Friday, December 20, 2013

Making Lately

A snowstorm 2 weeks ago got me on a sewing spree!  I had this minky/flannel blanket to finish up for a friend's baby girl arriving in a few weeks (DEADLINE!) and when we got a few snow days I had the chance to sit down and get it all together.  The satin edging was much more complicated and time consuming than I thought it would be (just gathering the satin edging took me hours) but it turned out so pretty:

It's the softest, cuddliest blanket I've ever sewn; I hope it keeps our friends' new baby girl toasty and warm!

I've also been on an elephant-making quilt lately, courtesy of this tutorial.  It all started when another friend of ours did up her new baby's nursery in elephants, so I made one for their new arrival and the new big brother.  They go together so quickly that lots of friends have gotten these for their little ones!  

Can you believe Christmas is next week?  We're almost done shopping but have a small handful of gifts to pick up still.  Are you ready to go or will you be hitting the stores this weekend?

Aside from that materialist bit, I was looking at our tree last night and feeling so grateful.  Our tree is full of ornaments that were all given to us by someone who loves us, and they're each a ticket to a time and a place I couldn't get to otherwise.  We both have jobs we love, our health, our families, more than we need to eat and a savings account.  We are so fortunate, and I feel this every day.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Privacy, the Internet & Social Media

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  The holiday season feels like it's whipping past me this year...Christmas is only 15 days away?!  Is it going by quickly for you all too?  I don't have nearly enough people crossed off my shopping list!

Social media, the internet and privacy have been weighing heavily on my mind lately.  I manage social media for my work (@VisitCape), and doing so has led me to be a more public persona than I had ever imagined. Within a few weeks of starting my job in tourism 2.5 years ago, I had local reporters and business professionals following my Twitter handle just by warrant of where I worked.  It was odd, but part of the job I had been told to expect.

Recently I added on @VisitCape's Twitter bio that @stacydlane (me!) was the voice of the account and let my Twitter go entirely professional.  Now at professional conferences its easy to go by my Twitter handle.

For a while I kept my Facebook private, completely personal and on lock down (or as much as Facebook lets that happen), but I finally gave in to having it be a more professionally oriented social media platform; I did some serious photo scrubbing I probably should have done years ago and started friending Chamber of Commerce members, travel bloggers I'd like to work with eventually and tourism friends.

Thanks to the circles employed by Google+, that platform is easy to keep a good grasp on privacy...I just wish more people were on there, haha!

A month ago or so, I made my Instagram (my personal favorite social media platform and the one I use most heavily) private; last week I went through and blocked every follower I don't know.  Now I know every single person who follows me and I feel very secure about the pictures I choose to post here.

This blog is public, but it isn't something I share on anything but personal platforms.

Gut checks help me with all of this; it feels good and right to let VisitCape followers know who the voice behind the brand is, but I also need a few spaces left private where I can post indiscriminately without worrying about the professional image that provides, privacy concerns, or anything else.  By indiscriminately I mostly mean outfit pictures without taunting, hahaha!

Raising a child in the age of all of this photo and information sharing is intimidating to me.  Ryan and I have talked extensively about how we'll tackle social media with our non-existent, entirely hypothetical children, and we reached an easy agreement that pictures of our child will not make their way onto any public platform; we'll most likely share pictures to Family and Friends circles on Google+ and on my private Instagram account, or via text.  I anticipate our families being supportive of this decision too.  This is what feels right to us (at this child-free point in our lives) and is by no means a sweeping judgement; I think that it's just important to be thoughtful about the pictures you post online.

Gut checks and soul searching all over social media and privacy....I think I see these things in a different light as social media comprises so much of my job, so I'd love to hear your views on this; what do you choose to share, to keep private, and why?

It snowed here last week!  Snow doesn't typically stick around very long: