How to Make Your Dream Blog an Online Reality

So I’m writing this proposal of an idea to help get a local poetry group and its associated newspaper and photography groups online with a blog of their own.  I wrote it using the blog feature of a word processor and am about to save it and send it off in an email when I give it a read through and I realize, this isn’t just a proposal saying “Pick WordPress; It’s Awesome,” this is an actual “WordPress for Newbies” list!  I also thought, wouldn’t this make an awesome post for those who are considering starting a blog of their own?

Proposal to bring South Orange Expressionists and The Writer’s Block Online

  1. Find a blog host. I recommend It’s pretty. It’s neat, and it’s easy to use. I have used blogger before. The difference between the two from what I have found is that on, you can use html JavaScript codes within your posts. With, you cannot.
  2. Choose whether or not you would like your site to have its own domain. A domain name is Mine is, or my naked domain is I bought this domain back when I hosted it at, which is run by Google, and I continue to pay $10 a year for it. When I decided to switch over to, I had to map it with a fee of an additional $13 dollars a year.You don’t have to buy a domain name! Should you decide not to have one, the blog will be It will be free, but you may be limited as to what you can do with it, how much storage space you get with it, etc. I would look into the best options first. Should you choose buying a domain with, I would recommend the $18/year option.
  3. If you don’t like WordPress, you can see what Blogger has to offer for prices and what it has available to its users.
  4. This is what my Dashboard looks like.  This homepage shows you your most recent stats. Which posts are getting the most hits, visitors and views, how many comments need approval before they become public (depending on your settings), and how many the spam filtering system caught. (Believe me, I get way more attention from spammers than I do followers!) Also, if you click on the details of the stats, you can also find out from which countries your viewers are visiting from and from which websites and search engines did they find your posts! You can also find out which search terms people are using to find your posts. It’s really cool.
  5. This is what drafting a post looks like. With “Add Media,” you can add photos, videos, tweets and more from many places on the internet, which I think would be an incredible asset for the photography group as well as the Newspaper group. If someone is interviewing someone, we can include the video in the article. In the print version of the newsletter, we would tell people to “Catch the LIVE video online!”
  6. Last, but not least, the preview:
  7. By the way, the design, the template (the look), and the widgets on the left pane can be customized at any time, as many times as you want. There are many to choose from and they can fit the needs of the blog. For example, an Instagram widget can come from an Instagram account for the photography group. Or you can add more than one Instagram account for the photography group. The same goes for the Facebook Pages. For the Pinterest widget, I had to get creative, since I can’t use JavaScript with widgets. (Only will allow you to do that and to have that, you need more money and a different host site. That’s a whole other ballgame for me right now. If you choose to do that, you will get your own domain name, more customizable options, and you can either set the whole thing up yourself and download the software, or have the host do it all for you.)

I made this particular blog post (draft) using Microsoft Word 2013, which has a blog feature that you can use to connect to your own blog from different blog sites, including WordPress, Blogger and others. I now realize that I really don’t need the software after all. Ha!


Make A Crepe Paper Rosette


Make A Crepe Paper Rosette

How to Make A No-Sew, Three Dimensional Crepe Paper Rosette

A homemade do-it-yourself inspired by The Celebration Shoppe.
This project was used to make a Memory Keepsake Box for my sister’s bridal shower!


  • strands of craft beads
  • present ribbon
  • crepe paper
  • a pretty button
  • Clear sewing machine bobbin


  1. Fold the desired length of crepe paper into an accordion.2012-04-20_22-06-10_824
  2. Curve the accordion shape around into a circle. You may find that you will have to spread the pleats carefully with your fingers. This may take several attempts
  3. Close the circle with a touch of hot glue.
  4. Cover the center of the rosette with a pretty button, a large bead, or a printed rosette piece.
  5. For a three dimensional look, to a two dimensional object such as the Memory Box, glue a sewing machine bobbin to the bottom.2012-04-20_22-27-44_1872012-04-20_22-32-00_390
  6. Embellish with strands of beads and ribbon.

Isn’t it lovely?
Happy Crafting!
Gift with a bow

Make Your Own Memory Keepsake Box!

Make Your Own Memory Keepsake Box!

My sister’s bridal shower was coming up.  My mother wanted Ray to have something nice to remember this special occasion by.  The idea Mom had in mind was for a keepsake box to place specific items from the shower; whether it be some present ribbon, a photo, an invitation to the shower, a copy of a bridal shower game board piece.  Whatever she wanted, she could place inside.

I thought this idea was great, and as her older sister and Maid Of Honor, I insisted on doing it.  Thanks to , I’d already known of the perfect idea from Colour Her {Hope}.
Using that idea for my basis, I decided to take it a step further with embellishments.
My first stop was a local consignment shop, where I bought about half a dozen strands of  pearl colored craft beads.
I raided my father’s button jar.
Yes, my FATHER keeps a button jar.  He is the one who gets most of the use out of the sewing machine.  Nice, right?  At first I was a bit surprised to learn this, but he is a surgeon after all and sews on a daily basis.
Then I hit the table..  I don’t have an art table, so I used my folks’ large dining room table.  This project took up at least half of the space, so be prepared for the need for space if you choose to use large papers like I did.

Memory Keepsake Box

Supply List for the box:

  • shoe box
  • mod podge
  • sponge brush
  • at least 2 different patterns of pretty scrapbook papers (1 for the box and 1 for the lid)
  • wrapping paper for inside lining (optional)
  • ribbon
  • buttons
  • paper-cutter or exact-o knife
  • hot glue gun
  • whatever extras you may want to add (sequins, glitter, etc.)
  • Make A Crepe Paper Rosette

Instructions for the inside of the box:

  1. Measure the wrapping paper to fit the inside of the box by tracing the outside of the box. Cut. Figure 12012-04-20_15-31-56_422
  2. Line the wrapping paper to the inside of the box by applying mod podge to the box with the brush. Figure 22012-04-20_15-32-55_765
  3. Cut some extra strips of wrapping paper for the corners of the box that remain uncovered, otherwise. Make sure to cut these strips in a way that matches the pattern you have already cut for the corners of your box. These strips will act as cover-ups for any “mistakes” that might happen at this point in the project. Figure 3a, Figure 3b2012-04-20_15-38-38_6332012-04-20_15-43-23_429
  4. To make the ribbon lining, take two lengths of two different ribbons and, using the glue gun, make small dots along the lengths several inches apart. After the desired length is reached, cut the ribbon and adhere it to the inside of your box. Figure 42012-04-20_16-14-35_272
  5. Mod podge the topmost edges of the paper to the outside of the box and smooth them down. Figure 52012-04-20_18-30-11_754

Instructions for the outside of the box:

  1. Trace the pretty scrapbook paper around each individual square or rectangle along the outside of the box. Cut. Figure 6Diy Memory keepsake box1-001
  2. With with sponge brush, brush the podge across the surface on one side of the box from edge to edge, corner to corner. Then, gently layer one length of the paper on that side. Gently smooth out any bubbles. Repeat this process for each side. You can wait on doing the bottom while you work on the lid. Once you finish the whole bottom part of the box, it should look like Figure 7.2012-04-20_20-52-21_805

Instructions for the lid:

  1. Trace the pretty scrapbook paper, preferably a pattern around each individual square or rectangle along the outside of the lid. Cut.
  2. Repeat step two for the lid, as it was described for the box (above). You can then complete mod podging the bottom of the box. Figure 8Diy Memory keepsake box2

Embellish your box with a homemade rosette, buttons craft beads, glitter, sequins, or anything else you desire to use.