When I started blogging, I had no idea what blogging really was. I thought of a blog as more of an online journal, a place to put down my thoughts and connect with people who enjoyed the renovating and decorating as much as I did. This was back in 2007, before the days of sponsors, Pinterest, linky parties, and ad networks. Back then, blogs were more inconsistent, casual hobbies and less like the businesses they are today.
The Blank Canvas
Over the years, I've come to realize that blogs are more like a blank canvas: you don't just share the world around you, you create that world. From the fonts I use, to the words I write, and the pictures I post (or don't post), I create a virtual world here in my little corner of the internet. And in creating that world, I find out more about myself along the way.
Blogs can be a wonderful catalyst in your life. With my own blog, I've learned to become a better photographer and writer. I've become comfortable using power tools and have improved my skills with a paintbrush. I've developed a keener eye for design and learned how to style a vignette (though I am constantly working on that particular skill!).
One of the things I've come to appreciate about blogging is the courage it gives you. Blogs have a way of sharpening your eye and developing your voice. They give you courage to have an opinion and put it out there for the world to see (and disagree with). They embolden you to try new things - things that you might not so willingly try in real life. The need to have content and come up with original ideas makes you braver and more creative, I think. Blogs can take those ideas that simmer inside your head and bring them to the surface.
When I was contacted by Spun Studio to be one of their blogger collaborators for the Spun Goods collection and fundraiser, I was thrilled. I had never designed a product before - how exciting would it be to see something I designed brought to life? That one product set off creative sparks in my brain so I decided to design more.
This is my collection of designs on Spoonflower. At Spoonflower, anyone (yes, you!) can create designs that can be sold as fabric, wallpaper, decals, and gift wrap. As you can see, I'm completely inspired by black and white graphic shapes right now.
I'm not posting about my collection because I want you to go buy my designs (though that would be nice) or because I think my designs are exceptionally nice (they're good. I will get better). I'm posting because creating is important. Taking chances and trying things, when you don't know if you'll be any good at them, is important.
I've learned that expressing yourself - in whatever way or venue you choose (writing, art, crafts, cooking, photography, fashion, blogging) - only leads to happiness. So, I'm designing and creating and blogging because it makes me happy. I don't pretend to be an expert at any of those things. But you don't have to be the best. You just have to do.
Put something in the world that wasn't there before
Create something that YOU find to be beautiful
Have joy in experimenting, trying and failing, and ultimately succeeding
If you'd like to see what Renee, Brittany, Shannon, Robin, and Amy and I have come up with, join us on Tuesday at the Spun Goods event. It's going to be fun!