It’s been since November that I last posted and I’ve been trying for ages to make a new post but it keeps not happening. I’ve been getting past a yarncraft slump, where for months I didn’t want to do anything more than give some of my softer skeins an occasional squeeze. I’m past that now though, and have knitted a few things, and am currently working on the Good Vibes shawl from  wonderful French designer. I’m almost done with the big main color section and I will start the first stripe tomorrow when my other yarn color arrives.

Speaking of yarn, I’m currently cold sheeping. I’m hoping to make it through the end of the year without falling off the wagon, but we’ll see. My big goal is to get down to only 38 miles of yarn in my stash- I had 52, I donated 4, and now I just want to use up another 10. There are a few exceptions of when I can buy yarn, though for the most part, no new yarn is kind of the rule.

  1. I can use gift cards to buy yarn.
  2. I can accept yarn from swaps or as gifts.
  3. I can buy additional yarn to finish a project I’ve started.

Its pretty simple, but if you buy yarn like I tend to, its not easy!

I rearranged my craft room yesterday, and picked out another 3 bags of stuff to donate. This included all the sewing patterns I previously had listed for sale, so those are gone now, and I have more room on my shelf. Of course that shelf is mostly filled with large skeins of yarn… LOL.

The website also underwent a physical change a few weeks ago, getting a complete makeover. I like to think it looks more modern and on trend with what’s good today… Of course the 3 dozen emails I get in spam every day offering their design services seem to think otherwise! Ha!

oceans

I made a brief post about this on the Facebook page, but I didn’t go into a lot of detail so I’ll try to explain what happened and what is going on now. Bear with me.

Previously, I had hosting associated with the domain name debslosingit.com and in that hosting I had a WordPress MU installation. MU lets you host multiple sites under a single installation.  One of the secondary sites under it was this one, and I used a domain mapping plug in to make it appear that Kittyloaf Designs was under its own hosting package. For the most part it looked great and I’m betting you were none the wiser. Everything looked great.

Then I decided that my personal blog, which was housed under the debslosingit.com domain name wasn’t something I wanted to continue any longer so I opted to stop paying for it and let it expire. That meant I needed to switch the primary domain on my hosting to the kittyloafdesigns.com one, which was done quickly and easily.

Before that was done, I removed the domain mapping plug in from my WordPress installation so it wouldn’t cause any problems. Unfortunately I think it did something to my site so that even when it was removed, everything was redirected back to debslosingit.com which of course no longer existed. And because everything redirected, I had no way to access the back end of my site to try to fix it. My web host was at a loss and I couldn’t find anything to help me fix it. I was extremely upset and freaking out. Aside from all of the work involved to recreate the site, there was also the matter of getting my permalinks in the same style or I would lose all of my search engine rankings I’d grown in the last 5 years or so.

I (luckily before anything was changed) ended up making back-ups of my shop items, orders, posts, and pages, and literally deleting everything and starting over from nothing. I spent most of Tuesday re-uploading all of the images to my shop because while all the prices, descriptions, and other info was there in my export files, photos were not. I was upset and exasperated but I finally got everything except for 4 items straightened out, which have been temporarily reduced to drafts until I can sort out their photos.

I’m still working on re-uploading the blog photos and I’m almost half finished. I’m not in such a rush to do them because ultimately they aren’t as important but I do expect to have them finished by the week’s end. I’m also trying to look at the good side of this. My hosting and domain bills will go down this renewal because this year I’m letting two domains go (debslosingit.com and debsinstitches.com) and if I’m lucky, I won’t need as much storage space and can downgrade my hosting plan as well. I’m seeing a lot of my images were uploaded twice, and many images for items I may have sold were never removed from the site, adding lots of megs of files I didn’t need.

Anyway, thanks for listening, and I hope that explains any weirdness you’ve seen in the site over the last few days. I’m working on it!

You’ve probably noticed all the changes I’ve been making have been moving towards one big thing – simplification. I keep several blogs but sometimes it can be too much to keep up with all of them. As a way to resolve that, I’m combining my sewing and crafting blog into one with the Kittyloaf Designs blog. A lot of the content really does overlap and it just makes sense to have it all in one place.

I will be keeping the debsinstitches.com domain name for a while but it will point here once I get all of the content from that blog moved over to this one. It will probably take a few days but I feel like it will be worth it. I’m also seriously considering combining the Deb’s Cooking blog with my personal blog.

I just feel like I can do better for you with less to juggle, and with more content in less places.

Its taken me about a day, but I finally have the content moved over from debsinstitches.com to here, and now I just have to rearrange some of it a bit and make it all work together. That will be the most difficult part, but like I said, it’ll be worth it to have the things that are fairly closely related all in one place.

The biggest hurdle I ran into was that for some reason the WordPress import tool won’t work with my server configuration, so I had to find a work around. It took some searching but I did find a solution and it saved me a lot of work as far as manually transferring all the posts over. I still had to move the images over because “importing” them just hot links them from where they were- once you delete those locations, the images are gone. I really wish importing the images meant uploading them to the new location and starting fresh.

I have a good friend who has her eye on a domain name (one she’s wanted for years actually and is still available- yay!) and she’s thinking about buying it and setting up a web site. I told her to let me know and I will help her get set up. I honestly have no idea what she intends to do with this possible web site but I’m really hoping she decides to do it and we can work on it together. Having a web site can be a lot of fn and give you a creative outlet.

I gave her my referral link to my web host, A Small Orange, so I will get a percentage off on my new renewal, and I also gave her a coupon code so she can save 15% as well. If you are in need of a new host, A Small Orange has fantastic up-time, and their customer and tech support can’t be beat. I honestly cannot say enough good about them after using them for about 5 years.

If you use this link (http://asmallorange.com/?ref_id=kittyloaf) and use the coupon code FRIENDME at checkout, you’ll save 15% off of your invoice, and I will save that same amount (15% of your invoice) off of my next one. Why not help each other out? Everyone likes to save money.

As I’ve been making changes to the layout of the site and tweaking the CSS, I’ve been having a friend take a peek for a second opinion. I felt all the changes were going smoothly, but she tried to load the new site in her Android phone using the default browser and discovered a big problem- the background was loading over the actual content. All she could see as a result was my background image spread across the screen.

Apparently this is a known issue with the theme I am working with, but I was able to find a snippet of CSS to force the background into the background where it belongs when viewed. I am hoping this issue is addressed in the next update of the theme, but until then, I’ve got all my modified files backed up and ready for the next updates in case those files are over-written.

Some of you probably think this is a lot of work, but I can never leave things as they are and if I see there is room for improvement, I try to make those improvements. Sometimes I get in over my head, but like nearly everything now, the internet can be a fantastic resource in finding out how to do a thing and learning how to solve your problem the next time you run into it.

You’ve come to this page to learn more about me and my work at Kittyloaf Designs, or at least I hope that’s why you’re here!

I started doing beadwork as a teenager after remembering a brief flirtation with a beading loom as a child. For a while I was trying everything – peyote stitching over small objects, clumsy brick stitch designs, and I even tried my hands at French beaded flowers which led me to the knowledge that working with wire is not for me. I do, as a result, have a tiny pot of flowers I made which sit next to my TV.

Then I decided to learn to sew. I was better at beading, but I didn’t know anything about sewing. My grandmother showed me a little, but it was when I took a class to better learn the basics at our local JC that things really clicked for me. I sew most of my new clothes, plus make awesome accessories. I recently bought a serger as well and I love it!

Working with polymer clay and resin came next and I occasionally do a little cross stitch as well.  I also learned to knit and crochet and I cannot get enough of crochet! In the first few months of crocheting, I did 3 blankets, two of which were queen sized! You can find some of my yarn craft for sale here.

Besides all of my crafting, I also went to school for graphic design and I occasionally sell craft supplies like sewing and beading patterns, books, and handmade polymer clay beads.

If you see something you want, grab it fast! Most of my items are one of a kind and I can;t or won’t make them again. I’ve added a “make an offer” button to many of my items- you can put in any amount and if its within a frame I’ve set, the item will be added to your cart. Many of you have expressed that I don’t charge enough for my work- you can also put in offers higher than my asking price as well and it will be accepted.

I’m located in Lancaster, CA, having recently moved back in with my mom. I have a pup named Yuba. Kittyloaf Designs is so named in memory of my cat Lucky. Though I only had him for about three years, he made a very lasting impression on me and is greatly missed. You can read more about Lucky here.

I can be reached via email or phone, though I prefer email contact. My email address is design@kittyloafdesigns.com and my phone number is (661) 794-8641. Alternately, you can use the form below to email me. I will respond as quickly as possible.

If you’re asking for a cost estimate for a project, please be as specific as possible. I can’t give you an accurate response if I don’t know what you need done. 😉 If you’re not sure what type of project you have, just be as descriptive as possible and explain it as well as you can to me and I will ask if I have further questions before giving you an estimate.

Also, please have some idea of what you are looking for if you feel you are ready to begin a project. There is nothing worse from a designers standpoint than a client who says “I don’t know what I want, but I’m sure I’ll know it when I see it.” That only adds up to much higher charges on your bill because of many hours wasted designing and re-designing, and more headache for me as I have no idea what you might want or like. It just makes everything go smoother and easier for all of us.

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There are only a handful of TLDs available now, many of which we all recognize instantly. .COM .NET .ORG .EDU. You probably also would recognize some popular country-named TLDs such as .JP and .DE. But starting early next year, there is a slew of possible new TLDs that will be created. There are billions of sites on the internet, and only a finite number of domain names that can be registered. The ones that are available, well, the best ones are already taken- the best being short, simple, and easy to remember.

In 2013, there will be literally hundreds of new TLDs available. Some, such as .DESIGN, or .DIET (I also run a weight loss blog on this vast internet) hold a little appeal for me, but many just seem tacky. Which ones do I find tacky? The ones that are brand names, such as .GUCCI. Most of these brands who will have a TLD option in the new year already have a huge presence, and it feels like overkill for them to be able to be able to call themselves with a self-named TDL online.

You can see the full list of future TDLs here. Will you be taking advantage of some of the new TDLs to set up the perfect online face? Which ones do you like the best? Which ones turn you off?