Sunday, December 21, 2008

The First Day Of Winter

Happy first day of winter! It's the solstice, another season turning.Though it's the first day of winter in the northern's the first day of summer in the southern hemisphere.
Botanical Garden Buenos Aires today

Some of you are snowed in, and some of you are not. My trumpet vine is blooming like crazy (as are the Sweet Olive and Night Blooming Jasmine). All the plants in the yard were unfazed by the unusual snowfall we had last week in New Orleans.
I'm cleaning out my clipping files, so you 're going to get one of those lazy scrap booking kind of posts today, of all the white inspiration things I've collected, under today's heading of Winter White. I'm dumping them after this. Do you ever clean out your files? Delete stuff?
I know it's lazy, lazy, lazy, but sometimes I just want to zone out and look at the pretty pictures.
I collect them on Google Images, and I am too careless to document all the sources. So if you see a photo that's yours, please let me know and I will gratefully give credit where credit is due.
I recently caught up with a story about a beloved blogger who disappeared some months ago. I haven't removed her from my blog roll, because I think she's really there somewhere.
It's Felicity from All Things Bright and Beautiful. She was a pure blogger. I won't bother to give you her link, because it ain't dere no more. She self deleted.
She never divulged her identity. Her cute little avatar was a girl with a big hat hiding her face (it reminded me of the New York City food critic Gael Greene).We knew she was a mother with young children, and a photographer. We knew she lived in Asia.
She was always so cheerful and sweet. She commented on other blogs, and supported newcomers (me included). She wrote great tutorials on the nuts and bolts of blogging, written in language that non tech gals could understand.
She published the most beautiful photos, always taking care to make sure they were of the highest quality, both in selection, and in clarity. She was a stickler about copy rights.
Many bloggers are so good about giving credits with the photos they use. I am not. It's just too much for me to track down sources, or even type in names and check that they are accurate. We are all drinking from the same well so to speak, and many of the photos that show up are used over and over by all of us.
When I do a piece on a photographer, or I know the designer, or I know the blogger, or I know the writer, or I know the arist, then of course, I give lots of credit and links.
Otherwise I depend on you seeing your work and hopefully not kicking my ass for using an image without a credit line.
Before you get all righteous and write me mean things (mostly from you anon haters), I have not seen one blog that doesn't get story ideas, photos, or copy from other sources with or without credit given.
Blogging has changed the way materials are used, and I think copy right laws will change in time too. I respect the talent that makes the original material, but I don't have time to do the right clerical thing. Sorry. When I get flush, I'll hire an assistant to take care of that detail.
Sometimes a blogger actually uses all their own original photos, and they ask that you e-mail them for permission. This I will do. In fact in the next couple of weeks, I have someone to present to you and she was very sweet about granting permission.
In fact most bloggers are very generous in the sharing department.
But back to Felicity. Apparently she had a real meltdown because the blogging got the best of her, as in it being an addiction. Her three year old child would beg mommy to please stop blogging. Cholo begs me to stop too.
The remarkable thing is that Felicity had just been blogging for one year. I've said this before, but I think one month in blog time, is like uber dog years or something.
I have my moments of not wanting to blog, and I went cold turkey for a couple of weeks. At first it's really hard not to open the reproachful laptop. But after a few days, it gets easier to disconnect.
The blogosphere goes on without you of course. A few friends made along the way, do send e-mail to make sure you're not laying dead and alone with the cats eating your flesh (remember Miranda in Sex And The City having that fear?). Felicity even disconnected her e-mail!
After awhile, I went back to blogging. It's a part of my life now, and I like it that way.
Felicity said she was always preoccupied and thinking about what to write on her blog. I can relate to that. Creative people are like ticking non sequitors, one thought leading to another willy nilly. There's always noise and excitement rattling around in the old cabeza. It's a real bother to deal with everyday things like house work, meals, and chores.
It takes real effort to stay in the world, and not just do the thing that excites you. But even achieving that balance is a tightrope of excitement. I just got a job that let's me use my blogging skills. I could not be happier. I feel like an angel came into my life.
I like my process, because it's me. I've always been like this. Of course there comes a time to crash and chill, and I do that very well too.
I'm glad there are so many others like me, and so many others who love me and understand and appreciate my crazy ass arty ways. I feel the same way about them.
By the way, if you'd like to read Felicity's letter from the other side, go tho Corrine's terrific blog Hidden In France. She and Felicity were great blog friends. They never met. But they had a bond, and Felicity didn't leave her friend worrying about the cats eating her flesh.
Could you ever delete your blog the way Felicity did?
I think Felicity's story would make a great screen play...


Paul Pincus said...

love cholo's christmas card. gryffin and granger are very jealous ; ) love these images. #2 is so wonderful. #18 and #19 are my favourites. i really love both of those rooms. hidden in france is one of my favourites.

ps i thought this spot-on, brilliant: Creative people are like ticking non sequitors, one thought leading to another willy nilly.

Ivy Lane said...

Ahhh.... I feel so much better now!

Fifi Flowers said...

BEAUTIFUL post! I've never seen a white squirrel... stunning!
Nooooooo... I could not imagine wiping out my entire blog... hers was sooooo spectacular... but I do understand her reasoning... I hope she saved it somewhere.
ENJOY the first day of Winter!

Anonymous said...

Trust me at the moment it feels like anything but summer in the southern hemisphere..lots of bad weather :(

vicki archer said...

Great post and a topic that I ponder often, but too hard this week for my overtaxed brain to give you an interesting answer. All I know is that yes blogging is addictive and yes I am enjoying it so far...... xv

Visual Vamp said...

Renee, Corine, and Jan all left me lovely comments.
I was in the process of publishing them when Cholo jumped on me to give me a big kiss.
I was sitting on the bed with my lap top, so in the ruckus, I somehow pressed the reject button.
I am so sorry, and I hope they will rewrite their comments for all of us.
I really value and appreciate every comment you all send my way!
xo xo

Jan said...

V - I am more than happy to rewrite as I really love this post. As you are aware, 'blogging got the best of me' too (liking that expression)
Disconnecting for a while still feels like the right decision, but I haven't deleted as yet, and I'm not sure I will do that.
I am guessing that Felicity of ATBB deleted, because she knew that it was the only way to break her addiction. I never saw her blog, but she obviously put her all in to it and is sadly missed.
I would imagine that any non-bloggers reading this would think that we have all 'lost the plot' and need to get a life - but that's okay.
Anyway, Seasons Greetings to all, (non bloggers included) and best wishes for a happy holiday to you and your family V (not forgetting Cholo !)
love Jan

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I had wondered what had happened to her! She was one of the first regular readers and commenters at my blog who helped me feel a bit more connected to the WWW. I miss her!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Hmmm was that Cholo begging you to delete your blog??

Loved this post and the juxtaposition of the clear, clean white with the provacative words.


Karena said...

I miss Felicity's blog. As you mentioned she was a great help to beginning bloggers, along with several other new friends, like Mrs, Blandings, etc!
Beautiful post!

Pigtown*Design said...

Excellent post! I worried about blogging when I was in the UK on holiday, but realized that I like doing this and it wasn't work for me, it was an added dimension of fun to the trip.

Visual Vamp said...

You are so right!
Cholo hates when I spend too much time on my lap top.
He brings me his toys; he barks; if I'm on the bed and not at my desk, he kisses me to distraction, and tries to sit on the keyboard; if I'm at my desk he'll jump into my lap. Alberto does the same thing!
Thank goodness they bring me back to reality ha ha.
xo xo

Julio Muao said...

Seasons greetings Visual Vamp!
I love all the photos with white interiors. Beautiful. Oh, and I keep forgetting to tell you how much I've always wanted to take Tango lessons. I'm sure you'll find it funny, but I used to compete in a lot of local disco dance competitions in San Francisco in the early eighties. My partner and I did the 3 step which was also referred to as the New York swing or hustle. I'm contemplating taking Tango lessons next year. We'll see.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Edward would look so wonderful being driven around in that magnificent cream coloured car.

cassandra said...

first off - beautiful BEAUTIFUL photos and now when i steal them i'll give you credit :)

secondly... thank you for this post. i absolutely LOVED felicity's blog and miss it dearly. and i've been so consumed by my blog lately that it helps to hear how it affects others as well... i cannot WAIT to take a week off between christmas and new years, and yet i have a feeling i'll be here anyways...

have a fantastic holiday my dear! i will be back to visit more often!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

I enjoyed your beautiful white pictures. I also enjoyed your words of wisdom. I, along with some members of my family, worry about my addiction to the blog world. I keep feeling like the "new" will wear off, since I haven't been at it very long. So far, I still enjoy it too much to give it up. My family whispers about it, and I suspect some kind of intervention in the near future! I don't think I could ever intentionally delete my blog, but after the intervention by my family, who knows what I might do? Thanks for the thought-provoking post. laurie

Unknown said...

Very interesting post VV - I read Felicity's explanation a couple of months ago and it really gave me pause. I was sad to see her go as well, but when she mentioned that she wouldn't want her kids to be online as much as she was, it made sense. While I don't have kids, I completely agreed that I'd not want mine to spend so much time hunched over the screen. It does become an obsession - always thinking about it. But, if I ever wanted to take a break, I'd never just delete. Our blogs represent so much work - it would be a shame to chuck it. Felicity was brave for knowing what she needed and stepping away.

beachbungalow8 said...

oh I love this post. And I miss Felicity!I love all of my blog friends. Some whom I've known for years, some who I only know via email and phone conversations. It's been the biggest gift blogging has given me.

merry merry miz viz vamp.



Anonymous said...

I guess Felicity was someone who touched a lot of us. I will definitely miss her and am glad that she left friends who are going to make sure she's ok. I hope she'll be back one day and that she knows the impression she made! LOVE your winter white post! Happy holidays!

Michelle said...

I just love looking at pretty pictures like these. :) Happy Holidays!

Alkemie said...

What a wonderful and moving post! Felicity was truly a kind and generous blogger who had such a beautiful blog. Thanks for the very well written post and great photos for inspiration :)

Karen O.

Things That Inspire said...

All Things Bright and Beautiful and Design Smack are the two design blog casualties from 2008 that make me the saddest. They were truly stars of the design blog universe, and because they actually deleted their blogs, their absence is more keenly felt.

I seem to recall that Design Smack was burned by the copyright issue, although she was more meticulous than any other blogger (other than ATBB) about giving credit. Sometimes I wonder if giving credit so scrupulously is part of what got both of them in never know who has a Google alert out there.

Anyway, I think it is wise and healthy to know why you are blogging, to be happy when you have an audience but not to get obsessed with your hits or number of readers, and not to let blogging consume you. I can't tell you how many people have asked why on earth I would blog if I am not making any money off of it, but I do it as a creative outlet for my love of art, architecture, and interiors. I have also tapered off considerably from my peak blogging days!