The Top Posts of 2012

Posted on January 2, 2013 and tagged Favourites, Personal with comments

I thought it would be fun to count down my top 5 most popular posts from 2012. This past year was really my first offical year of blogging and I learned alot about the kinds of posts I like to write. The kinds of posts people like to read... well that's still a bit of a mystery to me. What I tried to do was write things that felt right and genuine to me. Some of them didn't work out, but a few did. And here they are!

DIY Wall Art: Bubbles
This was my first blog post that really took off and I give it credit for getting me excited about blogging. These little bubbly canvases are the kind of thing I'm always working on and I usually just throw them in the closet or give them away. Publishing this and having it take off made me think "Hey, people actually want to see the little projects I'm working on. This could be fun!"

Hand Embroidered Cards
I actually had made these cards a couple years before I wrote this post and tried to sell them in my failed Etsy shop. I assumed people hated them because there was very little interest, so when I wrote this post it was totally on a whim. It was meant to be a bit of a filler post because I had nothing else to say. What I thought was just filler has turned out to the bread and butter of my blog posts. It's been pinned thousands of times, I've seen the post all over the internet and translated into several languages. So if you have any draft posts growing mold somewhere, maybe you should clean them up and hit publish because you just never know.

DIY Wall Art: Dreamy Letters
After the success of my Bubbles Art post, I decided to try my hand at DIY art again. I had a lot of fun dreaming this one up and believe it or not, took weeks to get it right. This post ended up being published on the Ruche blog and I became a proud member of the Ruche Blogger Family.

How Not to Paint Ikea Furniture
To this day, this post is by far my most commented on. People love to point out my obvious mistakes and laugh at me. I didn't really want to publish this one at first because it's so dorky, but I'm glad I did. I was planning on just destroying the evidence and never speaking of it again, but I decided to share the story hoping nobody else would make my mistakes. Maybe you'll even have a little chuckle at my expense.

Fall Freebie
This post was the first in what I hope to be a continuing trend on my blog- giving away free digital bits. I figured an iPhone background is something a lot of people could use, and I've since expanded these posts to include a desktop background too. I'm really glad these freebie posts turned out to be so popular because I really enjoy making them! Don't worry, the January background is coming very soon!!

My 2013 Goals

Posted on January 1, 2013 and tagged Personal with comments

Read 8 books -- This might not seem like a huge reading goal, but I figured since I've got a lot planned for 2013 I'll set some attainable. There have been years when I've read closer to 30 books but I have a feeling I won't have a lot of time for reading this year. I'm really hoping to exceed 8 books, but we'll see.

Fill a sketchbook page per week -- This one is actually going to be my new 52 week project. I really want to draw more and I think one page per week is more than do-able. And I'll make sure and post a picture each week so you can see it too!

Knit a sweater -- I just learned to knit over the holidays (barely) and I would really like to knit myself a sweater this year. Knitting came pretty naturally to me, so I think with a little practice I could cross this one off in the next couple months.

Have CourseCraft break even -- As you probably know, my husband and I started a little business in December. CourseCraft is a simple way to create and sell e-courses. We both have high hopes and big plans for it and I would loooove to see it pay for itself by the end of the year.

Try 2 new recipes per month -- I've been cooking the same things every week for a while now and it's getting a little boring. Between Post Punk Kitchen and Chef Chloe, this should be a fun and delicious goal!

Grow a nice garden out front -- Never having gardened a day in my life, this might be a tough one. When we first moved into our house in August I got the urge to rip everything (and I mean everything) out of the front garden and plant 2 sad looking shrubs and about 50 bulbs. After that, the neighbourhood squirrels had a giant feast on all my newly planted bulbs so I have a feeling I'm working with a clean slate this spring.

Take more walks and bike rides -- This was something I started doing last fall and I really loved it. I borrowed a bike from my mother in law and took off on a fairly regular basis. I would really love to get my own bike this year. After living in Toronto for 4 years with only my 2 feet to get me places, I'm basically a professional walker. Now that we have a car I want to make sure I don't get too lazy.

Sing and play a song on my guitar -- You guys, I got a guitar for christmas!! I can play 3 chords now, so I'm pretty much ready to start my own band. :P I would be so happy if by the end of the year I could play a whole song somewhat competently and sing along too. Did I mention I also joined a choir? I'm so excited about it and it should help me with the singing part of this goal.

There you have it, my 2013 goals. Nothing too sappy like "Be a better human being" or vague like "Get creative". Just simple, straight forward, measurable goals I can start working on right away. What are your goals for the new year? Anyone else doing a 52 week or a 365 project? I would love to hear about it! Happy new year everyone.

The View from my Phone: Catch Up

Posted on December 31, 2012 and tagged Art & Photography with comments

This is my big "View from my Phone" catch up post. You know when you think things in your life are finally settling down and you sort-of, kind-of have stuff under control? And then a wrench gets thrown into all your plans and totally changes everything. Well that happened to me at the end of this year. It made it difficult to stay on track and on schedule with my blog. But even though I wasn't posting these updates I was still taking the pictures, so here's a big photo dump for you!

From top to bottom and left to right:

  • Marshall helps me paint and I try not to drip on him.
  • Beautiful, bright poinsettia from a friend. (ps. I never knew how to spell poinsettia until I just looked it up now for this post!)
  • I decided to learn to knit and even managed to struggle through a scarf!
  • Pretty flowers from the same lovely friend.
  • Marshall butt.
  • Drinking coffee and looking through knitting books. My friends need to start having kids so I have someone to knit for!

From top to bottom and left to right:

  • This guy has quite the face.
  • The most beautiful sunset I've ever seen in my life. No filter!
  • A certificate my mom received for completing a typing course in 1969.
  • Oooh racy matchbooks! The one on the right says "Short on sails" Ah jeeze...
  • The caption in my head for this photo has always been "Santa + Baby Jesus = BFF" but that's probably in poor taste. Much like this scene of Santa looking in on sleeping Jesus on a neighbour's front lawn.
  • My mom's first wedding photo. I love her crazy veil!

From top to bottom and left to right:

  • A small army of watercolour christmas cards.
  • Barney tucked away in his favourite cardboard box. I swear he has a real kitty bed, but much prefers a box.
  • Yummy, yummy blueberry pancakes.
  • A little peek in my sketchbook. I'm hoping to do much more of this in the new year. (There's a little hint at my next 52 week project!)
  • Holiday party apparel Canada-style. Gotta stay warm!
  • Things are coming along on my whale painting. Been at this one for a while now.

This was the week I went crazy and only talked to plants? Yes, it appears so. I don't have names for them all yet because they're still new and I don't want to get attached in case they die. I've only owned 1 plant before in my whole life so I'm very excited about keeping these ladies and gents alive. I think I might call the one on the top-left Spike. Also, I got a guitar for christmas!! Right now the sounds that I make don't resemble music at all, but I'm working hard on it. Got the sore fingers to prove it.

Thanks for following along with these posts all year. I actually finished all 52 weeks!! I have a completely new 52 week project planned for 2013, but I think I'll still occasionally post some phone pictures now that I'm in the habit of taking them. Thanks again for reading. Have a happy new year everyone.

My Big News

Posted on December 17, 2012 and tagged Personal, Small Biz with comments

Today I'm very excited to tell you about a project that's been in the works for many months. I've been working on an app with the help of my very talented husband and it's finally the day of the offical launch!

CourseCraft makes creating and selling e-courses easier than you could ever imagine. If you have a special skill (I know you do) and you've been dying to share it with the world, now is your chance. E-courses are quickly gaining popularity on the internet and for good reason.

Why are e-courses so awesome?

  • Make passive income off your skill or craft.
  • Develop a personal connection with your followers and fans.
  • It's fun to teach people something useful.
  • Reach a huge audience (ie: the whole darn internet).

You can start creating your e-courses right this very minute. Just sign up for CourseCraft by filling in a few fields and you can dive right into writing lessons. Format your text using the simple text editor, upload files to your lessons and add an eye-catching cover photo. Right now, the promotion part is up to you but we help by giving you a URL to spread around that links back to a professional and polished splash page. There are huge plans in the works to add more ways to help you promote your courses including a CourseCraft marketplace.

If you make a course with CourseCraft I would looooove to hear about it. Your feedback is what will help make CourseCraft great. Also, I want to feature some course creators on the blog so I'll be on the lookout for people like you.

Join me on my new site! Let's Go