Blogging 101: All About Alys and Some Bunting for Fran

There’s a first time for everything, right? I’ve never included my name in the title before, and frankly it’s a bit weird. Since one of the goals of Blogging 101 is to stretch yourself, I’m doing just that. So, there it is Alys, front and center.

We’re tackling our About Page today. We start by jotting down a few ideas along with descriptors of who we are and what we’re about. With scribbled notes and ideas in hand, we’re to write enticing prose that will attract readers far and wide. Not just any old reader, but the reader who waits breathlessly for your next post.

Or something like that.

In other words, if you write a decent about page, you’ll attract ‘your people.’

Last week Pauline suggested I take an excerpt from one of my posts and include it on my about page. Then up popped this assignment. Life is grand when the dots connect.

Bunting for Fran

Speaking of Pauline, she proposed a Random Act of Kindness on her blog in November, then collaborated with The Snail of Happiness. You can read more about this charming act of giving here and here. Together they decided that Fran’s garden needed bunting. For those of us joining in, the only parameters were to include a margin a the top of the bunting for threading and since it would hang in her garden sanctuary, could it please be weatherproofed. I hemmed and hawed over this one, a bit stumped for suitable outdoor material. Eventually I settled on burlap. Not only is it natural and rugged, but it reminds me of the material enclosing Sanctuary on all sides. Fran and Steve garden in Tasmania, Australia, home to a LOT of voracious creatures. Without its enclosure, the garden becomes a free for all.

Something Old, Something New

Here’s what I did. I bought a roll of narrow burlap, then divided it into seven sections. After creating a notched template out of a piece of cardboard, I cut and hemmed each section at the top. All the other edges are raw. With my sewing machine, I zig-zag stitched all the remaining edges to discourage unraveling.

burlap bunting template

The new part for me was printing on sheets of fabric. That was so cool!  The sheets, manufactured by The Electric Quilt Company, feed through your printer. There are only six sheets to a package so I crossed my fingers and toes and hoped the printer was in a good mood that day.

I downloaded seven photos from Fran’s blog, then printed them as 4 x 6 images on to the cotton satin fabric sheets. It worked!

photos printed on cotton

After peeling the backing, I ironed the cloth, then cut all four edges with my scalloped paper-cutter, again holding my breath. I practiced on a few scraps, then I went for it.

burlap bunting collage

Bunting Assembly: Garden photos copyrighted The Road to Serendipity

Finally, I attached the photos at the corners with a bit of thread and some crystal beads to catch the light. The panels thread through a strand of parachute cord, available at craft stores for about three bucks.

crystal bead detail

Detail: small crystal beads sewn at each corner

burlap bunting closeup

Burlap Bunting Close-up

burlap bunting finished

Burlap Bunting

I’m almost certain there is one more banner floating around the blogosphere, so if I’ve missed anyone, please share the link and I’ll edit this post accordingly.

Just one more thing before you go: if you have a minute, will you please take a look at my About Page? Constructive criticism welcome. This has been the most difficult assignment to date.


22 thoughts on “Blogging 101: All About Alys and Some Bunting for Fran

  1. Fran’s bunting is amazing! The care and thought which has gone into it almost stuns me into silence! 🙂 But not altogether! I loved the presentation too – I’m a bit hit and miss in that area and so admire the final step – you and Boomdee have it down to a fine art!!

    You have missed a number of contributors – Fran was very well looked after and has bunting from many parts of the globe. I’m not sure they all posted about it though. Dr Snail did – but her bunting turned into a dragon – the feisty Welsh lass decided to march to the beat of her unique drum! I only forgave her after twisting her arm for my own version of a sea dragon 🙂
    Hopefully Fran can fill the gaps ……

    Now about the ‘About’. I love the first about. I don’t love the second about though because I think the whole introduction that you wrote deserves to go in. The little bits you wrote felt disjointed to me and not a true representation of who you are. Does that make sense to you?
    I know it’s hard because we try to make it short and pithy – but sometimes we [your readers and visitors] just have to be prepared to read a few words and stick around a few minutes – it is worth it. I checked, the piece you wrote for the assignment is just lovely and it still gets my vote!


  2. Thank you Alys for the mention.I love your bunting! I would never have thought of doing it that way. So very creative. Leave it to Pauline to create so much kindness. It’s good that we get pushed to stretch ourselves. I’ll get their soon. Looking forward to seeing new changes or not. I like your post as it is. A lot.


  3. Pauline is right… although the bunting was my idea in part, I just could not get inspired by the stuff so I made a dragon to guard sanctuary instead… I think that probably tells you quite a lot about me! I am in awe of the creativity that went into everyone else’s bunting… I would never have dreamed of printing onto fabric… you are a genius.
    Right… off to take a look at your about page now.


  4. I got some amazing buntings from all over the world Ms Alys. I am still reeling from the kindness, thought and effort that went into each and every strand and will be taking a photo of them all strung up in Sanctuary this weekend (sun willing). I got bunting from Ms Christi, Ms Pauline, Ms Marlene, Ms Alys, a wonderful Aussie lady called Nanette and the ubiquitous and most lovely Mommermom as well. My gorgeous little dragon “Sanctuary” now resides in my craft room and he came from Ms Snail. I also received some rather scrumptious bottle tops that culminated in an epiphany moment where I actually achieved my 10oz figgy fizz lid, a most glorious vintage root beer cap from you :). Just checked your new about page and it delivers everything an “About Page” should. It needs to be you in a nutshell and condensed down so that people get a very quick overview of who and what you are. Your passions are your garden and your ethos which are represented well by the initial explanations of the meanings and you have given people the perfect amount of info to get them interested about checking out your posts and enough about you to quantify who and what you are in the scheme of things. To this effect, you have succeeded well :).


    • I will update this post after you share yours. Would you be willing to share a photo of all the banners so I can post it here as an addendum? I want to acknowledge everyone that took part.

      I’m delighted to hear that you reached figgy fizz nirvana. That doesn’t happen often in life. 🙂

      Thanks, Fran, for taking a look at my About page. I rewrote it several times, and finally hit publish. I’ll go back and look again.

      Many thanks for all your kind words and support.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s just perfect Alys. I think she’ll probably bawl to see her own garden photo’s on your creation, that was a dear, dear idea. Clever to use the burlap, it’s so trendy and of course natural. Which they’ll love. I’ve been mulling around a few ideas, initially thought about oil cloth too, then saw Marlene’s awesome creation. I have a whole board on Pinterest….it’s a challenge to make it weatherproof but you’ve made it both beautiful AND weather worthy. I’m inspired, as always ❤ ❤ ❤


  6. Pingback: Decorating for Halloween | Gardening Nirvana

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.