Happy fall, ya’ll!
I’m sure you’ve noticed a bit of radio silence on my end of the blogisphere (or maybe not?) so I wanted to pop in with a new download for you today. But first, an explanation.
When I started this blog, it was actually based on live music, bands and new releases and meant as a way for me to keep track of new music I liked and shows that were coming through town. After I attended my first scrapbooking convention (remember those?) I was astonished to learn about design teams and design blogs and all the resources out there on the web for scrapbookers like me, and I wanted to be a part of it. I don’t know, maybe I hoped to get noticed by a manufacturer and wind up on a design team or get published in a scrap mag. Honestly, I’m not sure. I converted this blog, though, and began posting about the papercrafting industry and various DIY/craft/art projects or random things I enjoyed.
It wasn’t long after the conversion that I realized I needed a hook, so I created my first set of [now-embarrassing] printables to share with the world. Lo and behold, it actually worked, and my posts with printables received way more views than anything else. I started receiving emails requesting certain patterns and my analytics showed that my site visits increased to the high-hundreds, sometimes low-thousands. Most of that was thanks to Pinterest, which provided a major shift in how content was viewed (more on that later).
Some time in the past 5 years, I stopped reading the scrap blogs and realized I was no longer inspired by manufacturers and design teams. I realized that while I sometimes adopted current trends I was still forging my own path and doing my own thing. I also stopped scrapping as frequently as I used to, and stopped shopping nearly altogether as I downsized to a one-bedroom apartment and realized that my stash was overrunning my life. (sounds familiar, I’m sure!)
Since I’ve been working full-time as a graphic designer, this blog has been a fun way to experiment with patterns, or to use things that I came up with at work but abandoned in the design process. I’ve really enjoyed it. However, I’ve spent the past few months examining my priorities and how I spend my time, and this blog wasn’t really even in my top 20. I have so many things going on, between my day job, my side job with the band and my etsy shop that my personal time has been much more limited. At the same time, my social calendar has expanded twofold and I’ve been trying to focus on re-centering my artistic energies through sketching, drawing and painting. Let’s not even get into how tired I am of sitting in front of a computer after doing so for eight+ hours a day, or the physical therapy I had to go through on my shoulder because of an injury from sitting in the same position day after day. Oh, right… said I wasn’t going to get into that!
This is a long way of saying that as the industry has changed, so have I. Pinterest has been really great in that it gives people the opportunity to find printables and posts that I made five years ago, and it’s given a new life to my blog. My enthusiasm for the blog remains high, but in the current and future phases of my life my interest is not what it once was. As a result, I plan to redesign the blog format within the next few months and make it much friendlier for finding the massive library of downloads I’ve made available. I tried cataloging them as I went but I frequently forgot to add them to pages, and the downloads section is not very well organized. I’m hoping to transition to a different blog theme and make this place more like a regular website with easy-to-find content. My posts will be sporadic, but I’ll still be here. Once I redesign this page, I’m going to spend 2016 focusing on my personal portfolio site and getting my current work out into the cloud. It’s pretty embarrassing to network with other designers and end the conversation with, “No, I don’t have an online portfolio. My website? No, no, it’s still under construction. Yep, been that way for about 10 years. No current plans to update, no.” (Or something of the like.)
With that out of the way, please do grab and use the following Halloween garland. I created it as a mix & match craft, so you can print as many of each pattern as you wish – or even use your own paper. There are also three different sets of letters so you can truly personalize to your heart’s desire. The letters provided spell out HAPPY HALLOWEEN! and BOO – so have fun!