• Tag Archives Ultimate Blog Challenge
  • I Won’t Disappear! I Promise!

    The Ultimate Blog Challenge is Ending, But I won’t Disappear

    This is the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I’ve managed to blog on this site every day during the challenge. I’ve taken part in this challenge before, but I think this is the first time I actually wrote a post every single day, and in the past I’ve had a tendency to vanish once it was done, to stop blogging, or do so only sporadically.  I am not going to let that happen this time. I have a plan.

    The Ultimate Blog Challenge is Ending, But I won't Disappear Click To Tweet
    Bullet Journal Calendar View Februrary
    I still have more events to add to this calendar, but for now it tells me when to post on each blog, which days nothing is auto renewing on Etsy (indicated by the letters “NAR”), which days I have painting classes scheduled (Saturday Slams), which days I work a regular shift in the studio, which days I do a complete reset in the studio, various committee meetings, the days I clean houses, and Birthdays. I also have the first week of my dog walking job scheduled, and will write in the rest week by week, and I’ll write in the Art Slam board meeting also, once I verify the time.

    I have blogging Schedule

    I’ve been reading a lot about how to get more visibility to your blog, and believe it or not, from what I’ve read, it is good to give each post a day or two to sit, and gather more views and comments before posting again, this also gives the blogger a chance to enjoy reading and commenting on other blogs.  However, it should only be a day or two, or at most three days between posts, longer than that and people assume you’ve dropped off the planet.

    I also have three blogs that I would like to maintain, though I actually do have more blogs, the time for posting on some of those blogs is past. I no longer have really young children, so the “mommy blog” I used to keep is pretty much over, other blogs I just didn’t care for the hosting site or whatever, but currently I have three that I really would like to maintain.  My Weight Loss and Lifestyle Blog, My Devotional Blog, and My Art Blog (the one you are reading).

    I decided that the ideal way for me to blog would be come up with a schedule for each blog, so that I am not trying to post on all three every day.  The Weight Loss and Lifestyle Blog needs to have at least one post every week, on the day that I weigh myself, which is Monday, so while it is okay for me to post more often if I want, I scheduled that blog for every Monday.  I decided to take Sunday off of blogging, though I might do some planning and blog reading that day. So with Sunday and Monday off the table for the other two blogs, that left me five days each week to write the other two blogs.  I decided to alternate, so one week the art blog would be Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and the Devotional Blog would be Wednesday and Friday, and then the next week they switch, so that the Art Blog is Wednesday and Friday, and the Devotional Blog Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  I put all of this information into my bullet journal calendar pages for the month of February.  After February is done I’ll evaluate and see if I need  to make adjustments.  The devotional blog may be difficult to post on that often, because I have to prepare and study quite a bit for each post, so if it proves too much I might end up picking one day a week to post on that and post on my Weight Loss and lifestyle blog more often.

    I also have an Etsy schedule.

    Along with all of this blogging information, my work schedule, doctors appointments, birthday’s, etc. my bullet journal has my etsy posting schedule for February, which is basically a list of dates that nothing auto renews, so if I have new listings to post, I should do it on those days.  And I do have new things to post! A lot of them.  I will need to really get busy creating those listings, each one needs several photographs, plus key words selected, and a matching listing on this website needs to be made as well, so each listing ends up taking 1-2 hours to create.

     

    Ultimate Blog Challenge Results

    I thought I’d also show the results as far as my site stats go, for this Ultimate Blog Challenge.

    This shows my stats by week from sometime in July until today. I believe the spike in July is from the last UBC
    This shows my stats by week from sometime in July until today. I believe the spike in July is from the last UBC I took part in. You can see that the increased views continued for a while after the challenge ended, even though my posting dropped off. This time I’ll keep posting, and we’ll see if the increased views continue longer.
    This Shows my stats (views) by month, from around the time I started my blogs, you can see noticeable spikes with each UBC I took part in, most of that is probably due to other UBC participants viewing my blog, but at least part is probably organic views simply because I post more regularly.
    This Shows my stats (views) by month, from around the time I started my blogs, you can see noticeable spikes with each UBC I took part in, most of that is probably due to other UBC participants viewing my blog, but at least part is probably organic views simply because I post more regularly.
    This shows my top posts and pages during January's UBC. I had to cut off over half the results on the lower portion of the screen capture.
    This shows my top posts and pages during January’s UBC. I had to cut off over half the results on the lower portion of the screen capture.
    This shows my top posts and pages of all time. Lower portion of the results is cut off.
    This shows my top posts and pages of all time. Lower portion of the results is cut off.

    In addition to those charts, I can say that during the challenge I’ve had an average of 1.92 comments per day, not counting my own replies.

     


  • Half a Face, Plus Some Blogs I’ve Found During this Challenge

    Way Back Wednesday, Half a Face

    So, I am continuing to share my old art from Junior High School Art class, which puts this way back in the early 1980’s.  Some of my artwork from so long ago has been lost, and most of it is damaged at least a little.  One assignment I remember involved taking a magazine picture of someone’s face, cutting it in half, and then trying to draw the missing half of the face. I’m sure this is probably a really good way to improve your portrait drawing skills.  At the time I was happy with the results the way I did them, but now I look at it and really wonder why I didn’t do  more details in the eye, I mean I just colored in the entire iris and pupil in gray, and didn’t give her any eyelashes at all!  Oh well, I was just a kid after all..

    half face drawing lesson
    When I was in Junior High, this looked pretty good to me, but now the eye looks all wrong!
    The original magazine photo has faded and has glue streaks all over it too, so its harder to see any detail in it.

     Some Blogs I’ve Enjoyed Reading During the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

    The January Ultimate blog challenge is almost finished, and today’s suggested topic was to share some of the blogs we’ve enjoyed reading during the challenge. I have enjoyed several. These aren’t in any specific order, just because I list one before another doesn’t mean I like it better.

    • Jane Porterfield always gives lots of great SEO and website tips, I know I really need to take the time with her blog to try out all her suggestions, its like a crash course in Search Engine Optimization.
    • Chondra Rankin is a blog that is great to go for personal development and positive thoughts!
    • The Martha Review gives great book and product reviews so you can find out about an item before purchasing it.
    • Nita Beshear is a blog about life from the perspective of a widow who still manages to be postiive most of the time.
    • Words of Encouragement is a blog that, well, give you words of encouragement from a Christian point of view.
    • Cerebrations is a business blog by Roy Ackerman.
    • My Creative Wings is all about creativity of many different kinds from art to writing.
    • Biblical Parenting is a blog all about parenting from a Christian perspective.
    • Design with Kelly is all about design, art, and home decor.
    • Digital Maestro is a blog all about websites and online strategies.
    • My R and R Space is a personal blog reflecting on all aspects of life!

    So, I hope you will visit some of these websites, and let them know you learned about them from here!


  • Thursday Thoughts – Bucket List?

    Bucket List?

    The Ultimate Blog Challenge topic for today was a bucket list. I am not really sure what I would put on my bucket list, other than a trip to Hawaii at some point. I mean sure there are things I want to do, but none really seem major enough for a bucket list. Things like trying oil paints (I currently paint in acrylic).
    So instead of a bucket list I thought I’d just share some thoughts about projects I hope to do in the next year. These are not in order at all.

    Goals for the Year

    ⦁More Sculpted Paintings

    My Dixon Wings was part painting, part sculpture, and I want to do more of these hybrid types of works. Only I want to take it further, I want more sculpting. I’m planning on using paper mache to do some of the sculpting, a bonus to this is that I can utilize some of my damaged canvases and it won’t have any negative effect on the final artwork. A small tear in a canvas isn’t going to matter after the entire canvas is covered in strips of paper mache, since paper mache is strong enough to hold up on its own once it is dry. Then over the paper mache covered canvas I will take paper mache mulch (also known as paper clay), and sculpt whatever I want over the paper mache platform. I can also use undamaged, but previously used canvases, such as some that have demo paintings on them from my classes. I can use those for sculpted paintings, because I’ll be covering them with enough layers that the existant texture of the demo painting won’t show through the sculpture.

    Daryl Dixon inspired art.
    Here the Daryl Dixon inspired wings are pretty much finished. All that remained at this point was a little touch up in a few areas.

    ⦁ More Volunteer Work 

    Some of my most enjoyable times have been painting sets for KCMT, somehow I want to carve out more time to do that. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it work or not, because often the times when the work is done is during my shifts at the studio, but I plan to contact the person in charge of sets and try to work something out.

    Alladin Sets
    The finished wing panels, still sitting in the painting room at KCMT, and without their caps.

    ⦁ Compile a Portfolio of my Demo Paintings

    Every time I teach a class, I come up with a demo painting for that class, I know I need to start compiling a portfolio of those sample paintings, so that if someone wants to book a private party they can choose a painting from that portfolio.

    This class was a lot of fun, and I got to meet someone I’ve known online for years, but never met in person. She came to my class!

    ⦁ Mural Size Paintings

    I’ve already done some mural size paintings for sets, but I want to put some on canvases. I recently purchased some very large canvases, and I am giving careful thought to what kind of painting I want to put on them. I’m just not sure where I will put them once they are finished, if I had a guaranteed buyer it wouldn’t be a problem, but to complete them and not know if I have room to hang them makes me a little nervous, I guess I’ll give it some thought, and once I decide on where they can hang, I’ll get started on them.

    ⦁ Uploading all my Completed Works to my Website and Etsy Shop

     I still have so many completed works that I haven’t uploaded anywhere. I really need to catch up and stay caught up. I think for smaller works such as jewelry a tabletop whitebox for my photos would really help, right now getting set up to take good product photos just takes so long, but if I had a whitebox for those photos it would really streamline the process. So I guess that gives me another item for my list.

    Jewelry Pendants,peacocks,circle necklaces,bottlecap necklace,green blue peacock,art print necklace,peacock necklace,bird necklace,Item #PN1 Jewelry Pendants, peacocks, circle necklaces, bottlecap necklace, green blue peacock, art print necklace, peacock necklace, bird necklace, bottlecap bottle cap, bottle cap necklace, girls necklace, gift for girl, teen tween girl
    This necklace can be purchased by clicking RIGHT HERE

    ⦁ Build or Buy a Product Photography White Box

    See my explanation above.

    ⦁ Establish a Regular Schedule for Blogging

    During the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I manage to blog daily, but for some reason when the challenge is not going on, despite the fact that I really want to, I just don’t set aside the time to write regular blog posts. I want to remedy this and start keeping a regular schedule for both this blog and my weight loss blog. For the weight loss blog weekly updates are all that is really needed, but I really feel that I should be posting on this blog at least three times a week, if not daily, and all I lack is the discipline to do it!

    So there are the things I really want to do this year, how about you? Is there anything you really want to do over the coming year? Let me know in the comments.


  • The Ultimate Blog Challenge Draws to a Close

    July’s Blog Challenge is Done

    So the Ultimate Blog Challenge for July is done, the next one will be in October.  So I probably won’t post every single day on this blog.  I would like to keep posting at least two or three times a week though.

    I am glad to have taken part in this challenge, because it helped me to develop a habit of getting on my blog each day.  Not only that, but through another blogger I learned a little more about SEO, and adding metadata to my whole site, and also to each post.  So hopefully when I blog now, it will get seen by more people.

    I am still figuring out some of the metadata stuff, but I’m already implementing what I have learned, and I’m trying to read up on the parts I don’t fully understand yet, once I have a good grasp on everything, I’ll share on a blog post so that I can help others increase their web traffic also.

    For now, I can share that if you are on a WordPress blog, there are many plugins you can get that will let you add custom metadata, such as keywords, descriptions of the post, and what title will appear when the you share the post on social media.  The description factor is nice because if you don’t enter it, what will automatically show is just the first few lines of your post, which in some cases doesn’t really give a clear idea of what it’s about.  By adding a custom description to each post, you can let people know what the post is about in a little more detail than you can usually do in a title alone.

    You can also add metadata to the entire website with these plugins, so that if you have an art blog or artist’s website that not only sells art but also offers art marketing advice, or art tutorials, you can add those keywords to the metadata of the entire site and help search engines to find your art website.
    There are some things I still don’t understand, such as where the plugin I used (called the add meta tags plugin) asks for “site-wide meta tags” but then says not to put keywords there, there is another place to enter global keywords, but the I’m just not sure what the site-wide meta tags would be if not keywords.  I’m going to try to learn about that and share it when I know more.

    So, today is Sunday, the first day of the week, and this would be my first post of this week, if I am going to keep with my goal of posting at least twice a week, you will hear from me again at least one more time before next Sunday.  I won’t make any promises at this time of what day it will be, but unless some unforeseen circumstance prevents it, I will post once or twice more this week.

    So if you participated in this blog challenge, what did you learn?

    Also, if you know what the term “site-wide meta tags” actually means, please fill me in!  😉

     

    Hand on computer keyboard Photo by GaborfromHungary at Morguefile.com
    Photo by GaborfromHungary at Morguefile.com
  • Blogs You Should be Reading

    For day 17 of the Ultimate blog challenge, we were asked to post about blogs you should be reading.

    Art or Craft Blogs

    First on my list I’ll include the art blogs I think you should be reading.

     

    Daisy Yellow

    I include Daisy Yellow  on my list because I feel it is a wonderful blog that inspires others to create, it is because of Daisy Yellow’s ICAD challenge that I discovered my passion for art.  So, I really do encourage you to read and participate in challenges on this blog.

    Janice Gill Art

    Janice Gill Art has some lovely paintings in both oil and acrylic.  She also posts tips on how to improve your paintings, and tips on selling.  Not only that, but she sometimes runs giveaways, check her out!

     

    Personal Blogs

    If you are the kind of person who likes to follow personal blogs, there are two I recommend to you.

     

    The Martha Review

    The Martha Review is a blog where you might run across a neat home decorating idea, a story about the family, a book review, or a money saving tip.  The variety of topics and material posted should really provide something for everyone, so I encourage you to check it out.

     

    Alice’s Grand Adventures

    Alice’s Grand Adventures is a blog where you’ll find lovely photography, prayer requests and reports, stories about the author’s personal life, tales about her local church, and her general thoughts about just about everything.  You’ll also see her sidebar where she links to some of her other blogs, one of which is an art blog called Sun, Moon, Stars, which is where I first encountered this author.

     

     

    Spiritual Blogs

    The Preacher’s Word

    The Preacher’s Word is a great blog to go to if you want some solid biblical articles on the Christian life and current events.  It may not appeal as much if your faith isn’t Christian, but I still feel you would be able to take something away of value, and encourage you to read it.  For myself, I am a Christian so I find myself in complete agreement with what I’ve read there so far. Either way, I encourage you to check it out.

     

    Words of Encouragement

    At Words of Encouragement  you’ll find just what the title implies, articles encouraging you to be positive, to do things that build your happiness, to love your neighbor, and to encourage others.

     

    So what blogs do you like to read?


  • Destinations

    Where I hope to Go

    Yesterday, I wrote a little about how I got started on my artistic journey, which eventually led to this website, my job teaching painting classes, and most of all a new passion in my life.  Today I am going to write about where I hope to go with my art in general, and with this website as well.

     

    Where I hope to go with my art.

    The Big Dream

    Of course like most artists I’d like to reach the point where my work is appreciated by collectors and I sell enough to live off the sales of my paintings. Realistically I know that only very few artists ever make that dream a reality.  So, while I am doing what I can to make that happen someday, I am not holding my breath for it.  I do try to learn all I can about the changing art market, about branding, about marketing, and about those most successful artists did to get where they are, and I implement what I can of it.  But I am also taking much joy where I am right now.

    Joy in the Present Reality, while looking forward.

    I am taking joy every day in the fact that I have a place to go create art, and that I am making enough on my art and classes to pay my studio rent each month so that it doesn’t cost me out of pocket to have this place.  I am also looking forward to continuing to grow with my art.  I want to continually improve, through study, through practice, by learning from others.  I want my art to develop and mature even more.  I can see a world of difference between my first paintings and what I do now, and I want to continue to see that growth.

     

    Where I hope to go with this website.

    More regular posting. 

    I want to be regular with my posting. I want to keep content flowing so that readers actually have something to read when they come to this site.  While over the month of July I hope to post every day, after that I am really hoping to be consistent with at least twice a week.

     

    More useful content.

    I want readers to be able to come here and not only see my art that is for sale, I also want them to be able to find instructions, tips, step by step tutorials, paint along videos, and so much more.  I want this site to inspire creativity in my readers, and help them develop it, rather than having this site just be a redundant extension of my etsy shop.

     

    More interactive content.

    I really desire to have more interaction with my readers.  People commenting and letting me know what they think.  Other artists guest posting.  To this aim, I know I will need to have engaging content, things like challenges where I ask readers to create art and post it on their own blog, and then to come and comment and leave a link to their post, I also plan to do some  contests and giveaways.

     

    Meeting Your Needs

    More than anything I want this website to meet the needs and desires of the readers, to give them what they are looking for when they look at a blog.

    To that end, I invite you, my readers, to comment on this post let me know what kinds of content you’d most like to see.

    • Paint along with me videos? (kind of like Bob Ross, but my voice isn’t as soothing as his).
    • Step by step written tutorials?
    • Challenges where you can share your work?
    • Contests?
    • Giveaways?
    • Guests Posts?
    • Something else? (If you want to see something else, tell me what it is!)