Wednesday, 14 April 2010

It's all about YOU

Hey there bloggers. This post is about you (and I also want something...) On Saturday, my friend Tina and I host our first ladies' creative retreat. I'm very excited, incredibly nervous and in something of a panic because I'm not quite ready yet (still a few days... calm down...).

I'm running a session on blogging. More specifically, I wanted to share my story of how beginning to unleash a bit of myself here in Bloglandia opened up the most wonderful outpouring of creativity which had been shut away in my soul for so many years.

For me it has not just been about the outlet - a place to write and share - but the results. I could never have predicted that within just a few months of writing my first post I would find myself a part of wonderful tribe of like-minded spirits.

Hopping from blog to blog to read the words and admire the work of others took me on a magical journey and introduced me to some of the most inspirational people I have never met! It seemed that one minute I was sitting at home alone in front of the pc tapping away at the keyboard and suddenly a magic wand was waved and I was transported to coaching circles, tea parties, art lessons and craft workshops. I was surrounded by the fun, passion, creativity and empathy of my fellow bloggers from across the globe. I had new friends from a few miles down the road to California to Sydney to Malaysia and I had readers from countries I needed to check on an atlas to see where they were (Guam being case in point - it's a bit East of the Phillipines if you're wondering).

This wonderful journey not only prompted me to put finger to keyboard but also paintbrush to canvas and if I wasn't wrecking journals with Jamie Ridler and her crew, I was inspired by the prompts of the likes of Mixed Media Monday, The Three Muses and a host of others.

I attended parties and through one of these met up with the lovely ladies of Inspiration Avenue who encouraged me to open my own shop on Etsy and join their little team of supportive friends.
I've experimented with fiction and mixed media. I've found and taken part in art courses.

Above all I have found myself and for this I yell to you from the rooftops of England - THANK YOU! It's this I want to share with the attendees at the retreat on Saturday. I'll be sharing links to many of your blogs and singing your praises and I wondered if you would like to contribute to the session by adding a sentence or two describing how blogging has unleashed your creativity, inspired you, led you to new experiences and friendships. It would be wonderful to share this post with the group on Saturday - it's the only way I can think of to get you all there to be presenting with me!

So, what are you waiting for my friends? Tell me what blogging means to you!

With thanks,


The musical accompaniment is there for no other reason than it popped in my head when I came up with the title for this post!


  1. I never imagine sharing what I create with anyone and certainly not so many people. But it is good to meet (even in the virtual world) new people and learn new things. Blogging to me is a creative outlet - one that has no boundaries. When I started blogger a few years ago, I didn't really know whether or not I would find anyone interested in what I have to say or write. Certainly, it is a way to be out there without actually having those nervous encounters and awkward hellos. In blogland, everyone's your friend. There might be a few that discourage you now and then, but that just means you've done something worthwhile.

    Wow, it sounds like I'm doing a PSA or something. But those are the words that spilled out when I read your post. There's my 2cents

  2. Blogging has opened up a whole new world of ideas, friendship, and just plain happiness for me. The creative blogging community is one of the most supportive groups of people I've (never) met. I say, take the risk and jump into it!
    Have a wonderful retreat!

  3. Bloody hippies :P

  4. I learn...I open my eyes to new possibilities...I admire...I grow...I find faith...I find wings...
    I met friends. I met my art sisters.

  5. Blogging has let me stop wondering if the artistic things I create / write are any good. I am amazed at the incredibly talented women that take the time to stop by and leave a kind comment about whatever I happen to offer up. It's also motivated and inspired me to explore my artistic side on a much more regular basis. Loving my new Blogland friends.


  6. whats with the anonymous comment up there???

    well as a proud HIPPY!!! I love blogging.
    before I ended up here I never knew there were all these friends waiting for me, for a person who lives around no one who is interested in art, blogging has meant Im surrounded by the people I always wanted to be friends with and I havent had to move (i was contemplating doing a runner). you get to choose who you follow so your selecting the type of people you want to surround yourself with.
    Its honest and amazing, there are wonderful friendships here and because you dont see the people its so less complicated, no misdirecting body language, tones of voices or accidental rudeness that may make you over judge a person and potentially ruin relationships, just our pure hearts and arts that we appreciate in each other, its like a hidden law of blogging that everyone gives their best and its always 100%.
    We always go thru happiness and sadness together, just good old real life.
    its a wonderful effort having a blog and the rewards will always be beyond what your expecting.
    As an artist its given me so much confidence and joy and encouragment from others. This huge artistic support system is like a crafters dream and the ideas you recieve to better your work are never ending.
    I feel so proud to be befrinded by so many wonderful women and although my friends in my material world dont quite get it, thats ok, this is my special place where I get to be the best person I can be, while still being at home, doing the dishes, hanging washing, playing with kids and all my animals.
    Being here means I can breathe, I may have suffocated and gone crazy if I hadent found blogging!!


    P.S. Have a wonderful weekend Lisa and I hope everything goes better than expected.
    Remember that
    The little crafts that you do
    for someone else will always be new!!!!

    much crafty womanly wishes

  7. This is a great idea. I can see that you are already getting a good response to your question.

    Here is the way that blogging has pushed me onward. If I think that I have a large audience, a group of women from all over the world waiting for my next post, it inspires me to give them something worth waiting for. Blogging has caused me to go beyond the "self" and to push a bit harder than I might normally do. After all, the post must go up and it must be good. Blogging has also taught me that there are many zany women artists out there that think pretty much the same as I do. We all seem to think outside the box. It is good to know there are others who share the same philosophy.

    Also, I am at the age now where I am willing to share all that I know. I want to pass it down. I am not a bit afraid of anyone copying me. If they do, I say, more power to them..and I am truly flattered.

    I wish you a wonderful time on your first retreat. Even though I cannot be there physically, I'll be there in spirit. If you look up at the sky, you may even see me peering down from my B-dazle car-wish I would have named it a blogmobile..hey..that is a good idea. My next mosaic car will be called just that.

    Have fun everyone!!!

  8. Blogging for me has materialized that little voice in my head that says go on... share your art, share what you have to say. You are more than what your husband , your mother or your friends think of you. You have something to offer and learn from other people. It's a daily part of my life I cannot live without now. It gets me off of my artistic duff and makes me try new things (through challenge sites) and my blog mirrors myself back to me to be kindly critical and loving for once. Thank you Lisa for being out there and sharing your world and art too!

  9. What a wonderful idea! I can't begin to tell you how blogging has changed my life. I have met so many beautiful, kind, generous people. It is amazing to be able to share my world with so many that have the same love of mixed media art and all things vintage. I have found so many great tips and wonderful artists. And the best part so many new and beautiful friendships, someone to share my thoughts and ideas with. Oh, you know what else I love? I love the fact that I can find so many unique one of a kind pretties for my home. Bless you Lisa for passing on your love of blogging to someone who may never have taken the first step to find creative souls that love all that they love.

  10. Blogging has been my means of traveling all over the globe without leaving my home. It is the only means by which I have been able to meet people and become friends with so many that I would never have known existed without this outlet. I have been able to share my art and view the art of others, read their words and stories. Without blogging I would never have know how alike most of us in the world really are. We all have the same dreams, worries, wishes. It has been a means of learning new techniques and trying new things. I have found that most artist are more than willing to be helpful and share their knowledge. Their really is no competition to speak of as everyone helps and promotes each other, it is a wonderful place to be.

  11. I have gained a special connection with my father from blogging. At first he thought I was mad to blog, but then I introduced him to the writing site, Sunday Scribblings. Now at 74 he has become a blogger! (Old Egg)

    He has many fans of his work which gives him much enjoyment and encouragement. It is the topic of many of our conversations when we see each other in person and I love his constructive criticism in his comments. We have both gained so much from blogging particularly, connection, purpose, encouragement, practice (writing), friendship, and stimulation.

    See you the world very differently when you have a blog.

  12. Blogging is all about connections for me. I would not be the artist I am if it had not been for blogging. The support from others and the inspiration I receive from my readers is invaluable. Then there are the friendships. I have made friends all over the world. If I hadn't been blogging I would never have learned about online classes. This is another way that I have learned new things and met even more bloggers. To be truthful I don't know who I would really be if I had not begun blogging. It is so a part of me that I can not imagine life without it.

  13. Blogging has made me a better person ... a cheeky smile here! No kidding. Through blogging, I have become more in tune with my creativity thus led me to one of the greatest discovery I've made in my life --- I can draw and I'm on my way to be an artist (or I am an artist!!??) Also, blogging has opened up my friendship network, like meeting Lisa! Someday, I'm sure I'll meet with these fellow blogger / creatives in person. Blogging brings life and energy to my (at times) mundane life. Through blogging I have learn so much of art, craft, people and almost everything under the sun!

    There was a time when I doubt seriously of people who blog. But now blogging has become part of my daily activities! :)

  14. Oh and Lisa, good luck to the retreat. Remember, you can do it! :D

  15. Hi there, I love this post! Everything you said I can totally relate to. I have just posted my 200th post and have been blogging for a little over a year. I'm still amazed by how much I feel this experience has changed me. After a loong break from art due to leaving home, working, meeting and marrying my hubby and having two children I went at least 10 years without being creative. Being a stay at home mum I felt that I really needed some sort of outlet because as much as I love my children my life couldn't be all about pooey nappies and cleaning. So I started drawing again then just by pure chance I stumbled across an artist on the net who blogged. With her encouragement I started a blog and very tentatively I started to put my own work out there and have even opened my own etsy shop. I never imagined just how satisfying it would be. I feel like I have learnt so much from so many people and met so many wonderful artists and like minded spirits its been so wonderful. My children now want to paint and draw like I do and they often ask if they can put something on my blog to show 'the people'. I think this whole experience has been so positive and has made me a happier person and better mum :0)

  16. This makes interesting reading! For me, I started a blog because I was told it was "a good thing to do" if I was trying to sell my art online.

    I didn't enjoy it at all at first and it felt like a chore. I would still probably say that it doesn't come naturally to me, but there have been unexpected benefits!

    The main one is that I have "met" some truely fabulous, creative, inspiring and kind people, have been privileged to share their creative journies a little, and have heard some great stories!

    But also I'd say that keeping a blog means that I carry my camera more, and generally spend more time looking for beauty around me, which can't be a bad thing!

  17. wow!! the retreat is such a great idea and i'm sure it will spur lots of creative juices after that!

    believe it or not, i am never very good with words. i am also not particularly articulate and very bad when it comes to expressing my feelings in person. if you sit with me, i'll probably be very quiet the whole time.and most people will think of me as a snob ... really! but blogging is something else! it allows me to construct my feelings and words in my own time and then unleash it to my friends :)(no pressure of chasing a conversation like in real life) LOL!! weird isn't it? that is why i love it so much ... i can "say" stuff on blogs! i can express my awe and admiration for works that inspire me, i can express my appreciation and thank yous to those that come to see and encourage my works ... but most of all, i made some really good friends ... from all over the world who dun think i'm a snob :) LOL!!! this might sound funny but it's very real to me...

    blogging has also opened my eyes to tonnes of talented, creative and inspiring like-minded people from all over the world! at last i feel i am not alone ... there are people as romantic, unrealistic and dreamy as me out there. there is immense talent where i can learn from, be inspired by and hopefully someday, i would inspire as well.

    my bloggie frens have started me on selling my work at etsy which i never felt was good enough ... but they, gave me the courage to try. and i have never been more thankful for that. my bloggie frens have kept me going, when i was out and dry. the energy that i receive from each comment is like creative life force to me. i wouldn't know what to do without this group of people who are now so very much part of my life. i talk about them to my hubby like they live 5 minutes from me and i was just drinking coffee with them a while ago at ikea :)

  18. I was just like you, Lisa, alone at the computer "surfing the web", and then one day, after reading everyone's blog day after day, I just made the "scary" plunge to just start one of my own. Oh my goodness!! It's a whole new world that'a opened up for me. I'm with people who "get me"--I don't have to explain myself or my art, and we all share the same passion for art, whatever it may be. We all support each other.
    I used to be so cyber shy, believe it or not. Blogging has helped me in this way too--it pushes you to just explore yourself!
    Good luck this weekend, Lisa. I'm so excited for you!

  19. For me blogging is like a secret magical world,almost like make believe, I blog my art because I'm afraid to show people around me my art,I guess afraid of people saying thats weird or thats not art but with people in blogland they understand my art,they accept it. I also met some friends that are just like me in blogland,they lift you up when you get into that art depressed mood. I love blogging and my blogging friends. Good Luck.

  20. Blogging is such a great connector! I have made friends all over the world and shared my art and seen the remarkable work of others which is always so inspiring!
    art is so isolating alone in my studio each day and now blogging has captured a sense of community and friendship that one needs to blossom as an artist! so glad to have met YOU!!

    shine on you crazy diamond!!!!

  22. When I was about to retire my work colleagues asked me what I was going to do with all my time.

    Mmmmmm. I couldn't believe they thought I might get bored.

    They urged me to make sure I kept active both in mind and body.

    Mmmmm. What did they mean, did they think I would leave work and enter my dotage?

    They worried for me and kept asking me how I would fill my time.

    "Well, I shall do what ever takes my fancy" I replied, "make art, become a digital artist, and create a blog for starters".

    They were worried for me. I could tell.

    Then I left work and entered the LAND OF BLOG and made lots of art and found heaps and heaps of new cyber friends and my life was changed forever.

    I could share my art and see the wonderful art of others, get inspiration and ideas, make special friendships, and become part of a community of phenomenal women.

    Good luck Lisa for the weekend.

  23. First of all, let me tell you that you are a pleasure to read!

    Blogging for me means connecting with other artistic types, and lovers of pretty! In my own social circle of 'actual' friends...I know no other artist. Not like I have met and come to love here in blogland!

    Blogging has opened up a whole new world of being creative for me, I get to show and tell of all of my pursuits and creations with other likeminded women who share the same passions. It has really helped me to appreciate the uniqueness in being an 'artsy fart'! And I love all the women I've met!

    Blog hopping really is a fun journey, like flipping through the pages of every one of your favourite magazines in one sitting!

    Then, of course there's the inspirationg galore. Each and everyday, I realize that I am a part of something bigger, of a huge mass of women creating all around the globe, and it's actually comforting to know that others 'need' to create as well.

    It is a shared passion, an exploration, a journey that I am thrilled to be a part of!

    Viva la blogland!

    thanks for the op. to share my thoughts...I want to read the other comments now

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina was here!!

  24. Lisa,
    Best of luck for your weekend. You will pull it off with flying colours I know. You're just so capable and inspiring.
    What can I tell you about blogging? It has opened a whole new world for me, much like it has for you, of like minded spirits and very talented people whom I find difficult to meet on such a frequent basis from my perch here in the Toulouse country side.

    Long live blogging. It is rich, fulfilling, thought provoking, time consuming ;-) (like everything good - you get out of it what you put into it on a general level), inspiring, and a good diversion when the old creative muse has gone into hiding.
    Have been a bit off the circuit these last few weeks but I'll make it back on bit by bit.

    Dying to hear how your weekend went

  25. yes, blogging connections are golden. we can connect to folks that share our interests, people that we would love to meet in real life. this is a wonderful post, it seems to have hit a good nerve with lots of folks :)
    thanks for the blog visit



Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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