No quilting ... but a new blog!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

This house has been hit by the cold bug ... hard.  It arrived on Thanksgiving and has continued to hang around ... for days ...

So while there was no quilting in this house this week—in the spirit of acknowledging accomplishments—there were two decent ones this week.

First ... we finally got the Christmas decorations out of the shed, cut a tree on the property (although it could be considered a little Charlie-Brownish) and got it set up on the deck (small-house living means accomodating).

image of a decorated Christmas Tree, including lights and ornaments, on a deck in the winter

Second ... I redid my blog!

For those of you who've been here before, you will notice a BIG difference!

A bit of backstory.  I had taken a year hiatus from work in 2009, and decided to fill some of my spare time teaching myself how to quilt.  There was a great community of quilters on Flickr (you remember Flickr, right?) and I was hooked.  A lot of quilters I admired on Flickr had links to their blogs, which I followed and scoured weekly.  Eventually, deciding to start one myself.  With absolutely no web technical skills, I took the same route as many of us did back then and went with Blogger.

I used the basic template when I set it up, spent hours trying to figure out how to set up a header picture and then—I kinda left it like that for the next 9 years.  I watched many bloggers, who started their blogs around the same time, either fall to the wayside or update their blogs.  I really did neither.  Yes, I did periodic posts, always optimistic I would get back in the groove again, but it never really happened.  2018's meager 10 posts is a good example of what the past couple of years have looked like.

But something happened late in the summer.  I started quilting again.  No, not the "someone's having a baby I should pull something together for them" kind of quilting.  The "I want to get lost in the studio and really create" kind of quilting.  And when I did, I found that I wanted to start communicating with quilters again.  I want to ask questions, share success, and walk through failures.  Instagram is well ... Instagram.  It's a great place to post pictures and get quick feedback—if you consider a like feedback—but it's not about sharing the process and engaging with other quilters that I had previously enjoyed.

Knowing that there would not be an instant community waiting for me to return when I began to repost on my blog, I decided to forge ahead anyway.  It was worth a try.  So I returned to my blog—which seemed so 2009.  With my web technical skills pretty much on par with where they were 9 years ago, I was off in search of a low-cost solution to fix it.  I thought I was looking for a Blogger genius who would refresh it for a low fee.  The search led to the discovery that there are people who will do that, but the $500 price tag was out of reach for an investment in a blog that is primarily used as a hobby.

But I did stumble across another solution on Etsy.  Blogger templates.  Let me add—Blogger templates for $5 to $15!

It seemed too easy.  Could someone with zero web skills actually implement a blogger template in a way that would work and not end up in a disaster?

When I found myself under the weather and not feeling up to quilting last week, I succumbed and decided to invest in a blogger template that I liked, with a creator who had great reviews, including her willingness to assist if necessary.  That—AND I learned how to back up my blog before I started—just in case.

I am pleased to say that with a $15 investment, 3-4 hours of my time, and a 30-page PDF supplied with the template download, I did it!  And am thrilled with the new look and feel of my blog!  It was far easier than anticipated.  There are still a few things that need to be adjusted, however, I learned a few things which has increased my confidence in my ability to resolve them and keep the blog more current, and hopefully somewhere that people will want to visit.

That's my goal—a blog that people will want to visit, to learn, share, laugh, sometimes ooh and ahh and other times commiserate.  I want to fill my right navigation with other blogs, managed by people, that want to do the same thing.  And maybe, create a space where people are willing to spend a little time together, one that goes beyond the perfect picture how many likes it can garner.

For those of you who made it to the end of this very long post Thank You!  For those of you who have been visiting for a while, I look forward to getting reacquainted and for those of you who are new ... Welcome!  I look forward to 'meeting' you over the coming weeks and months.

Happy holidays to all.

All the best


tink's mom said...

Love your new look. Looking forward to future posts. Cute tree. Hope you're all feeling better soon.

beth s said...

Your blog looks great. Blogland is such a nice place to create and share.

Lisa said...

Thanks! Great to see you again!

Lisa said...

Yes they are! Thanks for dropping in!

Molly said...

Oh I miss the days of flickr and all the beginner blogs connecting together! I love your new blog and may consider dusting mine off again or at least throwing more of my works onto Instagram. It was great to chronicle growth and all the quilts I made but then became a chore.

Your tree is beautiful and more special because of the wonkiness. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

The Joyful Quilter said...

LOVE your little Christmas tree and the fresh look of your "new" blog!! I'm interested to find out more about these Blogger templates you mentioned. Off to see what I can find, but would love a recommendation.

Lisa said...

Yes! Those were the days right? I think there's a new generation behind us now! Would love to see you back in the blogger-sphere! I agree, it felt like work to post over the past few years, but since I have really started quilting again, it feels a lot different. Maybe hibernation setting in as we now live in the middle of nowhere???

Lisa said...

Thanks! I searched "blogger template" on Etsy. There are a number of options. You want one that is "Responsive" -- that means it will work on Mobile devices as well. I went with Hello Manhattan because of the reviews and because there was a link in the listing that took me to a mockup of what the template would look like live (Obviously with other info in there, not mine). Good Luck!

Becky said...

Looks good! I also prefer blogs to likes on IG or FB.

I should check out these templates you mentioned. I've only been writing my blog for 2 years now, to document my one monthly goals, so it is nothing special. But it is mine! :)

Lisa said...

Using a blog to track monthly goals is an excellent idea!

Sharon said...

Love the look of your redesigned blog. Looked through older posts to see my Geometric Patchwork quilt and grandson Tyler still there. He’s now a Marine stationed in Japan. Quilt still on his bed at home waiting for his next trip back to see us. Best wishes to you for a wonderful holiday.

Lisa said...

That young man is now serving his country?!?!? Wow ... thank him for his service. I love the quilt that you made him and was thrilled when you sent me a pic!

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