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Blogging Your Way

I’ve been trying to do some serious thinking about this blog and where it’s heading. Asking myself questions like: why do I do it? What can I do better? Why do people come here? How can I include better content and encourage more visitors? What do I enjoy writing about?

I’m not sure I have many answers. So, when I saw that Holly Becker from Decor8 was doing a Blogging Your Way e-course this month, I thought it might be just the thing to help me focus on what’s important.

Here is what I do know: I enjoy taking photographs. I have some skill, but I would like to get better. I am a mom. A mother naturally documents the lives of her children. I like having a record of my kids, and also of the projects we do. I am a professional graphic designer. Though I no longer have a design day-job, my understanding of design and personal aesthetic inform my decisions on the projects we do – whether its a home improvement project, a craft project or a kid project.

What I’d really like is for this blog to be a place of inspiration. I feel that if I can do something, others can, too. I am not particularly talented or motivated. I barely have  time or energy left at the end of the day. Lots of moms face this same issue. But I do recognize ways in which I can add just a touch more fun and function in my kids lives, and in our home. We all love our kids and want to provide them with happy homes and childhoods.

And, let’s face it. This is real life. Sh*t happens. It happens to me, too. My kids love to make a mess. They make it hard to go shopping. They  get muddy. And mis-behave. They make me crazy! And yet they are also amazing beings that bring the purest joy to my heart. While our experiences may vary from other families, there is a thread of familiarity, of normalacy. Sometimes that is nice to read about, to know we’re not alone. Sometimes its just nice to read a different perspective.

Another question I wonder – can I successfully blend my personal family stuff with the projects, tutorials, and free printables that most people come for? Would it be better to split off my personal stuff into another blog? Relegate more of it to just Facebook? Does anyone actually care, beyond immediate family? If I look at some of my favorite blogs, almost none include their kids. Something to think about.

Lastly, this blog generates a tiny amount of income for me and my family, due to that ad in the sidebar. Enough to take the kids for a special treat or pay the babysitter a couple hours, once a month. It is probably every blog mama’s dream to generate income this way, doing something you love, with flexible hours and no boss. While I realize this is unlikely, I don’t think it is unreasonable to want to expand opportunities here. Right now I don’t get paid to do product reviews or anything like that, and if I did I would definitely disclose that information and have a level of transparency. To do otherwise would feel inauthentic. I don’t believe I’ll actively cultivate revenue opportunities, but I won’t ignore them either.

So… whew! That is where I am right now. Is anyone still with me? Please, please give me your feedback. Anything at all. Why do you visit this blog? What is or is not working for you? I promise to listen and consider everything. If you don’t want to leave a public comment, feel free to send me a direct email at paperseed (at) gmail {dot} com.

Thank you so much for being here. Truly.

Emily


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A bit of happiness

Covering a wall with butterflies

Do you ever search the web to find a little bit of happiness? To me, the web is kind of like a magazine, full of ideas and inspiration and eye-candy (depending on where you look). One blog that is always good for the aforementioned qualities is Color Me Katie. She’s a photographer living in Brooklyn and shares lots of happy and colorful things, from crafts, to street art, to improv. I envy her rare gift that makes the ordinary extraordinary.  Take a look at these photos and see if her feel-good work doesn’t make your day a little bit more sunny. 🙂

Putting Rubber Duckies in street puddles

Drawing a kitty face on a toe

Birds flying out of a magazine

Marshmallows with faces


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Just Arrived

Looky here! My very first PIF craft exchange arrival from Denise at Marleymor! Organic chocolates, meditative teas, a darling decorative tile with button magnet (inside the red tissue with raffia. I took the picture before I opened it because it was so pretty) and a sweet pair of rose blush colored earrings! Thanks so much Denise. I can see why everyone gets so excited for these little goodies in the mail. They’re so fun and full of surprises!


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From Me to You for the Holidays

When I started blogging this spring I had no plans or any idea how this blog might take shape. I knew I enjoyed writing. I knew I liked to take pictures. And I wanted to share. But the question was did I have any thing to say? At first, I didn’t think so.

I remember two specific things that really got me interested in blogging. The first was when my old co-worker, Anne, introduced me to Dooce, which remains one of my favorite blogs of all time. And the second was when I was asked to design a blog page for a literary newspaper while working at my old job. I had no idea what blogs entailed at the time (and I still have no web coding skills). It’s a good thing for me that wordpress provides templates!

Anyway, I’ve come a long way since then. I write posts fairly regularly. I take pictures. And I subscribe to a lot of blogs. It has really been a fun journey, full of inspiration, thoughts, sharing, learning and laughter. I’ve met people, via blogs, that I never would have, nearby and over great distances. And I’ve learned that there are those out there, family, friends and strangers, who are interested in what I have to share. And that is so amazing.

In fact, I’ve been trying to think of something to offer for the holidays. Something useful and fun. I like the ideas from these sites (1,2,3,etc), plus I’ve come up with a couple of my own. Basically, the plan is to offer a little something free to download every Sunday until Christmas. Check back tomorrow, the first of seven download-for-free Sundays, and I’ll see what I can come up with. 🙂

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