Thursday, 31 July 2014

Tea drinking & Blogger (or the continued adventures of a previouslyreluctant social media user part 2)

Well I've ensconced myself back into blog world whilst Mr J reads his golf magazine on his iPad.  I've just munched a rather delicious fruit scone here at Southampton Haskins and am enjoying a pot of gunpowder tea... Really my most favouritest of teas from a company called "We are Tea" who have the cleverest little contraption for use with your teapot to make sure your drink is perfectly brewed and does not stew any longer than necessary.  Not only that but they also have the most delightful blends in white peony and yellow gold oolong... Both of which make lovely refreshing cups. I do love my tea - it helps me through the day like the company of a fabulous friend and is a must have whilst my little brain is thinking of new designs and techniques.... I'm sure I couldn't have come up with today's technique involving peel off stickers and tin foil without it.... But more of that another day.  What I do need to tell you is my iPad has firmly stored in my favourites list (along with a host of favourite craft websites) because as soon as a few spare pennies materialise I am buying myself one of those nifty brewing machines and some tins of tea (oh yes it's proper tin storage here not your common and garden boxes) - but in the meantime I look forward each week to my little treat of a pot of gunpowder when mr j and I are enjoying our coffee date evening.

Now you see this is one of the reasons I do love my blogger app... It allows me to be so spontaneous and post what I'm thinking when I'm thinking it, what I'm doing when I'm doing it... For someone who is a ruthless planner and meticulous list maker (to the point of which sometimes I question whether I spend too much time organising myself that I don't actually achieve enough) it can be quite refreshing.

So shall I return to the purpose of this post.... You may remember this little piccie from my last post "Lovin' Bloglovin'" 

Well today I'm going to be working my way across  that middle row and I'm going to start with Pinterest... Well it's first in line and seems as good a place as any to start.  

A little like Facebook I have two destinations on Pinterest - one is personal and this is where I can be found sat for hours on end (did I mention that Pinterest has serious addiction potential) often late at night repinning images that inspire me craft wise, things I would love to be able to make or skills I would love to have, beautiful fashion that I would love to be able to wear when this weight finally disappears (1stone gone since the beginning of June - 2.5 still to go to hopefully get to size 10 to 12 - I once was thinner but I think being thinner at my age may age me rather than looking fairly youthful but once again I digress), cosmetics I lust after, pictures of the homes I can only dream of owning.... You get the picture... It's a little world of inspiration and dreams...

I'll be really honest I was sold on Pinterest the minute my friend, Katy Godbeer, introduced me to it however long ago it was.  There is nothing not to like. It's seriously simple to use - even for a technological jerk like me - and it's a virtual pin board.  In my studio I have the world's largest pin board  and it is covered with stuff - there is no more room left to shoe horn in the tiniest postage stamp of a picture but with pinterest I need never worry... It's the world's best inspirational resource if you are a crafter, hobbiest or artist and perfect if you want a way to just while away a pointless half hour or so (I tend to err on the side of "or so") looking at pretty things. With the ability to open up as many folders as you want you can't really go wrong organising your pins, it's easy to swap pins between folders if you press the wrong button (like clumsy fingers here) and you can even have secret pin boards - fabulous if maybe you are planning a special occasion or even if like me you want to be able to see what rubber stamps you have in your stash without yanking out box upon box from the cupboard.

The above screen shot is a snapshot of my personal Pinterest board but as in Facebook I also have a work related board which you can see below.  I set this up primarily in response to the needs of my demonstration customers many of whom I have to say I have now introduced to Pinterest.  It provides me with the very best place to post pictures for those who come to my demos to visit when they want to remember why they bought that piece of crafty stash, to save them having to take pictures themselves or just for a little place to visit for some inspiration.  I am also starting to post more none demonstration work here and I see this becoming a really important place for me to display my designs over coming months. It's fair to say this is a work in progress and will only grow as time goes on

Moving on now, I'm going to chat briefly about Instagram... A little like twitter in my last post I had a stupid fear of this but then again as with twitter somewhere in the back and beyond of my brain things had become a little out of hand building it up into something really difficult to use.... If you ever feel that way let me put your mind at rest - it isn't difficult.... AT ALL!!!  In fact it really couldn't be easier. Once you have chosen the picture you want to publish it then takes you step by step through what you have to do to publish it even to the point of sharing it directly on other social media for you.... Mainly I use it hand in hand with twitter...

This social media platform is quick, easy, great if you are out and about and again a fabulous way to get a community feeling and keep up with friends and family in a pictorial format.  If I want to post something but am short of time - say I want to publish a project but maybe don't have the time to blog about it - this is my first port of call.  Recently when Mr J and I had 10th anniversary pictures done by my lovely friend Louise Jolley I wanted to share them with friends as quickly as I could as I was SOOOOOO thrilled with them - this was my first stop. I've always been a very visual person and with a father who is a very very keen amateur photographer photos have played a really important part in my life since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Instagram and I really can't recommend it highly enough... Here is the screen shot of Instagram so if you've never used it you can see what it looks like - as you can see there are a fair few craft related piccies there.... 

So finally I move to Bloglovin' which is the newest addition to my social media stable.... Once again I have to blame Katy Godbeer for introducing me one lunch time whilst recording Docrafts television episodes... Katy, you clearly have a lot to answer for here!! And it is here I end my tour of my new found social media passion.  

I love to spend time reading other people's blogs... 

I think actually that in reading someone's blog you are in a very privileged position because often you are being let in to share a tiny part of the writer's life, you are sharing their passion and you are finding common ground.  You may revisit someone's blog because you are in awe of their talent, because they write about things that interest you, because that person welcomes you inside with open arms and makes you feel like a friend, because you learn from their experiences or because they teach you a skill you want to learn... Maybe as one of my favourite blogs does they remind you that you may be getting a little older (please note I did not say I'm old - in my brain I'm still a mere whipper snapper in my twenties just like the writer of this blog) but you still love the things that made you who you were in your 20s and 30s (yes I'm in my early 40s) and you still have that passion for them and you still love reading about them and indulging in them.... 

Outside of craft and creating my one passion has always been skincare and make up instilled in me by my mom - she still loves it in her very late 60s as much as I do and it is something we love to try and enjoy chatting about and I often discuss with her things I've read on blogs. One day I may even encourage her to try out an iPad too so she can read along with me... 

Sometimes I may be reading a magazine - lifestyle, home, crafting, you name it. I am an avid magazine reader - and I will see blogs mentioned and it is "Blog Lovin'" where I keep the details in my list. Blog lovin' is a one stop blog reading "shop"& updates it's feed with all the posts from the blogs in my favourites list in real time. I can then work my way through them at my leisure without having to go and open them in safari or whatever browser that I may be using. It's almost like my own personalised magazine, there when I just want to dip in and read something I know I will love.  I can highly recommend Blog Lovin' - it beats trying to remember all your favourite blogs, saves you having to search through favourited website lists and saves the need for manual lists or in my case lists on the notes facility on my iPad. This is how it looks - and it really is as simple as click on the post you want to read - you can even click you've read it to remove it from your displayed feed if you want...

And so here ends my tour of my social media folder... I hope you agree that this reluctant social media participant has changed her ways and turned over a new leaf.  If you too are reluctant to dive in then maybe choose the one that appeals most to you or might allow you to get the most from your own experiences in the digital world.  And above all don't fear it... Enjoy it and get the most out of it you can. Whatever your own needs or online skill levels I promise there will be something for you.

I'm going to close now and enjoy another cup of gunpowder green tea and bid you farewell until next time
Take care and speak soon

PS just to highlight the power of social media I tweeted earlier that I was posting about whilst blogging and this is the response.  It really shows you how fabulous a platform it is to communicate with people you may never normally get the chance to do so and just how quickly that interaction can take place... See for yourself below. I agree with everything they say about a lovely cup of delicious green tea by the way and now you can read it yourself now from real connoisseurs!

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