Spring Cleaning my Zazzle Work Life

DumpsterWhere have I been? Just trying to get my life in order – particularly my online work, including my Zazzle stores and files!

My Zazzle image folder was overflowing with nearly 10,000 images in it. I didn’t even know what I had uploaded anymore. I couldn’t stand being a hoarder anymore, so today I began images. A thousand were easily zapped and I’ve just begun. Starting this process this morning as a spring breeze blows in the open window got me thinking that I should refresh this website as well; Right Brain Left Turn deals a lot with Zazzle. This site has been on my mind and today’s the day to begin!

View from the Florida house main floor.

View from the Florida house main floor.

I started on Zazzle over seven years ago, sitting at a big table in the second story kitchen of a beautiful beach house on St. Augustine Beach in Florida. I was looking for something new to do after an unsettled few years and the wrenching difficulty of getting caught in the real estate bad times that had hit Michigan and me really hard. From that table, I could look out the huge windows and over the sand dune to the beach and the Atlantic Ocean stretching out forever. Zazzle was part of my reinvention to become a more creative, less location-restricted person.

Going through my image files, I see my progress over seven years – my images today are better done, my Photoshop experiments more restrained, my text designs more sophisticated. I see national and world events  – earthquakes, blizzards, a tsunami, political elections and more – reflected in my designs. I see the places I’ve been living echoing through in the images: Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Georgia, Texas, Michigan. I can see the seasons and the life changes as my designs continued to reflect events in my own extended family: proms, graduations, weddings and beautiful new babies and fascinating toddlers.

I could see the interests that are stubbornly in my DNA: beaches, woods, stones and wildflowers; family and travel. I can see the interests that I just couldn’t sustain: weddings, politics and current events.

Boiler furnace

There was a little problem with the heating system.

I haven’t blogged hardly at all since last summer. I moved to a house out in the country that turned out to need a LOT of work. In fact, it wasn’t even livable (although someone had been living here until the week before I moved in!). So, I visited my mom up north where there was no internet. When I came back six weeks later, it took a month to get internet here. Waiting for that, we started working on the house and workers were here all the time for about three months.

I had to move my office setup a few times as the construction progressed and each time, I lost a bit of forward momentum. The internet was another thing. When first installed around Christmas (I did miss most of the Christmas season unfortunately!), it zipped along for about six weeks at 5.9Mps and then dropped to near nothing with hundreds of drops a day. You absolutely cannot use Quick Create nor upload files under those conditions.

The internet provider – the sole choice in this town of 1033 – had installed a new line on the other side of the state and, somehow, screwed up rural customers all over the place. I know all the local techs by name now: Joe, Ron, Jason, Jake and Russ. Terrible internet, but the nicest customer service you’d ever want! On the phone AND in person. It took them until the end of May to get it mostly fixed.

Internet speed

Today’s internet speed. Hey, at least it works!

So, my internet is not great, but it’s quite a bit more reliable. (Never mind that it was out all Sunday evening due to unscheduled line repairs.) Now, I feel like I can concentrate again on my online work. Hurrah!

But, first, getting the junk out of the way. Hundreds or thousands more images are going to go. The Zazzle image storage system is just too awkward to keep thousands of files. I kept hoping it would be updated, but the awkward search function is all we’ve gotten in ages.

So, I’m cleaning house with my Zazzle images, my own image files on Lightroom (63,250 keyworded photos!) and my blogs.

Look for more postings, useful info and tutes on over the coming weeks and months.

I’m back!


Spring afternoon in the country




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