Category Archives: Gratitude

Need Help Branding Your Blog?

Do you need help branding your blog? I did. I needed a lot of help. I barely understood the concept of branding when I started blogging, never mind trying to become an actual brand. People kept saying I needed to brand myself. I just kept scrunching up my face like they were speaking a foreign language and shrugging my shoulders thinking I’d get around to all of that one day…in the very distant future. Like never. Or the day after never. Infinity.

I had a lot of questions. Could a person be a brand? It sounded so weird. It sounded yucky. I am a brand? My blog is a brand? My art is a brand? Like Campbell’s soup or Minute Maid orange juice? That can’t be true. What is going on here, PEOPLE?

Well, I’ll tell you what is going on here. I woke up one recent morning and realized I needed to figure this marketing business stuff out. I was getting bigger opportunities. I didn’t want to seem like an amateur. I realized I needed to become a brand. I needed to have a consistent face to show to the world. Not my own face because nobody wants to see that all day long…especially me, but I needed a logo. I needed a logo that could be recognized by my fans. A logo that would send them all rushing to my Etsy shop to buy up all of my art every single time they saw it float by on their computer screen. A logo that would drive traffic to my blog because all the people in all the world must know the latest antics of Tiny-Small…and our chickens…and my painting…and poor Jim just trying to survive in this crazy dome we call home. It’s a tall order. I know.

Need Help Branding Your Blog?

I know because I tried to design a logo all by myself. I’m an artist. I have an eye for beauty. I have mad skills y’all. I know what I am doing over here with my free photo programs and random font choices. “I got this,” I said cockily while tipping my chair back like the cool kid sitting in the back of the 6th grade class.

Well, maybe not exactly. It turns out creating a brand and a logo is a lot harder than it looks. It turns out there are people out there called “graphic artists” who spend hours coming up with concepts and designs to help businesses create a brand. It takes a special talent to do this right.

A talent I do not possess. After pulling my hair out and begging people on Facebook for feedback I decided to seek professional help. That’s when Joules from Pocketful of Joules (an awesome blog go check it out) saved me from myself. She happens to be a graphic designer with 15 years, let me repeat, 15 YEARS, of experience designing logos and helping people create a brand for their businesses. She saved me days of frustration and gave me hours of my life back. I’d much rather be painting and writing than fighting with photo software and getting it so very, very wrong over and over again.

Joules quickly put together some ideas she thought might work for my blog and presented them to me. In a matter of days I had a new header and a new logo to use on all of my promotional materials. What I like most about Joules is she goes to your website and pokes around. She gets to know you. Her logo designs are original. Sure, you can go to certain websites and get a $5 logo from someone, but it’s going to be some generic clip art with your blog name on it. Joules creates something that makes sense. She understands your personality. She gets to know your style. Your logo will be unique and people will recognize it belongs to you immediately.

Here is the logo she designed for me!

 

Its a Dome Life - logo with tagline - web version

I am writing this because I am so grateful to Joules for helping me get my logo and brand identity right the first time. I want to recommend her services and promote her new “Blogger Special” logo and header design package. I urge you to take advantage of her talents. Save yourself a headache. I am the Do It Yourself queen, but even I know my limits. It’s important to get this right so you can spend your time on the thing that matters most: Your business!

 

blog logo by Joules

If you’d like to learn more about Joules services just click on her button!

 

P.S. Joules and I are friends. We met on the Internet. In full disclosure, she provided me a discount for her services. In exchange I put her business button in my sidebar. I am writing this post because I want to. It was not part of the deal. All opinions are my own.

Chihuahuas Pee On Everything Part 2

Chihuahuas pee on everything. I know because I wrote about it before and because I live with the cutest Chihuahua in the whole wide world. Our rescue dog, Stevie Wonder, has been a lot of work when it comes to potty training. We have pretty much failed with conventional methods so we are now working on prevention as much as possible. It’s going rather slowly, but since he is already over two years old and has better things to do than pee outside, we just keep hoping for a miracle.

Chihuaha's Pee On Everything part 2
Pink Rose Love

He is a wonderful dog and we adore him. Especially Tiny-Small because he lets her dress him up and he even plays baby with her. He takes naps on a couch pillow while she covers him with her doll blanket. It’s adorable. That dog is a sweetheart and a saint. Except of course when it comes to peeing on the furniture, the floor, the groceries we just brought in, and Jim’s shoes.

Chihuahua's Pee On Everything part 2
A Chihuahua and his girl.

We finally got him crate trained. He sleeps in a crate at night so we no longer wake up to surprise pee puddles. It’s the daytime that is still a problem. We’ve started keeping him on a leash when he is in the house so we can keep an eye on him at all times. It’s been going well, although I know he misses having the freedom to run free over the top of the couch and across the coffee table at any given moment. We get a little tired of holding onto his leash as we go about our daily business. Tiny-Small, of course, loves to walk him indoors. She thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. The other dogs are completely jealous because they think he is getting the royal treatment. I’m pretty sure even the goldfish are giving him the evil eye.

Chihuahua's Pee On Everything part 2.
Don’t you just adore his seashell necklace?

Anyway, I am still hoping something clicks in his dog brain and the potty training efforts will have an impact. He’s a smart dog. He’s a great dog. He’s a chihuahua. Chihuahuas pee on everything. I keep reminding myself to have patience.

Chihuahua's Pee On Everything Part 2

The good thing is Stevie Wonder doesn’t seem to mind wearing seashell necklaces and pink roses on his collar, nor does he seem to mind the never ending devotion and attention only a 4 year old girl with a princess obsession can give. Somehow, that makes all of the potty training struggle worthwhile.

Rescue dogs make the best pets.

 

My Child Is A Grass Hugger

Tree hugging runs in the family. It’s in our blood, but grass hugging? That’s a whole new thing for the latest generation. Tiny-Small is a grass hugger. Literally. I think it’s because she rarely sees grass. To her it’s a plant on the verge of extinction and when she finally gets her feet in it and her arms around it she is pretty happy.

For some reason her grass loving ways just seem so foreign to me, but I grew up on the East coast where grass is plentiful. So plentiful in fact I barely spent much time appreciating it while I was there. I mean, grass was a dime a dozen. I spent entire summers barefoot and running through it without a care in the world. I mean, I never thought one day there would be no grass.

Then, I moved to New Mexico where grass is a hot commodity. I mean, people try to grow it, but then they have outrageous water bills and all of the guilt that goes with not accepting a naturally landscaped lawn. Water is a precious resource here. People tend to go the native grasses route and invest their time in creating rock gardens instead. Because it’s easier, less expensive, and let’s face it…the critters eat everything anyway.

My Child Is a Grass Hugger In brown New Mexico.
Subtle shades of brown with spots of green.

Tiny-Small lives in an environment that has intricate shades of brown and sometimes spots of green. The trees surrounding her on a daily basis are more like giant bushes carved to look like trees. The grass is mostly brown too, unless we have a lot of rain and then it turns a little green, but not like the green you encounter in places where rain comes in abundance.

Luckily, we live near some National Forest where there are tall pine trees and sometimes luscious cotton wood trees. We took her there a few days ago to go on a hike. The tall trees create a canopy and grass grows near the streams. When we hiked down a hill and found ourselves next to a stream Tiny-Small started yelling, “Grass! I love grass!” Then she threw herself right on the ground and rolled around hugging it to her chest. It was long grass. It wound around her like a grass skirt.

My Child Is A Grass Hugger (Life In New Mexico)
New Mexico has some green too. You just have to go looking for it.

I sometimes worry that she is missing out on all of the wonderful things from my childhood…grass, fresh seafood, the beach, humidity (well, that might be pushing it), but lately I’ve started realizing that she is going to have her own childhood. It’s going to be filled with rocks and lizards and snakes and mountains…and the biggest blue sky in the whole wide world. Not to mention enchiladas (red or green?) and home-made tortillas.

We aren’t going to share the exact same childhood. Which sometimes feels a little strange, but she isn’t going to long for the same things I do (like Mystic Seaport and strawberry picking) when she grows up. She’s going to have an entire different version of “home” than I do. She’s a New Mexican, desert girl. Grass is always going to be something special because it’s so rare, but she will probably never long for humidity or the drastic changes in seasons. She won’t really miss snow and will probably find the idea of shoveling your car out to go to work each morning a major crisis she wants no part of. She won’t miss the beach and dream of falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing. She’ll be missing the howling of coyotes and seeing mountain lions cross the road on her way home at night.

My Child Is A Grass Hugger (life in New Mexico)
Pretending to fish.

I am just grateful I get to be a part of the making of her childhood memories. I’m also grateful that I have a little person in my life to remind me to stop and enjoy the little things. Like soft, green grass. I never appreciated it as much as I should have. Watching her enjoy it so much makes me realize it’s often the things we take for granted that really mean the most to us. I am becoming a grass hugger myself.

Also, I think we often idealize our childhoods and the place we come from. I know Jim thinks California is the cats meow and don’t even get me started on the debates we have had over which coast is superior. I, of course, prefer the East and he will always prefer the West. it’s just what we grew up with and what we miss. When we go back to our hometowns now we are almost always a bit disappointed. Things aren’t the same. That old saying “you can never go back” is true. The real lesson I am learning through all of this is that we all have our own memories. Before long, Tiny-Small will be old enough to join our debate. I am pretty sure she will be arguing that New Mexico is the best place to live and far superior to either coast. She’ll have a good argument too because we all know what we know and like what we like. Nobody can convince us otherwise.