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.

 

A Camera’s Perspective

Capturing moments with a camera allows us to revisit them at our leisure. Cameras record the things we intended, but often reveal surprises too. It happens to me time and again in the garden. While focused on a flower, I later discover a delicate web, a miniscule bug or an interesting play of light.

mouse found a peanut

Found a peanut

Of course when you take as many pictures as I do, the delete key is your friend. How wonderful it is in this digital age to snap hundreds of photos, knowing you don’t have to trek to your local photo processing store a week later, wondering what, if anything, turned out. It’s liberating.

orange poppies

I was so focused on photographing these California Poppies, that I failed to notice the pretty yellow and purple wildflowers growing in the mix.

Are pictures integral to your blog? Do you write first, then add photos later? Or do you write a story around the photos you have? Since most of my readers are also bloggers, I’m interested in hearing about your approach. If you’re a non-blogging reader, what draws you in?  Please join the conversation, below.

polka dot plant with web

Polka dot plant sports a tiny web

Halloween Countdown:

fashionable pumpkin

This stylish pumpkin takes re-fashion to a whole new level. Check out her ‘sixy’ mouth and her inquisitive nose. New this year, mismatched eyelashes. The sexy mole is also back. Finally, if you aren’t wearing trash on your head, you’ll have missed the biggest trend of all.