I sit at my computer and stare blankly at the screen. What was that amazing blog post I was writing in my head the other day? Where are those amazing lines I mentally penned just this morning as I dwaddled in my long, hot shower? The minute I sit at the computer it’s all gone. Writer’s block? Burn-out? Winter blahs? Cabin Fever? Not enough Pepsi? Too much Pepsi? To much on the to-do list? All of the above? I know not the answer and I’m too lazy to contemplate it for long. So I shall throw some thoughts out here and see where they end up.
I won a wonderful giveaway back before Christmas. Laura at Decor to Adore has a Black Friday Giveaway every year and she always has the best goodies included. Completely over-the-top wonderful. And this year I won! I was so excited. Just look at all the goodness she included 🙂
When I started blogging 4 1/2 years ago I had no idea what I was doing, hardly knew what a blog was and had a handful of blogs I read daily. I’d only known about the blogging world for about 6 to 8 months. Decor to Adore was one of the first blogs on my list that I read all the time. My blog list changed and grew, some bloggers closed their blogs, some I quit following for one reason or another, but not Laura’s. I always went back. And she’s become a wonderful friend.
(there are three of these darling bracelets – Becca had hers on when I took the photo. They are sized just perfectly for my girls)
When I decided a year ago to take it to the next level with blogging, I had no idea what I was in for. I looked at blogs I loved and thought ‘I want THEIR readers to read MY blog’. I also thought ‘They get all kinds of comments. I like comments. I want THEIR commenters to come comment on MY blog.’ And it was all about numbers, and stats, and comments, and likes. And a whole lot of headaches setting up a blog on WordPress.
WordPress is AMAZING. I love love love it, am so glad my sister went with it, therefore giving me the info and encouragement I needed to make the switch. But when you are used to blogger, creating a blog on WordPress is a huge learning curve. I considered hiring a designer. Almost daily for 3 month I considered hiring a designer. But besides the high price tag, I always came back to the fact that I like to do things myself. I just wasn’t ready to hand it over to someone else and give them free rein with it. I probably would have driven them to tears too.
In late April I discovered the fun of link parties. I’d linked up with Freckled Laundry earlier I think, and maybe a time or two at Tea Rose Home. Stuff I’d sewn. But then I discovered a whole world of link parties just waiting for all kinds of great posts. And they were chock full of greatness! So much so that I could spend every single minute of every hour of every day poring over it all if I didn’t stop myself. I know I’m a little late to the party (or parties) but better late than never. I started linking up and visiting a multitude of wonderful blogs.
I commented, hoping to get a little traffic to my blog. I was so thrilled with every single comment. And slowly something started to happen.
I began to make some absolutely wonderful friends. No longer were these people just a smiling picture on the sidebar of a blog. No longer was it about numbers and stats and likes and comments. Instead it’s become about friendship, and sharing ideas, and meeting new friends, and having fun.
No longer do I wonder if I can fit in. Or if there is a place for me out there. Or if my blog will every grow much. It’s not the most important thing anymore! Instead I feel so overwhelmed, honored, blessed, and thrilled to have a community of online friends. People who share the same likes, people who ‘get it’ when IRL people don’t! People who will come alongside and support me, and care for me, and inspire me. Now I don’t stress (much) about trying to get a blog post out every day. I don’t worry that if I don’t comment for a few days on a blog they will forget about me. Instead I blog when I can, read when I can, comment when I can. These people are my friends and I am so thankful for each one of them! I made a list at Thanksgiving time of all the great blog friends I’d made. The list needs updated already but you can view it here. I really should add to it for my own record. It is so much fun when a connection is made with another person in the blog world. Some blogs you comment on, some posts get comments, and then you move on. But with some, you comment back. Or they comment back. Or you reply, and they reply. A friendship is formed. If you don’t have a list of all the bloggers you have connected with and call friends, I encourage you to do it. It’s such a warm fuzzy feeling – kind of like a big friendly hug!
Another giveaway I won right before Christmas – this was waiting on me when we got home from spending the holidays with my family in Kansas. It is from Linkel Designs and the giveaway took place over at On Sutton Place. Ann, the blogger behind On Sutton Place is one of the friends I’ve been talking about. She is someone that I had watched from afar and was so thrilled to connect with. She is just wonderful. She got me started on the road to making grain sack camera straps. She mailed me a package of grain sack ends – leftovers from the things she had made from grain sacks – and I turned them into some fun camera straps. I loved them so much I ended up putting one on my own camera. The others have all sold through my etsy shop. Ann recently had a sale in her etsy shop and I purchased one of her grain sack totes. It arrived today. I will share it with you soon. I’m telling you I would be very hard put to top her sewing – I’m not sure it’s even possible to top it! She is that good! If you want a grain sack tote she’s your gal!
I finally got this camera strap cover made for a friend back before Christmas. She’d been waiting awhile. Not giving me a deadline is a really bad idea. You might keep getting put at the back of the line that way. I can be the worst procrastinator around but I’ve never missed a deadline. Not yet anyway. If it is within my power to meet it, I WILL meet my deadlines!
Pillow made for an In Real Life friend who has been a wonderful friend and supporter of my business. She bought several things as Christmas gifts. This pillow is like one I made earlier that I painted a number 15 in the middle of the circle. My friend special ordered this as a Christmas gift for her son and daughter-in-law. The one with the 15 sold at my Open House sale.
Speaking of making In Real Life friends wait, here is a one thing of two that I finally finished for a friend! Besides this chair pad I also made a curtain for her kitchen window and it looks fabulous if I do say so myself. She picked it up so I don’t have pics of it. She posted one on fb so I could see it after it was hung, and I hope to stop in at her house someday soon and take a few of my own. She is planning to paint this chair black – won’t that look cute with this Parisian fabric? 🙂
So I’ve shared my latest giveaway wins with you. And I’ve shared some musings and ramblings that have run through my mind. Hopefully your New Year is off to a grand start and you are ready to accomplish great things! Blessings on all your creativity, ideas, DIY’s, makeovers, and writing about it all!