Saturday, January 3, 2015

Looking back on blogging, looking forward...

Looking back at blogging...

My very first blog entry was June 16, 2011:  "Jewelry Design - My "Unique" Philosophy."  

When I look back at that entry, every bit of what I wrote was true then, and true now.   So much has changed, but my vision of what I wanted to accomplish with jewelry design is exactly the same as when I started.   I find that rather remarkable. 

Not all my early blog posts were something I'd still be proud of.   I was very "green" and feel a bit horrified about how I spoke with authority about things I didn't know enough about.   My photographs were terrible. (It took me 6 months to take a remotely decent photo!  I blogged about that on Jan. 14 and Jan. 18, 2012. Many of my blog posts in the first year focused on photography practice!)  

But to back up a bit, as I recall, I had no followers at all until I had blogged for about 6 weeks.   I just kept writing, hoping someone would appear.  And finally, it happened, one day, someone finally made the choice to "follow" my blog.  And about a week later, another, this time a young man from Russia.  I never forgot about him.   I was so thrilled to have these 2 pay attention to what I wrote!   And eventually more came, and when I hit 10, I felt I had finally "arrived!"  ha!  

In the early days, I greeted each new member with a welcome paragraph!   Eventually, it became impossible.   Blog hops would bring new members in larger numbers all at once, I couldn't keep up.  What a shame about that.  My blog membership numbers are still not stunning, but they've been "hard-won" and I've always deeply valued each person following and sharing  your comments.  I always intended this to be a very interactive space.  

trend graphI must admit that in the first few years of blogging,  I was more creative in my writing, more engaging, and certainly more frequent.    The heavy use of Facebook to share ideas and new items, and the ever-increasing use of mobile technology to read messages seems to have shrunk blog participation and comments.   Posting messages and getting no response was disheartening, and I got to where I mostly posted about sales in my stores.   (Boring, and a self-fulfilling cycle which left little incentive to want to read my blog!)

Blogging today...

Recently, I announced that the blog had it's 175th member, and we celebrated that with a gift to the participant and a give-away winner.   I decided to briefly highlight those involved in that event on my blog today!

Val of Miss Val's Creations was the 175th member.  I wanted to show you these classy earrings I found in her store.   The ear wires are such a fantastic shape!
hematite sterling silver dangle earrings

hematite sterling silver dangle earrings

Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs won the random drawing.  Catherine's store is on  Artfire.  I think these pearls and the amazing pendant go perfectly together!
Handmade Tree Pendant Necklace Rustic Green Pearls Bali Beaded Jewelry
Handmade Tree Pendant Necklace Rustic Green Pearls Bali Beaded Jewelry

Since then, we've gained one more member.   And so, in the original spirit of this blog, I'd like to welcome our most recent follower, Meridy Migchelbrink of Two Trees Studio.   Among her always-impressive designing techniques, Meridy creates many of her earthy looking pieces using waxed Irish linen thread.  Take a peak:
The Word for World Is Forest:  Petite, lightweight artisan ceramic earrings, with an earthy, rustic, foresty vibe

The Word for World Is Forest: Petite, lightweight artisan ceramic earrings, with an earthy, rustic, foresty vibe

Now that I've given you a small sample of each of these artist's work, I hope you'll go look at the rest of their collections!   I'm so honored to have these three jewelry artists, as well as all the rest of you talented people, following my blog!

Looking forward...

I hope you'll come around again!  I'm planning more features, focus sessions on other bead and jewelry designers, discussions on techniques, business matters, and more!   I'll be here, writing away, just like in the beginning, hoping someone drops in and leaves me a note!  

Wishing a very Happy New Year 2015 to all!  


P.S.  Just as I'm about to post this entry, I've received 2 pieces of good news to share today!  I'll hold it until next time.  Expect another post soon!  

Image Credits:

All jewelry photos taken by the jewelry artists are copyrighted and used here by permission.

Clipart is from


Marica Zammit said...

Wonderful post Sharyl. And you made the right decision to start blogging again - it's the only thing you can control.

You're right. I think that Facebook has made us a bit "lazy" and for a while it worked because you could reach lots of people quite easily just by a simple FB update. Those days are long gone now lol

It's much more work for sure and maybe you won't see instant results like Facebook, but it'll be all worthwhile in the long run.

All the best for 2015!

Marica xx

Kari Asbury said...

Great post to begin 2015 Sharyl! Sounds like it will be a great year of sharing here :)

Unknown said...

I always enjoy your posts, so I'm glad you will be posting more. I can't wait to read about your good news!

baymoondesign said...

Happy New Year!

Beti Horvath said...

Great post! Lots of people re-thinking their blogs lately. Got me thinking....

ShadowDogDesigns said...

I haven't been a follower of your blog for super long, Sharyl, but always am glad to your newest post show up in my inbox. I have enjoyed each and every post and am thrilled to hear that you will be blogging more. AND, I want to thank you for sharing my necklace here - it is very much appreciated. Can't wait to design with the lovelies from the drawing. But then, you KNOW I love your work. Happy New Year, Sharyl!

Sharyl said...

Thank you, kind folks! Glad there is still an interest in blogging! I'm looking forward to it even more now!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Hi Sharyl, Thank you for including me! My business story is quite parallel to yours with blogging and jewelry photography (which is still a challenge for me at times today). It is so neat how your vision has never changed. It has been great getting to know you and I look forward to your future posts in 2015!

AntiquityTravelers said...

wonderful post - so fun to see this collection of artists! and glad to hear you'll be posting again :)

Shai Williams said...

I remember that thrill of my first followers! And I still experience it when people comment. One habit I would like to get into is replying to the comments. I follow some blogs that send me an email when I comment & I have to say that I love that personal touch.

Sharyl said...

Thanks to you all! You've certainly inspired me to get going with the blogging again. Lest you think I've given up so soon, the truth is that I'm pretty much out with a germ I caught last weekend. Hope to be over it soon and writing again! My best to you all! --Sharyl