Friday 29 January 2010

On the subject of Blogs... and a little ramble....

First of all, thank you to all the kind people who have begun to follow my ramblings this year.

I've been reflecting a lot this week, as I've (virtually) dashed around visiting many blogs, about what attracts us to stop and make the decision to follow someone. I've seen so many creative and generous people participating in the OHOW giveaway, it's impossible to talk to them all, but, every now and then, there's a little sparkle that tells me I have to follow them on their journey. It made me think about all the different blogs I follow and how diverse they are. Some are:
  • inspirational, or
  • provoking and stimulating, or
  • practical and instructive, or
  • quirky and fun, or
  • magical and spiritual, or
  • just plain off the wall!
and some are a mixture of a few, or all of these!

I make it a rule that I try to comment regularly on the blogs I follow, and I want to - as most of the owners have become good on-line friends! When I first began blogging, I actually used to worry about leaving comments. I'd often read a post and all the commenters would seem to know the blog owner really well, so I'd be anxious about saying anything! I remember how thrilled I was when I got my first comments, actually realising that some kind people were interested in what I had to say.

Nowadays I always comment when finding a new blog to follow, as I've discovered, whether you have one one follower or 500, getting feedback and establishing links and relationships are such an big part of what we do. It's especially important when people are starting out. I know lots of people are silent followers, maybe some of you reading this, so next time you add a new blog to your list, do think about saying a quick "Hello"!

I decided to have a bit of a "blogspring- clean" and sort out a new background, but I'm not quite happy with it. I like the layout , but I can't decide on the background, or if I want lots of things in my sidebar, or less? My last wallpaper was pretty, but probably too pretty! I keep looking for inspiration. Some people's blogs are full of stuff and I think they look wonderful, others are empty and elegant, and I like that too. I suppose I'll have to keep playing around until it falls into place......

Even though most of my spare time has been taken up reading blogs, I have managed to complete the next piece of my project, which is - a winter aconite being visited by a (very hopeful) hover fly!

I woke up today in one of those moods where you can "quarrel with your little finger", as my mum used to say! I've been indoors too much. After a week of grey gloom, it was a beautiful day today, although still very cold. Thankfully, Andy stopped me doing chores and sent me off with my camera. Ah, he knows me so well! I was desperate to go for a walk, and so climbed the hill to the Kingsweston Estate to look for signs of Spring. The house looks stunning on these cold bright days.

I rushed to this patch of colour - but it turned out to be some beautiful honey fungus, bad for the tree, good shot for me.

It was so peaceful, with hardly any others around, so much so, that I surprised someone in the woods, and managed to get a quick snap.

I found these lovely seed heads of Traveller's Joy in the sunshine, still clinging on from the autumn -

but below, at my feet, the leaves were still dusted with silver frost.

Finally, in the gardens of the house I found my first bloom of the year, enjoying the burst of warmth - a little garden primrose.

My spirits were lifted, and I returned home a happy, skippity, bunny. ( "Thank goodness", says Andy!)


  1. Love the stitching and so glad you were able to find that primrose! We won't be seeing anything like that for a while around here, but knowing you have gives me hope that spring will come eventually! You are right about OWOH - no way I can comment on them all! I follow so many blogs, probably too many and don't get to comment every day on all of them, either. I am trying to be more discerning and not keep adding more to follow, but there is so much interesting stuff out there!

  2. My favourite blogs always have something a little bit different about them - whether it's inspirational pictures or a quirky personality, there has to be something that catches my imagination. I love the variety to be found in blogging.

  3. I have een on the carpet too. Mind blowing. I've seen so much inspiration. My dashoard is rather frightening right now, I 've joined a lot of new blogs but can't remember any of the names and which ones are which.

    Your nature pictures are lovely. Have you heard of the festival of the trees? xJ

  4. Hi Jules! Interesting comments about commenting and so on. I agree that feedback from others is a key thing in the blogging world. I often tell myself it's a pictorial diary for myself, but I know that's only half the story!=) I comment on some regularly, some occasionally and some not really at all, but I do like to leave a 'hello' on a new discovery - even if just to attract them back to my blog, and I almost always check out any blogs my followers have.

    As to blogging layaout, I think what you have right now is quite nice. Nice and simple. Some of the background wallpapers with this layout are just so busy that they clash and conflict with the content - which is often also very busy. I think a good balance is needed between layout and content. If the content is simple, the layout/wallpaper etc can be more busy, but it's best to keep the layout plain and simple if you have a lot of eye candy on your blog and/or sidebar.

    Size of photos etc in sidebars is another issue. If they're too small, they may as well not be there, but if they're too big, then they, again, begin to intrude on the main content and the overall impression is confusing. The good thing about Blogger these days is that you can play around quite a lot with your blog. Before, you lost all your settings when you changed layout. Thank goodness for their newer, gadget based layouts!=)

  5. What a great post:) Yes I agree, so many little time:) Do you use google reader? It is great it will help you follow your blogs like a personal newspaper. It has really helped me in following blogs. I'm honored to be your blogging friend...isn't it fun? You new stitching is lovely and thanks for the pictures. It is soooo cold here. Six degrees. Last night we had a program in 4-H for 9-12 year olds and I made fabric postcards with a group of them. It was fun:) Take care and talk soon. Jenna Louise

  6. I love the colors of the squirrel! I have a bit of color hanging near my chair here, I will take a picture of it and post it for you on my blog. Must keep the happy feeling going!

  7. Hi Jules! I agree with what you've said about leaving comments. It certainly is encouraging when blogging!
    Amazing how a walk with nature can change our mood.. ;)
    Love the little squirrel (I've never actually seen one and they always look so mischevious in movies and photos!)Are they considered a pest? or does everyone love them? Your new piece is gorgeous as always! Sandi

  8. A happy skippity bunny you are my friend! I love to travel with you on your journeys through your creations and through your camera lens. That honey fungus was very cool! I think your blog looks wonderful and I know that even though we are inspired by others, our true voices always sing to us what we love best. We simply have to listen.

    hugs to you my talented friend!

  9. So glad you found the little primrose-it lifts your heart on grey spring days to find flowery treasures. I agree about leaving comments on blogs-it is a lovely way to make contact and show your appreciation.

  10. Thanks for your comment about Shonna's interview - today is Heather from Audrey Eclectic.

    Anyways, I know what you mean about trying to get the right 'look' for your blog. I wish I could use the space on either side of the posts, but beggars can't be choosers I guess ;).

    Your pictures are beautiful! And that lil flower you found is so precious! I can hardly wait for spring and we're getting another major snow storm tomorrow through Saturday.


  11. What cute elephants!Please stop by my blog(#921)!

  12. I came to your blog via Valerie Greeley's blog, Acorn Moon. Thank you to Valerie and to the bees for leading me here.
    Your embroideries are so beautiful.Is there a William Morris influence?
    I blog for the sheer joy of finding kindred spirits, a validation of self I suppose. If it were not for the blogosphere
    how would we find each other?
    Incidentally, I am mortally allergic to bees so have to keep a respectful distance, but how could
    we live without them?

  13. Just found your blog today and am following it. I really like the detail that you did on the pedal of the flower. Very surprising and interesting stitch.


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