.peterkobel.com.
Brian Cray (@briancray): Brian is has a wide variety of interests and skills, which include just about anything and everything to do with the internet and posts really great resources on all of them. If you want to know more about web development or social media, he’s your man.
At The Fair

At The Fair

More photography by this artist can be found on her Flickr photostream here: endofmarch. You can also visit her blog at end-of-march.blogspot.com.

This post is part of a weekly feature on this blog called a Simple Image, which is just an image with links to the photographer’s or artist’s own website or blog.  If you would like to have your artwork or photography featured, or if you have suggestions on who should be featured, please contact me via email.

As an artist and creative person, I usually have a well of ideas I draw from when I need inspiration, but there are some times when either the ideas don’t fit the medium or the purpose of the project I’m working on, or perhaps my well has run completely dry. When I need to replenish the supply, there are some things I usually do. My personal toolbox, though, is not infinitely deep and full, so I thought I would ask some other creative types where they draw inspiration from to see if I might find some new sources. Here’s what was shared with me (please feel free to add your own in the comments, as well):

christopherscot Christopher Scott: Lately I’ve been drawing a lot of my inspiration from the past, graphic design throughout history, and my childhood, specifically.
jcrossland Jonathan Crossland: I find inspiration in past events, emotions that perhaps occurred years before, but apply as a “feeling” to a new situation.
pixiequeen10thk Kirsty Selway: I get a lot of inspiration from other people’s work. Sometime’s just 1 texture will suffice.

Here are some sources I often draw on when I’m in need of inspiration:

  • tarot cards
  • architecture
  • artwork (both classic and modern)
  • naturally occurring themes or shapes or color combinations
  • fairy tales, myths, or legends
  • literature or historical events
  • a sense of whimsy

So, tell me, when you seem to have scraped the bottom of the barrel, where do you go for new inspiration? How do you come up with new ideas? What recharges and refreshes you?

Two very intelligent, very inspirational blonde women you should definitely be following on Twitter:

  • Lisa Hoffmann (@lisahoffmann): is also known as New Media Lisa. Her blog frolics through the land of new media, including posts such as The Best Blog I’ve Never Read, which asks readers to recommend ‘undiscovered’ bloggers who contribute great content to the greater community; Twitter Is The Chuck Norris Of Ice Breakers, which starts a conversation about networking and making new ‘real life’ friends through Twitter; and Finding Inspiration on Twitter when in need of a mood-booster. This smart blonde keeps the good content coming on her blog and on Twitter alike. If you are in need of a mood-booster yourself, just take a look at Lisa’s picture on her Twitter page – that smile is completely infectious in the best way. Oh, and did I mention her plan for World Domination with Pamela Martin (see last week’s #followfriday recommendations)… all while shopping for shoes…  Now, that’s a smart blonde! 😉
  • Pam Stennett (@mistycliff): Pamela Stennett is one of my oldest and best friends, but that’s not why I’m recommending you follow her. This chick is all about conquering the world in small, but extremely important ways every single day. She’s a physical trainer, new mom (to Kai – just over a year old), entrepreneur, pitt bull rescuer, avid reader, and natural birth advocate. She’s been a vegan for going on ten years now and managed to keep her diet set even while pregnant (!!!), all the while staying in perfect shape and helping support her family with her husband and two dogs. She now has a very successful fledgling blog called I Write In Books, where she chronicles her many reading adventures, including literature, philosophy, and a feature called Kai’s Corner, where she reviews children’s books. If you’re an avid reader or are interested in natural birthing, she’s a must-follow. Plus, she’s one heck of a smart blonde!