Category Archives: Uncategorized

Patting Myself on the Back

Patting Myself on the Back

I keep a folder labeled “Compliments” in my email files. When I get a message where someone says kind things about me, I save a copy in that folder.

Now and then when I need an ego boost, I browse those messages. Some date back to my time on the Squidoo website. We had some great networking there and I still keep in touch with many of the great people who wrote there.

Kind Words from My Squidoo Pals:

    • Diane Cass – “Virginia is a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for me.”
    • Heather Knight Schulte – “I also agree Virginia needs a trophy (or a crown) for all her helpful advice and encouragement.”
    • Lisa Auch – “For sharing all your wonderful information to making great pages! And for sharing your journey and motivation you give to others! It sure is a pleasure knowing you!”
    • “Virginia, thank you so much for all that you have done and continue to do to promote Squidoo and engender a feeling of community amongst the writers. I also want to personally thank you for all of the encouragement you have given me to stay with Squidoo, the helpful tips that have made my lenses better, and being my biggest fan. The great thing is that you do this for everyone…not just me. Thank you so much.”
    • Wordstock – “You, my friend, are the most helpful and the best cheerleader a person could hope for. Thank you for your help in the past and for, I am sure, the help in the future. Without you, I would still be floundering on the beach. Now I am not afraid to swim in the deep water.”

lensmasters work

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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Squidoo, Uncategorized


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Another Blogger in the Family

Lovers of good food will love the blog:

Source: Another Blogger in the Family

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Posted by on June 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


Taking Spider Web Photos

Taking Spider Web Photos
Orange spider blends in with the dry grasses.

Orange spider blends in with the dry grasses. (Photo by Virginia Allain)

Nature buffs and camera enthusiasts find spiders and their intricate webs fascinating. Photographing them is challenging. Here are some tips to improve your digital photos of spider webs.

 Things You’ll Need:
  • digital camera with close-up mode
  • outdoor area to find spiders
Spider webs with dew on them are more visible in photographs than a plain web. This means getting out early with the digital camera before the sun dries everything out.
spider web

Spider web after a light rain shower. (photo by Virginia Allain)


Use the macro setting (close-up) on your digital camera. Often this setting is represented by a flower icon.


canon camera powershot

Canon SX 20 IS Powershot that I use

Keep your hands very steady or use a tripod for macros. Avoid windy days when slight movements of the web will blur your picture.

Be cautious if the spider is on the web.

Look for plain, uncluttered background to show off the web better. Dirt, mulch, or sky work well as a background. The close-up setting on the digital camera helps by putting the background out of focus.
Take multiple shots from different angles. Try getting the whole web, a section of the web, different sides of the web. Then see what turned out the best.

This photo could benefit from cropping. The grass background is not the best.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fog or a sprinkler or a light shower sometimes creates ideal conditions for photographing webs and can mimic morning dew.
  • Black construction paper held behind a web might work when the background is too cluttered.
  • Avoid disturbing the web when taking your photo.

(Previously published on eHow in 2008 by Virginia Allain)



Posted by on August 11, 2016 in eHow, Photography, photos, Uncategorized


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Solivita Scenes – Central Florida

I’m trying out a site called Polyvore where you create collections. For my first “set,” I’ve combined a vintage map that the site had with some Zazzle products I created with my photos of Solivita, a Florida retirement community.

Solivita Scenes - Central Florida


Map wall art

Office accessory

Throw pillow

Framed wall art

Solivita Mug

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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Embedding Memes on a Blog

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


As you can see from the mess below, it didn’t work right posting the embed code.


<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); = id; js.src = “//″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
// ]]></script>
<div class=”fb-post” data-href=”; data-width=”466″>
<div class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”><a href=”″>Post</a&gt; by <a href=””>AFSCME</a&gt;.</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


2013 in review – How Popular Was My Blog?

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2013. A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized


My First Locked Lens

If you haven’t experienced a locked lens yet, you are probably curious about what you can and cannot do with it. Here are the messages I see in my first encounter with a locked lens:

Whoops! No publishing allowed. This lens is currently locked for a violation of our Terms of Service, as per the email we sent you. You’re welcome to a) Grab your content and take it elsewhere, if you’d rather not continue with Squidoo or b) Review your content and make edits here in the Workshop to improve the lens. But you won’t be able to Publish the lens live until you can demonstrate that the violation has been addressed. Thanks.

When you click on the various links offered, you get more details. This lens is one I chose not to work on based on its previous performance (low traffic/low earnings). It was commercial and thin in content. If it had been a good earner, I would have attempted to revise it to meet the new standards.

Ball Christmas Ornament (ball-christmas-ornament)

This Squidoo lens was ‘warned’ for 21 days, and is now unpublished and locked from public view.

The lens has demonstrated content and policy violations that are against our Terms of Service. In addition to enforcing our TOS, we reserve the right to unpublish (lock) lenses that have shallow or poorly written content, or for any other reason. Read more detail about our locking decision below, which is the same warning the lens was given prior to this action. More questions? Read this FAQ.

This lens is no longer earning royalties, is not visible to the public and will be deleted entirely in 60 days. Here’s how to export your lens content if you want to save it before it gets deleted.

This might be the standard message, since I don’t think the lens had 21 days of warning. The standard right now is 7 days for a lens in a non-giant account.

The other message offered is pretty much the same one you see when your lens gets a “heads up” with the yellow icon on the lens list.

 Low Quality content 

This lens appears to be too commercial, or otherwise low quality

Our system has flagged this lens for being overly commercial, and for being generally lower quality than our community would like to support.

How to Export Your Content

What to Do if your lens Gets Locked

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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized