I really didn’t mean to disappear for so long and I appreciate all of the lovely messages checking on me!
My life has changed so much in the last 6 months and I thought it would be a good idea to address everything so everyone knows what’s going on as we all move forward because I miss you guys!
So where have I been? Well I mentioned back at the beginning of the year that I wasn’t going to push myself to make things that my heart wasn’t in and I was only going to be posting when it made me feel happy… so I guess the short answer is that I was waiting for it to make me happy again!
I started blogging to meet people with similar interests and keep in touch with friends far away and over the years it snowballed into a job and then something that felt like an obligation to people who were relying on me which felt stressful rather than fun like I had intended originally. The blogosphere has changed so much since I started and the longer I continued, the more disconnected and tired I felt.
While I’ve been away, I still took all of the photos and videos like I always did, I just didn’t have the energy to do anything with them so I slowly faded out even on social media.
In the mean time, my life outside of the internet kept moving quickly… so for me it felt like no time at all. I threw myself into my artwork and started selling on Creative Market. I became obsessed with finding the perfect diary/planner and even opened an Etsy store selling stickers.
In terms of crafting I’ve been focusing on knitting and spinning. I have done a little bit of cross stitching but that was really just to make a cute case to hold my knitting needles. I’m still taking photos every day and looking forward to eventually upgrading my camera when a new one comes out and maybe getting a proper macro lens.
By starting from the ground up, I’ve settled into a routine which is making me really happy.
So where do we go from here?
Well firstly, I won’t be doing any more tutorials for the foreseeable future, sorry!
If you need to get in touch with me for anything, please email me because I don’t always get notifications for comments and they tend to get buried quickly!
If you need customer service for my stores, please contact me via etsy or creative market, it’s the quickest and easiest way to keep track of things. I can’t answer customer service requests via social media sorry!
Blog- I think what’s been holding me back (as silly as it sounds) is having to come up with words… I think I want continue here maybe as a photo journal or similar. I might do a little redesign again as well because I’m tired of looking at my own face when I open it haha! So no promises but we will see how that goes!
Instagram- When I post things day to day it will be here! No promises on timeframes or replying to comments though.
Tutorial Youtube- I’m probably not going to upload anymore videos here.
Vlogging YouTube- I do want to continue vlogging but it will be sporadic. I’m currently considering doing every day in December this year because it’s a tradition and I’m more energetic in summer.
Pinterest- I will be using Pinterest sporadically.
The VLB- I want to think that eventually I will start putting out the VLB again because I love it but at the moment I don’t have time.
Other-My Instagram photos will auto post here but I’m probably not going to check in very much if ever so please don’t expect replies:
I’m aware of the irony of how long this is considering that the words are what I’ve been having a problem with hahaha! So I guess this post is to check in and say hi and let you know that you’ll be seeing a bit less of me but the parts you do see will be more energised and happy!
2014 really seemed like a very long year didn’t it? By the end of it I was feeling pretty drained and burnt out so I decided to take a few weeks away from the things that I felt were making me feel bleh and concentrate on things that I really enjoyed doing instead. James and I sat down together and actually talked about what we didn’t like about 2014 and what we wanted to do about it in 2015. I was in a really introspective kind of mood and it felt like the more things I thought about myself, the more I realised that I wasn’t necessarily loving the direction I was going in.
We realised that one of the biggest problems I had was separating work and home life. For the last 7+ years I’ve been working a LOT. I was pulling 12 hour days every day and working weekends but it never felt like I was actually on top of anything because I really wasn’t. Not having set work hours meant that I had no reason to properly plan anything out or to set guidelines for how long things should take because I was constantly doing them… but nothing really seemed to get done because I was always over tired and not running at full brain power.
So that was the first thing to change. I now have set work ours from 10-6 like a “regular” job and I’m not working weekends either! I’ve been doing this for the last 3 weeks and it’s really helped me focus a lot more on goals and projects I want to get done. It also means there is a set time to relax and let my brain wind down enough to rest properly at night. Yay!
With that in mind I started to think about what I wanted to do with myself a little more and realised my blog (and really myself) had turned into a a finely tuned content manufacturing machine. I love tutorials but the rate that I was working them last year (2 videos, 4 posts, social media bonuses, the VLB and sometimes vlogs as well) was not something that I could keep up with forever without burning out. I just don’t have the kind of outgoing personality required for doing that without feeling uncomfortable >_< So this year I’m want to continue doing tutorials because I love them but I will only be doing tutorials that I LOVE. I’m not going to be working to a schedule of X many posts or videos a week because when I do that, things become forced and the end product isn’t what I want it to be. I’m going to write about the things that I want to write about without worrying about other people’s reactions.
This year I want to concentrate my efforts onto being happier. I want to love what I do every day. Obviously loving EVERYTHING is unrealistic and sounds like hippy crap but I want to at least not feel like I’m falling into bed at night dreading the next morning >_> I’m really tired of being tired!
I also want to try new things and diversify a bit. I don’t want to feel like I’m being stagnant and just doing the same things over and over again because that’s what other people want me to do. I have a habit of focusing all of my energy onto one thing and not being able to see anything around me so I want to branch out of my comfort zone more and try some completely different things.
This is probably the longest and most thoughtful post I’ve written in years and I feel really happy about it. The changes that I’ve been making have had such a positive effect so far and I feel re-energised. Since I started this blog what feels like a billion years ago, it’s had so many incarnations and focuses and the one constant has been you guys who are reading this. I really appreciate all the support you’ve given me in reading my blog and I hope you’ll continue to like what you see in the new re-energised Violet.
So 2015, bring it on because I’m excited to see what you have ^_^
I hope you are all having a great time today and here’s to 2015 being an amazing year!
I don’t generally make resolutions because it seems like setting myself up for failure but I want to make this year incredible so what do you guys thing we do to make this year even better? Or if you make resolutions what are you planning to do?
I’ll be taking a week or so off now to organise my brain for 2015’s posts and get back into an organised working mode. See you in a little bit!
Anyway, have a wonderful night and I can’t wait to see you next year!
There are a whole lot of you guys who have only started reading this year so I thought it would be a good time to let you know about my monthly newsletter. Firstly welcome and thank you for reading!
I get a lot of requests for being able to download my tutorials in their full format so you can stick it on an ipad or whatever and have it with you when you’re actually doing the craft. I’m currently going through my back- catalogue of like 600+ tutorials to format them in an easily downloadable way. To access the ones I’ve done so far all you need to do is sign up to my newsletter and you will be emailed a big long list of them!
So what’s the VLB? Well it’s basically a monthly mail out from me with ideas on how to spend the next month. I’m hoping each issue inspires you to do something fun! There are heaps of craft tutorials from around the web included for you to try out, fun videos, the downloadable tutorials, interesting new blogs to follow, coupon codes for the Bergamot store etc.
If you’re already subscribed, I would love to know what else you would like to see in the VLB so just leave me a comment!
I’m currently planning out the kind of things to include this coming year which is really fun. I think I really enjoy the planning stages of things rather than the doing part hahaha!
Tutorial page totally reworked.
The layout of the tutorial pages had been a problem for quite some time. There is still a lot of work in sorting which needs to be done but this is a decent start. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or if there’s a particular way you want to be able to organise things?
Menu structure updated
Category pages actually work now, yay!
Archive pages work
Fixed the page numbers for easy browsing
Added better support for bloglovin.
Changed the email subscriptions from Feedburner to Mail Chimp
This was another decision that took some thought, Feedburner has been rumoured to be ending soon and I didn’t want to wait until the last minute to switch. I really prefer the look of the Mail Chimp emails too. To import the current subscriptions I had to remove everyone who hadn’t completely the double opt in. If you have stopped receiving emails please just sign up again in the sidebar!
There was a lot of debate over whether I should do this on Facebook/via email. People have very strong feelings about Disqus and so I didn’t really want to install it. The problem I had was server load, there are over 20,000 comments on my site and calling them from the WordPress database is VERY labour intensive from the point of view of the server and I can’t afford to bump up my plan which is already quite pricey. So the choice was getting to be Disqus vs no comments rather than Disqus vs regular comments. Hopefully this will work for the moment until we can find a better solution later.
Removed Glam ads because they were a nuisance for people and their ad system kept applying features that I had specifically asked to not be a part of.
Added PassionFruit ad serving system so I can manage things myself. Still finalising the sizing.
Signed as a blogger to The Remarkables Group for sponsored content.
Added BlogHer advertising system for a trial period. Please let me know your experiences and thoughts on this in the comments!
Still to do:
Confirm mobile sites work on all devices
Fix sidebars on mobile devices
Make series of posts
Make sure each post has the correct thumbnail, particularly in the tutorial section
Add extra navigation to find tutorials eg. crochet, sewing, knitting, etc
Add social media buttons back in.
Remove gallery links, still considering this as I’m not happy with the gallery in it’s current form.
Change theme and update Bergamot Bunny site
Change theme and update Violet’s Cuties/tumblr site
Consolidate all of the FAQ’s I’ve done and add resources page
As always, let me know what you think! If you ever find anything which isn’t working, please let me know about it! This site has grown so big that I can’t keep track of everything all at once so I rely a bit on people telling me if something is not working correctly!
I’m planning some changes to the way that I make videos and blog this coming year as well. It seems a nice sense of symmetry to just finish off the year and start fresh with the different things I want to do in the new year. I’ll post properly about that all in January then!
So basically… good things to come ^_^
Thank you all for sticking with me so far, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next!
As you guys know, I have recently joined a new agency and they were hoping to get some information about you guys to make sure the campaigns they pitch to me are actually relevant and interesting to you all. It’s been forever since I did a proper reader survey so I figured why not!
The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete and as a thank you, they will be sending a $150 Westfield Voucher to a random reader who submits (make sure you put in a valid email if you want to be in the running for it).
Unfortunately this time they can only send the voucher to Australian addresses (feel free to fill it out anyway!) but I’m working on a big competition which will be open internationally soon!