Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thoughts on Blogging, Holiday Crafting, Giveaways, and Questions...

Hi HI!

I had a roundup and recap planned for today. But, I feel bored with that. And blogging should never be boring. It shouldn't be boring to write and certainly shouldn't be boring to read. Soooo... I don't feel like typing up a boring post and I don't want you to be bored reading it. Or, even worse, I don't want you to assume that you will be bored - so much so that you choose not to read. HA! That's not good.

What am I getting at here? Well, here we go... with just some ramblings from my brain, perhaps a few questions for you, and, if you make it to the end of this post... a chance to enter into a giveaway :)

First things first. Blogging - writing and/or reading. I have been pondering such things for a while now, and there is a post over on the Cocoa Daisy Forums talking about this right now. Plus, I recently had a little chat with a fellow crafty friend about blogs. 

What is my point? Well, the bottom line is that I love blogging. I will keep blogging, whether anyone reads or not. Why? Well, its a good creative outlet for me. 

I love that the platform of blogging allows for more than just "hey, look what I made." Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that. But, for me... I tend to follow and read blogs that go beyond that. I want content. I want real. I want to learn and be inspired - inspired to think deeper, create more, and try new things. I want to be inspired beyond the thumbnail images that a gallery provides. 

Let's not dismiss the beauty that an online gallery is, though. I love them. I visit them often. Sometimes too often (hello... dirty dishes?). HA! I love that I can look at a variety of work from crafters all over the world quickly. I find new people this way and am certainly inspired. But, that's really all galleries are. Finite, billboard style advertisements, appearing in a flash and gone just as quickly. Quick. Easy. In and Out. Done.

If I want to really get to know a crafter, learn how they work, what inspires them, etc... then a blog (or online class) is where its at!

For many people, Instagram and various other forms of social media seem to have taken the place of their blogs. I totally get it. If you only want to post your finished work to your blog, why not just post it to a gallery and/or Instagram instead? It's faster, easier, and often has a larger audience. 

But, what if you want more? What if you have this strange affliction like I do where you like to take pictures of your process, or write sentence after sentence about why you did what you did and what you are thinking?

Well... that's where a blog comes in. And, that's why I blog. In fact, you can read a little more about that here.

Ahhh... But, for some, blogs have become more of a vehicle for advertisement. And, I don't fault anyone for that. If you are on a DT, it is your job to promote for them. Hey - I do it too! That's part of my "job." That's the deal, right? They send me goodies. I create. I talk about how awesome said goodies are. As long as I am having fun, I'm ok with that! 

And, if you are on a lot of DT's, this will pretty much fill your blog calendar with posts only of your work that is designed to promote a company. More power to you! You are rocking it, getting product, and fulfilling your obligations to your Team. Good job!

That really is the double-edged sword of this online scrapping thing, isn't it? So, what happens if I follow a blogger and he or she gets uber popular and starts to only post about things she is making for other companies? Am I going to stop following her? Of course not! If the work inspires, I'm there. It's that simple.

Why am I rambling on and on about this? Content. It's all about content. Content will be good, engaging, inspiring, etc... if the person writing it is jazzed. That has always been my approach with blogging. I write about what jazzes me and I am thrilled when it jazzes you too!

So... What's my question for you?
What content inspires you?

I realize this is different for everyone. Some love videos. Some love posts full of pictures. Some prefer ramblings like this. But, I want to know about YOU. What content inspires you?

Like I mentioned earlier, I will blog whether I have 5 people reading or 5,000. I like to write and I like to share. But, I DO want to know what you like to read about!

And speaking of content. This world wide web provides an interesting parallel. Free vs. Paid? Free content abounds on the interwebs. YouTube anyone? But, there is plenty of paid content out there too!

So, keeping the above question in mind of what content inspires you, now I am curious to know...
What content do you find worth paying for?

For me, I pay for videos. Plain and simple. If I can't get what you are teaching elsewhere and I love your work, your process, your approach... I am going to pay for your video. 

What about you? What kind of content do you pay for? Have you ever paid for online content and regretted it? Fortunately, I never have. My favorite online content, by far, has been anything produced by the lovely May Flaum. If you have been reading here for any length of time, you know that I am a fan of hers. She has an unmatched way of being totally real and inspiring. Every. Single. Time. 

I have been blessed to get to "know" her in cyber land and to even work with her. Speaking of which, I am a thrilled to be a contributor to her new Holiday Crafting Class! (Ahhh - here's that ole blogging for promotional purposes that I was just musing about)


***Giveaway alert***

For this class, I am sharing two gift wrap projects, each with an extended video! One is more traditional and one is a little more outside the box. As you can see from the above image, there will be some awesome inspiration! And.... For a limited time, the $15 registration fee for this class includes the 2013 Happy (Holiday) Crafting course content as well! 

$15? For two classes? With videos? All about holiday crafting? Ummm.... yes, please! THAT is content worth paying for.

AND.... if you leave me a comment below answering my questions above, you will be entered into a drawing to win a spot in class! Class goes live on Monday, so the giveaway will be open until Saturday night, November 1, at 8 pm EST. I will email the winner Saturday evening. Good luck!

OK - back to my ramblings....

Where were we? Oh yes, content. Classes. Blogging. Social Media. Etc...

It is a brave new world these days and this giant virtual space can be vast. But, I do find that the scrappy interwebs can be comfortably small when you find your niche. So, what is your niche? What message board(s) do you like? Where do you post your work? How do you feel about your blog? What blogs do you read? What social media do you choose to participate in? Which ones have you said "no" to?

For me?
I post to the Studio Calico and Scrapbook.com galleries.
I have taken classes at Big Picture, Two Peas, Studio Calico, and Craft With May. I have been happy with all of them.
I have been exploring the Cocoa Daisy Forums lately and really liking it. It has a very cozy, friendly feel. Drama is low. That is good. VERY good.
I find scrappy inspiration on Pinterest.
I read some favorite crafty blogs.
I read a lot of homeschooling blogs.
I blog.
I love blogging my process.
I also love making videos.
I love watching videos of my favorite crafty people.
I will pay for such videos.
I enjoy Instagram for my crafting and keeping up with crafty friends.
Twitter has become a mere vehicle for my Instagram Posts.
I say "no" to Facebook. Always have. Always will. I have turned down DT's for this very thing. It's worth it. Trust me.

It is all a balance. And, there is an ebb and flow to this "fitting it all in" issue. Sometimes my time in the studio FAR outweighs my online crafty time. Sometimes it's the other way around. For me, it's about enjoying it. 

Let me repeat. It's about enjoyment. If you love what you are doing and how you are sharing it, keep doing it. If you don't, then stop. Don't overthink it.

If I feel like cutting and gluing, I will. If I feel like staring at a glowing screen and scrolling through a perpetually loading gallery of eye candy (Pinterest anyone?), I will. 

This crafty life is fun, yes? Let's keep it that way!

Have a great weekend! 

52 comments:

  1. it depends on the instructor mostly - someone whose style I love. I paid for supplies on hand, mostly b/c of you contributing. I sign up for a lot of Christy Tomlinson and Brave Girls Club classes. Elise Blaha Cripe... Karen Grunberg... Videos and handouts too, ofcourse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your response! I haven't ever checked out some of the instructors you mentioned. I'll have to take a peak!

      Delete
  2. I LOVE your process videos, I find them super inspiring! When I pay for content it is mostly video based.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love reading about processes, watching tutorial and I especially love your videos, I think it's really different seeing the final work and the process that brings you there. Many times I can't appreciate the details of the projects until I've seen the video. I pay for classes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And, I totally agree :) Its much different to see the process!

      Delete
  4. I love your projects and your style is so unique.
    I rarely pay for something because the world wide web is full of ideas, instructions etc.
    But I took two online classes of Janna Werner and I did not regret it. I like pdf instructions and videos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Which classes did you take of Janna's?

      Delete
  5. Great post, thanks! I recently subscribed to your blog. I enjoy thought posts. I get overwhelmed by too much eye candy, and distracted. Also, it can paralyze my creativity when I see too many other pics of other people's pretty stuff. I like to see process, understand the reasons behind the choices made, so I can adapt using materials I already have and on a different type of project. I don't appreciate too much advertising for product and design team assignments - it seems less than authentic to me. I've paid for video content - Julie Fe Fan Balzer, Noell Hyman and Christine Urias. I used to do so much scrapbooking, now just do mostly card making and art journaling - because that is what I enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for subscribing and for taking the time to comment! I love that you are doing projects that you enjoy! That's really what its all about :)

      Delete
  6. LOL - look what I started. I admit that I had not discovered your blog until you were highlighted over at Cocoa Daisy. I used to visit and post at a few scrappy sites but due to time issues and DRAMA, I've whittled it down to Cocoa Daisy and made that my scrappy home. I'll be honest here. I'm not a professional scrapper. I have no desire, aspirations, time nor talent to be a DT for anything. I scrap because I love it. Bottom line. When I started dedicating more time into this crazy habit of mine, I got tired fast of my simple scrapbooking techniques. So like many others, I started exploring online for ideas, products and how to's to improve my storytelling. I have come a long way but still have a desire to learn more and to interact with those out in the scrappy world who understand my passion. I dabble with new products, discovered old products and love my playtime. I even found out that I can love paint, gesso and sprays.

    So essentially to answer your question, what am I looking for in a blog? I'm looking to get to know a little about the process, how your mind works in creating, incorporating it into your life and story and your passion. I started with May Flaum back when Fiskateers was active. She was an original Fiskateer lead. She wasn't with Fiskars any more but I liked her style. So I get your reference and delight with May.

    The direction my original question was about several of the superstars that are in our wonky art filled world. They seem to have lost their passion. They are so caught up in new product and how can I "sell" the new product that I can FEEL that they've lost their passion and love for what started out for them and for me of why we scrap.

    Not to say that I don't love new products. Lordy, I could open a small store with products I had to have. But I want to feel the passion. I want to know why you love a product not because you are trying to sell it, but because it does something delightful to your pages, mixed media works (truly not work, I hope), cards or whatever area you are delighting in for the moment. If that means sharing a class that I have to pay for, then that's good for me. But to have to spend a couple hundred dollars to add specific products and to have to pay for the class, I'm not so good with that.

    I'm a busy social gal. While I love to scrap, I just can't justify $200-$300 dedicated to a scrappy class that I may or may not use.

    Sorry I went on so long. I'm enjoying your blog and I'm really glad that Cocoa Daisy introduced me to you and your blog! I look forward to a long interaction with you here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for reading and responding! YES! Passion! That is the best, when I can feel it through someone's words - that keeps me reading :)

      Delete
  7. The very questions I 've been trying to answer with my blog. I love doing it and put out stuff I love, scrapbooking, travel, crossfit. I love coming to your blog for inspiration and I hang at Rails Scrapbooking where I am priviledged to design for. I haven't found too many forums I hang out - lots of drama and I've gotten shyer for some reason. I took the May Flaum class that you were in and enjoyed very much and used alot of supplies. I've taken Ali Edwards - hang with her - love her take on journaling. I love FB it allows me to connect with people and relatives and especially my kid who's overseas. I'm trying not to purchase too much as I have so much, however, I love the Studio Calico kits and Papers Issues Swag bag - just to keep in touch with new stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn! Thanks for posting! Glad you enjoyed the supply class :) I agree about the drama... I like to stay FAR away from that too!

      Delete
  8. I forgot Shimelle - love her videos and your's of course.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Whoa, Ashli, that's a whole lot of thinking!! But you do that for those of us who follow your blog, videos, and all. You always make us think outside the box, which I love! I love taking classes online and am willing to pay for here. I have loved them all, even though I often find I did not have the time to finish them while they were running. Classes from May Flaum, Big Picture, Tim Holtz, Two Peas, Shimelle, Natalhalie Kahlbach, Debbie Schuh, and likely more that I have forgotten! I love to learn new techniques and do challenges, as well as my usual cards, Scrapbooking, mini albums, etc. I do love to blog and share and see what other folks have out there too. It is awesome to be sharing and chatting with other crafters from around the world. I have never added in paid advertising, but do promote some of the groups or classes or people I love. Finding the balance between time on the web and crafting can be tough, but I hope to get better at that. I do use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and love Pinterest! Boy, you can hit a black hole of time on Pinterest! Maybe I need to set an alarm. Well, you got us thinking and rambling, and just keep doing what you are, you continually change things up and inspire us, and for that you have my deep thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - yeah - that was a whole lot of thinking :) Thanks so much for your loyalty here at my blog. You are one in a million and I feel blessed to "know" you through this wonderful hobby!

      Delete
    2. I agree! I am so glad we "found" each other out here on the web. I have so enjoyed keeping up with you, your family, and your creativity! I hope some day we can actually meet in person😃

      Delete
    3. Ahhhh - it would be SO FUN to meet you for real!!! Maybe if I ever make it up north. I haven't been that way in almost a decade. LOL

      Delete
  10. this is such an interesting discussion (started at Cocoa Daisy which is where i hopped in!); i think i might be one of the few people who enjoy pdfs and photo tutorials more than i enjoy videos. don't get me wrong, i do love a good video but i love the written word more. i love being able to print a pdf of a technique i really want to try so that i can get my hands dirty without getting my laptop dirty when i have to repeatedly press pause! okay, now that i have that off of my chest i can answer your questions…
    content…i like a blog that provides a mix of passions (daily life, crafty life, cooking, fashion, whatever the writer is passionate about) presented thoughtfully; i want to know why something is attractive to the writer, why they enjoyed said book, class, etc.; i love good, clean design on a blog just as i love good, clean design in print matter. i don't like a lot of distractions and blinkies and what-nots. i don't mind a little bit of advertising if it has to do with the subject matter of the blog and/or if the blog writer is on a design team and is obviously smitten with what she/he is presenting. i enjoy it when we all keep it real. does that make sense?
    as for paid content…i have taken many classes online and have enjoyed most of them. i think presenters take a lot of time to put content together and they should be paid for their time because most of the people who have presented 'my' classes have also generously provided plenty of information/technique/entertainment/enjoyment for free just because they love what they are doing. that is the key for me, the blogger should somehow be able to convey the love of what they are doing and if it isn't there then i have a hard time following.
    i have had an on-again-off-again relationship with my own blog and in its current state, there are only two posts that are well over a year old. i miss blogging but want to have something valuable to add to the 'discussion' before i jump in again. whew. i didn't really know i had so much to say about this. thank you for asking these questions. i think that better be all for now. oh, and, may flaum is not only talented (so, so talented) but she also seems so sweet and genuine. that is what i like in a blog writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! Real, genuine, unadulterated excitement is where its at! I love your thoughts on the print matter verses video. I'm afraid to say that my computer may have a few paint splatters - lol

      Thanks so much for chiming in on this discussion!

      Delete
  11. I've been mulling over writing a post along these lines - but honestly you have said it all and more! I tried to make myself love instagram and facebook, but they just don't feel like my natural home the way my blog does. I love to blog and I love to meet other crafters through thier blogs too. Sometimes I'm a little sad that so many of the bloggers who were around when I first started have moved on. I miss their company (tho I get that they are embracing those other platforms and I'm the one who isn't!). Like you I think the best blogs have the person behind the process as well as the finished product there for us to enjoy. That's why I'm here! and that's what I try to post too. I'll admit to not watching videos very often - that's a time thing because when I'm sitting still I'm cutting and sticking or reading.It's a balance, as you say. Pinterest? I love Pinterest and I get traffic from Pinterest, but I have mixed feelings about its effect on the blogging community. People pin instead of visiting blogs I think.

    Great discussion!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right about Pinterest. I do feel many people have replaced blogging with it. And like you, I do get tons of traffic from Pinterest so I have mixed feelings about it too. It is sad that so many bloggers are moving on - Mostly because what first drew me to them is what they were sharing... thoughts and not just finished projects. And, I miss those thoughts :(

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  12. great post gf.. great. I just commented to the CD forum post.. I blog cuz I love blogging. I'll never stop either. Yes I share on fb and on IG too, but I love blogging. I love sharing more there of the real me. We're kindreds I think... and I'm with you.. I just started subbing to the CD planner kit.. and I can't wait to get started... And you are right those forums are so lovely. Way more friendlier than most I find. Such a good thing. xo Loved your guest posties for CD this month.. those polka dot doilies.. omg.. i looked them up on amazon.. i eventually want a pack in every color.. LOL When I get famous and rich that is.. haha..
    love to you and thks for writing such a thoughtful and reflective post. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!!! I have really been enjoying it over at CD as well :)

      Delete
  13. I think that I may have a completely different view of blogs and blogging. I don't have any content expectations when I visit a blog...zilch...it's more like visiting or phoning a friend. Some blogs, like friends, just want to show me what they've been creating. Some blogs, like friends, like to give me the scoop on all the new stuff they've seen for sale and new techniques and trends. Some blogs, like friends, do a bit of everything and mention things about their family too.
    About 15 years ago, before blogging became a "thing", I was involved in Yahoo Groups. There were forums for stamping and journaling and swapping arts/crafts projects. I loved the camaraderie and it was a fun place to be at the time. (I participated in swaps with the likes of Lesley Riley, Teesha Moore, Leandra Franich, and Claudine Hellmuth....yes, I own an ATC made by Claudine Hellmuth!!!!!) I stepped away for several years because my family needed my undivided attention at the time. I needed to spend more of my time creating home cooked meals and providing clean sheets, and less time obsessing over new products and techniques. Now that my children are grown, I've loved returning to a similar creative atmosphere. The format is different and the names of the contributors have changed, and the names of the company's have changed too... but there's still an online supportive atmosphere for crafters and artisans. And that's what's most important to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a cool perspective on blogging! I love that! You are so right... it is always changing, but I'm so glad we have this online community :)

      Delete
  14. Very thoughtful post! I am inspired by pictures but I do read long posts. I like scrapbook pages and handmade embellishments, mini books and anything with fabric. I like to see step by steps and i'll usually watch videos with no sound (otherwise i have to pull the headphones out). I love Instagram for crafters, travels, food and fashion and I'll go to blogs from there. I'm thinking about posting my own scrapbook stuff there and maybe I will this December. I follow twitter for weather and tech stuff because crafters seem to make duplicate posts to Instagram, twitter and facebook. I'm reluctantly on facebook for far-flung family and friends and my quilt guild. I go on Pinterest sometimes but it's almost too overwhelming for me. So far, forums haven't interested me.

    The thing that I miss are yahoo groups. I used to belong to many that did swaps and they have all disappeared. I miss them.

    I do pay for online classes because the offline classes have disappeared in my area. I've always found that I get more content than I expected from online classes. They're great! I've taken classes from Jessica Sprague, Ali Edwards, Big Picture Classes and Debbie Hodge, though I'm probably forgetting some. There isn't really any particular content that I always look for, its more what I feel like doing at the time.

    I'm very excited about this May Flaum class with you contributing. You might remember that I emailed you this summer about some tags that May did last November and I mistakenly thought was you. Well, my package from SimonSaysStamp just arrived and I'm all set to start making those tags (except no cute Kelly Purkey stamp set since it's not made anymore - have to figure that part out yet). This class looks fun. Maybe I'll win your giveaway! :)

    Thank you! I really enjoy your blog. You photograph everything so deliciously. The things you make seem modern and funky and colorful and fun. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do for December!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your post! I can see how the yahoo groups would be missed! That really can be a great platform for a community. Thank you also for reading my blog... I do remember those tags you emailed about and I am so excited to see how yours turn out! Hope to see you in the holiday class :)

      Delete
  15. Great conversation!! So glad Laura C got it going and that the thread coincided with your GD spot at Cocoa Daisy sparking more in-depth discussion!

    I don't know that I ever blogged regularly, meaning on a schedule, but I used to blog fairly often. Now, not so much, and I have been having a lot of inner dialogue to figure out what changed and why I have backed away. One thing I know is that it takes a lot of time to put out a quality post. By quality I mean well written, with well edited photos, and with valuable content. I have been struggling with the valuable content part of my sharing. I want to share, but I get self-conscious about sharing. I prefer not to do just a show and tell about what I made and what I made it with, but explain what was behind the inspiration for it. What words are needed to tell the story of this picture that is supposedly worth 1000 words?

    I love reading blogs where you get to know the woman behind it, what she is all about, getting to know her. I love reading blogs with my morning coffee, and I don't currently have a daily one I go to that is like catching up with a friend. I read Julie Fei Fan Balzer's for a daily dose of crafty inspiration, but hers is not overly personal. She is awesomely personable, but her blog is about her artful life not her entire life.

    I feel like a lot of the blogs have changed, and I feel a personal conundrum about sharing, over-sharing, or changing to a more cut-and-dry format. Like a chicken or the egg situation: are people sharing less personal and more product-centric posts because that is what the readership wants? Or is that just what the readership gets, so it is the new norm? I have so many projects I didn't blog right away and then talked myself into not sharing because the product was now last year's news. Design and process, inspiration--those things are the heart of my crafty love, not the freshness of the supplies.--Don't get me wrong, though--I LOVE me a fresh new Cocoa Daisy kit, goodies from my LSS, and interesting finds from unexpected sources.

    As for you, Missy-Miss, I have always enjoyed your blog and the way you share your process, and the lovely and super-authentic style you have in all that you create. Thank you for that!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I totally agree, there is a balance in sharing/over-sharing :) And it does tend to be a chicken and the egg conundrum. Thanks so much for stopping by, for reading loyally, and for sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  16. Hi. I don't blog, but I do enjoy seeing other people's blogs. Specifically I enjoy pictures of projects and videos. I have taken Supplies on Hand at May's site and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Love all the content. I am getting so inspired. I have only put a couple of my projects out there on Scrapbook.com gallery. Finding time to scrapbook is hard enough for me. But taking pictures of my work and then putting online just isn't likely to happen. I love to read your blog. I think I saw your first project on Pinterest and loved it and therefore went to your blog. I have taken classes from Two Peas, Big Picture Classes, Studio Calico and Crafting With May. One of my other favorite blogs is Wilna Furstenberg. I thoroughly enjoy her classes also. Definitely pictures and videos are what inspire me. I read on my job 40 hours a week, so I'm not as likely to read a long post. What I enjoy about your blog---your layouts are so light, but still very full. I enjoy that look. I really have enjoyed all your layouts---even the advertisement ones. I think it's important to be honest and real, so as long as you say you were sent a product for free and that you really like the product, there's nothing wrong with it. I look forward to seeing more of your work and the process. By the way, I was amazed by the rub-on video you did on May's website (Supplies on Hand). I never thought about using rub-ons that way. I'm definitely going to try that. There are so many talented scrapbookers out there. Love the inspiration. I'm glad you enjoy doing what you're doing. That's the important thing. Denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI! So glad you are liking the Supply Class! I agree about Wilna too. She is wonderful. You are right... it does take time to photograph, write, post, etc... All a balancing act for sure! :)

      Delete
  17. Hi Ashli, thank you for an insightful and inspiring post. I've been scrapbooking a year now, and so still consider myself new. My two main things are story and technique. Meaning journaling, getting the story on the page. Technique was my driving interest for the longest time, it still is and always will be. I don't post layouts anywhere (I don't know how to) and I have no desire to do that (tho I do want to learn computer skills) or to blog. I'm at a period in my life where that's impossible, and it probably will stay that way. I think your blog is awesome just the way it is. I love videos, yours are great. I don't always get to them the same day I see them posted, but I come back. I have taken a couple classes with May, who's an amazing and inspiring teacher. I don't have a huge stash, I can really only shop for stash stuff a couple times a year. Ill pay for content, video and pdf's for a class, but I have to hope I make the right choice. My favorite thing about blogs is stumbling onto a new technique and trying to learn it. I recently taught myself to hand stitch for layouts and I love that little extra something it gives my layouts. I love my inks, stamps and stencils on my layouts. You're so talented. Your photos are beautiful (the ones of your family on your layouts, though your photography for your blog is great too), your artwork stunning, and your layering inspiring. I am a big fan, and love your blog. I'm sorry I went on. Thanks for a chance to win. Michelle t

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Michelle! Your comments always mean the world to me - sometimes it gets lonely out here in blog land - lol. I agree with you on the techniques and the story. I LOVE me a good technique :)

      Delete
  18. Ashli, I subscribe to your blog via Bloglovin. I enjoy your videos and projects. I follow a few scrapbooking and lifestyle blogs. I love it when the bloggers share bits and pieces of their lives and what they're doing creatively. I am also fond of posts that share what they're reading, buying, what's on the bedside table, "Around Here" or "Currently" posts.

    I, too, am a fan of May's and have taken most of her classes online (via BPC & Craft With May). In addition, I have taken other online classes from BPC, Online Card Classes, Christy Tomlinson, Jennifer Wilson (Simple Scrapper), Brave Girls (Melody Ross) and Stephanie Ackerman. Last year I took LifeBook 2013, hosted by Tam Laporte. I mostly pay for videos in order to learn new techniques. I also subscribe to Paperclipping.

    I do not have a blog of my own or post my layouts. I don't use Twitter or Instagram. I am on FaceBook but more for personal connections. I love Pinterest for DIY crafting and recipes.

    Thank you for everything you do!! Keep up the great work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Keely! Thanks for subscribing! I haven't ever tried Online Card Classes - I should give that a go... I have heard great things! I subscribe to Paperclipping too and enjoy supporting them. Thanks so much for your thoughts!!!

      Delete
  19. Bummer, I just wrote a long comment and lost it...let's try this again.

    I found you through May Flaum's class, Supplies on Hand, as you see I have a "stash" problem and probably need to be in a recovery program. I'm also a subscriber to Cocoa Daisy and pleasantly surprised to find you as the guest designer this. Absolutely love your gorgeous layouts (and where you found the inspiration), gift wrapping, card, mini album (had to wipe the drool off the keyboard) and your process.

    The blogs I enjoy are Ronda Palazzari (although i think she has a lot going on now as well as being a new grandmother), Karen Grunberg, May Flaum and Alissa Burke. I love the fact that they are constantly growing, learning, pushing their boundaries and sharing their triumphs as well as their shortcomings (Alissa not so much), and not afraid of showing their vulnerability. I love to see them tackle scrapbooking, mixed media, drawing, art journaling as I flounder trying to find my way but am enjoying the process of learning.

    I have been lucky enough to take live classes from The Man Tim, Paula Cheney, Dyan Reaveley, Dina Wakely, Anna Dabrowska and Debby Shuh to name a few and what shines through is their passion for life and their art as well as their ability to inspire. I've also taken online classes but remember that "stash" problem....it carries over here too so my goal in 2015 is to be more disciplined and/or not take too many classes. There is so much more content in online classes but I do like the interaction in live classes.

    So to answer your questions....I love "real content" in a blog (call it touchy feely if you will) not the hard sell on product and yes, I will pay for classes. Loved your process videos and the reasoning behind why you used a product or did not use one. I enjoyed May's classes this year. And looking forward to yours now too. Thank you for keeping it so real!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI! Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment! I do try to keep it real, thanks for noticing :) LOL. I have never taken an in-person class... that would be AMAZING!

      Delete
  20. P.S. Don't do FB for scrapbooking but often "go down the rabbit hole" on Pinterest, need to set that timer a recent DT member of Cocoa Daisy DT posted. ;-) Thank you again for your blog as I know it must take a lot of time and work!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Ashli! I have been a big fan of yours for some time. I just love your "out of the box" approach to scrapbooking and the fact you include a lot of mixed media into your projects. I have a blog, but don't use it much during the school year, as I am an elementary school teacher and just don't have much time. However, I do follow many blogs and my favorite content is usually process videos or step-by-step picture posts. I don't mind posts that are sponsored by a product, as long as the person promoting has a passion for the products and it shows in their posts. I am always looking for new products and when I see a post using products in a fun, unique, and inspiring way... it makes me want to buy the product. Ha! I also enjoy browsing on Instagram, because it is a fast and I get to see lots of inspirations in one place....quickly. Time is my biggest constraint during the school year, I have taken MANY online classes in many different formats, and I guess I am pretty easy to please, because I have never regretted taking any of them. I always love Shimelle's classes, and this year I took LifeBook 2014 with Willowing, I am currently taking a collage composition class with Jane Davies, and I just signed up for Deck the Halls class. I don't really hang out at any one particular spot these days, but my scrappy home has always been A Cherry on Top. There has never been too much drama, which I detest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi KELLY! Great to hear from you! Yes! Drama = Bad. Always. Especially when our time is limited, right? :) I haven't heard of some of those classes you have mentioned... off to take a look!

      Delete
  22. Interesting post Ashli. I do agree with you about content. I also think it's a balance between sharing and staying true to yourself. I enjoy your blog and was so happy to see you would be GD over at Cocoa Daisy. I don't take a lot of classes because of time and money but I do enjoy and appreciate your videos and a few other scrapbookers who's work I really love.

    I miss blogging the way I used to. When I started working full time+ and being on a the CD DT I had less time and then felt like I had to be "careful" about what to share. I had never felt that way before. It wasn't specifically said but there was some mild scolding of language, etc. I found myself monitoring too much. It wasn't authentic anymore. I am not even controversial but I am me. I was worried that I wasn't Christian enough or positive enough. It's silly really because I know people really enjoyed my writing.
    I really appreciate the written word and miss that in blog content, including my own. Facebook feels so wrong to me on so many levels. I can't even explain it. I just feel like it's robbed us of meaning and authentic sharing.
    I agree about the no drama at CD. That is why I hang there. No big fish!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi! Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment! It is a constant balance on sharing vs. sharing too much. I must admit, I often employ hidden journaling for that very reason :). I loved guesting at CD and have been enjoying the forums too!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great post Ashli and clearly you have put into words what so many people are feeling. I have linked to it in a post I have just written all about the decline in blogging over other social medias. It has also helped me to decide to blog every day in November!

    http://melgetsscrappy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/november-blogging-challenge.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I really enjoyed your post too :)

      Delete
  25. Completely agree with you on blogging and I really like these rambling posts about blogging and life. You are a wonderful writer. I just learn so much more about a person and their project from their blog and it is so much easier to find things on a blog versus Facebook. I stayed off Facebook for years and still have almost no 'friends' on my personal page. I only have the personal page so that I can have my LisaEDesign page for those who want to know when I have a new video up and prefer Facebook. I do the same with Twitter and Google+. Different people have different ways of keeping up with what is going on. I have taken classes at Two Peas, Shimelle.com, Christi Tomlinson and from Lain Ehmann.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Lisa! And thanks for your sweetness about my writing :)

      Delete
  26. Hello Soaphouse Mama! You know I'm one of your biggest fans! You are a blog I always come to usually after I see a post on Instagram, I jump over to see your process. You keep me inspired and I love the style of using anything and eveything on a layout. I love tidbits! I've kept my blog going as well because I feel this is a way to keep my creativity going and connecting to my creative self. As you may know already I LOVE Instagram because I am a visual person and yes I use Twitter the same as you. I enjoy seeing other creative people's lives. I "like" Pinterest but maybe it's too much at one time, a little over stimulating :) I have to laugh I never even knew there was DRAMA is the scrapbooking and crafting world, BUT I am perfectly okay with that ignorance is BLISS! I did want to answer your question on videos, I love them but my biggest factor is time. I am more likely to watch a 15-25 minute video vs a 40 minute video. It's all about time. I like to be inspired and still have time to create. I signed up for May's Class so let the creating begin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for your comment :) YES! Blogging is a good way to keep the creativity going, I totally agree :)

      Delete
  27. Basically, I love to read. I will read almost anything, which means I have a giant bloggy reading list in the morning. I wake up early just so I can sit down with a cup of coffee and read. As for the content...mostly crafty, some healthy, and a little bit bookish. My favoriie crafty content to read is anything that feels like the author is having a conversation with me. I like pictures and like to hear the thoughts behind said pictures. I will pay for classes. I love them. I will forever be a school nerd. I have liked most of the classes I have taken, there have only been one or two I was a little bit disappointed in. I also believe in supporting fellow crafters and will support them as my budget allows. I love IG for the community. Seriously, scrapbookers are the nicest people out there and the connection is real. I would say I am minimal Facebooker. I have a limited amount of "friends," just family and crafty friends. And I rarely post, unless to share something about my children. With family everywhere, this helps us all stay a little bit connected. I also have a no drama rule, which means I have no problem dropping someone. I am brutal ;). Thanks for being so candid with your post-it wasn't boring at all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol - yes... drama = bad! I love to read too and perhaps that's where I first fell in love with blogging. Thanks so much for taking the time to read here!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...