Saturday, July 4, 2015

Birthday Sale!

Blog birthday sale
Because it's my blog's (belated) birthday I have a sale in my shop on Payhip. There is 25% off everything, including all the sets and ebooks etc. The sets already save you money compared to the individual patterns, so here's a chance to save even more. :-D

Use this code: HAPPY9BLOG - valid until July 12.

The Payhip shop isn't yet quite as...sophisticated as I would like and finding things is a bit of a pain, especially when you have a lot of patterns like I do.

So if there's a particular pattern you're after, here is a tip to make it a lot easier to find. Your browser should have a 'search page' function.

On the page, hold down the Ctrl key and then press the F key. A little box will appear in the top right corner of the browser and then you can type in what you are looking for. It even has little up/down arrows that allows you to move between instances where a word appears. For example, the word Dala appears a few times in my shop. :-)

There you go, bonus internet tip; because obviously the search page trick works on other pages too. ;-)

Here's that link to the Polka & Bloom Payhip shop again.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

9 lessons from 9 years of blogging

In May this blog turned 9. I know, crazy. I've never done anything for as long as I've been blogging. Never had a job for that long, never lived in the same place for that long (as an adult, anyway). It's been a constant in my life for the past 9 years and I am so incredibly grateful for that. And for the people I have met through it.

I've been thinking about what I have learnt from blogging. I've learnt a lot! Below are nine lessons, in no particular order, but really it could easily be 30 lessons. Blogging is intertwined with life in general, I think. :-)

Blog for you
Don't start a blog because you think you have to have one...that's not a great reason to start a blog. If you're starting a blog because you 'have to', you will never have the same passion for it as you will if you start one because you want to and because you think you will enjoy it. Blog because there is something you want to share with the world. Even if you only want to share it with a few people. Don't start a blog for anyone else but you.

Be yourself
It should go without saying, don't try to be someone you're not. How long can you keep up the pretense if you try to be someone else? Don't think that you or your blog has to be perfect. Just be you. People will know when you're sincere. People want to connect with a real human being, messy desk and all. Pinteresting isn't the same as interesting. ;-)

People change. And their blogs change with them. It is only natural. Blogging itself has changed so much since I started my first blog in 2003.

You may feel like you have to keep writing about the same thing(s) forever and ever. You don't. Seriously. It's your blog and you can write about whatever you want. Certainly if it's a personal blog. I guess if your blog is a car blog and you all of a sudden start writing about flowers.. maybe you need to examine if the car blog has come to the end of the road.

But in general, blogs have room for people to change. The people reading may change as you and your blog change but that's fine.

You can take a break
The internet won't collapse if you take a break from your blog. Most people are not paid to write their blogs, they do it because they love it and have something they want to share with others.

You don't owe anyone anything. You're allowed to take a break from your blog if you want or need to. You don't even have to explain or excuse yourself unless you want to. Just come back after your break and carry on where you left of. Your people will still be there and they will welcome you back with open arms.

Don't worry about the numbers
Sure, it can be interesting to see how many subscribers you have or clicks or page views or whatever. But don't get hung up on that. Don't curl up in a fetal position if your blog 'only' has 234 subscribers and it's been 'stuck' on that number for months.

Unless your blog is a tool for selling stuff or you want to be famous, those numbers don't matter as long as you enjoy writing for your blog. It is better to write a blog that is actually being read by 234 people than barely glanced at by 2345 people who forgot why they subscribed in the first place.

Oh and if you see the subscriber number going down, don't take it personally. Those people aren't your people. They're just not that into you and that is ok. Same goes for other social media like Instagram and Twitter etc.

Don't take it personally
Most encounters on the internet are friendly, but occasionally some people will get nasty. Try not to let it get to you. Most likely it's not you, it's them. Something is going on in their lives and you just happened to be in the wrong virtual place at the wrong time.

Looks aren't everything
By looks I don't mean how you look, but the look of your blog. Make it easy to navigate your blog, have text that is readable and decent photos. Then stop messing around with the design on a weekly basis. Yes, you can add all kinds of fancy widgets and fonts and shiny gifs, but that doesn't mean you should. In fact, keeping it simple is better than lots of stuff that doesn't do anything but look pretty.

One place where looks are important, though, is photos. Take the best photos you possibly can. Always keep learning. Use natural light, never flash.

Music is annoying
I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but music that starts playing as soon as your blog loads is really, really bad. You have no control over where your visitors are reading your blog. Maybe they are at work. Or reading blogs on their phone in a restaurant bathroom. And then all of a sudden Celine Dion or some techno music starts playing. Not. Good.

No ifs, no buts. Remove that music widget. Go and do it right now, please. I'll wait for you. Ok, all done? Good. On behalf of the rest of the internet: thank you. :-)

One of the best things about blogging is that you can become friends with other bloggers, or with readers of your blog. There are people I know who started blogging about the same time as me and through the magic workings of the blogosphere we got to talking and we still know each other. It's amazing how you can get to know someone through their words and images, seeing the changes in their lives, both personally and creatively. Their kids grow up, maybe they move to a different country or get a new job. In some cases I have met these blog friends, in others I know its unlikely that we will ever meet. But you never know.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015 make lemon ice cream

Yellow floss
Thank you. So so much. Your kind kind and thoughtful comments and emails on my post about my missing creative mojo really lifted my spirit. So thank you.

I have to admit that I wasn't entirely sure I was going to share that post until I actually pressed the 'publish' button. Because, what if you'd think I were some whiny brat and I should just get over it. Clearly I have issues. ;-)

Of course, I will 'get over' it. But it's not something you can just snap out of. Atleast not in my experience. It's a process. And it helps big time to actually put it into words and share it with others.

I'm not sure what the next 'step' will be, but having looked the thing in the eye it is a lot easier to move forward, to gently nudge myself in a different direction. I almost wrote 'in the right direction' but what would that even mean when I don't know where I'm going? ;-)

Part of me is still kinda terrified that things aren't going as I'd like. But the other part of me is pretty excited that I have this period to just play and do things I've been wanting to try. Even if they are just little things. And I think that excitement is key to move forward.

I tend to feel like I only want to show things that are finished, but on the other hand I really enjoy seeing other people's works in progress and hearing their thoughts on the process. So there may be some more WIPs here on the blog from now on. Less pressure to finish things. And a big permission to do many things just because I want to. :-)

xo Carina

Green floss

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Review :: Squissors

These squissors were a present for my birthday. (Ok, I bought them myself, but it still counts, right?)

I was pretty excited about trying them. The idea is that you just squeeze the handle to cut the thread instead of having to fumble to get your fingers in the scissor handle. I figure it'd be a more ergonomic way to work - might even save me a bit of time.

Sadly, though, the excitement didn't last very long. At first the squissors were great but they have already lost their sharpeness. Within a few weeks. That is very disappointing. I will try and sharpen them but I'm not terribly optimistic.

Atleast not about these ones. I'm sure there are better brands out there, but if you come across these ones, I'd stay well clear.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

From my childhood :: Glansbilleder

When I was little I used to collect these scraps. I think that's what they're called in English? In Danish they are called 'glansbilleder' which means something like shiny pictures - I guess because they are kinda shiny.

On a visit to Denmark last year, I was going through some of my things still in my parents' loft, among other things photos and other...ephemera from my childhood. The album where I had collected these scraps was in there too. I had kinda forgot about them, it was a long time ago after all. But once I saw the album and opened it to the first page, it was like...seeing old friends.

I think the scraps were probably my first encounter with art/design. I remember vividly being fascinated by the colours and the patterns. My favourites were of course the flower ones. And the glitter ones. Oh the glitter. You'd touch one of those sheets with glitter on and it would get everywhere. :-)

It was lovely being reunited with these images from my childhood. I remember copying some of them, to see if I could draw them -or atleast something similar.

Unfortunately, I couldn't save all of the scraps sheets, they were too stuck in the album. But I managed to get some of my favourites. I don't know what I am going to use them for so for now I will just look at them from time to time...

When I was uploading the photos to Flickr I realised that I have a set with photos I took of all the scraps in that album. I'm glad I atleast have photos of them.

Did you collect scraps too? Is/was that a thing all over the world? :-)


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Please write comments in English - or any of the languages below. For other languages than these I won't be able to tell if the comment is nasty or spam, so I'll have to delete it. I don't want to delete legitimate comments! Thank you for understanding! xo, Carina

Languages I can read: Danish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch.
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