Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Blog Highlights,Struggles and Lessons Learned

Every year, I like going back through my blog to find the things that really worked for me. It helps me figure out what to do more of. This year, I also noticed several things with which I struggled and this has given me some clues about what I to change. Here, in no particular order, are my 2014 blog highlights, struggles and lessons learned.
Highlights:
1. Frugal Still Life Photography Class. Cheryl McCain offered this class (see my review here), and it opened a whole new world of photography for me. Looking back over my photographs for the year, I realized how much I like the photographs I took for this class, such as the one up top. In fact, I liked it so much that I just signed up for Kim Klassen's still life class called Be Still -52.
2.  Organizing my craft room, re-doing the bathrooms and purging the house like crazy (an outgrowth of my 2014 OLW and Do What You Love's New Year's Revolution). My one little word for 2014 was illuminate, which means to lighten and clarify. I used that as the impetus to down load the free class "New Year's Revolution." The worksheets helped me realize how much I wanted to have a clean, well-decorated, presentable house; one where I would be happy to entertain. And I accomplished about 90% of that goal this year.
3. Summer of Color Houses - Sponsored by Kristin of Twinkle, Twinkle. Every summer, for six weeks, she posts a color palette a week and invites people to create something in that color palette. This year, I chose little houses and loved the project! Confession time: I only did five of them, but I plan to finish the 6th one soon!
4. The Art of Practising Gratitude Tag Booklet. Bernice hosted this wonderful, free month-long meditation on gratitude which also featured lots of techniques. I chose to make tags and really enjoyed the experience.
5. Zoom In < Zoom  Out. Helena hosted this wonderful weekly meme, and I participated most weeks. You can see all my zizo's at this link. It was a good reminder to see the world through a camera lens.
6. Good Fences Link-Up hosted by the Run*A*Round Ranch Report and One Photo, Twenty Words hosted by Abi of Creating Paper Dreams. I enjoyed these photography memes very much, even if I didn't participate every week. You can see all my fence posts here.
Challenges:
1. Facebook ate my photos. In an attempt to short-cut the tedium of uploading photos to my blog, I often upload photos to Facebook first and then copy and paste the URL to my blog (especially if I'm using iphone photos). Unfortunately, these links don't last. So, when I go back to look at blog posts with those photos, all I see is a broken link. Argggh!!! So frustrating!
2.  Studying Under the Masters Class - I signed up for this class last January, and I've worked through a few of the exercises. The class is well constructed and can help develop fine art skills in drawing and painting. The challenging part is that these exercises (like the Georgia O'Keeffe shell above) were difficult and not that fun for me. I did enjoy creating the Matisse inspired still life though. I think that I have learned that representational drawing and fine art painting don't really excite me. I like photography and mixed media art better. It's a good lesson to have learned and will help guide my art work in 2015.
3. The Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. I love hosting this event. I love coming up with the list and seeing the results. I love taking the photographs .  .  .  but, it is a bit exhausting. I think the lag in my blogging over the last half of the year is directly related to the rigors of hosting the hunt. I still plan to host the hunt next summer, but I need to find a way to do it that works better for me. All suggestions welcomed.

21 comments:

Eileen T said...

Maybe someone to co-host and help you with commenting on all the entries will ease the pressure a little. I'm happy to offer if you think this would help you.

Eileen T said...

Oops .. forget to make it clear I was talking about the scavenger hunt!

alexa said...

I am always inspired reading your honest thoughts and reflections, Rinda - and smiling at the serendipity of having just looked at Kim Klassen's class too (though, not having Lightroom, I didn't sign up). Hoping you will find a way forward which eases pressure and lets you do more of what you love.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

'Tis a tricky balancing act, that's for sure. Glad to hear the scavenger hunt will continue, it's a highlight of my Summer, although I appreciate it's a lot of work to host. If I can help in any way please let me know.

Elise (lil gik) said...

I enjoyed reading through your post, always helpful to see what works (or doesn't) for fellow crafters. :)

Patty Antle said...

I loved doing your scavenger hunt last year!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

You've had a very interesting year - each element was worth reading and pondering. Happy 2015.

Ladkyis said...

You used Farcebork last time for the scavenger hunt so why not do most of the "work on there. Get people to put a link to their blog entries on the FB page and then just do a round-up of the best at the end. I think most people have joined FB even if they don't tell us. I know I keep my FB friends list to people I have met or am related to.

scrappyjacky said...

I love the scavenger hunt....but can see it must be very time consuming for you....maybe commenting only on FB rather than blogs would make it a lot easier for you.
Looking forward to seeing what you get up to this coming year.

Sian said...

What a great reminder of some of the things I've enjoyed about your blog this year. I especially liked the little houses! sorry, I have no good suggestions for the hunt. I'm not a FB fan. I'm sure everyone appreciates that when something gets really big you have to take a step back. We can join in without expecting you to following our progress (nice tho that is)

Cheri said...

I found I shared in some of your 2014 successes. I LOVE the scavenger hunt and enjoy playing along. I think maybe if you didn't worry about the monthly round-ups - maybe just one big round-up at the end - that might make it easier. We all can just go along at our own pace, post on our blogs or FB as we see fit, and gather at the end.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I really liked the tag project & the scavenger hunt. I agree with others that a co-host might help with that.

Julia said...

Lovely to read you post Rinda. Glad you've achieved such success in 2014 with your blogging. And super glad you're hosting the hunt again next year! No tips in afraid except do what works for you xx happy New Year to you and yours x

Melissa said...

Great reflections on your bloggy year Rinda. I think you've done a good job of evaluating what worked & what didn't. Looking forward to a bloggy 2015!!!

Becky said...

Interesting to read what worked and what didn't for you in 2914. I do love participating in the Scavenger Hunt but can understand what hard work it must be for you to keep up with commenting on everyone's finds. Not got any helpful suggestions I am afraid! Happy New Year though to you and all your family.

~*~Patty S said...

WOW Rinda what a year...
you do so much!
I certainly appreciate all the time and energy you put into the Photo Scavenger Hunt each year.
Simplify is my word for 2015 but I realize I may need to keep that same word for more than one year ;-)
I agree about Mixed Media and Photography being lots of creative fun.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy and Healthy New Year!!!
oxo

Susanne said...

What a nice wrap-up, you had busy 2014 for sure.

debs14 said...

So pleased to hear that Scavenger Hunt 2015 will take place! I can understand that it may be time consuming behind the scenes. I know someone who runs a small camera club and she started a Flickr account that people could join and add their photos to, Would that idea help?

Lady Ella said...

Oooh now I'm scared the SH will move to FB, which I really don't want to join! But you must do what works best for you of course..!

Miriam said...

Happy New Year to you & yours Rinda and thank you for the beautiful card which arrived here in only 5 days! I loved your round up for 2014, I love the mix of things you do and often wonder how you managed to keep up with everything and blog. I just don't seem to be able to that, (and I don't work!) The Scavenger Hunt is really fun, I love a long project like that. I think maybe just one round up at the end. I like the Flickr page idea but not Facebook. I do hope you find a way to let it continue without jeopardising all the other wonderful things you do and from a selfish point of view, all the things you do that inspire me. x

Gail said...

What an interesting post Rinda. I was intrigued enough with your comments on "Do What You Love" that I broke off from reading your post to go check it out and downloaded the toolkit. Interesting to hear about the FB problem with photos. I'll have to remember that. I'm happy to hear the SH will be back this year, if I come up with any idea of making it easier for you I'll be sure to let you know.