Saturday, May 14, 2016

Under construction













It's the time of year when I feel like I can't catch my breath for all the running-running-running I need to do. Everything happens at once during these May weeks. I love to be busy, but I don't relish the feeling of needing to be in several places at once. Lately, we've been seeing the doctors again for the LB, which is never easy, but the news has mostly been positive. This time last year, we were preparing for a major surgery, in addition to everything else we needed to do with the school year winding up, and we're glad not to be doing that now. Seeing the doctors again isn't so bad; in a way, they begin to feel like friends. We're fortunate to have good people to help us care for him.

It's a Saturday at home for us. We're watching Home Improvement on DVD and relaxing. The small Bears have runny noses and with the biggest school and ballet events still to come this week, we're just taking it easy this weekend. I was crocheting a bit earlier but I have to tell you that I'm feeling very uninspired at the moment. I'm sure some of it is just the time of year, but I'm also feeling out of ideas. I've been halfheartedly crocheting squares from the Paeonia pattern I shared a few weeks ago. I did the math; I have to make nearly 300 of them to have a blanket sized for my bed, and I'm afraid I'm just not feeling it enough. I'm thinking about big, basic granny squares instead, joining them with gray outer rounds. I've pinned a few granny afghans lately, like I just started crocheting (my crochet pinboard is here, if you're interested). I like Paeonia, but I'm undecided. Maybe it's time to have a little crochet break and do something else for a while instead. I do have sewing and cross-stitch projects that need attention. Too many projects? Undecided and uninspired - this is my crafting phobia.

This week, I received another email from someone who wants to help me "brand" my blog. I get these emails fairly often. I ignore them. This particular company wanted to help me design clothing that would boost my "brand recognition." Well. I have a style to my blog, and a color scheme, but I'd hardly call that a brand. I didn't engage with the offer, of course, but it made me think about what kind of blog I actually have. It isn't a craft blog; I see myself as more of a dabbler - an enthusiast - than an expert. It's not a food blog, though I enjoy sharing recipes that I've tried and liked. I don't have a farm, or a large family, or religious content. I've made a little bit of money with my blog but it's hardly a business. I'm pretty hopeless with social media; I don't think I've scrolled through my Instagram feed yet this month. Maybe I don't have a focus but I like it this way. I've spent too much of my life worrying about what others think; finally, now that I'm in my late thirties, I've been learning how to let go. It's liberating, and I wish I'd figured it out sooner. Life is so much easier when you aren't imagining that everyone thinks you're ridiculous.

I started blogging with the idea that I would write about the good, positive things in my life, to help me appreciate them more, I think. Everyone hopes people will read their blog; I've had modest success, which keeps me going too, of course, but this whole blogging gambit, for me, is mainly about the small things in life - the ones that make me happy and remind me of what's important. I write about my hobbies, my family, or the season, or the sunset or my backyard flowers. So that's my focus, I think - simple, happy things. I'm glad others out there enjoy the same kinds of things I do. It makes me happy to know that people like to stop by and see what I've been up to. You're good people, I like it when you come around. Pull up an afghan, stay for tea.

33 comments:

  1. I'm working on an afghan, it's basically one big granny square because I couldn't stand the thought of having to do a bunch of small ones.

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  2. I like the title of this post, it made me think with each photo.
    I like your eclectic blog and it always makes me happy and peaceful when I stop by.

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  3. I love your blog as it is. You don't need a "brand." You are you!
    P.S. 300 granny squares? You are brave. Granny squares make me crazy.

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  4. I like your brand of blogging. The rhythm of life is always fascinating. Sharing thoughts, caring for our families, and our hobbies help make the world seem a little less large. My granny square blanket is still in the works. I'm easily distracted by other pretty projects but I will finish it. Lisa

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  5. I think you have what I call a "lifestyle" blog.. just sharing what you do and think.. it's good. I came up with a fun moniker for bloggers.. we're kind of "photo journalists".. we take photos and share them and write stories to go with them. Actually we can call ourselves and our blog styles whatever makes us happy. And yours makes people happy.. to me it's all about connecting with like-minded people. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  6. I'm another who likes your blog the way it is. It doesn't have to have a particular theme or be "branded" to be good. In fact, I much prefer the blogs that are down-to-earth and where the blogger talks about a variety of things going on in their life. Hope you're having a good weekend!

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  7. Please don't change your blog - it's lovely just as it is. I like to see what you and your family have been up to, the recipes you have made, the craft projects in progress (love the crochet squares by the way!), the area you live in and your gorgeous garden. I started mine as a kind of online diary, just so that at the end of the year I can remember all the happy things and those are the kind of blogs that I like to read too. Have a restful Sunday and I hope the frantic end of term goes well. xx

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  8. Oh Jen I love your humbleness regards your blog, and the offer you declined to add more to your blog. I love the what your blog is all about its just right!!

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  9. I find your blog to be very calming in such a whirling blogosphere. I feel the same about my crochet at the moment, nothing is really interesting me, but it has happened before so I am waiting for the feeling to pass. Enjoy your weekend, we are also becoming homebodies after such busy weeks away at school and work and it is lovely to just stop and breathe.

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  10. Please stay just as you are, Jennifer. I love visiting here. I heave a big sigh at the relentless march of growth and branding (blanding, more like!). Good luck with all your end of term rushing about and I hope the children get well soon. Sam x

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  11. Yes, never change Jennifer, I love you and your blog just the way you are. I love to see the little bears, and the chickens, and your beautiful house and garden. It is soothing and calming just to look at your photos. I began my blog for a similar reason, to focus on the good and nice things in my life, to encourage myself to appreciate them, and to reach out to like minded souls. The rewards of blogging are indeed the friends you find out there. Good luck with the LB, and maybe put aside the crotchet for a bit? Although I must say I do love the grey as the border colour - chic :))

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  12. We all go through phases of feeling uninspired. I usually just make dishcloths or granny squares or hearts when I'm not sure what I want to do. And there have been days lately when I do nothing at all and I'm okay with that. I listen to my body and how I feel and just go with the flow. I do hope your boy will be okay and that possibly one day there won't be a need for so many doctor's visits, even if they are friendly. :) I've had many chances lately to teach classes and make money from it. To put ads and other things on my blog. But I always say no. I don't want to be obligated to anyone or anything. Like you said, I want to keep it simple. To blog when I like according to what I like or what's going on. I don't want to have any set of criteria or commitments that I have to adhere to. I'm a simple gal and want to keep it that way. Wishing you a super Sunday. Tammy

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  13. Why, oh why does everything need a "brand"? What's wrong with just being? Just do what you do and s*d those who want to change you. I got into a crochet hiatus too, didn't feel I needed any more blankets, ha ha! So I'm into knitting socks now, thanks to Lucy (Attic 24) and Winwickmum. I have several cones of 4ply in my stash so plan to use some of it up. Glad LB is better, fingers crossed he continues to improve. x

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  14. I like your focus and your blog does just that, it celebrates the little things in life and that is perfect. I started as a knitting blog and really should change the name of it as it is about so much more than that. I dabble in everything and have very, very modest success, but I love those I have met through this wonderful land we share.
    Meredith

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  15. The crochet squares are lovely, they would make a beautiful blanket but 300 is a lot to crochet if you're not feeling it, perhaps after a little break you'll feel differently. I enjoy your blog the way it is, a little bit of everything. You never get bored with blogs if they touch on a number of subjects.

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  16. Don't mind if I do. I love your simple happy blog, it chimes with me a lot. It's always such a positive place to visit. I know exactly what you mean about not feeling it on the yarn front sometimes. I've set my knitting aside for a while. I know it will come back to me, certainly in the autumn if not before. I'm sure you'll find the same thing, and you'll be dying to get going again. It's good to take a break in the meantime though, makes it all the better to come back to. Wishing you a good week, the calendar is getting fuller and fuller here too. CJ xx

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  17. I love your blog just the way it is, I avoid 'branded' blogs they are not my thing at all. I'm struggling with my crochet at the moment as I keep making stupid mistakes. I think I need something that needs less concentration at the moment. Sometimes a change is good.

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  18. Keep going! You light up my day each time you post on your blog!!

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  19. Your posts are gifts I love to open, Jennifer. While I want you to be rewarded for your efforts, I am so glad you opt for simple life celebration, artistic expression, and relationship building. I have rejected the few offers I have had to attach my blog to a given product, as well. The one thing I started to do and have not followed through with yet is to at least register an Amazon link that would pay something if and when folks follow a link to Amazon that I have included when sharing books. As it is now, I am giving them free advertising. Have you looked into that? One thing I know is that I don't want my blog to be flashy! I admire how Jane Brocket and Alicia Paulson created their blogs. They were my role models when I started blogging and I continue to admire the ways their blogs have changed over time. When I feel uninspired with the larger projects I have started I usually make some dishcloths...simple, swift, and useful. Hope your little bears feel better soon and that the rest of your busy month goes well :) xxxxxx

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  20. Hi Jennifer. I love your blog just the way it is. Although we have never met, I feel we are friends and would enjoy sitting down with you and crocheting or cross-stitching together. Gosh, my blog must be boring...no one has ever approached me about selling anything or branding either. :-). That's just fine with me. I seem to have so many things going on craft wise right now. A blanket, a gift, some charity projects. I can't seem to settle on anything at the moment either. Ten minutes here, twenty there and it seems not much gets finished.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  21. Wow, Jennifer, you take beautiful pictures! Such vivid colors and lovely poses.

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  22. Love your blog, Jennifer! You're part of my Sunday morning blog reading list! Don't change unless you want to. Your blog is delightful the way it is! In fact, I read all your archived posts as well!

    Best,

    Wendy

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  23. I love your blog as it is Jennifer and really enjoy your gentle take on life. I love that photograph of your son drinking from his cup- perfect x

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  24. Your blog does not need to have a brand, it has personality, and lots of it and I love it. It is fun, gentle, lovely and reflects your life. At the end of the day, those who offer you help with your brand just want to make money and care very little about who you are. I know the feeling of project tiredness. I can't settle on anything I want to focus on at the moment. I think now that the initial spring surge of energy is approaching low tide, I'll just go with the flow and wait for that need to make to come back. I like your Paeonia squares a lot but 300 does sound like a lot of squares to make. Have you considered a cushion cover? Wishing you a good week, hopefully not too hectic. xx

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  25. Yes, I can relate to that. I started blogging because I wanted to record the little things, to share and enjoy them, and to connect with others who appreciate them too.
    It's good to look back at the small memories and details that often disappear, sidelined by the big events in life.
    I get random offers coming in but tend to ignore them. Perhaps if they related to something I genuinely believed in, or tied in with my own philosophy, then maybe. But they don't. So I'll just keep going in my own direction.
    I really enjoy your writing and reading your views. And I'm 41 on Wednesday and only recently decided to forget what others think. Not easy to do but with a bit of practice it is indeed very liberating.

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  26. Hi Jennifer, your blog is delight. I enjoy dropping by to hear about things in your world that have meaning to you and your family, many of which resonate with me despite living on another continent. It's the little things that are important and simple pleasures. It's great to be able to share in them too.

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  27. You do not need to be "branded" you are fine as you are and doing OK. I am feeling a little undecided about projects at the moment I always like to have a long term project that I can dip in and out of with smaller projects going alongside. Take care.

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  28. I turn 40 in December and I totally get it! one, no need to be 'branded' I think people come to another's blog because they find common interests and a 'voice' that they like to hear. You are no exception to this! It's WONDERFUL to get a bit more comfortable in who we are and who we are becoming and not so anxious about what others think!

    PS: about Purl Soho, will probably blog about this too, have been before, so if you google roosje blog purl soho I hope you will find the other times I've blogged about my visits there! :)

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  29. I hope a slow weekend has restored the Bears, Jennifer. I think there's an ebb and flow with crafting, I get it too. Blogging about simple happy things sound good to me, you don't need to change anything. xx

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  30. that last paragraph was perfect.. everyone has their style.. not everyone blogs for the sake of turning it into a business.. it is like a digital diary, a wonderful way to look back.. and while it may not fit into any particular niche.. it is one of my favorite place to come.. you blog is warm and feels a bit like home..

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  31. I love your blog just the way it is Jennifer, it has bags of personality and is a lovely read. I love your crochet squares, they will look great as a blanket, big or small. Have a lovely week. Jane xx

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  32. Please don't change ANYTHING about your beautiful blog. I've said it before and I'll say it again: your blog is just wonderful the way it is. xx

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