Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 Things to Grow On

So I was just minding my own business hanging out over at Thistlewood Farm, enjoying all the pretty pictures and humor, when Karianne posed a question to Blogland. She and some other gals are having a little get together where everyone is discussing their blogs...more specifically, what they want their blogs to be when they grow up. They've asked that we think of five things that we are working on to grow and fine tune our little piece of the blog universe. Our hopes and are some of my thoughts.

I've been blogging for almost three years, so some might say I don't qualify. But my blog is always growing and changing so I think that hopefully, I can manage to sneak in. This post may be a little more retrospective than most. I guess I'm sorta sharing the things I've learned along the way.

1. Be Yourself.
That one is probably tops on most bloggers list...or it should be. OK, so I don't really like broadcasting my age across the Internet, but it's safe to say that not only have I been around in blogdom for a few years, but I have a few years under my belt in life too. Don't be afraid to let others know that. Age and experience does bring a few perks, and a little more to the table. I've been there and done that so many times my head can swim. I've raised two daughters that are as old as many of you, yet I don't feel "old". Inside I'm still the young mom that always had a project going, while trying to keep all the plates spinning.
I've learned not to try to keep up with all the Joneses out here. I can't do it all, and hey, there are some things that I just plain don't want to do...I'm not a gourmet cook, I don't do tablescapes on a weekly basis, and I think I'm the only person on earth who hasn't tried chalk paint.

Listen to the still small voice in your heart...I call it God. I promise that ultimately you won't go wrong.

2. Don't be afraid of change.
We all have some awesome ideas. I can tell you that it's easy to be fearful about stepping out there to do something different; in blogging just like in life. This is something I need to work on a little more. It's easy to get in a rut. Whether it's a project, or sharing your thoughts on a subject, or just changing up your blog a little, we need to not be afraid of change. So what if it doesn't work out like you can we improve and grow if we're afraid to put ourselves out there.

3. Expand your horizons.
I never knew how much I would love photography until I bought my first little digital camera. Yeh, I'd taken the family photos for years, and an occasional vacation pic, but I'd never had much of an interest until I saw what was out here in some of the blogs. Magazine quality photos don't come easy, but hey, it's still fun trying.
I've never had much trouble in a crowd. It's always awkward when you have to put yourself out there, but making new friends in blogland is critical for not only growth, but survival. Sorry to say there are cliques here just like anywhere, but don't be afraid to comment or email someone you admire and want to get to know, that's how I've made some amazing "real life" friendships.

4. Be willing to help others.
When I first started blogging it was because someone I admired took a minute to read an email I sent them, and to reply. She read my first blog post and put my blog on her sidebar. She gave me a chance to "join the club" so to speak. Because of that, and as my blog has evolved, I now realize how important it is to reach out to others and offer encouragement and exposure. Nothing brings satisfaction like seeing other people being recognized for their talent and creativity. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...good advice that has stood the test of time. Blessings will always come back around.

5. Know your priorities
This is a toughy out there for so many of us who blog. Many of us came to blogging because we wanted to make connections with other women; that we needed to have a community of which to be a part of. Because of that we feel the importance of maintaining friendships and communication. This one thing that is so very vital to growing a blog, can at the same time wreck havoc on our personal lives. Knowing our priorities in blogging, like everything we do, takes time to learn.
I'm at a place in my life right now where I have time to blog, sometimes posting everyday, but not everyone can or wants to do that. We have husbands, children, parents...responsibilities and obligations. Learn your boundaries early on to avoid guilt and upset. When I started blogging there were only a handful of blogs as compared to today. You could visit each person, and know them personally. There was a written rule somewhere in a bogus blog handbook that said you had to return each comment that you a perfect world. Having said that I know there are so many of you who leave the sweetest comments, just know how much I appreciate you and read each one. (some days, I actually CAN return comments)
If you want to maintain a marriage and make sure your personal hygiene is maintained you have to realize you just can't spend all your time on the computer. I think we all know this by now, it's just important to not let guilt eat us up. In all things find balance.

OK, those are some highlights of how I grow my blog...maybe not the post someone else might write, but it's what was in my heart. Join in at Thistlewood Farm this Friday for the linky party. I'm posting early because of Vintage Inspiration Friday. (Hope you'll come by and join in the party at my place, too!)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A hint of Spring

I've been playing on the sunporch again.
Hope you guys don't go
"oh no...not again."
Sort of like Meryl Streep at the Oscars.
Gosh, I love that woman...she is so down to earth.

I know why I like piddle-ing out here.
It's because it's sort of like playing "dress-up".

I get to pick out a new dress and accessories for my wicker pieces...

change up my little coffee table my Daddy made for me...

and now dream of Spring, that feels right around the corner.

Someday when I'm brave I'll show you where I keep all my pillows and quilts.
I'm a hoarder.

I love changing out the color schemes with each new season.

I'm lovin' a little bit of pink... see a rabbit...
can Easter be far behind?

hey...what's that?

someone's pretty lazy,

and lovin' the warmer weather!

If you haven't come by for the new weekly party,
scroll down to the next post. 
It will be up all week for your browsing pleasure...
(I'm afraid my pocket book is going to take a hit!)

And Nancy's Give Away of a  $50 Gift Certificate
is still on until Saturday at Midnight.

Joining in with these great parties:

Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll thru Life
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Knick of Time Tuesday at Knick of Time
White Wednesday at Faded Charm
Primp Your Stuff at Primp
Share the Love Wednesday at Very Merry Vintage Style
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Thriftin' on a Thursday at Savvy City Farmer
Show and Tell at My Romantic Home
Air You Laundry at Freckled Laundry
Countdown to Spring at Domestically Speaking

Hope you're having a great week!

Monday Marketplace, Today's the Day

First of all, thanks for the great response to my idea post for this new party. I had intended on coming by to thank each one of you individually, but we had an out of town funeral yesterday, and by the time we got back home, I was wiped out. So please know how much I appreciate hearing from each of many  new commenters, yay!! 

There are so many parties out here, I just want you to know this is not just "another party". I want this to be a relevant way to discover new and creative sellers and products. It's open to anyone that buys or sells on Etsy or from online, Web Boutiques. We may be sorting things out for the first few weeks. I'm hoping we have a good turnout. As I said in my earlier post, depending on you all, I may have separate categories for items.

I had a few questions about how to link up an Etsy item; it's just like linking up a specific blog post. When you right click on the item "name" in Etsy, just choose "copy link address" then join the party. A photo will come up for the item, choose and click and you're in. Please link up only two items from your shop. This party is only for items that are for sale. Please don't link posts on DIY projects or things you have made unless you are selling them. This is a party for items that are for sale. Don't link up to your store, but to an individual item. Remember we will be doing this each week, so you can have an opportunity to showcase new items each week.

 If you're linking up on this venue, I just ask that you join as a follower and that you grab the button that's on the sidebar and link back to Common Ground from your blog. And if you get a chance please blog or Facebook your friends about the new weekly party. This could be like going to a virtual flea market or show each Monday. Wow, who wouldn't LOVE that?

I'll be featuring 3 sellers and their products each week. So for this first week, I'm highlighting three of my sponsors and their products that I really love. 

From French Bleu Vintage

(just like the one I have)

from 107 Vintage

from Tattered Goods

And even though Kristen isn't a sponsor,
 I'm totally smitten with these great Typewriter Key Bracelets
 that she creates from Sophia's.
Hope you'll run by her blog for this recent post.

OK, everyone...let's have some fun.
And if you sell your item that has been showcased,
please let me know in a comment.
I'm hoping we have a great party!

and if you haven't entered Nancy's Give Away


Sunday, February 26, 2012

How about a Monday Marketplace?

OK, so I have this little idea, and we all know, especially my husband, that my ideas are sometimes time consuming, cost some money, and require heavy lifting...but not this one. 

If you're like me, you like to buy from your blog friends on Etsy, and also like to share the fun of finding those wonderful vintage items and amazing creations. But it's hard knowing what everyone has in their stores. Sometimes we miss great items that we might be looking for, unless the blog author actually does a post on a particular item.

So, here's my idea...

Source: via Caressa on Pinterest

I've been thinking of a weekly venue to share some of our Etsy and Online Store products that we would like to showcase. So many of us in blogland have Etsy Shops and/or Online Stores. How about a way to focus on one or two items per week that we have for sale? So many linky parties ask that Etsy items or stores not be linked up. But how about a party that focuses just on that concept? An online marketplace where we could all link up; a way to share with everyone our creations and products.

So, starting this Monday, February 27, I will be hosting a weekly linky party for anyone that sells or has purchased a wonderful product. This link can be to a specific product you sell or even something you've purchased. You may link to a specific blog post, or Etsy item. I'm asking that you NOT just link to your Etsy Shop or Store, but to have a link to a particular item. Then if people want to browse your shop they can, but I want this to be focused on "items" and inspiration, not stores. This is to showcase  individual sellers and their products. And as much as we love the big online companies, this is not about those products...just individual Etsy Shops and Online Boutiques.

This coming Monday, (I'll post a linky sometime mid-day on Monday) let's say you link up one or two items from your shop. These can be handmade items or vintage items. Depending on your interest and participation, I might have linky "catagories" for products, but for now let's just see about a turnout.

so, how about it...?
Let me know if you're interested
 or think this might be a fun way to shop!

*This is not to take away from Sponsored Advertising on blogs
just a way to see what products are out there.

and if you haven't entered 
Nancy's Give Away 

scroll down to the next post!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Give Away with Nancy

If you've read Nancy's Daily Dish for long, you know she's not just about Transferware. Nancy decorates in a French Country and English Country mix that I really adore. The kitchen truly is the heart of Nancy's home.

She's a wonderful cook, 
and oftentimes her family are her endearing assistants.

She has everything "transferware" that I love, 
and knows how to style it!

Two of my favorite posts have been Garden related themes in tablescapes

She knows how to use wonderful vintage elements
to create a one of a kind tablescape.

And Nancy know's how to transform a home into a beautiful and comfortable retreat. She's not afraid of using pattern and color to create her own individual style. Below is her wonderful sitting area of the Master Bedroom.

Nancy's Etsy Shop is filled to overflowing 
with every type of transferware imaginable!
Go take a peek, then come back to tell me what you'd love to have.

If you aren't yet a follower of Nancy and I please join us.
Now go have fun planning how you would use your $50.00 Gift Certificate,
then come back over here and leave that comment!
Super easy to enter!
If you'd like extra entries you can blog about this Give Away
(just leave an extra comment for each.)

Nancy is also sharing a discount code with my readers
COMMONGROUND for an automatic 15% off.

and if you haven't joined in for
 Vintage Inspiration Friday
just scroll down to the next post!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Vintage Inspiration #78 Let's Dish

Last week on Vintage Inspiration Friday I talked about an interesting topic for me, and that was the Aesthetic Movement and it's influence specifically on Transferware. Today I wanted to share some photos and a link to one of my favorite blogs on the subject of Transferware. Many of you know Nancy from Nancy's Daily Dish. She is a collector and seller, and someone who is beyond knowledgeable on the subject. Here are just a few photos of Nancy's wonderful collection and tablescapes. Her collection gives her the opportunity to share so many lovely seasonal and Holiday table settings.

Recent Valentine's Day post

Wonderful Red Transferware Teapots

Gorgeous Christmas display

Thanksgiving Table

A beautiful Winter Tablescape in White 

And look at this Purple Transferware,
just perfect for Easter

Nancy shared with me a link to one of her posts on the Aesthetic Movement
that I in turn want to share with you. 
Just click here, it's a great post!

Tomorrow, Friday 2-24, I'll be starting a Give Away 
for a $50.00 credit for Nancy's Etsy Shop.
So please come back this weekend and enter.

Hey, let's see what was happening last week!

Kelly from the Essence of Home shows us her love
of farmhouse lighting that she uses so well!

And one of our favorite bloggers, who just so happens to be the sister of Kelly,
Kim from Savvy Southern Style, found this wonderful antique box.

a few items look more "vintage". 
A really beautiful vintage vignette!!

Catherine from Freddie and Petunia
is working on an amazing project creating banquet chairs.
you just have to see this, then head to her newer post.

and Melissa from Made in the South
shares her creative and blingy dressed up wine bottle corks,
You'll love these!!

Hope you can join in for the party,
something "vintage or vintage inspired".
And please have a visible link within your post.

So, what's inspiring you this week?

I'm joining in for these parties:

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday at the Picket Fence
Friday Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Potpourri Friday at 2805
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
What Have You Redone at Redoux


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