misc.

Thoughts On One Year of Blogging

thoughts on one year of blogging, the artyologist

Wow. It’s already been a year? In some ways it doesn’t seem like it was one year ago that I wrote that small little introductory post and pressed “publish”. And yet, in other ways it seems like forever ago.¬†It feels like sometimes I can’t remember what it was like to not be blogging. In some ways it’s like there is “life before blogging” and “life after blogging”. ūüôā And it’s crazy to think how much has happened in the past year, and how much my blog has grown since the beginning too! Blogging definitely hasn’t turned out to be what I thought it would be like: it has turned out to be even better. I’ve learned a lot in the last year, so I thought that I would share a few of those things I’ve learned along the way.

1. I have become a lot bolder and confident in my style since I started blogging about it. Instead of wondering whether something is too “out there”, I¬†go for it. I know what I like to wear, so I just wear it; instead of fearing the reactions of people around me (who by the way are very nice- I’ve never had a terrible vintage wearing experience like I know some people have!) It’s just my assumptions of what people will think of me, and that they will think I’m strange. Surprise! I am strange, so what am I worried about ūüėČ I’ve talked a bit about my vintage “journey” before, here and here¬†so you know I haven’t always been so confident in what I wear. I’m still not always confident, but knowing that I am supported by a large vintage community of people who are also wearing the same kind of offbeat style, is so encouraging. I may not see you in my day-to-day life, or ever cross paths in real life with another¬†vintage lover, but I know that you are out there, and I am not alone. And, because I am sharing my outfits here, it encourages me to try new things, sew new pieces, put together new ensembles, and generally keep me out of the rut of wearing the same old thing over and over again.

2. I should have started this blog years ago like I dreamed of, but never had the courage to. I was afraid of whether it would fail. And I haven’t failed. Yet. (haha!) I have all of you lovely readers who faithfully read what I have to say. This blog, and each of you, has given me the courage to try other things that I was afraid to do, like selling and showing my art and other crafts at several Christmas markets and art shows. (And, I am going to be starting up an online shop soon too, so stay tuned for that!)

3.¬†I really enjoy writing and making things and taking pictures and dressing up. This blog has given me a bit of purpose, I suppose, for all of those things. I have a place to share what I’m doing, the photos I’m taking, the things I’m learning and the outfits¬†I’m wearing.¬†I love to write, but I hadn’t done much since leaving high school. Now I can write as much as I want, and I have a purpose for it. (Some of my favourite posts have been the ones where I had to research and really take the time to think it out and write, such as my post on the history of harem pants.) I love to dress up, and now I have a place to share those outfits I’m really proud of. I love photography, and now I have a reason to improve my skills, and somewhere to share the pictures. I love to sew, but am famous for starting and never finishing projects. I am terrible at procrastinating and¬†putting off the things I truly enjoy, but having a blog has given me a reason to do those things that I already love to do, and the accountability to stay with it till the end. This blog has turned out to be¬†a great creative outlet, and I really look forward to coming up with more to share with you all.

Thoughts on One Year of Blogging, the artyologist, line of shoes

4. I’ve made so many new friends since I started blogging. Instead of being on the outside of the internet community, I’m now smack dab in the middle of it. Before I started this blog, I would rarely leave comments or engage in the conversations I saw happening on the internet. But now, I realize how valuable comments and emails and participation actually are. I truly enjoy each comment that you dear readers leave, and I now love leaving comments on other people’s blogs too. Since starting this blog, I’ve met¬†so many interesting people, (both online and in person), have written two guest posts (here and here) for some lovely fellow vintage bloggers, and have established a personal connection with many more. Each of you, my dear readers, I consider to be friends. You are the ones who make this fun for me, and I always look forward to what you have to say, in the comments and on your own blogs too.

5. Blogging is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I look back to my earliest posts, and I am not super proud of them. (So don’t go looking back at them, OK?) I didn’t really know what I was doing back then, but also I just wanted to quickly put a post together and publish it. I posted a lot, but those posts didn’t have much substance; I didn’t take the time to write something interesting or take good photographs. Fortunately, along the way, I made the decision to be more purposeful about what I post. I now take the time to take better¬†photos, and write something useful. It now takes much more of my time, but¬†I am much happier with the look and feel of my blog. I am always seeing areas that need improvement, but overall I am glad to be putting in the extra effort. The posts that I am most proud of, are the ones that took me the longest to write and put together. All things that are worthwhile take time, right?

6. Becoming a famous, full time blogger is probably not something that is going to happen to me. When I first started blogging, I looked at all the other bloggers out there, and thought it would be the same for me. I thought that once I had been doing this for a while, the sponsorships and collab posts would start pouring in. OK, well I didn’t think they’d start “pouring” in, but I did think I would get some notice, and that I would be able to make some money from blogging. As of now, I’ve gotten one email from a company, whose product didn’t fit very well with my style, or this blog, and so I turned it down. For a while I was kind of disappointed, but then I realized that it’s OK if I’m not a professional blogger. I don‚Äôt always remember to take pictures every time something noteworthy happens and sometimes those photos don’t turn out how I like, even if I do take them! I don‚Äôt dress up perfectly every day and plan the perfect outfit, and then make sure to post it to my social media. I can‚Äôt stay in a ‚Äúniche‚ÄĚ to save my life as I end up posting about any and everything I like. And, I realized, I don’t want to post only the things that will get followers and likes. I know there are practices that I could put in place to boost my readership and followers, but I don’t really want to feel boxed in like that. The result is that I don’t have a 100,000¬†page views and 20k followers on Instagram.¬†That‚Äôs OK. Because I actually like my¬†blog, and I look forward to posting.¬†And I’ve realized that it‚Äôs OK if it remains a creative outlet, and never turns into a paying job someday. ¬†(And besides, I’ve got all of you lovely followers here and on Instagram. What more could a girl want?)

7. After a year I realized that my blog direction has changed from what I initially thought it would be. I originally thought I would post¬†a lot of artwork, some fashion and a bit of lifestyle thrown in for good measure. That order has changed a lot, as my main focus is now on fashion, and especially vintage. Fashion history, vintage style outfits, thoughts on ethical fashion and vintage “fashion moments” make up the majority of what I post. I haven’t posted a lot of my artwork, or photography, but I do like to dedicate a few posts solely to that creative pursuit. And as far as lifestyle goes, I hardly ever have anything to say about that. As you can see, I have now updated my blog style to reflect the changes. The watercolour header and bright colours didn’t really suit my style, and it had the appearance of being strictly an artwork blog- with no reference to the vintage aspect of the blog. So, I’ve changed a few things to reflect that more vintage focus, while still having a “homemade” and “artistic” look to it. I am not going to be changing what I post- I just think that this design reflects more clearly what I am already posting: the creative¬†expressions of¬†a girl looking at the world through¬†vintage coloured glasses ūüôā

old blog style, the artyologist

Whenever people change their blog format, I always think “Wait- what was it like before?!” So, now you can compare.

All in all, I see how much has changed in the past year, and I am very excited about where this next year will lead. I have lots of ideas for posts I am very excited to share with you all, and I am always learning ways in order to make this blog better. On that note: is there any feedback you have for me? What kinds of posts do you enjoy the most? What would you like to see more of?

So, on my one year of blogging anniversary, I thank each and every one of you dear readers who have been following along with my journey here, whether you’ve been here since the first post, or just started reading this week. And, if you’ve never left a comment before: please introduce yourself, I’d love to meet you!

Here’s to the year ahead!

Thoughts on One Year of Blogging, the artyologist, dresser

Craft Sale Recap

Craft Sale Recap, Table Display, the artyologist

Whew! As fun as that was, I am glad that the craft sale madness is over! Saturday (Dec. 3rd) was the last sale I was taking part in and I’m not too sorry, as I needed a little break from¬†thinking, obsessing about it. I am definitely a “details” person, and I tend to be over-prepared for things, as being under-prepared stresses me out. But then being prepared stresses me too. . . there is no winning ūüėČ I spent a lot of time during the months of October and November crafting, and creating, and ordering, and planning and working out all the little details I needed to put in order for the craft sales. It was a great experience, but now I can put¬†it to the side now, in order to focus on other things. . . like Christmas!¬†I cannot believe that Christmas is less than three weeks away. By focusing¬†on the sales, I kind of forgot that Christmas is almost here (despite the fact that they were¬†Christmas¬†craft sales!) I’ve also not posted here for a while as I’ve been so busy, (and am getting sick again now. Noo!! I just got over being sick)

I have shared a few pictures of the sale on instagram, but for those of you who don’t follow me there, here are some more pictures of the table set up.¬†It was kind of hard to get a picture of the entire table, as both times there were other tables in the background, so I mostly have pictures of just the table top. My sister and I had a lot of fun coming up with our display, though we did end up changing it between the two sales.

Craft Sale Recap- the artyologist

One thing we learned at the first craft sale, is that people tend to look right at the top of your table and they don’t really look “up”. For the first table, we had placed my dress mannequin on the end of the table to display jewelry, but people didn’t notice it, as it was white, and it was vertical rather than horizontal. So, for the second sale, we used the suitcase, which was red and black and at¬†eye level. That way people noticed it, and it showed off the jewelry rather nicely, while still giving us some vertical display space. Also, for some reason, people didn’t notice the things we had scattered in trays, so for the second sale, almost everything was placed simply on the table. Not as creative, but people noticed it and really that is all that mattered!

Also, we found it was really nice to have a variety of products. We were selling hair accessories, jewelry and artwork. We got a lot of men stopping by to look through my photography, and because of that a lot of their wives, daughters etc. would stop by too, to look at the jewelry, or vice versa. If we had been selling only the jewelry and hair stuff, we wouldn’t have had so many people¬†stopping by ūüėČ ¬†I don’t know as though it made a different sales wise, but it was still great to meet so many people.

I was so glad that my sister first enquired about having a table at the local farmer’s market back in August. She asked me, after that first sale, whether I wanted to share a table with her, and so that is how I ended up selling at the market too. I have thought about selling at farmer’s markets and craft sales before, but for various reasons never ended up doing it. I was so glad that she decided to, as it was just the push that I needed! I was also really glad that she was there selling too, as it would be a loooong day by oneself. (Set was up at 8:30am and take down was at 4:00pm for the one sale) It wasn’t the best sales wise, but it was a lovely community event and we met so many people. Also, we spoke with a few people who expressed interest in us showing our work in April at the art show. I didn’t even know there was a local art show! ¬†Getting such good feedback on our work was such an encouragement, and now I am really looking forward to the new year and perhaps exhibiting at a few art shows. It will be a different audience (of people looking for artwork, not baking!) so I think that it may go better.

So, there are my few thoughts on what it was like to be a part of the sales. It was definitely a learning experience, but I really enjoyed it, and I think that I am going to actively start looking out for more local shows in the future as well. Do you like to shop at Christmas sales? Have you ever sold at a craft sale before? If you have sold at a craft sale before, do you have any clever display ideas?

Ps. I would also like to say “Hello and Welcome” to anyone who has found my blog from the sales last week! I’m so glad you are here!¬†

Craft Sale table display, the artyologist

Craft Sale table top, the artyologist

craft sale table display, the artyologist

craft sale recap, display, the artyologist

Craft Sale, table top display, the artyologist

Helping the Cangiano’s

help the cangiano's

Sometimes you just hear things that make your heart hurt.

This past Saturday, I heard the terrible news that one of my friends, Jessica (of the blog Chronically Vintage, whom I have guest posted for before) lost her home and all of it’s contents in¬†a fire last Thursday. They were only able to get out with a purse, their phones, the clothes on their backs, and their dog (sadly, their cat perished in the fire). I can’t even imagine the hurt that they must be feeling now. Even though we can tell ourselves, “It’s just stuff”, in reality it is so much more than “just stuff”. It is a lifetime that you have been building, and has suddenly been taken away from you. I know that it will be tremendously difficult time for them, as they face rebuilding their lives.

I know that many of my fellow vintage readers will have heard of the news already, but in case you haven’t, I wanted to let all of my readers¬†know so we can keep the Cangiano’s in our prayers, and in our thoughts. There is a facebook page, and a youcaring page set up, in the event that you would like to help¬†them in some way too. Let’s help the Cangiano’s rebuild!

Favourite Internet Finds Friday (How’s That for Alliteration?)

Favourite Internet Finds Friday, the artyologist

For your reading pleasure. . .

As much as I love the past, I would definitely not want to live in any era other than this one. For many reasons, but I would say the main reason is the internet. I could not live without the internet. Well, OK I guess I could. . . but I wouldn’t want to! I love seeing what other people are writing about on the internet, so I thought I would share some of my favourite internet finds¬†I’ve read lately! I hope you enjoy!

  • This article from a while back made me sad, as it details how little has actually been done to improve worker safety in Bangladesh after the 2013 factory collapse, but it has renewed my commitment to doing my part and not slacking in my commitment to fair trade fashion!
  • On that note, this article by the same blog, has some good tips on how to start shopping consciously. Little steps is the key to making it manageable.
  • Emileigh from Flashback Summer has been sharing some excerpts of an interview with Christian Dior in a vintage¬†issue of “Women’s Home Companion”. The articles are an excellent peek into the fashion of the era, and also offer invaluable advice about dressing for short ladies, large¬†ladies, tall ladies and dressing within your budget. She has a couple more posts planned in the next weeks, as it is a six part series. I can’t wait to read the rest of them!
  • Did you know that it is Fair Trade Month, and Slow Fashion October? I must have been living under a rock, as I didn’t know that, until it was already October. . . and really, this sort of thing is right up my alley! Anyways, I found out about it now, and while I still haven’t participated (yet!), it is so encouraging to see so many other people thinking about slow fashion, and how to make it a part of their lives. I’ll probably get around to posting something on instagram one of these days too . . . Are you participating in the official “Slow Fashion” event?
  • These lovely outfits by fellow bloggers, Jessica of Chronically Vintage, Devinne of Mox and Socks, and Nora of Nora Finds are really putting me in the mood for Fall. Which is good, considering that it is Fall. And in fact, now that we have snow here, in good ol’ Alberta. I should be dressing for Winter I guess, rather than Fall. Time for the wool coats. . .
  • I have been listening to the¬†soundtrack of “Far from the Madding Crowd” on repeat since sometime in. . . July? (Whenever it was that I watched the movie). It seriously never gets old. If you go and listen to it, you will have it on repeat too. . . don’t say I didn’t warn you!

So, have you found any good reads lately? And, could you easily live without the internet? Or is it a mainstay in your day to day life?