Thursday, 18 April 2013

Thing 22 - It's the final count down...

Right so that's me done on my 23 Things journey, I really did enjoy it, it was a great way to learn about new technologies. However starting with something as hard going as Netvibes could have pushed me over the edge and not want to continue. I have learnt a lot in the process and I will try and keep the blog going once I'm done with my knitting projects - as it is I have a few images still to add.

Ok so my actual first blog is of my kitties Jaffa and Zimba, but my first 23 Things blog post makes me sound a little nervous about the whole thing and worried, but at the same time I had been helping people in my office so I couldn't have been too worried. All I can say is that I gave everything a go and I know I should be  much more ready to accept Twitter especially if I want to be an information professional - but I just couldn't take to it so I might have to go back again at some point and get to grips with it.

I think the best thing has to be Tagxedo I like to be creative but I'm really not all that creative in reality so this was fab. However to put it into context though, I'm not sure when I would use this currently in my job but I like the fact that I now know they're so easy to do. The item I least enjoyed has to be Twitter, it annoyed me straight from the start, but at the same time I know I should get to grips with it so I can be "down" with the kids, and I know in writing that, that makes me so not "down" with the kids...

I would use RSS Feeds for work and I've set it up now that I get certain RSS Feeds into my email account. This is a really helpful way of keeping up to date with a lot of information, and a lot of groups that I subscribe to, such as CILIP, CILIP HIOW branch, and then for non work purposes I have a feed to a recipe blog so each time that is updated I can view the new recipe. See below how it looks once in my email account - this one is great as it comes with pictures in too.

RSS Feed for Vegetarian Food Blog
I'm really proud now that I've completed this, I think because I was part of the team running 23 Things I also feel quite tired and I'm glad it is now over. However the links and guides are still there for me to refer to if I want to learn a bit more.

I think 23 Things would be better starting with an easier item to ease everyone in. Also if the instructions were more generic that would help when working on each "Thing" as well as telling us why we would use it. Some of the instructions went straight into how to use it, but if you've not heard of it before you can't put it into context when using.

However I think it's been a great success for me, and others who I have followed by reading their blogs. We should all give ourselves a pat on the back!!! :)

Get into the driving seat for Google Drive

So Google Drive, I actually wrote the instructions for this "Thing" which before starting 23 Things I hadn't even heard of. I for one really like this tool, I now have it on my smartphone as an app as I like to save recipes and it's so easy to get access to these whilst cooking, and then through my phone I'm able to have my documents available offline - don't ask me how I did this as I'm not totally sure.

Here's an image of my recipe file on Google Drive, a lot of these recipes I've snipped from the Slimming World page on Facebook and then saved them so I can use them when I'm at home!!

However since starting this and being really pleased with it I have read others post where they were stating it wasn't as good and there are as ever other tools out there which can do the same thing. Even after reading other people's comments I will continue to use this as I really like it. I do a monthly budget and to be able to work on that document wherever I am is really handy rather than saving everything onto a memory stick! However I guess I wouldn't put any confidential items on there - so recipes and pictures of my cats it is...

Thing 20 - Slideshare

I wasn't quite sure what this was all about when I started but I did like searching for all sorts of slides/PowerPoint's. I decided to look for something on knitting and found this item on Learning to Knit Which when you click on this link I like the fact that it opens the PowerPoint ready for you to view in large format. Now how cool is that for a start of a PowerPoint.

I can see why you would use this in a training/learning/workplace situation, but I'm not sure whether I would use this for my own personal use.

Thing 16 - Flickr & Thing 17 Creative Commons

I was really looking forward to learning about Flickr as I had heard about it but I didn't know what it was all about. Once I got in there I didn't like the feel of it and straight away that put me off, also the fact that I had to sign up with another username and password put me off!

So I didn't really do much with this, even the enticement of the Flickr competition couldn't get me going on this Thing I'm afraid :(

Also reading what other people had said about the security and copyright of their images was certain and so I thought I wouldn't use it for my personal use.

So Creative Commons, this was really interesting to read and find out more about this. I had heard of the term but I didn't know what this actually meant. So was a really useful Thing to spend time learning about - just so I'm in the know... :)

LibraryThing - is it my Thing??

My line manager had been talking about LibraryThing for a long time and I thought it would be a great thing to do seeing as I'm a cataloguer and I catalogue books. However when it came to LibraryThing in the end I wasn't so sure if I was keen about it and didn't actually look at it properly. I probably wasn't keen because I read a lot of trash fiction and even more recently I've got a Kindle so I tend to download any free book which isn't that high brow at all. So I think LibraryThing will just show up my pretty bad reading preferences.

However I thought I should give it a go to find out how I get on, and now using it I quite like it, I like it even more because some times I forget what I've read of where I've got to with a series and so this would easily tell me what I have actually read. At the moment I rely on my Public Library record telling me what I've read.

I then also tried to see if my books had been read by less than 10 people, sadly the lowest I could get to was 12 - so not bad and that was with a free Kindle book Alice Parker's Metamorphosis (Book 1 of the new adventure series for children).

So here it is my LibraryThing collection... well this is a small listing of things I've read. This was more for playing reasons so now I'll have to start putting on other things I've read - with covers which do not resemble Mills and Boon :)

Thing 13 - So who didn't reflect in reflection week????

Yes that would be me, and so I'm realising late in the day that I should have said something so far!!!! What I can say now is that I was (and still am) enjoying 23 Things, it's tough going on a few items and I think Netvibes nearly killed me off in the beginning but I'm getting there. I was also having to write up some instructions for Google Drive, so I think I spent this time working on those instructions... That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :)

Thing 9 Browsing of Browsers

So browsers, I tend to be such a creature of habit and so in work I come in and use Internet Explorer. However it's quite annoying when using for work as some journal articles do not open in IE, but move over to Google Chrome and viola the article opens and you're on your way again. As ever with these things you think you know it all, but just the simple thing of moving around the tabs at the top of the screen was so useful.

My colleagues blog was really useful to read about Browsers, and I thought the Internet was always slow but it was interesting to read that Azadeh says it's just IE which is slow. So maybe it's time to move on and move over to Google Chrome which in fact I do use at home and I rather like! I haven't had enough time to try out all the instructions but one thing which is stopping me a little from moving over to Google Chrome all the time is importing my favourites so I'm going to have to do that when I have time.

So I have left out Firefox, I'm not sure why but I just don't like it, and I don't like the feel of it when I'm using it. This may sound strange but is is true and so I've spent little time working on it and using it during this Thing!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Do you dare to try my QR Code?

I quite liked trying out the QR Code, the whole of Cataloguing had a go at the same time and if staff didn't have a smart phone they used mine. It was quite easy to learn and use, so with the use of the QR Code and word clouds I can make a smart poster for... hmm maybe my knitting group!!!

I've created a QR Code which you might not be impressed with once you find out what it leads to, but I thought it was amusing :) However the image on the background which I wanted wouldn't work which was quite disappointing. I can see why people use these, they're like a barcode to anywhere in the web I guess! Enjoy and no bad comments on where this will lead you...

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Tagxedo - not easy for me to spell...

This is a fab tool, I took my blog URL and put it into Tagxedo and had a go using that first which was fine, but it brought up words like "really" or "time" which I didn't really want to have in my word cloud, but this is what it looked like. I liked the fact that I could make it into any shape I like and change the colours and font to suit what I wanted it for.

I then decided I wanted to do a cloud which I thought represented who I am, so I put in words into the "Enter Text" box like "Emma, knitting, cycling" and then I played around with the colour and font until I came up with something which represented me. Not sure why I was going with it representing me, but I thought it was a good way to start learning. I then decided to make mine into the shape of an apple, my family laugh at me as one day I came out and said "I love apples" so this seemed to be a really good shape to play with! I like Tagxedo as you only have to put a word in once but it repeats the word many times within the cloud, which if you look at Wordle it doesn't do that. This is what my Emma cloud looks like...
I want to now explore how I make the shape of my cloud into a shape I supply - such as my face - would that work? I'll soon find out and I'll have fun whilst finding out! On another note, I really enjoyed playing with this, but I'm not sure what I would use it for, I can see for work they're probably really good and very eye catching in poster form. I think it might be just something I play with rather than use for work!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Knitting - Jumpers and Bright Wool

I really need to get some picture of my knitting, I've finally finished my friends baby owl jumper - no that isn't a jumper for a baby owl, it's a jumper with owls on for my friends baby!!! Here's what it looks like from the site I got the pattern from

I'm in the process of knitting something which is extremely bright for my friends birthday - and I might have to ask Verna at work for some help as it says to crochet around the edges!! Crochet!!!!!!!!!!! Blimey I just taught myself this morning how to purl into the front and back of the stitch let alone crochet!! I must also take a picture of it before I sew it up as it's a very odd shape and I'm not sure how it'll look in the end! Once completed I will add some pictures here. After that I will be finishing off a very basic blanket also for my friends baby, but I'm off to see her in a couple of weeks and so I want it all finished by then... then maybe time to make myself something...

A Delicious Thing 14

I'm not sure how delicious, Delicious actually was. I think for me I can't understand how I would use this, or why I would use it. However I have always wanted to find out what it was, as I sometimes see it on websites - so at least I can now say I know about it. I'm just not sure I will use it...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Things 10, 11, 12!!!


Well Twitter, yep as I thought I really can't see the point of it. I'm not really that interested in what other people think, but I guess having the BBC News headlines was quite nice. Unfortunately I followed a fave actor of mine only to see that he seems a bit of a loon on Twitter!!! It was really easy to set up and I like that about these things that I can add my picture and change the colour so that it's just "me" in style. However I have trouble keeping up with Facebook which leads me on nicely...


Well I've had a Facebook account for a long time and I tend to fall in and out of love with it. To me Facebook is all about being nosey and seeing what old school friends are up to, finding out where my mum is eating this week (and if my parents are sticking to their diets!!!). I tend to not post much on there but comment on other people's posts. I guess it's sort of stalking, but with permission as I'm friends with the people I'm stalking so all is ok, right?

The problem with Facebook is that I have it as an app on my phone and it seems to come out and is easily accessible when I'm drunk, or even just tipsy - see the picture for instance - yes I really do see that I shouldn't be sharing this as I was quite inebriated and I don't look my best...

So there is the problem with Facebook - it's too easy to make yourself look a fool :) Or rather it's too easy for me to make myself look like a fool!


I really can see the point of Linkedin, I didn't make myself an account as I didn't want to spend time on something which might be rather important if I do look to use it as a way of promoting me. I guess if you were job hunting it would be a good way of saying this is me, this is what I can do and really you should snap me up now, before some other company comes along and wants me! However likely that is, I'm not too sure. I guess one day I might add myself. But at least for now I know it's out there and what it's all about!!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Thing 7-8 - Doodle

Well I really like Doodle, what a nifty little tool which for once doesn't require you to create an account. I think I'm already going to use this to see what nights are best for my Knitting Group, so we can see once and for all when people can come and knit, oh and have a good chat :)

I set up a meeting for a Chocolate Meeting, wouldn't that be really nice? Mmm chocolate - following on from my other chocolate post - the Malteser Bunny really wasn't worth the wait or the 8 syns I saved for it - I'm only allowed 10 syns a day... :) I could have had 4-5 chocolates from the box I have at home!!!!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Right so I was given a chocolate yesterday and for those of you who don't know I'm trying to be good on my diet and so I didn't have it and it's been sat on my keyboard ever since. I'm following Slimming World and so we can only have so many syns per day... If I eat it today (and oh yes it is calling to me) then I can't go home tonight and have my Malteser Bunny or whatever it's called tonight - what a Dilemma...

Oh and this diet is a battle of wills, and so far I'm winning!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Another Baby Blanket

This is the first complicated item I knitted for a friends baby. I was given the pattern and the wool. When I thought it looked like it was going wrong I was told to keep following the pattern. Which seems the best advice as it turned out well it the end. And it was the first time I'd picked up stitches, which I think went well. :-D

Friday, 1 February 2013


On my way to work today I was flagged down by another cyclist. It was pouring with rain and I was slowly making my way to the gym before work! I stopped and it turned out that his pump wasn't working and he had just replace his inner tube. It seemed this inner tube was then faulty, and so he asked if I had time for him to fix his puncture. As I was on the way to the gym I had all the time in the world, but then again thinking on this I would have probably stopped and waited even if it meant being late to work as I'd never leave someone stranded. So he fixed his puncture (in record time it seemed too!!) and we were then both on our way, me to the gym and he had just finished work so was probably going home for a cuppa.

So now, because I've done a good deed will something good happen to me? If you've ever seen the TV series My Name is Earl, after winning some money he decides to right all the wrongs he has done in his life, and he thinks of this as Karma. So will I get home and my husband has made the dinner????? Will I find a £10 note on the street? (although this did happen to me last month I think) so maybe it's reverse Karma, because I've already had that £10 I did something good.

Either way I'm happy in the knowledge that the cyclist got home because I helped. At the end of the day do I believe in Karma? Do I believe just because I've done a good deed something good will happen to me? Not really, but just like playing the lottery some times I just hope that something good will happen...

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Thing 5 & 6 - RSS Feeds

Well that was jolly easy to learn and do - I had always wondered about RSS Feeds and how you got to read them - it was always the "how do I read them" part which I couldn't understand. Now the use of Netvibes seems good because I'm able to link RSS Feeds to that. However you'll also notice if you scroll down enough that I've managed to put an RSS feed onto my blog (it's on the left at the towards the bottom) and this links through to the Sot23 Things Blog. One thing I want to find out now is if I can subscribe to RSS feeds via my smartphone...

Thing 4 - What is Netvibes and do I like it...

Well I've had a go, I've played around and I've set up my Netvibes account. It's a good idea and having what I would term my favourites all in one place seems quite good. However I think after this week I may not look at my page again. As stated I'm happy to open up my favourite tab and have a look at BBC news from there, or go to my Facebook page. I also have tabs at the top of my internet browser wth my favourites on there too. So this just seems another tool too much for me.

However saying that I have seen how the Health Services Library has used Netvibes and that seems really good and is really helpful. So for a work tool I think this could be of real use. As far as a cataloguer right now I'm not sure how I could put this into practice - but it's something to think about.

Right now onto learning about RSS Feeds...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Neville's Birthday

Neville's birthday - each year we celebrate Neville's birthday this is a tradition which started with my line manager who has now retired. In her own words this is how Neville's birthday became so widely celebrated:

"About twenty years ago I was reminiscing at work about my youth and my first job. I told them about Mrs Barter who was in charge of the office I worked in (the Clinic in East Park Terrace which has recently been demolished). She had a son called Neville and she used to say 'On Neville's birthday I can get home in the light'. This was the end of January so pushing it a bit I think. Anyway the next day I walked into the office and there was a lot of giggling going on and on my desk was a cake with Happy Birthday Neville written on it.

So it's a celebration of the lighter evenings dedicated to Neville and we always have cake. It has spread to Aberystwyth, Loughborough, Leicester, Frankfurt and Berlin, and other places probably I don't know about."

So I thought I would show you a picture of the delights we had on offer this year. Sadly I didn't get the picture taken soon enough and a lot had already gone!! They were so tasty though.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

My allotment

So as well as 23 Things, knitting and generally living I've decided I'd take on the allotment I was offered. Well half of what I was offered as it was a huge plot. So today Lee (my husband) and I went to divide it up so that our half was marked out and have a general look at the state of it. There's lots of work needing done but I'm looking forward with planting some fruit trees and seeing what veg I'll be able to grow!!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

First Week of 23 Things!!

So far I've been helping my office get going with their blog - some things I'm quite able to do (like removing their profile from their blog page) whilst I'm unable to give advice on how they hide themselves - although I've noticed another 23 Things participant has managed to hide their name :)

I'm off in a short while to give some feedback to the staff meeting about 23 Things, and I'm worried I'll get a question that I'll not know the answer to. Hopefully though everyone will laugh (well chuckle) when I mention about how well the food went down and it'll all be over within a minute or so!! Sometimes though I do start to waffle...

Introducing my Kitties

I just wanted to introduce you to my kitties - Jaffa is the old boy and ginger and Zimba is coming up for 3. We rehomed both these boys almost 2 years ago from Barbara's Cat Rescue I added the one with Jaffa near the fridge as he's always getting in there to see what he can grab - sadly I've never managed to actually get a picture of this!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

23 Things Launch

We just had our 23 things launch which we're running at the University of Southampton and it went with a bang with a real good vibe going. I think everyone enjoyed the intro to our 23 things and the nibbles we had seemed to go down a treat too!

We just need to keep this momentum going. I took some fab pictures of the launch and I'll post these on our blog tomorrow (I hope) - I've just got to figure out how to get the pictures off my phone, and sadly I'm quite excited at the thought that I can use Google Drive for this. Google Drive is one of the 23 things we're looking at here at the University of Southampton and it's the one I'm writing instructions for, so I guess it's good to actually use it!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Here's one of my first baby blankets I made. It should really have been knitted all in lace, but I unpicked it too many times and I was starting to no longer like the blanket, so I put in the large knitted section in the middle. I loved this in the end :)

Gearing up for 23things round two

It seems that I never really did get round to getting very far with 23things last year. This time however I'm part of a team (well I've only just come on board - after all the hard work has been done!!!) who is running the 23things programme here at the University of Southampton for Library Staff, so I better get with it!

I have continued with the same blog name, even though at that time I was working as a Librarian, but on maternity cover. I'm now back to being a Principal Library Assistant in the Cataloguing Office here, but I'm vain enough to want to keep it as Dowling Knitting Librarian - also I think it sounds kind of cool - but am I too old to worry about being cool???

Right onwards with 23things, and finishing my first item of clothing for my friends new baby!