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How do you like your blogs served?

I’m sure most people know by now that Google Reader is shutting up shop at the end of this month. I was pretty bummed when it was announced as I have quite a list of blogs that I like to read on a regular basis.

Anyway, I’d like to let you know that there are a few options out there if you want to keep reading via an RSS feed. Personally, I’ve switched to Bloglovin, it has quite a nice format that is easy to navigate, it gives me a daily update on what’s out there, and it gave me a nice big fat button to put on this blog to let others add it to their feed. It will happily import your Google Reader feed too. And I love that it has an iPhone and an iPad app.

Here is a link to follow me with Bloglovin, just to make it easy for you!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

There are a few other readers out there too, Feedly is one of them that is a bit more traditional, and NewsFire is a Mac-oriented RSS feed. They mostly have apps too, so you can read your blogs on a tablet or phone. And there others, try a few out and see which one works for you.

If you prefer, you can also subscribe to receive an email each time I update this blog, which is generally not more than 3-4 times in a week. There is a box there on the right which you can use to do that.

And if you’re a WordPress user, you can opt to follow through the WordPress reader.

Uncategorized

One year on … and the year ahead!

fun-birthday-cupcake

So, a couple of days ago marked the first anniversary of my blog. As of today I have made 64 posts (including this one) and have 66 followers (so I’ve kind of added a follower every post if you like!). I’ve published more than 20 posts with recipes and nearly 40 about beads and jewellery, with one that included both of my passions and a few posts that I have not categorised (note to self …).

When I started this blog, I didn’t really know what to expect from it, didn’t know if I would be able to find my voice. I am a writer by trade, but I write about science and business, not about beads and food! But over the course of the past year I feel like a little storyteller inside me has come to life.

One of the things I have really enjoyed about blogging has been the way that it has shown me the way to the beading community, through blog hops, bead swaps, forums and Facebook friendships. I’ve taken part in more than half a dozen blog hops and challenges, each time pushing myself to try something new.

Some of my favourite posts have included the first blog hop I entered—Tracy Statler’s Wrapped, Stacked and Layered Challenge—and Erin Prais-Hintz’s Challenges of Literature, Travel and Colour, not to mention the biggest one of all, the Bead Soup Blog Party!

jewellery collage for birthday
Clockwise from top left: Wrapped, Stacked and Layered challenge; Challenge of Literature; Bead Soup Blog Party; Challenge of Travel.

It has also helped me to push myself into a new challenge for 2013 … actively selling my creations. I hope to set up a stand at a local craft market in a few months, and I’m in the process of setting myself up to sell online, probably via Facebook initially, and eventually through one of the online sites like Etsy or Madeit. I’ll blog more about this soon.

As my blog name implies, the other half of this blog is about food and cooking, and this is more for me, to help me record and share recipes I love. I’m thinking that in a few years I’ll collect all of the recipes from my blog and collate them into a book for my kids. Among my favourite recipe posts are the jams and the lemons, the delicious lamb and silverbeet parcels and all of the Christmas recipes!

CLosckwise from top left: preserved lemons, candy cane marshmallows, lamb and silverbeet parcels, plum jam two ways
CLosckwise from top left: preserved lemons; candy cane marshmallows; lamb and silverbeet parcels; plum jam two ways.

Well, that’s the year past, so what have I got planned in the coming year? Aside from the plans to sell my jewellery, I have a number of challenges and hops coming up in the near future. This coming weekend is sign-up time for Bead Soup Blog Party 7, and I’ll definitely be putting my name down for that. I’m taking part in Lisa Lodge‘s Sand and Sea Blog Hop in March.  I hope to do all four of Erin Prais-Hintz ‘s quarterly challenges (if last year is anything to go on, the first one for the year is likely to be announced in February) and at least a few of the Art Bead Scene monthly challenges too.

I’m also planning to learn some new jewellery-making techniques. I’ve been playing with clay (both ceramic and polymer) and I would like to do more wire-work. Sadly, there are only so many hours in the week when you have 3 kids, including a very busy pre-schooler and a part-time job, so I have no doubt things will happen far slower than I plan.

On the recipe side of the blog, I have a few recipes floating around that I would like to play with and, if they work, I’ll share them.

And in general, I plan to work on my photographic skills. For Christmas my husband gave me a fabulous new tool to help me out—a clever device that functions as both a light tent and a camera stand from a company called Modahaus. It has already changed the way I take photos and I intend to keep refining my skills. Stay tuned for more about that too. Look out too for a blog mini-makeover, I’m updating very soon!

I’m looking forward to 2013. It should be a fun year and I hope you will join me!