You might have noticed…

I missed sending out the newsletter for a couple of weeks

Starting a weekly newsletter is challenging.

  1. Writing (well) is hard.
  2. Setting up an email newsletter service is more difficult (frustrating) than I had been told.

And if you want to know more about that, read about my challenges at the end. But first…

Cricut Maker 3

Last weekend I bought a Cricut Maker 3. It’s a Computer Numerically-Controlled cutting/shaping machine that fits on a desktop. Mostly people use it to cut stickers, card-stock, magnets, etc. But one of my favorite teachers online recently posted a video about how to use a Cricut to cut metal.

I have been considering buying a Cricut for about 6 months. This video pushed me over the edge. I already have a Silhouette Curio but… reasons. Okay, the Cricut goes to 11.

My on-boarding experience with the Cricut was amazing. They provided material, cutting tool, and pattern and within 10 minutes of setting up the machine, I had a successful cut. I will start sharing images when I’ve changed over to my new email newsletter system in the next week. That’s what the rest of the email is about. If you don’t care, thanks for reading up to this point and feel free to ask me any questions about CNC machines that you might have.

Moving from Substack to MailChimp

My original plan was to set up an account on MailerLite but they didn’t approve my account and kept telling me to add more information… but would not be specific about what information and where to add it. I spent 3 months trying to resolve the issues.

In the meantime, I started a newsletter on Substack because I thought it would be a good starting point.

Substack is not meeting my needs. The deal-breaker has been the “alt-text” issue. Alt-text is the code used in websites and newsletters that describes any images included in the page. This is for text reader technologies that voice the text on a page. While the newsletter version that is posted on the Substack site has the alt-text for images, the newsletter version I send out directly to readers does not.

It is not accessible to force people to come to the website in order to use the accessibility tools.

I tried one more time to get MailerLite to work but it was a complete failure. I was able to set up an account on MailChimp and it looks like I’ll be able to send email newsletters immediately. And it looks like they fully support alt+text.

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sending the newsletter email from MailChimp and posting a copy of it on the Substack site. I don’t know if there’s any reason to continue doing both beyond a couple of weeks but I’ll also be posting the articles here.