Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog Hop with TAWS: Wish Big

It's that time of the month!  New stamps from The Alley Way Stamps!!!

As always there are three new full-size stamps and a mini that's free with a $40 purchase.  If you started with me, be sure to go back to the beginning of the hop at The Alley Way Stamps blog so you can see peeks of all of the sets! 

I have chosen to show you some of the big and bold stamps from the new birthday set - Wish Big.

TAWS Let's Celebrate

Their big, bold size makes them perfect for stamping on patterned paper!!  

For this card I used the current sketch at Fab Friday.

Then the paper pad with all of the bold prints also comes with a wonderful olivey green (quite a bit more olive than my photo shows!) - so I decided to go masculine too!  This gives me a chance to show you even more images from Wish Big!!

The sketch for this card came from Seize the Birthday.

Next on the hop is: Melissa!

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Wish Big
  • Paper: Simple Stories, solid pink cardstock is Papertrey Raspberry Fizz, solid olive is unknown
  • Ink:  Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Raspberry and Avocado buttons, Divine Twine Black Licorice

The official words from TAWS:

One person will win ALL 3 NEW SETS!! YEP!! So if you want to be that person.. 
all you have to do is comment on the hop! 
Here are ways you can win.. You can pick and choose which ones you want to do.. 
but the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.. 

1-Comment on The Alley Way Stamps Blog
2-Comment on the DT girls blogs (below)
3-Post about it on facebook or your blog
4-Like us on Facebook
(leave a separate comment for each that you do)
You have until tonight at 9:00PM TAWS time to leave them.. 

This is a fun mini set that is yours FREE when you spend $40.00 or more during the month of April! Nothing to do but shop.. this little guy will be added to your package..
Isn't is fun??!!  What do you think?

Now off you go to do the HOP!!! :) You never know which blog will pick!
Here is the lineup.. if you get lost feel free to come back here at anytime :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

CAS(E) this Sketch: A Banner and a Butterfly

There is a great and very versatile sketch this week at CAS(E) this Sketch!

I have had this tapestry banner on my desk for quite some time knowing that I had to use it before I put it away or, as usual, I would forget about it when new stuff came into the house.  The banner led me to an elegant sympathy card.

With Sympathy

There is some detail that is hard to see - a little shine on the butterfly, some piercing on the vellum and a little woodgrain on the sentiment.

With Sympathy close up

I hope you play along - I really love to see what everybody creates with the same sketch!

  • Stamps: Impression Obsession Tapestry Banner, Papertrey Ink Round & Round (sentiment)
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Soft Stone, Stampin' Up Raspberry Ripple, misc. vellum
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Stampin' Up Raspberry Ripple
  • Accessories: Memory Box dies: Kaleidoscope and Moonlight Butterfly dies, Papertrey Ink woodgrain impression plate, Stampin' Up piercing plate, Tattered Angels Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Mist

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Google Reader? Followers? Bloglovin? Confused??

This is my second post today.

Last week, I published an article on Feedly which is going to be my personal alternative to Google Reader.  As I read other blogs and get questions via email, I realize there really is a LOT of confusion about the whole thing.  It seems that a lot of people are connecting Google reader with the "follow" button and there is really no connection.  Let me try to clarify...
NOTE: I've only ever played in Blogger - I have NO idea what happens if you use Wordpress or Typepad and you press the follow button on somebody else's blog...but everything about Google Reader, Feedly or bloglovin' can work for you.
NOTE 2: A few of you get emails from blogs.  Personally, I read so many blogs I couldn't keep up that way.  That's not part of ANY of this!

Believe it or not, I've left out a ton of details already, BUT there is an even shorter summary towards the bottom that you can skip to if you don't want any details!!!

The characters:

The "Follow" button - (officially called "Google Friend Connect") - when you click on somebody's "follow" button, it puts their blog into your blogger feed.

Blogger - besides writing your own blog posts, you can use blogger to read the blogs that you have "followed" and it also gives you the ability to cut-and-paste blogs in that don't have the follow button.  You can read all of your favorite blogs in blogger...but it is JUST a list...nothing fancy!

Google Reader - completely unrelated to the "Follow" button and Blogger.  It's only a front-end.  It's a way to read blogs you love and it has more features than using Blogger.  You can put blogs into folders, you can tag them and save them, and you can just scroll through instead of clicking and looking at each one.

Feedly and bloglovin - two alternatives to Google Reader


The plot so far...
  • That announcement did NOT mention the death of the Follow button.  
  • Just an FYI to cover my rear! Even though Google didn't announce the death of the Follow button there have been rumors back to 2011 that it was going away.  Google even officially announced that it would die in March of 2012 - but it's still around!!  Who knows what will happen in the future?
  • Blogger definitely still exists and there has been NO mention of taking away the ability to read blogs in it.
What this means for you...
  • It you "follow" blogs and read them in Blogger - you shouldn't be affected at all!!  Don't worry about Feedly's or bloglovin's or anything else that we are all talking about!! 
  • If you are a Google Reader fan - then you just need a new front end.  At this point, that is the ONLY thing that is changing!  
  • The two biggest replacements being mentioned in our cardmaking world are Feedly and bloglovin'.  I chose Feedly because it has an iPad app.  I wrote up a a tutorial on Feedly.  Bloglovin' looks good too - see more details below.


The plot so far..
  • There has been a lot of concern that people won't be able to read your blog when Google Reader dies.  But...remember...Google Reader is ONLY a front-end.
  • Readers can still "follow" you. You will not lose your followers!!!  (But please note my CYA above just in case in goes away in the future!)
  • Readers can still read you in Blogger
  • Readers who switch from Google Reader to an alternative - can still read you.
  • Technically, you don't have to do a darn thing for people to still read you.
So why all of the bloglovin' talk?

First - it is really important for me to remind you of something that I said in my Feedly post - I suggested you all check out bloglovin' also - it looks very attractive.  It just doesn't work for me because they do not have an iPad app and I do 90% of my work on my iPad.
  • Bloglovin' is a front end - it replaces Google Reader
  • Bloglovin' has their own personal "follow" button - pretty cool!
    • IF you put their button on your site and IF your reader reads in bloglovin', it's just a simple way for them to add you.
    • IF you put their button on your site and your reader doesn't use bloglovin' - it doesn't help anything.


The current "Follow" button adds blogs to blogger (if you have it) - handy dandy
          This HAS NOT changed
                  You WILL NOT lose followers.

The Bloglovin' button adds blogs to bloglovin' (if you have it) - handy dandy

If you read in blogger - click on the follow button
If you are going to read in bloglovin - click on the bloglovin button

Personally, I don't read in blogger or bloglovin' - so I don't use any of those buttons.

I used to read in Google Reader and will start reading in Feedly.  If I like your blog, I copy its address and I add it to Feedly, it saves it and I read it!  Easy peasy!!


I have loved, used and promoted an iPad app called Feeddler Pro.  There are also hundreds of others like it.  They are all front-ends to the Google Reader front-end!  They just make Google Reader look or act a little differently.  They CANNOT function without Google Reader.  They are all scrambling right now.

Even Feedly and bloglovin' won't be able to function. researching Feedly, they have been working for quite some time to add the functionality they used to get from Google Reader.  I've not researched bloglovin' to know where they are in the curve.  Fingers crossed on both of them that they will be ready on July 1st.

My guess is that it is still clear as mud!!  But I love getting your question - and I will continue to answer and research anything that you want to know!

Google Reader Graphic-001

TAWS Sneak Peeks: Tag-Alongs

It's sneak peek week at The Alley Way Stamps!  Three fun sets and a mini freebie (with purchase) are being released on April 1.

Today's sneak is for a set called Tag-Alongs.  It has an amazing variety of stamps including fun chevron borders and polka dots and an owl and much, much more.  I decided to play along with Merry Monday's tic-tac-toe challenge and do a one-layer, red, Santa card!

Ho Ho Ho

He has a little extra fun on his hat...

Ho Ho Ho closeup
Here's the Merry Monday tic-tac-toe...

Be sure to come back on Saturday for a blog hop by all of the design team showing you each of the new sets!!  And head over to The Alley Way Stamps blog right now and leave a comment because all the comments posted today will go into a random drawing and one of you will win the new April set - Tag-Alongs!!!!  You can have up to 2 entries....

  1. One for leaving a comment on the Tag-Along post on the TAWS blog
  2. One for sharing on Facebook
Comment close at 9:30 p.m. MST.

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Tag-Alongs (available on April 1st)
  • Paper: white
  • Ink: Memento black and Copics
  • Accessories: misc red button, Divine Twine Cherry, Picket Fence Stickles

Monday, March 25, 2013

Avery Elle Monthly Challenge

The challenge this month at Avery Elle is a wonderful misty ocean photo.  It reminds me so much of some of our favorite vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  One of the best was for my husband's "big" birthday - we had a gorgeous house right on the beach and had all of his family together.  My sons brought friends so they were 100% occupied and I just got to recline on the beach and relax.  It's the same kind of beach as is in the inspiration photo - it's not bright, colorful and sunny.  It's misty and wonderfully relaxing!  I thought I would prepare ahead for our next anniversary and make a "love you" card that is reminiscent of that beach!

Always Will Love You

  • Stamps: Avery Elle Ikat, Lots of Love
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze, Sahara Sand
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Marina Mist, Baja Breeze, Sahara Sand
  • Accessories: Timeless Twine Krazy for Kraft, SU star brad

Sunday, March 24, 2013

PTI: Birthday Wishes to You

The current challenge at A Passion for Papertrey is to use negative die cuts.

If I EVER again think about doing a negative die cut with a word die - that has lots of little extra pieces that have to be glued back in - just shoot me...or maybe just take away my Cuttlebug!!

Birthday wishes to you

Sorry for the shadowy gray look to this picture - I can never get a nice white card but keep enough shadow on it to show off the embossing - particularly when it very subtle like the Papertrey impression plates.

I wanted the entire focus on the sentiment - so I used the nice simple sketch at Seize the Birthday.

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Wonderful Words Birthday
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Simply Chartreuse, Hibiscus Burst, Summer Sunrise, Orange Zest
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Simply Chartreuse
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Wonderful Words Birthday die, Beautiful Blooms II #3 die, Hibiscut Burst button, Martha Stewart Fine Crystal Glitter, Trendy Twine Tickled Pink

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 5: Online Class Pattern Play

Yesterday was the fifth and last day of the Online Card Class: Pattern Play.  The topic was paper manipulation and it was FUN!!!

I chose to do paper quilting.  You might think this is one piece of pattern paper, but it is actually strips of all of my favorites woven together.

Paper Quilted Thanks

It's such a fun look and it was really easy!

And...I am flying high's a bonus day at the Pattern Play class and they are showcasing 15 more cards from the teachers and 9 cards from the students.  My card is one of the nine!!!  It's an absolute statement of the quality of these classes and instructors because you truly did not see much patterned paper on my cards prior to this class!

I am playing along with Catered Crop: Flower Power and with CAS-ual Fridays: No Stamps!

  • Stamps: None
  • Paper: Pebbles Family Ties, Papertrey Summer Sunrise and Vintage Cream CS, Stampin' Up Old Olive, Night of Navy CS
  • Ink: None
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug "thanks" embossing, Sizzix Flower Daisies #2 die, Spellbinders leaves die, Papertrey Spring Rain button

WPlus9: Inspired by Easter Cookies

This week's mood board at WPlus9 includes two sweet little Easter cookies and a lot of white space!!!

I had so much fun earlier this week creating a card with a small little scene in the corner (see it here) that I used the same idea for this card!

Easter Greetings
I kept the colors with a little kraft added in for the cookie!  If I had the time to remake this card, I would do a better job with the ink color on the sentiment and I would move it over closer to the egg - but hopefully no one else stresses over these little details!!
  • Stamps: WPlus9 Easter Greetings, Love Birds (the branches)
  • Paper: Papertrey Trey Lemon
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pear Pizazz, Pretty in Pink, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: WPlus9 Folk Art Florals die, Timeless Twine Krazy for Kraft. misc pearls

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 4: Online Class Pattern Play

This is my second post today!!

Yesterday in the Pattern Play class, we learned many, many ways to alter patterned paper.  I thoroughly enjoyed their ideas and tips, but I found myself thinking that I don't even do well with the basic paper, let alone altering it and making it even fancier!!  So I didn't make anything yesterday but when I woke up this morning and looked out my window at an incredibly dreary and drizzly day - I had an idea!!

Praying for You

The technique on this was to score your patterned paper and then to sand at the scores to give it a little extra pattern.  

That's all I have to say on this - because today's online videos went up half an hour ago and I am ready to play!!

I used the sketch from Pals Paper Arts.  It's a great sketch for playing with patterned paper!!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Scattered Showers
  • Paper: Pebbles Seen and Noted
  • Ink: Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: Scalloped border punch, misc gems

BE Re-Inspired with TAWS

The current challenge at The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS) is this fabulous clean and simple, blue and green, stripe and square piece!!

I started playing with punched squares in different patterns.  Then the ocean in the maps at the top led me to the Sea Mates, then the map colors led me to give him a "turtley awesome" colorful shell!

Turtley Awesome edged

Turtle Close-Up

I've been taking a patterned paper class from Online Cards Classes and one of the techniques is to run a gray Copic around the edge of your paper to make them stand out.  I used to edge my paper all the time. I even posted about it years ago here.  But I used to do it by rubbing the edges along a black ink pad.  This had a couple of flaws (1) I couldn't easily do curved edges and (2) if I touched an edge before the ink dried I got inky fingers and 99 times out of 100, I'd get the smudge on my card!  I love this so simple idea of running a gray marker along the edge - so simple and a big impact.  (She recommended T1 or T3, but did use a T5 in a later video on a darker paper.

I did my card first without edging - you can see it side by side by looking at the unedged close-up vs. the card picture.  The card comes to life - it adds a shadow to each layer.  Here's the whole uninked card if you want to see it looking flatter.

Turtley Awesome
I hope you play along with the challenge.  If you don't have any stamps by TAWS, never fear - there are free digital stamps!!
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Sea Mates
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Turquoise, Pool and Pear
  • Ink: Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: Ranger Glossy Accents, Martha Stewart Crystal Fine Glitter

Thursday, March 21, 2013

CAS(E) this Sketch with a Pocket

This week's sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch has a pocket!  Of course, you don't have to be constrained by the pocket - but I don't think that I have ever included a pocket on a card - so I went for it!!

Park Bench Birthday

Besides, the paper that I used - Park Bench by Fancy Pants - is currently my favorite!  So when I found it, I also had to get the Tape Strips, Decorative Bags and Flair Button.  Thank goodness for this challenge or I couldn't have justified any of it!!??

I have absolutely no idea what to put on the tag.  It will all show through.  I should have thought this through a little more carefully.

Here's this week's sketch - I hope you play along!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Tag-Its #10 ("birthday")
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Very Vanilla and Island Indigo
  • Ink: black
  • Accessories: Fancy Pants Tape Strips, Decorative Bags and Flair Button, Papertrey Ink Bookmark Die (trimmed down), Stampin' Up Island Indigo twine

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 3: Online Class Pattern Play

This is my second post today.

It is the third day of the Pattern Play class at Online Card Classes.  Today the incredible designers took bold prints and made them work!!  There were multiple tips and ideas - but I was particularly taken with the simple idea of cutting the pattern into strips - it seems to "cut-up" the pattern enough that it works on a card.

You Made My Day dsp

How quick and easy is this?!

When Kristina was showing this technique, she also advised that we keep the embellishments, image and sentiments to a minimum - let the paper shine!  I love this bold sentiment and I just added a simple button.    She also studied her paper carefully to pick out the perfect part of it for her card.  You can bet I measured and worked very hard to make sure that little heart showed up on a strip!

One of the other techniques today was to use a bold paper as an embellishment.  The bold patterns on the 6x6 pads are perfect for little pennants - and that's how I have been using them already.  However, it would take a dozen lifetimes to use up all my patterned papers by just cutting little pennants, so I went with the "bigger" technique today.
I pulled this paper from a pad that I just picked up at Michaels.  It's a fun pad that has shaped borders right on the page - it made this card REALLY easy!!  It's the Chickadee Stack by Die Cuts With a View (DCWV).
You Made My Day Paper Pix
  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Sea Mates
  • Paper: DCWV Chickadee Stack
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso
  • Accessories: misc button and white twine

Fab Friday Colors and a little iPad fun!

{For a tutorial on Feedly - a replacement for Google Reader - read this post}

This card is still one of those I made last week with the-friend-who-has-more-than-I-do. Fab Friday has a color challenge that includes Sahara Sand.  In their write-up, they specifically mentioned that some people may not have Sahara Sand - which I interpreted to mean that maybe it wasn't a fave color.  I arrived at my friend's house with no idea what I was going to make, but the rest of the group was in a discussion as to whether any one ever used Sahara Sand.  Obviously, I had to give it a try!

I really had no idea Sahara Sand was so low on everybody's list.  The team at Fab Friday must like it because they also included it in their second ever challenge and that color combo is one of my all-time faves - here's my card for it.

Do you like Sahara Sand?

The real problem for me in this color combo was Calypso Coral.  That's my least favorite color!!

So, I solved all of these problems by just including a dash of each color!!

Oh Happy Day

The sketch is from an old sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch!

As I think that I have mentioned this once or twice - I love my iPad and I use it regularly for crafting (or at least organizing my crafting).  One of the things that I do is provide direct links to archives of my favorite challenges.  I create my links, then place them all in one folder on my iPad - I'm never short of inspiration.  Here's how you do it.
  1. Find out if your favorite challenge has an archive.  For CAS(E) this Sketch - it is here.  It's just a page that shows all past sketches.
  2. Bring that page up in Safari on your iPad or iPhone.
  3. Click on that little box with the arrow coming out of it (the sharing button)
  4. Choose the option to "Add to Home Screen"
  5. It will prompt you for a name for this icon, just type in the challenge name.
You now have an icon that, with one click, brings you immediately to all of the sketches!!

I check out my favorite challenges, created icons for all of them that I could, then added them to a folder called "Inspiration".  It's my favorite folder on my iPad!!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Bloomin' Marvelous (a sale-a-bration set), That's the Ticket
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Lucky Limeade
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Lucky Limeade, Sahara Sand, Calypso Coral, Pink Pirouette
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Ticket Punch, Pink Pirouette button, white twine 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 2: Online Class Pattern Play

This is my second post today.

{For a tutorial on Feedly - a replacement for Google Reader - read this post}

Today's class at Online Card Classes included a number of fun techniques to do with patterned paper.  The first technique involved emboss resist on patterned paper and was truly lovely.  I played a little bit with it but could not come up with anything that fit my more clean style.  I'm going keep playing with it and sometime in the near future - I'll get something to work!  The second technique was stamping stripes of color on patterned paper to highlight a die cut sentiment - really fun!  I played a little bit with this but after wasting a few sheets of patterned paper with a bad color choice or a bad stamped image - I decided to take a deep breath and try again later.

My personal lesson for the day - even with fabulous designers giving tons of tips and techniques - it still takes practice!!

So I retreated to the third technique - paper piecing with patterned paper.

I am fairly proud of myself - because my card has five different patterns - that's definitely a record for me!

I also kept in mind many of the techniques that we learned on Day 1 - in this case, separating patterns with a "blah" pattern.  Consequently, I think my card looks more like a Day 1 card than any of the techniques today!!

Wonderful Day

I like these classes almost more for all of the side techniques.  This card includes some edging using a T1 and T3 Copic marker.  It is pop-dotted.  And I used twine again!!  I also added that little raspberry dot by the sentiment.  I didn't use the technique that we learned today - but just watching somebody create their own embellies really opened my eyes to the idea of making something instead of spending way too much time digging through my stash looking for the perfect match.  (I know - the little dot is really nothing special - it looks like a colored gem - just let me be proud of myself anyway!!)
  • Stamps: Simon Says Stamp Like Your Style (flower), Papertrey Ink Flower Fusion 1 (sentiment)
  • Paper: MME The Sweetest Thing Lavender
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow
  • Accessories: Glossy accents and glitter, twine

Seize the Birthday for a Little One

{For a tutorial on Feedly - a replacement for Google Reader - read this post}

It's masculine week at Seize the Birthday.  I was playing at a friend's house who had this darling Stampin' Up whale set.  It's not a set that I need in my collection (as much as I may want it) - so I had to use it and decided to make a birthday card for a 1-year old.

Blowing Wishes

In fairness I have to tell you that the sweet little bow on the tail and that strip of wave paper was inspired by my friend, but she doesn't put her Stampin' Up cards on her blog so I can't show you her fabulous card!

This is this week's sketch at Seize the Birthday.

An update: A few weeks ago I told you about my son's tryout with the Drum Corps.  He didn't get in.  He's crushed but not totally surprised.  Music wasn't the problem - it was the physical fitness side.  He's not the most active kid and this was a last minute opportunity, so he knew that he wasn't totally prepared. But he was sure he could push through this audition "camp" and then have months to get ready for the real thing.  It didn't work that way.  Mostly in the arms. He's normally a sax player (arms down) but switched to baritone for this camp (arms up).  At some point during the 7 1/2 hours of drills on Saturday, his arms just wouldn't go up anymore!!!
  • Stamps: Oh, Whale!, sentiment from Wishes Your Way
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Sunshine & Sprinkles dsp, Marina Mist, Real Red
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Marina Mist, Real Red
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up white twine, Happy Whale Clearlits die (the whale and the anchor), Daffodil ribbon, Fiskars punch clouds, Quickutz texture die*, misc red button
*The Quickutz texture die is not the current embossing folders.  I cannot remember what they called them, but early on they had 2x2 metal embossing dies.  I haven't seen them in years so I do now know if they are out there.  I am enjoying them all over again because they are perfect for small punches or die cuts!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Intro to Feedly - a blog reader

ETA: I have received lots of questions on the whole situation and I ended up writing this post with some basic definitions that hopefully clarify things.

After shaking off my shock at the demise of Google Reader - I started looking around for an alternative and have found a fantastic option.  If you loved Google Reader or even if you've never used a blog reader - perhaps you read your blogs in Blogger Dashboard or you have had them emailed - you should keep reading!!

There are three very important reasons to have a reader of some sort:
  1. It will find any new blog posts - you don't have to go to each of your blogs to check!
  2. It allows you to categorize your blogs and your posts
  3. It allows you to save and file posts that you want to keep

Just a couple of details:
  • Many of the other blog readers out there may not be called Google Reader, but they are based on Google Reader.  They are only a front-end - they do not have the functionality of tracking blogs.  I currently used Feeddler Pro on my iPad.  It is ONLY a front end - so unless they do some major modifications, it will cease to work on July 1.  They have tweeted that they will not go away - but no details yet.  That does concern me - I have read that it is a significant job to add all of the Google Reader functionality and I find it hard to believe they will meet the 7/1 deadline.
  • Personally I have two criterion - I want it on my desk top and I want it to sync with my iPad.  This did rule out one that many card bloggers seem to be excited about - bloglovin.  So far they don't have iPad so I didn't explore them at all.  Their desktop seems very attractive and they have already added instructions for those coming from Google Reader.

My choice  is Feedly (and frankly it probably beats my long-time fave Feeddler Pro).

Currently, Feedly is also only a front-end, but well before Google announced the death of Reader, they had been working on their own functionality.  They shot to #1 on the iPad app sellers with 500,000 new users in 48 hours because they are calmly and confidently on top of it!  (Cut them a little slack in the first few weeks - that's a lot of volume all at once!)

If you are a current Google Reader user - you can import all of your blogs into Feedly now 
and they will be captured by Feedly before Reader goes away.

Here are my tips and hints on Feedly.

USE WITH PINTEREST                                                
Feedly currently has lots of sharing options but they don't yet have Pinterest.  Run here to their Suggestions forum and vote on adding Pinterest!!


Just go to and download!  BUT - they only support Firefox and Google Chrome, not Internet Explorer (IE).  I have to tell you that I hung on to IE for a long time while my kids hounded me to move on.  They finally wore me down, I installed Google Chrome, and now I'll never go back to IE.  Chrome is faster and cleaner!
 When you log in, it brings in all of your Google Reader blogs.  
Isn't it pretty??!! 

OR - if you don't use Google Reader - just start adding blogs!! 
Just click the "+Add Website" button on the left column.
You can paste the URL there or search by a person.  You can also search by a subject using a hash tag.  Try #stamping - LOTS of good results! 

If you want to add a category, you click on "Organize" just below your name.  You then just drag a blog to the new category section and it's added!!
I like to keep my blogs organized by such things as Challenges and Companies and Friends.
      Specific blogs within categories
If you have added categories - you will see this on the left panel.  Just click on the arrow next to the category and it will "open up" to show you all the blogs.  Click on the blog to view.  It sorts out very nicely by date.
If you know what tags you want, you can them in the Preferences section.  Just type them in with commas in between.
You can also add new tags while you are reading.  It's at the top of the post - just click on "+tag".  All the tags you have already added will be listed - just select it if you want it - or there is a "Create Tag" to add a new one.
Then at any time, the tags are listed in the left column - click and you can see anything you tagged.
 I have tags for such things as "Must CASE" or "Read Later".  You could also tag by such things as holidays, occasions, etc.


There are multiple options for viewing.  There's everything from just a list of titles to a "card" view!!  Besides the list view, all the others are very photo-based so it's a great way to scroll through your card blogs.
To change them all - go to Preferences and look for "default view".  I like "card" view but I'm sure I am just biased by the name!! 
ADVANCED: You can also change the view by each category or blog by clicking on the gear icon when you are in that category or blog.
I like reading by category but you could also click on "All" which really isn't "all" - rather it's "all unread".  
When I first click on the category - I have all the pictures in front of me.  You can scroll up and down just to see the summaries of all of the loveliness that awaits you!
Reading One Post at a Time 
If you want to just look at a few selected posts, just click on the post.  You can save it (the pennant icon), tag it or many other sharing options - or just read it!  When you are done click on the "x" to shut it down.  Feedly knows you are done and won't show you the post again. 
If the rest of the posts don't interest you, Feedly doesn't know that!  You have to click on the checkmark at the top of the page that will tell Feedly  you've "read" them all.  Feedly won't show you those posts again.  (There are some things you can mess with in Preferences about marking things as unread - but they scare me - I want to choose that they are unread.)
Reading All Posts 
I don't tend to read just certain posts - there might be more cards and info than just that first picture and I don't want to miss anything.
To read/glance through everything, click on the first post to big it.  You could still read one post at time by using the "x" to close it and then click on the next post.  OR - use the magic "j" key.  Just typing "j" moves you to the next post!!  (And "k" moves you backwards!) 
ADVANCED: I was having some problems when I was using "j". I got done and some of the blogs still showed up like I hadn't read them.  It turns out that I was clicking through too fast - there is a time delay.  In Preferences, toward the bottom there is an Auto-'Mark As Read' On Selection.   Change it to -1 and it will know that you have read it just as soon as you selected it.
Saving, Tagging 
If you want to tag the post, just click on "+tag" toward the top center.  Select a tag or create a new one.  Then anytime that you want to view tagged, items just click on them from the list on the left.
If you add a tag, that post is technically "saved" as it will always bring up that post when you select the tag.  But sometimes, I just want to save it because I want to do something with it later.  Just click on the pennant icon at the top.  (It's like starring it in Google Reader.)  Then you can retrieve it later from the left sidebar by clicking on Saved. 
There is an option at the top of the post to keep it unread.  I don't like using it, because if you just happen to scroll by again without meaning to - it becomes unread and lost!  I'd rather save it and make the decision later to unsave it.
Commenting or Pinning
Click on the title of the post and it will open in your browser so you can comment or pin.
Saving an Image
Right click and save!
      Looking at Older Posts
If there are no new posts and you click on the blog in the left sidebar - it shows you everything from new to old. 
Also in the gear icon is something you can click to toggle between looking at unread and all.  I leave it at "unread" but sometimes I know there was something on a blog that I want to find - I unclick "unread only" and then I can see everything.


(There are also iPhone and Android and Kindle apps - I haven't looked at them.)

Since Feedly currently syncs through Google Reader - the iPad and desktop stay in sync!!

Unfortunately, there are some shortcomings in the iPad version.  There are things that it doesn't have but it typically makes up for it in how easy it is to use.  It still works for me - I love to view on the iPad which it does very well. The things that it doesn't do well are things that I would have done on the desktop anyway.  (The only major problem is tagging which is detailed below.)

Just go to app store and download!  Right now, it's free.  It would surprise me though if they don't start charging when it turns to Feedly Pro and has Google Reader functionality!
 When you log in, it brings in all of your Google Reader blogs.  
It's even prettier!  Here's the menu screen.

 Here's what it looks like when you are reading.

If you don't use Google Reader - just start adding blogs!!
Just click the search icon (the magnifying glass) in the upper right corner.
You can paste the URL there or search by a person.  You can also search by a subject using a hash tag.  Try #stamping - LOTS of good results! 


Very sadly, you cannot currently add categories on the iPad.  They do come over from Google Reader or the desktop Feedly but you can't add them or rearrange them on the iPad.  So you have pop over to the desktop, set up your organization structure and then come back to the iPad.
Honestly, this works for me.  I LOVE reading on my iPad, I don't like typing on my iPad.  If I am going to do any major rearranging or typing, I'm going to do it on my desktop anyway.
I like to keep my blogs organized by such things as Challenges and Companies and Friends.
      Specific blogs within categories
If you have added categories - you will see this on the left panel.  Just click on the arrow next to the category and it will "open up" to show you all the blogs.  Click on the blog to view. Another little iPad flaw - the desktop sorts nicely in reverse date order - the iPad seems random.
Very, very, VERY sadly - you not only can't add tags on the iPad, you can't even view them.  This is the most substantial problem that I have found in all of Feedly.  I like tagging - and if I can't do it on my iPad, it becomes extremely cumbersome - I have to save it (see later), then go to my desktop, and tag it.  This is already in Feedly's error forum as a high priority item, although they are the first to admit that their priorities were changed slightly with the loss of Google Reader.
I have tags for such things as "Must CASE" or "Read Later".  You could also tag by such things as holidays, occasions, etc.


There are multiple options for viewing.  There's everything from just a list of titles to a "card" view!!  Besides the list view, all the others are very photo-based so it's a great way to scroll through your card blogs.  (The list view isn't currently working on the iPad but I figure cardmakers like to see photos so no big deal.)
The desktop has a default view - the iPad doesn't, but it's still simple.  Just pop into the category (your categories or "today" or "latest") or blog by clicking on the gear icon when you are in that category or blog.  I just set them all once the first day.
This is where the iPad shines. 
I like reading by category but you could also click on "All" which really isn't "all" rather it's "all unread".  
When I first click on the category - I have all the summary pictures in front of me. If you want, you can swipe up and down to see all of summaries of blog posts.  (It's such a visual reader, that it just feels good to swipe up and down and get a preview of all the loveliness that you are about to see!)  ADVANCED - you can change this from an up and down swipe to a side swipe or a scroll in Advanced Settings.
Reading One Post at a Time 
With the easy swipe function of an iPad - you really don't have to read one post at a time.  It's so easy to swipe through everything - see the next section!
Reading All Posts 
Tap on the first post to make it big.  Read it, then just swipe from right to left to bring over the next post - SO easy!! 
As you are swiping, Feedly is marking them as read so they won't show up again. 
Saving, Tagging 
Bummer - no tags yet. (But it's a high-priority fix for Feedly!)
But you can save a post.  Just click on the pennant icon at the top.  (It's like starring it in Google Reader.)  Then you can retrieve it later from the left sidebar by clicking on Saved. 
There is an unread button (tape on the sharing icon (rectangle with arrow out)) then tap on the open circle - it keeps it unread.  I don't like using it, because if you just happen to scroll by again without meaning to - it becomes unread and lost! 
Commenting or Pinning
When you are in a blog post, click on the clock-looking icon in the upper right and the post will open in Safari.  You can comment and pin from there.
 Saving an Image
Tap and hold with one finger and you will get the save menu.  FYI - a short tap bigs it if you just want to see it better.
       Looking at Older Posts
If there are no new posts and you click on the blog in the left sidebar - it shows you everything from new to old. 
Also in the gear icon is something you can click to toggle between looking at unread and all.  I leave it at "unread" but sometimes I know there was something on a blog that I want to find - I unclick "unread only" and then I can see everything.
I have noticed that the iPad doesn't always sort based on time when you do this.  It's not totally off but you'll get a brand new post, then a post from a week ago, then yesterday's, etc.  But since you can look at a lot of posts at once, it's easy to scroll through until you find what you want.
      Other Strange iPad Issues
Sometimes Feedly doesn't seem to update on iPad
If you ever bring up Feedly and nothing has changed - you need to shut it down all the way.  When you open it again, it will be updated. (This seems to be an intermittent problem - it doesn't happen often.)  
Did you know that multiple apps can run at the same time on your iPad?  Apps stay "open" even when you aren't in them.  Swipe up on your iPad screen with all four fingers to see all open apps.  Push and hold on one of them until the apps start "dancing".  Then close them by tapping on the "x".  (If you didn't know any of this and you think your iPad is slow - shut them all down.  It will help!
Sometimes There is Strange Formatting
If you are reading this post on Feedly on an iPad - you'll know what I mean!!!  To indent on blogger, I use the quote mark icon which on any other reader just indents.  But Feedly on the iPad shows a big quote mark.  I don't know why - it just does.  If you find a strange formatting issue, just click through to the website and it will look fin! 

Linky lists do not show up in Feedly - but they didn't in Google Reader or Feeddler Pro either. A number of my favorite challenges are showing their winners in a Linky list.  You do have to open them to the internet to be able to see the linky list.
I don't believe Feedly has the functionality to search within all of your blogs.  Google Reader has it and I used it once in awhile.  For example, if I remembered that someone had used a specific stamp set but I couldn't remember who or when, Google Reader had the functionality. 
Feedly is promising weekly updates to get themselves ready to totally take over for Google Reader.  Right now, their stated priorities are #1 keeping the site up and #2 listening and adding features.  This is good - but may also mean that my document is out-of-date each week.   
Have fun with it!!  Please comment with any questions or further comments.