A New Broom

Wearing plastic gloves, in an apron and with comfortable shoes on, I have been giving the place a good polish. Boy! Has it taken some elbow grease but the job is nearly done!

Welcome to my new look blog, new title and even a domain name!

Why the move?

After much thought and an almost constant chant of “Will I move the blog?” I decided to end my quite pathetic dithering, put Jerry out of his misery and get on with it. Much time and energy has gone into this little pastime of mine. I knew that while the blog was hosted on a free service I would constantly worry about it.  After nearly 5 years of writing you can imagine how I would feel if WordPress decided to change their hosting policy.

I needed to give the place a good dust anyway, so I decided to roll up my sleeves, get out the broom and move to a paid service. I chose Squarespace and we have had our moments but I am fast falling in love with it.

Old time readers know if I ever tire of blogging I usually give things a bit of shake and put more energy into blogging. I believe that you get out what you put in and I apply this philosophy to my blog too. I am sure it’s the same for everyone but I have noticed if boredom sets in the quality of posts drops, then I don’t get as much feedback and a cycle develops and before long blogging has lost its fun and life.

So to avoid such doom and gloom my cure for this is to actually put more work into blogging. This tactic works for instance that is how the 100 details in a 100 days started. I was feeling a little flat and the blog reflected it so I started the series and before I knew it I had people stitching along. At the time it was tremendous boost.

For some time now I have had little frustrations with my old blog as I could not take it any further hosted on a free service. In January it will be fifth year blogging and at the moment it’s the end of the teaching year here and I am feeling a little tired, so I have decided that before I lose interest and this blog loses life I will invest more energy in it and find a place where I can develop a few more ideas.

Why the dot com?

I don’t like moving a blog but worse still I don’t like asking people to update their links. With a dot com registered if for some reason I don’t like Squarespace and decide to move to another service I can ‘map’ my domain name. Why would I do that? For my readers the blog address stays the same.

Please help spread the word.

I have been blogging nearly 5 years and in that time I have written 2,258 posts and there has been 20,016 comments left. Readers certainly out talk me! Without the feedback and general chat I know I would have long ago lost interest so thank you everyone for reading and commenting.   

My blog might be squeaky clean but it will be a nasty shock to sink into blogging oblivion because of the new name and move. (It will be a humbling experience and if nothing else good for the soul)  If you regularly read me, please link and spread the word so that not so regular readers catch up with the news. I would appreciate it immensely.

Many people swing by at least once a week. Others every couple of weeks and yet others every now and then. It’s the less regular readers I would like to try and tell so if you have a blog and you find this blog useful, please link and spread the word or better still put me in your blog roll. I will be deleting most of the entries on the old blog. Why? Google will think this site is a scrapers site stealing content to make a profit and will not index me. So the old blog will be swept up and put out with the trash.

What is where 

The polishing cloth is worn thin but things are still a little grubby around the edges as with over 2,000 posts to check and in some cases cross link again. I have had to prioritise. Since over on Stitchin Fingers there are groups who are revisiting challenges I have focused on those pages and their links first. Take a look along the top and you will see links to the Community challenges and they are in the side bar too. Hopefully people will find them easily.

Current challenges such as the November challenge page (to direct people to your blog or flickr site) and TIF Guidelines, or the category  are I hope easily found as I have them listed in my sidebar. I will be closing off comments on the old blog so look for TIF news etc. here. The Stitch Along Guidelines, are also up.

I have yet to organise a page for the 2009 Stitch Explorer challenge but stay tuned as I will post a guidelines and sign up page soon. People are indicating their initial interest but since it starts in January we can formalise it soon.

Past challenges that members on Stitchin fingers are participating in are the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge Guidelines, and the 100 details in 100 days series have also been moved.

In the side bar you will find a search function, a link to the archives and categories.  There are little things that have changed like a “print article” at the base of each blog post.

RSS feeds can be found in the side bar. Does anyone want feeds to individual categories? If so, leave a comment as to which feeds you would want to subscribe to.

I am working on a list of links that are my favourite blogs but have stalled a little. I am reproducing the links in my old sidebar  but have slowed as I check each one.

Some sad news 

Well, it’s sad for me as during the move the Classes and Workshops  page lost all its comments! Of all the pages that could have lost their comments this was the one. This is a huge loss for me, as I am sure many people read the comments that had been left and signed on for a class. For anyone who has taken one of my classes please feel free to leave another comment so that people who are thinking of taking a class can read what you thought of them. I would be very thankful that you took the time.

New broom new stuff!  

This year has been a busier than usual year for me at work which is why I dropped back to blogging to 5 days a week. Now that the academic year is over I plan on returning to my 7 days a week pattern. For those that missed the “join me in a morning coffee” feel of daily posts I am sure you will pleased to hear this routine is goin got be re-established.

I plan a few exciting things like offering some free designs for hand embroiderers and free motifs for crazy quilters. Also on the cards as next year is more information about stitches. I really want to document more hand embroidery stitches in order to add them to my stitch dictionary. I will possibly produce a few tutorials so stay tuned for that too. In fact the first of the freebies will be sometime this week.

The focus

There is nothing quite like moving a blog and having to check each post to make you review the content.

Looking back I think the content here has narrowed somewhat. In the first 2 years or so I am sure I had links to many more quirky sites and had a wider definition of what was on topic. The narrowing of focus has taken place almost without me noticing it. Have other long term bloggers noticed this about their blogs? Do you think the focus gets narrower the longer you blog? I have a feeling things have got to break out a little. Still on topic, but there has to be a little more room for simply the quirky, the fun, the creative, or the slightly more serious like why be a maker? Why value slow craft? Also in the past I often wrote about topics such as blogging which is a habit that can be revived if people are interested.

Comments 

Comments are moderated like they were in my last blog. One thing that threw me at first is that the Squarespace interface refers to comments as posts. I hope it does not confuse people.

A Tip

I know with my readers screen font size is sometimes an issue. What many non-techy people don’t realise is that different computer screens display type at different sizes. I will tell you a tip to change the type size on any computer:

On a PC hold down the control (Ctrl) key and press +  to increase the font size on your screen
Ctrl – decreases font size
Ctrl 0 returns font size to normal

On a Mac you use the Command key to do the same thing key. The command key is the key with the small apple icon on it
Command +  increases font size
Command – decreases font size
Command 0 returns font size to normal

I hope you enjoy my new look blog,  poke around there should not be too many dust bunnies about the place. Let me know if there is anything that is obviously not working . As usual Enjoy!

 

37 Comments

  1. Hi Lauren you did not leave your email addy so I have to answer you here and hope you catch it. The old posts will be deleted on the old blog not here. They were all transferred here safe and sound so you wont lose the information and references you may want to use.

    Sharon B
  2. Nice new place here! I am glad to see the button box link. It is a regular inspiration point of reference for me!
    I am not a regular commenter here but you are a regular stop for me. You are the reason I began my blog – three years ago this coming Saturday! You opened the world of blogs to me.
    I am grateful.

  3. another blog …. I know you and three with this .. but I follow you to where billboards … nothing, not even anything that retirement .. we are going to work … like you this year has been a lot of work is sometimes frustrating to have many ideas in the head, and take time, but the university requires time, we see that continuing for 2009 …. kisses
    and oy to change my new blog links … and to subscribe to this .. kisses

  4. wow, what a huge job! the new look is fresh and happy – congrats! i feel as if the teacher in you is the spirit which moves you to do as you do for us. i’m sorry the old postings will be deleted with all the valuable info. after ending this comment, i’ll change my blog’s referral to your new url. –loyal daily reader Lauren

  5. The new site looks great! I’m not sure where you want class comments, but I’ll tell everyone right here that I have taken all of Sharon’s classes and thoroughly enjoyed every one. I learned so much and there is great interaction on the forums. I still go back to the class materials often for learning and inspiration.

    Cindy B
  6. Congrats on your new site, Sharon!
    You’ve got a lovely layout… nice and bright.
    I can’t imagine the time it takes to make a move like this but it must have been daunting remembering every little nook and cranny of data. I’ll be correcting your links on my sidebar too. At any rate , you’ll have your flock of followers back in the herd in no time. Enjoy your new home!

  7. This is lovely – clean and uncluttered, and my favorite color! I found you about in the middle of your "100 details" project, and was instantly hooked. It’s hard to believe you were in a "down" cycle. You provide a great service, and fine entertainment with my a.m. coffee or evening tea. Thanks!

  8. I love the look of your new blog. I too worry about Blogger but have been too intimidated to move. I think my blogging focus has narrowed, mainly because there are so many more bloggers out there. When I first started I could easily read every quilting blog I could find. Now there are thousands of them.

    joyce
  9. Hi Sharon. I’ve updated my links and Google Reader, and when I have a minute I’ll blog about the move just in case someone missed the notification. Reading your recent posts I realised I’ve been blogging for 2 years myself !! Not that I’m as prolific as you, but I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I feel as though I have a network of textile friends even though I’ve only ever met one of my fellow bloggers. Hopefully I can meet a couple more over January when I visit our nation’s capital !!
    Hooroo,
    Christine in very cool Sydney.

  10. Love the new layout Sharon – it’s really easy to read. Like the touch of humour in the title too! I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog, although you surely are responsible for the increase in my consumption of coffee!! I’ve been getting myself psyched up for archiving my blog onto a DVD (I’m sure I have to do it post by post) because I would so hate to lose it all – I should have done it a lot sooner. I’m doing a bit of housekeeping around my hand embroidery supplies, ready for Stitch Explorer………………..

  11. Hello Sharon – I am usually one of your weekly readers and it is nice to catch up with you on your new site. Awesome undertaking to make such a huge move – I wish you well with your work. Thanks for a great site and an enjoyable read.

    Melusine
  12. Hi Brenda and everyone
    Brenda I moved to the wordpress.com nearly 18 months ago – so it’s not quite so soon – I should have simply solved the problem before and purchased a dot com then rather than move to the free service but at the time I had thrown so much into hosting it that it was either that or give up blogging. It was very close and I am glad I did not do that.

    Sharon B
  13. After the upheaval of moving your blog to WordPress.com, I admire your courage and fortitude in moving to a dot.com platform again so soon. Your new theme is at once fresh and soothing and I look forward to keeping up with you in your new space. I notice that you will not be updating your Mindtracks blog but hope that you will still share some of your technical and bloggy insights from time to time.

  14. Hi all thanks a heap for responding it feels great as I have spent far too long tinkering
    Ruth Thanks for question about the RSS feeds I have just set up a feed for the community challenges – so that you can once again pull in all the comments to their reader. It’s in the sidebar so hopefully everyone can find it easily. I hope this helps

    Sharon B
  15. Wow . . moving is always an accomplishment. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing your new blog home with all of us. I’ll post an updated link on my blog. Thank you for everything you do for stitchers of all kinds, around the world . . .

  16. Congratulations on the move, Sharon!
    Your refreshing and renewing of your focus in blogging will serve us all well, no doubt about it.
    My blogging posts have settled into a pretty specific and predictable format, but in my case it seems to be what people are interested in: progress and process reports of projects underway. But I have been thinking about expanding the role of my sidebar, and your hard work here is giving me inspiration to do this!
    Thanks, and I’ll be sharing that cuppa with you…15 hours apart!

  17. Wow, what an undertaking! I admire your energy and spirit, taking on such a task when you admit to being tired. (I do understant the reason behind your actions though.) So far I like what I see. Will have to stop in and leave a comment about your classes and then remember to make the necessary changes to my own blog. :- )

  18. I love the new look Sharon! I look forward to a slight broadening of your posts again — I’m not a crazy quilter or hand stitcher myself (I’ve done both, but that’s not my main interest), but have always found your "finds" and reflections interesting. It’d be great for me if there were a few more 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *