some badass style blogger

curly hair style blogger sketch - made with my big ipad and Apple Pencil, which I love!

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Fall BossBabesATX CraftHer Market

Big news!

Whoa. Like the garage reorganization project and garden planning and finally re-texturing that one corner of our living from, I’ve been putting off selling prints for “next week” or “next month.” But I’m grateful to announce that I’m finally breaking the chain: I’m setting up shop on October 23rd at BossBabesATX’s Fall CraftHER Market.

The shindig will take place nearly all day, 11am to 5pm, at Fair Market, which is just west of 5th & Waller in Austin’s east side district. There will be a diverse set of women artisans selling jewelry, pottery, artwork, cards, and clothing, plus food and plenty of drink.

Come hang, have a beer, peruse the goods — say hi!


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Elasticsearch for Jekyll

This is a rough transcript of a talk I gave at Jekyll Conf 2016, Elasticsearch for Jekyll.

Hi! I’m Alli. I’m an engineer and designer at Bonsai is a popular hosted Elasticsearch service that people can use as a vanilla direct service or through the Heroku addons marketplace. The umbrella company One More Cloud been around since 2009 when we launched our first service, Websolr, which is hosted Solr. We were the first to launch hosted Solr as a service in 2009, and the first to launch hosted Elasticseach as a service in February of 2012. We’ve been completely bootstrapped since day one, and we’re a small team of 8 spread all over the states (and sometimes Israel, Bali, and Spain).

I spend most of my time in our Rails and Jekyll projects, and write our front-end stuff (which is mostly React these days). I’m excited to be here and talk about how to integrate Elasticsearch and Jekyll using our new gem Searchyll.

Searchyll has been developed recently by three people on the Bonsai product team, our founder Nick Zadrozny, Rob Sears, and myself. It’s designed to send data to an Elasticsearch cluster so it can later be searched.

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Using Webpack and React with Jekyll

Jekyll is great, and I’m a fan. It’s been around for a long time and remains a straightforward and simple solution to creating a static blog - in fact, this site is made with Jekyll. However, there are some more interactive pieces I’ve wanted to add here (including search) that require some fancier UI code but don’t necessitate a more powerful site generator. Enter Webpack and npm, which gives me access to node modules that were previously something I’d only look at wistfully. I find trying to let Jekyll handle javascripts annoying and tedious, so I like that with this I’m able to use an ecosystem that is specifically designed to do major lifting in compilation, testing, and minification.

You can view my Jekyll-Webpack boilerplate here, made for this post: -


This is a very simple implementation and doesn’t rely on weird code acrobatics. It’s certified smell free :) I write my tutorials assuming people have shallow knowledge of the tools I use so that beginners may benefit from the extra explanation - more experienced devs should feel free to skim. In this post, however, I’m assuming readers have some experience with Jekyll. I’ll walk through how to create a basic jekyll-webpack integration, and then use it to create a simple React component.

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The best part about working remote

I have been working from home for eight months. It’s done a lot to change my normal rhythms of life and made me a healthier, happier individual. I never thought it was an option for me — or anyone— until I started programming. The day I left my last desk job was the day I started reading Basecamp’s Remote, and suddenly all of my previous doubts about “normal” expected work schedules were confirmed.

Before I started programming for my husband, I worked for a really amazing small business that makes custom notebooks. We used Slack as our internal messaging, and it quickly became the medium we used for design feedback, project planning, file sharing — for everything. Staff would have conversations in the office and I found myself repeating them in Slack for the sake of documentation, or having necessary private side-conversations that weren’t possible in a cramped (albiet beautiful) office. This had the added benefit of keeping a running log of explicit records of company collaboration, so it was easy to point to important pieces of discussion and key files.

I would often ask myself: Why bother having a conversation about a project in the office when you could ask about it on Slack without worrying about interrupting your colleague?

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