Hello everyone! This is just a quick post to let you know that my blog is moving to a new domain.
I have been able to transfer your subscription over to my new blog, so you don’t have to do anything. Posts I publish from my new blog should appear in your reader or be delivered by email as before, and you are still free to unsubscribe at any time.
Regular readers and followers will have noticed that I do not write as much as before. This is a conscious decision because I do not want to write just for the sake of writing, and because I have suffered a little with writers block. However, this week I had an overwhelming urge to write about a childhood memory in my paper journal. When I thought about the date, I realised that the event happened exactly forty years ago. I know that at least one person (hello Mum!) likes reading my childhood memories, so I decided to blog about it too.
I was eight years old and we were moving house. We had moved house before but this was the first time I can remember. The things that I can’t recall clearly are the preparations. The packing up happened mostly as if by magic, but I do know we used some old tea chests, not the cardboard boxes of today. If you wanted a tea chest in these modern times they would cost you a fortune on Etsy.
On the morning of the move, I was disgruntled because I didn’t want to go to school. I was worried I was going to miss something exciting; a condition known these days as FOMO.
FOMO ~ fear of missing out
Despite my protests, I was not allowed to stay home. I suspect this wasn’t just to do with me getting an education, but trying to keep me out from under the feet of the removal men. At eight years old I doubt anything vital to my future was happening at school, but I had no choice in the matter!
It was usual for me to walk to school with my friends, so before I set off to meet them, I had one last look round and I touched the wall saying “goodbye house” or something equally dramatic, and that was that.
As I got to the corner of the road, the brown and cream removal van drove past. I still remember the name – it was a well known local firm. I felt a pang of something – a catch in my breath. It was so strange to be going to school from that house for the last time, and thinking about going ‘home’ to the unknown later on.
The walk to school was along the appropriately named School Lane; a traffic free footpath that took us directly to school and the village beyond. Part of the route went along the end of the back gardens of our street. At the end of our garden I paused to peer through the hedge in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the mysterious activity. My eight year old self knew nothing yet my older self can imagine it clearly. The ant like procession of up-ended furniture and heavy crates as item by item a home is loaded with Tetris like precision into the back of a lorry, until the home is an empty shell, ready for the next family to make their memories. Eight year old me saw none of this as it was all happening at the front of the house, out of my sight.
My walk that morning had been the end of an era, as the new house was about a mile away from school and not really walkable anymore. I wouldn’t have known how to get to our new address straightaway of course. After an uneventful day at school, Dad collected me in the car and we went back home, where the unpacking seemed to have happened as if by magic too. All our belongings had been deposited in this new place, and the only item of mine that I never found was my poster of a tiger.
Over the years, I have moved house a lot. I could write a whole new series about it. I could tell you how I carefully transported a box containing one piece of frozen fish, putting it back into the freezer immediately at my new home, only to discover later on that the boxes had been switched and I had actually frozen my whole collection of mix tapes! Or that on another occasion I somehow left behind all my mixing bowls, including one of those retro brown Mason and Cash style bowls, which I have never managed to replace.
If you have any stories about moving home, funny or otherwise, please do share in the comments below if you wish. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post today. I am so very grateful for visitors to my space on the internet and it would be lovely if you could just leave me a hello so I can say hello back!
Having a bullet journal allows you to write down all your appointments and lists in one place. You can also keep an eye on your habits, moods, housework, spending … whatever you need to. It’s a great place to track how your goals are progressing too.
You can make your journal as simple or as fancy as you like. It’s your journal to do whatever you want. You can change your mind along the way if necessary. Not every page or spread has to be the same each time, so you can experiment with different styles.
Sometimes you might want to expand on an event in your journal, and that’s perfectly ok. You can just make a quick note in your weekly or daily spread, then reference it to the page where you have written more about it. This is one reason why a bullet journal has page numbers and an index.
It’s not just a diary, it’s a planner too. You can create a “Future Log” of upcoming dates, create birthday calendars, make a note of your goals, brainstorm blog post ideas, or plan for something specific like a holiday.
Unlike a pre-printed planner, a bullet journal adapts with you. You create the pages and spreads as you need them, assigning them the space they need. You create the index as you go, which makes keeping track so simple.
Go on then! Have a look at my Journal Along With Me series for more inspiration. Once you start your journal you will love it.
I have used my paper die cutters from The Works to make this bunting, but you could use your own template.
I cut four large hearts and four of the next size down (there are a total of five in the set). I also cut three of the smallest size and used these to hide the ‘blue-tack’ which is holding the bunting up.
The hearts are threaded on to Dovecraft bakers twine, but thin ribbon, yarn or plain string would also work.
This was a very quick and easy project. I love the combination of the pink and orange together and the bunting brightens an area of our hallway where we haven’t got round to redecorating yet.
You can still enter the challenges at Craft Owl Blog. The next theme will be published after 14th February.
I am genuinely interested in what it takes to become popular, both in the real world and online. I’m also interested to know why some people can get so popular that others hate them.
Followers, stats and insights
These days, because we have social media, we can easy fall into the trap of measuring popularity by the number of followers we have. However, it is also a feeling; our perception of how popular we are maybe relates more to how engaged people are with us, and us with them. You can know many people and at the same time you can be lonely.
Mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety can twist the truth about whether people like us. Low self esteem makes us feel that we are not worthy of friendships. It is important to seek help to deal with these feelings. Speak to your doctor or a qualified counsellor, especially if you feel that the world would be a better place without you. You can also find help immediately in your area by searching “where to get help in a crisis” or by contacting your local hospital emergency department.
Hellooooo! It’s Me!
To become popular, people need to get to know you, so, first you need to have a presence. People need to know you exist. They need to be able to see you. It is incredibly difficult for some people to establish an online presence, because you need real life friends to help get the ball rolling, but that’s easier said than done. This is the same for any persona you choose to portray.
Find your online audience
Start with a hashtag or join a group of similar minded people. Ask them to help with the sharing. Don’t just drop a link and run though. At least introduce yourself a bit.
Hello I’m Marie and I blog about papercraft, crochet and knitting over at craftowlblog.wordpress.com 😊 Please let me know what you think and tell me a little bit about yourself. If you like what you see then I would be so happy for you to share it with others. Thank you!
What’s in it for me?
Some people will try to raise their online business profile by organising a “giveaway” to increase their engagement. My friend Lavrax goes into that in more detail in her blog post HERE. The basis of the giveaway theory being that everyone wants something for nothing. Many don’t realise that they’re actually giving away their contact information in return for the chance to win something.
Become an influencer
Genuine fans like what you do and want to do it too. Show them how to adopt that lifestyle. Marie Kondo springs to mind.
Believe in yourself and what you are trying to achieve. Your enthusiasm will shine through and people will be inspired.
Birds of a feather and all that
We all know that people are really only going to stick around with people who share the same interests. Some interests overlap, but just because I’m a blogger doesn’t mean that I want to read every blog. So it’s about finding that niche and tapping into it.
The same with real life. Make friends with people who like what you like.
These people are a different kettle of fish altogether. My best friends have grown up with me, and we don’t necessarily have everything in common, but we have a lot of history. Those shared experiences are so precious. We have a deep understanding of each others lives.
I also have close friends online, mainly parents of children with cancer, because we have a mutual understanding of that experience.
Meanwhile, back in the real world
You have taken the advice of others and turned up at the local knit and natter and you are desperate to make a good impression. Well done for just getting there, by the way, that takes courage and effort.
Chin up then! Here we go! … Make sure that people know you’re a nice person by being genuine and approachable.
Smile and make eye contact.
Say or do something nice, but not too creepy – obviously! If there’s a roll call for making tea, offer to help hand the teas round. Pass the plate of biscuits y’know.
Ask questions and try to remember the answers! If you can’t remember the conversation, just remember a few names and faces. Then you can be ready for when you see them again with, “Hello [person’s name], do you remember we sat next to each other last week …?”
If your memory is bad then use a notebook, diary or your phone.
Today I went to knit and natter. I sat next to Marjorie. We ate chocolate biscuits and talked about her three grandchildren.
It is important to go back to that club or whatever more than once. You can’t just visit and expect a million messages and phonecalls after that first introduction. You have to establish yourself! This does require a lot of confidence if you suffer from those feelings of being unpopular I mentioned earlier. Those inner voices will try to reinforce feelings that nobody is going to like you and stop you making friends. I would recommend you read this post by Alison at Little Blog of Positivity if that last sentence sounds like you.
Becoming beyond famous
Some celebrities are good at what they do, and some have just been lucky. Most sit on a see saw, rocking between love and hate. We put these people on a pedestal and then knock them down, or they behave in such a way that they fall off by themselves.
I can’t help but think of Princess Diana, who knew how to use the press to her advantage, but ultimately it seemed that the paparazzi chased her to her death.
Or more recently, certain contestants on Strictly Come Dancing who fell out of favour with the public because they were “too good” such as Ashley Roberts.
Who do you admire and why?
My final thoughts
With popularity comes responsibility and pressure. You have to keep on giving in order to maintain or increase your popular status. Unless we are talking about best friends, where you just pick up where you left off. That is why, at the end of the day, best friends ultimately are the best! It is better to have a few really good friends than thousands of followers, because they will always be there for you when the going gets tough.
Would you rather have the ability to fly or breathe underwater?
I would rather fly.
Would you rather live alone forever surrounded by all the books you can read or surrounded by (tame) animals?
Tame animals – but I would be sad if they became sick or if they died!
Would you rather have big feet or big hands?
Big feet because I think if my hands were too big I wouldn’t be able to do my crafts.
Would you rather drink coffee or tea for the rest of your life?
I don’t think I could give up tea. I love coffee but only drink it when I go out.
Would you rather be hairless (and I mean hairless, including your eyelashes and eyebrows) or very hairy?
I would have to say hairy, because I am superstitious about having my hair cut short. Both times my son had cancer I had just had my long hair cut off, so I feel it’s synonymous with that, which makes me uncomfortable.
Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos for life?
Would you rather know when you are going to die or how you are going to die? (You can’t change the time or method of your death)
I don’t want to know when or how!
Would you rather be permanently live 500 years in the future or 500 years in the past?
Maybe in the past – but only if I could sneak some modern inventions back in time with me.
Would you rather get 1 free round trip international plane ticket every year or be able to fly domestic anytime for free?
I think I would choose domestic – flying to Cornwall or Scotland for free anytime would be enough for me.
Would you rather be toothless or go bald?
I would opt for toothless with false teeth rather than bald for the same reasons as the hairless/hairy question.
I am not setting any questions or tagging anyone else, but if you want to answer Ger’s questions then please do!
I think most people would agree that receiving a handwritten letter brings a smile. Years ago the Royal Mail in the UK had a advertising campaign with the slogan “I saw this and thought of you” to encourage people to use the postal service more. Sending a letter can be considered a random act of kindness.
You have a lovely new journal and you can’t wait to get started, but then anxiety says “great … but what if you spoil your pages …?”
Everyone makes mistakes, but I have put together this short list of common errors and how to avoid them:
Smudges – If you are using ink of any kind then sometimes it will smudge. I would recommend using blotting paper on all ink, but especially fountain pens. Press the paper lightly on fresh ink to soak up blots, but also put blotting paper over the top of wet ink and under your hand to prevent accidental smudges as you write or draw.
Using the wrong pen – This is only really a problem if you are sticking to a colour scheme and you have a selection of pens of similar colours, or if you are trying to maintain uniformity in some other way. You can keep track by having a sticky note to hand and making a KEY of what pen you have used. Some manufactured sticky notes can be quite glossy and not all pens will look the same on different types of paper, so you can make your own with a scrap of paper and a piece of washi tape. ~ If you don’t want to write out a key, then you can wrap a piece of washi tape round your pen to remind you.
Spelling mistakes – if you don’t know how to spell a word then look it up or ask a virtual assistant how to spell it. If you find yourself always having to check the same words, then make a note of the correct spelling at the back of your journal.
Ink leaks – some types of ink will leak through the page, especially if the paper is quite thin. Keep a page at the back of your journal to try out your pen first. You could make it fancy with doodle boxes, write a pangram or a quote, or write a list of the brand and type of your pens similar to the KEY idea (2) above.
Drawing grids the wrong size – plan your page in pencil first. You don’t necessarily need to draw out the whole page in pencil, but make a few light pencil marks to help you plan. If you have layouts that you repeat then you can make yourself a cheat sheet to remind yourself of the dimensions.
Carbon paper effect – back in the day, if you wanted to make a copy of a document it would often involve carbon paper. This was an inky piece of paper that you slipped between the sheet of paper you were writing on or typing on and a blank sheet of paper, inky side down. As you wrote or typed, the ink would transfer to the blank sheet, making a carbon copy. If you put the carbon paper the wrong way up, the ink went on the back of your original copy instead! Where is all this leading you may ask? ~ Well, it is to do with coloured pencils. They’re great for making colourful habit trackers etc, but when you turn the page and write on another, the coloured pencil will transfer, like carbon paper. Avoid this by putting a sheet of scrap paper between the two pages so that the pencil goes onto that instead.
How to deal with mistakes in your journal
If the list above came too late, then don’t despair!
You could embrace your mistakes by incorporating them into your design …
Highlight them and write “whoops!” over the top. Change them into a doodle. Cross them out, deep breath and carry on.
Or, hide them …
Small mistakes can be covered with correction tape (warning: not all pens write over the top of correction tape or fluid). You can also cover them with washi tape. Gently scribble over the mistake first if you don’t want it to show through the washi.
Larger mistakes can be covered with another piece of paper, magazine cuttings, stickers, etc.
Massive mistakes can be hidden by sticking two pages together. Absolute last resort but not recommended at all is to remove the page, but this can weaken the book spine and other pages may fall out.
Final note: just relax and enjoy. Eliminating distractions and taking your time will help you become a better writer, but if you make a typo or another mistake, it really isn’t the end of the world.
Here we are more than half way through January already, so I am looking at my goals for February now. Most bloggers seemed to be busy last month writing about their goals for the year, but I prefer to have more short term aims at the moment.
My main goal is to increase my creativity. I plan to do this by:
Increasing my outgoing snail mail
Decluttering my craft stash. This will help me see what I have and I should only need to purchase consumables such as glue.
Taking part in craft challenges and continue to host my own over at my Craft Owl Blog.
Using my journal daily and expand my repertoire of bullet journal spreads. Are you following my Journal Along With Me series? I also have my new Instagram account for my Dotty Pages if you just want to be nosy at my first Leuchtturm1917 notebook.
Using meditation to help me focus – [read more about meditation here in this great post from Alison]
Reducing my blog posts to 2-4 times a week, because life happens. I haven’t been as active with my blog lately but I’m okay with that.
All of the above is planned to keep me off my phone. When I do go on my phone, I will set myself time limits for the apps I use most.