Friday, August 19, 2011

"To A Butterfly . . ."

  “I've watched you now a full half-hour; Self-poised upon that yellow flower And, little Butterfly! Indeed I know not if you sleep or feed. How motionless! - Not frozen seas more motionless! And then what joy awaits you, when the breeze hath found you out among the trees, and calls you forth again! . . .”  
 A Quote from “To a Butterfly” 
by William Wordsworth (1801) 

There are estimated 28,000 species of butterflies known worldwide. To put that in perspective, if you gave yourself one second per butterfly it would take you nearly 8 hours to mention them all by name. Then again, how fast can you say ‘Celastrina Argiolus Britannia’?

A butterfly's wingspan can range in size from a tiny five mm all the way up to a foot long!

The smallest known butterfly is the Western Pygmy Blue. Its wingspan is between 5-7 millimeters wide. How big is that? Well, a dime (the smallest of the American coins) is 17mm wide. That would mean two, or even three, of these tiny butterflies could sit side by side on it.

How big is the biggest butterfly? Just the body of the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing can have a length of 8 cm (that's 3 inches), but their wingspan can be as big as 31 cm, which equals to an entire foot in length. That is the size of an average dinner plate, or better yet, a woman’s shoe—size 14!

But why are they called butterflies? Are they drawn to butter like horseflies are drawn to horses?

There are several stories circulating. The Anglo-Saxons called them buttorfleoge’, an Old English compound word meaning butter and, you guessed it, fly. This makes sense considering a common butterfly in that country is the brimstone butterfly, which just happens to be yellow--the color of butter.

Now legend has it that witches would turn into winged creatures at night to steal milk and butter. Hmm ... If flying was a gift I possessed, yes, I would definitely use it to steal me some butter!  But then again, perhaps butterflies are attracted to butter considering in some  places they are called ‘milk thieves’ or ‘lickers of milk’.

The butterfly has been the inspiration of poets and writers for centuries.

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

“I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.”  ~Charles Dickens
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson

You can find many inspirational butterfly-themed greeting cards at Greeting Card Universe 
that cover topics from a simple "Thinking of You" to "Congratulations On Your Sobriety".

Greeting Cards Courtesy of: 
BowNRanch, Sandra Rose Designs, JMDykstra Photography, I Love Cuttables, and Karen's Kreations

If you enjoy reading about butterflies, here is more to inspire you:

A Bit of Fun with Colorful Butterflies
“Ever since I can remember, I've been intrigued with the beauty of butterflies…”
Sunshine’s Creative Explorations, Donna Lorello

The Delicate Life of a Butterfly
“So you have a great love for butterflies?”
Sheryl Kasper Card Store, Sheryl Kasper

“I have noticed lots of butterflies lately...”
Dragonfire Graphics, Betsy Bush

“I’ve watched you now a full half-hour...”

Greeting Card Universe & Butterfly Changes
“I started this blog as a way to promote greeting cards...”
Janet Lee Designs, Janet Palaggi

Papillon: The Butterfly Dog
“The big dog in the small body...”
DogBreedz, Peggy Mundell

“The beauty and wonder of Monarch butterflies inspired me...”
It’s a Beautiful World, Catherine Sherman

Good Luck
“A most unusual thing happened this week when I was gardening...”
Painted Cottage, Judith Cheng

“Imagine, Dare, Do!”
Naquiaya’s Cards, Naquaiya

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Macro Photography - Guest Post @ Fotografía del Ecuador

Instead of writing an article on my own blog this week, I was invited to share my learning experiences with macro photography

Here is a little bit about them: 

Joanna: British national, studies in photography, experienced as a Tour Leader all around Latin America, and also has visited and photographed Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand...We are a graphic design, web page and photography company. We have many years of experience in Ecuador and various other countries of the world. We love nature  photography, culture and specially the image as a method of communication. Some of our photographs have had international recognition.

I hope you enjoy following their adventures as much as I have!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Setting Up A Facebook Fan Page

So you’ve finally decided it’s time to open up a Facebook business page. You know it will be good for business, but you have no idea where to start. Well, stop procrastinating—Let’s Go!

(Note: you need to register and have a personal profile set up on Facebook before you can create a page. Make sure you are signed in with your personal profile before you begin the process. Thank you, Norma from Stormy's Unique Creations for this helpful bit of info)

Step 1)

Go to the ‘Create A Page’ on Facebook. How handy is that! The link is right here:

Step 2)

Choose a Category. The Artist, Band, or Public Figure is the easiest one to set up, but take a look at the other options to see what works best for you. Just avoid the ‘Community or Cause’ category. This category does have its place, but this isn’t it. I have mine in the “Local Business or Place/Business Services”. You can edit this once your page is set up.

Step 3)

Upload your profile picture. You can go with a simple photo. Or better yet, this is a great spot to advertise yourself and your business. Use a longer image to get the banner look.  (UPDATE: This feature is no longer available. Now FB has Cover Photos. You can have writing on them, but not more that 20% of the area.)

Step 4)

Get fans and fill in your info. You can skip step 2 for now, it won’t hurt anything. If you don’t quite know what to say about yourself in step three, just be brief. You can always go back and change this once your page is set up. 

Step 5)

You’re all set up! First thing to do is become your very own fan. Click the “like” button—or not—It’s up to you. See that wasn’t so hard! 

Now you can click the “Edit Page” button in the upper right hand corner of your page. Before you do anything else, open up the ‘Manage Permissions’ tab to the left of the screen. Find ‘Default Landing Tab’ and choose the page you want new fans to see when they first discover your page. Generally this will be either your wall or your info page. Once you’re comfortable running your page you can set up a Welcome tab for people to land on, but that’s for later.

Take your time to explore all the options and customize your page the way you want it. All that’s left to do is build your fan base. Once you reach 25 fans you can get a personalized user name instead of having all those pesky numbers following your URL.  

You’ll be able to change your URL from this:

To this:  (shameless promotion here! Click on the link and come be my 'fan'!! )

When you get to this point, choose your username carefully. It cannot be changed.

If you found this tutorial helpful and have taken the plunge and set up a business page, feel free to leave a comment on this post with a link to your new page so that others can become your fan.

NOTE: When you become a fan of someone’s page, use both your personal profile and your business page if you have one. ‘Liking’ with your personal profile gives the page owner a new fan (numbers seen on the left of the screen).  And ‘liking’ with your business page is a benefit to both of you because it gives other fans a link back to your page as well. It’s win/win!

Now time to go and delete the new page 
I just set up to create this tutorial! LOL

For helpful tips on harnessing the power of Facebook to promote your business, read my guest blog post from the GCU Community Blog by Corrie Kuipers:  Harnessing the Power of Facebook