Monday, October 8, 2012

If Vermeer had an Instagram feed...

If you are a fellow blogger, why did you start your blog?  It is a question I have been thinking about over the last week after a post I read on the Craft Blog UK site titled "'Is your craft blog a hobby or a serious marketing tool for your handmade products - can it be both?'

When I began this blog it was firstly to document the design process behind the pieces I was making in the studio.  My reasoning was that if I was going to convince people to part with the their hard earned cash for my creations in my virtual shop it would be important for them to 'see' and 'meet' the person behind it all.  I wanted to use the blog to make me and my world more real and more credible to potential clients.

Spiked Horizon
What I wasn't expecting was that the process of blogging would make me look at my surroundings more carefully and closely AND that the discipline of keeping an on-line diary would grow in me a sense of gratitude, wonder and thankfulness that a whole month of Sunday sermons had previously not instilled in me.

I actually see this joy and celebration of the everyday detail everywhere in other peoples blogs.  I really enjoy this movement of people standing up and documenting something that is inherently simple, pure and good because at it's core is the belief, the truth even, that Life is Good.

Yes, it may be a beautiful cup with your morning tea in it but there is something about stopping and recording it which does make us stop, consider, observe and really see the beauty in the natural light that streams through a particular window at a particular time.  In becoming aware, in taking the time to stop, the thankfulness and gratitude rush in.  Others before us have detailed and elevated such simple moments, like Vermeer in this painting 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter'.  I wonder what his Instagram feed would look like if he were around now?

When I began looking through the lens of my camera to capture colour, texture and light that I might incorporate into my work I wasn't expecting this fact finding exercise to be replaced by the awe that perhaps I first felt as a 2 year old experiencing something for the first time.

It is a wonderful thing being given the gift of sight all over again.  Sometimes now, I will just collect these images with no end project in mind, no grand design, just for the sake of their beauty,

Temporal Colour
just because it is there, in front of me, right now, never to be seen or repeated in this exact combination or permutation ever again.  Just for me, to try and share with you, for no other reason than pure, simple, beauty.

Molecule by Molecule
It really wasn't something I expected to be posting about when I began blogging but what a blessing and a wonderful thing it has turned out to be.  Little adventures in places perviously overlooked by rush and hurry.

Written in the Stars
If your a blogger, did you begin with one idea of what your blog would be and were then surprised by how it evolved?  Feel free to comment and link to your blog in the comments below - it would be great to hear about your adventures too.

(Post scriptus:  I should add, in case you should have the misconception that I am bounding around my atelier full of the joys of spring All The Time, this is not necessarily the case.  In my natural state, I would say, I would probably naturally gravitate towards a 'glass half empty' kind of attitude.  What I mean to say, is I have my dark, pit filled days - it's just that sometimes I find that clambering out and being an Explorer makes my glass feel half full.)


  1. Re: "exploring makes the glass *feel* half full"...yes! it's practicing gratefulness in a way, something that I always note about your work. the practice of noticing small things, and finding great beauty in them is life-giving.

  2. How I missed your beautiful thought-provoking posts. I fell off the face of the blogosphere recently and I can't tell you how much I missed it. I'm an archivist and have been from early on. If only I could record every moment... I love the Impressionists for their "slice of life" images... "Vermeer's instagram feed" - very clever! I really felt like my senses were somehow dulled when I wasn't blogging. It really makes me take notice and appreciate the simple things - which is what life is mostly made up of. I initially set out to educate people about my city - the "real" side of LA but really it turns out I was educating myself. Sigh... so good to be back! Missed you!

  3. this might be one of your very best post my dear friend.

    blogging has been all that and more to me. i to started as a way to let people know more about who was behind my little shop and my drawings, and as a way to reach more people. but in the mean time, it's become so much more. it's become a way for me to record events and moments in my life that make my life what it is (which is pretty darn good), to (like you)take the time to notice and capture the little things around me, to muse on the things that make life so grand, to reach out to far places and find new friends I never expected to find, but most of all to simply throw my thoughts out to the universe and see what comes back.

    some days it's as magical as the light in the vermeer.

    thanks for this. it made my day.

    ps- stealing 'archivist' from angela. it is my mother, it is my father, IT IS ME.

  4. These thoughts are so similar to the ones that have been rolling through my head as I am preparing to start my own blog. I want it to be both a base for my shop and a platform for the many many other passions and interests I have... Thanks for the food for thought...


  5. I came by here via Pam, and so glad I did. What a beautiful post, and so much resonates with me. I had no idea of what blogging would become to me; if someone had told me, I would not have believed them! It's a wonderful community, but I too appreciate something you mentioned:

    "What I wasn't expecting was that the process of blogging would make me look at my surroundings more carefully and closely AND that the discipline of keeping an on-line diary would grow in me a sense of gratitude, wonder and thankfulness that a whole month of Sunday sermons had previously not instilled in me."


    1. bon, you guys should have met long ago! so glad came by my pal Cari's place. you're going to love it here.

  6. Fabulous post Cari-Jane. I had no idea where to start at first, but in some ways I think I'm similar to you. I needed a route back into 'London' styling after 10 years out and had no idea how much the design world had moved on. Holly's blog course was perfect for me and I love being part of a new community of like-minded friends. Taking my own shots for the blog, like you, has made me look at things so much more closely, think outside the box, try new and different creative ideas, experiment and get gradually more confident again. I now have 2 new great commissions (more later!), purely because of the blog, so I'm thrilled. It's very much my own little on-line visual diary-just a bit of a public one!!x

    1. Hi Caroline.....just reading your comment here. Did you take Holly Becker's blogging course? I'd love to hear more about it.

      congrats on the commissions!

  7. this post is spot on inspirational cari
    think you felt my groping in the dark moment the other day
    and i thankyou for your positive comment/
    and i thankyou for this thoughtful piece
    food for the thoughtful lost soul
    [it sure isn't easy being an artist}
    and as for blogging...
    x ... ***

  8. Well I am MOST glad you all liked this post - it was one of those where I did slightly consider not posting it for some reason. So! A big welcome back to the blogouniverse to Style Dilettante!

    Pam! I have frequented Bonnie's blog through your introduction, I do believe I have even left a comment or two! And yes, I think Caroline did do Holly Becker's course. I'm sure she did a post about it on her blog pretty recently (

    Shirley - glad the post has given you something to think about - go, get blogging gal!

    and Linda...I feel the groping in the dark moments come as part of the job description for any creative - I think the trick is realising that it is part of the process and as with all passes (not so much fun while its happening though)

    Jana - thank you...I shall keep endeavoring to find new mini marvels to keep us both in a state of 'oh, my goodness, how fab is that!'

  9. Hi Cari-Jane

    When I started blogging (which was really only a few months ago) I wanted to notice more of the loveliness around me in the everyday. A closer examination of my lifestyle, so to speak. The thing that surprises me (and give me a little thrill) is when those nearest and dearest to me ask where is my post for this week?

    I have just "tagged" you in a getting to know you sort of game. go to for info.

  10. When I started I had this idea that it would be an 'aspirational lifestyles' style blog, however, obviously it is still by me and therefore isn't that at all! Now I think of it more as trying to improve my life, one post at a time. I've certainly been living life in the way I enjoy much more since I started.


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