I am sharing a different kind of post with you today – not my normal DIY or how-to post, but more of a chatty post on what is going on in my personal life as well as things on the blog – as the online blogging/website world has been changing by leaps and bounds over the last month.
I love the hospitality of my Pennsylvania friend, Neve. She grew up in Ireland and always asks when you first enter her home…“Shall I put the kettle on?” Yes – please as there is nothing as cozy and special to sit down with a good friend with a cup of hot tea in hand.
I love hot tea and I carry my 8-year old ceramic travel mug with a lid with me all day long. I love dainty teacups, but I drink my tea slowly. If I used a cup without a lid, it gets cold too fast.
So let’s have tea together virtually. Take some time to make yourself a nice cup of hot tea or your favorite beverage and join me while I fill you in on a few things. From what I am up to, to the state of blogging, thrift store shopping, and more.
There have been a few major events in my life that had my blog taking a back seat over the past 16 months. When my granddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia, I left for Los Angeles for weeks at a time.
She is doing very well through her treatments and will be 4 years old soon. Thank you for all your continuing emails and prayers. XO. She is also going to have a baby brother in May, so I will happily be adding to my accumulating frequent flyer miles.
As I mentioned a few times, I had my hip replaced in the fall. It became very painful and hard to walk in June. It zapped my energy and creativity until I had surgery at the end of October. I lost my focus, didn’t get out much or get many projects done over the summer waiting for surgery and while recovering.
It has been 3 months since my surgery and I am very happy to be back to being able to do everything I did before. I feel energetic again and very excited that my brain is back into creative mode. I have so many projects in the works that I will post as I get each completed.
The most exciting project I am working on now is how I am giving what I call the more feminine guest room in my house a refresh. It is coming together so nicely. I will be posting about it next week.
I Am Craving Color!!!
Winter in South Carolina has been cold and very dreary until this week when the temps reached 70 degrees the last few days. Everything around the outside of house and lake looks so drab and BROWN! The lake level is dropped a few feet each winter to help kill weeds so BROWN is everywhere. This year the lake went down very low, so low that our boat sat in the BROWN mud.
Happily the water level is going back to normal levels. You can see how low the water is still – it is usually skimming the rock border(rip-rap) in the photo above.
This photo shows how green the yard gets once spring arrives.
Now that I am back to being able to walk daily for exercise I made sure to add some color therapy for my walk. I put on the brightest color t-shirt I had to help combat seeing all BROWN outside. :-)
I love being outdoors and always need to have sunscreen and a wide brim hat on because of the vitiligo on my face and arms.
I have bought many hats over the last few years after I started to lose the pigment on my face. One sweet reader’s husband even made me one. This past spring while on vacation in Hilton Head though I found the best Sun Hat for my needs. It is called a Lifeguard hat. What I love about it – it has a wide brim that is stiff and doesn’t blow up in the wind which exposes my face to the sun.
This past week I went out to buy supplies for the projects I am working on and to find a few pieces of decor at places like HomeGoods, the craft store and thrift stores.
On Tuesday I headed into Columbia to go to my favorite thrift store where I always find good stuff.
If I had come across this wicker queen headboard a week earlier, I would have considered buying it and spray painting it to fit my style. I no longer needed one as I just bought a headboard that I found online, so I passed this by.
I didn’t find much on this trip, but did come out with this stack of black frames complete with glass for a whopping total of $3.45. I have colorful plans for them that I will of course share with you soon.
After the thrift store, I had to head to LensCrafters to get my glasses adjusted. While I was waiting for them, I enjoyed trying on the designer frames since glasses are a part of me now that I need to wear them all the time. (No fun getting older!)
My twin sister who lives in Pennsylvania and I like to share selfies we take of the eyeglass frames we try on with each other since we look alike and can get an honest opinion.
I loved the color of these frames, but the cat’s eye shape was just a bit too dramatic. I wish I could design them slightly differently as I like the spotted white color of the frames.
How Blogging Is Changing – The Good and the Not So Good.
I am not even sure where to start on this topic about how artificial intelligence is going to change how all of us use the internet, social media and online tools.
If you are a blogger, then I know you are feeling the struggle on where to focus.
I now have access to artificial intelligence (A.I.)tools like ChatGPT – where articles, posts on any topic and more, including artificially generated images can be auto generated in minutes. The interface comes right up on my computer screen. It can write headlines, titles, social media posts and even blog posts for me. It is not perfect, but learns more with each passing day. It is quite amazing.
When I was writing my craft room post last week, I decided to do an experiment and ask ChatGPT to write a post about “how to organize a craft room“. In less than a minute a full blog post was generated.
I was blown away, not only by how well organized the A.I. post was written with headlines and paragraphs, but how accurate the content was. I didn’t use it, but it did have one topic that I hadn’t thought of, so I added it to my post.
A friend told me that she used ChatGPT to write a condolence note. She said it was way better than anything she could have written on her own and it was created in minutes. She did tweak it slightly to be more personal, but she was sold on how A.I. can help us make writing just about anything easier.
So it is good and helpful when used this way, but there is still so much unknown about how it will be used and some of it may not be so great.
Another thing that A.I., like DALL-E can do is create artificially generated images. I thought I would show you. I asked it to “create two vintage teacups on a table” in line with this chatty post about grabbing a cup of tea while you read the post.
Pretty amazing, right? The image may not be perfect, but it is very accurate in how it pieced together what I asked. It even added a rough configuration of a lace tablecloth.
A.I. – The Still Unknown for Bloggers
Most bloggers have always put readers first when writing posts and content for their blogs and social media. And I know I still will. We have created our own readership and community. At the same time we have had to stay attuned and follow what Google and search engine guidelines tell us to do to bring search engine traffic to our sites.
This may change now with ChatGPT and other artificial intelligent apps. It is coming to search for all of us in just a few days on the search engine, Bing which is going to use OpenAI. Then, in a another few weeks on Google which has created their own A.I, called Bard. I know this sounds like the future, but it is here now and soon you will be using it, too.
No one can predict how users will use the new A.I. features and how will bloggers have to adjust to these changes. Website owners already have a crazy amount of competition. But now that competition isn’t even going to be human. Instead, a website full of posts on any topic, complete with images can be made in weeks if not days can be created by A.I. Plus the computer-generated website will rank on Google above sites that have real-life, experienced people behind them.
When it first became open for the public to use back in December, the answers were not as good as they are now, it keeps learning as it sees more input.
Imagine how smart it is going to be in a year. You may be able to ask it to “write a chatty blog post covering hot tea, thrift store shopping and the dreary winter landscape to sound like the blogger, In My Own Style.” It can be conversational and sound just like me. Only time will tell.
Have you tried asking any of the A.I. apps to write something for you yet? If so, what did you think of what it came up with?
FAQ’s I Received This Week
What are going to do in your craft room?
My kitchen is small and we have thought about adding on to the house to enlarge the kitchen, but it is rather costly and we don’t know if we would rather use the money to travel more.
Both my husband and I have found that we are content with the kitchen as it works for our needs, except for one thing. We have limited counter space to keep the small appliances we use on a daily basis out on the counter.
We have been using this side of my studioffice as a Butler’s Pantry of sorts. We are seriously considering making it into just that. It is only a few steps away from the kitchen and it has been working for us. Now we need to come up with a custom design that will fit our needs. If you have any ideas, let me know.
Do You Still Eat Plant Based?
Yes, I still eat a whole-food, plant based diet with no oil, but what I eat has become more about just eating plant foods as unprocessed as possible.
I don’t strive to find substitutes or recipes for what I used to eat anymore, instead my meals are very simple – a sweet potato and a veggie, homemade soup and a salad or a collard green wrap filled with chickpea salad and soup (my favorite meal).
Not only is eating this way easier, I crave it. I will write more about what I eat in a day next week.
Well that is it for today. Stay tuned for my Style Scouting post on Sunday and next week for the guest room reveal and then for how I changed something I made when we first moved into the house.
Enjoy your weekend. :-)