Month: September 2011

Making Facebook Work for You

Otherwise known as: How To Best Control Your Content on Facebook.  OR:  How To Best Navigate Recent Changes To The Facebook Feed.  OR:  How To Show Your Facebook Feed Who Is Boss.  OR:  How To Spend More Time Organizing Your Facebook Than You Really Want To But So That You Can See MORE Of What You Want To See And Less Of What You Don’t, All The While Protecting Your Privacy As Best As Possible.

Whew?  Whew!  Goodness I am a master of run-on sentences even when speaking in Topic Headings.

ANYway.  I’ve been seeing a lot of…unhappy and some grumpy (and some giggle-worthy cartoon commentaries)…in my Facebook feed since Facebook rolled out their latest changes to the masses yesterday.

And I totally understand the frustration and the “Ugh. Another change to get used to” or the “Boo on you FB! Stop messing with my FB” sentiments.   I do.  I really really get it.  Because about a month ago, when my feed and content magically changed overnight,  I realized I was unwillingly part of a “test group” of Facebook users for these new changes to the feed and format.  And I really was not a fan of the changes.  I sent emails and “feedbacks” and I never send emails and feedbacks.  I even joined a group of fellow annoyed “testers”.  I’m usually really laid back about changes to Facebook.  But that’s how irritated I was with these changes at first.  Especially because when my feed changed initially..there were no listing options.  None.  Just the annoying mush of a single feed with Facebook determining what content was a “top story” and not discriminating between content I am interested in and content I am not interested in.   And that ticker.  Blugg.  I was so frustrated, I thought to myself (more than a few times) “That’s it! I’m done with Facebook.  It’s Google + all the way for me now”.

And while I do love Google + and Twitter and Flickr and Tumblr and Pinterest and this blog, I still have love for Facebook in ways that I don’t for other platforms so far because of the options for keeping up with family and friends across the globe and interacting with all of you and with others who share love for scrapbooking and storytelling.  It’s been a good intersection of personal and business for me.  I have time and connections and interactions invested there.  So I wasn’t ready to just shun the BookFace just yet.    I wanted to try to make the changes work for me.  At least as much as I could.

And I was able to do just that.  Finally Facebook brought back the listing feature and with it came a bit of control over content that I had lost.  And now, apart from that Stalker Ticker (which I loathe with a fiery passion), I have been able to get to a place of actually not hating the NuFB (as sweet Christine called it today).

In fact, I think I have more control over my content now than I ever have before.  And I rather like that.  And I’m feeling laid back again.  Because every little thing gonna be alright.

Soooo.  I thought I’d take a little time to share what little I have figured out and what adaptations I’ve made in the past few weeks in my Facebook experience with the hopes that it may help others adjust or customize their FB feeds too and bring a little bit of the happy back.   Please keep in mind, this is what works for me.  There may be other (and better) ways to Make Facebook Behave.  I know some prefer to make use of third party applications or browser boosties to make the best of their FB experience.

But here’s how I am doing it.   And it’s all about the Lists.  You may be familiar with lists because it’s not really *that* new, but it has been generally underutilized for a lot of people.  I went list crazy when they were first introduced and then was in list withdrawal when they temporarily disappeared and now I am living happily ever after with Lists again.  And find them even more crucial than ever before since the rollout of NuFB.

Lists can be a fabulous avenue for controlling content and seeing what YOU want to see when YOU want to see it.  I have made good use of my lists to keep up with my different “circles” of friends and contacts.  And once you are familiar with this organizational option, it’s really quite simple to use and modify.

Here’s the Listy Lowdown:

When looking at the “home/news feed page” you will see “Lists” in the left sidebar. If you’ve not made any lists before, you will still see a couple of what FB calls “smart lists”. They include any family you’ve listed, and “work”  or “education” you’ve listed and two new ones “Close Friends” and “Acquaintances” — seems they are kind of mimicking the idea of circles in Google + but that’s neither here nor there.

ANYway.  Next to “Lists”,  just to the right of it, you will see “More” — click on that.  If you don’t readily see it, be sure you are hovering over the word “Lists” (hovering is the key to getting the most out of FB apparently.  They like The Hover).  And it will list any lists you have.  And you will see a button for “Create a List”.  You can create a new one…call it anything you like.   And then add people (or pages!) to the list.   I have a list of scrapping friends, military friends, church friends, and I made one called Pages that I am beginning to add pages I like to keep up with on. (this is important to me because they have done away with the default “pages” list option for now and I still want to keep up with pages I’ve “liked”).

Then when you have your can click on it in the sidebar and the center feed area will show the “feed” of that list. And all the stories will show in chronological order. As far as I can tell so far, there is no top stories mumbojumbo in the individual lists.  There is also no ticker in the right sidebar (so far) when viewing a list.

You can also “filter” the content of your lists. When you are looking at the feed of any list you have created you can click on the “Manage List” button in the top right corner. From there you can indicate what kind of updates you want to see from people in this list (Games, Updates, Photos, etc.) by clicking on “Choose Update Types”.

Here’s an example of one of my custom lists:

You can see in my sidebar the first several lists that I have and how my “Pages” custom list looks so far.   When I am viewing this list..I see the feed only of the people (or pages) I’ve included on my list. I have set the content to show only the updates and photos.  But you could easily create a list of friends you like to play games with (if you’re into the game-y stuff) and include the Games information.  Or you could limit it to updates only.  Or you could include everything.  It’s all up to you.

A couple of handy listy notes:

* You can create a custom list for any subset of people in your friends’ list that you want: scrapping friends, gaming friends, pages, what have you.

* You can modify your list at any time by clicking on the list name and then the “Manage List” button.

* You can add people to multiple lists (for example I have my mom in my family list and my fellowship list)

* When you add a person to a FB profile “smart list” –which is any list that FB has started from the information you’ve shared in your profile (work, education, family relationships and NOT a custom list you create) it will send a “notice” to the person you have added asking them to confirm/respond.  When they do, the “relationship” will be reflected on their profile too.   I learned this through trial and error.  If you prefer not to approach things this way or make an imposition on the friends you add to these FB generated lists, you can simply create your own custom list.  Custom lists are for you only.  They don’t “ask” your friends to confirm the categorization of your list.  The exception is the FB generated “Close Friends” list and the “Acquaintances” list.  You can seemingly add people to these lists without their notification.

*If you make use of the FB generated “Close Friends” list, FB will automatically send FB notifications (though I think this is only via FB itself and not email) of posts your besties make.  You can turn off these notifications if you prefer via the “Notifications” button for the Close Friends list. Simply uncheck it if notifications like this bother you.

*FB has also created a “Restricted” List.  I have not made much use of this feature (since I have tailored my privacy settings pretty specifically and don’t really feel the need to block people) but it is a handy one.  This is what FB says about its “restricted” list: “This list gives you an easy and private way to limit what you share with someone—without blocking or unfriending them. They won’t see the list name or be told they’re listed.”  SO you can list individuals here and their placement on the Restricted list will prevent them from seeing your updates unless you remove them from the list or specify a different list to receive the update.  And it may be a friendlier alternative to unfriending anyone who is especially annoying to you.

*when you are viewing one of your custom lists you can make a Status Update and it will share with only those on your list.  Woot!

*when you are viewing your regular News Feed or your profile itself, you can choose who sees an update or upload or what have you by clicking on the little “gear” and utilizing the drop down options.  You can choose to share with any list segment you’ve created or the usual generic “Friends” or “Public”.  Your default (as in you don’t pick anything specific) will share with whomever your privacy settings are set to share with.  For me this is also pretty specific, for some this is “public” (but really..please please please…unless you are a public celebrity of some sort and you want everyone to see everything, your privacy settings really shouldn’t be set to “public”).

Neato right?!


This approach does require a bit of extra work for organization from the off and maybe it feels a little unintuitive at first, but if you’re like me and really value control over your content and want to be sure you’re keeping up with everything you want to keep up with, you’ll probably find it worth your time.  If not, then I imagine you probably weren’t fussed about the changes to begin with (woot!).

The foundation for all of this is, of course, the privacy settings.  I really encourage you to set your privacy settings to a level you are comfortable with.  I am pretty stringent with my privacy.  I try to control as much as possible.  You may be more loosey goosey.  Whatever approach you take, just be aware of your options and know that generally speaking FB’s default way of doing things is NOT in an opt-in kind of way.  Your profile is pretty public-y by default vs. the other way around.

So check this often.  Because there are little changes that happen here and there that may compromise what your preferences are.

Hope this is helpful in some small measure!  Hope you have a Happy Wednesday!!!

{fresh seeds} Apple Tree

The story of our education and the memories of our school days are a significant part of the fabric of our personal stories. Our educational experiences and the lessons we learn in school and throughout life shape us and our values and beliefs.  The whole “story of learning” in our lives is something that is SO part of who we are.  And it’s a story that deserves to be told.

Apple Tree is a full digital kit inspired by these stories of schooling and learning and it is my hope that it will inspire you to document your own story of learning. Whether you are documenting these days for your child(ren) or for yourself (and please do!), Apple Tree is FULL of hand-crafted crafty goodness with a heart for the schooly story. And it is versatile enough to help you tell any story, for any age and any gender.

Meet, Apple Tree:

And here’s some truly amazing inspiration from the girls and Pollys.  I was blown away with the range of pages here and how some used it to scrap their own personal schooly stories, schooly stories of their kids, and non-schooly pages.  Seriously inspiring:

Apple Tree is available in my shoppe at The Lilypad through Monday 19 September for 20% off!

I’m really thrilled to share with you my very first full kit!!  It is planted firmly in the story and it was a joy to create.  I wanted to create something that reflected my paper scrapping roots a little bit and my love for all things crafty and my penchant for journaling all the while being versatile, easy to scrap, and fun.  It was a long process but a really fulfilling one and I really hope you love it as much as I do!

I have been asked quite a lot if I still plan on designing page design templates and the fast and happy answer is: yes, definitely!  It is my plan to primarily stick to my scrapping/page design foundation…creating a story driven full kit every once in awhile.

In fact I have a couple fabulous fresh template releases on the horizon that I’m excited to share with you!  In the mean time, I so hope you enjoy Apple Tree!!  And that it inspires you to tell your own stories of learning.   As always I looove to see your stories and art too, so please feel free to share with me anytime.  Really!  Just shoot me a mail or share them on my facebook page.  And if you haven’t signed up the newsletter yet you may want to do that so you can be the first to hear the latest news and get the latest exclusive savings.

I so hope you have a beautiful weekend!!

and the {9.16} giveaway goes to…

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment in the latest {fresh seeds} giveaway featuring the my latest release Apple Tree, which also happens to be my first full kit release!  More than that, thank you for all the kind comments!  I always feel so encouraged and supported by you!!

So.  I met with Mr. Random (of and he has selected the lucky winner!

Congratulations to post # 13 — Michelle Huegel! Michelle, I will be emailing you shortly with your coupon code. Woot!

And thank you again to everyone who participated!  I so hope you have a beautiful weekend!

{blooming soon} Apple Tree

I am thrilled to share with you a peek at a fresh and different something.  Something I’ve been working on for many weeks now.  I’ve been creatively challenged and invigorated with the process and I am hopeful that it will help you capture the stories of your schooling, the story of learning, and life and fun.  Here’s a peek at Apple Tree…a *full kit* (yes, for really!  woot!).  It’s full of classic and versatile papers and hand-crafted elements and I can’t wait to show you the complete reveal on Friday when Apple Tree lands at The Lilypad.  Here’s a peek at what’s to come:

And here’s a little look at how the girls have been using it so far:



Sooooo thought it would be fun to do a quick giveaway!   I’d love to share Apple Tree with one lucky commenter!   If you’d like to win Apple Tree, just leave a comment below for a chance to win before Thursday 15 September at 7pm (PST).   You can increase your chances at winning by posting about the giveaway on Twitter and Facebook, if you’d like.  Be sure to come back here with a link in the comments (please post as a new comment each time).

I will announce the winner here on the blog and in my newsletter on Friday 16 June when these {fresh seeds} hit The Lilypad.  Good luck!! ♥

{fresh seeds} Sugar Maple

Happy September!!  This year is determined to fly by at speeds that leave me reeling and hoping for a moment to breathe and pause so I can catch up with life and tasks and mountains of things I want to pour myself in to, but instead of making another “how did we get here so fast?!” declaration I am welcoming September with arms open w i d e because I’ve been told this is the month that the heat starts to wane..the month when I won’t feel like I’m baking myself when I step outside.  And I’m in the mood to give September a big fat hug because it is the month where things slow down a bit and normalcy sets in, I can just feel it.  We are settling in to the routine of the school year, the weather is settling, everyone is healthy (thank goodness) and good things are on the horizon.

I hope that as summer wanes and as the school year begins for many of us that you are finding September a welcome sight as well…full of hope and promise and warm.  And a fresh (amazing) BYOC at The Lilypad.


With all this promise of autumn beauty and deep breaths, and the fresh hope of the school year, and these yummy colors, I was inspired to create Sugar Maple:

The Sugar Maple templates are designed in the spirit of the warm and the onset of autumn with varied design styles ranging from a “fuller” page, richer in layers with many little details and a little more depth to cleaner and more linear designs. This set is perfect for any autumn, vintage, school, everyday page, all about me, or event page and gives you room to “play” and modify each page to suit your personal scrapping sensibilities.

I’m also happy to introduce Sugar Maple Seeds.   Sugar Maple Seeds are a collection of classic journalers, journal mats, daters and tags. Inspired by the warm and rich welcome of autumn and with the heart of encouraging you to capture your story, Sugar Maple Seeds coordinates seamlessly with the September BYOC but can also be used beyond that in coordination with any of your autumny or everyday pages throughout the year.

Includes 24 different journalers of different sizes and shapes, some with journaling lines, some without, and a few date tag elements to give you a cornucopia of choice in adding that perfect journaling touch to your pages.

And here’s a spot of Sugar Maple inspiration (WOW.):

Sugar Maple and Sugar Maple Seeds are available in my shoppe at The Lilypad through Monday 5 September for 20% off!

As always I looove to see your stories and art too, so please feel free to share with me anytime.  Really!  Just shoot me a mail or share them on my facebook page.  And if you haven’t signed up the newsletter yet you may want to do that so you can be the first to hear the latest news and get the latest exclusive savings.

There are so many fabulous happening on the horizon and I can’t wait to share them with you!  I so hope you have a beautiful weekend!