life

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”. 🙂 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 😉 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’t 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’t dress up perfectly every day and plan the perfect outfit, and then make sure to post it to my social media. I can’t stay in a “niche” 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’s OK. Because I actually like my blog, and I look forward to posting. And I’ve realized that it’s 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 🙂

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

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

My Grandma recently downsized to a new apartment, and wanted to pass on some things she doesn’t use anymore, and no longer had the space for in her new place. She asked if my sister and I would like some of her blue and white ceramics- and we both immediately said yes!

I have always loved blue and white ceramics. They are a popular style, and come from such far flung places around the world including Holland (Delft Tile) all the way to Vietnam. I love hand painted ceramics and am always drawn to crisp blue and white colours. I am always so amazed at the talent and detail that goes into them. I took a pottery course once. Suffice it to say, we will not be handing those pieces down through the generations. 🙁

I already owned this pitcher, which I purchased from Ten Thousand Villages last year, so I was very happy to add these beautiful new pieces, to create a small collection.

In my family we didn’t get much handed down in the way of clothes, like many vintage lovers I know, who have gotten dresses, hats and jewelry from past relatives. However, from both sides of my family, I have gotten dishes. Not all of them are antique, but they are each special, because they are a part of our family history. They will become heirlooms, even if they aren’t very old right now, like these pieces. Really, if you think about it, everything that is antique and old today, was at some point brand new. However, someone thought it was special enough to preserve. And so it will be with these. They will always remind us of our Grandma, and they will be preserved and passed down. And maybe someday, my distant great-great-granddaughter will be using this very same pitcher, or candy dish herself, getting ready to pass it down to the next generation too. It’s a nice thought anyways 🙂

Do you have any special collections? Do you have any pieces (of anything – not just dishes!) passed down from your family? If not, have you ever thought of starting a new collection of heirlooms yourself?

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The blue teapot is my sisters, and the white one is mine.

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

Such a neat design for the candy dish. 

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

I use this pitcher often, not as a pitcher, but as a vase! It makes a lovely vase for weedy roadside bouquets like the ones I picked here, or for pussy willow branches in the spring. It’ll probably be lovely for some evergreen boughs this winter too! And, on the right is the beautiful lattice design bowl of my sister’s.

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The little teapot is a tiny little knick-knack that my Grandma gave me years ago. It is a favour that Red Rose used to include in their teas years ago!

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The entire “collection”, (to date!)

Photography Lately: Autumn Comes

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

It seems like just yesterday the leaves were budding, and the flowers were poking their tiny heads up through the ground. Even just two weeks ago the trees were all still a vibrant green, and the sun was shining in full force (like in my last post). But, in the past week the weather has gotten cooler- there is that telltale chill, the sun sets earlier, and of course the leaves are changing colours quickly. They are no less vibrant than the greens of summer, but are made of a different artist’s palette. Fall, or autumn, (I’m never sure which word I like better!) is special to me. For one, my birthday is in October, so that always makes me anticipate the season. But I also just love the cooler days. I love tossing scarves on top of my outfits. I love the darker and warmer tones in my wardrobe that come out to play: cinnamon, cognac, rust, sage, black, mustard. And, I love not melting in the heat! You can always add a few layers if you are cold, but there comes a point when you can not take off any more layers 😉 I only wish that the season lasted a bit longer. One day you notice the leaves hinting a yellow undertone, and the next they have all dropped to the ground, leaving bare branches reaching for the distant autumnal sky. (Have you ever noticed that an autumn sky is different than a summer sky, or a winter, or a spring sky?)

Anyways. I guess I am rambling now, but really, this season passes by so quickly: you can pardon me for wanting to hold onto it a little bit longer! These photos have all been taken in the last few weeks, and just capture a few moments, unique to the season.

Do you like fall time? Do you call the season “Fall” or “Autumn”? Is it starting to look like autumn where you live?

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

We have a plum tree, with the sweetest little plums!

And mums at the grocery store: what a delicious shade of pink, with an undertone of orange!

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

Some kind of weed seed. Oh well, it’s pretty. 

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

Wash day. 

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

The perfectly situated photogenic bees.

Harvest time in Alberta.

Not your average egg. Above average I’d say. World’s largest Pysanka.

Obligatory, hipster, foot selfie (foolfie?) in autumn leaves. It just has to be done.

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

This road.

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

Sunshine streams.

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

First time I’ve ever seen an acorn in real life. We have two oak trees and they are dropping so many of these!

Life Lately: Autumn Comes the artyologist

More harvest time in Alberta, this time on a smaller scale. 

Autumn comes.

Outtakes: Volume One

Outtakes: Vol. 1, the artyologist

The last couple of photo shoots around here have been rather dramatic (thunderstorms, moviestars, lady spies, Jane-Austen-like flower gathering), but lest you get the wrong idea and think that things are always staid and serious and elegant, I thought I would share some outtakes. Believe me: the photo shoots on this blog are the furthest thing from serious most of the time.

My sister takes a lot of the outfit photos for me, and she is great at it too, but really the best thing about having her take the pictures is that it gives us some time spent together goofing off and being silly and just having fun together. She is really great at just clicking away and capturing all sorts of hilarious moments. I’ve gathered quite a few, since starting this blog, and some of these photos are just so funny, I couldn’t keep them to myself. So, in case you get the idea that I go around like some glamorous vintage model all the time- um -nope- it’s just me, being silly, and here’s the proof.

Do you think that they have silly outtakes on professional photoshoots? Or do you think they remain serious and on task the entire time? I wonder. . . 🙂 Do you have silly outtakes?

the artyologist, outtakes

That’s our little dog Sukie on the right, who sometimes sneaks into frame 🙂

not a ballerina, the artyologist

After many failed attempts to emulate the graceful moves of a ballerina, I realized that I am not a ballerina. . .

mary poppins outtakes, the artyologist

I had read about trick photography, where you jump with your feet flat, to look like you are floating. I couldn’t resist holding the umbrella to give a Mary Poppins look. I just crack up every time I see this picture. And I promise that I was not actually crabby in the picture on the right, though I look like it. . . 

tea party outtakes, the artyologist

outtakes, the artyologist

outtakes, vol 1, the artyologist

vogue photoshoots outtakes, the artyologist

Such silly faces to pair with such tailored outfits. . . 

Hello, My Name Is Nicole. . .

hello my name is Nicole, blog tag, the artyologist

In case you forgot what I look like, you can look at this one, or every other picture on this blog.

Devinne from Mox and Socks tagged me in a “Get to Know Me, 4 Things” blogger tag started by Ruffles and Grace!

I know I have some new readers lately, so this is perfect timing to say “Hi” to y’all and let you get to know me a little bit better 🙂 None of these are deep questions, but more like little known facts. I was always one of those people 10 years ago who would send out those “get to know your friends better” spammy emails to all of my friends and drive them crazy, so it’s kind of fun to do it again! Read on to find out some random facts about me.

Four places I have lived

  • I have spent the entirety of my life in Alberta, Canada hopping between: the suburbs of Calgary, acreages outside of Calgary, the city of Grande Prairie (8 years with my family, and 1 year with two roommates in a townhouse), and now east of Edmonton, on another acreage. We just like acreages.

hi my name is nicole- image of graineries, the artyologist

Four places I have visited

  • Camping across the Yukon Territory (almost every summer growing up), Vancouver Island, in a lovely house on the beach, Last summer in England, in a cottage in the village of Stow-on-the-Wold. (You can see some of that trip here.) And well, as far as traveling goes, that is pretty much it. I tend to stay pretty close to home 🙂
places I have visited- england, the artyologist

Trip to England, Sudeley Castle, in 2015

Four TV shows I watch

  • I don’t have TV, so any shows I watch are once they come out on DVD. I love a lot of old shows, and British shows. So, the four that I can think of off the top of my head would be: Foyle’s War, Columbo, Get Smart and Call the Midwife. What a strange mix of murder, drama and comedy! 🙂

Four of my favourite foods

  • How can I choose? Four that I can think of off the top of my head are Curry, Pasta and Meatsauce (as long as it has lots of vegetables in it), Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Noodle Soup, and Black Forest Cheesecake (which I have almost every year on my birthday!)
my favourite foods spicy soup, the artyologist

Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Noodle Soup

Four things I like to drink

  • Tea (too many times a day), Water- in order to counteract the intake of tea 🙂 Eis Shokolade (which is a German drink of chilled hot chocolate poured over gelato), and Stewart’s Lime Soda, which tastes like a lime creamsicle.
tea a perfect combination, the artyologist

The perfect combination: tea, a sweet and a good book

Four pet peeves

  • People chewing loudly, people chewing with their mouths open, double standards, people not cleaning up after themselves or just messes in general. I am a neat freak!

Four wacky or odd things about me:

  • Well, I consider nothing about myself to be wacky or odd. . .  haha. . . just kidding. Maybe that, despite the fact that I seem like such a girly girl (and I am really), I know almost everything there is to know about installing tile and have done several installations myself too. I worked in a tile store and learned about the whole industry. Which was also pretty funny, as I wore vintage style skirts and dresses to work, which just confused people as it was kind of warehouse environment (like Home Depot). But I wear skirts and dresses most days- which lots of people consider odd, and I just consider comfortable. So that’s two odd things. Two more would be: Despite the fact that I am an adult (am I?) my last Christmas gift was a Barbie. But it was the vintage reproduction one, so that kind of makes sense? And, maybe the fact that I like old things better than new things. Almost always. But even though lots of people consider that odd, I don’t, and I am sure many of my fellow vintage lovers would agree 🙂 . . .
tiled bathroom, the artyologist

The bathroom I tiled for my parents

So. There you have it!

Now to tag some more ladies to take part, if they would like to. And if you would like to introduce yourself, feel free to comment leaving your answers below 🙂 I’d love to meet you too!

Sarah of Just a Little Prayer

Jessica of Zella Maybe

Carmen of Vintage Dream Blog

Jessica of Chronically Vintage