I {heart} the Richland Two’s SC Midlands Summit

The last two days have been a culmination of almost a year of planning. The team I work on hosted the 3rd annual Richland Two’s SC Midlands Summit with over 600 participants from 9 states and 31 school districts. What an amazing experience! The summit was filled with over 130 sessions and 3 amazing keynotes from Steve Dembo, Leslie Fisher, and Catlin Tucker.

Planning this Summit is a LOT of work but every year, after it is over, and I am so tired all I can do is smile. Why do I smile? Because every ounce of the work is worth it to see how excited teachers are about learning and integrating. These are the same teachers that one week ago were exhausted from a long school year. Being on the planning committee allows me to share my passion for technology and it warms my heart to see so many so excited.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of those who attended. You reminded me of the reason I do what I do every day.

The World IS Flat

I have conversed with people from France and Germany. It’s been pretty awesome. Silly, I know but I don’t speak French or German so this could have been a huge challenge.

Let me explain. I listed a number of craft supplies on eBay last week. Usually I mark the items North America only but I forgot. When I realized I thought, “Oh, no one outside the U.S. will buy any of this.” Boy, was I wrong. A number of items sold to people in Europe.  I started receiving questions in German and French. I opened the messages and had one of those “oh, crap!” moments because I thought how am I going to do this? Then I thought for a second, “D’uh! Google Translate!” I have been able to communicate seamlessly with customers from France and Germany. In every email I typed both the english version and the translated version in hopes that if Google Translate did not translate correctly the english version was readily available.

Was this anything phenomenal? No, but it made me realize how easy technology can make communication around the world. Of course my first reaction was “I’m just a stupid American” since I am not multilingual but in this case, technology made me a little smarter.

Google_Translate

Book Clubs: Are they the Bridge clubs of our parents?

3291530167_a9ea5cb6ea_zIn the past year, I have engaged in a number of professional book clubs/studies. It has helped me spend more time learning in my day to day life. Then about two months ago my friend, Nell asked me if I would be interested in getting a few women together for a rotating book club. I thought this would be a great idea. I don’t make enough time to read or hang out with friends.

This past Sunday we had our first gathering. It was a great afternoon with women from different backgrounds. Some of us were connected and others were meeting for the first time. The afternoon was filled with discussion about the book as well as learning more about one another.

As I look back on the afternoon I wonder if book clubs are the bridge clubs of our parents. When I was a child my mother would host her bridge club a few times a year. She would set the house up with multiple card tables, get out the crystal and put butter mints in little crystal dishes. It was her time to spend with the ladies. We, the children, weren’t allowed in the main area of the house when Bridge Club was around.

No, we don’t get the crystal or the butter mints today. Heck, we might not even meet in our homes but it’s our time to share, laugh, and learn.

Have you ever been a part of a book club? What was your experience like?

Why is blogging so hard?

I have been fake blogging for years. I have recently decided it was time to revisit what blogging really means to me. I have always kept separate blogs for the education part of life and the my crafting. I would post on occasion. I used to blog more and recently I have asked my myself why don’t I make the time anymore? Why is it so hard?

I have come to a few conclusions. 1. Since I started blogging social media have become a major part of the culture and my life. There isn’t as big of a ‘need’ for me to blog because I’m constantly microblogging – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are my connections to my people. 2. I am used to keeping everything separate. Each topic I am interested has it’s own blog, webpage, Facebook page, twitter account, etc. Why? In my mind, everything needed to be separate. Work couldn’t mix with my personal life. But we all know, everything mixes together in life and it is ok for my online world to reflect this.

So welcome to the relaunch of my blog, Life is a Maker Faire. I have mashed up my blogs to create this one location to celebrate arts, crafts, education, and the Do-It-Yourself mindset. This blog will explore my work in technology education and my maker, DIY side. Who knows what will happen when these two worlds collide online! Hopefully it will be an interesting fun ride.

New Craft Room in progress from the move

So I wanted to show you a little of what I’ve been experiencing lately….

I painted the basement from garnet to a much lighter horse radish color. Then two days, we had an inch of standing water in the basement. Yes, we all ready moved in the furniture and boxes. Thankfully NO CRAFTS WERE DAMAGED.

The main water line from the meter to the house sprung a leak… So we were without water for 6 days. Then another 5 days passed and we finally had the floor replaced. The picture below are some of my craft boxes helping the flooring seal and stay seated. 😦 I was just waiting to unpack.

Finally, two nights ago I was able to start unpacking. I have more organizing to to but I am almost ready to craft again!
Even bought a new storage option for the clear stamps! I am using DVD stage rack!


I am hoping to begin crafting again by this weekend. I am scheduled to be at the All Locals Market in October so I need to get busy! I will post more pictures when the room is finally finished.