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My 1880s Silk Quilt

Over the past 40 years, I collected vintage quilts. Most of these were found at antique markets in Maryland and Pennsylvania. I haven’t added to the collection since moving to Florida.

A few months ago, I took one quilt to the Davenport Quilt show for appraisal. I opted for the quickie appraisal, not wishing to spend the $40 for the written one that would have included an estimate of value for the quilt.

The quilt appraisor with my 1880s or 1890s silk quilt.

The quilt appraisor with my 1880s or 1890s silk quilt.

Here’s what I learned about it. The pattern is a star block. It appears to have been made from a grey silk dress as there are tucks in some of the pieces. Due to the iron content used in dyes for silk, those pieces are likely to suffer some disintegration over the years. A few small pieces show this with the silk shredding. The appraiser said there is nothing that can be done to prevent this since the harm was done at the time the fabric was made.

The red parts are not silk, but linen. The backing is a paisley that looks to be of 1880s vintage.

The batting is very thin and it is probable that this was never intended for use on a bed for warmth. More likely it was for show or for a lap robe.

Rather than being quilted, it is a tied quilt with red and green ribbons. The green ones have faded to a yellow over the last 130 years, but in a few places the original color could be detected. With the red and green ribbons plus the poinsettia look of the stars, this might be a Christmas quilt.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in antiques

 

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Don’t Call Me a Spammer

I’m regularly receiving email messages from Hubpages with the gentle caution that one of my pages (called a hub there) might be spammy. I try not to feel insulted. I’m sure the site intends the note to be instructive and to steer me in the right direction as they see it.

Unfortunately, many of the pages that are causing them to turn up their nose are ones that were quite successful on Squidoo. In the past, these received a lot of traffic and yes, quite a few buyers for the Amazon products I featured.

Naturally I’m reluctant to gut a hub by removing all the links to informative pages and to useful products. Hubpages tucks the offensive pages out of sight by making them unfeatured. There they languish until I follow through on their suggestions or remove them to another site where I have more control.

Here’s part of the wording, “It’s possible that your Hub is not Featured because it contains spammy elements. Perhaps it was written for a link, or has too many unrelated or distracting products capsules. Even Hubs that appear to be high quality can be spammy. We recommend that you remove any spammy elements from your Hub.”

I admit that I have a number of hubs on topics relating to my mother’s book. Of course, when someone comes to read about feedsack dresses or having a pet badger, I naturally want to tell them they will find more about that in My Flint Hills Childhood by Gail Lee Martin.

Oops, I just spammed you, at least that’s what Hubpages considers as spam. To me, it’s a huge part of the Internet, providing easy links for readers to find more about a topic.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Hubpages

 

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Embedding Memes on a Blog

I wanted to test this out to see how it turns out.

TEST

//

<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script>// <![CDATA[
(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
// ]]></script>
<div class=”fb-post” data-href=”https://www.facebook.com/AFSCME/photos/a.116013123060.100434.6165653060/10152583307848061/?type=1&#8243; data-width=”466″>
<div class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”><a href=”https://www.facebook.com/AFSCME/photos/a.116013123060.100434.6165653060/10152583307848061/?type=1″>Post</a&gt; by <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/AFSCME”>AFSCME</a&gt;.</div>
</div>

Will the meme from Facebook show up here? It provided an embed code which I’ve plugged in here. Well, the embed code pasted in the text area of the draft just resulted in a link but no meme. The embed code pasted into the visual part of the draft just showed the html.

Finally I just copied the picture and pasted it here. That’s what you see at the top. I’m not sure that will be acceptable to the originators of the meme. They probably want some sort of link back or credit of some sort.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Waiting for the Axe to Fall on Hubpages

Today at noon ended the 4-month grace period on Hubpages for the content transferred over from Squidoo. I’ve checked a few times this afternoon but so far no status changes that I can see.

Already about half of my 595 hubs have been unfeatured for either quality or lack of engagement. Of the remaining topics, I count 46 with red skulls. Early on, I diligently applied myself to updating to clear those away. When the updated hubs went through quality review and appeared with the white dot the next day, I abandoned my self-improvement plan.

Apparently my idea of what improved a hub did not match what Hubpages wanted. I, like other refugees from Squidoo, lost heart and said “why bother?” Now and then in an idle moment, I would try once again but more often than not missed getting rewarded for my efforts.

What will happen today? I expect my 46 red skull hubs to join the unfeatured ones and to be cut off from Google traffic. Since that traffic is almost non-existent, probably no great loss.

For hubs with my family history or Civil War information, I’ll either move the information to my blogs or make one last effort to bring them up to par. Hiding or removing all Amazon, eBay and Zazzle might suffice, though it also removes most chances for any earnings as well.

Hubpages keyboard created using GlassGiant

Hubpages keyboard created using GlassGiant

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in online earnings

 

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Getting Discouraged with Hubpages

Four months ago, my 595 web pages transferred over from Squidoo to Hubpages. Within a few weeks, the site was slapped by a Penguin update with Google suppressing Hubpages in its searches. This resulted in very low traffic for everyone there. Long-time hubbers quickly blamed the Squidoo content for the attack. I think it was just poor timing and not necessarily directed at former Squidoo pages.

Being used to ranking in the top 20 lensmasters on the Squidoo site, I had expectations for doing well on Hubpages too. I figured that after learning the ropes and making required adjustments to my pages, that I’d steadily regain traffic and sales.

Alas, this is not to be. Hubpages only seems to like my stodgiest pages and has hidden about 50% of the ones it considers low quality or lacking in engagement. Many of the low traffic ones are holiday topics, but it will require much work to get those back in service. Given the shunning from Google, hardly any traffic is finding its way to hubs.

It seems lately that any featured hubs with red skulls that I correct the issues, immediately go to unfeatured for quality. When the ones lacking engagement get updated, they do the same. I’m not sure what guidelines the reviewers are using but I’m not on the right track with my fixes.

Enough is enough. It appear from the forum discussions that a batch of old-time hubbers are brandishing flaming torches and vowing to report all sub-standard hubs. They needn’t come around trying to burn down my barn, I seem to be doing a fine job on my own getting my hubs out-of-commission.

On the brighter side, I’m just about finished with the prep work on my first ebook. It contains the content from 5 former lenses, now hubs that I’m deleting. Onward and upward.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Hubpages, Squidoo, webpages, Writing

 

Working Away Writing an eBook

Bad things happening at Bubblews has inspired me to get busy on other projects. I’ve started a second ebook. The first one still languishes unfinished.

Feeling all gung-ho, I’ve transferred the content from 5 of my Hubpages’ articles over to a Microsoft Word document. The last few days, I’ve been formatting and organizing it.

I have someone lined up to give me format editing advice on the layout, font size, sections of the book. Later that same person will copy edit it for grammar and spelling and readability.

I need to get a cover done for it. Maybe I’ll use a Fiverr artist for that or I might contact someone who’s made banners for my Squidoo niche pages.

In the past, I’ve downloaded a number of ebooks on publishing with CreateSpace and Kindle Direct. I need to read those.

I dread that part of submitting the book, but have several friends who’ve been through the process. I can call them if I get stuck.

Wish me luck!

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Self-publishing

 

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Why Bother to Edit Hubs?

The first 3 months after the Squidoo content transferred to Hubpages, I made a valiant effort to adjust the articles to match the new site’s wishes. It bothered me to see red skulls signifying violations and bothered me even more to see the gaping holes from missing elements in my transferred hubs.

It was hard work, taking as much as an hour or even two or three hours per hub. Then the day came when Hubpages lost patience with its new acquisitions and overnight set hundreds of hubs (former lenses) to unfeatured status. “What happened?” we all asked, as we had been promised a grace period of 4 months.

We were told that our pages were spammy and low quality, even ones with high hub scores. I decided to soldier on, but must admit I was losing heart.It’s hard to see much reason to keep editing, as the next day shows many of the revamped hubs are still not acceptable. Here’s a screen shot of my recently changed hubs:

These are my recently edited hubs. The big red X shows the ones that went to Not Featured - Quality the next day.

These are my recently edited hubs. The big red X shows the ones that went to Not Featured – Quality the next day.

 

It seems the few that make it past the editing and remain featured are more personal, family topics. Those are also the ones that are unlikely to earn a penny or even draw much traffic. A couple of sales oriented hubs made it through (Easter baskets and pancake pens). I can’t see that they are any higher in quality than some of the other rejected ones.

It makes me think that the rating process is whimsical at best and probably skewed against former Squidoo content particularly if you have any Amazon capsules in them.

I’ve plunged into creating my own sites, well, only one so far. Also, I’m working on an eBook that will take the content from 5 hubs. As I gain confidence in these new playing fields, more and more of my hubs will disappear from Hubpages. About half of them are hidden right now, so they might as well leave completely and go somewhere that gives them a new lease on life.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Writing

 

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