Friday, January 31, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ


Review These Groovy 60′s Books

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 05:42 AM PST

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 8.41.02 AMHere is a list of the top books of the 60′s. It would be great if you would review some of these. There are children’s books, plays, a bit of nonfiction and lots of superb fiction books here. Just click on the purple button and away you go. I’ve read most of these books and plan to return soon and reread them.

LisaAuch is the “Pattern Queen” Contributor on Squidoo

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 05:42 AM PST

lisaauch_tartanToday we’re proud to introduce you to LisaAuch. She’s our “Pattern Queen” Contributor on Squidoo.

Tell us a little bit about your niche topic.

I am in Pattern Heaven. Finding good quality patterns online may appear to be easy, but as a crafter there is nothing more frustrating than searching for a pattern, finding one, buying the materials and supplies, starting your project and finding out the pattern is wrong, difficult to follow, missing important instructions.  There is a huge difference to your finished projects using a poor quality pattern and a fantastic pattern.

I not only find fabulous patterns but I also make and even produce my own patterns.  I love helping people out who are stuck on a pattern, and see this as a challenge. Often at nighttime I end up in conversation with someone who is struggling to understand a pattern, and I end up guiding them through it. I have made some wonderful connections online through my love of crochet and patterns.  I also love deciphering old and vintage patterns partly because I had the basic understanding of pattern construction as when I was younger I attended College, and studied for my Higher National Diploma in Fashion and Textiles.

There were not the kind of opportunities available today, unfortunately real life took over, and I was taken down a very different route, so my passion for textiles and Design went on hold.

Tell us about the moment you fell in love with your topic. Was it an immediate thing or did it happen over time?
My first love is crochet, which evolved from me trying to knit to help pass the time, whilst my big brother was in the ICU unit, and I spent days and hours by his bedside willing him to get better. But the click of the needles were driving him mad, but I love yarn and making things with yarn, so crochet, seemed the next obvious, My husband describes me as Harry Potter with his magic wand, as it is like wiggling a stick and winding yarn around it, and magically turning it into something amazing.  Once I had I learned the basics of crochet, and then I learned how to read patterns, and I have never looked back.

I recently moved home and found all my pattern course work from all these years ago, complete with all my work drawings and designs. I was so excited. I have spent hours pouring over it. I feel as though I have that passion reignited for textiles that I had so many years ago.  There is nothing new about patterns and crochet has been around for many years, so I love the vintage with a modern twist. Bringing together the generations.

And landing the role of Pattern Queen Contributor. It is like its all fallen in to place.  There are so many Independent Designers out there, sharing their fabulous work ideas and inspiration online, I just love finding them and sharing their work.

Who had the most influence in your life?
I lost my mum and Dad at an early age, but they taught me to work hard, and treat people as I expect to be treated. Be helpful and kind and try your best.

I do have a fellow Squidoo lensmaster to thank for initially introducing me to crochet though and that is Wednesday_Elf, who sent my daughter a beautiful crochet penguin. I think that was the first time my interest registered with crocheting, but Elf has become a very good friend of mine, and although I am first to admit I may not be the best writer or speller in the world, my ‘editor’ Elf has helped and supported me all the way.

You’ll also find LisaAuch at the following sites:
LisaAuch Online
Free Crochet Patterns & Designs on Facebook
Free Crochet Patterns and Designs

LisaAuch invites you to stop by and share a review at her, Review Your Favourite Baby Afghan Crochet Patterns & Books .

Review of the Day: Strawz: Construct Your Own Drinking Straw Kit- Blue

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 05:00 AM PST

Lens of the Day: Easy Upcycled DIY Ideas for Fun Kids’ Bedrooms

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 04:57 AM PST

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ


Introducing susan369

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 09:20 AM PST

This is susan369, new to Squidoo and already busy, busy, busy! Enjoy our interview as you learn more about her, her lenses, and her plans for the future on Squidoo.

How did you find Squidoo? In late 2013 I decided to look into the possibility of trying to make a living online as I struggled to find a regular job that I could fit around school hours. I quickly discovered affiliate marketing as a viable option. During my research, I kept bumping into blogs and discussions where people were talking about how they made money on Squidoo and how it helped them promote their own internet businesses at the same time. I decided to check it out and signed up in early January 2014. Now, a few weeks later, I’m totally addicted!

You’ve written some good reviews already, a nifty how-to, and even a very personal and very informative lens about a medical condition your family has dealt with. Anything new coming up on your lensmaking list? I’ve got so many ideas I had to start a list just to remember them all. Without giving away specifics, I plan to publish lenses about my favourite beach in Cornwall, my exercise bike, my favourite author, some internet related topics, songs from my favourite TV show, photography, my camera, some toys and craft projects and the list goes on and on. It’s quite an eclectic collection and it will keep me busy for a long time! I’d also like to submit at least one lens a week as part of my RocketSquid challenge.

What can Squidoo do for you? This is something I’m still trying to figure out. Although Squidoo is a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoy writing my own lenses and reading some of the others (and getting all those points to level up!), I must keep in mind that my main goal is to be able to make at least a part-time living from creating content for the Internet.

I’m working on two niche websites at the moment: one is a review/recommendation site about toys and other children’s stuff and the other is built around digital scrapbooking, which is a great passion of mine. Most of my lenses on Squidoo will be about topics that don’t fit the profile of my websites, but I also plan to write about topics occasionally that tie in with my websites, hoping to drive more traffic there. At the same time, I plan to list my Squidoo lenses on my websites as well, so it works both ways!

I also recognise the importance of utilising social networking sites. I recently shared one of my lenses on Facebook and I was amazed at the difference it made to my lens rank. My next challenge is to try and build a following on other social networking platforms like Pinterest and Google+. I was glad to see that Squidoo has just opened a Google+ account, so perhaps it can help me with that too!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time to read, rate and comment on my lenses so far. Squidoo really is a friendly and welcoming community and I look forward to being an active member.

What’s For Breakfast Squidoo?

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 06:28 AM PST

Our new weekly What’s Cooking at Squidoo Quest produced a multitude of delicious breakfast recipe lenses this past week.

In case you didn’t know, Squidoo is home to many of the very best homemade recipes you’ll find anywhere, online or off, and because of that we’ve been actively promoting foodie favorite lenses at some of the hottest social media sites around.

We invite you to stop by and join the fun at Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.

And now, just in time to go with your morning coffee, we’d like to show off some of the great breakfast recipe lenses we received last week. Enjoy!

Mushroom Quiche-Mini Pies for Breakfast

1. Mushroom Quiche-Mini Pies for Breakfast

I love mini foods because they give you the opportunity to taste so many different bites of goodness. These Mushroom Quiche Mini Pies fit right into that category. The buttery filling combined with the flaky pie crust make these some of the tastiest breakf…

Crustless Spinach Quiche

2. Crustless Spinach Quiche

If eggs sound good for breakfast or brunch, I usually pull out this recipe. It’s been a favorite for years, handwritten (remember that? ) on a rather worn piece of paper. It’s very quick, looks very pretty and tastes delicious! Of course, anythin…

Florentine Strata: A Great Breakfast Dish

3. Florentine Strata: A Great Breakfast Dish

This is a super delicious breakfast recipe to make some Florentine Strata. My mom is a phenomenal cook and actually came across this recipe when looking for some new ideas for what to make everyone for breakfast. Sometimes she finds some really weird recip…

Raisin toast with ricotta & berries

4. Raisin toast with ricotta & berries

Raisin toast with ricotta & berries This is a wonderful to start the day, Just the thing for all these busy mornings , the whole family will love it! Nutrition Energy 460kJ Fat saturated 1. 00g Fat Total 3. 00g Carbohydrate sugars 6. 00g Carbohydra…

Matcha Pancakes with White Chocolate Sauce

5. Matcha Pancakes with White Chocolate Sauce

Matcha Pancakes drizzed with white chocolate? You bet! My earliest memories of pancakes was when I was around nine. After insistent nagging on my part, my mother let me tag along with her to a local greasy diner where she ordered us a plate of hot and fluf…

Spicy Sausage Pancake Balls Recipe

6. Spicy Sausage Pancake Balls Recipe

Looking for a fun meal that everyone will love? These Sausage Pancake Balls are a huge hit in my house, they definitely fill up the masses! They have about 5 minutes of prep time and you can leave them in the fridge, they reheat just fine. The recipe makes…

Best Kind of Breakfast is My Drinkable Beetroot Smoothie

7. Best Kind of Breakfast is My Drinkable Beetroot Smoothie

They say that the most important meal of the day is the one you have first thing in the morning, and there is no doubt that you need to be consuming something that gives you the feeling of being full until lunch- time at least, and provides you with the vi…

Egg Salad Breakfast Sandwiches

8. Egg Salad Breakfast Sandwiches

Egg Salad Pita’s, Sandwiches, or Wraps When you think of egg salad I’m sure you think of lunch. Have you ever thought of having it for breakfast? Spread it on your favorite toasted bread, have it as a wrap, or stuff it into a pita. Make up the eg…

How To Make The  All In One Breakfast Holy Eggs

9. How To Make The All In One Breakfast Holy Eggs

I remember growing up as a child my mother would make this quick and simple breakfast, she said it was the easiest way to get us kids out the door in time for the school bus and still eat the most important meal of the day. Most people have toast with thei…

Curried Eggs and Bacon on Naan Bread

10. Curried Eggs and Bacon on Naan Bread

Curried eggs for breakfast? Sound strange? It probably does to many people reading this but a curried dish for breakfast is nothing new, even in the West. Kedgeree – the curried egg and rice dish – was very much created as a breakfast offering centuries ag…

Fluffy, cheesy, whole wheat biscuits

11. Fluffy, cheesy, whole wheat biscuits

These cheesy, fluffy whole wheat biscuits are tender and moist. Bake on the weekend and on weekday mornings, re- heat in the toaster oven while your coffee brews. They are practically a meal in your hand. Or slide a couple into a baggie, grab an apple or o…

Check your “Quests” tab. This week we’re looking for YOUR dessert recipes.

BearTale is the “Recycler” Contributor on Squidoo

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 05:58 AM PST

logo1Today we’d love for you to get to know BearTale. She’s our “Recycler” Contributor on Squidoo.

Tell us a little bit about your niche topic.
Reducing, Reusing and Recycling aren’t just about reducing waste and the amount of garbage that is sent to landfills each year. Practicing the three Rs has many other benefits. Being aware of what we use and how we use it conserves natural resources, lengthens the useful life of the items we purchase and saves money. It’s a journey that helps the environment and our personal finances.

Tell us about the moment you fell in love with your topic. Was it an immediate thing or did it happen over time?
My parents grew up during the Great Depression era of the 1930s and they ran a frugal household. They didn’t believe in waste and they spent their money wisely. I grew up in Seattle, a city at the forefront of the Recycling Movement of the 1970s. In my teen years, companies all over town placed “tree boxes” in office areas to collect waste paper and neighborhoods began curbside recycling.

Who had the most influence in your life?
I’ve always been the independent type and I look to a variety of sources for inspiration and motivation. In my writing life, it has been the editors I’ve worked with at book publishers and newspapers that have had the most impact. They taught me the importance and the craft of responsible journalism and ethical storytelling.

You can also find BearTale by visiting the following sites:
The Recycler Network on Facebook
The Recycler Network on Pinterest

BearTale invites you to stop by her Amazon Curation list and Review Your Favorite Composting System.

Review of the Day: You know nothing Jon Snow!

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 05:32 AM PST

Lens of the Day: How to calm down an energetic dog such as an Australian Shepherd

Posted: 30 Jan 2014 04:54 AM PST

22 Decorating Ideas: Move Just One Thing To Give A Room Some New Wow Appeal

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 10:33 AM PST

A recent squidquest asked lensmasters to share their home decorating skill by moving one thing in a room to make a big change.  All of the following lenses contain awesome ideas and a visit to each one just might help you find a new way to spiff up a room at your house.  Browse the list and before you go, tell us which one you’ll be visiting first.

DIY Painting A Dresser to Give It A Fresh New Look

1. DIY Painting A Dresser to Give It A Fresh New Look

For the past month, I have been on a journey with my two daughters to give each of the bedrooms a makeover. They are both teenagers and it was definitely time to get rid of the Disney Princess lamp and the Pepto Bismal pink paint on the wall. However, the…

How a Shadow Box Table Can Add Pizazz to your Living Room

2. How a Shadow Box Table Can Add Pizazz to your Living Room

My daughter loves to decorate her house and she comes up with very unusual things to make her home more interesting. One of my favorites is the shadow box coffee table that she added to her living room as the main focus of the theme for that room. Her tabl…

How Do You Turn A Spare Bedroom Full Of Junk Into A Profit

3. How Do You Turn A Spare Bedroom Full Of Junk Into A Profit

Now granted not everyone can live with people that they don’t know, but sometimes especially in today’s economy there’s not a lot of choices. My husband and I moved a year ago from a small 900 square foot home with two bedrooms, we decided t…

ottoman

4. The ‘Internationally Flavoured’ Pallet Ottoman

I searched and searched for the perfect ottoman or bench for in front of the fire, but could find nothing that suited, so I just decided to make something myself, because I knew it would be just what we needed, and it was! I know you are probably all sick…

A Room For A Princess

5. A Room For A Princess

My spare room is rather blah. OK, so blah is an understatement, it nears monastery starkness but nobody cares. The usual occupants are family members itching to feel the Florida warmth before returning to Chicago’s deep freeze. There is a bed, a dress…

Wall Decor: Some Simple Ideas

6. Wall Decor: Some Simple Ideas

We moved into a home with a beautiful finished basement. At the time we didn’t have the furnishings for both the basement and the living room upstairs, so we had some decisions to make. We decided to furnish our new basement with the furniture that we…

A Book Lover's Guide To The Best, Totally Free Way To Make Over Just About Any Room

7. A Book Lover’s Guide To The Best, Totally Free Way To Make Over Just About Any Room

I have a lot of books. Not as many as some, perhaps, but enough to double- stack four bookshelves and still have to hide boxes (and boxes) of books under my bed. For those who share this blessing- slash- affliction, you know that books can take up quite a…

Multipurpose Tea Trolley for Sewing Table

8. Multipurpose Tea Trolley for Sewing Table

Sometimes furniture just lends itself to multi- purposing, and this was one such occasion. A friend gave us a tea trolley at about the same time as I was thinking of making a bespoke sewing table. Instantly I saw the potential of the tea trolley becoming a…

Bright Veranda - cheap room makeover

9. Bright Veranda – cheap room makeover

With a little creativity and paint you can turn your veranda into a warm area, where you can enjoy with your family and friends. When my sister- in- law and brother bought their apartment, it was not in a good shape. Fortunately my brother is handy, so the…

Easy, agreeable furniture for kids, teens and adults like me!

10. Easy, agreeable furniture for kids, teens and adults like me!

Recently I went through some storage to discover possessions belonging to my 17- year- old self. This was an adventure of diaries, stuffed animals and books, but one article stood apart: in the bottom of a box sloppily labeled ‘Gina’s Stuff…

The New Couch

11. The New Couch

A couple of years ago, we scrounged a couch from one of our sons. We wanted to replace one in the living room that is badly worn. But we hadn’t gotten around to it, because it would be a major undertaking just to get the two couches moved. This is the…

Decorate Your BBQ Area

12. Decorate Your BBQ Area

For us, barbecuing is something we do every week. We live in northern Brazil and for us, every day is nice weather. Most of our meals are eaten outside and it is this area which I would like to discuss with you today. Changing the decor this area doesn…

Desktop Storage with Washi Tape Accents

13. Desktop Storage with Washi Tape Accents

Fairly recently I was displaced. I used to have an entire room that was my craft room and my office. Then son #2 was born, and my craft room turned into his bedroom. The only place for my office to move to was into my bedroom. It was the only room with any…

How to give your bedroom a modern makeover

14. How to give your bedroom a modern makeover

I gave my daughter’s bedroom a contemporary makeover simply by moving furniture, changing the color theme and redoing the old furniture set. Just by changing the color theme, you too can give a room a modern look. Her choice of color was grey and blac…

Step by Step Lamp Repair

15. Step by Step Lamp Repair

Building or repairing a lamp for your home is not hard to do. The principles are easy and all you need is a screw driver, wire clipper and some sense on putting a parts puzzle together. Measuring, a vision, and where to buy lamp parts helps the process mov…

Angle the Couch, Gain an Office

16. Angle the Couch, Gain an Office

If you’ve ever downsized, you know It takes some adjustment to ‘fit’ into your new, smaller space. When I moved from southern California to Oregon I was actually looking forward to it. Even though a smaller home was the goal in an effort to…

Showcasing My Spice Tin Collection

17. Showcasing My Spice Tin Collection

Over the years, I collected decorative tins, particularly from the Tindeco Company of Baltimore, Maryland. At some point, I branched off into collecting spice tins. It wasn’t just any spice, it had to be ginger. The reason for that is my nickname is G…

How Zig Zag Corner Shelves Brightened My Living Room

18. How Zig Zag Corner Shelves Brightened My Living Room

For a while my husband had been saying that we should replace my dark CD towers in the corner of the living room with ‘something’ different. Since I didn’t really mind the two towers from Ikea I wasn’t rushing about looking for alternat…

Cheap chic: Brighten a drab hallway in 30 minutes

19. Cheap chic: Brighten a drab hallway in 30 minutes

In the ‘before’ pictures coming up, you will see how drab and unwelcoming our entryway was before I stumbled across a piece of art paper that inspired me to give it a mini facelift. It was a few days after New Years. I was passing time in my favo…

Adding a Bit of Shabby Chic to the Bitty Craft Space

20. Adding a Bit of Shabby Chic to the Bitty Craft Space

It was a writing challenge to ‘move one thing’ that motivated me to finally get the old spice rack that I had painted in distressed ivory mounted and off the floor. not onto the wall, but onto a walled- up door. The craft space and day bed togeth…

Making Rearrangements - My Reading Nook

21. Making Rearrangements – My Reading Nook

Where do you do the majority of your reading? Do you have a special place you like to go? When we renovated our small cottage last summer I knew I would need a little bit of space inside where I could lose myself for a few hours enjoying one of my favorite…

Create a Cozy Book Nook

22. Create a Cozy Book Nook

I have always loved curling up with a good book in the comfortable little nooks in bookstores and libraries. Despite the hours I spend reading at home every day, I have never really had a cozy space designed for just that purpose. Though it had been starin…

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ


tim-bader-982 is the “Video Game Rockstar” Contributor on Squidoo

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 06:56 AM PST

tim2Today we’re happy to introduce you to tim-bader-982. He’s our “Video Game Rockstar” Contributor on Squidoo.

Tell us a little bit about your niche topic.
Everyone needs something to help them relax and unwind after a stressful day at work (or school). For me, video games are what hit the mark and 9 times out of 10, I will choose to play a game rather than watch a movie or read a book. – Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.  Games are good for capturing my focus and allowing me to escape into a fantasy world, but still exercise my mind while I’m having fun.  Video games were once the territory of a few nerds/geeks and while I will admit to being a bit of a geek, games have moved on.  I think it’s time that they became more mainstream and I hope to help make that happen on Squidoo.

Tell us about the moment you fell in love with your topic. Was it an immediate thing or did it happen over time?
I don’t know if there was a specific time but I have loved video games ever since I started playing them, which was when I was about 10.  This was on my first computer – a Sinclair ZX Spectrum – and I’ve kept going ever since.

Who had the most influence in your life?
Lots of people, but the top spots go to: Jesus, my wife, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King.

You’ll also find tim-bader-982 at the following sites:
Timbo on Tech
Timbo On And On

tim-bader-982 invites you to stop by and share a review at his Review Cut Price Video Games.

10 Really Cool Craft Storage Solution Reviews

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 05:29 AM PST

4bf0e68b1128a7949a9f81b1ee24c42dI’m Marie (kinworm), The "I Sweat Glitter" Contributor on Squidoo. I asked you to review your favorite craft storage and I’ve been really impressed with the submissions. You got me reading about all the different ways in which you use some really cool and clever solutions to keep your items clean, organized and all in one place and ready to use.

Crafters are always on the hunt for different ways to store their spreading stash, so I’ve updated my list to now include 50 popular products. I definitely welcome more submissions and am personally visiting all of the product reviews where people are leaving the link for me in the comments section right here: 50 Cool Craft Storage Solutions to Review.

Enjoy my pick of these 10 great reviews shared here today. And, if you’re up for a real test of your crafting abilities, drop by on the Craft From Your Heart Challenge where we can’t wait to see what you can create.

You can also find me on Facebook at Crafty Marie.

Cross Stitch Floss Organizer Storage Box

1. Cross Stitch Floss Organizer Storage Box

A storage organizer box for cross stitch floss is must! I have a lot of floss that I use for my cross stitch projects and I’d be totally lost if I didn’t keep them organized. When I first started out cross stitching twenty five years ago I got a…

Craft Storage Containers with Handles

2. Craft Storage Containers with Handles

Easy Organizer Solutions Using Snapware Snap ‘N Stack Storage Containers If you are a big craft person like I am, you know that part of the problem with crafters is storage. Finding solutions for all my storage needs has been a challenge, but thankful…

10 Drawer Rolling Storage Cart

3. 10 Drawer Rolling Storage Cart

This 10- drawer storage cart is the same one I use to store all my sewing and quilting supplies. The unit measures 12- 1/16 inches wide by 14- 1/4 inches deep by 42- 1/4 inches high. The drawers measure 9- 3/4 inches wide by 12- /3/4 inches long by 3 inche…

Paper Storage At Last!

4. Paper Storage At Last!

As an architect, a theater scenic designer, and a collage artist I desperately needed to store papers safely, neatly, and, if possible. cheaply. If you do scrapbooking, collage, small design projects, or any other art involving smaller pieces of paper You…

Organizing jewelry findings and beads

5. Organizing jewelry findings and beads

Jewelry making is an addictive hobby, and as it can be an expensive hobby too, beads and findings need to stay organized and easy to find. There are lots of little odds and ends that you can’t just toss out- those odds and ends add up. Its necessary t…

DROOLery beading & Tool storage

6. DROOLery beading & Tool storage

I came across this in Joann’s crafts, and started to DROOL! This would be GREAT to bring to family gatherings and let those who want me to make something for them to choose what beads and accents they’d like. PLUS there’s room the tools. If…

Excellent if unforeseen use for the Honey-Can-Do CRT-01683 12 Drawer Chrome Studio Organizer Cart

7. Excellent if unforeseen use for the Honey-Can-Do CRT-01683 12 Drawer Chrome Studio Organizer Cart

When I first saw this cart on display at the local D. I. Y. supermarket, I was drawn to it, but almost certainly not for using it for the purpose it was originally intended to serve. You see, I have a 1500 ft square allotment, on which I have a whole serie…

Cricut Cartridge Binder -Compact Storage For Your Cricut Cartridges

8. Cricut Cartridge Binder -Compact Storage For Your Cricut Cartridges

I am a huge fan of the Cricut cutting system. And of course a big fan of the cutting cartridges. But I was getting a storage problem in my craft room with the piles of cartridges that I was getting. My cartridges were taking up a whole shelf in my craft ro…

Fantastic Storage for Small Parts

9. Fantastic Storage for Small Parts

This Super Satchel has got to be one of the best organizers for people who deal with little bits and pieces. I myself have two of them, one for my hobbies and the other one I use to organize my earrings. But we are not talking about jewelry here, so I…

Crop in Style Rolling Scrapbook Tote

10. Crop in Style Rolling Scrapbook Tote

I was an avid scrapbooker many years ago. I enjoyed creating scrapbook layouts and albums for my kids and would scrap well into the night. Then life got in the way of my hobby and my interest waned, so I stopped scrapbooking altogether. While I can’t…

Lens of the Day: Thyroid Cancer – What To Expect When You’ve Been Diagnosed

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 05:06 AM PST

Review of the Day: Diet for a New America: Animals, the Environment, Human Health, and the Vegan Diet

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 05:00 AM PST

How To Make Boring Subjects Fascinating

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 03:28 PM PST

8170948596_071bc2400cSometimes it can feel like everything that’s exciting has already been written about and even worse, it’s been written about well, by fantastic writers whose abilities far exceed our own.

Often our “niche” or subject can seem downright boring – if this is happening to you it can be terribly difficult to enjoy writing and the quality of your content can easily become just as boring as your “niche” is.

If you are struggling to find excitement in your writing or are starting to think that maybe you’ve chosen a “boring” topic, I have some advice that can help you get back into the groove and on the road to interesting, engaging content, no matter what your subject.

 

1. Ask provocative questions

The first and most important technique for creating exciting content from boring topics is to ask the right questions. There’s no subject in the world that doesn’t have unusual, thought-provoking or challenging questions hidden inside. Examine your topic from multiple perspectives to help you find the interesting questions  you can ask. What would you want to know if you were from another country? What about another planet? Let your imagination run wild when thinking of the unanswered questions your topic brings up.

When you take an average, ordinary topic and extract a deeper, complex or abstract concept to spark discussion, your readers will be impressed, engaged and interested. Have you ever read a book that you weren’t expecting to enjoy? It’s highly likely that the writer drew you in and engaged you with quality writing and interesting questions that allowed you to see past a subject that didn’t grab you right away.

You can do the same thing when creating lenses! Another benefit to asking interesting questions is you will make it easier for readers looking for answers to find your lens.

2. Draw exciting comparisons

Even the most mundane events can be compared to other, more dramatic ones. You can spice up a dull moment in your writing by drawing comparisons to relevant events, people or ideas that have more punch and power. Show your reader the similarities between one thing and another to broaden their perspective and engage their mind. You can find these parallels by contemplating your topic before or after you write, looking for obvious and subtle metaphors that spark your creativity.

An ant farm can be compared to miniaturized industrial agriculture, knitting to membrane architecture, photography seen as hardware memory storage – there are infinite interesting parallels that can be drawn to make your writing more multi-dimensional, interesting and engaging. When you’re making comparisons be sure to weave in your own thoughts and ideas to enrich and strengthen the connections between the subjects, the audience and you as the writer.

3. Call for backup

Do you ever find yourself holding your tongue because you belive that someone else has already said it better? Don’t let that hold you back or inhibit your creative process. Instead, weave the ideas and insights of other writers, thinkers and thought leaders into your work. Add short videos expanding on complex topics to your lens, quotes that illustrate your points or reinforce key ideas. You can even try reaching out to people you know in real life for interviews, quotes and more! Leverage the power of collaboration and citation to enhance and prop up your content in the places you feel yourself lacking in wisdom. Your readers will appreciate your curatorial touch and perceive your content as enlightening and informative.

What do you think? What makes content interesting to you?

Photo Credit: sara marlowe via Compfight cc

The_Micro_Farm_Project is the “Green Thumb” Contributor on Squidoo

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 02:13 PM PST

arizonan_gothic_large_sqTonight we proudly introduce you to The_Micro_Farm_Project. She’s our “Green Thumb” Contributor on Squidoo.

Tell us a little bit about your niche topic.
What is the definition of a “green thumb?” For some, it means the natural talent to grow healthy plants. But for me, it means a learned skill, acquired by study and practice. I believe that anyone can grow their own food and gorgeous landscapes…they just need a little know-how! A wealth of knowledge is available on Squidoo about growing all kinds of plants in almost any climate. It is my hope that as gardening enthusiasts, we can pool our knowledge to benefit both seasoned and brand new gardeners, alike.

Tell us about the moment you fell in love with your topic. Was it an immediate thing or did it happen over time?
I have always admired gardeners and dreamed of being one. But sadly, for many years I considered myself to have a black thumb. On a whim, I applied for a scholarship to attend the Master Gardener program at my county extension office. As luck would have it, I received a full scholarship and excitedly began my studies, immediately digging a garden in my backyard. Information collided with experience, and I began to have great success at growing vegetables and ornamental plants. Success led to a passion for gardening. As a former elementary school educator, I also love to teach. I currently combine my skills and passions to teach gardening classes to growers in Phoenix, AZ.

Who had the most influence in your life?
I was influenced early on by my Opa, my paternal grandfather. A product of the Great Depression, he did not depend on the grocery store, but grew a great portion of his own food. A frugal man, he gardened using natural methods, such as making his own compost, rather than buying commercial fertilizers and pesticides. I loved wandering his garden, eating fresh peas and raspberries during the summer. During the winter, we enjoyed my Oma’s jams, pickles and other preserved foods. I wish that I had asked him questions and learned from him while he was alive. Long after he passed away, I took my family to see his house. Sadly, the garden was gone. But the neighbor happened to be outside, so we stopped to reminisce. When I mentioned how sad it was to see that the garden had been converted to a lawn, she broke into smile and told us that she was always jealous of my grandfather’s tomato plants. Although he was generous in sharing t hem, and also explained to her how he grew them, she had never been able to duplicate his success in her own garden. If I can become half the gardener that he was, I will consider myself fortunate.

You’ll also find The_Micro_Farm_Project at:
The Micro Farm Project
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3 Squidoo Magazines Now on Google+ !

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 10:52 AM PST

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 1.20.53 PMIf you’re not familiar with our Squidoo magazines, here’s a chance to find out a bit more about them, if you’re a Google + user.

GoodVeg, our magazine for all things vegetarian, vegan (or just a bit more meat-free for omnivores looking to get more veggies into their diets) can be found here — GoodVeg on Google +.

If crafts — from knitting to crocheting to sewing to decoupage to paper crafting to kids’ crafts (time to take big deep breath after saying all that) — are your thing, then head on over to our magazine for all kinds of crafts – So Crafty on Google +.

And if you just LOVE finding new ways to make your home look and feel better, all without spending a TON of money or having to learn a whole new trade, you might want to give Cozy, our DIY and decor magazine, a try. Cozy is all about sharing real solutions for real homes — not the often-unattainable stuff that serves as inspiration (but isn’t very fun to live in) that you see in glossy magazines. Check out Cozy Magazine on Google +.

Join the circles and help us share all the great work being created on Squidoo! And you can find out more info about our magazines at http://www.squidoo.com/all-about-squidoo-magazines.

And oh — I almost forgot!

If you want to make some great lenses of your own for these magazines, you can always create awesome traditional lenses, or:

For GoodVeg, you might want to use our special recipe format lens (the link to make one follows):

http://www.squidoo.com/workshop/create?format=recipeformat.

Or, for So Crafty or Cozy, try doing a How-To lens using the format linked to below:

http://www.squidoo.com/workshop/create?format=howtoformat.

And, of course, if there’s a product that you just can’t live without, or a book that make your life so much easier when it comes to cooking, crafting, or DIY’ing — please share it with the world! Our product review lens format (http://www.squidoo.com/workshop/create?format=productformat) is a great way to get your opinions out there.