January 1, 2011

January – A Look Ahead


A new year! A fresh start! And happy 3-year anniversary to my dear little blog! It’s hard to believe how much has happened over such a short period of time. Please look for a bloggy giveaway post next week. Marty will announce a special gift to commemorate the event!

A year ago, I took some very significant steps with this humble web site. First of all, I taught myself how to widen the main template column. (If you want to do the same, I put together a nifty tutorial and the link is on my sidebar.) The purpose of this effort was so that I could share a bigger format of my photographs. With all the trips we took last year and the chronology of our homebuilding, aren’t you glad that I made that improvement? I hope so! I also created featured my own blog backgrounds and custom graphics for my monthly “look ahead” posts. The custom decorating will continue this year too!

Another online improvement I did last year was to start using Flickr for photo storage. I load up my better, higher resolution photo images there and then link them to my blog posts. I’ll be signing up for the pro version this month. Some of you may have noticed that I have a convenient link on my sidebar to my Flickr images. You are welcome to go over there anytime and see slide shows of various photo sets that I have organized.

As a side note, I was a bit surprised to see a huge spike in my web viewing statistics last month. After a little investigating, I discovered that Colonial Williamsburg Facebook page had a link to my post about their nontraditional Christmas decorations! I was quite honored that they discovered my blog and sent web traffic my way! You can read about it HERE.

Now that the winter months have settled in and the holiday season’s flurry of activities are over, I will be spending some creative time in my studio room. I have a few sewing projects planned and will share the results with you. Though the room isn’t fully decorated, I’ll be sharing some pictures here of this lovely space. As soon as you see it, I imagine that you will want to come on over and join in on “play time”! As dear Miz Jenny can attest, we love to meet and entertain blogging friends!

My consulting contract expired last month and did not get renewed. So I am happily back to the footloose-and-free retirement life again! It is nice to have that extra time back. We’ll be resuming our visits to a local fitness center, and I am renewing my commitment to get fitter and down to a healthier weight.

We have already been discussing and planning our 2011 journeys! We put down deposits for a Canadian Maritimes tour in September to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. We’ll also be making reservations soon for a special photographic tour of Alaska in July. We’re looking forward to a year of more traveling adventures and new photo opportunities!

This month I will be featuring blog posts with photos of past journeys, including grizzly bears in British Columbia and breathtaking scenery in western USA. I’ll also be sharing photos of treasured pottery pieces that we took home last month from Seagrove, North Carolina. So grab you a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and come visit me and Marty during our special 3-year anniversary month!


  1. Looks like you have another exciting year planned! Lots of fun travel. I hope one day you consider a trip to Michigan. Especially the UP is particularly gorgeous! Congratulations on three years blogging!

  2. love the new look and love hearing about your plans.....i love photography too...so love your photos and any tutorials you want to share! :-)...my siser-in-law and her husband LOVE prince edward island and go every year for a week or two....will be anxious to see what YOU think! happy New Year!

  3. 3 years of blogging flies on by!
    Sounds like you ahve some great things to look forward to....

  4. P.s My DREAM is a visit to Prince Edward Island as I am a Huge Ann of Green Gbales fan! oHHHHHH....You are lucky gal!

  5. Happy New Year Donna! You sound excited about it. I look forward to seeing your journeys. I like the way you have created your blog. I do spend alot of time on flickr too. I will get you in my email for updates on flickr.
    thanks for your comment on my blog!

  6. Happy Blog-i-versary, Donna! I love coming by to visit and I never leave disappointed! I have been frustrated by the narrow width of my blog because of my love for photography and the limited size I've dealt with. Will be visiting your tutorial in a few minutes and make the changes needed. Thanks for the help. Would love to find out how to do my own blog backgrounds. Can't wait to hear more about your planned trips.

  7. Happy New Year! I always look foward to seeing and reading about all of your journeys. Sounds like we will not be disappointed this year either!!!

  8. Happy New Year. You have a lovely blog.
    I hope you enjoy your trip to Canada
    I live in Ontario Canada and love all of the provinces.


  9. On my main blog, I still have my *beloved* Stretch Minima template. But I made the mistake of trying out New Blogger Templates on my test blogs. And now, can not get "old" Stretch Minima back, on them. :-(

    So I am stuck with playing-around on my main blog and that's defeating the purpose of test blogs. Bleah... Anyway, I'm not going to try to do anything else, to my main blog, now that I consider it so *fragile.*<--Funny term but... Eeeeek! If I ever lost this Minima Stretch on main blog... I'd be lost forever in New Editor.

    And though many like the templates on New Editor, I don't. :-(

    But when I put my blog, right "over" your blog, it seems that we have the same layout. Meaning, I have the same room, for my main posting & photos... as you do. And I have the same room, for my Sidebar, as you do. Or so it seems to me.

    No, I can not set my own photo, to show "on-the-edges" of my blog. But... Right now I'm pretty happy with the "sheet music" background I have. :-)

    Ahhhhhhh the joys and stresses of making our blogs look, as we really want them to! -smile-

    Gentle January hugs...

  10. It sounds like a fun filled year ahead for you. My brother went on a hunting trip to Alaska several years ago and said that it was just beautiful there.

  11. Sorry to be late sweetie!!! It's already been a "week" in this New Year especially with Ty leaving tomorrow....
    See what you started?? Hahaaa... There are SO many bloggers out there that need someone to help them with their blog designs! You should start a new teaching blog! And you could charge for the lessons. I've seen Photography blogs like this and they charge for the tutorials. You're good! Just Think about it!Hahaaa... I can hear you Now! And put that bat Down right Now! I'm leaving!! You hit me and I'm Telling Marty!!!Lololol
    Happy Blogaversary Dearest Friend!!! May there be Many more!!

  12. Congratulations!!! I'll be checking on you and Marty;) And, do you need a valet for your travels????

  13. It's always lovely in here and your photos are so much fun to view! Happy 2011 Miz Donna!

  14. In case I haven't said it yet, Happy New Year! Your 2011 trips sound like fun! I haven't even thought ahead to the end of the month. Hard to believe your three year blog anniversary is almost here! Didn't you just celebrate your two? Lol! Anyway, I'm so glad you are still blogging away and sharing all your wonderful pictures and adventures!

  15. Happy Blog Anniversary! You are so organized and I'm thinking you'll inspire me too! I'm still trying to get my old blog to my new one. It just won't work :(

    Your blog is beautiful Donna and so are you!!


  16. Congratulations on your blogaversary~! Your blog is always a delight to visit, for so many reasons it would be silly to try and name them. If all there was to see was Marty chewing, that would be enough! LOVE the polar bears looking adorable at both right and left! And WOOT WOOT on the Williamsburg people discovering and featuring your beautiful coverage of their decorations! I'm sure their jaws dropped when they saw their efforts through your eyes. So well-deserved and I hope it leads to even more good things for you and your blog. Love to Mr. Jim, Marty, Kevin and irreplaceable YOU!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!