Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blog, oh, Blog...

Last week I made a presentation at the Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) Conference about blogging. I called it "Blogging Your Way to Fame and Fortune." That was a joke, the fame and fortune part.

I talked about how I started blogging, and how it has benefited me and my art. Now, into my ninth year of blogging I can look back and count so many opportunities and benefits that have come my way, due to my blog. Sales, publishing opportunities, TV appearances, collaborations like the AMAZING Twelve by Twelve experience and many, many friends, near and far. It has changed my life for the better. So, why, I wonder, am I having so much trouble now finding things to write about on my blog? Perhaps I have told all my stories. Perhaps I am distracted and too busy right now. Perhaps I am not alone in this. Many of my favorite bloggers have dropped off the face of the blog earth. Others are not posting nearly as often as they once did. I still love my blog, but the shine is off and it is not commanding as much of my attention. All of that.

And there is something else. I hate to whine. I hate being needy, but here's the thing—more and more I feel like I am blogging in a void. Once upon a time there were a lot of people who commented on what I wrote or posted and there was some excitement in that. It felt like a conversation—like a good critique of work I posted and thoughtful feedback. Not so much anymore—though not to be ungrateful, I really appreciate the loyal few who do talk back to me and give me things to think about, and make suggestions and ask questions, but they are fewer in number than in the past, though I know from my stats that more people are reading than ever before. My last post, about June's and my digital drawing challenge garnered two comments and one was from June. Is the digital challenge a bore? It could be. Tell me. Be honest.

When I think about my own blog reading habits, I am commenting less on other people's blogs. I am part of the problem! And I know why. I am reading blogs differently than I used to. There are now these nice services that feed your blogs to you all from one site. The one I use is called Feedly. It is so, so handy for quickly getting through blogs, but less handy for commenting. In order to comment I must click through to the actual blog site to leave my comment, and I am less likely to do that. The other part of using a blog reader is that you only see the content of the current blog post, not the header and the sidebar and links and such that are on each blog. All my work in designing my blog to look a way that reflects me is lost on the blog reader.  So, blogger friends—does any of this resonate with you? Can we ever get our oomph back?  Sigh. Maybe a little sunshine is all I really need to get my brain blog-minded again!

So, I got that off my chest and now I will give you some peeks at what I worked on in the studio today. I finished up my "blue" piece, but I might do another...



61 comments:

  1. The use of Feedly is definately a contributor, but I think there are other factors too. When I started blogging I would read at a desk top when it was natural to have fingers at the keyboard ready. Now my habit, in order to fit any reading in at all, is to read on my ipad as I get ready for work. It sits on my knee as I blow dry my hair and then it sits on the kitchen island and i read over my breakfast. In both cases my hands are occupied and typing a quick comment is not so convenient. And the interface for commenting in Feedly on an ipad is actually suprisingly bad. Also, over recent months I have ( finally) come to 'get' facebook and i think a lot of the quick repartee comments go on over there. Its easier to do that in thirty second breaks during the day. I also think that in the early days of blogging it was all about the fascination of the internet and the abilty to connect and communicate across the the world for free. That wonder wore off and the marketers took over so that so many blogs ( not yours, obviously) are about promotion and monetisation not connection. The effect is that we are used to reading quickly and moving on. This is an issue I am also thinking about though and some advice I read was that you get better responses if you ask readers questions. I had already decided in the past week or so that i was committing myself to adding more comments on blogs. Who else wants to start a comment/ conversation revival with Terry and I?!

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  2. Yep it does resonate. I want to have a conversation but often have to jump through hoops because of security barriers. I now read blpgs on my tablet and that changes reading, commenting behaviour. More blogs are being read. A lot of blogs are overtly commercial and that changes the writer/reader relationship. I think a lot of these factors have changed the landscape. I was a v enthusiastic blogger until abt mid last year and my enthusiasm died. I have moved much more to fb for my own posting, but continue to read blogs (love them). Don't know if any of that helps.

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  3. I also use Feedly and rarely comment on the blogs in my reader list for the same reasons you outlined but also because I usually think that I couldn't possibly add anything worthwhile to what's been written in the comments already published. If I didn't like what the blogger had done or written, I wouldn't comment at all for fear of offending. Perhaps we all need a 'so so' button accessible from the reader that means 'I don't have a comment to make and/or wasn't that keen on what you made but I'm still a follower'. Your post has certainly given me food for thought and I'm going to comment more often, on more blogs, from now on. It's time to destroy the blogvoid!
    You've asked for comments about the digital drawing: I don't possess a tablet so I'm only midly curious about the digital drawings you post and am always a little surprised to see them on your sewing blog. Is there a particular reason for not posting them on your drawing blog?

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  4. Hi Terry! I felt compelled to leave a message after reading this post. I've always read my favourite blogs through a reader but now I do it on a tablet, not a computer. I think this makes it more fiddly to leave comments. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it! :-)

    I did a quick poll of my blog-reading friends on Facebook last week and found that quite a lot of them still read blogs directly. I had also thought that making my blog look good might have been wasted if no one went there! Quite reassuring to realise that's not true.

    Anyway, keep on blogging. I do enjoy your posts.

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  5. I enjoy reading your blog but rarely if ever comment. I admire your work, but it is far beyond what I do. I'm not an artist. The digital drawing is interesting, but not something I have the technology for. I enjoy seeing your textile art, and loved your photos from Ecuador as it is a part of the world I know little about.

    Many bloggers I used to read have stopped posting. Getting involved in "bookface" seems to mean the end of blogging.

    I use a blog reader, too, so often don't bother to click hrough and comment. part of that is because it is getting harder and harder to comment. I have a lot of difficulty deciphering Captchas, but at the moment they are mainly using numbers which are easier to interpret. Then others set their blogs to only accept Google+ comments, and I'm not going to join that just to make comments. My fear is that Google might eventually make it that you can't use blogger without a Google+ account.

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  6. Terry, i think many, many people are in a similar boat bobbing around in the blogosphere. I try to keep up my side of the blogging compact by leaving comments on thoughtful posts but that Facebook "like" button (when it's available) is tempting sometimes. It's hard to keep the momentum sometimes but I LOVE your blog so I hope you keep it going!

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  7. I've been a much more irregular blogger than you, but I still know what you mean. I don't visit blogs as much as I used to, but part of that is due to seeing what folks are up to through their facebook posts. Also, when someone shares the link to their blog post on facebook I often "like" it there, or comment there, but don't necessarily comment on the blog itself. I sort of wish we had "like" buttons on our blogs. I'm glad that blogs are still around as they are very useful resources in many ways, they just don't seem as conversational anymore.

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  8. Terry,
    I am part of the problem too. I love reading comments from other bloggers and quilters. I forget to go comment on their blogs. When I do an interesting thing happens: they get very excited and respond. I am considering how I respond to the commenters on my blog - how do I interact with them in such a way as to have the conversation with them. It's different. Part of that too is finding a good personal balance between quilting and writing/blogging. I'm now maintaining 3 blogs. Long story there but 3 and all very different.
    Happy quilting!

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  9. You're right--I'm not commenting on blogs as often as I used to, either. But I do enjoy your posts and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I guess we all need to let people know that more often! Thanks!

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  10. I have noticed the same trend. Much less commenting on my blog and I am totally guilty of not commenting as much as I used to on other blogs. I wondered at one point if all the social media sites are contributing to this. It seems we share things everywhere...FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

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  11. I think you are right Terry, I use feedly too, and it is inconvinient (laziness), that I don't go out to the site to comment

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  12. And I will NOT walk away without commenting! I often don't comment on blogs because a lot of "Me, too" seems silly,,,, but maybe not? I DO keep up my blog weekly, but most posts are simply my photo week in review...so it is at least a habit....Are you using that painted fabric as a guide for where to place squares? Interesting look...can't wait to see what it becomes!

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  13. I've been blogging ten years now and yours is one of a handful that I have been reading almost since the beginning. Aside from watching you find and confirm your singular artistic voice, then plan and execute the work, I've enjoyed the glimpses into your life, times, people and places shared in way that makes it all real beyond pixels on a screen. People really do care. I can attest to that personally.

    No comments? Guilty as charged, I'm a reader who rarely comments unless the blogger actually poses a question, either actual or rhetorical. Most often I'll make a comment and then think to myself “who cares what I have to say on whatever subject” and I'll delete before posting. I see the lack of comments as a two way street. If we don't make any demands on our readers or provoke them in anyway and just deliver up snappy commnetary and delicious eye candy so reliably, oh well. You can almost hear the satisfied burping!

    I have found solutions about being “needy” for comments and making better use of Feedly. I use Statcounter to track the visitiors on my blog and, over time, I've come to know that, although they may not have commented, Terry, Annie, Grace, John and any number of other regulars have visited. It never ceases to amaze me how people from all over the world have peeked in.

    There are an obscene number of blogs in my Feedly but instead of clicking directly on the entries shown, I open the ones I know and love in a new tab...that way I get the comfort of seeing the blog in all it's carefully crafted glory rather than Feedlys snippet.

    So I say, hang in there and keep blogging. It was your network feed from FB, not feedly, that brought me your latest post last night but I'm pretty certain that FB has seen it's glory days. Give me a nice solid blog written by an intelligent artist any day.

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  14. ...and another thing (you asked!!) I'm stopping by Goodwill later today and picking up a couple of checked cotton shirts to overdye while I'm at fibercamp in FL..yours have been beguiling and inspiring me since you first posted them and I have baby blankets to make.
    thanks!

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  15. Oh the comments! I would like people to comment on my blog, but I've decided that it can't be as big of a deal as I have made it in the past. Just make the work, share, even if it's inspiration from the garden. Blogging can be whatever you want it to be, and that is the beauty of it. Will you post your advice for blogging? I have personally enjoyed your blog for years! Keep up the good work!

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  16. Love this blue piece! And I hate to admit that I'm rather bored with the digital drawing challenge.
    About the blogs - I used to follow 50 or so blogs when they posted, and now I rarely read 1 per day. I am spending more time on FB and find it easier to follow people there. I really miss reading the blogs - I only read them now if someone posts it to FB and it looks interesting. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot more personal connection by not reading blogs, but I spend so much time on FB that I don't have time to also read blogs. Yours is on my tool bar at the top and it's the only one there. The rest I have to find from my bookmarks. Love your blog!

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  17. I read blogs on my mini iPad and find it difficult to type one finger at a time. And then there is the auto correct: such a love/hate relationship.

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  18. Hi Terry: I love to read your stories about anything. Your family, your childhood, your angst ... anything. You present it so well. I love your art too. It is always so strong. Personally, I do not connect with the digital challenge -- and doubt I will graduate to using tools like that to design, so I look at the pictures, appreciate them and move on. As for commenting: 1. In general, mine aren't that profound, and don't feel they would add much. 2. Heartfelt, but maybe less than positive comments have a tendency to stir up hornets nests (not here, but an observation) 3. Since I do not have a blog, and do not have accounts on various feeds, it is harder to comment. I have commented on blogs, only to discover at the end that I do not have the proper credentials. This has been a deterrent as well. Thank you., and I do enjoy your blog. Have read it for over 5 years.

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  19. I *am* commenting *here* :)
    I think part of the problem along with feeds, is now FB: i get many more responses there than i have ever had on any of my blogs--unfortunately one side effect of that is that the "likes" that don't really tell you anything--do they like out of politeness? WHY do they like? What is it that they like, the whole dang thing, the image, the words, the concept?
    At the same time, i've had to accept that while my blog has faithful readers, many of them don't comment, period, and i don't know who they are, so it's hard to comment back. Once in awhile in real life, someone will say "oh i read that post about blahblah, well done" and i wonder why they stay so secret. Of course, i am just as guilty in some cases......
    I think there are also so many bad blogs that people get very choosey--i know i do--most are cheap replicas of themselves, with not a lot of honesty or innovation, and that bores me to tears.
    I blog now to keep presence--it's helped my visibility as well, but in the end i do it sometimes as "duty", part of the business, and don't really enjoy it as much anymore! I think we are glutted now with so much and it's hard to show any individuality without a million bells and whistles. I don't want a sycophantic following, but feedback was/is very important --and i think blogs are better for considered responses rather than the likes and shares of FB.....
    It's good to track progress in the "stoodio" though :)

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    1. tracking progress (and keeping distant family up to date) was my original intent for blogging..

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    2. I've noticed that my readership is increasing in leaps and bounds, but like you and Terry, comments have shrunk to nearly nothing. Like you, arlee, I have a much bigger response on Facebook.

      And I'm as guilty as everyone else; I read in my Feedly and almost never comment except when I guilt myself into a round of comments on my friends' and regular commenters' blogs; dust my hands off, say "THAT'S done" and go back to passively reading. It's not that I don't enjoy my reading, it's a combination of laziness and thinking I don't have anything to add other than a (genuinely meant, but nevertheless meaningless) "nice !" Or, "Lovely!".

      Maybe we, as bloggers need to both comment more, and make our blogs more ... interactive? My Friday links post gets 3 or 4 times as many hits as anything else I post each week (except finished pieces), but rarely gets comments. So I guess I'm encouraging no comments in the way I blog, too.

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  20. This was an interesting post for me, Terry. Some months back, I became dismayed by the tremendous list of blogs on my sidebar, got to thinking it looked cluttery, and moved them to Bloglovin. I had the same experience that you did: Bloglovin presented them to me all at one time, in one place, and it was a hassle to leave comments. It was also easy, when faced with a string of 38 new blog posts to read all at once, to click "mark as read" if the photo or title of the post didn't grab me. I came to realize that blog reading was turning from something I enjoyed at leisure to something I checked off a list. Recently I relisted my favorite blogs on my sidebar (actually my bottombar!), and have begun to group the others in my bookmarks under days of the week, and each day have just a few to peruse. This has helped.

    Word Verification is no longer fun. I used to love it when the wordie was something like plapsmooch and I'd delight in defining that as a kiss from a duck-bill. Now we get things like 4U13 9HD which is nothing but a bad license plate.

    On a somewhat related issue, I'm not a "heavy commenter." I leave comments occasionally, often enough to let the blogger know I'm still reading, but don't feel compelled to comment on every post.

    Thanks for writing about this.

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  21. I feel very much the same as you do about blogging. I've been at it almost eight years and its so different now. I hardly ever read blogs and feel I've lost a lot of my lovely friends from the early days. The bottom line though is to treat it as a diary. I love to look back through mine, and its a lovely record of your life.

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  22. Anonymous7:02 AM

    I do enjoy your blog. Keep it going. Some blogs are difficult for me to leave comments as they want you to "join", select profiles (?), or do something technical that I don 't know how to do.

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  23. All of your statements on blogging resonate with me. The challenge is the explosion of good blogs and getting through them. It use to be I'd start my mornings or end my nights with coffee (a.m.) or a beer (p.m.) and settle in to read and comment regularly. That was in the good ol' days. With the blog explosion that span my interests, I mostly just check in to see what someone is up to or am reading them for info to fuel my own interest which is less about relationship building.

    As for my own writing on my blog, it feels like more like "writing to inform myself" or documenting a "presence" for future prosperity 1000 years from now. It is harder now for me to discuss the frustrations around my art-making doings since sometimes it involves other people.

    I still enjoy writing it but I am looking to make it more interesting to readers to amp up the dialogue exchange.

    I do like the blog feeder but I tend to use it less often. What gets me to click on a blog most often now is when it shows up on my facebook feed.

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  24. I love your blog and your work and am always happy to see a post. I think, though, that when I've commented in the past that you've never responded so I presumed you really didn't care if you got comments or not. I don't mean for that to be negative! I know some people are using their blogs to keep track of their work and lives and as a type of journal and I enjoy reading them. There are several bloggers that always respond and several that don't and I read them all. I guess I feel the same way you do. If my comments aren't being read, why comment? But, again, please don't think of this comment as a negative one. I'm a big fan!
    As far as the digital drawing posts...they're somewhat interesting to me but I currently have no interest in doing it myself and they just don't elicit any thoughts one way or the other.
    I love that you posted some new fabric work and look forward to seeing more!

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    1. Interesting response! I've often wondered if i need to "reply" to each and every comment, or if a generalized one should be the way to go. I don't want to offend anyone by not commenting on *their* comment though! :) Some responses "need" answers, some don't--and i guess at least a generalized one means everyone knows you've appreciated the time they took to comment.

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    2. This was my observation too. I appreciate when bloggers acknowledge comments, either personally (I often get direct e-mails that can turn into more in-depth back and forths than might happen on the open blog), or in a single summary comment at the end. I've quit commenting here because it seems you never acknowledge anyone's comments. Occasionally you might reference the comments you've gotten on a post in your next post, but basically, it feels like a one way conversation. As others have noted, if a blog post is linked in Facebook, there seems to be more comments and conversations there than on the actual post (this one being an exception). It saddens me that on my own blog I can't get more direct input from my followers, but for those who do take the time, I for the most part respond in some way. I think it is important, perhaps even the proper protocol. and that may be part of the problem. Exactly what is proper etiquette when it comes to these newer ways of communicating? When is a response expected and when is it not?

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    3. Yeah... not that I'm so fabulous, but I actually *do* acknowledge every single comment I get, because when I was first starting out and commenting on the "big" bloggers blogs and didn't get a response, it often put my nose out of joint...

      And as Idaho Beauty above says, sometimes it turns into a longer back and forth, and sometimes I actually make a friend. :)

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  25. Anonymous7:11 AM

    I agree with you, I do not comment on blogs much anymore, if I have to type some comment 3 times and it still doesn't go through, I give up. But..I still read you and others everyday, I don't enjoy your drawing as much as your design of your quilts, but if you are having fun, it is your blog.

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  26. a comment. I use Bloglovin for my reading. It opens each new day in a new tab complete with side bars, comment area, etc. It makes it easy to comment. I so enjoy reading your blog. Sometimes feel like I'm commenting in a void. Bloggers used to comment back, let you know that they read what you wrote. I don't see that very much anymore either.

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  27. I read your blog every day, with other favorites, as part of breakfast. Not a blog feeder either. You are one of the best writers, not just because of your turn of a phrase, but because it is clear that it comes from your heart. You talk about some of the very things I struggle with, even though our art is different.
    I don't comment much because it takes time away from my studio, and my morning gets away from me. A lot of it is the spam controls with Blogger requiring me to sign in, and then they get mad because I don't have an extensive profile with every detail of my life spelled out, and I don't blog with them or have email with their company. It may take me 5 minutes to write a comment, and a half hour messing with Blogger. It's the time cost of leaving a comment.

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  28. Yes, it all resonates. I am a loyal follower (through feedly), yet I rarely comment. I love your overdyed shirts, am less interested in the digital drawing, but not totally uninterested. I have a fondness for you and don't even know you. Yet I don't comment. I have wondered if bloggers think 'who is she?' So I say nothing. I am sure you are not blogging in a void...I am here, as I'm sure others are as well. Diane in Madison

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  29. Oh, and I love the striking colors of your new work.

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  30. Hi Terry, I don't know if I've commented on your blog before but I've been reading it for some time now. I don't remember how I came across it but I assume that I was looking for quilting blogs. I read it because I love the work that you do and I find that you share enough of your life and the diverse work you do to give me a picture that leaves me feeling connected to this blog. Specifically I am interested in quilting, art, and gardening so there is much to appeal to me in this blog. I still work full time but I am likely within 5 years of retirement. Although I quilt, sew, take drawing and watercolour classes occasionally, and garden I do it sporadically as energy levels and mood allow. I don't comment because I am in a different place and feel that I have little to contribute to your journey. I thought you might like to know what holds back at least one of us from commenting. Personally I am enjoying watching the progress that you're making with digital drawing but maybe that is because my education and career are in technology education.

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  31. found your blog through a FB post by Deb Lacativa -- someone I 'know' through blogging... but I have been pondering some of the same things and especially wondering why I keep losing my oomph. I've read that commenting is becoming a thing of the past. Not sure what to make of that. I use feedly too and it is a few clicks too many to get to commenting. Changes to flickr, too, make simply 'faving' a picture so much easier than commenting that I find myself resorting to that lesser exchange. It very much is tied to device as well. I am well behind the curve in employing my phone for reading, interacting - but it's clear to me that the more I read there, the less I will be interacting... two thumb typing being what it is.

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  32. and here's another thing. Just wrote a paragraph. Don't know where it went? did not get a message that it was being held for approval.

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  33. Yep, you said it perfectly, I feel just the way you do. I sometimes think that for those of us who started blogging back in the very early days, we craved community and found it in each other, so the conversations in blogs and comments felt natural. As the blog wold got bigger and bigger, it just became different -- not so much as having an intimate conversation but speaking on a stage to a big audience sitting out in a darkened theatre.

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  34. I can relate to all the comments. I read about 6 blogs faithfully and rarely comment, but I especially enjoy reading yours. You are real, you inspire me to try things that I wouldn't necessarily think about. I have many other blogs bookmarked, but I don't check them very much. There is so much out there anymore that it is hard to keep up!

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  35. awwww....I read you every single day while having my coffee. I have a Quilt Blogs bookmark list of my favorite blogs, and I'm not kidding - you're the first one on the list. I tend not to leave comments on any of them and I think I'll go in today and say something to each of them so they know they matter.

    My personal favorite piece of yours (so far....) is the camp fire. We take our "kids" and their familes to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland once a year and spend the evenings around a fire by the water just talking (well, Grandma usually has a nice glass of wine or two....). That piece makes me feel my family close whenever I see it.

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  36. terry, i have been reading your blog for years and rarely comment on the posts. i would miss it if you weren't blogging, so please don't stop! my interest is mainly in your quilts, not the drawing, but that doesn't mean it should go away. i look at your quilts and get inspiration to create, and once in a while the drawings do that also.

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  37. I tend to read the blogs that come through my email with the most intense loyalty; then there are the couple that I won't miss, often because those people seem to follow me. A couple, like Terry's, that are written by good friends whose FB comments aren't quite enough to fill my desire to know what's up with her. But most of the others, I really would like a "like" button, so people would know I was following without my having to go through the blasted captchas -- which always take three tries -- and the id-ing, and then the thoughtful comment which is generally inane and not much more than a "isn't the weather beautiful" remark.

    But a more thoughtful comment might mention that, just like organizations, blogs sort themselves out, and time makes ideas wax and wane. My interests have changed over the years, as have most other people's. I loved the blogging process early on, but now feel like I'm repeating myself. My "art" blog is hard work -- takes serious thought and serious reading, which weeds out most people instantly; the personal blog seems mostly taken care of by FB. And no one has requested that I do more blogs, so I figure we're all happy. And everyone has a life outside of blogs, FB, twitter, instagram, texting, eating, sleeping, grandchildren, walking, oh, and doing art. Perhaps, it was always thus -- the advent of garage door openers, the demise of the front porch, the advent of screen doors, the proliferation of dangerous motor vehicles, the danger of too many horses (not to mention their droppings), the loss of the Commons in the 18th century. Well, you get the idea.

    So carry on, m'dear. You may be the one left standing, and thus everyone will love and admire your blog in the end. Or not. But in either case, Things will Sort Themselves Out (and here I must add my --snort--)

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  38. I hear you loud and clear Terry; I get discouraged too with the "blogging into the void" feeling. I've come to think of it as my own online diary (not as personal though) and use it as a reference point for my own memories and to track my progress, or lack thereof.

    Keep it up!

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  39. Anonymous10:10 AM

    I've read your blog for sometime now. It's always fun to see your creative process with textiles. I'm not so interested in the digital part.

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  40. Anonymous10:49 AM

    I am one of your silent regular readers. I love your blog, especially your regular posts and good writing, and have it on my Pulse news feed. It is easy to click through to the real post but not as easy to leave a comment with a link back to my own blog. I didn't like leaving anonymous comments and so I just mostly don't comment.
    As to comments, lots of times I don't feel confident in my opinion and so feel reluctant to stick my neck out there. Also, I'm not one with a lot to say. I just don't need to say something about everything. It takes me considerable time to formulate ideas, and those require editing to express clearly.
    I don't care for FB. I read there mostly because friends would tell me stuff my kids had posted and I didn't like not already knowing. I have been deleting blogs from my reader because the blogger never posts there anymore. They opt for FB instead. Frankly, there is so much drivel there that I find it too time consuming to wade through it all for the few posts I really care to read. I much prefer to read a blog.
    As for my own blog, I have resigned myself to not receiving very many comments and am pleasantly surprised when someone does. Mine is a "life" blog, not necessarily just my art or any particular subject. A particular friend and my kids mostly encourage me to blog so they can see what I'm up to. And I really do it for me, a little record of this journey called life.
    Because your post sounded rather close to home (except for the inclusion of your lovely blue piece!) I will try to do better. It is always good to encourage each other.
    And then there's this: "Your OpenID credentials could not be verified". Another anonymous post. If you want to know who I am, go to lcroswell.wordpress.com
    YIKES!

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  41. Well, damn! I came to leave you a comment because I am feeling the same things, and LOOK at all your comments! If I get two a month I think yahoo! I know one of my problems is not reading all the blogs I'm subscribed to, instead using the time to write mine. So basically I'm talking to myself these days- and that's TEN YEARS tomorrow! sigh. Talk about your private diaries- I've got it!

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  42. Anonymous3:07 PM

    I think the end of the Twelve by Twelve challenge probably was a big blow to the readership and comments. I don't go on the 12x12 site any longer to see who has updated her blog, I have just put my favorite 12's blogs on feedly (yours is one!) and that is how I now keep up with your very well written blog and your beautiful work. To be honest I don't really care about the digital challenge, but ALWAYS look forward to see what you are doing. Recently I have enjoyed the way you have recycled those pieces of clothing into those great South American cities interpretations. Keep up the good work.
    Annick

    PS: Our little group of 5 ladies has just finished 10 rounds of 12X12 quilts inspired by your work and the exhibits we saw in Houston. I badgered them until they agreed to try. They finally did after they saw your work in person. So you do have a legacy!

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  43. I have left (appreciative) comments in the past but they didn't appear. I couldn't decide whether perhaps Google ate them or maybe you just didn't like them and they had been redacted. When you stop to consider, it's a strange way of communicating when you don't know someone personally! But I look for you nearly every day - always something interesting and thought-provoking, so please keep on going and thank you!

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  44. Terry. I feel so much better knowing you are having the same thoughts and feelings as I am having regarding the comments issue and the posting issues. I find so many blogs have closed up shop and moved to Facebook. It's easier--well, that's what an ex blogger told me.

    I wake up and look forward to reading "letters" from all my blogger pals. And end up disappointed. Looking for new blogs to fill the space left by people who don't write anymore. My stat report a big readership--but I have a few spammers--- but I rarely get even 1 comment. I gave up on trying to generate comments. I have nothing to sell.

    I will make a vow to write comments on my favorite blogs from now on--even to just say Hi Terry!

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  45. I am going to try posting again. I too think that feed services take the magic out of blog reading and I never started using them because of it. I want the whole experience, I want to read the entire post, see the sidebars. I have been blogging less, on a personal level it is in part because, 1. When I went through the cancer experience, I was writing Dreaming from the Journal Page, so I couldn't update as often because I was working with 'sensitive materials'. 2. I found I really like making without talking about it. 3. I would like to find other topics to talk about, but feel I have maintained the blog to talk about what I am making and making is what people expect to come and read. If I all of the sudden start talking about lifting weights, and gaining weight while continuing to whittle down my waistline, (which is very fun and exciting, for me), I think I will alienate my readers. So I have been trying to figure out how to talk about making without talking about what -I- am making. I do think it is possible. And really, I let my blog go for so long, I am just plain happy to be consistently, even if less often. Also, I like going to blogs where there is conversation in the comments section. I like having access to the blog poster in that way, and I like thinking about what people are saying. But when it comes to my blog, I cannot do it! I often just want to get away from the computer so I can make stuff. The computer sucks my creative time away. That bums me out.

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    1. Melly--It's your blog--talk about what you want to talk about--not what you think we want to hear. If lifting weights is making you happy--then tell me about it. I don't think cleaning out kitchen drawers is fascinating--but it's what I am doing this week.

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    2. Thank you Joanne. You know, I put this out there and the world said ok. I am going to do a blog post about this, this week.

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  46. Had to laugh out loud when I saw 48 comments, so I'll make mine 49. I do not blog myself, and only have about 10 blogs that I check daily (manually--no feeder) and yours is probably my favorite because I sense the thought that went into it (not just listing stuff you did today), and there is almost always a challenge to me or something to think about...like today. I rarely comment on blogs however...not sure why. Others have mentioned no replies to the comments, which makes it less of a "conversation" or just the "hassle" of the comment process...although I am on a desktop, so don't have the tablet problems. But if it will keep you engaged, I'll be happy to comment. :) I greatly appreciate your sharing both what you are happy about...or not so much. Please keep up the great work and keep sharing it.

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  47. Anonymous5:46 PM

    Terry, I love your blog. I come by 5-7 times a week and more often to LOOK again. I adore your creative style and suggestions, to yourself and others. I gaze at your gallery and start drawing and sometimes actually copying something you've done, just to see how you did it. Writing is time consuming but I would really miss you if you were gone.
    I'm not interested (right now) in electronic sketching/drawing. I have a flip phone and just this Note to keep me "kind of connected". After years before a computer screen I'd rather not "play"with one for awhile.
    Sally from San Diego CA

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  48. Terry, my two cents . . . I do not subscribe to any blogs or a blog reader, but I have numerous blogs bookmarked and check them in varying frequencies from daily to periodically. Yours is one I check daily. I greatly admire your work and enjoy reading about your journey (well, the digital drawing, not so much). I rarely, if ever, comment but that doesn't mean I'm not here, eager to learn something new and try new techniques. I'm always a little disappointed when one of my favorite blogs doesn't have something new to read, although it must be rather difficult to feel like you have to keep coming up with something new and interesting for us. Please don't stop blogging!

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  49. As a blogger from 2006, I agree the blog world has changed. Many things enter into it...Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc have all added more layers to our connections and I do believe not necessarily for the best. Yes, I too, have way more visitors but almost no comments and on the other side, rarely comment anymore. I don't post nearly as much as I used to either, and have seen other blogs doing the same. Is that bad? Maybe not. With the onslaught of social media, there is the reality of over exposure and burn out for readers and writers. Since 2010, I've seen many long and big time bloggers take internet sabbaticals.

    I read your blog and love to hear about your process. To me, that's the biggest thing a blog offers over other social media...true content.

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  50. I read your blog each time there's new content. I don't always comment because I don't want to seem a pest or someone else has covered my point. Now as far as the digital drawing, honestly, it seems to be one of those mediums that can make a good artist seem like a beginner - awkward and no finesse. There, I've said it. Sorry if it offends. I don't do FB and all of the other multitude of time gobblers. I do like to read blogs I enjoy then check out their blog lists because you find gems you wouldn't know about otherwise. Love what you do Terry. Don't worry, we can't all scintillate daily, but always it's feels like I'm checking in on an old friend.

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  51. Marcia4:33 PM

    Terry, I'm going to chime in with others and say that I also don't enjoy the digital drawing - I would like to see it in your other blog about drawing. If I'm able, I check this blog daily and absolutely love your textile work. I don't comment, but I still look to you as a mentor. I read many blogs daily and have noticed that the ones who are making money from their blog seem to be the ones who do answer each and every comment. I'm not sure that would be your style, but you might begin receiving more comments if you acknowledged each one in some manner. Just my two cents!

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  52. Ah, well, terry you have set the cat among the pigeons! It took me half an hour to read through all the comments! I think it must prove to you that you have a wide readership, just not a readership that writes comments. You are obviously loved by many and can take heart from that. I will add that I answer every comment I get (which is not many) and I can't say that it increases the number of comments. I know my visitors has increased, they are just not very talkative. After yesterday's post, I was very careful today to comment on nearly all of my daily visits, lol!

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  54. Hi Terry! You have so many comments and I know you have been compiling your data, but I thought that I should weigh in too. I check your blog every couple of weeks; I enjoy hearing what my family is up to, (always hoping for a grandkid anecdote) and your photography is wonderful and I enjoy your funny stories. As you well know, quilting isn’t a hobby I can even relate to, but ideas for new projects, progression of projects, successes and failures are all themes I (and I know others!) are familiar with. I love looking at colors you have paired together in your pieces (for me, this translates to fashion, home decorating, etc..) and watching your creative process. So, when I completely fail at my “recover the lamp shades” project, I take comfort in that amazing and successful artists have their bad days too. Recently, my mom gave me her old 1967 turquoise, now more robins’ egg blue, Singer sewing machine and I feel like I have been placed in a whole new life dimension. The possibilities are endless! Well, not really, I am still practicing. I went to Joann’s and felt like I had never been in before – I have never bought fabric to sew before and felt totally out of my element. I needed thread too. I remembered that you had written about threads and searched your blog on my smart phone in the store. And there was the post from February 2013... I went with the on-sale Guterman per your recommendation and you weren’t even there! That’s the amazing thing about blogs. They are with us and we each have our own, personal take-away message. Don’t go anywhere, don’t change anything!

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