a solution to technology overload – getting tangible

tangible-solutions-to-technology-overload

So a couple weeks ago I posted about non-attachment to technology. I wasn’t 100% successful but I did read a book, met up with friends and created an actual real life mood board. I then read this piece on Wit and Delight about a social media break.

I found the Kate’s thoughts on the connection between social media and depression rather interesting. Perhaps it is choice overwhelm? We live in a time where we want to be connected but want to disconnect. We have more time but don’t use it wisely. Probably as all generations before us we live in a confusing time.

How do we feed these opposing desires? How do we live in the light? I can see that so many of us are trying to do this. Switching off our technologies on the weekends, taking social media breaks. We all joke that we are addicted but we really are. You don’t realise how much sitting at a computer all day every day wears you down until you spend time away from it. And that time away has real benefits not least of all providing real life inspiration. How can we stop getting to the point where we have to get rid of it all though? Is it just human nature (habit?) that we consume until it makes us sick, be it obesity or media?

My efforts towards non-attachments of technology and some more thinking made me realise something. Having your hands on a book or a paint brush, sitting with friends with a glass of red wine in your hands. These are all things which ground you in the present. Yes a computer/phone is a tangible object but perhaps instead of saying no to technology we need to say yes to those other tangible objects.

I continue to make efforts to spend time away from the ‘screen’, hold the tangible, have real conversations, consider daily gratitudes. I feel these all help me live in the present. I really don’t see me giving up social media as I feel I mostly benefit from how I interact with it, but less screen time would certainly not be a bad thing.

Have you felt drained by your technologies? How are you trying to find ‘balance’?

blog inspired and colour psychology

colour seasons for mycreative blog

I am currently doing the Blog Boss ecourse from Decor8 and am feeling super inspired by it. We all get into creative slumps and I felt mine had stuck around to long so when I saw this course was available I jumped on it. I had heard so many good things about Holly’s previous courses so knew I was onto something good.

Several things have stood out for me so far (and it is only half way):

Colour Psychology

not the quirky thing from the 80s which told you what colours you should wear but really just a way of categorising personalities or (in this case) brands. It is totally changing the way I am looking at my blog and what I want to do with it! If you want to find out about it head over to The Brand Stylist where there are several posts on the subject.

Time management

I don’t have a very busy life but don’t seem to get stuff done so I asked Holly who blogs almost daily, has a new baby, writes books etc how she does it. Her answer was really simple and definitely something I am looking into incorporating into my blog and other aspects of my life. When a window of time presents itself just aim to get one thing done. I find that I always think “I have so much to do” panic and do nothing so I think this simple approach will help (although internal struggles might continue).

The picture above is the one project that I needed to get done before going away for the weekend (off to Ljubljana!). I had to make a mood board of my blog’s ‘season’ for my homework for the course. It was so fun doing a physical moodboard with objects I might get addicted. Admittedly I did spend the bulk of the morning handlettering my blog name which was fun. As you can see I have already made some changes around here but there is a little way to go. I am really excited about!

Do you find these helpful? Share with me what has inspired you this week. I would love to know!

your pinterest favourites

what-you-are-pinning-mycreative

I always see people mention how pinterest is their biggest driver of traffic but have only more recently seen it climbing up my ranks.

I thought I would share what have been “the internet’s” favourites because I am nosey and think other people might be nosey too and perhaps there is something we can both learn from it.

Food posts

banana peanut butter chocolate brownie oatmilk shake - MYCreative Photography vegan hot chocolate - mycreative

Pinterest is great for collecting recipes. I now I use it all the time for that. Two posts that have been consistently clicked through have been my vegan brownie milkshake and a vegan hot chocolate recipe. I think the niche nature of the recipes (ie vegan) help too as well as simple styling.

Simple DIYs

gift-bag-diy-mycreative

By simple I mean like two minutes. These upcycled shopping bags where really easy to make and therefore something that is easy to replicate.

Being helpful

building better habits like I love myself styling props on a budget

I think it is human nature that we are always looking to improve our lives. I am interested in learning from other people’s experiences and I think that means others are too. Share your knowledge and experiences in easy formats like a list, keep it focussed and if possible make a printable. My tips on collecting props on a budget and how I am making habits both proved very popular.

Also noted

>>> I now try and put at least one portrait orientated image in posts that I think are pinnable. Although it has been landscape pictures that have been most popular from my site (as you can see above)

>>> Writing on an image really makes it easy for a person to see what the post is about and means that it is more likely to be repinned once on pinterest.

Check out more pinterest posts

>>> 9 things to keep in mind when posting for pinterest

>>> The blogmaven’s ultimate guide to pinterest

>>> A blogger’s success story with changing their pinterest from personal to ‘brand orientated’

So how about you. Is pinterest a big source of traffic for you? What do you find are your most popular images?

On a side note isn’t it interesting how quickly words are created from ‘technologies’: ‘pinning’, ‘pinnable’, ‘printable’ etc

buildings of trieste and other hashtags

buildings of trieste

Don’t you love when you come across a hashtag on Instagram that no-one else is using. It works as a great ‘filing system’. I have started ‘filing’ my images into several categories and #buildingsoftrieste is one I started to tag all my photos of the buildings I capture in Trieste. There sure is some fancy architecture around here and it is great when I want to brag to friends or family who haven’t visited yet to show them the beautiful city I live in.

I also tag my food pictures with #mycreativeeats. I love food and this is a great repository for mini-recipes (you know the kind that are just ingredients thrown together and not really recipes at all). I also just started #mypancakeclub which I would love people to share their own pancake inspiration to. Just a unique topping or addition to the mix. I love pancakes!

Moving on from my own ‘creations’. I love #notmynonni (nonni being grandparents in Italian) from @notmynonni. Italy’s elderly make up a large chunk of the population and they are such brilliant characters.

I’ve found participating in hashtag challenges (is that what you would call them) or just tagging pictures are a great way of coming across new (to me) Instagrammers (particularly in my new part of the world) and a friendly way to grow my Instagram following. Though I suggest when hashtagging don’t go overkill!

So tell me how do you use hashtags and what are some of your favourites? And also how irritating is it that you can’t click on tags on the Instagram website?!

blog critique

blog critique

Last week I got chatting with a blog buddy about changing up our blogs and we decided to critique each others sites. It was a really useful exercise analysing someone else’s blog as well as having some completely honest feedback.

Then I got a bit greedy and thought that it would be great to have some feedback from others.

Then I thought I should be a bit more ‘generous’ and see if I can create a sort of ‘critique-swap’. So here is the plan. Leave me a comment with your email (this can be done privately) and the blog site you want critiqued. I will create a list so that each person critiques two sites. I think it is most useful to do this in pairs so you can have a conversation with the person if you want.

I’ll try and create a little form to help ‘steer’ your critiques, so leave any comments you might have on that too.

If you want to get involved leave a comment by 11 August and I will work on the list as quick as I can.

Liebster

pink-blossom Last week Siobhan nominated me for a Liebster Award. Thanks Lovely! The premise is to highlight fellow bloggers and take part by answering some questions that the ‘awarder’ has to come up with. So in the name of fun and community spirit …

How would you describe yourself in five words?

Hardest one first I think. I’m going to cheat a bit I think: “Open to all the adventures”.

Do you have any resolutions or goals for 2014, and if so, how are you getting on?

I wrote a post at the beginning of the year about my core desired feelings, a concept by Danielle LaPorte. They are a work in progress but I am feeling like I am in a good space now.

What is your proudest achievement so far?

Without sounding full of myself there are a lot of things that I am proud of. Moving to England when I was 21 without knowing anyone. The wonderful eight years I spent there. Taking a second leap and moving to Italy. Finishing my undergraduate degree. Having a photo in an exhibition. Having just returned from a quick visit to London perhaps the thing that I am most proud of are the friends around me. I feel that when I look at them I can’t be all that bad.

It’s Desert Island Discs time – what five albums or songs would you take with you, and why?

Well let’s definitely choose albums if we are going to be there a while! I would have a mix between easy listening (what I would normally have playing) and perhaps a few jump around dancing hits.

  • The Civil Wars 2013 album of the same name.
  • Ray Lamontagne. Hard to choose an album. Either Gossip in the Grain or his latest album with the Pariah dogs.
  • Florence and the Machine – Ceremonials
  • Last weekend I spent some time with friends and we got onto playing some 90s hits – so perhaps a best of album of the 90s – great for some guilty (or guilt free) fun!
  • Fleetwood Mac – The Rumours Album (for something a bit more old school)

When you were 15, what did you want to do with your life and how does that differ with where you are today?

Ha, when I was 15 I had no clue. I thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I think that was related more to the fact that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom but I have realised that as I like to give them back! I suppose in a funny way I am stay at home, but that is more because of the recent move. I get bored in an office and like variety. I suppose that is the dream.

If you could snap your fingers and be in any profession, at any level, what would it be?

I’d love to be making a living from my photography with a consistent stream of interesting clients. Perhaps a little in demand. Perhaps enough so I could pay someone to do my taxes and the boring bits. I’d love to be able to shoot things like the Toast Catalogue, lifestyle pieces for magazine, client lookbooks and beautiful spaces and interesting people. Maybe also be at a space where I could give workshops. I love my Eat and Snaps but a step up from that I think.

When was the last time you learnt something new? What new things do you want to learn this year?

Learning is so important to me. I have always loved learning. I even found pleasure in writing maths exams at school! Most recently I went on a photography workshop but I am also in the process of learning Italian.

What are you most grateful for at this moment in time?

So much! The opportunity to give my dream of living in Italy a try. Wonderful friends. My fiancé.

What three things would you most like to achieve in 2014?

In line with my goals to just be a more content version of myself, progress my photography career and improve my Italian.

So there you have it. I will pass this on to: Charlotte, Katie, Rusty, Claire, Molu (I have no idea how many followers you have. How do you check that with the vast swathe of reading options?)

My questions are:

1. Click your fingers and where would you like to be right now?
2. What has been your biggest adventure?
3. What is your favourite thing that you have cooked recently?
4. If you could skip the learning and suddenly have a skill what would it be?
5. Are you doing now what 18 year old you thought you’d be doing?
6. What do you think 80 year old you would like to see you do before you get there?
7. Finish the sentence: When I find myself smiling while walking down the street it is usually because …
8. What is your favourite ritual – daily, weekly, monthly or annually?

Here are the rules (though break them if you like):

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate other bloggers for the award that have fewer than 200 followers.
4. Create 10 questions (or less) for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Look forward to seeing what you say.