I was recently tagged by Carol-Anne of Threads Across the Web for the “Make My Day” award, which gives me an excuse to write about Needlework Blogs. This topic scares me a bit, as I am not as fluent in the blogging world as most people in it are! Strangely enough, a reader requested just yesterday that I write about my website and give some information on it and how I run it and all that technical stuff. So I’m going to combine the topics and I might even go a bit “off topic” from needlework and embroidery, which is something I don’t do too often…
First of all, thank you, Carol-Anne! The “Make My Day” award is something you pass on to 10 people whose blogs make your day. And it makes my day, to think I’d make someone’s day!
I’m not an avid blog reader, I will admit, but I do visit certain (usually needlework) blogs with irregular regularity. They don’t necessarily all focus on the the techiques that interest me most; nevertheless, there is always something valuable in them that I can learn or that I find creative or inspirational. So, in thinking about blogs that I would tag as “making my day,” and coming up with ten of them, this would be the list:
1. Sharon Boggan’s blog, In a Minute Ago. Her website is the first embroidery website I ever visited with frequency. In fact, it is the first “personal” embroidery website I remember ever seeing.
3. Jo in NZ’s blog-with-the-long-title, No Matter Where I Go, I Always Meet Myself There. While I’m not a crazy quilter, her stitching is fantastic and she has a relaxed, easy style of writing that amuses me!
4. Allie’s in Stitches – if you haven’t seen her work or browsed through her archives, you probably should, for the sheer enjoyment of seeing beautiful stuff! Allie is another one whose progress reports engage me! She gets the award, I think, for “doing.” She does a lot! And she gets it done!
5. The Happy Stitcher – I’m not a counted thread technique person. Mary Kathryn is, and she does beautiful work. What I like most about her whole stitching work is her threads. I like seeing the colors she works with. And she makes beautiful fobs! And she lives in the mountains, and I love her mountain photos!
6. Elmsley Rose – The majority of Megan’s work on her blog is related to calligraphy & illumination, although she has recently gotten into embroidery, and it’s fun to watch her embroidery progress! We share the same tastes in eras of historical embroidery and in calligraphy & illumination. She’s amazing at illumination! A real artist…
7. The Embroiderers’ Story – well, I’ve been writing about this one a lot lately. I came across it last fall and have been following it fairly regularly! The whole Plimoth Plantation jacket project fascinates me.
8. Possibilities, Etc. – Judy’s blog concentrates on canvas work. Even if you aren’t into needlepoint, you’ll find a lot of colorful inspiration on her site. The two things that attracted me right off the bat to Judy’s site are her Pelican design for church needlepoint and her section on Talevera designs in needlepoint. Really beautiful stuff!
9. This one’s not a needlework blog – not even close – it’s a food blog! Everybody Likes Sandwiches has some really good recipes on it and some interesting food inventions (though I don’t think I’ll touch the chai oat bran!). So I check in now and then to see what’s up in this gal’s world of food, and I usually find it rather entertaining. I have a sister who’s an amazing cook and who teaches culinary arts. I came across this site when I was looking for something for her. And so I bookmarked it, and I like perusing it when I have the time.
Ten. Ten??? Where are you? I know there are heaps of needlework blogs out there that are excellent sites, but, like I said, I’m not an avid daily blog reader!! The truth is, I don’t have time for it. As you can see from the deplorable lack of website content this week, I barely have time for adding things to my own site, let alone surfing around to other sites with any regularity! If I felt as if I “had” to get online and surf embroidery sites, I wouldn’t find any pleasure in doing it when I finally had time to look around. That’s the way I see it, anyway!
(Update August, 2011: Once upon a time, there was a #10 here – but the site no longer exists, so I removed it!) As for my own website, to answer a couple questions about it, Needle’NThread was the idea of my brother – not mine. I was surprised, actually, when I realized that people actually found it and liked it! The embroidery videos are probably the biggest draw on my site, along with my embroidery patterns pages. I liked the idea that I could extend teaching embroidery to a larger audience by making the videos, and I have fun producing them. I still have a bunch lined up for editing and many more planned beyond those. So that’s part of the site that will continue to expand, hopefully consistently!
As for the technical side of things, I host the site with a local ISP, and I use blogger as my publishing platform. The site is set up on a customized template, and I use regular html to edit the static pages, like the bookstore, the links, and the about page. To add content to the Frequently Asked Questions section, I use a little database program. I do any required graphics work myself, in Photoshop.
As for equipment, I have a nice computer with lots of room on it, a flat screen monitor, an external hard drive, a wacom tablet, no printer (!), and that’s about it.
I have a good little camera: an Olympus Stylus 800.
The rest of my equipment is content related – lots of embroidery stuff!
I work on my computer in my bedroom, where I have a little desk that’s cluttered with books, camera, and electronic st
uff. I do my recording of video stitches in the living room, which is also where I do my embroidery. Soon (this month), the garage will be transformed into a work room and storage room, so I’ll have a lot more space to work on big projects. I’ll eventually have a drawing table, a light box area, and a place to set up a sewing machine, as well as a large table for cutting out and so forth.
And that’s about it, when it comes to my “blogging set-up.”
Thanks again, Carol-Anne, for the kind compliment!