Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Our Birthday!! Why Blogging Helps More than Your House and A Giveaway Week!!

It is crazy to think that a year ago today was the eve of Lemon Tree Creations blog!! It has been such a blast sharing projects with you all every week, seeing what sort of creative ventures my co-workers have been up to, hearing your lovely comments and feedback, and seeing your takes on our tutorials!! What a great year!!

In honor of our birthday week, we thought we'd each share a bit about our experiences this past year, so here is mine. :)

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I used to shy away from DIY projects because I assumed that the the people who did them were professionals, and that I could never do something similar with so little knowledge and experience. But one day I saw a great tutorial for making twine balls on V&Co's site, and I thought I might be able to pull it off. I tried it, loved the result, and Vanessa (who is awesome), left me the sweetest comment telling me how nicely they had turned out. After that I started looking for other projects to do in my home and I couldn't stop. :)

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I eventually started to want place to share these things besides my family blog. (Some people can mesh the two beautifully, but I always felt guilty if I shared too much about my home in a place where most people were coming to hear about my family. AKA, where my son's out-of-state grandparents were coming to see updates and pictures of him.) So I was so thrilled the week that Tiffany, Patrice and I decided that we would collaborate on LTC! I was glad to have a place where I be unapologetic about projects that I was doing around my home, share the space with two incredibly talented good friends, and see what we could make of the whole thing. Then Amy and Jessica joined us and I couldn't wait to see what would happen! I was nervous but excited.

Nervous

I remember the first week when we just hoped that someone would like our blog. We emailed each other and said, "We have 15 followers!! I'm so excited!" It's a year later and I'm still excited whenever I log on and see how many people like a project, have tried a tutorial, have featured one of our projects on their own blogs, or have signed up to follow along with us. You guys are amazing!!

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There are a few other things about the blog that have surprised me, in a good way, and I wanted to share them with you.

It has really pushed me.

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A year ago when I signed up to do this, I don't know that I was fully aware of the commitment that I was making. Coming up with 52 projects that were good enough to buy materials for, assemble, photograph and write about every week is a fairly daunting task! I don't feel like someone who has tons of knowledge and ideas to draw from, just someone who has a few ideas and a willingness to try new things. It turns out that that was all that I needed. :)

Since I know that I have to post a project every Monday, I am forced to finish things that I had previously started and abandoned, improvise if something isn't going the way that I thought it would, and make good use of materials that I have on hand. I've had to find instructions for painting, glazing, staining, sanding, stenciling, cutting and sewing online, and then practice until I get them right. Even though I sit down every week at my computer with the goal of teaching how to do something, I have actually been learning all along the way. And I love it.

It has given me confidence.

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When we first started I had several ideas for projects, but a part of me was afraid that once I had used those up that I would have nothing left to give. But I've been delighted to discover that the opposite has been true. Every week when I scratch something off of my list, I typically add a few more ideas to the bottom! Each new venture leaves me thinking about how I can modify that technique, or how to use it on another project.

It turns out that continuing to try new things, and having some of them go well, gives me the confidence to continue to try other new things. It is funny to look back through a year's worth of posts and remember that for many of these projects, it was the first time that I had ever done anything like it!! I have mastered a dozen or more skills in the past year and I'm excited to see what I can add to my bag of tricks in this next year! :)

Sometimes it's therapeutic.

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I've found that working with my hands and following a project through to the end can have a therapeutic effect. My husband and I suffered a miscarriage last summer, and in the midst of trying to move through the days, I found that having projects that kept my hands busy and my mind engaged, but quiet, was helpful.

It is funny now to look back on the projects that I did at the time, because it seems obvious (to me) that I would get an idea and then make a million examples of it! I am thankful that in those weeks there were some fun things on my to-do list, like making tons of little tie appliques or various versions of tray decorations. :)

You support us, mistakes and all.

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I was worried, at first, that my projects needed to turn out perfectly to be worth sharing. But I love that you guys seem to appreciate my "oops" moments as well as a good finished project!! Now instead of worrying about my mistakes, I always try to be candid about them so that you know what to avoid. :) I also love it when you share your own tips or project ideas in emails or the comments section, particularly since I feel like I'm learning alongside of you.


I have really appreciated your feedback in the Shut Up and Sew series! Many of you have a wealth of sewing knowledge and I have already implemented TONS of your suggestions to help make the most of my novice sewing skills. Please keep them coming!!

Thanks

All of that to say, a huge Thank You to you all for continuing to let us share our homes and ourselves with you every week!!! Your comments and support mean the world to us, and to celebrate, we have some fun giveaways scheduled for you this week!!

TODAY you have the chance to win this stunning dress from Shabby Apple!!

Click HERE to enter to win.

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On WEDNESDAY you will have a chance at a $50 giftcard to TARGET!!

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Remember the Express Necklace Knockoff, Spring Cards, Fancy Weathered Frame, and Dish Soap Aprons tutorials that we have shared with you this past year?

On FRIDAY you will have the chance to win an LTC bundle that includes all of these items!!

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Again, thanks for reading and here's to another great year!!

As always, happy Monday!!

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8 comments:

Inspire Me Heather February 28, 2011 at 6:07 AM  

Happy Birthday!

Wendy@project-create.blogspot.com February 28, 2011 at 6:13 AM  

I just love your blog, you akways have something wonderful to check out! Happy Birthday - Here's to many more!

Handbags*N*Pigtails February 28, 2011 at 8:12 AM  

Happy Birthday and congratulations on having such a wonderful year! We cant wait to see more:)
XO,
Sarah
HandbagsnPigtails.blogspot.com

Sunroomquilts February 28, 2011 at 8:16 AM  

Wow, I just joined this year and I thought you ladies had been doing this for years! I look forward to each of your posts. Keep it up.

Emily February 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM  

Just found your blog.. LOVE IT:)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

TBonesMom February 28, 2011 at 3:23 PM  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Great job to all of you...

roweaglejacket March 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM  

Great post on all that blogging has done to inspire you. Great job to all you gals!

Kim

Katie R March 1, 2011 at 8:36 PM  

happy birthday! love the dress! thanks for the inspiration.

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