We spent Christmas morning with my mom and brother enjoying a relaxing time together. When I returned home in the mid-afternoon I fully intended to make it into the sewing room for some quality time with my sewing machine. Instead, I opted for a long walk while my kids had some rest time, and then I settled back at the puzzle table. (I also worked with my son to make his first stop-animation video. So fun! And my husband and I played two games of Pandemic. It was a lovely day.)
Last night I broke out this awesome puzzle, a gift I received from my husband for Hanukkah this year. I'm a fan of puzzles in the 500-1000 piece range that are not ridiculous (ya know, the ones where all the pieces look the same!). I'm also a big Disney fan. This stained art jigsaw puzzle is plastic, which at first I thought was kind of odd. Then I realized it was so that it really looks like stained glass. (See pic below.) The quality is top notch and the pieces "snap" together so nicely. I've made decent progress working solo on it this evening and I imagine the kids may help me tomorrow. I'll also get into the sewing room tomorrow. I don't think it'll get done, but I'd like to make more progress on my OMG for December.
What do you do to relax when you aren't sewing?
Now that my laptop is back, I'm back to my 31 Day Blog Writing challenge. Be sure to click through to find others who are blogging every day this month!
Many of my new followers, and much of my new traffic these days, are coming from a post I wrote a month ago. Some of you may know that in my last life I taught middle school math for eleven years. Relatedly, I really like data. Disclaimer: This post is long. And it has lots of numbers. And no pretty pictures (though I did throw in a graph!). But it's my story of how my post went viral. I find the whole process fascinating. Basically, I'm awestruck.
For many months while I was in the process of putting together the room (and even for the nearly two years before that) I talked about it a lot. Many friends and family members knew the plan and were eagerly awaiting news about how The Boy liked his Secret Room. They would ask, "so has he gotten his room yet?" in hushed tones when he wasn't close enough to overhear. After the big reveal, I wrote my blog post to share the story including before and after pictures with friends and family. I'm completely overwhelmed by the response.
A little more back story. I've been blogging for almost 8 months now. A month ago I had a handful of blog followers. I was networking within the quilt blog world. My typical blog traffic had crept up to 20-40 pageviews daily when I was posting regularly, and my very few high traffic days (with a max pageviews = 272) came on days I shared a quilting post in a quilting Facebook group.
Late in the day on August 5, I posted about The Secret Treasure Room. I shared the link to my friends and family on Facebook and I tweeted my post URL. My husband also tweeted about my blog post. His tweet got retweeted 20 times. This caused the most pageviews I'd ever had, 325 that day and 526 the next day. Wow! August 7 was back to normal. Okay, that was fun.
August 8, I noticed a little jump in traffic and found out I'd been linked to on The Radish. The following day I was linked to from Metafilter, resulting in a total of 3,149 pageviews for August 9. Wow!! This was what I considered "crazy traffic."
August 9, I was contacted by Robbie Gonzalez, a senior editor at io9.com asking permission to republish my whole blog post. The io9 page went up on August 10 which caused another 3,000+ pageview day on my site. (there have now been 266,661 pageviews on the io9 page.) Over the next two days, traffic trended down toward "normal." Again I thought, this was fun!
On the morning of August 13, I woke up and checked my email. I had 5 new blog subscribers by email and 4 comments on my blog. Yay! Then I realized... this isn't normal. I took a look at blog traffic, and at 8am I had already over 5,000 pageviews. Before noon it was over 10,000. The post had been picked up on Viralnova. In total August 13 and 14 averaged over 36,000 pageviews a day. I also started to see it in my feed on facebook as friends shared the viralnova post of the room that my friends' friends had reposted. The whole thing was very surreal.
All the while, many other smaller sites were linking to me as well, but overall traffic died down until August 21 when I was linked to from the Fox 8 Cleveland site. Following that, Scott Gustin, National Content Editor for Tribune Broadcasting (consisting of 40+ sites in many major cities) contacted me about running the story on their other sites. (Side note: Having a lot of web traffic is a little like going over on the minutes on your cell phone plan.) I gave permission for them to use my photos and credit me, but asked that they not link back to my blog, because we just couldn't handle that volume of traffic.
Nine days after the post, linkback traffic started coming from sites in languages other than English:
Time really does fly. When I was about twelve I was with my mother and my grandmother, and they had a little conversation that went like this:
Mom: Is it true the older you get the faster time flies?
Grandma: Oh YEAH!
Mom: Then it must just be whipping by for you.
So so true.
I spent much of the second half of 2013 wanting to blog. The Husband kept asking me why. In sewing and quilting I find so much inspiration in seeing the work of others. I wanted a way to share what I was doing with friends and family, inspire others in their own projects, and motivate myself to get things done a little faster than I typically tend to. In January he helped me get setup to start my blog.
Six months in and I think I'm achieving those goals. I've also all but abandoned my plans to work on programming. (It's still on the bucket list, it just isn't high enough priority at the moment.) More and more time has been spent in front of my sewing machine, or organizing fabric and sewing related supplies. I've made progress on some old WIPs and UFOs. At the moment I have a small quilt top (table runner) completed and ready to quilt. Now that The Boy's birthday has passed, I'll have to get focused on that project.
I'm loving WordPress and the Tiny Forge theme and figuring out how to do what I want it to do. It's only a matter of time before I decide to learn enough code to personalize the theme more. For now, I'm so pleased with how well it works for me.
If you're new to my blog, here are some of my works in progress. I hope to turn these into finishes soon!