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Monthly Archives: April 2011

how do you respond to blog comments?

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m trying to improve my blogging skills.

This includes responding to the nice people who actually leave comments to my posts. I’ve read a few articles online. In fact, Amanda @ Serenity Now has written a very nice series of posts surrounding the topic (I highly recommend popping over to have a look).

But I have a few extra questions and hope other more experienced bloggers out there could help me out.

When someone leave you a comment, do you:

a) reply as a comment in your own blog, or

b) reply as a comment on the commentor’s blog (assuming they have one).

Now, I understand the argument of leaving a reply in my own blog is that the commentor may not return to see the reply. There is a feature in Blogger which gives commentors the option of having future responses emailed to them, but I know I cannot rely on every commentor choosing this option.

I have been responding as comments to my own blog, but I’m trying out the other method just to see how it goes. As Amanda stated in her post, responding on another person’s blog gives your own blog exposure.

But I fear that if I respond on the commentor’s blog, future would-be commentors to my blog would not see the response. Would it not be better to have a record of the ongoing conversation in one place?

5668937242_609da99b48_o[1]Sketch I did during Easter – Aboard the Sorrento Ferry

My second question is responding to responses of comments given (huh? yeah, I’ll explain). Say I’m surfing the blogosphere and I leave a comment, saying hi and how much I like a particular post. The blogger then comes to my blog and leaves a message thanking me for coming over and that she liked my post too. Do I go back to her blog and thank her for thanking me?

I know it’s a good habit to respond to every blog comment left, but when do you leave off a conversation? If a comment on your blog is actually a response to your own comment on your blog, is it okay to not reply?

How do you handle your comments?

a new room-mate? and further zentangle practice…

I’ve recently got myself a new room-mate, and I mean this in the literal sense; I bought myself a crowntail betta splenden. He currently resides in a 22L Fluval Edge tank (and for those betta fans out there, I did not fill the tank up to the top, so he does have enough breathing room) on a shelf above my desk in my room.

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I appreciate the difficulty in taking photos of a pet (I have a black cat, it does hell to the white balance on my camera) but taking a photo of a fish in a tank of water is a whole new level of frustration. I don’t pretend that the above photo is anything to be proud of, but I just want to show off his colours – isn’t he just so pretty?

And now that I’ve splurge so much on my new pet (well to be exact, I spluged it on his tank… $200AUD, urk! But the tank is also really really snazzy), I’ll probably have to eat leftovers for lunch everyday for the next month… I’m not even thinking of buying any new art supplies… =_=

Of course, since my latest project is zentangling, I don’t really need a lot of supplies, just pen and paper!

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In this zentangle I was drawing a couple of weeks back, I was practicing featherfall, pais and flux. Looking at featherfall, it reminds me slightly of my betta’s fins (I need to name my fish, I can’t just keep calling him, “my betta”). Perhaps I should try creating a tangle based on his fins…

thoughts about blogging

This blog was supposed to be about my attempts at creating art. But I realised that it’s not really possible to talk about just one facet of my life without other bits leaking in. If I tried, it may result in a very flat, boring blog listing my latest project without putting any of it into context.

I’m not planning on writing entries about my love for tv shows like Bones or House or How I met your mother anytime soon (~aw~ I know, right?), but I figured that I could let the reins go a bit and just generally chat about other things as well.

At the moment I’m also reading up on methods to crafting better blog posts. Of course, blogging about journal pages should come in second to actually creating journal pages, but that doesn’t mean that I should make a shabby job of presenting them either.

I hope to be able to hone my blogging skills a bit more, to take my time in actually crafting my posts as opposed to just banging them out. It should result in a more pleasant reading experience to my subscribers – no longer would you have to put up with my randomness and my phases of inactivity (I hope).

If you would like to keep track of how I go with this new resolution (so to speak), feel free to subscribe to my blog (or click the “Posts” button under “Subscribe To” on the right sidebar).

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And just so that this post is not completely without pictures, this is my latest attempt at zentangling.

I’m fascinated with 3D zentangles, the ones with depth or the more organic ones (as opposed to the flat, linoleum patterned ones). I spent quite a number of afternoons in the past week copying down tangles for reference.

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I’m currently drawing my zentangles in my organiser which I tote with me everywhere. I don’t know how I’ll incorporate them into my journal pages – I’m against the idea of just filling random shapes on a page with tangles and calling them “zentangles”; it seems that zentangles are pieces of art on their own as opposed to a way of “decorating” pages, but we’ll see how that goes.

how do you refresh yourself during the day?

Do you feel tired during the day and wish to give yourself a mental boost?

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A few weeks back resulted in the page above.

It was not very complicated, and it reflected the lunch break that I was on. The picture was taken while I was lying on the grass in a nearby park. It was Friday, and therefore casual clothes day at the office; it’s easier to sprawl on the grass when you’re not wearing an office-lady getup.

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I had my PoGo printer with me, so I was able to print the photo from my iPhone straight away. A couple of sprays with Tattered Angel’s Glimmer mists, a mandala doodled with a copic marker and it was done. Then the laziness of the day got to me and I took a short nap after the page was done. It really refreshed me for the rest of the day at work.

I suggest that people take a little rest during your lunch break at least once a week – as opposed to cramming errands into this time – you’d be surprised just how much more focused you would be after it.

(Btw, the photos of the journal page was taken at different times, under different lighting… the white balance was a bit off on both shots XD)

latest page

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It takes me so long to complete a page…

I took the photo using my iPhone, so please excuse the quality.

I have trouble writing irregularly but still neatly. I tried anyway and a temperamental brush helped too.

journal page - April 8, 2011

I also found these lovely scrapbook paper at a store just a few streets away – yay! – and I’ve been fighting my squeamishness at actually cutting the pretty paper for days before I finally got those pieces on the page.

Do you have trouble deconstructing existing pieces of art (even something as small as a piece of patterened paper) to incorporate into your own pages? I guess this has something to do with my insecurity, with believing that another person’s artwork was better than anything I could pull off.

But an art journal is a place me to explore techniques, to expand myself and my creativity. I should grit my teeth and let go (sounds contradictory?). But even though I can logically understand this argument, it is still a struggle for me to actually act on it, to believe in myself.

Have any of you watched Sucker Punch? It was only a “pretty movie” at best, but there was one line in it that stuck in my mind, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

That line relates to my struggles in a way; I am still trying to find out what I stand for, what I’m trying to get across. Am I creating pages to put down my own emotions and recording my own mental growth? Am I writing down words of wisdom for future generations to come? Or does it all just come down to my desire to create pretty pages to show off to the world at large?

My mind is unsure of the answer to these questions, or to what the question actually is; does it matter in the end? Or does it all relate back to what kind of person I am, what I stand for.

Perhaps the art journal is to help me figure this all out. If I let it.

zentangle inspired page

Zentangle inspired page - 07/04/2011 Zentangle inspired page – 07/04/2011

A random page in my organiser that I filled with tangle patterns.

I was going to called this a “zentangle”, but after reading this and this, I feel I should learn a bit more about what a zentangle really is before I call my own pages a zentangle.

As credit I should note that I got some of the patterns from http://tanglepatterns.com and others from random zentangle pictures I found online, but I didn’t really write down the names of the patterns nor where I got them. I don’t think I will for random exercises, but if I ever decide to embark on a huge piece of artwork, I’ll probably mark them down.

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