Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Free Photo Images for Blogging

January 14, 2010
The Best Photo sources for your blog

It’s a great idea to boost your blog with eye candy photo(s) on each of your posts. Often I have my own photo ready before I’ve written anything. But just as often I don’t. And let’s face it, not many mom bloggers out there are interested in paying for an image for a blog post.

So Where Can I Get Great Quality
Free Photos and Images For My Blog??

The 3 places most people check first:

Flickr: A WARNING.
ONLY use the images from the Creative Commons search page and leave at least a comment on the image telling the photographer you used the image. Always check the copyright info. If it has the little ‘Attribution Man’ and says some rights reserved you can use it on your blog WITH A LINK back to the photographer. If it has the man and a dollar sign slashed through, then you cannot use for commercial. And since most blogs have some amount of commercial something going on, either stay away from those images or ASK the photographer. I’ve had luck asking even when a photo was fully copyrighted. They can only say no right??

All that being said, I LOVE Flickr, and often stop there first on my journey to find a fabulous photo for a blog post.

Google Images: STAY AWAY.
You have no real way to verify copyright. And it would sure be lame if you were the first to get really slammed for ‘stealing’ a photo you didn’t realize was copyrighted, eh? Do not blog with Google Images. I sleep with an attorney. Don’t go there.

Photobucket: STAY AWAY.
Also too much worry about copyright. You would need to get permission for each image; not worth your time.

5 Free Stock Image Websites:

Are they really free? Are they worth your time?
I’ve done a little research and here are my findings.
5 STAR ranking: 5 = best site for free blogging images.
Based on selection, resolution, limits and copyright clarification.
4 Stars

This is fast becoming my favorite free stock photo website.
The selection is very good. NOTE: you can only download Medium sized images (for free). However, for blogging that’s almost always fine. If you have a scrapbook project or something you want to print out.. this might not be your best option.

I love that they CLEARLY mark what is required of you if you use the free image. Attribution, contact artist, etc. Plus the ads aren’t obtrusive and don’t get in the way. It’s free right? Expect ads.

3 Stars
I was skeptical at first. I figured the images would be crappy or weird or not enough of a selection. I was wrong on all three accounts. Here’s a couple images I found when searching keywords: Orange, Grandparent, and Serene….

One negative is that you are limited to 10 downloads per day. Which is fine I don’t need a load of images. HOWEVER. In order to register for your download privileges you have to: give away personal information, allow linking to your Facebook account and give your cell phone number. Strange? After you receive a log in code you then ‘verify’ to finish registration…( I swear if they start texting me or calling me up.. I’m calling the police)!

See FAQ for more details. From what I can tell the images are all fine to use on your blog. I love that.


3 Stars
Similar to PhotoExpress without requiring your first born to sign up. The selection is just as good and there are no limits that I can see. Most photos need attribution and are clearly marked as to how they should be used.

One thing that bugs me: when you search for ‘red’ for example; it first comes up with a list of ‘premium’ images from Fine, realize it’s an ad and move on because few images from Dreamstime are free. Scroll down to the Stock.XCHNG images which are free. Also when you click the download button it first opens a giant image and you then use right click to save the image( instead of directly).

Upside: It’s easy to upload and add your own images to the overall collection. I don’t consider myself a professional photographer, hello(!) if someone likes my photo? I’m thrilled. Happy to share in fact.

1 Star
I like the idea of this site. But really it’s the middleman; adding another step to your photo search. It’s a search engine for ‘free’ stock images. Mostly it comes back with images from: Flickr, PhotoExpress and Stock.XCHNG. Technically it should be making your search faster. HOWEVER. Especially on a Flickr photo I feel like I have to click over to be sure I’m cleared to use it on my blog. That’s 3 clicks and I still have to chose a size and then download the image. If it says can’t use for commercial (slashed dollar sign), I stay away. I’d prefer the search limited to only images that are clearly okay to use.
2 Stars
The main problem with Morguefile is that the variety is so limited. A search for ‘Grandparent’ nets a whopping 14 images, and then they want you to jump to for ‘more’ images..(remember that’s really an ad). ‘Red’ came back with a lot more and the images are good quality, but ‘Kitty’ only gave a hundred or so…. And ‘woman computer’ brought up a ton of images but none with both a woman AND a computer. The search filter system is cumbersome and frankly hard to use. I just want to type in a couple keywords and have the image show up! It is easy to download images though, and I saw no limits.

Upside: This feature on Morguefile is totally cool! A direct crop and post feature, I tried it with this rose image. (The credit part below the image came with the html; simply copy and paste.)

Photo credit: solrac_gi_2nd from
0 Stars
For blogging purposes: These get a big thumbs down from me. The selection of truly free images is so small it’s worthless to spend any time on the sites. And the whole credit system is clearly built for bulk users. You save if you purchase a lot of credits up front… They each allow a certain amount of free credits upon signing up.. but it’s too gimicky for a blogger like myself. They both have a fabulous selection of high quality/professional images but you have to pay for them.

goodncrazy blue dots

There are likely hundreds if not thousands of other Stock Photo sites out there. But these are the ones I keep coming back to over and over.

And For Fun.

This website is more like an application, running on the Flickr Search API.
Try it. It’s such a fun time-suck! You click an image and ‘favorites’ from that photographer show up.. then click again.. and before you know it.. you’ve lost a good 10-20 minutes of your life!
Plus if you ‘log in and fav‘ it will access YOUR flickr favorites and you can begin jumping around the favorites of the photographers you have faved. Plus you can add to your Flickr fave list by clicking the fave button on new photos… I wish it would limit by copyright, now THAT would be an awesome time-suck.
Let me know if you like ffffl*ckr!?

Photo Credit: Morguefile, PhotoXpress, FreeDigitalPhotos and StockXCHNG
Disclosure: No compensation

How do you spell Weird?

July 16, 2008

What words do you mispell all the time?
(And don’t say I’m the only one who doese that?)

My most mised words?



Anything with an ent/ant ending!



I screw these up ALL THE STINKIN’ time. Love spell check. I espetially love it when spell check comes up with creataive alternitive words!

I wonce was trying to spell out dagnabit…and spell check came up with Danube. Yes, thats it, I was thinking of The Blue Danube insted of my mild expleltive!

My favorite is when spell check is no help. When I can’t even spell the word close enough for Mr. Check to even guess at what I’m trying to type!

According to the top 10 misspelled words on websites?

Incorrect — Correct

  1. · Independant — Independent
  2. · Accomodation— Accommodation
  3. · Definately — Definitely
  4. · Recieve — Receive
  5. · Opportunites — Opportunities
  6. · Thier — Their
  7. · Occured — Occurred
  8. · Infomation — Information
  9. · Offical — Official
  10. · Acitives — Activities

Wanna see the top 50?

Note they don’t mention Your/you’re issues. Dude that’s like it’s own post.

If you’re busy and you know it, CLAP your hands…

July 7, 2008

You know you are busy when….

1. You have more orders than you have time, and honestly you didn’t do any real marketing?

2. You can’t keep up with your kids and they are on summer break for heaven’s sake!

3. You agree to be a contributor to a fast growing mommy networking website. (Me? Really? Are they kidding?) I posted my first article, and it was a little like shoving out my first child… so please, somebody read it! This is what the picture looked like anyway….

4. You can’t find the time to make the website that is bringing in the orders look professional! (Because orders are already coming in…?)

5. You spend a long weekend out at your mother’s, ‘to use her serger’, but your sister ends up on bedrest and you spend a lot of the time helping out with her kids and playing in her pool with your own kids…

6. You can’t find the time to update your dang blog…and it’s the one thing that got all the rest of this stuff rolling!

But at least you have these to show for it:

Oh my heck! The Giraffe print finally…And while I planned to pair it with pink…my funky friend chose the green. And wow! It’s totally fab.

The red paisley in a small tote…

A request for a key fob inside the tote? How cool is that?

More spirodots. Very popular.

And my second black paisley large tote.

And last but not least…See I like the pink with the Giraffe, after all!


Oh Glory. A MEME.

June 26, 2008

How sweet is this? Jocasta sent over this MEME my way. And poor Laurie? The exact same MEME. You all will have to fill her in on what she just got herself into.

Who comes up with these anyway? 8 things? Why not 9? Or 39?

I’ll have to bring out my handy dandy button today. Here you go.

MEME Button

And just so you know… there’s only 6 categories in the 8 things MEME? Isn’t that kind of…off?

8 things I have a passion for:

8 of them.

8 things to do before I die
Like a mini bucket list? How cute.

Retire to New York City.
Live for a whole year in Florence Italy.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte in the Chicago Art Institute.
See the actual island of La Grande Jatte.
Meet Barbara Kingsolver.

There’s more but you don’t care do you?

Eight things I say a lot.

So. I say so a lot. My sister makes fun of me for it. So there.
A lot. I say a lot, a lot. And I always want to spell it alot instead of A LOT.
And if I’m being really honest. I say Shit. Sorry. I do.

(a story). My dad was speaking in church.
He spoke right up and said he was raised in a ‘Damn and Hell’ kind of family and that’s just how it was.
My whole family crawled under the pews and nearly died.

8 books I’ve read recently

I won’t make fun of this, I’m serious about books.
Faith Preceeds the Miracle, By Spencer W. Kimball
Fablehaven, By Brandon Mull
Life of Pi, By Yann Martel

Glass Castle By Jeannette Walls

Eat, Pray, Love By Elizabeth Gilbert
The 3 book series by Nancy Turner:
These is my words, Sarah’s Quilt, The Star Garden
The 5 book series by Phillippa Greggory:
(Start with ‘The Constant Princess” and read “The other Boleyn Girl” second.)

That was more than 8, so sue me, a lot, I’m a nerd.

8 movies I’ve seen 8 times.

Princess Bride
Die Hard 1 and 2 (of course I saw the 4th one, you don’t have to ask.)
Lost Boys
Three Amigos (I can sing the buttercup song, can you?)
Saturday the 14th. But these last two don’t count. They’re from way back when cable was new for my family and they were the only two movies on. We watched them because we could. NOT because we liked them.

8 people to invite to do this meme.
Nope. Not gunna do it. You can’t make me.

Go Meme yourself instead.

And I’m going to have to add the extra two categories since it’s just way too short with only 6 in a list of 8s? Equality and all that?

8 reasons Memes are weird.

1) The title. Meme is dumb.
And unpronounceable
Let’s call them: Get to Know You’s.
We could add theme music from The King And I.
I really hate the music from The King And I.
Which reminds of that Jr. High Siam joke.
Where you say ‘WhatanAh” before everything, and then say it before Siam.
8 is too many anyway.

8 Plants in my garden. Because they make me happy.

Purple Coneflower
Crimson Daylily
Yellow Cannas
Centauria Montana
Blue Mist Spirea (Bee attractor I dub thee)
Korean Spice Viburnum (Absolutely NOTHING smells better than this flower in spring!)
Basket of Gold
Jupiter’s Beard (Who comes up with these names?)

And lavender. Because it is bursting out there right now.


A Blogger Story.

June 25, 2008

I have a little blogging story to tell you.

I began my blog (this blog) 7 months ago. And in that month, I entered exactly one post.
And I felt stupid. Wanna see that first post? No? I thought so.

Then a month later, I wrote another post. A real one this time. It was okay. But still felt kinda dumb.

My SIL emailed me the very next month, to tell me that she was starting a blog, and did I want to read it. Well, yeah. Actually. I did. And I was totally jealous. I was all…if she can do that and not feel dumb about sharing with the WHOLE WORLD. Than dang-git, I could too. And I banged out this post. And yeah, I know. You don’t care about all that.

But just like that I was hooked. And just like a lot of you (and by that I mean all of you) I was addicted. I added google ads, but that was pointless. I thought about adding Blogher ads, but haven’t….yet.

I began getting a few comments. I began reading and (once I was brave enough), commenting on a lot of blogs. A LOT.

I began teaching myself about any and everything I could google or read about blogging. I kept on blogging. And reading. And fast forward to now.

I was just kicked off! Just like that. I mean, I was good to them wasn’t I? I added their button dutifully. I blogged about them here. And I didn’t have to jump any hoops or anything, I just asked Megan to be added to her list of blogs. I even just made a sale on my shopblog off a direct referral from In fact… I love her. Sniff…Sniff.

Would you like to know why? Why I’ve been banned from their all powerful LIST?

Yup. I didn’t even know there was a fight going on? And I certainly had no idea who Guy Kawasaki was. (I still don’t, but anyway). Turns out if you make it onto, you get booted from Are you following me? Because I’m all, All these All’s are kind of making my head spin. And my ego.

My blog made it onto in the mommy section. And here’s the best part. I got booted off in order to have my blog listed in a dead heat for last place on Classic, eh?

So there’s my story. Go figure.

And then go add your blog to And kiss Megan when you get there, because she stopped taking my calls.

Megan has begun taking my calls. (you can see her comment below) And she cleared up all the HISTORY for me. Click that and you will understand now too. Guy (by the way) has NOT called. So that should tell you something! I’m starting to think AllMediocre was/is the better choice! Thanks Megan for understanding all the same.


Blogger tips and tricks: Mommy wants a Signature

June 24, 2008

I want one of those signature thingys at the bottom of my post? Everyone else has one.

How can I get it?

The tip…

Angie found this one. Goto the site and create your own name Signature. It spits out the code. (Or make one of someone else’s name for an April Fool’s joke?)

TipJunkie also suggested this one.

You can cut and paste the code directly into your post ‘edit HTML’ view.

And the trick…

Once you have the HTML code you don’t want to keep cutting and pasting the code into your post editor every single time, right? (Go ask Jamie about it.)

Here’s how to automate it. And remember it will not change the PAST posts (that was confusing me up). You won’t see it until you actually create a new post.

Anyway. In the Dashboard.

Goto Settings.

Then Formatting.

Then scroll down to the box at the bottom.

It says Post Template.

Type a P in the middle of two surrounding pointy triangle brackets . (Blogger thinks I don’t want to show you my example code. Sheesh, it’s not like I’m trying to show you my bra or something?

(That P in brackets will make a paragraph break and saves extra time hitting return when you are ready to type your post. Trust me, just do it.)

Now paste in the HTML code from your signature after the paragraph code. Save it and then hit create new post. Should be able to see your signature waiting for you every time you post now. (But only on the current and future posts).

You can also upload code this way directly from a photobucket account if you have made your own signature.

If you need help email me. If you figure it out, let me know so I can gush over your triumph!

Tune in next time, for:

Does this Banner make my blog look too big? How to fix a header that is too wide for it’s britches. Probably looks like a muffintop. Go ask Ms. SassyPants if you don’t believe me.

MORE bloggy tutes


Seen a Good Thing?

June 21, 2008

Me too.

Meet new people?

Me too.

I’d like to share some of what I loved this week.

Email me your favorites and I’ll share those too.

This was sad. But real. Bless her.

It all started at Kent State University.

Right in the middle she lists this:

1. Why can some people have twins, triplets, quads, etc. and are able to handle it?
2. Why can other people have twins with siblings and can handle it?
3. Why would God take my babies?
4. What did I do to prove to God that I could not handle it?

In Birds Nest posted some pictures, and this one says it all. That dad is great.

And Blog of Beth and Babes had some ‘Dirty Talk’, and Dirty pictures for you.

Mommy Pie. My new twitter friend.

She says, “How a stupid waste of time reinforces my faith in humanity.”
I only barely get twitter. She seems to have it down. Go. Learn. Then click her twitter button.
(My Twitter name is rogbark. I know. But anything related to my blog name was taken.)

I love the Lolly Jane Boutique. I want my blogshop to look just like hers. (Do you think she’ll mind?) And I want someone else to do it. I can’t find the time to prettify it.

Angie has perfected the Scientific Method. With some help from her son and um..pee.

And now do you want to know why? Why I’m sharing some good things I’ve seen along my blog-hopping trek this week?

Because Goodmom/Badmom linked to my blog last week. (And I want to pass it on). I suggested this silly little gem. But. Instead.

They linked to my 9/11 story.

And today I’d like to follow up. And say thanks.

Thank you internet for hearing me out. And for your comments.

I want to share some responses.

From Jacki
I always enjoy reading someone’s 9/11 story. I mean, not because it was a fun event, but it gives another perspective on it. The thing that always sticks with me is that my dad was supposed to be on the plane that crashed in to the Pentagon, but at the last minute his company put him on another flight.

From Kat
Wow. Great post, and interesting to me to hear your story. I was living in NYC with my boyfriend then – his dad worked in the WTC but was home with a cold that day. We didn’t know that though, and my boyfriend walked from Washington Heights, where we lived, to his parent’s apartment in Stuyvesant town where his parents lived because we couldn’t get them on the phone. Scary, but turned out well for us. Glad your husband was okay.

From Givinya De Elba
Wow. Thankyou for writing that.
At the very same time, I was woken up here (just after midnight) in Australia by my agitated husband urgently saying, “Come and see the news!” CNN was on three of our TV channels and your ABC was on the other – and we all started freaking out.
And the whole time, half a world away, you (and thousands of others) were going through … THAT. I’m so sorry that those things happened.

From cndymkr / jean
I’m so glad you wrote about this. I still think about that day and I always will. My husband (a cop in NJ) was called into work to block the GW bridge on the NJ side. I waited hours to hear from him. I knew that he was not near the towers but I didn’t know what else was going on there. He was gone two days. He came home when so many didn’t. I still can’t look at a plane in the sky without replaying that second plane hitting the tower.

I didn’t really plan to have the whole world read my little housewife version. I had maybe ten readers when I wrote that. (And half were family-hi mom!).

And so many people were and are so much worse off.

I totally get that Everyone in America and the world were affected by this. My parents in small-ville USA who usually only read the local paper, were shocked and scared and upset just the same as you and I. I honestly get that.


Newbie Blogging Tips and More

June 16, 2008

NOTE: Contest Results posting at 10AM MY time–I gotta wake up first!

Surfing the web has amalgamated into couch potato over the past 5 days. That’s how long I gave myself to recover from my foot surgery. And now I’m recovering from Web Potato Anonymous.

And since husband is back to work and all the kids are staring at me, I think my recovery is over. Foot be damned.

Anyway. I am dying to share with other mom-bloggers all my new web-potato information. Because that’s pretty much all I did during my long extended weekend. I researched blogs, blogging, and how the heck do I get any better at any of this??

And boy oh boy do I have a long list for you. (Long posts? THE number one no-no. But I just broke it).

What I’ve learned during my 5 days of luxury on the couch:

How to make Swell and Throb get along. (Give them lots of time-outs).

How to use a Random Number Generator for a contest. (This site is the one I used).

Why you shouldn’t pull names out of a hat. (At least not when your pre-teen is watching.) MadMad also taught me that people don’t actually want to claim their prize. –What? You don’t want me to have your home address? Sweet little me-blink, blink? Also NOT to end a contest at midnight…what was I thinking?

That while Chunky Monkey is still my favorite; Americone Dream is now a serious contender, a close second at least (thanks to my good and close-by friend Ann). (Thanks for the Phish Food suggestion OHMommy, and to Andi for making me drool.).

I learned that running a contest is great for finding new bloggy friends, but not especially great at drumming up new business. Except for Jamie. And when I get her amazing bag made up, you will so totally want one, and it will be so great I don’t know if she will allow me to make one for you. You’ll have to ask her. One hint though. GIRAFFE.

I now know what PRChecker is. But I don’t really see why anyone would care? 10 is good. 0 is bad. And mine? Came back N/A. Does that mean needs improvement?

Adding my site to blog catalogs. Does this even work? So far out of 5 or 6 I’ve attempted to join, the only one that is showing any real traffic referrals is: (go look it up and add your own site).

I think I learned to twitter? I’ve directly twittered Moosh, ThreeUnderTwo, and VelveteenMind. All fairly famous folks, so that makes me cool, right? Oh and you need to figure out TinyURL to be really twitterlicious. I might have sent you an invite to join Twitter, sorry if that was annoying for you. You can follow me by clicking here. Set up your own and there you go.

Things I did not figure out: (5 days on the couch is still only 5 days after all?)

Technorati? Techno-who? Here’s what Angie told me: (she has a cool new blog doo, go see it).

“As far as technorati…….I’m too lazy to add all the blogs I read as favorites. One gets authority by others hyperlinking to your site. But, it only counts once. So, you can hyperlink about me everyday but I’ll only go up one authority point.”

Oh well. I added the button to my site, but don’t think it will matter. If you know more, please share.

DOES ANYONE KNOW how to tell how many good folks subscribe to your blog in a reader???

StumbleUpon. I stumble you, you stumble me, makes the world go round, right? Or not. I’m just following Jennifer’s weekend advice, don’t believe me, she’s the Guru. IF you like-a my post, hit the thumbs up button at the bottom. If not, I can’ t really come over and make you now can I?

And one last something I’d like to try:

You already know about my love of all things MEME. I haven’t said much about carnivals. (I didn’t even know what to call them until this weekend!) I was calling them ‘the weird days of the week thingys’. Now I know. They are carnivals. And while I can (and likely will) still make fun of them. I have a few of my own ideas. I guess I want to get made fun of, too. Because it still seems to me the whole point of MEMEs and wacky Wednesday carnivals are to get OTHERS to READ your blog?? And I’m down with that.

So keep posted. Maybe if we can get enough of us mom-bloggers in the trenches together, we could host our own carnival? But please oh please help me name it SOMETHING else. I would just love to see a place that was EASY to link a URL (yours or preferably someone else’s) of a funny/touching/interesting post from the previous week. Pretty much: if you link it, they will come? Mr. Linky can’t be too hard to figure out, eh? There’s so much to read out there, and I want to sit down once a week and be able to read about 15 of the best posts of the week (in addition to all my friend’s posts of courses). So contact me, and let’s do this THANG.


Blogroll revisited.

June 12, 2008

*UPDATE* I don’t mean to leave anyone out. Even if you don’t have a blog, if you comment on this post I will include you in the contest below!

I cannot figure out the deal with a blogroll? Some of my favorite sites don’t even have them?
I mean, who do you add anyway? How do you choose?

Sites you love to click everyday? Friends you’ve met online and are your new life support? Because honestly there are just waaaay too many out there. (You should see my new bloglines list…crazy). And I’m not sure a blogroll works all that well as a marketing tool? Does anyone have any advice on this one? I see people separating out their lists into different categories. Friends, Family and Wacky. (I see my blog fell into the ‘don’t know what to categorize this’! In Angie’s blog. -Thanks dear for adding me all the same! Kaye’s blog lists me as an addiction, how funny!)

Here’s what I’ve come up with. Starting today. If you comment on my blog, and you have a public blog, I will add you to my new fancy blogroll in the order that you came in. No need to take a number. Go ahead. Be the first on my blogroll!

Hopefully that ups my comments a bit, because as we all know, stat-counters are fun and all, but uh…a little impersonal. They just don’t respond when I’m happy, or cry when I’m sad, or laugh…well, at all (like you do)! And I need laughter, all the time. I do.

So there you are. Be the first to comment today, and who knows what beautiful tomorrows will come out of it.

That was gross, what I meant to type was:

I’ll bribe reward you.

If I get more comments on today’s post than I ever have before* I will give away one of my small tote bags ($20 value) to a random commenter! (See yesterday’s post for examples) I’ll give the winner a choice of two or three different fabric combos. (No matter what I call them, everyone around me keeps calling them scripture bags…oh well, scripture bag it is.) Now go tell your friends about it. (Open to US and Canada, but I would be willing to pay half of international shipping(??), please tell me in the comments if that works for you out of towners?).

Note: I’m out on surgical leave till the weekend. I ‘think’ I’ll be checking my email, but can’t guarantee it until Saturday or Sunday. But don’t let that stop you, comment away.

*(The comment number is not too secret-and one comment per person will be counted, no anonymous comments will count either–duh, who would I contact?, plus you should leave an email address if you don’t have a google account, thanks.)

(Oh and contest is open until Sunday night at midnight, Mountain Central Time).

Did I forget anything else?

Oh, yeah. Don’t forget to vote for me (or someone else) over at An Island Life. Today’s the last day!

Should you choose to accept it…

June 4, 2008

A little extra post today. Aren’t you so lucky? Yeah. right. You say.

I’m plugging for An Island Life today. Should you think my blog is worth it…..

Should you think your time is worth it….

Should you feel like nominating my blog for Most Talkative Award (or something else??)

(I actually won that award long, long ago in a forgotten world).

But what I can’t figure out, is why there isn’t a Most Sarcastic Award, surely I could win that one with my hands tied behind my back, forced to type with my nose? Well, maybe it would have to be the exaggeration award? (If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times, STOP exaggerating!)

PS. I nominated Angie’s blog for most popular. Only you now have to pronounce it in a sing-songy Kristen Chenowith helium voice and hold out the “PopU-u-lar”. It will be in my head all stinkin’ day.