Working The “Little Grey Cells”

I’m a huge fan of British mystery shows.  Agatha Christie and her Hercule Poirot character are my favorite, followed by her Miss Marple character.  I can’t name all the shows I’ve watched over the years and enjoyed, Lynn will have to help me out with the names.  There is, of course, my very favorite non Agatha Christie mystery with Dame Helen Mirren, “Prime Suspect”.  There was a rather strange show with a motley mix of town folk and rural characters.  The local Constable had a name that began with “Mc” and I can’t remember what it was.  They lived in “McDoo” or is “Loch Doo”.  Yes, I know that is not the correct way of spelling the town or village but that is how they say it.  The main character went on to make a movie “The Full Monty” which had me laughing till I choked myself in a coughing fit.   Then there is one show with a rather handsome Inspector that lives in a village with a lot of hidden villainy going on.  He is forever telling his wife he will be present for some local event and gets side tracked by nefarious people.  He does make a show at the event but usually near the end of it all.

Okay, that is not the direction I wanted this post to go.  My brain is cycling like a car with bad spark plugs or something.  Kind of hit and miss as it rumbles along with a bit of backfiring now and again.  I hope I can get through this without any stalls or …..

Have you ever taken on a project that leaves you wondering if you will make it all the way through to the end?  When you are already loaded down with your normal life?  I’ve done just that.

This project has become all consuming to me.  Just when I think I’ve got it in shape I find there is more things to do and changes have to be made to all I’ve done.  I’m taking an online course in “Creating Web Pages” and I’m beginning to wonder if I will make it to the end.  Unlike my favorite character, Hercule Poirot, I think my “Little Grey Cells” are bursting like popped balloons instead of being stimulated.  They are getting over stimulated and I can’t hold a conversation with Joe for longer than a couple seconds before I lose all train of the conversation.  Things I want to say go off like camera flash bulbs and die just as quickly so I don’t remember what I was saying or what I was going to say.

I thought stimulating your brain and activating it out of atrophy was the way to stave off senility!  It seems to have the opposite effect on my brain.  Maybe it is because of all the years sitting behind the steering wheel of a semi truck and inhaling the diesel exhaust.  Like my butt, it has spread out from all the sitting and my bones and muscles tighten up from the long hours of inactivity where I have trouble getting moving for a time until my body limbers up.

A dead stall now and I’m trying to get it running again…..

My Goal….to have a website available to anyone that is trying to learn all there is to know about making cards or creating scrapbook layouts.  I remember the total frustration I had when I was teaching myself how to make a scrapbook page.  When it came to product purchases I didn’t have a clue and bought anything I could fit in the cart.  Budget?  What’s a budget?  That all went out the window as I walked the aisles of Michaels grabbing stuff off shelves.  Didn’t matter what it was as long as it was in the scrapbook or card making aisles it went in my cart.

Then I became addicted to eBay.  Early in the morning and late at night I was trolling the goods and bidding on anything so I would not have to go to Michaels.  I became quite friendly with our postal carrier.  Joe asked me if I was trying to open a store since I had so much stuff to nearly do that with.  My purchases far exceeded the space my room would hold and I had to have him install cupboards and armoire things.  I still have quite a bit of the original “Stuff” I bought in the beginning of this madness.  Pawning stuff off to Carissa and my sister Pati has barely put a dent in it all.  I think it is time to do some heavy duty “RAK”s and get rid of a bunch of stuff.

Okay, backfired once again….

Back on track here.  Like everything else I undertake, the concept is simple, however, the actual execution of the concept is anything but simple.  Those of you that have been crafting for quite a while…take a look around at your space and actually see what you have.  How many types of glue do you own?  Me…I have white tacky glue that is not acid free, another tacky glue that IS acid free,  bookbinding glue, Glossy Accents, Mod Podge, E6000, Anywhere Glue Stick, and Two Way Glue Pen.  That is just glue!!!  Then I have all the other types of adhesives.  An ATG gun, Snail, Dimensionals, foam dots, foam tape, Sticky Strip, Vellum adhesive, Sticky Dots in two different sizes, Glue Dots, repositionable tape runner, and double sided sticky tape.

My website concept has gone from “Adhesives” with a short description of acid free and regular to this mass of different types of adhesive and what they are used for.  I spent all of yesterday working out the page for the different types of paper available.

What began as a place for a beginner to come to and get answers is turning into a massive undertaking that has me waffling between continuing on my path and having a comprehensive site that will answer any question put forth by a beginner to just down right chucking it all and walking away from it.  The only thing that keeps me going is remembering how frustrated I felt when I went from one website to the next reading what a seasoned crafter had to say, which generally wasn’t much, about any product or technique.  I had to go through so many websites to find my answers that later I could not remember which site had the answer I needed.

So…learning how to write HTML code properly has added more to this equation.  Today’s lesson is about Tables and how to write them to get pages to look good.  Everything I did yesterday on my “Paper” page now has to be gone over and redone using Tables.  No…that is not someone knocking on your door.  That is me banging my head on my desk as I write this.

Lynn Claridge, in the UK, has excitedly shared with me that she wrote all the codes for her website when she and her husband, Rod, had their Greenhouse Nursery.  I guess I’d better stop whining about all this and get about the business of having a place for beginning crafters to find answers to all of their questions.  Lynn….my hat is off to you!  You still seem to be able to walk and talk after all of that so there is hope for me, too.

UPDATE on the Baby Front:  Carissa just got back from her doctor and their urine test says she is pregnant too!!!  WOO HOO!!!!  Confirmation!  I’m so happy and excited for them.  About to burst 🙂



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

16 responses to “Working The “Little Grey Cells”

  • Nancy

    Oh Leslie! I feel your pain! lol This post was very well written and it really gets your feelings across beautifully! I totally understand how adhesives could take on a life of their own. Are you intending to cover EVERYTHING on your site? YIKES!! Is there any way you could cut it back to just the basics? Covering all of it is an enormous undertaking for one person…even if it is YOU! 🙂

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Nancy for your thoughts. Yes, I’ve spent several days going over my original idea and paring it down and scaling back. My problem is with second (and third) guessing myself. Should I put that in? Take it out! But what if there is a question about this?

      So the things I’ve been doing is creating just a few HTML pages. As soon as I get one the way I like it the next class “Bumps” up the game. Like your challenges, for example. It is like having one layout (your adorable girls in the snow with that awesome blue paper). You have the layout the way you like it and you feel good about it. Then you are assigned a task to take that same layout, using an unfamiliar technique, and now make bold borders on the right and left of your awesome layout. The next assignment is to take your second creation and put the focus of your daughters right up front and add a title to it that makes the viewer hear your daughter’s squeals of delight being in the snow. Just when I get comfortable with one thing they move on to the next, always building it more, all the while throwing in new codes that I have to learn.

      I’ve changed the “Paper” HTML page three times now. Learning new codes and new techniques. It is making my page get more focused and is making me think more about the people that troll around the internet and only look at what they want and bail when they get bored. The same as I did when I was searching for information. I’ve made the decision that all the “information” stuff will be in a “Glossary” area, i.e. all the different type of paper and adhesives and how to use them. Like I do everything else. Get the really HARD stuff out of the way first and then tackle the “Meat” of the matter. I will have to do the hard stuff at some point so get it out of the way first while it is pinging around in my brain and clambering for the most attention.

      Oh, and I’m diligently working at not getting all this hard work featured on “Webpages That SUCK” and being roasted by the man who hosts that website.

      Okay, enough whining!!

      I did check my email and I’m so glad you got your package. The stamp set, if you remember, is the one that Pati got on your Birthday last year. I asked if you still wanted it and you said you did so now you have it. Have fun with your tote. I think I might have to make one for myself :o).
      Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    We don’t have a television so I’m behind on what has been broadcast and what hasn’t. I can’t help you I don’t think with the funny sounding village but the one where all the villainy hapens is called Midsommer Murder with John Nettles. Now in his younger days John Netttles played the lead character is a series called Bergerac which took place in Jersey (Channel Isles). I like Midsommer Murder although it has been slated by critics and that village is in the county of Somerset which isn’t too far from us. Somerset is famous for its cider.
    I loved Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot – think I’ve read all the books – and Miss Marple stories. The Full Monty is a great film – funny but underlying sad too and many northern counties still have high unemployment. Prime Suspect is well within my genre, I like those types of programmes as I also like Bones by Kathy Reichs which is a series. Have you seen it? I have a fascination for forensic programmes. Thorougly enjoy CSI in all its manifestations 🙂 Think I must be weird 🙂

    First of all you must get yourself well and truly organised Leslie for this web building lark. You should make a rough sketch of your various pages – intro, next important page, next important page and so on. Then write out exactly what you want to say on scrap paper, then do lots of crossings out, type up a draft copy and read it through and do more crossings out until it is finely honed and all the waffle has gone.
    I used an online course to start with, it was a free one, then I went to a school for a few weeks and then I dumped most of it from my brain when I realised I didn’t need half what I’d learnt such as tables!!!!!
    I then bought a good idiots guide book on HTML and with a combination of HTML and Microsofts FrontPage programme I created the web site in my own time and at my pace. Oh the sanity of it all.
    I made a folder on the computer to store all the photos I wanted to use and made sure they were well compressed so that it didn’t take ages to download the pages. The thing with FrontPage is that it is so easy because it is like using any other programme on a computer such as Word. There are other similar programmes to FrontPage and there may be a free one for you to use with Ubuntu.
    I can’t show our web site because it is deleted now which is a shame. It was a very simple, easy to navigate site and I set up a part of it for people to buy plants and pay through Google.
    You will do it Leslie but have some sort of lay out in mind.
    Sorry to write a screed and hope there aren’t too many typos 🙂
    Congratulations again to Carissa, Jaime and to you and Joe.

    Much love and big hugs
    Lynn xxxxx

    • Message In A Fold

      As soon as I saw “Midsommer” I knew that was the show. Love that show, and oldie but a goodie. In fact, I like all of the older shows. These new ones with all the shenanigans going on. Don’t know why they bother with clothing. I, too, like Bones and the original CSI. Don’t care for CSI-Miami because they really take writing liberties on that show. As if the Crime Lab will be allowed total unsupervised access to a plane crash and doing their own investigation into the crash events with the blessing of the NTSB. Not gonna happen. Besides, I don’t like the red haired guy at all. No you are not weird. That would mean that “I” am weird, too :-).

      As far as the HTML stuff goes. I did spend a couple days drawing a “Flow Chart” and making tons of notations on what is going to go where. All the learning of HTML code and what all the things that can go wrong with one misplaced or ” or# or /. Leaving one of those puppies out makes the whole mess go blank and not work. Same with putting too many in. Then searching through it all to find what has been misspelled, left out, or an errant one left in.

      Thank you for writing a “screed”. I really appreciate your advice and input. I guess I just needed to “vent” and whine.
      Love you – Leslie

  • Shelly

    Oh my Goodness Leslie 🙂 You are talking a foreign language to me with all the webdesign stuff.I feel happy just to post some photos and luckily get a video up at some point. I have confidence that if you put your mind to it you will get it all to fall into place. I do like the idea of a site where all the information for someone new to the craft will be able to learn the things needed to complete a project completed. As to the adhesive question Way too many 🙂 I too have all the ones you mentioned and maybe a few others as well :0
    I think as a new crafter we see projects on craft shows and magazines articles, sites such as splitcoast and all the blogs ect and want to make what we see and just go bonkers on supplies not knowing what we do or don’t need. So a place where all that would be explained would be a great assistance to the new crafter. you have a great talent for explaining things and alot of knowledge to share. Heck I’ve been paper crafting for quite a few years and you have taught me new things so it will be nice for even us the more experienced crafters.
    Congratulations again I bet Carissa is walking on the clouds right now.
    Love to you and stress relieving vibes sent to you also 🙂


    • Shelly

      Please excuse my typos She says Sheepishly 🙂

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Shelly. Your vote of confidence is much appreciated. I guess I live by the motto “Go Big Or Go Home” half the time. Must be the Drama Queen in me.

      Girlfriend, watching the YouTube videos, blogs, looking through magazines, watching craft shows. They were all my undoing and helped me along into the fine mess I’ve found myself in. I have learned tons of stuff from all of you guys and all the others and that is what I really love about this “community”. All the open sharing of experience and knowledge. I’ll keep hammering away at this and pushing ever onward. You know, my first stint with the video camera and computer program for editing movies on my Mac was hit and miss too. That was a real learning curve. You will get there and you will be really pleased with your results when you finally figure it all out. You might not think your movies are Oscar worthy but the lessons learned on getting them uploaded will be worth every moment of it all as you get more comfortable and better. Heck, I’m still pretty bad at what I do and wish I could be better.

      Thank you for your advice and input. I do appreciate you.
      Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Oh Leslie I checked my mail today and there was the beautiful tote bag and extra gifts. It is beautiful, I so appreciate your generous and warm hearted friendship and I shall treasure my tote. I can’t wait to sow our daughters what my friend did for me. Rod was most impressed and loved the design on the front. The brushes and sponges will be used too and the charms are just ‘charming’. A very big thank you Girlfriend
    Much love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      I’m so glad you got your package. Did you have a great time with your daughter while the two of you went shopping? I had so much fun making those totes. Just a little bit of appreciation for you girls listening to me whine while I worked 🙂 I do hope those sponge sticks will work for what you want them for. Doing your “Grid Card” things I think would keep your finger tips from getting inky using those sticks. I just hope the sponges are stuck on good and don’t pop off when you use them, that would be a big bummer 😦
      Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    show not sow our daughters – grrrr ham fingers at work again 🙂

    • Message In A Fold

      You are just WAY too funny!! 😮
      Love you

      • gardenpinks

        Did you manage to find a refrigerator that fits your space? Hope you do get your tree put up and those suitcases stashed out of sight – you don’t need them for a while 🙂
        Kim, her mum and brother came to visit this afternoon whilst we had other visitors and Kim was so pleased to see her art work up on the cupboard for everyone to admire – bless her, she is such a sweetie 🙂

        Love and hugs
        Lynn xx

      • Message In A Fold

        Lynn, I guess the answer would be “no” on all your questions. Joe and I have been thinking of changing brands on GE since a couple of the others do have one that would fit. As to the rest of your questions….the answer is still no. The suitcases are still in the living room and the tree is still in storage. Tunnel vision and no supervision is what this is called.

        You are an awesome grandma. Kim seeing her artwork up for all the world to see and feeling special. I think I see that smile all the way over here 🙂
        Love you – Leslie

  • Shelly

    Hi Leslie 🙂 just checking in in you. Wondering how the paperwork and web design classes are treating you? We are faring well here…. Cold and Snowy but better than we were. Tell Joe hi from from all of us here and be safe I don’t know where he’s traveling but out weather patterns have been super bizzaro 🙂 around here.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Love and hugs from Me to you 🙂

    • Message In A Fold

      Shelly, thanks for checking in on me. I read your blog yesterday and the weather you’ve had. Man, you guys had it all – driving wind and rain, freezing temperatures, and tons of snow. Guess winter is serious around your neck of the woods.

      Progress on paperwork – NONE. Progress on the web classes is – Nearly Done. This is the last week for them. I hope to have the new website up on Saturday.

      I’ve read you are experimenting and having fun! I’ll be checking in on your blog to see your color swatches of the glimmery mists you have made. Sounds like you are having some fun 🙂
      Love you – Leslie

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