Welcome to Lamb Cottage. It's a real place, and this is where I live with my dear husband. We even have lambs. This is a personal blog, especially concerning life as an American expat in Scotland, life as an over-50, life with lambs, and life as an Orthodox Christian. You're most welcome to come and visit awhile. I hope we can be friends!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Social Media Madness...and Cleaning House

I have found myself completely overwhelmed by all the stuff that is available on the Internet for "connecting" and "networking" and "promoting"...oneself, mostly.  When I started my little needlework design business, I figured I'd better get busy and get myself out there...on everything.  So I did.  Well, that was half a year ago, and frankly, enough is enough!

At one time, I was simultaneously on:  Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, Wordpress, RebelMouse, Flavors.me, Pinterest, Flickr, and I'm probably forgetting some!  It got so completely insane, I had to use Scoop.It and Dlvr.it and I don't know what-all to help me manage everything. Most things were all interconnected, too.

Add to that my listings on Etsy, eBay, DaWanda, Meylah, CraftFoxes, and in my own TicTail shop.

Of course, we can't forget things like Trip Advisor and other forums where we can "weigh in" with our brilliance.

Honestly, I found myself running in circles.  And the stuff I wanted to focus on got completely lost in the maze.

Well...I've made a start at cleaning this house.  First to go:  eBay (fees are too high), Meylah (don't really get the "concept"), and DaWanda (don't think we're culturally on the same wave length).  Then, I ditched Google+.  Sorry.  I know it's supposed to be fabulous and wipe Facebook right off the planet, but honestly, I don't think that's going to happen.  And again, I just don't "get" the concept.  While I was sweeping, I swept Tumblr out the door (too "edgy" and young for me), along with Wordpress (how complicated have they made blogging??).  I changed my TicTail store to a Christmas Market only.  I am considering saying bye-bye to CraftFoxes.  And...I know it's hugely popular, but...WHAT IS THE POINT OF TWITTER???  Someone, please explain this to me.  I have an account, and it is set up to "tweet" whatever I do and say on my FB page or shop blog.  Okay.  Fine.  So I don't have to do much with it.  But still.  I don't get the point.  At all.  Oh, and Scoop.It...way down on the list of priorities.  It, too, is getting the ax.

I would love to hear other people's opinions on all this.  Is it just me, or have we gone completely mad with social media and all its spin-offs?  And did I mention...I don't even have a "smart phone" or anything like it.  No Instagram for me.

Facebook can stay, but only because I have a page there for my little business, and it does generate some interest.  Pinterest can stay because who doesn't like nice pictures?  Etsy can stay because it has proven itself big time.  And obviously, Blogger can stay, because I think it is the easiest and most versatile blogging platform.

The jury is still out on RebelMouse and Flavors.me.

What say you, friends?


The hope now is that I will have more time for the media I AM interested in, and that includes this blog!  Stay tuned for some interesting things...for one, we got some new icons today.  For another, I found an interesting site about "simplifying" (which I think we already do, but yet, I still feel overwhelmed).

In the meantime...a photo of a lamb never goes wrong, right?
(I stole this one from Doodle's blog.  He won't mind!)

post signature

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Still January...and Lots of Thoughts

Another sort of random post.  I've been thinking about this blog a lot.  It gets pushed to the back because it's a "personal" blog, and so it is deemed less important.  There's a lesson in there somewhere...about how NOT to look at things.

Would you just look at that lamb?  That's Snowball.  He's our baby.  The other baby, who is the same age as Snowball, prefers to be a big, grown up lamb.  Snowball...he just wants to remain a baby lamb.  Always wanting attention.  He's just as sweet as can be.  Thank goodness for lamb therapy!  Our tiny flock does a lot to lift our spirits each day when we are faced with gloomy weather and monotony.

Of course, my stitching takes up a lot of my time, as well.  Here are just a few random photos.  The first one shows a family crest which I did.  It hangs in our front hall.  I can't for the life of me remember where I got the pattern, but it was online.

Below is a pattern I've just designed and will be giving away for free on my shop blog.  I stitched it on black, but I'm also stitching it on white, just to see the contrast and the different feelings you can get just based on the background colors.

The lamb and heart pattern is also new, and you can find out more about it on my shop blog, as well.

Finally...I (we) are thinking a lot about our faith.  We are moving in an exciting direction, and after many long months / years of prayer and conversation, it looks like some wonderful things will be taking place.

I took the two photos below from my Pinterest board.  I love the simplicity of this prayer corner.  Orthodox keep prayer / icon corners in their homes to aid in the daily cycles of prayer.  I just think this one is so appealing.  I will share a photo of ours one of these days soon!

Below is a beautiful Russian Orthodox Church, somewhere near Jerusalem, I believe.

The Faith is undergoing a great deal of persecution these days.  Popular and mainstream media do not cover it much.  I don't even think popular and mainstream churches do.  I can't say for sure.  I do know that the statistics from Voice of the Martyrs and from Open Doors say that twice as many people died for the Faith in 2013 than in 2012.  There are a lot of people out there who are militantly against the Faith, and another lot who are indifferent.  It's not a good combination.  

We must persevere.  And pray:  Lord, have mercy.

So, January is speeding by.  I hope to spend a bit more time on this blog.  It doesn't seem to have a "niche", but then, I didn't really anticipate that it would.  Real life is not that neatly categorized, and we're fooling ourselves when we work so hard to make it so.  

Next post:  I hope to have a few more photos from around here.  Perhaps I will show a bit of the area in which I live.  

post signature

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Few January Thoughts

We have this sign on our sheep's gate.  I sometimes think I should put it on the refrigerator at home!
You can see from the following photos, the lambs are all about food.
I can relate.

Of course, it's not just me who is spoiling them!  I do believe that's my husband sneaking a cookie to Snowball behind his back.

Doodle can smell the cookies in my pocket.

And the little monsters are not even waiting till the hay gets put in their rack!
The older curmudgeons are not amused at all these childish antics.

Snowball has his own dining car.


Yes, the sheep are a daily event at Lamb Cottage.  But I've been thinking about other things, too.  I first started blogging in 2007, shortly after moving from Florida to Scotland.  It was a whole new, and weird, experience for me.  I kept it up for about three years...till the whole thing just turned sour because the people in my husband's little home village, where he was born and raised, started stalking me via my blog.  And some made up fake names and left mean comments.  And some put letters through my door.  I guess they didn't like me having a mind of my own, and not always agreeing with their way of life.  It got to be quite upsetting.  So, when we moved to another county (thank you, God), I quit blogging.

But then, I started my needlework business, and we got these baby bottle lambs, and I decided to give it another try.  The first time around, I read all these so-called pointers by so-called experts:  make sure you only blog about one thing; make sure you keep your posts long / medium / short, full of photos / writing only / photos and writing, etc.; make sure...make sure...make sure.  And then, I started reading all these other blogs by these beautiful women who had perfect homes and beautiful table settings and brilliant children and expensive cars and lovely wardrobes...you get the idea.  They were professional homemakers and crafters and knitters and seamstresses and perfect, godly women.  Sigh.  And I didn't know what to do.  Anymore than I knew what to do when I ran across "Paris Daily Photo" or all these edgy, quirky, or profound blogs full of meaningful prose and odd poetry.  

Blogging has created a whole new set of anxieties, etiquette, and other assorted rules.

I'm a bit older now.  Hopefully, a lot wiser.  Definitely less concerned with people like the ignoramuses in the last village.  I'm happy to say, I'm not edgy, quirky, or ground-breaking.  I love homemaking and crafting and all that, but I'm not a professional.  I like to write, but I probably don't share a lot of meaningful and profound prose.  Certainly not poetry!  I have a bottom of the line camera, so no "Scotland Daily Photo" here.  And sometimes, I miss a few days, or even a few weeks.

But I'm going to keep plugging away.  Maybe one little tiny thing I say, or a silly lamb photo I post will make someone smile.  Or someone will relate and feel better.  Or someone will say, oh, I didn't know there was still a God.  There is, by the way.


I'll try to be more consistent...but no promises!

post signature