Soap blog - It's been a year

I like to pick flowers from the garden to put in a vase in
the house.  I dearly love my peonies and the timing of
their flowering was a deciding factor in the date of my
daughters wedding.  This particular bouquet was the
inspiration for her wedding bouquet.
Today it is one year since I posted my first blog post.  I had surfed the Internet and read other peoples blogs for a long time before starting my own and it really took a lot of thought to decide what my blog should look like.  It obviously involved looking closely at other peoples blogs, not to copy them  but because I wanted mine to be a bit different, but not weirdly so.  I wanted it to reflect my personality and that was a lot more difficult than it sounds.

The photo for the header had to be something very wide and not very high.  Not a shape that one normally uses for pictures!  I cropped one that had a lot of green in it because I like that colour, it's friendly.  I chose a fairly simple template that had a white background and the orange headlines... well that was just a part of the theme and I hadn't fiddled enough to know how to change that.

That left the problem of soap photos.  I had some photos of the first soaps that I made.  I realized that my soaps were not necessarily the prettiest and I didn't (and still don't) have a light box.  The photos were bound to be ugly if they were close ups or boring if they showed one soap very, very far away.  So my solution was to pile a lot of stuff around the soaps so that there was something interesting to look at.  This afforded me with an opportunity to showcase some of the junk I pick up in flea markets and even some justification for buying more.  By tweaking the colours slightly I got a softer and more uniform look to the photos.  So now I had a look and then I needed to think about how to write and what to write about.

Having been an avid reader of blogs for a long time, I have my own likes and dislikes.  I like getting a glimpse of the person who writes the blog,  I like being told where ideas come from, I really like people who give credit to others, I love people who share recipes, methods, ideas and good suppliers.  I don't like blogs that look like they are isolated from the world and never speak of other soaps than their own.  I also favor blogs that show their followers and a blog roll.  I find so many interesting blogs that way.  I love to look at blogs from faraway places even if I have to resort to Google translate.  My own blog, when translated to my own language, sounds hilarious.  But I am grateful, anyway, for the translations.

I thought long and hard about sharing my recipes and my decision to do so was mostly because I found it enormously helpful when I was starting out.  But also because I was pretty certain that I would be preaching to the choir.  And that was who I wanted to get in touch with, other soapers, not customers.  I don't know if I would share my recipes if I blogged in Icelandic.  Maybe I would.  Although I really do think there are people out there who are completely disinterested in making their own soap.  These people are potential customers, but they probably have no interest in reading about how to make soap.

I was a bit shy at first.  I didn't want to expose myself too much.  What if no one wanted to read my blog?  How sad is that!  So thank you Happy Tiny Bubbles for being my first follower.  I was so thrilled.  I still am thrilled every time someone wants to read my blog.  But I  kept it a secret for the longest time.  I think my husband was getting suspicious that I was having an affair.  He'd ask me what I was doing as I hammered away at the computer and I would casually reply "Oh, I'm just writing down some recipe ideas" as I'd turn the computer screen away.  Today there is a handful of my closest family that know about my blog, but mostly it's still my secret.

When I started this a year ago I did it for me.  I wanted to interact with other soap makers and get an outlet for my own experiments and thought.  The blog has turned into a place where I store ideas and recipes and basically have fun.  I use my own blog to look for the recipes when I bake and I have a number of posts that are in draft.  I put my ideas down here and some make it to be posts, others just hang there until the right time comes along.  I expect that I will continue to post my soap recipes as well as to post about my ventures into bread baking and (hopefully) dyeing and bookbinding and paper making to name a few.  Where this blog takes me is anybody's guess.  But today I have given my blog an overhaul and changed it just a bit, mostly to reflect the season.  It may be snowing outside, but the calendar says it's spring.

I love the community of bloggers that I have gotten to know in this past year.  Many of them I have started to regard as friends and I am always excited to read their latest posts.  I thought it's about time I show my true face for a change as I thank all my blog friends for a fantastic first year.  I really look forward to another year of following others and writing about my own exciting new projects, soaps or who knows what :)
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Comments

  1. What a truly lovely post, Ambra :) I'm all smiles after reading this one and not because I just got back from a Vedanta teaching feeling all around nourished. I love it that now I can see the rest of the puzzle pieces that make up your beautiful smiling eyes. Your blog is among my very favorites for all its uniqueness and the spirit that shines through. Thank you for blogging, for sharing :)

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  2. Happy Birthday :) Thank you for sharing. BTW your smile is beautiful:)

    Gina

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  3. Ambra, What an AWESOME post! I adore your blog, your photos, your wisdom, the stories about your family and Iceland, and now with this photo I will be able to visualize you when I read your posts! The only thing I always wish for on your blog is that your photos were bigger because I love them and want to see things closer. Happy Blogiversary!!! xo Jen

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  4. Ambra! What a great post and what a MARVELOUS look! So much fun to "see" you! "
    Girl, what have you been a hidin' fer? You got them cheekbones, that'd make Christie & Claudia both jealous!"
    I just love your photography -especially the flowers -your blog always makes me feel better after visiting it! Happy 1-year, and wishing you many many many more! :) Becky

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  5. Querida Ambra, muchas felicidades por el cumpleaños de tu blog, me siento muy identificada por lo que nos cuentas, eres muy linda por dentro y por fuera, me siento priviligiada de haberte conocido y espero conserves el blog muchos años mas.
    Un abrazo

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  6. Becky, you are always a ray of sunshine :)

    Un abrazo to you too, Texia :)

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  7. You truly are a lovely person inside & out. Thank you for sharing your heart and now your beautiful face with us. No more secrets! :)

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  8. Happy Birhtday!
    I really like reading your blog. Sometimes it seems - oh, it`s the same about me!
    Sorry, i do not know much English. Google helps.

    Thank you that you have became my first follower)))

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  9. Fantastic post Ambra and a great big happy birthday! boy did that go fast! I love reading your blog, I think it is one of the best around:)and a beautiful photo of you. Looking forward to the next year of posts:)

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  10. Lovely to finally 'see' you Ambra, as an aspiring herbal soap maker (I will get round to trying my hand one day!) I read your blog and wish I had the time to have a go. I totally empathise with your blog following/loving reasons they're the same as mine. My blog is coming up to it's third year now, and like you I love the community of bloggers that have become friends.

    I giggle at your 'draft' post comment, I do exactly the same, I wonder how many others do it as well? I currently have 12 draft posts which will eventually make it live when I finish the research or get round to fine tuning the recipe. I love hearing about the lives of other bloggers, the ones that stick only to their chosen blogging subject are too clinical for me, it's all about sharing warts and all.

    I love your photos and recipes and even though I haven't got round to actually making soap yet, you've certainly given me lots of soapy food for thought and a long list of things I want to try. Here's to your next 12 months, I look forward to sharing the world through your eyes.

    Herby Hugs - Debs

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  11. Amy - thank you for a lovely comment :)
    тонкая материя - Welcome to the blog world. I look forward to reading your blog.
    Jan - thank you too for being so sweet :)
    Herbaholic - once you do your first soap, you won't be able to stop!

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  12. Congrats on your first year of blogging. I like the changes too.

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  13. Congratulations! I really love your blog and I am very happy that I met you.

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  14. Well I guess I should say congratulation on your 1 1/2 birthday.

    Keep going a little longer and then we can all say Happy 2nd Birthday!

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