Now that it is December and there is precious little left in the garden ( although I am impressed by the few hardy plants that are still flowering ) I thought it was a good time to finally hang up the second Ixxi that I had made while I was in Holland.
I showed the other one I made a while back – which was of pictures from a “Leiden Year”. This second one is of flower images taken throughout a year. As with a lot of things that you leave for a while and come back to , there are changes that you would make second time around, but I still enjoy the reminder of all these flowers that have crossed my path. Some were taken out and about in Holland , others on my favourite Scottish windowsill and yet others are wildflowers from the meadows of Transylvania.
Even if you don’t live in the Netherlands you can use Ixxi to create a design for you, or you can also select something from their own collection.
If you’d like to know a bit more about the “behind the scenes” and get tipped off about my regular subscriber bonus you can make sure you get the studio newsletter by subscribing here . There should be one coming along quite soon.
After trying out Pinterest early on and being rather confused by their guidelines at the time , I’ve gone back to have another look. They have sorted out a lot of their earlier issues and people seem to have tightened up on making sure that images are correctly attributed. I did a spot check and only one image that I tried didn’t lead me back to the source.
As with Instagram, there is also rather a community building up on Pinterest and it is fun to use both for inspiration and sharing work. If you are researching a particular theme or designing a new room, for example, it really comes in handy.
One of the things I’ve recently discovered is that you can have a board that a group of people can contribute to. Inspired by that I’ve set up a “Today’s Favourite” board – and I plan to add a photo to that most days. I’ve made it a collective board , so if you would like to add a picture daily ( or when the whim strikes) just let me know and I’ll send you an invitation. I thought it would an interesting way to see daily favourites from different locations.
As most of my “day to day” images are shot with my phone and end up on Instagram I investigated whether it was possible to link between the two – and of course you can – enter www.gramfeed.com With this site, once you are logged in, you see your normal Instgram feed with “Pin it” buttons alongside. Easy !
Today is the last day of my 30 day blogging experiment. And it has definitely been a useful thing to do. I have got back into more of a pattern with blogging and also uncovered a bit about the direction I want this blog to take. And above all, it has to stay enjoyable to do.
One of the motivators for doing this was the fact that I knew I would be off to the Hive blogging conference and I hoped that by blogging more regularly I would be more likely to put into practise what I learnt.
So what will I take away from this experience ?
I really like having just a couple of blog posts prepared ahead of time so that if “real life” takes over there is a little bit of built in margin. Mostly this wasn’t in place during this 30 day stint – but it would be my ideal scenario.
I also enjoyed having a couple of themes to keep going back to. Not so rigid that there was no room for talking about current inspirations, but with enough of a structure to not start from a blank page every time. I will be keeping going with the DIY Fridays and also the My Edinburgh feature. ( If I’m away from home for a trip I might stretch that to a more travel oriented direction.)
I enjoyed doing the posts that had more images in them. In the past I’ve tended to just post one image at the top, but actually it was nice to include more than one.
Although it is great to share inspirations and resources perhaps I don’t post enough work in progress and new pieces ? There will be some changes coming along on that front.
Do you have a blogging structure that you stick to ? Do you blog ahead ? Do you mostly share images and resources from other places or do you create original content ? Why do you blog ?
Ever since the Hive I have been mulling over what I’d like to change about my blog so I’d be interested to read your thoughts about blogging ( see questions above ) and also – what would you like me to blog about ?
(No Friday DIY today. To be honest, my quick and easy little project turned out to be easy – but a little more time consuming as it had to allow for paint layers to dry. So I’ll hold it over for next week. )
In every place I’ve lived there is usually one spot that becomes my favourite place to shoot. And in the South Queensferry house it is this windowsill. Quite often I work at a table right alongside, which I like because I can see the comings and goings in the street outside while I am working on the computer.
The sill is nice and broad and so can cope with quite a big vase of flowers and the painted wooden surface adds a nice element to many photographs. Every week I choose some new flowers, often from the really lovely little florists ( Bees Flower Shop – drop in if you are passing ! ) just along the street and then arrange a still life for the windowsill.
Before leaving Holland I did a bit of a mad shop of all kinds of little vases and props , which seemed a bit excessive at the time ( not to me, but you know, to some other folks ! ). Now I’m very glad that I did build up this stash as I’ve been able to make a lot of different colour combinations , and so far no bunch of flowers has failed to fit in with one or two pieces.
Of course these images show up in my Instagram feed quite often, but I’ve also been shooting with other cameras and some images will be appearing as prints before long.
( This fabulous lighthouse is at the maritime museum in Rotterdam.)
Although I have loved being on Etsy and have no plans to close my Etsy shop anytime soon, I have started to feel that I want to spread my wings beyond the site.
This is largely related to my new textile venture. In order for my work to be on Etsy I would have to be doing all the sewing up myself. And while I think it is important to know how to make all the components of a product, I really don’t want to be sewing all day. If I learned anything from my time as a silk painter it is that I don’t want to be doing all the making again.
So behind the scenes I am working away at a new site. Part of the site also incorporates a blog but I am undecided yet what to do about my blog. Should I close this one and just redirect traffic over there ? Should I repeat the content in both places ? Do you have any advice based on moving your own blog from one place or another ?
Wednesday is one of those days. Its not the start of the week with a full complement of days to fill. And its not Friday with the weekend right after. Its just there, right in the middle, with the potential to feel a bit flat and colourless. I want to change that and provide a bit of a colour splash – to cheer myself up, if noone else !
You can take the girl out of Holland, but you can’t take Holland out of the girl !
The garden is giving me a helping hand with this today. After endless winter and no bulbs coming through when you’d expect them, the other side of the coin is a flurry of growth and colour all at once. Masses of tulips and all kinds of flowering bushes ( that I do not yet know the names of. I need my garden expert auntie to visit and remind me of them all ! )
Even though the flowers have emerged, the weather still thinks it is the end of winter, so my little photo essay had to be timed in between showers of rain and sleetiness. Come along now spring, we are all waiting for you.
I love the pale pinks and greens of these clematis that are going to come into bloom very soon.
Not quite blue sky but heading in the right direction I hope.
One of the projects that had to be put on hold while I was in Holland was the “textile project”. I did some fabric print tests quite some time ago, and although the results were good, they weren’t quite there, as far as I was concerned. And then Holland came along and it was just too tricky to coordinate it all.
Now I am back in Scotland I am pushing this along as fast as I can. So I’ve just had a sample print back from a new printer and the results are pretty good. The pictures give you a wee taster. Can’t wait to see them made up into cushions !
I have felt a little adrift with my blog over the last while. There have been lots of things happening but I haven’t felt that I wanted to put “pen to paper” and talk about them. I think partly what has happened is that I have lost my blogging groove a little. Maybe the idea of having kept this blog going for 5 years actually acted as a bit of a barrier. Also, maybe I’ve become a tiny bit bored with the format now. I want to freshen things up, both in style and content. So, to confront that head on I’ve set myself a little blogging challenge to blog for 30 days ( week days that is, as I’m trying more and more to have offline weekends ). I don’t really want to think of it as a challenge though, but more a way to focus a bit on how I’d like to see this blog from now on. I could wait till the start of the month , because I like that kind of orderliness. But that feels like procrastination, so I’m going to dive right in and start today.
Instead of berating myself for things not done, posts unwritten and progress unmade I will take note of one of my favourite phrases “Start where you are”. And when I take stock of where I am , surprisingly, I have managed to do more this year than I had initially supposed. If you are feeling stuck then I suggest you do the same, start where you are, use what you have.
Do you have a favourite motto that you use to get yourself moving again, or to encourage yourself ?
( The image above is of some of the images on display just now at the Jitter Bean Cafe in South Queensferry – a good value and cosy cafe facing the water on Queensferry High Street )
A big thank you to all of you who helped me to celebrate by joining in my giveaway – and without further ado, here are the winners.
Rachel Horne and Juliet Wilson have scooped up a $50 voucher each, to use in my Etsy shop. If you leave a comment with an email contact I will let you know what to do. ( I will not publish the comment , so your email won’t be public)
Cynthia H, Nancy Moon and Sherri Spaulding have each won a set of 5 postcards. If you let me know your mailing address for the postcards I will get them off to you – again , send me your info in a comment ( which will be kept private. )
Any prize that has not been claimed within 10 days will be reallocated.
I also know, after my recent post on Kaffe Fassett’s exhibition, that many people would like to visit but are unable, so I decided to do a video review of his recent book. If you can’t make it along to the exhibition then the book will give you a good flavour of how his career has developed.
Notes on video – I have discovered it is quite tricky to hold a book and a camera and turn the pages at the same time. I think I need to put some kind of little tripod on my shopping list. But I decided to upload this one anyway, rather than wait to get it all “perfect”.