building my website


Today, I thinned my lettuce and kale. I decided to use what I pulled to make a micro-green salad. Paired with some red bell peppers, onions and avocado, it was quite tasty. (It took about seven rinsings to get the greens clean.)

micro greens

We have been working like crazy on the new website. Updating a website can eat up huge amounts of time. But, as with anything, it’ll be much stronger for the effort.

Five Years Old and, finally, a Name

As my regular readers know, I am in the midst of a complete overhaul of my website. This means I’ve been consulting people and doing lots of looking around at what else is out there. In response to a suggestion from a marketing professional, I’ve decided to name my blog. Hereafter, it will be called Amazed By My Luck.

This comes from an Iris Murdock quote: “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one’s luck.”

I like the name, too, because it applies not only to the writing and photography in my life, but to the other things I write and post photographs of on the blog: my family, my teaching, my garden, my sewing, and my other crafting. And, as luck would have it, it was five years ago this week that I launched the blog. So, five years old and, finally, a name.

Not much will change here with regards to the name — until we go live with the new website.

New Homepage

homepage mockup

Update on the New Website

Having killed my first (bad) idea for the new concept on my website, we have a new concept that we like. I’ll share it here so you can see what we’re considering. It is very different from what we did before, but we want to make it open, friendly, and easy to use. Do you folks have any thoughts?

mock up for home page re-designThe photo on the top right (a water drop falling) would change each time a person landed on my homepage, in the same way the header photo changes now. Each photo will be trimmed so that it floats in the space. We have already decided to change the color of the swirl.

Killing Your Darlings

On our morning walk this morning, Richard and I talked about the new website, and I had to admit that my idea is not working. In fact, it stinks.

sarahs workspace

Even though this desk is the tidiest it has been in years, it still makes an image that is way, way too cluttered for an effective web home page. Richard has worked long hours on coding, etc., to start to make it functional, but, truth be told, it was a bad idea.

So, back to the drawing board.

The time I spent cleaning up wasn’t wasted (it never is). I’m still getting rid of and putting away stuff. I work much more effectively when I’ve done a major clean-up. It helps de-clutter my brain as well.

Other work life improvements

I’ve started using Pocket (formerly Read it Later) to save things I come across on the web. Just like with Evernote, it takes some time on the front end to get it installed on all the devices I use (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop), but it is proving very useful.

I also read this article about blog theft that prompted me to take more security measures with my gmail. Once again, it took some time, but those of us who fully engage with the online world need to take precautions.

Fibonacci Folding Book App Available in Android Marketplace

app iconThe Fibonacci Folding Book Project app is now available in Google’s Android Market. The app in Apple’s App Store has been downloaded by people in a handful of countries. It is very exciting to have our content available for tablets. I’d love to hear from app users about the experience.

Richard has put buttons on the homepage of my website that link directly to the appropriate page in the two App outlets. Click here to see.

Letters from Kids

Here is a small sample of the wonderful packet of letters I got this week from students at the Martin Luther King Jr. Laboratory School in Evanston, Ill., a school I attended for a few months of second grade. Read about my visit and see photos here.

I also got a nice note from a teacher. The arrival of the packet gave me a good reason to update the feedback page of my website.

kids letters 1
kid letters 2
kids letters 3
kids letters 4

Growing Patterns Book Trailer

It’s ready to view! See the book trailer for Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. I’d love to hear what you think.

It’s also available on my website and on my Amazon author page. (Look in the far right column at the bottom.)

New Look for Website and Blog

Richard and I have been busy behind the scenes (mostly Richard, it must be said) working on a new look for the website and the blog. Please let us know what you think.

Spiral 2 – A Rose



I guess it is no surprise that Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature did not arrive today — given that it is Sunday. But I am continuing the countdown, nonetheless. Here is another photograph we took because of the beautiful spiral, but it is not clear to me how or if this is a sprial that relates to Fibonacci numbers. I do like red.

I have been adding resources to my website that relate to Fibonacci numbers. If you go to the Books section and select Growing Patterns, you will have the option of clicking on a menu for Fibonacci links. It includes 10 links that I found while researching my book. Some include classroom activities.

Watermarking Photographs in Lightroom

Butterfly emerges-7350 I am always trying to improve my system. I have known since the beginning of blogging that I should be embedding watermarks into my photographs. But there’s often a gap between what I know I should do and what I have the time, energy, and knowledge to do. In this case, the process is fairly simple — once I got around to it.

In Lightroom, which is the program I use to process and catalog my photographs, there is a function for exporting photographs. I have to run the export function in order to transform my photographs from raw images into jpgs for posting on the blog. In the right hand column, in the metadata menu, there is a copyright option. I typed Sarah & Richard Campbell in that mother's day-0060 Then, with the photo selected, I clicked on the file menu and clicked on export. In the export dialogue box I checked a box next to the Add Copyright Watermark field. Apparently, it is not possible with Lightroom to customize the placement of the watermark. If you know different, please comment and let me know. How do you other bloggers handle watermarking?

Continuing with the website updates, you can look at the photographs from our recent Tuscon trip in the gallery section of my website.