Archive for January 1st, 2014

The highlight of 2011 was undoubtedly finding out that we were expecting. I didn’t think 2012 could be topped with the birth of our first child, but 2013 brought graduation, moving and starting a new job. I think I’m ready for a quite year to just enjoy this next stage of life. While we aren’t making big plans for 2014, I am setting some small goals for myself, to get back into the hobbies I enjoy and haven’t had much time for since.

Crafting Goals
Let’s face it, I haven’t done very many crafts the past couple of years. I miss making things.

Use my sewing machine We bought it as a Mother’s Day’s gift last year, and since then we haven’t taken it out of the box. No matter how good a deal it was, it’s a waste of money if I never use it! I have a few project ideas in mind. I haven’t touched a sewing machine in 15 years so my goal is to just use the machine. If I finish one of these crafts, all the better!

The first (and the reason I wanted the machine) is to make toddler bibs. Nicki has always had a large head – 90th percent tile! – so most pull over bibs are a tight fit. She has so much hair it’s inevitably getting caught in the snaps. The Velcro bibs have been our best bet, but the Velcro inevitably detaches from itself and reattaches to other clothes in the wash. My favorite backdrop, the one I used for her baby book, was such a casualty. I want to make custom pull over bibs from a more absorbent material, and have larger head openings. I’ve seen a few ideas on pinterest for making them out of old dish towels. Brilliant!

I’ve also been considering making a tree skirt. I’m leaning in this direction, but with more of a heavy textured fabric. Maybe something that almost looks knit? I’m also thinking of a different fabric for the poinsettias but not sure what yet. I like the idea of cream and gold colors to match our new fireplace.

Finish a Craft Project At least the kind that take more than a day to complete. Since Nicki has been born I really haven’t done much in the way of crafting, and it’s not for lack of ideas.

I’d like to finish our third anniversary project before our forth anniversary. For our first anniversary I combined the traditional anniversary gift (paper) with the modern gift (clocks) for our family travel map. I skipped our second anniversary gift when I couldn’t come up with an idea for combining cotton and china, despite having visited China that year. The idea for our third anniversary gift (crystal and leather) has been bouncing in my head since we first said ‘I do’: to bedazzle Domingo’s leather coat with our wedding monogram! Kidding.

I’ve also been meaning to do custom stockings for a while now. I want to embroider our names using silver lined seed beads on old fashioned knit stockings. I think it will look awesome – if I can pull it off!

Website Goals
I’ve written my own search engine from scratch, my own blogging platform, my own image server, my own logging system and my own authentication software. This was all a few years ago. I’ve done a little web coding since then for my thesis, but crazy pending deadlines took a lot of the joy out of it. My web developer itch is so far largely unscratched.

Update my blog to have a responsive design.
When I stared this blog in 2011 I picked a blog design that was pretty, but not very responsive. The layout really didn’t work as well if you were using an atypical screen size. Blog posts were hard to read on my phone, and took up very little screen real estate on big monitors. Given that 42% of my visitors last year (up from 22% in 2012) have stumbled upon my blog using a mobile device, this feels like a giant oversight.

This week I took the first step to improving my blog design by installed a word press plug-in to automatically detect what type of device visitors are using (mobile vs laptop/desktop). I’m working on a mobile version of my blog that has a similar feel, but more readable for the small screen. When that’s finished, the next step will be to fix the desktop version.

Update my sorely out of date websites.
I took down my consulting webpage, and game webpage because they were sorely outdated. The most recent photos to my photography portfolio website are from shortly after I purchased my first DSLR in 2009. The primary reason I’ve held off on uploading more, however, is that the flash intro I wrote needs to be overhauled. My family website still lists me as a graduate student and while I’ve had Nicole’s “skin” of our family website finished for months now, but haven’t gotten around to setting it up. (It’s viewable at if you’re curious.)

The sad truth for web developers: your websites are always out of date.