Collecting Photos… {and social media musings}

Hi friends! I just got back from a couple of days away in New Brunswick, Canada. It was the first time since you needed a passport to cross the border that I have visited and the first time the kids have been. It was lovely.  Feel free to use any of the photos share today to paint from (I will do some tutorials for them in the future.)

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We didn’t have much of a plan except to “get away from it all” and do something marginally educational to keeps the kids brains from turning to mush over the summer so we headed to King’s Landing, a living history village near Fredericton. It was so pretty there and I took lots of reference photos for future paintings.

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The thing that struck me most while at Kings Landing was how ingenuitive people were back in the 1800’s. The tools and machines they had to invent to cut wood and build homes and how much they got done! It got me thinking that we have so much convenience in our modern times, and the same number of hours in a day, but we get less done and feel busy and overwhelmed most of the time. (Disclaimer: there are many people who get way more done than I do in a day and I am fully admitting I am naturally lazy and am speaking for myself here.) 😀 I kinda felt like Mr. Weasley from Harry Potter as he marveled at all of the cool inventions that muggles made to get things done without magic. I mean, just think, we can pull our little magic boxes out of our pockets and find any info we need in seconds, it’s is kinda magical.

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But there is a downside to this instant access always-on society. If we can just look something up instantly it can squash out desire to discover things for ourselves. Or we can look up something with the intention of acting on the information but end up getting sucked into the rabbit hole of the internet. We have all joked about hopping on Pinterest “for just a minute” to look up a recipe only to look up and see hours have past and your kids are eating cereal for dinner but what you might not realize is that social media is designed that way on purpose.

As a blogger and YouTuber my goal is to inspire people to create awesome art and craft projects. I am thrilled if you are so inspired to create after watching a video that you shut off the computer and grab your supplies but YouTube sees my videos as a failure if you do that. Sounds weird right? YouTube and every other social media network has one goal, to keep you glued to the platform as long as possible. They all use complex algorithms to serve you content that is likely to keep your eyes glued on the screen. If you go on Facebook you are not seeing posts from friends and people/companies you follow in chronological order, you are seeing them in order of interest, or what Facebook thinks you will be interested in most and keep you on the platform longer so you can see more advertisements. since social media is “free” entertainment it is ad-supported and instead of paying to use these sites with money you pay with your data (all of this info is in the terms of use you agree to when you sign up) and it is cataloging all of the other websites you visit so it can serve you relevant ads for products you have looked at. I remember how creepy it felt the first time I saw an ad for the markers I was just looking at on facebook. Yes, Big Brother is watching.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against advertising. The ads on my YouTube videos make it possible for me to make tutorials for free. What I am against is algorithms that make us become addicted to these platforms. There is a lot of good that can come from social networking, we just need to make sure that we are using social media and not the other way around.

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I am not perfect, I get sucked into Facebook too but when I start to feel anxious or angry or lonely I know it is time to close the computer and spend time with real people or work on a project that will last. Most of the time I don’t even remember what I just read or saw on social media. It can’t be that important then, but the feeling of empty anxiety remains.  I think this feeling comes from the fear-mongering from popular articles that are shared as well as the feeling of insecurity we get when comparing out real lives to the “highlight reel” we see of other people’s lives on social media. Many years ago I read 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil and one of the things he recommended was cutting out all news media because if it is really important you will hear about it. This book was written before social media, I can only imagine what he would say about that! He also talks about walking every day and I recommend that advice as well because you can do it at most fitness levels, even if it is just a walk to your mailbox it is so beneficial for health and well-being.

Do you ever get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media? Let me know in the comments below! Share your tips for breaking the spell of the glowing screen. I think it is easier to break away once we realize that it is designed and engineered to be addictive. I think we should take advantage of the wonderful benefit of these social sites but also be aware of the trappings so we can take control of our one truly finite resource; our time.

BTW, that cool little computer that you have in your pocket, did you know you can call a friend with it? You can even make plans to see someone in real-life:) It takes more effort than just scrolling but it’s what makes life worthwhile. Thanks for reading through this long Monday musing. I’ll have a new stamping project for you tomorrow, til then happy crafting!

Disclosure: The link to the book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health is an Amazon affilate link but you can always borrw the book for free from your local library:)

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63 Responses

  1. I have terrible periods of spending too much time on facebook. One thing that helps is we don’t really have a computer at home so the only way for me to access social media at home is through my phone. While that makes it accessible, it’s also a pain to type on. And I have a very large cat who thinks the phone is a sign that I need more attention so he often makes his way to replacing my phone space with himself.
    It’s those moments when I am tired and don’t really think that I get sucked in the most. That’s when I need a really good strategy to limiting my time online.

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    • I took the facebook app of my phone so I have to use the mobile site if I want to log on, it is more frustrating so it is easy to break away from it plus as a bonus no notifications and it saves space on your phone:)

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      • I didn’t even know there was an app but I am very selective with any apps I use because my phone memory is so limited. Youtube is my big time waster and I wonder if I made a mistake adding that app to my phone. While I love crafting videos, I’ve been getting a lot of weird pop culture videos as suggestions and I’m beginning to not love them.

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  2. I’m a writer, and I get mad at myself for spending time on FB when I should be writing. I take a day off on Sunday–no computer at all. I work on birthday cards and junk journals for the family instead. It’s amazing how much more I get done. BTW, I go to twitter maybe once a month, and make about two tweets, lol. Thanks for this musing.I learned something. Plus the pictures were beautiful.y

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  3. You really hit the nail on the head with your comments regarding social media! I sometimes gets so anxious after reading the posts that it stays with me for days! I rarely go on Facebook and that is the only social media I subscribe to. It takes away so much time and I end up feeling like I’ve wasted a lot of time and don’t get enough positive information that I think is worth the time spent! You’re right, many times, after sitting there for hours I close the screen feeling anxious, angry and down….it would be a great form of communication if everyone communicated as if they were talking in person or on the phone. Some of the comments I see would not be posted if it had to be said to someone in person or on the phone. People post things that really should not be for public view! As we all have seen, It has come back to haunt people ….

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  4. Love your photos! And yes, addiction. I’ve only been on Instagram and Twitter for about five months and it’s already consuming too much time for the few i follow. I have however “met” some great people over at Alemeda & Downing blog for Signed, Sealed, Delivered so I guess that’s a positive. And I follow you 😉. I have FB but rarely visit. Thank you for always sharing your honest thoughts and insights and incredible talent. Who does that….Painting upside down!! Wow! 😉

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  5. Lindsay,
    The people who do the research for social media sites understand the brain really well and exactly what we all react to. I have my notification sounds turned off except for my phone ring (elderly parents might call). That helps me choose when I’m going to be distracted. It’s a double edged sword, that’s for sure.

    One thing that has worked for me is to watch one of your watercolor videos with a friend and paint. I find creating and learning to be a great antidote. Like you, I try to walk every day. After all, nature heals!

    Thanks for your thoughtful post and for being so inspiring. I hope your trip to New Brunswick helped to refill you.
    Stephanie

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  6. I may be the only person you know who is not on Facebook. I feel it is to invasive. If I want my friends to know something I will tell them. I do not care to see what someone had for dinner etc. I do enjoy your videos and learn so much from them. I do like Pinterest but as you say it is like going down the rabbit whole. I am proud of you as a Mom to give thought to this stuff.

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  7. I just hope you paint that mill and I wish it wasn’t dry and was operational. I think Social Media, such as Pinterest, is meant to be useful, another tool. It is only addictive if you let it be and I have spent a lot of time looking when I feel bad. There are people it may be good for so I don’t advocate that no one should ever use Facebook or such – but people need to be careful and limit their time. I personally only watch crafting/painting videos to go try an example and shop, though not much. Once that pain in my neck starts, I am off to do something else. I do not subscribe to Facebook, started to, even entered some of my info, then never brought it back up again. I asked myself “Why are you doing this?” I don’t have friends or family that use it, none that I want to socialize with that way. Besides, my ex would just use it to harass me so why put myself through that? Some of those people and the things they say to one another and to strangers, my gosh, it makes me wonder where humans are heading, how did people become so insensitive and frankly, why do they exist … just to hurt others? It is just so sad, all of it. It can be a video about a kitten and people, in the comments, will turn it into an argument, telling one another to go do you know what and … what??? Wait. What just happened? I was just watching a cute kitten. I don’t understand any of it so I stay away from and do not read the comments. And out kids are exposed to this?

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    • It really is crazy, the fights I see break out is awful and so often over nothing or you see people willfully goading others into a fight. Luckily most “kids” think Facebook is for their parents and very uncool LOL so there is hope for the next generation:)

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      • I only like Facebook to see my out-of-town relatives and friends’ children. I may not see them otherwise. But I do not like the bad language people use. People I know! I tend to unfriend them if they use bad language. I have not been on long, and I do not post anything.

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  8. I finally quit Facebook. I was getting the feeling that it really didn’t have anything I wanted to see any more. At first I loved the funny videos friends posted but they didn’t seem that important any more. I was tired of getting email notices about how many posts I hadn’t read, too. I feel that I have grown beyond all that stuff and don’t need it in my life any more.

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  9. I sort of quit FB too.. just a couple of people I don’t want to lose touch with.
    Quick question… do you get paid for ads when people click skip ad after xx seconds or only get paid when people watch in full?

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    • I have wondered about that myself but I don’t know who to ask. Youtube does that – at least that is the only place I see the “skip ad” after a few seconds because it is the only other place I go besides blogs like this.

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  10. your photos are wonderful! I have never been to Canada. Hopefully some day! My Husband is from Michigan, and roughly 6 hours from the boarder where he grew up.

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  11. I’m glad you and your family had a nice getaway. A break from the norm is always refreshing! And your photos are beautiful!

    You are so right about social media claiming so much of our time (and the adverse effect it can have on our happiness!) I was surprised to hear you mention feeling angry and lonely when spending too much time on Facebook—I thought I was alone in feeling that way! It seems we’re all more alike than we realize in our human condition (even in Facebook makes us think everybody else is “living the dream”).

    Apologies for such a long comment. Thanks for all you do to inspire us! You are a breath of fresh air!

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  12. I always think of my 10 yr old son when I’m on social media. How can I tell him to get off YouTube or his XBox when he sees me glued to my phone and tablet 24/7?

    It is a hard addiction to break, for sure. I just need to stay more aware of how long I have been looking at my phone.

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    • It is really hard especially when the apps are made to be addicting, it is an extra hard fight but we are in control of the power button:) And we need to set a good example for the kids:)

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  13. Glad you had a good vacation! It’s way too easy to get sucked into social media; I work really hard with this, and have to be really mindful of it. Also, ❤ the library plug. 🙂

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  14. I agree with you! 100 percent! Love your videos. I’ve learned so much from you about watercolor and stamping. You have a good heart Lindsey. Keep up the good work.

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  15. I love what you wrote Lindsey it is so true.. Thank your for sharing these beautiful pictures and your awesome thoughts. You make us think and learn.. I can’t wait for your valuable tutorials to paint these pictures..
    What you teach us is so good for our hearts and souls. Many blessings to you!!!

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  16. Thanks for your thoughtful and provocative post–refreshing to read. As I finished reading your post I saw ads for products that I have looked at online–some of which I have actually already purchased! It is really scary! I have to train my self to look at only so many posts on facebook, etc and then go into my craft room and make. (or the kitchen!) I make time to meet with friends on a weekly basis–up front and in person, because I know my facebook “friends” are really not that–mostly they are people I once knew but no longer even see, probably because I didn’t take the time to stay in personal physical contact (hope that doesn’t sound creepy!) The internet can be a wonderful, marvelous, place, but we have to know that ultimately, somebody wants something from us–a purchase, a recomendation, an identity. I keep a blog, mostly as a diary for my craft endeavors, but I do limit the blogs I visit. I have to say, I try to look at most of your stamp craft videos and really enjoy them–I usually sit down with my coffee in the morning and turn on a couple of YouTubes on the TV rather than get involved in lengthy Netflix shows. Then I turn it off and on to crafting! Thanks for all you do to keep up my enthusiasm for crafting and for life! You are a treasure! I know I will never meet you in person, but I am glad you are there!

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  17. Sounds so great! We have a similar place here in Missouri, actually more than one, but close too me it’s called “Missouri Town” I haven’t been too it for probably 20 yrs! Wow! I need to take the grand kids before they don’t go for stuff like that. These photos are so amazing! Thank you so much for them, your the best Lindsay! I love the church one especially! Well the mill is great also!

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  18. You’re so right about turning off social media more often and them being designed to be as addictive as they can be. What helps me a lot to not be tracked (and be shown random ads) are add-ons for the browser, which prohibit the tracking scripts. But I can allow advertisement, so the sites still get paid for my views or clicks. The ads I get to see are highly random, I’m not interested in a single thing I was shown, but hey, they don’t know my interests! It also helps to not use google or facebook. Most of my friends know to contact me otherwise, like through email, phone or even real mail! By the way: nice trip! I love living history villages, we have one close by, that shows early medieval life. Take care!

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  19. I totally agree with you. Facebook can become a way to live through other people’s lives. Not terribly healthy. The news headlines are just so depressing all the time and I began to be so scared that my quality of life was suffering as was my health. I also get sucked into the shopping trap and now have to live with the fact that I have spent money that could have gone to loans rather than the piles of craft supplies that just sit there. I am getting better but it is a very slow and difficult path. I hear your voice in my head all the time telling me I’m just a collector until I use it. Thank you for that by the way it is helping. I am so glad you enjoyed your break with family the memories you make are so important and are great fun to talk about when they have left home. You have certainly given us a beautiful collection of photographs to enjoy and use for inspiration. Very Turner like.

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  20. I’m not on Facebook at all. I never was, and I don’t plan to. The things I hear about it make me shudder! I do realize that lots of people stay connected that way, and if it works for them, that’s great! People think that since I’m not on FB that I’m not into technology, which is kinda funny since we got our first computer in 1986 and a screaming-fast 2400 baud modem () in 1987. I moderated a “forum” of sorts back in the early 90’s in the days of Electronic Bulletin Board systems, and the computers would call each other in the middle of the night when it was cheap (all over the world) and exchange messages. I’ve had the same email address for 21 years now!

    I look at Instagram sometimes, and I LOVE YouTube videos and blogs (how I found YOU, dear Lindsay!). I search Pinterest for card ideas only. I love good old-fashioned email, and getting together in person too!

    Love your gorgeous pics, Lindsay! We took a LONG family vacation when our kids were 13, 15 and 17 and drove from Chicago to Niagara Falls, then to New Hampshire, then to Maine. We LOVED Acadia National Park! Then we drove up into Quebec to Quebec City, down to Toronto, then home. It was a GREAT trip, and the only time I’ve been out of the country. We didn’t need passports back then. We did find Maine was hard to navigate with maps and roadsigns (this was 20 years ago, so before GPS and cell phones)!!

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  21. I love your photos and look forward to seeing new painting tutorials. When I watch one of you videos on YouTube it usually prompts me to others of yours and of course other posts from other people. You are right, sometimes it’s hard to stop watching one right after another.

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  22. Hi Lindsay! Thanks for sharing your awesome photos! I can just imagine some great paintings from these! Yes, I sometimes get sucked down the internet rabbit hole. Not my phone though. My eyesight isn’t good enough for that darn small screen! I hate the touch screen phones too. But I am on FB and YT of course.. WAY too much probably.. and, I like to play free games on Publisher’s Clearing House… But hey.. I actually won $10 the other day! woo hoo! What I do, just like when I’ve been sitting and painting for quite a while, is get up and go do something else.. i.e., in between each round of a “game” I make myself go do some bit of house work (so I have to get up and move around). What gets me chained to the screen the most is the LIVE YouTube events ;-). But I try to do some type of paperwork or art work while I’m watching those too.
    Glad you had a nice trip! I haven’t been to Canada since we have had to have a passport and probably won’t ever get one either.. who knows.. but not planning to. I’d love to get up to your neck of the woods some day though! Gail A. C.

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  23. Amazing photos. Makes me wish I could paint! And I was on Facebook for about a year and got off because I learned way more about some people than I wanted to know and because I got tired of scrolling throught stuff I didn’t want to know for the less than 5% that I did want to see (photos of my grandkids!) I don’t need to know your political views, your game scores or what some celebrity in LA is up to. So I said good-bye and shut it down.

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  24. Oh how I love tutorials! They are so much fun. When I am sad, or whatever, I can turn on a tutorial and I feel like I am traveling to the stars. If I am not making things, however, I know it’s time to stop watching and start creating. My “jewels”, that is my favorite channels, can also be my Kryptonite if I watch too much, like eating too much sugar =0 I also read patterns – I always have. My mother and I shared that passion, I absolutely love making my brain work by reading patterns about anything. I love how, if I have a question on a technique, I can look it up and VOILA! There it is. So great. These photos are awesome.

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  25. When I first started watching art videos I did get sucked down the rabbit hole, it ended up shooting me out at the craft stores where collecting supplies that I had watched in videos became my new hobby. Now I am Kon-mari-ing my whole house. I am excited, I feel energized and my life is way better. Getting rid of stuff felt so good that I ended some other stuff too. happier, losing weight and I have not watched news since I left my parents home. Just too much stuff we never used to know about weighing us down. Real life is great. I do have people on Facebook that I love, talk with and support but I set limits on it so it does not take the place of my real life.

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  26. Well, after reading that, I am closing my computer down! Really! It is very true. I’m glad I can’t afford to do YouTube too much or I probably would get addicted! 🙂

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  27. Oh yes, guilty! I seriously used my phone as an actual phone the other day SIX times in a 24 hour time frame! It was a very rare day. 🙂

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  28. hi Lindsay, I was in NB, Canada the first of Aug.,went to Grandfalls. Lovely place if you have never been there. I have been to Kings Landing but it was many years ago. Thanks for the reminder photos. I also got some good ones at the Amish settlement in Easton, Me. I hope I can get a watercolor out of it. I love your work, I’ve been a follower and subscriber for a long time because Maine is still my heart home.

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  29. Lindsay,thats so funny, because my husband and I were just talking about this very thing. I have pretty much left facebook off,except for your art sites. You have contributed to my new addiction, which is art, of all the kinds that you have shown us. I love your videos, and just ignore what the internet offers that I don’t need. It is scary how the “w.w.w.” can track our thoughts, and what we look at, almost before we even think of it. The other part I really don’t like, is the lack of real language anymore. Everything is abbreviated, or expressed in emogies, or numbers instead of words. Anyway, I totally agree with what your saying, but also grateful for being able to learn from you, even if its not in person. Glad you had a great trip, thanks so much for your pictures, your insight, and the thoughtful way you always bring your truth to us out here around the world. We’re listening!

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  30. I’m not on FB. I tried once, I chose every possible security option to be as private as possible, yet it reached out to everyone in my email/phone contact list to notify them I was on FB! Shoot, some of those names and #’s I kept just so I wouldn’t respond should I ever hear from them again!!! Crazy people came out of the woodwork that I did not need back in my life. I was on and off FB within 3 days and I’ve never looked back.

    I have an issue with the internet that I wonder if anyone else does. I have subscribed to so many blogs of talented crafters and artists, for inspiration and to learn new techniques or to see how they use new products. Problem is, I spend all day looking at what others have made and not making anything myself. Most of the blog posts come to me as emails, so I’m constantly reading posts and trying to keep my Crafty Inbox to a reasonable amount. I must get 400 emails a day between crafters, stores, and manufacturers blogs. And if I’m out of town or have a migraine for a few days, I can’t just delete them but it takes several late nights to get “caught up” and still I’m not making anything. This week I actually pushed the laptop away to make play with my oxide inks, but I’m telling you, its hard. I feel like I’m missing out on something if I’m not on the computer. Thankfully I’m not one of those folks who feels compelled to buy ALL the stuff everyone is using on ALL of those blog posts!!!

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  31. Hi Lindsay, I am glad you were able to get away for the weekend with your family.It sounds like you had an enjoyable and well deserved time with them. The pictures are beautiful and calming!
    Thanks for your honesty, and sharing your talent with us!
    Hugs, Linda

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  32. Luckily I am someone to see a project on YT and try it out. It’s probably why I have so many interests.

    To be honest, as a introvert social media makes it easier to socialize for me. And having moved across the country a few times, I’ve managed to continue friendships I never would have, otherwise.

    But I do get sucked in. I get distracted and interrupted at work a lot and it makes it harder to refocus. Now I actually turn off all notifications for periods of time when I’m getting stuff done. I don’t need to read that email, reply to that comment, or watch that video right as it’s posted. I find that I get focus on the project/person so much better when I turn off the notifications and wait to look at them when I’m intentionally ready to do so.

    I always love reading your thoughtful posts!

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  33. This is an awesome blog!!!You really drive the truth gone and make me realize others are pondering these thoughts as well as myself-your blogs are so interesting! I enjoy reading them very much!

    Thank you, Jeanne Lashmett, IIDA JML Interior Design

    314.435.4233

    >

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  34. I should have added to my earlier comment that I find watching your videos in the evening very relaxing. It is so much better than Facebook etc., etc!
    Thanks again, Linda

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  35. I love watching your watercolor videos and have painted a few of them and love them. I love your explanations.You are a great teacher.I have learned so much from you over the past few years and now enjoy painting watercolor greeting cards for all my card giving.You make it fun and interesting and I also love your explanations about brushes,paper,types of paint etc.I try different types,but not all of them.Yes they are different and I love experimenting with the different types of paints and brushes and papers.Thank you so much for all you have done to start people in watercolors,my favorite medium.You are a great inspiration to so many.

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  36. Thank you, I needed to hear this today 🙂

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  37. Hi Lindsay,I also do Facebook,but immediately get rid of all the junk ones and don’t bother with much in politics either.I like the ones my friends send me and pictures of the family and what’s new in their lives.For me it’s an inexpensive way to communicate with all my Florida friends that I see only in winter.When I am up north here in Quebec I don’t get to hear from them much ,so it’s a great use for that.I limit my time on the internet.I also play scrabble on the computer and limit myself to 3 games or I would play all day.Like anything else in moderation that’s the keyword,in moderation.I use my cell phone only for emergencies and have a much cheaper land line.Most of the time my cell is off.I do take it on the road with me in case something happens.Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.That’s my motto.I do have friend who have there phones glued to their hip and I hate it when we are interrupted over and over again while visiting.If it is an important call they can leave a message.99% of them are not urgent.I find it rude to answer their phones when visiting.What do you think.Life already has too many distractions.

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  38. You are so right and I’m happy that you have devoted some time to this subject. Thank you!

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  39. Its so easy to get sucked into social media. I try to use it to be productive, but its always a balancing act.

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  40. I don’t think anyone is immune to the ‘rabbit hole’ of social media so we have to set clear boundaries for ourselves. I was doing really well until I bought an IPAD. Suddenly I didn’t have to go into my office, but could cruise the social media sites while I was sitting on the sofa. Whole evenings started drifting away with nothing to show for them. My goal for this fall is to break that habit! Of course, I still want to catch your videos so I have something else to do in my evenings LOL

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