I’m a planner. I like instructions or a checklist to follow to make sure I do things correctly and don’t do it wrong. Once I’ve repeated something a few times I may start to freestyle, but I feel very uncomfortable doing this with something new. Over the past few months I’ve had three experiences of this uncomfortableness, particularly because they’ve felt public.
The Springtime Surprise Project is about doing something nice, just because. Something kind, thoughtful and all for a stranger. It’s about celebrating all that is good about the connections we make on the internet.
I loved the idea of the project so signed up with much enthusiasm, particularly as it was not about money, but “being generous with your time and effort”. My enthusiasm continued until I got the details for my partner when I started to panic – I don’t know much about food gifts! I chose to ignore that one and concentrate on the others.
I had a plan involving a few crafts, but was slow to start them and parcels had already been exchanged before I’d finished, and I panicked again as most of the ones I saw on Instagram appeared to consist of bought items, and more than I’d spent. Building on this panic, was the fact my main present (a picture from our honeymoon transferred on to glass) did not turn out as I’d hoped. I think I’d pushed myself too far out of my comfort zone as the different instructions I found contradicted each other and I had to make it up as I went along. Anyway it had to be posted so I added some chocolate to make up for it.
If you are interested in knowing how to transfer a photo onto glass using PVA glue (as it is easily and cheaply available in the UK) click on the image on the right to see a larger version. But I suggest two improvements so you don’t do it wrong like me; use less glue as it will be easier to remove, and rub the back gently so you don’t pull the photograph from the glass.
If you’d like to take part in a similar project you can sign up on the Surprise Project website for the next swap. I think I’ll be skipping the next one, to give me time to build up my crafting mojo again!
Photo flatlays about blog
At Blogon Cymru I had the opportunity to listen to Lucy, from Capture by Lucy, talk about using props in photographs. But this was a workshop so I had to do more than just listen. The activity was to create a flatlay (picture taken from directly above) that symbolised your blog.
The doubts started as I walked around the props, which ones connected to my blog? I had to start somewhere so picked up the props I liked and then focused on this smaller number to choose ones that I thought fitted my blog; after all I suspect no one else could pick props more likely to fit. I thought we’d keep our pictures to ourselves, but Lucy told us to share them on Instagram so everyone could see each others. I’m a big girl so here’s what I shared, can you identify how it connects to me or my blog?
Personally, I prefer my second attempt using a three quarter view, although maybe that is because I’ve chosen a larger background and used fewer items so it feel more spacious (although looking at it now, I wonder if I should have cropped it using the third rules). This picture was also an introduction to The Simple Things magazine that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve since bought my own copy, although I haven’t done more than flick through it yet.
Finding my blog niche
I’ve been thinking about a niche for my blog for over a year, but have been reluctant to make a decision because I was worried I would choose one that I didn’t enjoy or I’d run out of things to write about. But it got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying what I was writing so it was time to do something. I did my usual reading around to find good methods of discovering what you want to write about, collected them on Pinterest and used what I learnt to develop a process to work through. But it took another 5 months before I shared what I’d done because I didn’t have confidence in my method or my outputs; did I do it wrong?
In an attempt to force myself to move forward, I chose sharing my process as a task in a blogging accountability group. It took two attempts, but I did it and I’ve noticed I’m more accepting of “Capture, Process, Simplify” and it is already changing how I think of potential future blog posts.
My nature is to read, and I think it is easy for this reading to become procrastination. However, I’m learning that there is a limit to how much I can learn without actually doing, so I’m reminding myself to take a deep breath and try things even if they feel uncomfortable. My next step, it to change the design of my blog as this design is almost 5 years old and I’d like a clearer look. I’m not letting myself think about the process or whether the result will be right at the moment, instead I’m concentrating on my mood board as it is easy to just pin images.
What would you pick to symbolise yourself or your blog? Do you worry about doing things wrong? How do you move your comfort zone?