Sunday, 25 July 2010

Always Questioning...


This blogging thing... Now today being Sunday, chances are stronger than ever that I am talking to myself in any case...which could be a good thing if you never give your bloggy life another thought it's probably time for you to move on around about now...

I've had a chance to do some blog-hopping tonight & it's brought about quite a thoughtwave... During the week I just try to keep up with my regular commenters, followed by my inspirational scrapper blogs, and don't usually get to fit in much more than that. I love blogs like this {Piradee's} that are so professional, and blogs like this {Diana's} that are so directional, and I think to myself, I need to FOCUS when it comes to my blog.

Then I carry on blog-hopping & read blogs like this {Margie's} & this {Aida's} & this{Laura's} & know that for me, this TYPE of blog is definitely the type I LOVE the best...filled with photographs & a glimpse into the person behind the beautiful work. {Scrappy blogs that are written so personably, with little snippets of info that give me a behind the scenes idea of what it must be like to live somewhere entirely different}. Appeals to the dreamer in me perhaps...Now I'm not saying that there is a right & a wrong way to blog, or that any one type is better than the other. There are millions of blogs out here in the blogosphere & we all have ours for our own personal reasons. I'm just trying to make sense of what it is that I want for MY OWN BLOG, because I do know that I want it to be the best that it can possibly be.

I think it's an African thing...that we are fascinated with people around the rest of the world...although saying that I see some South African bloggers seem to prefer sticking with a circle of local bloggy friends, so maybe it's just a ME thing. For me, my scrapbooking has benefited one hundred fold from following international blogs, and that alone is worth a lot. I have come to see that there is a certain scrapbooking style to each continent {yes, really...} Being a fashion designer by profession I have followed trends for decades & am that rare mother that is able to buy things for my 17 year old without her being with me because I'm naturally attuned to picking up on trends, I have an inbuilt fascination with them.

If I see a layout in a gallery now chances are I'll be right in my guess of which continent the scrapbooker is from. My favourites being {in this order}

1. ASIAN - Vibrant, brave, adventurous, artistic, layered, fresh, fun-loving layouts that are experimental yet very directional at the same time.

2. AMERICAN - Clean, modern, simple, funky, bang on-trend, achievable yet very effective.

English scrapping has a lot of catching up to do & African scrapbooking is very old school {not us bloggers but the traditional LSS layouts that have 50 embellishments per double page, every photo is matted/mounted on 4 sheets of cardstock & white space is an unheard of term}. Australian scrapbooking is so artistic, with so many different things going on that it's definitely less directional. If you think about it a continent's scrapbooking style is indicative of it's people & their lifestyles, very interesting really.

So I've learnt a lot about my craft through blogging, & a lot about the world @ large. Nowadays I usually have a general idea about what the weather is like on each continent & am now familiar with all the major time-zones off the top of my head. I feel far more like a "citizen of the world" than I ever used to. Now if I only followed blogs that show-cased layout after layout I'd never be any the wiser as far as matters of life are concerned, so there's a place for every type of blog I guess.

So, after my concerns & my consideration that maybe I need to concentrate ONLY on my craft-work here & leave out the personal bits I've decided against that for the time being, based on the type of blogs "out there" that appeal the most to me {the scrappy ones with a bit of behind-the-scenes info now & again}.

It interests me alot that, second to my fellow countrymen here in South Africa, I get most of my hits from America, yet if I've had a handful of comments in my 20 months of blogging that's been a lot. I don't stalk blogs I don't comment on, because if I follow a blog I like it & my natural reaction is to post affirmatory comments, obviously not everyone is like me on that score. So there are still things that befuddle me about this blogging business & questions that I may well never find an answer to.

I suppose if I never gave all this a second thought I'd be stagnating & not evolving. An old friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day & it really struck a chord with me. Any of you out there who are constantly questioning the worth of your work & your personal progress {both blogging & scrapping} as well as photography {or any form of art or any form of work for that matter} then this is definitely worth a watch. Very thought-provoking.


topkatnz said...

I love my international blogs too. I find scrapping only blogs to be cold, impersonal, and a little boring. I need to know the person to truly appreciate the scrapping. It actually doesn't much matter!LOL I just do what I feel like day to day. I try to always include a picture or two in every post - for those that can't read!ROFL(or can't be bothered - cos I KNOW they're out there!).

Stefanie said...

I can't read your second comment.
Anyways, I found your post very interesting and I quite agree with your view of scrappers and the continents they live on.
Interesting post, thanks.

Shayne said...

Great Post Helen.

I enjoy your blog the way it is, bit of this and that. I get bored too quickly if it is just scrappy based (no offence to you, just in general). I like to know the person 'behind' the blog i'm following, makes seeing and understanding their creations much easier.

We love you!

Aida Haron, Singapore said...

Wooops I left a comment about this post in the previous post *silly me !!!* ......

Andrea said...

Blogging is to me such a personal thing and like with scrapbooking we are all inclined to develop our own style. Personally I don't follow a single scrapping only blog as I find them a bit self congratulatory (is there such a word lol) and as a result totally boring...but then that is again a personal preference.
Thanks for a thought provoking post

Ella Swan said...

Thanks so much for your feedback! Firstly, I was really surprised to get any comments at all as I had already resigned myself to the fact that that post was just for me to get that stuff onto "paper" & that no-one would bother to read anything so long & random lol...Secondly, it has been really enlightening to get all your views as I thought that I didn't have enough scrappy stuff often enough considering the name of my blog! It has made me come to a decision that I am going to blog about today, so without you I wouldn't have been able to reach that decision!! The scrappy blogs I like best are the ones where the personality behind the blog shines through, but saying that, I only read scrappy blogs where I find the scrapbooking to be exceptional as there are a katrillion scrappy blogs out there. So the personality behind the blog really becomes secondary to what I can learn from the blog. Problem is that's not all I want from blogging, for my blog or those that I read, which is why I have come to the decision I have. Andrea I totally understand & don't expect you to comment on my scrappy posts as you are no longer scrapping. I can sure see how, unless you're obsessed with scrapbooking like I am, how boring a scrapbooking blog would be to read. Even my husband can't be bothered to read my scrappy posts & I don't blame him! I certainly wouldn't read his reports on non-woven textiles!! Aida left me a really cool comment but posted it to the previous post by mistake so I'm just off to get it & paste it in here, thanks Aida ;-D And Shayne, I was really touched by your comment too! You girls are great friends ;-D

Ella Swan said...

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS FROM AIDA NOT ME!! {SHE PUT IT IN THE LAST POST BY MISTAKE}Helen what a great post, you are a wonderful blogger - generous and open !!! I don't get around as much as before and this has affected how much I know about the scrapbook industry, the personalities, even what is new. Strange when I actually spend so much time online ? With work at the LSS increasing, there are so many more emails, updates and reports to finish, schedules to fix.

Keep blogging, tell your story..... it's amazing to be able to connect with people around the world !!
July 26, 2010 10:08 AM

Jessy Christopher said...

I have to agree with what you have voiced out!! I noticed that different continents have their own style and flair to their creation but of course with their personal touch. As for myself, my style varies from time to time, guess all of us have our phases in life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I always love reading them!!

Pearl said...

aint that the truth that most of our visitors are from the US ! they are some of the warmest & liveliest bloggers/commenters for sure .

I think I hear you there about keeping your blog both a little personal while maintaining a crafty/scrappy one - we dont want to come across too self -congratulatory either ... lol ... whatever it is , just make it you without apologies !

Lynette Jacobs said...

I need to know more about the person blogging. I also get bored with scrapping-only blogs. I believe the personal stuff is what gets us to make connections and give us that real bloggy love I so often feel in blogland.

I would be quite happy to read about your life, love and see your creativity right here on this blog.