31 October 2014

Blogiversary:Thank You For Five Amazing Years

I have been looking forward to this day for a couple of months now. Not because it was going to be a big day, but that it was a moment to look back, evaluate and be grateful for the journey. Five years ago to day I posted my first post here on this blog.

I find it rather strange that I posted my first time on Halloween day. It seems like that would've been a bit of a busy day to start up a "life project." Funny. This blog was set up for a few months before I actually stepped out from the shadows and did something with it on Halloween Day 2009.

I feel like this blog was with me long before I met The Man, but today I realized I'd already been with The Man for nearly 18 months by the time I started blogging here. That is mind-boggling. I cannot even fathom that. Of course if you count the days The Man and I have been apart geographically in that amount of time, I've spent way, way, WAY more time with this blog in the past five years. Sigh.

When I look back at the humble beginnings I cringe at the photography and the minuscule size of the photos. I still feel the growing pains when I see experimental use of text sizes and other "inspirations" gleaned from articles read by "blogging experts." I have to thank Leslie Shewring, the genius behind A Creative Mint, for being the one person who has taught me more about photography than any other. Her lessons in Holly Becker's BYW classes were life and blog changing.

As I've been looking back I have lots to be grateful for since the birth of kalanicut. I've had a place to write and publish whenever I want to. As a life-long writer, that is am amazing gift and something that was not available to writers even a few decades ago.

Because of kalanicut I have renewed old friendships and stayed in closer contact with friends and family. I've also made some amazing friends who have had such a positive impact on my life, including many from BYW classes, like Kelly, Jenn, Glenda and Jane.

There are so many others who I've crossed paths with online over the past few years who have added amazing new things to my world and I am so grateful. Many I've had the chance to meet in person. It's also been sad to see a lot of people I really admired walk away from blogging in the past 18 months or so.

As a blogger I have some idea of the pressures and time it takes to put something together every day or even once a week. But I miss them and I've definitely been impacted by the quickly changing nature of blogging in the past two years.

Everything I was reading about declining readerships over the past year got me quite discouraged and for a good long time I anticipated the demise of kalanicut and how I wanted that to happen and how soon. Readership dipped, everyone was talking death upon blogging and it seemed like a natural progression that would be unavoidable in the near future.

But then one day last summer I came to the realization that all the reasons I had for beginning this blog, all the motivations and joys were still intact. That I wanted to keep this place alive if for no other reason that for me to have a place to write and share ideas.

So I went back to basics and started studying up again on all the ways to fuel a great blog and then I started employing them. And guess what, within about eight weeks my blog readership had doubled and was on it's way to tripling. Then my kalanicut Facebook page numbers started growing, and so did my Pinterest following.

Twitter has also grown although a little more slowly. But based on what I've seen and read about Twitter, things are changing there now with slower growth. I've also noticed that there seems to be less organic conversation and more pure promotion on Twitter than in the old days. I think everyone finds that a little less interesting than connecting with people in real conversations.

So blogging is not dead, this blog is not dead and I am excited to continue to write, grow and enjoy the journey. The biggest thanks of all has to go to you supportive readers. I will bump into one of you now and again or hear from you online and as silly as it is, when you tell me you read every day or that you liked a particular post it sort of strikes me with surprise. People are totally up to date on what goes on here and with my life? Really? I should know better, I see the numbers but it still catches me off guard and I feel a little sheepish.

Thank you, dear supportive readers... FRIENDS for being here these five years. I hope to continue the journey with you for many more. Thanks for sharing this amazing time with me. Now I am going to go and find some fun way to celebrate the day. Happy Halloween!

29 October 2014

Round Up: Thanksgiving Decorating Inspirations

I'm not one to rush the holidays but when we have our biggest Halloween celebration the weekend before Halloween actually happens it's super easy for me to just cruise on by, thinking Halloween is over. I have been thinking that all week.

Every time I see some Halloween decoration or pin, or tweet, I think, isn't that over already? I have to remind myself that we haven't even actually hit Halloween yet.

So I'm already thinking about Thanksgiving, although I have no idea what we are doing for the holiday. But I thought I would do a little Thanksgiving decoration round up of some of my favorite, fresh ideas for decorating for everyone's favorite eating holiday. Also known as the day we remember those who made such great sacrifices to establish this country we enjoy living in.

I'm going to go non-traditional here and really try to inspire new ways of looking at Thanksgiving.

1. I love these painted pumpkins by Rachel Faucett at Handmade Charlotte. Wouldn't it be a fun way to turn your Thanksgiving table on its ear with very modern, brightly colored pumpkins. I can just envision such fun dishware, linens and candles to go along with these. Why stick with the traditional browns, yellows, reds and oranges. Let's broaden the holiday color palette!

2. Glitter paper is the secret to giving this Give Thanks banner, by Sugar Bee Crafts, it's sparkle in a fast and easy way. I was seriously thinking letters cut out from card stock, then a lot of glue and glitter mess, but hello glitter paper sounds fantastically better for this project...and maybe every glitter project ever.

3) The Lantern Pumpkins would be so gorgeous outside a home to welcome guests for a feast or to send them off into the night at the end of a beautiful day.

4) The Mayflower has long been a favorite pin on Pinterest for me. I backtracked this to two blogs which seem to not exist anymore: Desperately Seeking Gina and Maybe She Made It. So I'm glad at least it's living on in Pinterest-land. This is definitely on my DIY holiday project list for the future.

5) Looking Glass Pumpkins would make for a very lovely, formal statement. They would work in so many different formats but today I see them on a black and white tablescape.

6) Love these painted acorns by Beth at Home Stories A to Z. Possibilities here are endless. They would be great sprinkled down the center of the table, in jars or candle holders. Lots of options. I could just stare at these for a long time.

I'm liking this inspiration to toss it up a little this Thanksgiving and go with a rich and color-filled palette. Hope something here has you percolating new ideas too. Thanks to all these creative bloggers who shared their inspiration.


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