Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thoughts on Blogging, Design Teams & Stuff... (Very Long Post)

Recently I read a post over on SCS (SplitCoastStampers) that was basically about blogging, bloggers, design teams, advertisements, sponsors, facebook, pintrest and more.

I was a bit amazed at the comments both from bloggers and readers of blogs.  It started off by someone who was sad that many of her favorite bloggers were either going on hiatus or quitting all together.  The conversation then drifted into complaints about design team commitments, advertisements and blog sponsors. Since Ink Stains is approaching it's 5th birthday/anniversary it's been weighing heavily on my mind ever since I read it so I felt like I needed to post my thoughts about it. 

Craft Blogging -  One lady who quit blogging asked why was she putting time & effort into something without getting anything in return. "it seemed like a LOT of work to "market" something that wasn't making me one thin dime".  Another mentioned that she was discouraged because nobody was commenting anymore.  And yet another was more into Pintrest and Facebook so she let her blog die.  

There was a very wise poster who brought up this point.... "To measure success you need to know what you wanted to achieve in the first place." which is so true!

I started Ink Stains, not to make money, but to share my love of crafting with others and to show them that it's not that hard and they too have an artsy muse hidden inside.  Most crafty techniques aren't difficult ~ even though they may look it.  People just need to be shown in a way that they can understand.  Heck, my mom who never crafted in her life and is now scrapbooking, making cards, LOVES making ATC's & charms, can make an altered book all on her own and so much more.  She had never crafted until age XX  ~ she'd kill me if I told so let's just say until she started reading my blog...and I made her do it - LOL!!

Someone commented that she had started selling her tutorials and projects instead of simply posting on her blog.  This is one of the main reasons I started blogging!!! NOT to sell my tutorials but to enlighten people for FREE... It is a pet peeve of mine that so many people feel that art is for the rich.  You have to have money to enjoy crafting... while it is true you do need to spend a bit on basic supplies you shouldn't have to continue to sink money into it on classes that teach you one or two techniques; tutorials on how to make one canvas, scrapbook page or card; shell out the bucks to go on a "craft cruise";  or "free" projects that require you to buy each and every product ever sold by a particular company or designer.   IT DRIVES ME NUTS!!!!  Art should bring beauty, joy and pleasure to everyone and not for a price.

I saw a comment that stated, "If your good at something, never do it for free."  I know this is a common sentiment among many people now a days but it's pretty damn selfish if you ask me and part of the reason that this world is going to Hell in a hand basket!  If God (or whoever you believe in) gave you the talent or ability to do something that good, you should feel blessed n lucky to have that talent AND it should also make you want to share that talent with others.  No, there is nothing wrong with making a buck but there is more to life than money...and the last time I checked you still can't take it with you.

Design Teams ~ O.k... this has been a thorn in my side for quite some time as well.  There have been many conversations at SCS on design teams, their members and the blogs of those members.  Most of these conversations start off neutral but usually get ugly after a few posts about how DT members just hawking goods for a particular product or stamp company.  And end up knocking the DT members for being members. 

I have to say I've been on Design Teams for years and years (since about 2001)...long before Ink Stains was even thought of so it's a subject that hits me close to home.  I can't speak for everyone on a design team, only my own personal experiences but this is the way I look at it...

I have to be honest, I originally joined a couple DT's to get the free goodies...who wouldn't?  It was fun and I was starting out and didn't have many of the supplies I was being offered.  I made what I had to make and enjoyed the returns.

About a year or so later that all changed because I realized I didn't enjoy many of the things I was asked to create with. It was a chore and no fun at all.  Ever since I only joined teams that fit with my style...be it inks, papers, stamps, etc.   Now if I get something that doesn't quite mesh,  I make the product fit with my style instead of the other way around. 

A common complaint that I've read on SCS over and over is that blogs start sounding like commercials.  Yes, sometimes there are posts are geared to sell a product/stamp/etc. or promote a particular company.  That is part of being on a DT, it's unavoidable.   If you're not promoting the product then you aren't doing your job.  BUT then again, it is those products or that company that enables me to bring you things I might not have been able to other wise. 

Craft blogging on a daily basis 4-5 times a week means that I have to come up with supplies for each card, technique, project, etc. each and every time.  It costs a LOT of money to keep it going.... and that doesn't even include give-a-ways, swaps, postage, etc.  In order to be able to offer all of these different projects/events I have to supplement my crafty budget somehow.  Part of it comes from my Etsy store but a good portion of it also comes from products and supplies from the various mfg. I design for.  If I'm getting stamps from a particular company; papers from another company or using this persons collage images over another that is just one less thing I have to buy.  This in turn means that I can spend the money saved on those supplies and purchase other supplies/products needed (either for projects or for give-a-ways).  DT's give me the ability to do that much more for you.  So, the way I look at it is that if I have to post a few links or talk about this product or that it's a small price to pay if it helps me to continue my artful mission and helps to keep Ink Stains around for another day, month, year so be it.

Advertisements ~  This was another issue addressed which is also something I have been struggling with.  Yes, selling space on your blog or getting hooked up with one company or another can be profitable.  I have been approached by several different companies wanting to monetize my blog and or advertise here.  Up till now I have declined because why would a craft blog run ads about cars, dish soap, or men's hair loss????  WTH?  Personally if it's not pertinent to the blog or would benefit my readers then it shouldn't even be there...but again, for some people the almighty $ reins supreme I guess.

That being said I am very excited to say that I do have my very first trial ad coming soon for a company that I have been associated with for a while now.  It's a good company with a great owner and it is relevant to crafting.  Their support will in turn enable me to do more for you!  I hope that once this ad is posted you will take a moment or two to explore their site as it would benefit us all!

Blog Content/Readership Down/Blogs Dieing on the Vine - Some people were also complaining about content getting stale ~ everything has been done and they've seen it all so why bother; nothing is fresh and new; it's the same stuff over and over; or that Facebook & YouTube is so much better and blogs are falling by the wayside.

I believe that this is a multi-faceted problem that is sometimes hard to overcome but I do try and will continue to do so.  It's all a matter of where you want to place your priorities....mine has been and will continue to be in art. 

Right now there are so many people into Facebook which I really don't understand or get.  Seems like folks get lost in the constant stream of "information" coming from Facebook that it's hard for them to tear themselves away.  I would rather spend my time creating something than reading about what X is eating; what Y is watching on TV or where Z is going after work. 

YouTube it is also taking a large chunk of time away from blogs....I guess it's easier for some people to flick on their camera and talk away or for other to just sit and watch.  I personally am not comfortable in front of the camera...I'm very shy so creating and writing about something is much easier for me than making a video for YouTube.  I also find that having a written word and lots of photos to go along with it much more beneficial to learn something than simply watching someone.  Of course this is a double edged sword because some people have emailed me complaining that there are too many photos on the blog...  I guess it's all personal preference but I'd rather give someone too much information than not enough. 

As far as content I'm sure there are ups and downs here as far as what you're interested in.  I try to mix things up so it's not all stamping or just collage or whatever.  I want to offer a mix of projects, techniques, and examples to inspire and interest you.  Sometimes that is hard to do ~ especially when comments are down (even when visits remain the same) and there is no feedback.  I know by the numbers that people are out there...I just don't know if they like it or not. 

It also gets tough sometimes to keep things going when outside factors (life) gets in the way or gets me down.  For example I had a really difficult time the end of last year when I was basically black balled by a very prominent crafter/mentor as retaliation because I told the truth and wouldn't lie to sell a product.  It hurt me on so many levels I didn't even know if I wanted to continue crafting in general.  But with time and good advice from an Ink Stained friend/reader (Kathy - Thank You!!!), dh & Mom I pulled myself out of that deep dark hole and turned it all around.

if you've stuck with me this long....
those are my thoughts on these particular issues and it feels good to finally get it all out. 
I'm sure you don't agree with everything I've said but I hope that it will shed some light on why / how I do some of the things I do.  I also hope that if you did read the same SCS discussion that it clears up some of the misconceptions those folks had about my blog and possibly others.  I would love to hear your thoughts on some or all of these issues...


  1. Hear hear!!!

    And while all those blogs drop off by the wayside or go into hiatus, those that keep going will be streets ahead when the others come back online.

    Blogging without obligation is good for those of us who don't have a design team to deliver for, and it doesn't matter if no-one reads it, cos someone always does read it, but maybe not comment. It's hard for you guys on DTs cos you have to keep turning out creative and relevant work, but if you just want to showcase your work, then it's easy. Anyone who says they're not making enough money at it, wasn't doing it for the right reasons in the first place.

    So like I said, hear hear! Valid points, well made. You get my vote hun!

  2. I need to know first of all what is SCS ? I love blogging and all the nice people I've met and talk to all the time.It's like reading My favorite Mags.any time I want but knowing the editor personally.Drop by and follow if you would like.I've enjoyed your blog for a long while :) Denise

  3. Oh I am in full agreement with you. I only have a little blog and have been on tiny for fun DT's, nothing major, but some of what you say still resonates...blogging to share a love of what we are doing for free.

    The problem I have is that I keep coming across blogs I like and following them - and then ending up with far too many to read properly and comment on.

  4. Great blog post Roni. I love looking at blogs to receive inspiration and to learn new techniques. I started blogging so I had a way to enter challenges on different manufacturers that I enjoy's websites. I have a goal to be on a design team because I think it would be fun to get new things that I really like and enjoy to create with and share with my blog followers or those on my Youtube channel. I like to do both videos and blog post. TFS your views and ideas and KEEP UP the GOOD WORK!!!

  5. Great post Roni. Keep doing what you enjoy. There are plenty of us out here who enjoy your blog!

    I don't read SCS and don't expect to start.

  6. I rarely comment but am grateful for your blog and hard work and generosity in sharing xx

  7. I rarely comment but am grateful for your blog and hard work and generosity in sharing xx

  8. I have to say that while I follow a number of blogs, I love yours because its so diverse! I find myself falling into a crafting rut sometimes, and know you will post something that I would love to try, or that I will be able to take one part of what you've created and add it to my arsenal! I'm probably one of your lurkers in that I don't comment too often, but I LOVE your posts, and thank God that you post so many tutorials that are still free.... I'm just starting on so many craft levels, and much like you, Iwhen you first started, I try to win products, it's so much fun to see something I've created on another blog, and to get to try a product that I either don't have access too, or more likely don't have the funds for! Please keep up the fabulous work! And thank you so much!

  9. I love your blog, and agree with everything you said! I know I don't usually have time to comment, but I like the boxes you have to check if you like, want more like, etc. I love all your techniques, and hope you stay with it! Keep up the good work!!!! Dinaner

  10. Roni - Well said. I found your book in the library long before I found you online...which was a "HAPPY ACCIDENT" due to applying to the Altered Pages design team. I am thrilled to work along side one of my "CREATIVE IDOLS"!!! I love your blog and love even more that I get it in my inbox via email. I look forward to see where your journey goes and I can't wait for your anniversary bloghop next month <3 <3 <3

  11. Yeah! I absolutely agree with everything you have shared!! Less comments - for sure. Life has intervened on me and I have hardly kept up with any of my followers in the last year. I also follow too many blogs to keep up with. Blogger has also made it more difficult to comment - WTH with the robot thing! Keep doing what you doing..you have done your "reality" check and shared it with us! Looks good on you!

  12. I'll have to step back and think before I really say what I feel but, I love your blog, I love you and I love what you share with us. I still refuse to sign up and jump into all that is Facebook....don't even get me started on that subject! I am guilty of sometimes visiting and not taking the time to comment, for one reason or another, but I do not ever miss one of your posts. I would be deeply saddened if you were to change ANYTHING that you do. I love the variety in both the style and the types of projects you do. PLEASE don't change anything. XO, Dee

  13. I really enjoy your blog; I don't comment often but I do often use the check boxes. Love It! Thank you for all you do.

  14. I find your blog to be very inspiring, and I check what you are doing on a regular basis. I always appreciate getting a "heads up" about new products, and seeing how you use them. Thanks for taking the time to share your projects!

  15. I've had people tell me I should charge for my altered book classes, but I have always said I won't do it. Some have suggested I put them in the form of an e-course, but again, it is contrary to my nature.

    Like you, I'm a blogger. I don't "do" facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any of those other silly social network sites that zap your energy. I spend enough time on blogger, I don't need any other time zappers.

    Although I don't visit every day, I like to visit on occasion. I have never felt like your blog was about advertising. Some art blogs I've been exposed to recently have only content about pushing their book or online course, or something where all they want is money. They might post one photo, but never even tell you what products they used to make the piece. And photos can be so deceiving.

    I would love to get on a design team, but then I think I would have to produce things I might not be able to make, or come up with ideas I couldn't fulfill. Of course, I realize that some of the latest and greatest tools and products are only available through these types of commitments. Especially since my craft budget is about $3.00 a month.

    I used to visit YouTube, but can't even get on it now that Google has some new type of interface that won't let me view anything, even after I tried to join. And I prefer photos to video because you can view them at your own pace, fast or slow. You can also scroll back to see something you might have missed, while it's hard and time consuming to try to replay the exact portion of a video without wasting a lot of time looking for that exact portion.

    So keep up the good work. I know for a fact your blog is not dying on the vine!!

  16. "You can't please all the people all the time" Please don't let other people's negativity get you down. You do a brillant job and I find your blog informative and enlightening and encouraging. Talents and gifts are to be shared and you do this.To quote Dr Suess..."Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter"! Keep doing what you do and know you are appreciated.

  17. Great post! Thanks for taking the time to write it. I enjoy your blog and the whole craft blogging experience. I have facebook and occasionally I will stop and watch a YouTube video. But I like looking at the pictures of what people make. You make great art and I appreciate it when you explain your process. :)

  18. You hit the nail on the head when you said you created your blog to share! That is creativity at its best. Have you heard the saying do what you love and the money will follow. I believe that doing what you love is more important than money. Love your blog and your creativity. Don't let the "old buddies" at SCS get too you!

  19. My goodness, I am glad I missed that conversation on SCS! I just said to my sister today that the craft people that I have met since I started my art obsession have been some of the nicest, honest, sharing people I have ever met. To me, maintaining a blog has got to be very demanding and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to share their art with others. The people that are complaining can just tune out what makes them unhappy. I just dont get it. It's a choice, either follow or not follow. Why all the griping? I also want to say that I love your tutorials with lots of pix. I watch a lot of tuts on You Tube and other places and forget just about everything by the time I am ready to try a new technique or just create. By being able to copy or follow you along on my computer, I dont have to worry about forgetting the steps. So, keep on teaching your way and stop reading negative garbage on SCS. I used to visit SCS on a regular basis and now dont even bother. The site has gone down hill in the last year or two, in my opinion. Sorry I wrote so much but had a lot to say. (and I could say a lot more, but would rather go visit some blogs that have too much advertising, or too many free products, etc. If this helps them share their talents with others, who cares. I dont! ) WHEW!

  20. You go girl! Roni, I love your blog and really enjoy the way it is layed out. I like all the photos and and the attention to detail in the steps. Keep your chin up and keep creating. I saw something on a skateboard (lol, I have 3 teen boys) that fits this situation, "Haters got to hate, don't let them into your soul." Not very gramatically correct, but I sure like the sentiment! Here's to a long life for Ink Stains!!!

  21. R - I think you are a born teacher with a God-given talent. Your tutorials are well thought out, and beautifully produced. You convey the necessary information in an easy, accessible style. If you don't like videos, don't do them.
    As others have said, I have to sneak time out of my day to read the blogs I follow, so I don't comment often due to lack of time, not lack of material from you. The anti-robot thing is hard to deal with, and my feed reader doesn't set up to allow me to make comments, so that's a couple more barriers to commenting, too.
    I am grateful to you for the hard work you put into your blog, even when I don't ay so! Your ideas have both taught me and inspired me. Thank you.

  22. Fabulous post! I love your blog and how generous you are! Long live Ink Stains!

  23. Living in South Africa we are often out in the cold with products and techniques. That's why I love your blog. It's up to date and very informative and your photo's, in my opinion not 'too many' and are a great help. Some of your projects don't float my boat, but I read up on them and appreciate the work you put into them and often am enlightened as to a technique I have not come across yet. It does not stop me from following you or force me to pass a negative comment. We are all different and I appreciate your uniqueness and creativeness. I have never commented on your blog, but this post has made me realise how important it is to keep you informed. I too have a blog, and whilst nothing at all as informative as yours, I share the little I know, if I can, and always appreciate feedback. It takes an enormous amount of time to do what you do blog wise, and I thank you for your efforts. Your posts make my day, down here at the bottom end of the globe!

  24. I echo many of the same feelings as above! I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog! You've helped me explore art in a whole new way....and I LOVE you for that! I'm in enthralled with charms now and have tried new things because of being inspired by, learned how from and encouraged by...INKSTAINS. Thank you ! Keep doing what you're doing we SO appreciate it!

  25. While I do not agree with everything you have said, I do agree with some of it. I do follow your blog and enjoy the fact that you post frequently and like what I see, even though I generally do not comment. Keep it going, I am one of the silent crafters still here. :)

  26. I LOVE your blog. It is one of the few that I check religiously. I am always inspired by you! I have learned some new techniques resulting in some great projects. I've participated in one of your charm swaps. I rarely comment but I don't want you to stop doing what you are doing. I also have a personal blog and it doesn't really matter to me how many people read it. I do blog for the stamp shop where I teach and that blog has really helped to keep the shop going when so many other s have closed. I do teach some papercrafting/stamping classes and charge only enough to cover supplies that I had to purchase for the class. I've been on one design team for awhile now and that has allowed me to do more of the teaching for less while using and promoting products I love.

    There have been times over the last three years while I've been battling cancer that your blog has provided ways for me to channel some of my struggle into positive artistic experiences.

    Thanks for all that you do for the crafting community.

    Anne, yourmainestamper

  27. Hello, Roni,

    I appreciate your blog today. I agree with so many things you said. I especially appreciate your philosophy of sharing. My Mom and I have found that in this crafty realm, just as we found in quilting, there are those who love what they do to an extent that they share freely. I understand that for others, they are concerned about the money issue, however, if you are someone who has to have all the "latest and greatest" out there, you are missing a huge part of the fun of crafting! Having said that - thanks for all the time and effort you put into Inkstains and I, at least, will continue to look forward to your posts!

  28. I have not seen the discussion on SCS but your post here is wonderful!!! I think you've said things very well and everything makes sense. I don't comment much but I do love your blog!!!! People are just very busy and visit more blogs/whatever if we scan/read and go on and not take time to comment... sad but true.... however, if number of visits stay up then it seems people like what they are seeing or they just wouldn't come back and those numbers would go down. Thanks for your post, it's good!!!!

  29. I'm a new crafter and have appreciated the information in your blog tremendously. I need a lot of explanation because there are so many terms and products that I have not heard of before. Your blog has really helped me enjoy this wonderful new hobby. Thank you.

  30. Great post. Yes, I have a bad habit of reading posts but not commenting. Especially if I receive them via email like I do yours (which I love).

    I'm on three Design Teams. Two for which I receive no compensation whatever. I like to share my art with others and while I'm restricted to using the company's product for the Design Team I am "compensated" for, I am able to do whatever I want for the other two. That means lately I've been dabbling in digital art, which has opened up all kinds of possibilities.

    I have a blog and receive very few comments. But considering my followers are growing in number and no telling how many eamil subscribers I have, I know people are reading my blog. I try and post once a week, but sometimes RL interferes (like it's done lately) and I fall behind. My blog is about sharing....not about trying to make money.


  31. Excellent blog post. I don't often comment, but I do follow your blog thru Google Reader and enjoy/appreciate all that you share. Thank U
    I don't do Facebook or Pintrest, and limit the time I spend watching YouTube.
    I also don't have lot $ to spend on instruction if I'm to buy products to craft with, so always deeply appreciate ideas shared freely.

  32. Excellent post, Roni. I love what you posted from someone -- to measure success you need to know what you wanted to achieve in the first place. It's a lot of work keeping up a blog and in order to make it successful, you need a constant flow of posts. You have done that well. In the recent past , I've had a tendency to slack off for long periods of time. Today I posted for the first time since March and it lead me to your blog. What perfect inspiration for the day. Like you, my blog is for sharing my love of crafting. It's also for me -- it's a journal of what I'm creating. I find humor in people who are so possessive of their tutorials. How many times have you come up with a great idea, only to realize someone else had it. It happens. It happens all the time. Thanks for a well-thought-out post and some very good feedback.

  33. Roni, I agree with so much of what you've said. I don't blog (well, I actually have one, just don't post to it) and avoid Facebook except for a couple of closed groups that I'm in. I use Flickr to post my various art work. Initially I liked Pinterest but I've become a bit disenchanted with it as I see more and more posts by companies/design teams which seem to be taking advantage of the free advertising they can get on Pinterest. I love to use video tutorials - YouTube has become a real learning tool for me although I can't imagine doing a video myself. I follow SCS for tutorials but have never followed any of the conversations/forums so I wasn't aware of the discussion you mentioned. I teach card making and concentrate on techniques. I've been told I should charge more but the area I live in just wouldn't support higher charges and I love to share what I've learned so am willing to take less. I'm doing a free demo on Saturday and have been asked why I'm doing it for free instead of doing it as a class and charging. Pretty simple - our local shop is feeling the economic pinch like everyone else and I'm hoping to drum up some sales for her. It's not all about the money!!! In fact (if you don't mind a plug for another group) I joined Art Abandonment, a Facebook group that supports giving away pieces of art. Keep up the great work, Roni. You've widened my horizons - I entered you Christmas charm swap and now find I love making charms. You just might see me signing up for more!! Sorry for the long comment and thanks for all of the inspiration!

  34. I think you've pretty much nailed it. I'm a long time follower and fan. I read your blog every day, but don't comment much--because I read a lot of blogs and I am too long winded to comment often...LOL.

    You have the heart of an artist AND a teacher. Sharing your passion is a given for you. And blogging is a wonderful venue for that.

    I read several blogs of gals on design teams and don't mind that they are hawking wares for the companies they represent because it's part and parcel.

    It introduces me to items I might otherwise be unaware of and it gives the company a medium for advertisement and the designers get free product. Too, I get plenty of ideas I can incorporate using what I already own. It's a win-win-win.

    As for the bloggers who only offer things for sale--be it classes or digital designs, the ones that are successful in my book also give some freebies regularly--which is the best for both of us.

    I return because there is some benefit for me. And for them, the chance that I may at some point purchase from them.

    They can earn some money for their time investment and I can glean some inspiration.

    There are people like you who freely share-- out of a heart of generosity and love. There are others who only share when it 'pays' them--monetarily or otherwise.

    We all have 24 hours a day and it is our God given right to use it as we choose.

    People like you Roni, are a treasure and a gift to the world. If the world were full of "Roni's" imagine how it might be transformed.

    One of the blogs I read is by a gal who has a day job but also has a shop. Many of the wares she sells, she makes herself.

    On her blog, she shows the reader how to duplicate the product for themselves, even telling us where she buys her supplies (many are from the Dollar Tree!).

    I am always amazed at her generosity. Most would never do this for fear of losing a sale. But not this gal.

    I think that she, as you, will be rewarded ten-fold for her giving. When we use our gifts as God intended, all will be blessed.

    Thank you Roni--I love your blog and I love mid-western folks like you.

  35. I meant to post the URL to the blog I mentioned in my comment:


    Also--re: Facebook, Twitter etc

    BIG Time sucks AND I don't want to interact with all the other readers, only the poster.

    Who wants to be pestered with 'will you be my friend' when you are reading for pleasure. It's like having an annoying little brother following you around.

    And who wants to work their way through what everyone else is saying?? If you don't, it's hard to follow Twitter.

    Too much static.

  36. Roni Thanks for posting your thoughts. I too believe that art is to be shared. I am in it for the pleasure of art and not for any monetary gain. I blog regularly. Of course I enjoy comments, but I don't depend on them. I do try and comment occasionally on others, but most of the time I just enjoy and get inspired. (There is only so much time in the day and I need some time for creating.) I participate in a number of blog challenges. I love to be challenged and I want to support the blogs of others. I'm rambling, but please take it as a positive response to what you wrote. I do so agree.

  37. I simply adore you and your blog Roni!! I thank you for your hard work and appreciate the creativity and knowledge you share so freely with us. You are an inspiration to me and many, many others!

    I wanted to let you know that I have received your lovely prize package and ADORE it!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! (I don't usually win things, so it came as a surprise that I did on here!! LOL)

    Thanks again!!

  38. I'm also one that receives your wonderful posts via email, so I almost never comment. But I read every day and have saved a few tutorials for future use. It's so convenient to have them in my in-box! I agree with you on Facebook, etc; I much prefer reading blogs to that and to YouTube tutorials, which usually just leave me feeling bored.

    Thank you for all you do! I will continue to be a fan. I know there are a lot of us out there, even though we don't always take the time to say so.

  39. First of all, thank you for being so transparent and sharing from your heart. Your honesty is one of the reasons I was drawn to Ink Stains in the first place and one of the reasons I never miss a post. There have been many art/craft blogs I've followed, but I can count on one hand the few I read every day. These are the blogs that inspire me, that challenge me, that teach me to use the supplies I have on hand and to see them in a new light. Ink Stains is at the very top of that list! I love your honest product reviews and that you share your ideas because you want others to love art as much as you do.

    More than just the time and effort or the money you put into Ink Stains, you put your heart into, too, and it shows. No matter what direction you choose to take your blog in the future, I know it will come from a desire to give your blog family the very best. Thank you for everything you do! We love you!

  40. I read every word. :o) You made very good points. I believe that it boils down to ... just do what you enjoy. And people need to determine what they are seeking in return from blogging, facebook, or whatever. I enjoy blogging and I don't get many comments, but I see too I get a lot of visits and I know people subscribe by emails or readers. I figure maybe those people don't like to comment. I don't blog to seek praise from people. I just blog because I enjoy sharing. That is my personal return... knowing maybe I can help or inspire someone.

    I am on a Design Team and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The company I design for is great in my opinion and I love their products, so I enjoy creating projects for them. If I didn't, then I wouldnt be on the DT. The beauty of crafting is that most products manufactured in the craft industry can be used in whatever 'style' of crafting a person wants to use it in. With all this being said, that is why I do not participate in all the public chat forums. I don't enjoy it. Too much drama. I will use them for resource though if I need to research some technique or some products, or some project, etc.

    I love your blog and look at every post. Sometimes I do not comment... it may be that I have only a few minutes available for blog visits, it may be that I'm visiting via my phone and it's hard to leave comments that way, or it may be that I'm not in a typing mood that day. LOL I very much appreciate your blog, your talent, and everything you share with us!!

  41. Dear Roni,
    One of the reasons I follow your blog, as opposed to others, is that I know I can get an unbiased, unvarnished, truthful opinion from you, dear Roni. You do not sound like a commercial, you do endorse worthwhile, "art-y" products, and somehow, you strike a very human chord that is very appealing and vulnerable. In short, you are what resides in all of us. You are the very Anti- Martha Stewart, and that, my Dear, is a Very Good Thing, Indeed!
    Keep up the good work, and please, please, keep blogging.
    Your Readers

  42. Roni -

    I may not comment every day, but every time I check my blog reader, I always visit. Life sometimes get so busy, its hard to carve out time for myself. Reading your blog is one of the things I do for me! But I truly appreciate all the hard work and thought you put into your blog. You have such a generous nature and you amaze me with your wealth of knowledge. I've owned your book for several years now and use it all the time. But, I must admit that I enjoy reading you blog more, why? Because I love your writing, love the stories about the family and the animals. Reading your blog is like reading a letter from a friend. Your art is a bonus.
    Thank you for all you do from the bottom of my heart!

    Elaine Allen

  43. I didn't read the SCS discussion, but your post did make me feel that there are others (you especially!) that feel the same way I do about blogging, sharing ideas, etc. I do hope you won't decide to stop blogging, because I've found that some of my favorite blogs have been discontinued. And I do miss them. And even thought I've only been reading yours a short time, I really do like it.

  44. Hi Roni...this post is excellent in addressing many blogging issues. I am remiss in not commenting on your blog always due to traveling and not being able to comment through my system. I admire you, your creative talents, your shyness and your generosity with all you share with us. I blog because I found "my people" that share common interests and are creative. I have made many wonderful friends (whom I shall probably never meet in person but have such a bond with) and this great big world is so much smaller in blogland. I am not here to profit on my blog and I do get very put off by those who constantly promote their own sales and personal agendas. I would love to build my etsy shoppe and actually make some sales to support my spending on craft supplies but that is not my main criteria. I am here to share,enjoy,be inspired and send prayers and healing hugs to those in great need. Roni thank you sincerely for putting your words and feelings into this very important post. You are the BEST!!!

  45. I am also one of the lurkers, I don't comment but I joined your site, read each of your emails and always check out your projects. I appreciate your creativity and often find things I want to try to do. I do look at Youtube and appreciate the videos there as well. But, since you don't do videos, I'm happy to look at your projects on your blog. Creativity comes in many different forms and I, for one, am open to all forms of inspiration. Free is nice, of course! I have purchased instructions when I can't figure out how to do a project and I wish more people were like you, and that means offering your designs freely as a means of teaching others. I guess I'm like your mother, happily learning how to do things in any way I can at this late stage of my life. Not everyone is able to afford to buy every product used to create a project so a blog that has no agenda other than to inspire is welcome. Thanks!

  46. Weeeeell, you can't please everyone!! I guess I feel that if they don't like something, then maybe they shouldn't bother going there. Like you, I craft mostly for fun. I have considered whether or not to keep blogging, but it's more of a time issue...life is getting so busy for me! I take it a day at a time. :)

  47. Well said, Roni. I love your blog and much prefer the picture tutorials to the video types. I like the boxes to check at the bottom of each post and use them more than commenting, I must admit. Your art is fun, varied and inspirational and is why I signed up to be a follower. Congrats on your anniversary and I look forward to many more years of your creations!!

  48. So many issues confronted and described very well. Thank you for blogging about this. I love blogging, but also find that being on a DT involves soooo much more, like Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram and Twitter and....so on. Why does technology and the internet have to overwhelm art and crafting? It's reality, but I get frustrated with all this online time that is an obligation instead of a pleasurable diversion.

  49. Great explaination. While I rarely comment, I read your blog a lot. I enjoy the inspriation and new techniques you show us. I craft for fun, even therapy, and it is for my own entertainment, not monetary value. I feel this is why I enjoy it so much. I connect with your blog, and this is why I am your follower.

    Elaine Paullus, Buford, Georgia

  50. Hi, I've followed your blog since I started my own blog way back and usually look in on your blog every few days, don't always comment but always enjoy! I blog for fun, don't get a lot of comments but appreciate the ones I do get and try to reciprocate. I found I was making stuff just to enter challenges, now I am only making things I enjoy making.I am always happy if I can share craft techniques with friends etc . I have just sold over 100 card for
    charity (Parkinsons) some people have said I should have taken some of the money for "expenses" but I was happy to donate to a worthy cause, I am lucky to have a lot of craft stash and there is a limit to how many cards etc I can use for myself!.There are always some people who like to be critical and put people down ,if they don't want to continue blogging thats their choice. I don't mind seeing adverts on blogs, if they are not to do with crafts,ignore them.I do have a facebook page but rarely use it, too boring reading all the inane things people post but I do look at a couple of craft shop ones occasionally. Keep up the good work Roni


  51. Roni, I am so proud to be part of your fan club. Reading the above posts, has made me feel like a proud momma bird who has so loved and admired you and your generous commitment to the process over the product. Should a dark day roll your way, please go back and read through these posts and embrace the collective hug of love and support that has been sent to you.

    Thank you my friend for making the world a bit brighter!

  52. Well I agree with everything you said on there.
    I am not aware of the goings on in SCS but I do get fed up with all the bitchin' and skullduggery her in Blogland.
    I give away freebie Digis on Fridays and STILL people have to steal stuff !!!!
    I don't do Facebook... I just don't get it either and am not interested in how many sheets of toilet paper someone uses !!
    I am glad I came over here to nosey at your Blog after you joined us at SA.
    Great projects :-D
    Ike xxxxxxxxxx

  53. Oh Yeah - I prefer pictorial TuTs too with instructions I can read :-D xxx

  54. Roni,
    i am one that visits often but never comment because of time.i have health issues but do enjoy your posts because you make it possible for people to understand what you are doing each step of the way.you also offer substitutes when possible which i adore options.keep up the great work

  55. I have been (desperately) looking for instructions to alter dominoes, including how to drill holes in them, and for weeks have been terribly frustrated. I found blogs and videos showing what people had done, but very little on the actual steps. Then, I found your blog, including your WONDERFUL video on how to drill holes, and while I have no idea why it took me so long to find you, I am ecstatic that I did. After looking at your domino instructions, I started looking at all your other projects as well, and I want you to know that I am SO SO SO SO SO SO GRATEFUL for the time you take to actually show us how to make the projects. I am disabled and on limited income, and simply cannot afford to purchase instructions. So, not only is it extremely generous of you to provide instructions for free, your explanations are well-crafted and easy to understand. I had been thinking of sending you a message thanking you for all this, and when I came upon this particular post, I realized this was the perfect opportunity. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! What you do means the world to someone like me.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!