Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back and some observations about blogging

Although I am still without a computer, I wanted to check in to let all my loyal friends and followers know I am still around. Luckily, I had already selected and saved all the photos for this post, so much of the work was already done. Since I'm currently "unavailable," I thought it would be a good time to look back over this year and show a few of my favorite and a few not so favorite pieces I made during 2011. Interspersed with that I thought I would share some thoughts I have on blogging and being a good blogger.

(Journals I made in January, 2011)

I've been giving this a lot of thought lately, ironically before I lost my ability to get on the internet due to a dead computer. At the time, which seems like eons ago, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue blogging every day or even every other day. What I decided was, if I didn't blog, I would miss it terribly. I love the social interaction I get with my readers and the people and friends whose blogs I read and visit. Obviously, I miss it even more now that the ability to reach out to my friends has been eliminated. It's analogous to being a bed-ridden shut-in whose friends have stopped visiting.

(Prizes I offered to OWOH back in February, 2011)

And since I really enjoy this blogging activity experience, I took a long hard look at what makes a good blog. Here are a few things I have learned and a few things I live by.

(About all I accomplished the entire month of March, 2011)

I am myself. I make no pretenses that I am someone I am not. I am reasonably articulate, write with passion and occasional humor, and love mixed media art and fabric surface designs. Other than that, I make no claims (except that I need a much better camera!).

(Rusty book cover I created in April, 2011)

I take responsibility for my actions. I try not to be offensive to anyone, but different people interpret things differently. I remember when I said I owned a gun, it upset some people. But I had admitted it, took responsibility for it, and accepted any flack that came my way as a result of my actions. Thankfully, much of it was either thought provoking responses or good-natured joking.

(Altered puzzle I made for Annette, who kindly allowed me to use this photo from May, 2011)

(From June, 2011, this quiltlet was made for Nicky during the second WOYWW PIF anniversary)

An action is one thing, foul language is another. I simply do not use foul language. I have never called anyone the "b-word," and don't use the "f-word." Since I would not do this when I speak with someone face to face, I would also never do it on my blog. For no reason! Never! By the way, the "b-word" is NOT Bleubeard.

(Summertime tea using everything that belonged to my Grandmother, July, 2011)

I tell it like it is. If I make a mistake or something turns out wrong, I don't rewind the day to make it better than it was. I let everyone know what to expect. After all, if it can go wrong, it probably will, and I will discover and report it.

(First time dyeing fabric using Sharpies and alcohol was in August, 2011)

I make things my way. Due to a limited art budget, I seldom have all the materials needed to complete a project I want to work on. That means I must improvise. In fact, sometimes I don't have any of the materials I need! If that's the case, I start with the original instructions and find similar materials. From there, I usually follow my own rules, often hoping for the best, and offering alternatives in the form of a tutorial.

(The mess I made the first time I used paint with my collographic plates was August, 2011)

I don't ask people to jump through hoops.
Whether it's commenting on a blog post, or signing up for a giveaway, I like to keep things simple and straight forward.

(One of my first altered wood blocks from September, 2011)

Speaking of comments, I get so infuriated when I have to type in one of those senseless words just to leave a comment. I usually get it wrong and have to reenter it. Oftentimes I learn the comment will be visible after someone approves it. Why not just let us "publish, " since the approver must approve it anyway! And is approve r even a word?

(Nevr-Dull used to dull surfaces on magazine images in October, 2011)

My thoughts on leaving comments:
If I visit, I leave a comment. I don't expect you to know I was there if I don't let you know I visited . To me, it is courtesy. And I love it when people leave me comments. However, one thing I am not inclined to do is reply by e-mail. I much prefer a blog reply and that means on your blog, not mine. I don't expect you to return to my blog to see what I have written in comments that might or might not pertain to you. If I must make a correction or addition to a tutorial, I do it in a blog post, not in the comment section of my blog.

(A piece I made for a Christmas gift, from Nov., 2011)

The focus of my blog. Although this is primarily an art blog, I also add a few (and sometimes more than a few) times I go out and about. I also add photos of my home and yard. Sometimes I wonder if these are distractions to my art blogging and tutorials, but there are days I simply don't make art, either because I'm gone, or I am in the process of making a piece that takes several days to create.

(one of several Christmas quiltlets I made in December, 2011)

That's my take on what makes a good blog and how I try to follow my own advice. What do you think makes a good blog?

I hope to be back online in the near future. I may even be able to post and visit many of you by New Year's day (which I just learned is tomorrow!). However, should that be unfeasible, I will now wish each of you, my dear friends who I have come to love, a safe, prosperous, and happy New Year. Let's start 2012 out with a bang, not a whimper!

16 thoughtful remarks:

elle said...

Happy New Year, Elizabeth. I've just called off the search party for you and Bleubeard. lol
I 100% agree with your blog sentiments. I would add that I'm not real happy with all the sponsors and the flashing, moving, advertising side bars. I would also class some of the more vulgar words as 'four letter' as well and not lady like at all. I'm old fashioned, I suspect.
I think what we make is a lot of who we are as well as what we do. So I blog about it all,but mostly my creative endeavours. The few grumpy days, I try to keep for my own review as life is too short to fixate on the uglies.
So I just don't follow blogs that don't edify, enlighten and encourage. I like to smile! I'm happy to follow you and "ya done did good in 2011"! My favourite was the altered puzzle. Bless you!

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Happy New Year. What a fantastic post, puts me in a joyful mood just to hear your thoughts about life and how you live it. Hurry back soon. We miss you. xox Corrine

Marilyn Rock said...

I checked in hoping to find a post from you somehow. You are missed! Love your post - thought provoking on all counts about Blogging and life. I'm glad you are who you are - sometimes this Internet can hide who we really are and your words and art truly reflect the real you. That is why I visit so often :)

Happy New Year to you and yours; it's been such a pleasure to connect, with you, and I hope 2012 keeps you in good health! xxoo Marilyn

Dianne said...

Brilliant post! Lovely look back on your year of projects, and terrific advise on blogging...I think that I could stand to improve in that area. I don't know how you manage to post every day, but you are so faithful, and we always know you'll be forthright with the results of your experiments. Happy New Year to you dear friend!

Cath said...

Happy New Year, you are missed by more than you think.


Cathee said...

blessings to you!! Happy New Year!!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

Good to hear from you "E", you have been missed by many. It has been such a pleasure to get to know you, and others, through this medium called blogging. Thanks to you and Altered Book Club I have presented with challenges, made new friends, learned new art techniques and exchanged some fabulous art. Let's do it again next year. Happy 2012! Jan

sandra de said...

You have been missed and good to see you are back. Looking forward to lots of interesting posts in 2012.

Doone said...


see you are so Consistent and Reliable I thought ill had befallen you,

so glad it is a technical hitch not a human problem,

hope you get back to tinterweb connection soon,

Happy New Year,


Nancy said...

Enjoyed your year in review. Hope your computer woes are resolved soon. I had a similar experience, and it's a lot of work to recover things. I learned a lot though.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Happy New Year, Elizabeth (and Bleubeard, too)! I agree with all of your comments about good blogging. I have enjoyed all of your posts and the information on projects that didn't turn out quite like you'd hoped was invaluable, too. I've missed you and hope your computer gets sorted out soon!

Halle said...

This post shows why your blog is so popular I think. You keep it real.
Take care and get back online ASAP! We miss you.

voodoo vixen said...

Of course, my fav piece is the altered puzzle... which has given me a much needed kick up the bum... (that's not the 'b' word I hope)!! LOL
Love your look back at 2011 in projects, its a fabulous round off to the year!!
I have neglected my blog... Chris is home from site for a couple of weeks and I figure he deserves to have me about not sitting at my desk playing... plenty of time when he off working to do that stuff!!

alteredbee said...

My favorite pieces include the altered puzzle and the cup with the spoon collage. I like how you keep it real.

Julia Dunnit said...

I think that the balance of your blog is great, the focus feels like art, but i do enjoy the non art revelations and visits, makes you more than just a cyber person! I always intended my blog to be just about the crafting, but am a heart-on-my-sleeve type and discovered that i enjoyed the blogging,so it fast became something else...I miss your online activity, but it's OK, I know you're there!!

~*~Patty S said...

Dear Elizabeth ~ Keeping it real along with your sharing of your passion for creating are just a couple of things that make you very special in the blog community.
I think there is art in our everyday lives and always enjoy a peek into others surroundings and doings.
I like the idea of no pressure blogging and posting when it feels right.
Thank you for being you and sharing so much with us!
I look forward to another year of caring and sharing and your heART!