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!

friday thinking and linking

blog thinking and linking mycreative

This is more like a speaking aloud to myself kind of post, but you can skip to the bottom for some links if you aren’t interested in my ramblings about what I want this blog to be…

On twitter you might have noticed me asking random blog related questions, going through archives, etc. You know when you cut your hair and you get rid of all the yuck bits and start fresh. I kind of feel like doing that with my blog, but what a waste that would be. So I am just muddling along pondering how I can make my blog feel fresh and new without jumping ship. (Got to love some mixed metaphors).

I wrote a post over a year ago about blog strategy and readers’ needs. Interestingly, I think my thoughts here are still pretty much the same but I have kind of got side-tracked and don’t know that I am always sharing my ‘best’ here. So I want to work on that. Plus I don’t live in London anymore.

This past year has been a strange one and I kind of got stuck but I am ready to work on things.

For me this is a space to record bits of my life (I love having a space where I can look back on things I have done and achieved which are so easily forgotten), improve my writing and photography and learn new skills but also to build a community, to inspire other people and share my knowledge with my readers – whether that is a great recipe idea, some photography tips, the must visit gelaterias in Venice or just some links from around the web. I am hoping to bring you more of all of these and work at improving the quality.

Importantly I don’t intend to make money from my blog from sponsored posts or advertising etc, but perhaps I would like this blog to showcase some of my abilities and help me to work with people. We shall see ….

I’m still planning though so in the meantime here is some reading for the weekend:

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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.

why I love twitter

why-i-love-twitter

It took me a while to get into twitter.  I joined in 2009 but didn’t really ‘get involved’ until two years later.  Now I am a total convert preacher of the wonder that is twitter.

Here are some reasons why:

Traffic.  Twitter is the biggest source of traffic to my site.  My following has grown but I would think a lot is also driven from the retweets by lovely followers/friends (thanks lovelies!).

New finds. The twitter suggestions for people to follow is generally quite good (based on others you follow and who those you follow follow).  I’ve been introduced to good places, articles and blogs though other tweets.  This week I found out about a new band which I have been listening to obsessively since.

Work and collaboration opportunities. As a new photographer (with my site still ‘under development’!) twitter has been good for helping me try new things and work on exciting projects (like 91 Magazine and some music photography).  I’ve used it to find people for my own projects and I’ve even had followers suggest me when they see someone looking for a photographer.

canada-day-shutterbug-mycreative

Meetups.  I’ve joined in on several events that come to my attention through twitter.  Most recently I attended a crepe and cocktail event for the run up to Canada Day (thanks to Amy from Wolf and Whistle for organisng).  I went with Freya (who I met through one of the shout outs mentioned above) and met some new people too.  Internet becomes real life!

The level playing field.  In real life you wouldn’t walk up to a big brand and say look what I made and you might feel too shy to say hi to a ‘famous’ blogger, but on twitter it is easier to join in. So do!

My tips for getting involved in twitter?

  • join in on conversations
  • say hi to people you would like to get to know
  • sometimes it is your random tweets that are the most popular
  • have a personal personal photo.  I love that people can associate and connect with my photo (I get comments about the flower crown all the time).

Also, don’t feel disheartened if it takes a while to build up followers.  It has taken me over 2 years to get 500+ followers (which is no where near as many as some ‘big’ bloggers have), but I have a strong base of people who I can connect with and are really supportive.  Surely a more important factor than if I had simply bought thousands of followers.

Find me on twitter

happy friday

happy-friday-bee Happy Weekend!

This week has been kind of whirl-windy with workshops and blognics and wedding organising and attending the first Crafty Fox Talks last night.  Although the talks are catered more for entrepreneurial crafters (as the name suggests) I think it is still interesting to learn about  how other people do business.  It was interesting to learn about the creative journeys of Lisa Comfort (Sew Over It), Sam Wingate and Lisa Stickley.  I think the two bits of advice that I came away with were:

  • it is hard work and you won’t get rich quick
  • from Lisa Comfort to make a map of all the people you know who can help. People want to help you succeed!  I am definitely going to plot out this one in the next few weeks.

The next talk is in August on doing your own PR so sign up to the mailing list if you haven’t to find out more details.

Also, thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway and commented on my content post. Great to hear what people are thinking and getting up to.

The winner of the necklace is Amanda.  I’ll be in touch!

reading | looking at content strategy

considering-objectives-and-needs-mycreative With emerging business ideas I have been reading several books recently on various business elements. Sometimes there are handy tips which I think are relevant to blogging too. I thought I might do the occasional post sharing some of the ‘pearls of wisdom’ that I glean from the pages.

Most recently, I read Content Strategy for the Web by Kirstina Halvorson and Melissa Rach.  The book does focus on advice for larger organisations who are looking to improve their web content and it looks at cross company ways of dealing with content strategy.  So honestly, the bulk of the book wasn’t applicable to me, the sole person responsible for what goes up on my site (except with Posts Production where Tim is also producing content).  However, there was enough to keep me interested.  For example, I am thinking I might “audit” my content after things quiet down a little to help me clean up broken links and see what is popular, where people are coming from and more.

In particular, I have found myself thinking about the following statement:

Generally speaking content is more or less worthless unless it does one or both of the following:

– Supports a key business objective

– Fulfills your users’ needs

Now, I have no great plans for suddenly monetising my site and making a fortune from it but I am of the mentality that when I do something I like to do it as well as I can and (honestly) as a reward for putting that effort in I would like to increase my readership.

So I thought I would share my objectives and what readers’ needs I hope to fulfill through my blog.

To clarify, objectives are specific outcomes that I hope to achieve by sharing my life on the blog.  This is quite hard as blogging for me started as a personal thing and really I don’t want it to become some crazy goal driven pursuit which yanks all the enjoyment out of it.  That said I would like to:

  1. Double my unique visits to the site in the next six months
  2. Find a fellow blogger to collaborate with on style posts
  3. Always answer “yes” when I ask myself whether I am proud to share a post.

In terms of readers’ needs I considered what I want to get from reading blogs that are similar to mine (although I would love to know if you feel there is something else):

  1. Gain a sense of connection and community
  2. Learn about where to go in London and on holiday
  3. Be inspired by healthy, vegetarian recipes
  4. Gets tips on improving their own photography
  5. Be inspired by my photography and content

With those in mind I have a few new posts and series that I am working on.

I’d love to hear some of your ideas too if you are up for sharing.