Monday, June 1, 2015

Thistlebear in Print!

Just before Easter, I received an email from Adam Baca, a writer at Albuquerque the Magazine. He wanted to know if I'd like to participate in a feature on local bloggers for the upcoming June issue, which is a very special one because it's the magazine's annual Home and Garden issue. Adam wanted to interview some local bloggers and have us each demonstrate a DIY project for the home. Of course I said yes! I was so excited. Thus began a really interesting experience that I'd like to share now that the magazine has hit the newsstands.


This is the June 2015 issue of Albuquerque the Magazine. It's our city's premier publication, a real glossy magazine full of beautiful photography and stories of local interest. We bloggers have a mention right on the front page, which is really exciting. Apparently, I'm one of the city's "craftiest" bloggers. Whoa.


Inside, we have our own section just for the blogger feature. Eight bloggers from around the city participated in the article. All of us are doing something different - gardening, home decor and DIY and cooking are just some of the areas covered by our local bloggers. I'm really excited to see a feature like this one, to help shine some light on blogging in Albuquerque. There aren't all that many bloggers here but we're all pretty passionate about what we do and it's great to be noticed.

At the end of April, a professional photographer named Antonio Ramon came to my house to take photos for the article. It was really cool and weird at the same time. He brought lights and other equipment, and took what seemed like hundreds of pictures. I've never had my photo taken for anything like this before and when he called to set up the photo shoot, I had lots of questions for him. He was helpful, telling me to wear a plain, dark-colored shirt, a simple hairstyle and light daytime makeup. So I did what he said: I wore a black v-neck top, pinned up the front of my hair on top and put on a little bit of powder, eyeshadow, mascara and lip gloss. I was nervous on the day, not least because I thought for sure he'd catch some glaring home-repair problem on camera, but he didn't - not even the molding we still need to rehang after painting the foyer, or the surprisingly shoddy carpeting in our family room. Antonio was totally chill and very nice and I had a good time working with him.


Here's my section of the article! I have a page and a half (the other half of the second page is a quiz about what kind of DIY'er you are). Sorry for the photo quality; I was trying to keep the glare at bay. This is probably the worst time of year to be trying to take photos of a magazine spread, what with our bright early-summer sun at the moment, but you get the idea. On the left-hand side, there's me in my kitchen. I'm standing at the kitchen peninsula, demonstrating a craft project for Antonio to photograph (more on that in a minute). The right-hand side is close-up photos of the making of the project; Antonio photographed my hands as I worked.

Adam had asked each of us to share a simple DIY project for the home or garden that we could demonstrate for the article. For my project, I decided to teach readers how to create an embroidery hoop-framed fabric decoration for the home. I've made many of these for my own home and I've found them quick and easy. I think they're a great way to bring some color and visual interest to a room. They're affordable too. Have you ever tried making one? I wrote a tutorial for them here on my blog in 2014; take a look right here for more information.

I actually had the chance to help write this article, which I found pretty exciting. Adam asked me to write out the steps for making the hoop-framed fabric decoration, and it's my own writing which appears here in the article! I guess I explained it well. Adam assigned each blogger's project to a different room of the house and mine was designated for the bathroom. You should know that I don't actually have any of these decorations in my own bathrooms, only in the family room and living/dining rooms, but I think they'd be adorable in a bathroom!


There I am, hoop in hand. (And my full name on view in the article; please don't stalk me).


A closer look at the making of the hoop.


Antonio asked me to hang it on the wall. I added it to the display over the couch in the family room. I actually took down a hoop-framed fabric decoration I had hanging in this same place and just reused the nail already in the wall. I liked the way the new one looked, so much that I just left it! It's still there as I write (I moved the other hoop to another area of the wall display, where it also looks better now; win-win!).


My morning with Antonio was fun, but there was still another event to look forward to: Albuquerque the Magazine's Launch Party for the June issue, to which I was invited as a featured subject. The magazine throws a party each month for the advertisers and the people featured in the issue. The party was last week, an evening event held at a residential community for older people (the community was a major advertiser in the June issue).


The Bear accompanied me to the party; it was a big night out for us! I got a little dressed up and even switched purses, opting to carry something pretty instead of the mom-sack I usually lug around. The party was held in the facility's beautiful courtyard, which was filled with meticulously tended gardens, a koi pond, walking paths and a seating area with tables and chairs.


Upon entering the party, I was asked to put my name and info on a card to be entered into a drawing for some really nice prizes (I didn't win anything, but it was fun to participate). I was also given two raffle tickets, exchangeable for copies of the magazine (it was to be released the next day to the public but we could have advance copies that night), and two plastic tokens that we could redeem for one alcoholic beverage each. There was also a delicious catered buffet of appetizers. I particularly enjoyed some tiny meatballs and a skewer with cucumber slices, tomatoes, feta cheese and kalamata olives.


This was my drink. I like hard ciders and had never tried this brand before. It was really good. They also had wine and beer options. The Bear had a glass of white. We spent the evening chatting with all different people and I had the chance to meet one of the other bloggers, Letisha Perry of Blue Eye DIY. She was really sweet and bubbly and I very much enjoyed talking to her about blogging and local life too.


At the end of the evening, we cashed in our tickets for copies of the magazine, which were available at a table under a pergola in the courtyard. I was so excited to have a look at our article and I made a beeline back to the little cocktail table where the Bear was waiting for me. I had no idea what to expect but I was really happy with it. I wish I could show you the whole magazine but take my word for it, all eight of us were represented beautifully and the article makes me very proud to be a blogger in this wonderful city. We're all making our contributions in a different way and I think we complement one another really well.

I hope you'll want to check out the other blogs in the feature! Click on each link below:

Southwest Desert Gardening (Susan happens to live across the street; I told you this was a great neighborhood!)
Paper Crane Wishes
Cooking for Halflings and Little Monsters
Delineate Your Dwelling
Blue Eye DIY
Good to Grow
Desert Willow Lane

If you're local and you'd like to buy a copy of Albuquerque the Magazine, click here for newsstand locations.

Can I ask you a favor, dear readers? Albuquerque the Magazine gives "Best of the City"  awards each year. You don't have to live here to fill out an online ballot (you do have to submit your name and an email address, but you can uncheck the e-newsletter subscription box). The ballot is here. There's a "Best Blogger" category and I'd be so pleased if you voted for me. Just scroll down to the "People" section and type in my name, Jennifer Hays, and my blog, Thistlebear, in the "Best Blogger" field. THANK YOU!

53 comments:

  1. How exciting for you Jennifer and what a lovely evening you had at the launch party. Blogging is awesome isn't it? And doh! Of course you used a balloon whisk in your previous post. New glasses are arriving this week!

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  2. Well done, that's a brilliant article. You have a wonderful blog so I'm pleased you're getting recognised for it. I've voted for you.

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  3. Well done, that's a brilliant article. You have a wonderful blog so I'm pleased you're getting recognised for it. I've voted for you.

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  4. This is so exciting, congratulations!!!

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  5. Congratulations Jennifer, I've just voted for you!

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  6. Congratulations! That's a great article. Wish we can buy that magazine here.

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  7. Congratulations. Just going to vote now.

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  8. Yay! Loved reading more about all these great ABQ bloggers. Thanks for linking back to my blog. I'll be sharing a similar post next week and will link to you, too.

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  9. Congratulations you crafty blogger you! Such great news and very well deserved. x

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  10. Congratulations, Jennifer! How exciting to write for this magazine, and well done on your feature. The launch party sounds so wonderful tool
    Helen xox

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  11. Yay !!!! Congratulations !!! How cool is that, to be featured in a magazine !!
    PS vote is placed ;-) !

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  12. Congrats! It's so exciting when our writing starts to wander outside of the blog.

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  13. That's brilliant Jennifer, I'm sitting here smiling, thrilled that they chose you to be featured in their lovely magazine. It looks like a great article with brilliant pictures. I shall go and vote for you immediately. Well done you! CJ xx

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  14. Hey Jennifer,
    I'm smiling too!! What a great experience, and so fab that they chose you! They must have impeccable taste. You look so cute in your picture!
    I am off to vote right now.
    Leanne xx

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  15. That's a super fun magazine article. Lovely DIY project.
    And how brilliant they have a launch party! Looks like you had a great time
    Xx

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  16. Oh how wonderful! I'm so happy for you! This is awesome. :)

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  17. How wonderful and exciting!! Congratulations, Jennifer!

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  18. This is so very exciting Jen! I am so happy for you! xoxoxox Jen

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  19. Congratulations Jennifer! Well deserved. You're on your way to great things but already a star to me :)

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  20. Woo hoo!!! I'm so excited for you my friend! It all looks so polished and professional, and your evening sounds grea. Well done. Xx

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  21. How exciting for you, Jennifer. Well done! :o)

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  22. How exciting! Your blog is such a treat to read, Jennifer. Very well deserved.

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  23. oh, Jennifer!! No one could be more deserving!!! What a great opportunity!!!

    Years ago, our house was featured in a national magazine.....the photo shoot was a real hoot since our house is so small!!! Furniture completely removed so they could get the angles they needed....ladders, and the lights!!! HOT! All much fun, though, so I know you had a ball!!!!

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  24. Congratulations!! That must be such a thrill!!

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  25. Woo hoo! Such a kick to see you in print. Your project goes so perfectly with its neighbouring piece of art too.

    Congratulations and of course we will vote for you! :D

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  26. Woohoo! Look at you, being published in a glossy mag! I'm impressed! They did a great job with your part of it. How cool is that? Say - I did not see your last two posts in my list.. I don't understand why. But had I seen them I would have commented like always. But I'm glad I saw this post! I tried to vote for your blog on the website but it didn't work.. sorry! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  27. AHHHHHHH!!!!! Jennifer!!!! This is just absolutely awesome and fantastic and beautiful all wrapped into one! I am so happy for you!!! What an amazing experience for you all the way around! How cool to be able to see things from behind the scenes and help with the writing as well. You deserve this all the way friend! And the party and that garden....what a treat! You had me laughing at the mom-sack thing as I have a mom-sack and not many other purses like most women. Life is good my friend! This is just too awesome! Nicole xo

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  28. Jennifer! This is so exciting! I know a published writer... :)
    I'm so happy for you. I enjoyed your part of the article,and it's great you and Bear got to go to that party.
    I voted!

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  29. Hi Jennifer! I was really hoping to meet you and the other bloggers at the party. Sorry I didn't see you there. Thanks for the link back to my blog and congrats on being featured! ;)

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  30. How exciting for you! It looks wonderful.
    Amalia
    xo

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  31. Congratulations! How very exciting! The article looks wonderful, I am very happy for you Jennifer, you deserve all good things. Going to vote for you now! X

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  32. Wow what a cool thing to happen, im so happy for you x

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  33. Congratulations - how exciting :)

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  34. Wonderful news, congratulations Jennifer. You must have enjoyed the experience, sharing your creativity. Well done!

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  35. squee, that is so exciting x

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  36. Wow, that's just great! How exciting for you, huge congratulations x

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  37. Wow! That is just sooo cool... Congrats! You deserve it. <3

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  38. How Exciting! That looks like such a fun adventure -- and what a great way to meet your fellow local bloggers. Congratulations!

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  39. Done! I tried to cheat and vote twice but it wouldn't let me!! Good Luck Jennifer. Well-deserved congratulations. The Launch Party sounded like a great night. Thank you also for popping over to mine - I'm always so thrilled when you leave a comment. xxx

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  40. How exciting Jennifer, the whole experience sounds fantastic, and such a lovely magazine to keep too. Kate xx

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  41. Congratulations Jennifer! What an exciting opportunity and how lovely to go to a special party too.
    Marianne x

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  42. Woo hoo! What a great experience. Well done Jennifer!

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  43. Congratulations, Jennifer...this is SO exciting! What a cool experience and definitely well deserved. I voted for you/your blog in the "best blogger" category.

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  44. Congratulations Jennifer what fun you must be so proud. :) xx

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  45. Congratulations Jennifer what fun you must be so proud. :) xx

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  46. Oh well done, congratulations, what fun that you're featured! Right, I'm off to vote for you :o)

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  47. That's so exciting Jennifer. I'm planning (always planning - not much happening here at the mo) a hoop display for our living room after your tutorial a while ago. I hope lots of people vote for you!

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  48. Oh my goodness! That's such amazing news!! Congratulations!!

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  49. Oh, how exciting for you, Jennifer. Sorry I've been absent from blogging for so long (life is hectic) but I'm glad I didn't miss this and have voted. A couple of years ago my blog was chosen to feature in a list of best blogs by the over 50s by Saga magazine (the British equivalent of Modern Maturity) and I gained some permanent readers from that, which is always nice. :-)

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  50. Congratulations! What an amazing opportunity! x

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  51. I'm so glad your talents are being recognized and appreciated, Jennifer! I am behind on commenting, but have been enjoying catching up on your posts, and I did vote for your blog :) xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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