Here are some images that made me smile and just feel good today. I’m sure you’ll start to notice a theme as you look at them. I hope these inspire you to freshen up your home in some small way this weekend, even if it’s just a quick rearrange of your pillows or art, or perhaps cleaning out a closet or scaring away those dust bunnies beneath the bed. If things are too hectic, at least grab a bouquet of flowers and divide it up, adding a few flowers in small vases to dot around your home (on the bedside table, near the sink in your bathroom, next to your kitchen sink, on your entry way table, etc.). Remember, if you neglect your home, you are neglecting yourself – so take pride in your space and you’ll feel more invigorated and ready to take on a new week. Feel free to click on any of these images below to enlarge your view. Oh, and make it a nice weekend!
There is so much beauty in winter. As I look out of my window at delicate glass trees, iced branches sparkling in the sunlight, I sense that only I am bothered by a cold day. The trees seem to be basking in the sun, tiny droplets flowing down ridged bark, birds bouncing from branch to branch, seemingly happy. The pond in my backyard sits frozen, but the large blue heron perched on a nearby stump doesn’t seem to mind as he cleans his feathers (and after watching him skate across the pond unable to make a proper landing, you’d think he’d be blushing). Nature is happy, things are still ‘business as usual’ outdoors, yet so many of us are wishing for Spring, complaining, booking early vacations to the islands.
Seeing the Hanami print from Sharon Elphick today gave me a gentle nudge, “Spring is coming, hang in there”. A glimmer of hope that come March, feelings of being trapped and frozen to the bone will dissipate in the warm sunshine. All will be introduced to budding trees, longer days, and pudgy bumblebees collection pollen. Until then… We wait and try not to notice, just as the heron. Just as the trees. Just as nature.
Looking for something creative to do today? Check out the Paper Source How To Videos. You can watch them online and the instructor is darling, she’s like the art teacher that everyone loved from school or something. I love her laid back charm – she makes everything look so easy.
I really enjoyed the flower kit video because I have most of the supplies already, so this would be an easy and inexpensive project for me. I’m thinking these flowers would be adorable for a Spring ladies tea party, you could make mini flowers, tie them on ribbons, and wrap them around linen napkins, placing one on each plate. You could also create some pretty flower garlands to string around the backs of chairs or over the windows.
Paper Source has dozens of free instructional videos online – so enjoy!
(images from paper source)
A few blog readers really hate blog ads. They still click ‘em and make purchases, but deep down inside, they wish they didn’t have to see them. I’ve read about 10 comments on this from the survey I’m currently running. I was one of haters too until I started blogging myself and realized how much of a win/win they are for both blogger and advertiser.
Advertisers: It’s a win for them because they’re gaining exposure for their small business. Have you ever contacted a magazine or the Daily Candy for ad prices? Into the thousands for a tiny ad, sometimes over $10,000- USD for a single placement. Sure, they reach a broader audience, and I love them all so no negative energy here, but most who advertise have the cash allocated to put themselves out there like that. I sure don’t, and I know that other small guys don’t have that kind of money to invest. Case in point: My friend launched a business recently and she barely has money to purchase supplies to create her wares. That’s very common sometimes and nothing to feel ashamed of, it’s tough to advertise when you are living on ramen noodles and just trying to make it until tomorrow.
Blogs charge so little for ad space in comparison to the major glossies. Advertisers want to be where the action is – the blog that people are turning to on a regular basis for their design fix. This is why you will continue to see more and more advertisers looking to the more popular blogs for ad space. It just makes sense for them and for the bloggers who are really churning out the posts and working hard on their sites and who are really putting themselves out there as a resource.
Bloggers: On the flipside, advertising assists bloggers like me to keep going, daily, without let up. It’s also a huge push to blog on days when I’m sick or have work or family business to take care of. Even when I was in Germany for two months, I was still here, front and center, blogging every day. Sure, my German family thought I was a bit mad, but I didn’t want to let down my readers, and I didn’t want to annoy my sponsors by slacking off.
I appreciate sponsors, and although some of you (like 10) dislike seeing the ads, I know that most of you really appreciate having their presence here on the blog because, like so many of you, they represent a small business trying to keep it real. They’re up against the big boxers and by positioning themselves on blogs, they’re attracting more customers and able to stay afloat. And that’s good.
With that, I’d like to welcome some new sponsors that I’ve been meaning to introduce you to. Some have been around for several weeks already, but here’s a list anyway.
Green Tea Design – So many gorgeous pieces to select from, I don’t know where to start. I have my eye on a few dressers that I’d love to paint teal with a lacquer finish. Mmmmm.
Nazmiyal Rugs – Based in NYC, these guys have the most gorgeous rugs ever.
Imooi – Modern, stylish accessories from handbags to amazing cufflinks.
Truche – Handmade accessories, prints, and graphic design services.
With all that being said, what do you think about blog ads? Any suggestions or comments? I think it’s a worthwhile thread to start, if someone wants to throw out a few thoughts (and if it would help you in some way). I’ve had sponsors on the blog for nearly a year now, so if you have ad related questions, comment below and I’ll see if I can help answer them because I’d like to be a resource if I can. I’ve lost count of all the questions I’ve been asked concerning blog ads, so if you’ve emailed me and I’ve not replied yet, either stay tuned or comment in the space below for a quicker turn around.
(image from afo)