Friday, March 6, 2009


I have more odds and ends to tie up. The post about Candice Bergen and Louis Malle's French country house raised the question about their then two year old daughter Chole.

I found a couple a couple of photos of Chole as the years passed by...

...time passes and we all grow older..

This week brought an embarrassment of riches. It's my one year blogoversary, and I wondered how did you know, because I got three amazing gifts this week!

First (HERE ) to come was something from my Polish soul sister across thousands of miles, Ewa. Hers is one of those excellent garden blogs I came upon awhile ago, and through it I have begun the process of finding my long lost ancestry. Dziekuje, my darling sister.

The second gift came on the actual day I started my blog one year ago, March 3 from Things That Inspire
How did she know?

And then just when I thought I couldn't feel any luckier, another gift came my way from Emily at one of my favorite blogs, Material Girls. Again, how did they know it was my blog birthday?!

You know a year ago I couldn't arrested in the blogoshpere. Like everyone else I have my little story about how I got started. I stumbled upon a smart and sassy decor blog and fell in love with it, the writing, the images, the author. I went a little overboard with a school girl crush, and was shunned. I was crushed and felt quite stupid.

But another bloginista came to my rescue. She e-mailed me and told me she liked my blog, and thus started a relationship of letters. She gave me good advice: delete the mean girl and forget her, and show my talent and my heart to the other bloggers, and the rest would take care of itself.

All I had to give was my writing. So I did that. I experimented with different voices. You guys suffered alot ha ha! I didn't know anything about blogging. But I was willing to make mistakes, to take the journey. One blog year feels like ten years worth of life experience. I didn't know how to scan so I actually took a photo of a photo from a magazine! I didn't know a widget from a gidget. I made the mistake of coveting the comment queens, the ones who got the most comments. I made alot of mistakes, but the intuitive nature of the blogger programs, and the generosity of other bloggers, made me learn and grow.

I have been noticing that the decor bloggers seem to be burning out around the two year mark, exhausted by the demands of blogging combined with the demands of their lives. This past month has had a rash of posts from many great bloggers ready to take a break, maybe even a permanent break from blogging. It's like everybody got their period at the same time.
I hope they feel differently sooner than later, because really blogging is one of the most wonderful things you can do. It keeps you connected to yourself, to the things you love, and to the rest of the world. In these hard times, it costs next to nothing to pursue it as a past time or as a business investment in yourself.

So I leave you a link to my very first post. Sometimes I go to other bloggers' sites and read their very first post. It's a very sweet and charming experience by and large.
In my first post you will hear the longing we all share to make our homes pretty, well designed, and ours.
As you can see in the photo, my space has changed totally in the last year. The wall color, the color of the credenza, the curtains behind it are gone, as is the little stool that I sold on eBay to get something else for the continuous enjoyable process of the revamp. And all of you helped me with this.

To date I've published 640 posts, some of them good, some of them so-so, all of them heartfelt for sure. Yes I do write and post alot. I'm a worker, and it's like breathing to me. It's usually not drudgery to work on my blog. I do it when I feel like it, and most of the time I feel like it. When I don't feel like it, I don't do it. Though I'm passionate, I don't have an addictive nature.

You know writers always say they write for themselves which is true enough. But I also write for you. And I thank you, all of you for reading, for taking me into the fold, for validating my experience and thus making it richer.
Like everyone else who is given a gift, more than they ever hoped to get, I have my list crumpled in my heart of many who reached out above and beyond to me:
Joni, Megan, Seleta, Renee, Vicki, Angelo, Sabina, Linda NOLA, Jessica, Mary Kay, Julia Hooked, Linda Lime, Linda Mom, Paul Roddy, Bayou Julie, Carey and Mo, Meg FF, Mitchell Junkie, Phil, Patricia von PVE, Brooke and Steve, Shawn, Sylvie, Linda Surroundings, Jackie Blue, Elaine, Suzanne Petunia, Jo, the hubs, Cholo, Eddie (& J.), Kara, Jack, Caroline, Mrs. Pelkey, my New York past, my adopted and beloved New Orleans, all my Faves and Raves (and thank you to all of you who have included me on your blog roll, a geeky little kindness that means so much to me), and of course if you don't see your name it's not because I don't hold you dear to my heart, but merely because I am having one of those crazy junior moments that come with more - more than I deserve.


Anonymous said...

Happy Blog Birthday Valorie! I love what you do here.

Milles bisous!

London Calling said...

Happy Blog B-Day to you!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Valorie, I've always thought you were one of the coolest blogging chicks out there, and this beautiful post confirms it. One year of blogging truly is like 10 in the "real world." There is so much you have to learn, so much growing to do. I just passed my one-year mark a month ago and feel like a completely different person than I was before I started this crazy blogging experiment. :-)

I also was struck by your story of being shunned by a blogger you admired in the beginning because the same thing happened to me. A very popular, big-time blogger took the time to leave me not-so-nice comments, and to even e-mail a few not-so-nice notes, when I was starting out. It hurt! I've never told anyone that before, but it's oddly comforting to know there's someone who can relate. The experience also made me a lot more sensitive about how I treat other bloggers, big and small. We should support each other, not pick each other to pieces.

Anyway, congrats on a year, and my hat's off to you on 640 posts in that amount of time. Wow! You're way ahead of me there.

Here's to another fabulous year of learning, growing, and making new friends! (And to not burning out at the 2-year mark!)

eaesthete said...

I'm something of an interloper here, breezing in and out at whim, but I was moved by your reflections on blogging. The push and pull of it,the growing pains, the tedium and the joys, oh the joys, of just one meaningful comment from the most unexpected of places, can send you into a blissful tailspin.

Congratulations on your milestone.

The Errant Aesthete

vicki archer said...

Miz V blogging wouldn't be blogging without you.
Happy, happy blog birthday and many, many more posts please - may we celebrate many years together, xv.

Jan said...

Happy blogoversary V!

Linda Merrill said...

Happy Anniversary Dear Valorie!! You're one of my absolutely favorite bloginistas.

Now, the catty side of me really, really wants to know who the idiot was who shunned you! May he/she be bitten by the fleas of a thousand camels!

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Happy..happy..belated blog-birthday to you.
You have given a newbie blogger such as myself courage to carry on. I dig your blog (a lot) & look forward to many years of postings.
Never get burned out!
(: deb

Renae said...

Valorie...congratulations to year is amazing. I am new to the blog world (5 months) and have learned so much from you and others...I crave seeing what other designers do. Your creativity is great and your style is yummy. Keep on keeping on!

Pigtown-Design said...

640 posts in a year??? you're putting us all to shame!

Congratulations on a great first year and thanks for the shout!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on being here a year, Valorie! We love your blog, and are looking forward to many more years of Visual Vamp! :)

Leslie Rowlands said...

Well, Congrats are in order! Break out the bubbly & enjoy your day!
lamaisonfou blog

Renee Finberg said...

man o man....u da' best

u just have your finger right on the pulse of what's what.

i adore candice, i have always. i wanted to look like her when i was growing up.

i wish i could blow that pic of candy & lou ( LOL )up to take a closer lookie look.


MaryBeth said...

Happy happy to you, and many, many more. I hope you never get burned out. Like the other I wonder who bashed you in the beginning... I don't understand the hate, if you don't like don't read. Duh. Thank god you carried on.
xo, MB

Karen said...

The VERY BEST thing about your blog, Valorie, is that it is like talking with my best friend - and I can do it anytime of the night or day! Thank you for NOT quitting, for just keeping on keeping on, and for never giving up no matter what inane comment someone whom none of us know made. Look at all she's missing by being so snooty!
Happy happy blogbirthday and I wish for you many, many more to come because then we all will be gifted.
Save me a place at the Carousel!!

Linda/ "Mom..." said...

*****Thanking you not only for sharing so much here, throughout your many fun, funny & informative blogs that I've read, but also for such a beautiful, obviously HEARTFELT read just now... it was really, TRULY lovely. Then I got to the end, and saw MY name? I was so surprised... and, I am honored. It never entered my mind that you would even remember me, or that I "read" you. SO I thank you for THAT, too. Warmly wishing you CONTINUED SUCCESS & your ever-present & unbelievably VAST AMOUNT of ENERGY! "Thanks, for the memories..." Linda/ "Mom..."

Cote de Texas said...

a year already? those were the days. you're too busy for me now. :( hehe

but I am going to come get you one day and kidnap you and force you to take me to gaulatoies or however you spell it!!!!!

Mazel Tov on your anny!!!! you are the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jill said...

My blog is fairly new and yours inspires me! I started November 19, 2008. It has proven to be a creative outlet, a means for my family to keep up with what is going on with us across the state here on the border, a fabulous wishlist/archive for me....and just plain fun! Keep up the good work. I visit most days and thoroughly enjoy everything you have blogged! My little first post is at the link below.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

This was a great post so full of truth that most of us feel from time to time. I loved your first post.

Things That Inspire said...

You are a recent discovery for me, although Joni has been singing your praises for a while now. When you first commented on my blog I felt like I had 'made it' somehow!

Happy one year of blogging. I am amazed that you have posted over 600 times - what an achievement!

Velvet and Linen said...

I remember first finding your blog via the wonderful and generous Joni. My first thought was "Wow, I want to be as courageous in my designs as this woman!"
You are not only a creative genius, but a caring, giving friend with magnificent sense of humor.
Happy Anniversary. I hope to spend many more with you!


BTW: I am usually so busy reading your post that I must have missed our links on your side bar!
Steve and I are so honored and touched.
Thank you. Thank you.

Ewa said...

Dear Val,
Happy anniversary! I was not aware that the interview will come out for this event :)
It is complete coincidence - however I don't believe in coincidence. Everything happens for a reason :)

Tomarie said...

I found your blog several weeks ago and fell in love with all the fantastic and worldly images! :-) It's like stepping out of my life for a few minutes and into a ...well more sophisticated one! Lol I just love your blog and wish you continued success! Laura

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Congratulations! I remember when I first read about you on Joni's blog and came over to find your beautiful blog. I felt, at your blog as I did at Joni's, a little intimidated and in awe of your talents. I am now in awe of how many posts you have done in one year! You have the talent and the energy to keep going, and I am so glad you do, because it is always such a treat to come over here and see what you have posted. laurie

Helen said...

Thank you for a year of 'great stuff!' I've been at this since last November and marvel at your ability to write, on a consistent basis, thoroughly entertaining posts. Here's to another year!!!

olramm said...

Dearest Valorie,

Congratulations! You've come a long way, baby!
I know that I am in your "tango heart", but I am touched that you counted me in here with all your design friends! The 25 comments preceding mine show just what an inspiration you have been..and how much you are respected and loved...just in case you didn't already know that! :-) xo Jessica

DesignTies said...

I just found your blog through Brooke's Velvet & Linen :-)

I loved reading this post. Being a newbie to blogging, I can totally relate to how you felt when you first started out. Blogworld is a really big place, but so far my blog partner and I have "met" the nicest and most helpful bloggers :-) Our blog has grown and evolved in just a short time, thanks in large part to the wonderful comments and suggestions that we've received from our fellow bloggers -- much like the people you mentioned who have helped and supported you along the way :-)

Happy Blogoversary!! Keep on blogging!! :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

Emily Johnston | EJ Interiors said...

Happy One Year! Eat lots and lots of cake for us!

beki said...

Congrats! Blogging is wonderful, challenging, and rewarding. I've been blogging for almost 4 years (how did that happen?) and have seen a lot of blogs come and go. Sticking with it and making it happen is a true accomplishment. I wish you many more blog birthdays :)

Visual Vamp said...

This is comment from Mo sent to me via e-mail:

Oh, Valorie:
I may have said it to a million guys, but “You were my first!”

I never read any blogs until Carey forced me to look at yours.

What a cacophony of fun, inspiration, beauty, and knowledge has followed!

If I didn’t have a day job, reading your blog (and some others of the cream at the top, all met through your gossamer web of lovely) would be it.

I kind of got that “crush” on you that you got on someone else.

OK, so I am NOT getting over this crush, because you are too good to chide or belittle me, or anyone!

I wish you everlasting love, peace, and celebration of life.

You will never burn out if you remember to care tenderly for your special self!

Much love for “my first”,

(who will one day learn to post a response to a blog…holy cow)

Colour Me Happy said...

Thank you so much for including my '10 things to learn about blogging' in your sidebar! I am honoured. Wow 640 posts! You are an inspiration to us all!
It's a good thing I can share my addiction to blogging with others in the same happy plight?

katiedid said...

Valorie! Time goes by so fast when you are having fun! I love your blog and hope you do not hit the burn-out stage you are talking aobut. I'm just sorry that I haven't been able to visit as much as I would love to lately. But yours is one of my very favorites! I love your style and zest for living which shows so clearly in your home. Congrats on your bloggy birthday!

Susie Q said...

Valorie...congratulations on achieving such a feat! No easy task I know!
Your writing is beautiful, lyrical and down right fun. Thank you for always providing something wonderful here.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Congratulations on your blog anniversary!! Yours is a site I do love to visit. I know I shall always enjoy myself here!

Edward too, of course!

Willow Decor: said...

Happy Anniversary!!! So glad you're not burnt out!! I enjoy all your posts and I am an avid reader!!!
You are on my blog roll and I confess I have read all 640 posts! Is that stalking or just feeding my blog obsession???

I had a different experience starting out - Blog Diva's Joni Webb and Linda Merrill were both so helpful and supportive - I feel so lucky and grateful to them for all their encouragement and guidance. They are true gems-diamonds!

Keep up the posts - we all love them!

Anonymous said...

"delete the mean girl and forget her"

But you can't forget her. You just can't let this old wound heal. You keep picking at the scab, again and again and again...

Visual Vamp said...

Hey Anon,
You're late to the party. I've been waiting for you.
You got it right - she is a scab.
She is deleted, but not forgotton.
I have alot to thank her for, and will never forget her scabby ugly ways. I forgive her, but I'll never forget her ha ha.
xo xo

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Visual Vamp - How fun to have discovered you on your blogaversary! It was so interesting hearing your take on blogging, how it's changed you and how your blog has changed over time! I'm glad Cote de Texas sent me your way!

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Congratulations on your blogiversary. Your post was sweet and I can't wait to see what else in store you have.

beachbungalow8 said...

happy blog birthday miz viz vamp! your blog has developed into such a great resource. Always great topics, images and all done with a healthy sense of wiseacre.


Anonymous said...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I missed your blog birthday:( One of my pleasures is keeping up with your beautiful posts, but for two weeks I was busy doing/not dreaming, and I got behind. You (of course) were more prolific than ever, and now I'm in high gear playing catch up - oh yes, that's right, I go back and read it all - only to find I've "done/not dreamed" myself right through your first V.V.B.D. And then I see that stinker Mo beat me to the punch. Sniff, sniff. I loved ya first.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad about hanging on to the hurt memory, but don't let it define you either. You have a fun, entertaining, visually exciting blog, move forward!