getting back to the beginning…

Funny isnt it how the end of a year can make you very reflective. It seems to make us all look back and review. Maybe its the endless review programmes, or the adverts that flick us through the events of the year. But we all seem to do it.

There are a few things about this coming year that i am both excited and scared about….But recently i have been thinking a lot about my blog and where it is going, what it means for me and why, in fact, i started doing it at all. A conversation i had with another online blogger recently bought it all back to me. The reason i started blogging, one of the big reasons behind my interest in photography and my passion for telling stories.

It all started with this:

This is a scrapbook page and for me, this is where blogging began. I was interested in telling my kids stories and influenced by a friend I took up scrapbooking. Telling stories, through photographs, words and embellishments. Pretty soon i was scouring the american craft sites for good import deals on scrapping supplies. I captured moments of my kids lives in paper and print and filled albums with them. This is just one example of one of the pages i did. This is my sweet girl who is turning 8 in a few days time. EIGHT!  She was a few months old and this was around the time when i started my blog read by my OH and my mum back then!! : )

Back then I was inspired by some incredibly talented scrapbookers…all inspiring but all over the water in the States.

America has a huge scrapbooking industry and some of the very popular girls who do it properly make their living out of it. I was inspired in particular by this lady Cathy Zielske (i have two of her books!) who not only did i think her clean and simple approach to design knocked the socks off pretty much anything else out there. I knew that we would be friends, she was my type of person. Adored her kids and OH but also knew the significance and peace in getting up half and hour before the alarm just to have some time alone. I liked everything about her. She took amazing pictures, often in black and white and she wrote incredible stories and memories of her kids but not only that, she wrote about the importance of documenting you. Putting down on paper what made you, mama, tick. Cathy wrote about her addiction to coffee, her new love of running, her favourite book…She photographed the small parts of her life that she treasured. A pantone mug, a window seat, the first bloom after snow and I lapped it up…

I used to blog about it, share pages online and get feedback from fellow scrapbookers. I made friends. I discovered linkys (although not sure they were called that then) that were new then, like the photo-a-day challenges and the ‘word for the year.’ Things that are around now in different formats and hosted by others but nevertheless started, for me and many others, in the slightly chintzy world of scrapbooking.

I gave up when the mess drove me potty. It wasn’t an instant thing i just gradually couldn’t stand the amount of mess. We had more kids, less space and i do like a bit of tidy. 🙂 Stumbling across another blog one day, I discovered the world of digital scrapbooking and as my confidence with photoshop was increasing I started to experiment with digital pages a little. The host of that blog also became one of my favourite online friends and is quite a star in the world of scrapping.

My interest slowly morphed more into the technical aspects of photography and i started to leave scrapbooking behind and focus on portraiture and newborn photography.

Ive been thinking about the beginnings of this all recently. Not necessarily scrapbooking but all those women who i used to follow with enthusiasm that have now fallen out of my timeline and my twitter feed. It made me sad a little, sad that i lost sight of what my blog was about and sad that i seemed to have forgotten something that i really really loved…and i feel like it is maybe something i need to re-visit.

Im not saying you are going to be seeing scrapbook pages popping up all the time. I have a LOT more stuff going on right now in life in general, try 2 whole extra kids 😉  So realistically its not going to happen. It may, it may not..we will see how it goes.  I have followed Cathy Z on instagram and read her blog for the first time in a long time. Her daughter is going to college now for goodness sake. 😉

But I am going to go back to reading those that inspired me. I am going to read their blogs. Like properly READ. Not just skim. READ their words, follow their links maybe even join in a little, or maybe not. 🙂 Im not putting the new year pressure thing on.

It feels good to be doing something, i have been a bit disenchanted with my blogging, the pursuit of better stats, higher rankings and frantic commenting. Im not saying I am not going to do all of those things. I do take part in some linkys that i really enjoy and thats not going to change.  But it feels good to go back to the start..even if ultimately that leads me in a different direction. Im always up for a bit of change….inspired by quotes like this…

the ordinary momentsMotivational Monday




  1. December 30, 2013 / 7:44 am

    It’s fascinating to read how you participated and were influenced by bloggers years ago…and how your blog has developed and grown with your interests and children. All I can say is I’ve loved discovering your blog in 2013 and look forward to more in the new year. (And photography tips yes please from you!)
    Kriss MacDonald recently posted…Who wears a onesie? What are onesies?My Profile

  2. December 30, 2013 / 9:47 am

    Interesting to read that your love of blogging went back so far. I think all of us have changed in the way we blog and what we blog about. Mine started as a place to record the funny things my kids say, but that was always going to run out pretty quickly! Suddenly I found I had a lot more to say and, of course, I discovered linkies. I do a fair few of those, but only ones I enjoy. I sometimes think I do spend too long on frantic commenting etc (ironic that I’m writing this in a comment), but largely I do it because I enjoy it. When/ if I don’t, I will stop and take it back to basics.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Family dayMy Profile

  3. December 30, 2013 / 9:57 am

    Lovely post. Interesting to hear about how things have developed for you.
    Karen bell recently posted…Keeping kids calmMy Profile

  4. December 30, 2013 / 10:10 am

    It’s wonderful to read about your blogging journey Sarah. I love that you started with digital scrapbooking and that you’ve stopped to think why you do it. I suspect whatever your heart says will be the right decision. I love the way you write and your photographs although I think you already know that! Thank you so much for joining in with #whatsthestory. Happy New Year 🙂
    Charly Dove recently posted…What’s The Story? | 30th December 2013My Profile

  5. December 30, 2013 / 10:17 am

    Your pages are so beautiful! I’ve always loved the idea of scrap booking but I never quite found my style when it came to putting together pages; blogging suits me so much better! I think it’s lovely to go back to what inspired you to start in the first place, a little reboot of motivation for the New Year.
    Carie recently posted…2013 in a nutshellMy Profile

  6. December 30, 2013 / 2:11 pm

    Wow I’ve learnt something new about you! One of the things I really love about
    Your blog is the oodles of gorgeous photographs. I am hoping to learn to take better photos this year and also to grab with both hands, the things I love about blogging and try to avoid the competition and hunger for better stats. I have no idea how I ended up at that place either! Keep doing what you’re doing and thanks for reminding us to go back to the start….

  7. Melanie Grimes
    December 30, 2013 / 6:45 pm

    aw. love you right back ms Sarah, can’t imagine my blog world without you and yours in it. Thank you for your kind words, I’ve missed you, this must be our year to sneak in London again? 😉

  8. December 30, 2013 / 7:10 pm

    A friend gave me a scrapbook when I left the UK (a beautiful Cath Kidston one!) – I haven’t used it… I started my blog instead and have found that I use it to collect and collage all the photographs that I love. It’s different, but I think suits me better. Don’t get me started on stats, New Years promise to myself, to stop looking at them, as much anyway 🙂 I love your blog, and I’ve loved reading about how it all began. Happy New Year, and here’s to an interesting 2014 xx
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…What’s the Story: Our ChristmasMy Profile

  9. December 30, 2013 / 11:15 pm

    I love this post Sarah- its so honest and I identify with it so much. I’ve definitely taken a step back and have made time for other writing , and yet I still beat myself up for not doing enough on my blog. I love your blog and your pictures but look forward to what you bring us in the New Year too. Love Emma xx
    Adventures of an Unfit Mother recently posted…Christmas QuicktakesMy Profile

  10. December 31, 2013 / 8:58 am

    I think it’s sometimes easy to get trapped in looking at ranks and stats and nominations. I spent a lot of time doing this and wondering what I was doing wrong. I’ve spent the last 6 months or so chilling out with it and it worked. I love blogging again. Your blog is brilliant and I love your photography. I hope you continue to show all your passion through this blog. Happy New Year 🙂
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Silent Sunday / Project 52 – Week 52My Profile

  11. Jo Hutchinson
    January 2, 2014 / 10:41 am

    Happy new year and heres to your blog

  12. January 2, 2014 / 5:19 pm

    I still haven’t done little man’s scrapbook as blogging came and took over my life! I think it’s easy to get carried away with blogging and focusing on stats and stuff – which at the end of the day isn’t important. xx
    Louise Perry Fairweather recently posted…December MosaicMy Profile

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