I’m so excited to share my FIRST YEAR of blogging BLOGOVERSARY at our Teatime Link-ups this week!!
It was one year ago this past weekend that I went to the antique show at our local Woman’s Club. They have one the first weekend in March and the first weekend in November every year – and I’m always there. I’ve gotten to know the dealers and they know me. For instance – Valerie usually brings a hat I simply MUST take home with me!
But, by far the most enriching thing I took home last year was a freebie – a blogspot address from Linda who had just entered into Blogland with Grandmalays Daydreams.
It was Linda, you see, who tooled me with the key to Blogworld, and now – one year later – I’ve prepared a special Give-Away for the occasion! Here’s a peek:
I gathered the whole bunch up at the Woman’s Club Antique Show this past weekend where I re-connected with Linda in person at her table.
Roaming about the room, I found plenty of tea things – not only at Linda’s table . . .
But, my friend Gail of Vintage Rose Teas was there with some beautiful tea things!
How I would have loved to go home with this stunning trio with a white rose pattern!
But, I was a woman on a mission – I was buying variety today – not just tea things – and thinking of all of you!
Once again it was a new year and I had been thinking about re-starting my blog that I had begun five years earlier. I’d found blogspot and created a very simple page and posted my first little introductory bit. Then – waited. Waited. Waited.
No one read it.
Hmmmm . . . is there some sort of secret to being read on a blog? How do people find you?
Over the next few years – always between January and March – I gave it another college try. Again, cute little posts, no readers or comments.
So, here I was again, the first week of March, 2011, feeling the nudge of the Lord to start blogging, yet overwhelmed with a sense of past failures and cluelessness as to the “trick” to getting into what felt like a secret society.
Then, along comes Linda at the Woman’s Club Antique Show with the line, “Oh! Kathy! You just have to visit my new blog!”
A flood of expectation swelled over me. “Say, I was just thinking about starting up my blog again. But, I just don’t think I’m doing it right. It seems too complicated.”
Linda assured me she was quite the novice, but she was enjoying it so much and just beginning to meet people. She explained about how I have to connect with others by reading blogs that would be in my own interest pool. The idea of commenting and introducing myself and inviting others to visit me – well – it would seem that I had to have the courage to reach out to others before they would know to reach out and respond to me.
A daunting proposal. What if I made a fool of myself? I looked at bloggers as almost semi-celebrities. They’re all professional and published. Would they have time to read little old me? And, more to the point – did I have anything really to contribute to the plethora of words and ideas out there in Blogworld?
Linda’s gentle encouragement and a written list of specific tips in building a visually appealing blog, using pictures to illustrate and blog etiquette, was invaluable. That afternoon I sat down and pulled up my old boring blog and completely re-did it from top to URL!
Just a few weeks earlier, my photographer friend Karyn, had done a full day photo shoot of me in various costumes. She was getting her degree and had some school projects to do and hoped to use my shoot for some practice and perhaps project work. Karyn graduated this past December as valedictorian of her class with an amazing gallery exhibit in Philadelphia! Just go see her marvelous works at VioletBrown Photography!
My favorite shot in the series was the one I put up as my blog banner . . .
When I saw the series, I felt words in my spirit: The Writer’s Reverie.
Then, verse followed – a sort of mission statement:
I had vision! My new blog was built! I published it! Then visited Linda and began to visit the handful of blogs she was reading with similar interests to myself. First I met the talented Sandy at Quill Cottage . . .
And, Kathy at Delightsome Life . . .
They were two of the first blogs I began to comment on and follow – and two of the sweet bloggers who encouraged me, giving me more tips on how to build my blog and readership.
Early on, too, I met Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for teatime . . .
And, Trish in Australia for LACE Wednesdays at Lily Rose Cottage . . .
It was Kathy who explained the link-up process to me – and by May, I was linking away. My followers and readership – and BLOG FRIENDS – grew.
And, I haven’t looked back.
So, now about the Give-Away! The blogger Give-Away rituals celebrate all sorts of milestones in blogger’s lives. I’ve enjoyed participating in many – and have actually won five times this year! Lovely gifts from lovely ladies! So, of course, I want to put a nice little package together for my first year milestone Give-Away. I had such a grand time finding little treasures to put together into a “potpourri” of a Give-Away package inspired by the many different areas of blogger interests with which I’ve connected! Just look and see:
I am continually enriched by the goodness and beauty I find in our little Blogland world. I follow a “potpourri” of bloggers in various areas. The Christian devotional blogs brought me into fellowship with sweet believers all over the world. I sip my morning tea on blog reading days with the likes of Sharon Sharing God and Janette Sage and so many more . . .
The collage/mixed media artists stirring up the long dormant artist in me and opening wide the world of ATC’s – thanks Jill at Bucks County Folk Art for telling me what an ATC is – and sending me one so I could see it up close and personal! Oh, the altered books and journals and collage artists – Shawn at Poetry in a Pot of Tea – and anything artists – Creative Carmelina – and beautiful vintage images – Twyla & Lindsey at Two Crazy Crafters – and graphics – shout out to Abby at Little Birdie Blessings and so many, many, more – that I am inspired by daily . . .
The tea ladies and our weekly teatimes – oh – how my love of all things teatime has found a greater purpose in collecting and making daily use of as I now host teas at my home for ladies as a way of sharing enrichment, beauty, and encouragement in the Lord – and then online – and then emptying my bank account in tea shops . . .
The wealth of an education and inspiration I’ve received from all the beautiful cottage, home, and garden blogs featuring interior decor, antique and vintage thrift shopping for home good bargains, re-purposing, and exterior landscaping and flowers everywhere to create a home sanctuary surrounded by beauty where retreat is a way of life . . .
The home schooling friends – foreshadowing a year ago the very direction my life is joyfully taking today as I enter year two of blogging . . .
And, the various writing blogs and lovers of literature I can look to for inspiration and encouragement in my own composition pursuits. Many of these friends I meet here in Blogworld cross over into two or more of these interest categories – like Deb yakking away at Words on Wheels – with many other miscellaneous categories tossed in for fun.
Though this past school year has cut my previous average of five posts a week down to two, I have consistently linked in with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday . . .
And, besides Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage and Trish’s Simply Sweet, I link in weekly with all these Teatimes on Tuesday . . .
Many changes this year as I’ve grown with such loving support from women I have never met – and yet we find a connection – often praying together and seeing the Lord use this communication forum in miraculous ways.
Linda has continued to work her Grandmalays Daydreams Blog, too – this past year expanding to an Etsy Shoppe where she sells many of the lovely vintage treasures she collects – reaching a Blogland audience. Do visit her Etsy HERE!
I wish I could list you all more personally – but, for that, just scroll down my left side-bar and there you all are! Bless each and every one of you! I’m sharing this cup of tea today in celebration of a joyful first year of blogging – and as a thank you to all the beautiful and sweet spirits I’ve come to know and love – I sip with unbounded gratitude that you have made me feel so welcome in Blogworld.
I’ll be celebrating all month! To enter, all you have to do is comment on my posts all month! I will be collecting ALL the comments (so the more you comment the more your name is in the hat) and draw a winner at the end of the month on March 31 – announcing the winner at Beverly’s Pink Saturday! And – don’t be surprised if by month’s end I have added more treasures to our potpourri of prizes! Perhaps – there will be multiple winners . . . too . . .
Thank you for a great first year of blogging! Bless you all in Blogland – and, see you ’round the posts!
Celebrating My First Year of Blogging this week with: