Thursday, February 20, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Top Lenses From Our Gardening Club

Posted: 20 Feb 2014 08:03 AM PST

gardeningclublogoLast month our Gardening Club was busy creating new lenses about plants they love.  I’ve got to tell you that after the winter we’ve been having in my area, reading these lenses was like a breath of spring time.

Today, we’re happy to share the top lenses, as they were voted on by the Club members.

You can see all of last month’s lenses by visiting HERE.  Or visit the quest lens to learn this month’s topic  HERE.

Not a member yet?  Would you like to join the Gardening Club?  That information can be found HERE.

And without any further “HERE’s”…  Here’s the top lenses.  (Oops, that was another HERE wasn’t it?)

Have a look at the lens that got the most votes from our club members.   It’s also posted as today’s Lens of the Day.

Flowering Forsythia Bushes: The First Blooms Of Spring

 Flowering Forsythia Bushes: The First Blooms Of Spring

Every spring, Forsythia bushes explode in brilliant bursts of yellow flowers, blasting through the muted tones of the typical northern winter landscape. A flowering shrub that is hardy and easy to grow, forsythias are one of the first plants to bloom in sp…

And here’s 7 of the runners up lenses.

How to Grow Irises Like a Pro

1. How to Grow Irises Like a Pro

Irises are a timeless perennial flower that most of us probably picked as kids from our Grandmother’s garden. While most people are familiar with purple irises, they do come in a large variety of colors. Once you start growing them they can quickly fi…

How To Grow Crocosmia Lucifer

2. How To Grow Crocosmia Lucifer

Each year I wait with great anticipation for the lovely red flowers of the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. It is my favorite flower for the months of June- July. When all else seems to be wilting in the summer heat, it just goes ahead and blooms with the mo…

Baby Toes Plant Care

3. Baby Toes Plant Care

I have been working on a succulent plant collection since 2007. A couple of years ago I purchased a Baby Toes plant in a 5 inch pot. It has sat on the retaining wall since then in full So. California sun. It is in a plastic pot with well draining soil. Tha…

What Is Red Maple And What Is Not

4. What Is Red Maple And What Is Not

The species of red maple is acer rubrum. And there are literally dozens if not hundreds of cultivars or cultivated varieties. These come with different growth habits and are appropriate to certain climates and growing conditions. It is also called swamp ma…

sedum5. Sedum Autumn Joy Gives Multi Seasonal InterestAre you looking for a low- maintenance, easy- care landscaping plant with multi- seasonal interest? That is a tall order! But, Sedum Autumn Joy ‘Herbstfreude’ is a perennial I trust to grow through the seasons without coaxing or much care from me…

Boojum Tree

6. Boojum Tree

What in the world is a boojum tree? I have a perverse sense of humor. But this really IS one of my favorite plants. Problem is, most of you will probably never succeed in growing one. But regard that as a challenge if you want. It’s the kind of plant…

Jasmine Plants

7. Jasmine Plants

Jasmine is a shrub with about 200 varieties which is mostly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Many of the species are climbers, but there are also those which are strong enough not to be climbers. Most of the jasmine species I have seen have many…

Have you seen our new Gardening-Related Facebook Page, The Green Thumb: A Place For Gardeners To Gather? yet?  Go now.  

Lens of the Day: Flowering Forsythia Bushes: The First Blooms Of Spring

Posted: 20 Feb 2014 05:08 AM PST

Review of the Day: The Elements – A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe

Posted: 20 Feb 2014 04:00 AM PST

Interview with Natalie Slater: Bake and Destroy — Good Food for Bad Vegans

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 11:58 AM PST

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 2.57.12 PMNatalie Slater does something pretty unique with her first cookbook, Bake and Destroy. She combines a punk vibe with some truly unique recipes to create a vegan cookbook that’s a rollicking read. When a cookbook author talks pro wrestling and curling up to watch Pee-Wee’s Playhouse when she describes her food, you know you’re in for a good time. We caught up with this charming Chicagoan and her responses to our questions reflect her writing style: pure fun.

Squidoo Magazines: Let’s Make Cozy a Little Cozier

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 10:06 AM PST

Hi all!

It’s Stephanie, your friendly neighborhood Squidoo Magazines editor.

As you may or may not know, one of our magazines, Cozy, is devoted to all things for the home. And while there’s great content in Cozy, we need more of it, particularly of a certain type. It’s the stuff you like to read — that everyone likes to read — DIY articles. Specifically, practical, fun, beautiful, simple, unusual DIY projects.

People want to know about, see, and contemplate ways they can make their homes stand out, or just feel more homey. So if you can, if you’ve done something cool at your home, take a photo of what you’ve done. Create a lens telling us what you did and why, and point out the products you needed to complete the task.

If you’re getting ready to start a project, take a before shot, so we can do some fun before-and-afters, like Apartment Therapy did for this post on revamping a tired chalkboard wall.

Our Budget Decorator on Cozy, angelatvs, did just that with this lens on painting a dresser, and it turned out wonderfully. When we shared the piece on Facebook, we made sure to show the before and after. As we do more of these, we plan to do more Apartment Therapy-style “teases” where you only see the before on Facebook and have to click through to see the spectacular “after.” The after is lovely:



We’d also love to see even more step-by-step DIY’s like this cool project on Apartment Therapy, showing you how to make your own plywood table. It’s tremendously unique, fun, and do-able. Just check out the finished product:



Our own KateHon has done something similar with her enormously popular lens, 7 Upcycled DIY Ideas to Decorate a Teen or Tween Girls’ Bedroom. In it she describes how to create all the elements for a room she photographed and described beautifully. This lens has been pinned on Pinterest more than 10,000 times, which is just fabulous! The photo below comes from KateHon’s terrific lens:


We also need lenses on easy projects with a big payoff, like this one from Oh Happy Day!, where a beautiful and fun polka dot mural is made with nothing but cut sweet potatoes and acrylic paint.

dot-wall-1 (1)


There’s absolutely nothing complicated about the Oh Happy Day! project, and there’s not even a before and after. However, it’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s explained with the help of plenty of big photos. I could imagine a lens or how-to on a similar project coming together in a snap.

All this said, if you just love adding fun, interesting elements to your home, are a DIYer, or you just can’t stop getting inspired by all those Pinterest projects out there and need to do some yourself, please consider making a Cozy lens. We’d love to fill our online home with even more projects that inspire, delight, amaze, and help make people enjoy their homes even more.


grammieo is the “Weekend Gardener” Contributor on Squidoo

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 09:41 AM PST

mom2Today we’re happy to introduce you to  grammieo. She’s our “Weekend Gardener” Contributor on Squidoo.

Tell us a little bit about your niche topic.
I’m the Weekend Gardener Contributor. It’s very appropriate, because at 60 I just started working full-time and have been relegated to becoming a weekender! We will see how that pans out. I expect I will be spending not only weekends in my garden, but also week nights, until the moon comes up!

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 loved gardening since I was a child. My parent’s always had the most incredible vegetable garden. We got to help with the chores in the garden and I didn’t mind, rather I enjoyed every minute. My sister and I would hunt for ladybugs when we got tired of the “work”, little did we know then, that my father was really pleased about that. More ladybugs in the garden = less pests. It was a win-win situation.

Who had the most influence in your life? Musician, Crafter, Author?
I would have to say crafter, my mother was a designer/dressmaker and as I grew up, I joined her! We had our own business for over 35 years. So when I wasn’t in the garden, I was creating other beautiful things with fabric, beads, sequins and such…

You can also find grammieo by visiting any of the following:
Weekend Gardeners on Squidoo
On Pinterest
GrammieKnows Blogsite

grammieo invites you to stop by and share a review at her Weekend Gardeners/Weekend Warriors

Review of the Day: The Shy Writer Reborn by C. Hope Clark

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 05:34 AM PST

Lens of the Day: Why I Love Digital Scrapbooking

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 05:23 AM PST

Sylvestermouse is the “Cooking for the Holidays” Contributor on Squidoo

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 10:16 AM PST

cooking_for_the_holidays_collage_with_text_600_pxToday we’d like you to meet Sylvestermouse. She’s our I’m the “Cooking for the Holidays” Contributor on Squidoo.

Tell us a little bit about your niche topic.
At first glance, one would think the title “Cooking for the Holidays” would be rather self explanatory. However, there is more to cooking for the holidays then simply pulling out pans and slapping together one meal.

In many homes, mine included, it requires days of cooking, planning, scheduling, shopping, and somehow resting to be prepared for the holidays.

My dream with this niche would be to not only share recipes, but to also share the ways we prepare to serve multiple meals, the time saving tips, as well as the sanity saving tips, that we all need when cooking for the holidays.

There is not greater teacher than experience!

Tell us about the moment you fell in love with your topic. Was it an immediate thing or did it happen over time?
I believe I have always loved cooking for the holidays, mostly because I associate it with family time. My family is spread out across the US and we are rarely altogether at the same time.

About the only time my siblings get time off from work, is during the holidays. Therefore, they try to come home during that time even if just for a brief visit.

My home as become the main “home” meeting place for the holidays, simply because I am the only one of my siblings that still lives close to our parents.

How could I not love Cooking for the Holidays when I am surrounded by the people I love most in this world.

Who had the most influence in your life?
Both my mother and my grandmother share in being the most influential in my life. I thank God every day for the blessing of having these two women in my life.

My mother was my daily instructor, and she still is. Even now, I call her when I need suggestions, reminders or advice.

One of my favorite days of the year, is the day before Thanksgiving. We get together in my kitchen and work side by side until the cooking is done and set aside for Thanksgiving day.

I mentioned my grandmother in the opening statement because I spent a great deal of time with my grandmother when I was growing up. Because she lived out of town, I was allowed to spend weeks at a time with her all by myself. A rarity when you have 5 siblings. She shared those days with me as if I was her only thought, her only concern. We picked vegetables straight from her garden and harvested pecans from her pecan trees, we canned and cooked and loved every minute of it. I had no idea she was teaching me so much about cooking and life by just simply sharing her time and normal activities with me.

You’ll also find Sylvestermouse by visiting:
Cooking for the Holidays
Sylvestermouse on Pinterest
Review This!

Sylvestermouse invites you to stop by and share a review at her Review Cookbooks for the Holidays!

Tuesday Challenge: Review Your Video Games Hardware

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 06:16 AM PST

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 9.10.32 AM

Tim our “”Video Game Rock Star” Contributor has a challenge for you today.

from Tim…

Summary: Show the world your set-up and let us know why you think it’s the killer platform for games!

We’ve kicked off the video games niche with some reviews of Cut Price Video Games, so now it’s time to look at some serious hardware.

Read more on the challenge here:

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