Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree Bokeh | https://www.roseclearfield.com

To all those who are celebrating today, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas with family and friends. XO

Touring Wingspread

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Last weekend, my husband and I took the tour at Wingspread with some friends. We drive by the gates all the time, but you can’t see the main house from the road so we’ve been curious about it for a couple years now. The tour schedule is not consistent. But the tours are free and well worth the time so it’s worth checking periodically if you’re interested.

Wingspread is a 14,000-square-foot Frank Lloyd Right-designed home built for SC Johnson (formerly S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., also known as Johnson Wax). The home features four wings extending out from the center of the building, which is where it gets the name Wingspread. (See an overhead shot here.) Several Johnson generations lived at Wingspread. Wright completed the building in 1939, and the family lived there through the 50s. In 1961, the Johnson family dedicated the property to be used as a conference center. Currently, the 5th Johnson generation manages Wingspread. The building received National Historic Landmark distinction in 1989.

If you know anything about Frank Lloyd Wright, I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you to learn there are some great Wright stories about his involvement with Wingspread. The tour includes a video with interviews with a couple Johnson family members, both of whom share Wright stories.

The entire Great Hall is decorated for Christmas right now, which is so beautiful.

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

One of the most notable features of Wingspread is the glass-enclosed “crow’s nest” lookout. Of course, as a visitor, you can’t go up in the nest. But it’s still neat to see the winding spiral staircase right in the middle of the Great Hall. Other notable building features include the five fireplaces, teepee-inspired clerestory ceiling, and cantilevered “Romeo and Juliet” balcony.

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

If you know anything about building a fire (as in, you’ve ever seen a fire burning in a fireplace or fire pit, even if you have no experience building one yourself), you’ll know instantly that this fireplace has inherent issues. Yes, it might look neat if logs could burn and stay straight in this vertical position. But they don’t. So the fireplace and logs simply decorative.

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Like all Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, the architect had a vision for the entire home, which included the furniture. He designed many of the original furniture pieces, which are still in Wingspread today.

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Wingspread sits on 36 acres and features nature trails, forests, prairie, streams, flower gardens, and a private art collection. In addition to the main Wingspread home, the conference center includes The House, where H.F. Johnson lived during his later years, and The Guest House, which offers high-end overnight accommodations and casual gathering spaces for conference attendees. It was freezing the day we toured Wingspread and was getting dark by the time we’d finished the inside tour. So we didn’t walk much of the grounds. But you’re welcome to do so when you’re there for the tour.

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, WI - Frank Lloyd Wright architecture | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Again, Wingspread tours are free and open to the public. The entire interior tour takes about an hour. For more information about Wingspread, visit The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread. To reserve a Wingspread or other SC Johnson tour, visit SC Johnson.

~

I also visited the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Annunciation Greek Orthodox church earlier this year!

Doors Open Milwaukee 2016 - Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Doors Open Milwaukee Highlight: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

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Grammarly Review: A Writer’s Best Friend

An honest, comprehensive review of Grammarly, a must-have tool for every modern blogger and freelance writer. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

[Disclaimer: I will receive compensation for writing this post. Many of the links are affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.]

Some of you may remember me mentioning Grammarly back in the fall. I didn’t start using the Grammarly app until shortly after I’d started this blog in June. It blows my mind that I spent years and years freelance writing without this app. It’s been a complete game changer. I have always prided myself on taking grammar seriously. But Grammarly has helped me fine tune my grammar, taking my skills up a notch and helping me make a lot fewer errors.

How does it work?

Grammarly is the world’s most accurate grammar checker. And it’s free! Signing up for a new account is simple and straightforward. Once you have your account, most likely you’ll want to take the following two steps.

Grammarly offers a free Firefox plugin. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

  1. Add Grammarly to Firefox. I rely on Grammarly in Firefox to proof my blog posts, emails, social media posts, and much more. On the main Grammarly page, you’ll see a couple of red buttons with the text “Add to Firefox. It’s free.” Click on one of these buttons and follow the instructions to add the Grammarly plugin to Firefox. You can also download the Firefox plugin directly from Mozilla.
  2. Add Grammarly to Microsoft Office. I complete the vast majority of my freelance writing work in Microsoft Office. It’s critical that this content is polished and professional. The free Grammarly Microsoft Office plugin is available right here.
  3. (optional) Add Grammarly to Windows. Personally, I don’t use the Grammarly Windows plugin, but it’s another great option Grammarly offers for their proofreading services. Grammarly Windows is available right here. Once you’ve installed it, you simply drag a document you’d like to proofread into Grammarly.

But I can run the spellchecker program in Microsoft Office and WordPress. Plus, as a blogger, I believe my writers relate to my conversational writing style, which means grammar isn’t very important. Why should I run Grammarly, too?

First, a conversational writing style isn’t ever an excuse for poor grammar. Yes, for most blog writing styles, it’s okay to use the occasional sentence fragment, run-on sentence, sentence that ends with a preposition, etc. It’s not okay to make basic grammatical mistakes, such as using “there” instead of “they’re.” It’s not okay to skip proofreading. Publishing without proofreading means you’re probably going to have words misspelled, words missing from sentences, and whole phrases or sentences repeated from a sloppy copy and paste. I wish I were exaggerating, but I see these type of mistakes from bloggers pulling in six- and seven-figure monthly views all the time. Proofreading your work and running a basic spell check before hitting publish is really important. Running Grammarly is even better.

Second, Grammarly offers a lot more than the basic spellcheck you’ll find in Microsoft Office or WordPress. I leave on the Office spelling and grammar checks, which means I see how much more Grammarly catches. The first time you run both programs after writing a post or article, you’ll be blown away.

Grammarly corrects more than 250 types of grammatical mistakes as well as numerous contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary choices. The more you’re aware of the common errors you make while writing, the more likely you are to catch your mistakes and correct them before Grammarly does.

Is it worth upgrading to Grammarly premium?

Grammarly Premium offers over 100 additional grammar and spelling checks as well as vocabulary enhancement suggestions, genre-specific writing style checks, and plagiarism detection. The plagiarism detector scans over 8 billion web pages.

If you’re brand new to Grammarly, I recommend trying the free version. You’ll get a feel for the app and decide if it fits your writing style and needs before you put down any money. You can upgrade at any time. I took advantage of a Cyber Monday sale and purchased Premium for about 60% off. Once you’re a Grammarly user, you’ll get notifications of sales and can wait for a discount for your upgrade. As of writing this post, I’ve been using the Premium version for about a month and have been really happy with it. For the amount of writing I do weekly, I feel the upgrades are worth it.

Does Grammarly offer any nerdy writing and grammar statistics?

In my first mention of Grammarly on this blog, I briefly discussed the weekly email Grammarly sends with writing and grammar statistics. I’m not going to lie; I always look forward to it.

Each email starts out with a quote. There’s a new quote each week.

Grammarly sends a weekly email, which always starts with a quote. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The first statistic is Activity or the number of words you wrote this past week. I consistently average above 30,000 words.

The weekly Grammarly report includes an activity or words written statistic. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The second statistic is Mastery or the number of corrections you made with Grammarly over the past week. This statistic varies the most for me. Some weeks, I’m around 150 errors corrected while other weeks, I’m close to 300 errors corrected.

The weekly Grammarly report includes a mastery or accuracy statistic. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The third statistic is the Vocabulary, which is pretty straightforward. I average over 2,000 unique words per week.

The weekly Grammarly report includes a vocabulary statistic. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

You’ll also receive a short summary of your top three mistakes for the past week.

The weekly Grammarly report includes a short summary of your top three mistakes from the past week. | https://www.roseclearfield.com

The email concludes with a writing tip and a short summary of the Grammarly apps you’re currently using with links to install any apps you’re not currently using.

Are there any other perks of using the Grammarly app?

The final component of Grammarly I want to mention is their other periodic emails. From time to time, Grammarly shares a blog post digest with writing-related articles and other tidbits. Some of you may have seen my post on Facebook last week, sharing 3 Trends That Will Dominate English Writing in 2017. Of course, you can access the Grammarly blog at any time, but I like getting the emails.

Grammarly. Download the free app today!Getting started with Grammarly is completely free. You’ll be able to start using their proofreading services within minutes of signing up for an account.

If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

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