Wednesday, February 27, 2008 --- I don't know how to balance blogging and a job outside of the house...I'm a failure!

I am having a bitch of a time trying to balance blogging and working outside of the house. It sucks because I was so regular with I just feel like a failure who can't manage her time. But the thing is, I'm doing laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. with whatever free time that is not taken up by sleeping and watching the few highly necessary television programs we like to watch each week. Ugh! In addition, I have a freelance website job going on -- for a certain Pilates studio in New York -- which I am very excited about -- but again, less free time for me and me-blog when I get home each day. Ah, well.

The other thing that has made me actually avoid blogging is my ongoing frustration with Blogger mistreating me and my post publishing process. I know that the best solution is to migrate to dynamic blogging (i.e. Wordpress) -- and I WILL do this! But, F*CK! I just don't have the time right I avoid...because Blogger can't piss me off if I don't blog!

One thing that we have been having fun with is KITTY CAM. I got a web cam for Christmas (which works independently from a computer -- just hooks up to our home network) that allows us to watch our cats when we are not home...or when we have our backs turned and we want to see what those little f*ckers are doing when we are not looking. Plus, their Grandma really likes to check in on them from Connecticut -- just to see how fat they are or to watch them playing. I don't know why I enjoy this so much, but I do. It's like I'm producing my own Feline reality tv show! Here are some still shots from the KITTY CAM as an animated GIF -- of Noodle the Cat.

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Monday, December 10, 2007 --- The Second Annual 2007 Blogger CHRISTMAHANUKWANZAAKAH Online Holiday Concert has been going strong all day!

The concert has been a smashing success over at Citizen of the Month! However, Sophia, Neil and I needed to do some fast creative brainstorming earlier was brought to my attention that the original yellow (gold) Star of David was not a good idea for historical reasons. I will not dwell on those reasons here (look it up on Wikipedia if you don't know the specific history) because I don't want to take away from the positive issue at hand -- which is that we actively pursued and came to an excellent solution! The *NEW* and *IMPROVED* Blue and White Glowing Star has been incorporated into the now revised logo design.

And, if you are here for the "Concert Buttons" -- you can now download the whole pack which includes the original 5 from my previous post as well as *7 Bonus Fashion Buttons* not pictured...Slightly different versions with shadows for depth and two with a "magical glow"!

Click the button below to get .ZIP file package!


<---------- IMPORTANT NOTE! ------------>


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Sunday, December 9, 2007 --- Do You Know What Is Happening Tomorrow?

Well, if you don't know, you should! Neil Kramer aka "Neilochka" of Citizen of the Month (and twitter) is hosting his Second Annual 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert Extravaganza! What is this exactly? Neil explains it best:

"...It is now time to raise our voices in song again in this new holiday tradition. Hanukkah songs about miracles. Christmas songs about faith. Winter songs about the beauty of the season. Kwanzaa songs about new traditions. It is the 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, right here on Citizen of the Month on Monday, December 10th (with a re-broadcast on Christmas Day). The concert is for YOU and by YOU — and this year will be bigger and better than last year..."

Basically, anyone from the blogging-community-at-large is welcome to share a recording of him/herself singing a favorite holiday song! It is meant to be fun...and possibly quite we all celebrate the great big inclusive Holiday of Christmahanukwanzaakah! Plus, if you are too embarassed to sing, Neil also welcomes photographs from bloggers to help "dress the set". It should be a great time. And, if you have never checked out Citizen of the Month before, you really should because Neil's blog is hilariously funny and incredibly well-written. [ I should hope so on that last part because Neil is a professional writer in "real life"! ]

That said, you'll be pleased to know that I have a submission in this year's concert. I sang "The Man With The Bag", a song that was originally recorded by Kay Starr in 1950. This song has always made me laugh because of its unapologetic theme of Christmas greed LOL! (Hence, my allusion to it in the sidebar where I have my Xmas Wish List!) Plus, I love the peppy big-band sound of it. As I explained to Neil, I don't have a particularly great singing I decided to really ham-up my submission in the hope that "really funny" would excuse "lack of talent". I recorded it with a clothespin on my nose so that it would be really nasal and then I tried to do a little bit of Ethel-Merman-like styling, although sans the great power of Ethel's voice. Anyway, I think it is pretty funny. I mixed it myself on the computer with an instrumental karaoke track -- not bad production value for being recorded in my home office. Join us at the concert and feel free to laugh at me and my song! I also submitted the "Winter Berries in Snow" picture from the previous post below as decoration for the concert so you'll probably see that too.

I also created the unsolicited artwork pictured above -- I was inspired by the idea of trying to create a logo design to incorporate the 3 holidays into a graphical image that was clean, attractive and symbolically cohesive. It was a great graphic design challenge! I used the three colors of Kwanzaa (black, red, green) -- the Christmas Tree symbols (which double as general holiday season/winter symbols too) -- and a gold blue and white glowing star of David -- as well as a blue background as another Jewish/Hanukah nod. I sent the graphics to Neil last night, but I still don't know what he thinks of them. He may or may not use them, but my real purpose was to create them for my own use to promote the concert because I think it is such a fun idea and concept that Neil has started. People are certainly welcome to borrow my button for use on their own blogs...I think it is kind of neat to have a "I participated in CHK 2007" badge for the sidebar so that blog readers can revisit the fun we had anytime and maybe become new participants for next year's!

[ I would love it if folks credited me for the button if they use it, but it's not necessary. Just leave me a nice word in my comments if you are going to borrow it! Share the love, baby. ]

Click the button below to visit Citizen of the Month:

<--------------------------- UPDATE 12/10/07! --------------------------->

Hey folks! I created this modified version button badge below (4 colors) that folks can also use in their sidebar -- year round if you like (!) -- to provide a link to the concert festivities any time. It's a nice way to thank Citizen of the Month for hosting this wonderful event...

You will need to host the button image on your own site and modify the code below accordingly. Here's the code you will need to use the buttons:
<a href=" concert/" title="Check out the 2007 Christmahanukwanzaakah Concert!"><img src=" NAME OF CHOICE.png" title="Check out the 2007 Christmahanukwanzaakah Concert!" border="0" /></a>

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Thursday, October 25, 2007 --- Some things I would trade for a spleen...I mean, a Spleenal action figure!

This is a post for my blogging buddy, spleenal. He's swapping spleenal action figures (blank ones for bloggers to decorate themselves, and then, share pictures of their creations to post on his blog!) for neato things of your own. So, Spleenal, here's what I've got in lieu of splosh porn...

For the spleenal Christmas tree -- a handmade ornament from New Hampshire -- a wooden bluebird on a perch. Or, if you happen to be Jewish, he could hang out in a bushy houseplant just for fun? OR...

A funny little bug in a box, complete with wiggly legs that move when you shake him? OR...

A little wire wind-up robot that jumps around on his rubber-booted feet?

Whaddya think? I tried to think of cool little things of mine that were inexpensive (as per your guideline) while still the spirit of my toys for your toys!

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Monday, October 22, 2007 --- Ok, my bloggy friends, let's try this again...Starbuck's Song of the Day Swap, Sweetened.

Since no one has stopped by here lately to take me up on my Starbuck's Song of the Day Swap offer -- I have gained another extra Song of the Day card. So, now we have 2, count 'em, 2 FREE songs to trade for other different songs -- OR, you can trade something else interesting! Whatchagot??

You people may force me to throw in a custom designed banner or Flash animation for your blog, but I hope it doesn't come to that...You'll have to be trading something pretty good for me to whore myself out! ;-D

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Saturday, October 20, 2007 --- Wanna Swap? Starbuck's Trading Card Day!

Okay, so, you know how Starbuck's has this Song of the Day promotion going on with iTunes? Well, today, the man and I went to Starbuck's and we received 2 cards -- obviously, we don't need both. Anybody out there got an extra card you don't need from another day that you wanna swap for today's (10/20/07) song? No Kenny Chesney, please.

Drop me an email and we can exchange download codes -- 'cause hey, free music is fun!

If you don't have a Starbuck's card, but have something else cool to trade, let me know. I'm open. Besides, it might be more fun to do a "totally random items, interweb swap meet..." Whatchagot, bloggy friends?

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Sunday, October 7, 2007 --- Highlights from the National Zoo...a photographic post.

A lovely bellowing lion...

A Scarlet Ibis preening itself...

A Bald Eagle taking a bath...

...And, an elephant playing in the dirt!

More pictures from the day can be seen on my Flickr page -- see badge in sidebar under "credits".

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________ - THE BUTTERFLY BLOG - Copyright ©2007 Vanessa Lee Hamlen. All rights reserved.

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What I Am Doing...

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About Me

I am a graphic designer. I love animals and have quite a few pets. There is a frustrated DJ inside of me --- hence, my ongoing obsession with making music mixes.

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Musical Goodness

-- Music from Butterfly's personal library --

LORI'S LABOR: A collection of 6 unique playlists with varying intensity and mood for your listening pleasure! I created these original mixes for my friends to use during the labor and delivery of their first baby, Nicholas.

You can visit their blog here: ---> The Bridenstines!

Listen to my comical, purposefully nasal, total HAM-job submission to the 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert in the mini-player above!
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