in praise of slow!

Thank-you to: Matt Hunsberger
Danbury, CT

‘Even small steps in the right direction can add up and make a big difference in the long run. As long as you keep working toward your dreams and goals, even if it’s just a few minutes each day, you can achieve them.’

Have been feeling pretty disappointed in myself for the slow down in blogging!

Three children and the UK school Summer holidays are not conducive to writing!

I always have plans, ideas, targets spinning around my head…perhaps too many to focus upon and too many to realistically achieve!

By now I should have cleared out every cupboard in my house (3 out of 10 done!). I should also have been swimming and played tennis with my boys each week, produced a monthly meal plan, organised a back to school crafternoon and have a business plan for my vintage craft parties in place… I nearly forgot, I have to make 38 fabric diary covers for my boys’ school!

I am slow! I know I am slow, but I do need to achieve. I keep researching, researching, looking for suppliers for eco cutlery, for paper lanterns, for vintage china, the list goes on. I love the process but then when I get to the end of the day I do not feel that I have achieved very much at all.

The plan for the vintage craft parties is clear in my head, but I have not committed it to paper…big mistake!

I need to decide on my basic format and work on that…the quest for perfection means I am getting no-where fast! ( or in fact no-where slowly!).

Next week my boys are at sport’s camp from 10-3pm and I am planning to focus only on my work during this time; no washing, cooking, ironing, shopping, cleaning etc during these hours, just as if my kitchen table was in an office.

I want progress by the end of the week ( although Friday is my birthday, so perhaps a four day week is in order!)

Underlying my slowness is my fundamental difficulty with decision making…a life-time’s affliction ( could this be genetic, my eldest son suffers in the same way!).

Give me a date and a target and I am there, without this structure I play to my strengths and do research and ponder the merits of this and that.

Slow is positive if moving forward, but my slow sends me round and round in circles; if someone knocked on my door and asked me to plan and set up a party for 10 next weekend I could do it. However that is not going to happen and I need to make it happen…fast!

Thank-you for reading.

things to do?

Things to do

Thank-you to :

pizzazzerie.com

When I woke this morning I had plans to write a to do list for the weekend. The focus was to be my blog. To learn new things, to join new communities,  to follow new blogs…etc, etc, etc.

Well. after spending two hours on Facebook to set up a fan page and upload my picture I was done. I managed both tasks, but for something so simple it was so time consuming.

After finally realising that I needed to ‘add a page’ to promote the remakery as a separate entity from myself (I think this was what I needed to do, please correct me if I am wrong?!), I then had to subject myself to the task of uploading my personal photo.

I had previously created an image I was happy with via Gravator, and so aimed to upload this to Facebook.

Too simple…I found that this could not be done and so uploaded a photo that included my children (not my aim at all).

Facebook would not let me crop my photo, so I used pic monkey (my saviour). This has worked to a certain extent and I am happy with the final picture (no children), but I can’t seem to get rid of the original photo (with children) which is still displayed.

The problem is that I don’t understand how Facebook pages work…something definitely to work on!

This makes me feel a real failure, I have set up a blog, know how to use twitter but still struggle with Facebook…

Whilst searching for a pretty things to do list I came across this image below:

Thank-you to:

 prettypinktulips.com

This has now become the inspiration for my weekend to do list. The boys will on holiday from July 20th and I need a structure to ensure we make the most of our time together.

I am going to produce something similar to an advent calendar to enable me to plan a variety of activities and to create some memories of our time together.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions that have worked for you…my boys are five, and pretty much up for anything!

Thank-you for reading and have a good weekend.

reflections + revelations of a {very} new blogger

chick-hatching.jpg (448×298)

After posting 15 times over the last two weeks I am still feeling very out of my depth!

I believe that I have  a clear focus for my blog…I still do, but am struggling to convey that. At the moment I have more ideas than I know what to do with.

I want to be consistent, to be real and to be relevant. I want to build a {very} small business. I want to improve my blog’s appearence, I want to be part of Facebook, to be part of twitter, to be supportive of the blogging community.

I have just begun and yet I compare myself with very experienced bloggers.

To help myself with a reality check, today I looked at some of my favourite bloggers; I looked at what they posted in the first few weeks of starting their blogs.

If you haven’t done this already, then I urge you to do it NOW. It is a revelation; the best begin in much the same way as we all do. Tentative posts covering a variety of areas and often relying on the beautiful images of others…feeling their way into the job!

I am in no position to point directly at anyone’s first efforts; I looked at very successful blogs and wondered how they started. They did not begin with perfect, polished  posts. They began at the beginning and worked hard to develop their style and substance.

I am also trying to find time to read and comment on other people’s blogs; I have quickly realised that this is a way of getting your blog ‘out there’. I have discovered new to me blogs as a consequence of others liking and commenting on my posts, obviously this works both ways.

I was left wondering which blogs to comment upon; I follow many of the ‘big’ blogs but never feel confident enough to comment. After reading the following I may change my mind!

The Diva blogs are not necessarily any better than anyone else’s. Consider they just got to the senior playground first. Mingle with these bloggers, talk to them, comment on what they have to say. Let your blog stand shoulder to shoulder with them on the blogging red carpet. As I tell my children, quoting from Anthony Robbins, “People’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group.”

Staying solely in blog circles with low expectations or without the same aims, will affect the quality expectations you have for your blog. Aim higher!

And when we become fearful about moving forward (because more exposure will mean we are open to more scrutiny), remember – to avoid criticism we must say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.

http://www.hermelness.com/good-bloggers-common

Food for thought!

There are many, many articles offering advice for new bloggers, this one stuck with me! It seemed to pinpoint my fears and turn them into positives.

From http://bloggingwithamy.com/new-blogger-tips/

tips for new bloggers

1. You’re awesome

I mean that. Diving in to this blogging thing is no small feat. Be proud of yourself for becoming more technologically astute. I mean, how many other people do you know in real life who are starting blogs? See? You’re ahead.

2. There is a huge learning curve

We’ve all experienced it. It’s not just you, I promise. Take it slow. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I know it’s exciting at first, but when you start to feel a bit stumped, take a break and come back later. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself nutso. (Ask me how I know.)

3. Google is your (best) friend

I’m bummed I can’t help all of you who email me with questions. But honestly? A lot of the time, I just google an answer for you anyway. That’s my little secret. :) Do it enough an you’ll eventually become a googling ninja and then you can figure out just about anything. (And here’s what I do when I get errors and warnings.)

4. As a new blogger, you’ve got (at least) one advantage

Now don’t take this the wrong way.  I know we all want to be a lot further down the road than we are.  But you are where you are, so embrace it. Don’t get caught up in having everything “just so” or making sure everything is “just right.” One of the greatest things about starting a blog is that you can make all kinds of mistakes and it doesn’t matter because no one is reading it yet anyway. Sure, you could focus on the fact that you don’t have a lot of followers at the beginning. Or you could focus on the fact that you have a lot of freedom. It’s all about perspective.

However, when I consider what I wish to achieve in the blogging world ( as in the real world) the following summarizes  my overiding purpose:

be that girl...

http://imgfave.com/view/1091791

Thank-you for reading and have a good weekend.

friday {fabric} flowers

This beautiful  fabulous floral tote bag landed in my inbox early this morning.

Thank-you to http://seekatesew.blogspot.co.uk/ for this lovely tutorial.

I have been a subscriber to Kate’s blog for about a year but have never left a comment.

Feeling brave I wrote from the heart and submitted my post. Nothing happened, no error message, no comment appeared. Very confused.

Guessing that the fault lay with me, I tried again but the same thing happened

As always I resorted to a little research on Google where I discovered that comments from WordPress bloggers onto Blogger blogs are often not registered. I am slowly becoming more familiar with the blogging world…how odd some of it seems.

Anyway, should Kate ever read this, I wanted to thank her for a straight forward tutorial with wonderful visual guidance (just my cup of tea!)

I will be using a version of this with the girls in my sewing class; I will repurpose some left-over canvas bags for the lining ( they were originally used for party bags at the fifth birthday party of little boys one and two}

I have plenty of vintage sheets, but I do like the smaller flower detail on these pillowcases…I may need to go shopping!

A little aside,  today I was asked  to undertake a large sewing project by a very important person! More details will follow.

Have a lovely weekend and thank-you for reading.

bananas about picmonkey!

I have been busy preparing for the first remakery sewing and craft club ( my new business venture) alongside getting to grips with blogging basics!

Today I decided to combine the two!
PicMonkey

Image from http://www.picmonkey.com

Below are two simple images edited via http://www.picmonkey.com which I will use in my first sewing class as pictorial reminder for the girls to take home.

Just like pinterest,  picmonkey is intuitive; no long tutorials to read and master before being able to create something that I could only previously have dreamt of achieving.

I very much learn by doing, but equally want quick results to reward my efforts.

To demonstrate how basic my computer knowledge is you should know that I struggle to save documents and pictures in folders on my laptop; I spend so long looking for something that I have saved somewhere!

Picmonkey is free and offers so many options for photo editing…all at the touch of a button (my preferred style!). Adding text, overlays, frames, and producing collages are all within reach to a bit of a technophobe like me. Try it and see for yourself!

I was truly amazed at what I could actually do; I thought that these effects were confined to photoshop or someother fancy pants photo editing programme. I am so pleased to be wrong!

 

Thank-you for reading.

the beauty of pinterest.

I love, love, love pinterest!

So describes me :)

Source:

http://marlenemccune.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/pinterest-ii-adventures.html

I am not alone….

  • Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social network in the U.S. in terms of traffic. (Experian)
  • As of February 2012, Pinterest had accumulated 10.4 million users. (AppData)
  • 80% of Pinterest’s users are female. (comScore)
  • With over 11 million unique monthly visitors (and counting), Pinterest became the fastest standalone website to eclipse the 10 million per month mark ever.
  • Etsy is the top site in terms of “source domains.” (Source domains are the sites that content on Pinterest links to externally.) Google is second, followed by Flickr, Tumblr, and WeHeartit.com (RJMetrics)

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32362/35-Statistics-That-Fuel-the-Battle-Between-Pinterest-and-Google.aspx#ixzz1x8GwwwrV

Why do I love pinterest?

Number one for me is that I can use it with absolute total ease! I am a Facebook and Twitter virgin; I looked at them both last night and thought I could set up a Facebook account. I admitted defeat…I acknowledge this must be a problem with me…millions of others manage! I have parked it for now!

Secondly, pinterest gives me immediate visual accessibility. A guaranteed quick fix when the day is long and I need to be lost in another world!

Closely linked to both of the above is the speedy rapport I feel with the pinner ( particularly from the original source). I could spend years ( I think I have!) tracking down blogs and bloggers that engage me. Pinterest has made that job so much easier for me, and for that I am truly grateful.

My most recent discovery was the beautiful http://www.hearthandmade.co.uk/.

A girl crush as they say! I found Claire ( author of hearthandmade) via pinterest and drank in the loveliness of her boards; I followed them all (one click!).

I followed through to her blog and felt ‘at home’ immediately. Not just the content of the very inspiring blog, but the warmth and genuineness that pervaded Claire’s comments section ( I always read the comments to gain an insight into the blogger’s personality!). I commented and she graciously replied. I am a fan!


Thank-you for reading.