Day 30 – Wrapping up the Blogging Experiment

mini utrecht
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. )


Day 19 – Berlin Hive 13 – What Did Other Bloggers think ?


I thought it would be nice to do a little round up of some of the other impressions of the Hive Conference. A lot of the blogs posted have been in German, so I’ve made my selection from the English ones.

Stephanie, from NeonGroen, who I’ve followed on Instagram for a little while has done a very visual round up

Judith from Joelix has mixed images with her favourite quotes from the presentations.

Gudy from Eclectic Trends has written an account of the one workshop that I was really sorry I missed – styling and photography by Dietlind Wolf . ( Although, you can’t be two places at once and I didn’t regret hearing Katrina from Zero the One talk about video making and making a difference.)

I enjoyed chatting with Melanie who is from the UK but now lives in Denmark. She had the great idea of posting an Instagram pic of what she would be wearing each day. That made it very easy to spot her – I’ve filed that idea for future reference. Here’s what she had to say .

Jillian in Italy was another post with great visuals – look out for the map of Europe that had all our business cards pinned to it by the end of the weekend.

Desiree from VosgesParis was a speaker and her topic was “Monetize your Blog” – she has very kindly put her presentation on this post.

And finally a post from Silkie from the gorgeous Rosehip Stationery company. She was the only one who made it over from the London Bloggers Group after a fire at Heathrow put a spanner in the works for some others.

THe Hive are planning a shorter event in Copenhagen in the autumn and then plan to repeat the event next year in Berlin.

Day 15 – 10 Random Snippets from Hive13 in Berlin


1. ” If you don’t feel it, don’t blog it” Said Jenni Fuchs from The Museum Diary blog during her presentation on niche blogging . Despite this very specific topic she had a lot of great ideas about how to create content in general which you can read from the linked post here .

2. Use Pintrest to curate images from your blog by category. Tip from Sophie – Charlotte Chapman Ma Petite Valisetteand also Freunde von Freunden. (I have never really taken to Pintrest as I found their rules in the beginning rather confusing . That has probably been smoothed out by now so will have another look . )

3. You don’t need to be given permission – just start – from Marlous Snijder of Oh Marie Magazine

4. Kirsten Jassies (Just Kirstin is her personal blog)from the Dutch magazine publisher Sanoma talked about blogging networks as a way to grow your audience. I realised that I do have an informal network – but I’d like to look into this a bit more.

5. Video portraits might well become the new business card. But any video should be no longer than 5 minutes, preferably less as attention span is very short online . From the video blogging workshop by Katrina Tan-Conte . You can find out more about what she does at her website Zero The One

6.Don’t try to do everything yourself – look for collaborations . More than one speaker mentioned this.

7.If you haven’t heard of Skillshare it is a great place to find short courses online. I am planning to do the one by Katrina who taught the video workshop . I’ve already done one about making maps by Anne Detmeyer Pret a Voyager which was great fun.(and which is about to run again)

8.The most important reason, for me, to attend conferences and events is to get out into the world and meet people. Obviously I hope that I will learn some new things or leave inspired and recharged , but the top reason is to make connections

9.Sometimes the presentation that you don’t initially think is relevant to your situation will offer up the most gems.

10. It is a bit deflating when a conference ends with a less good presentation. This has happened at the last two events I attended – and it sends everyone away without the buzz that you would hope for . Reminder to myself if I ever find myself organising an event – have a good finale !

(11. As various other blogs have mentioned – there was some room for improvement with regards to the details of the conference but I would rather give my feedback directly to the organisers.)

Day 13 – The Hive Berlin


This last weekend I was in Berlin to go to The Hive blogging conference . It was really great to finally meet in person many people that I’ve “met” from various online courses or platforms as well as see old friends again .

A lot of inspiring talks too – some highlights were hearing Emily Meyer talk about how she started her business Tea Collection and Marlous Snijder who gave us a peek behind the scenes into what it took to launch her online magazine Oh Marie.

A few years ago I decided to make a real effort to attend at least a couple of events a year – some big like this one , others small cosy courses – but both invaluable for staying in touch with the big wide world. It has paid off in so many ways to get out of my studio – I really recommend it.

( As a footnote , one of the reminders from the conference was to keep your image size consistent – but on my travels, posting from phone or iPad this is not working correctly – need to find how to resolve that .)

Day 7 – Evolving and Growing

rotterdam lighthouse

( 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 ?

Ringing the Changes

Drying in the Sun  – Polaroid Painting is available in my Etsy shop.

You might notice a few changes around here today. I’ve freshened up the header and switched templates too, in fact. This is something I’ve been meaning to get round to for a while but just always slipped to the bottom of the “to do” list. Now however, I’ve been participating in the “Blogging Your Way” e -course organised by Holly Becker from Decor8. ( Who you might remember , I met in Amsterdam at a Blogger’s Meet Up ). This has given me a bit of impetus to make some changes. I don’t feel that this header or format is what  I will settle on long term – I still feel a few changes brewing. But I just had to get going and at least get started with the new look.

As far as the course is concerned, I really only have good things to say about it. The material is very thoroughly researched and presented. And delivered in such a way that there is plenty of time to keep on top of the work. I was a little concerned when I discovered just how many people were doing the course, whether it would be possible to make many connections amongst so many. But Holly has a few tricks to make sure that it is easy enough to connect to people, especially those who might be nearby. I am already looking forward to meeting some of the Dutch bloggers in a couple of weeks time.