Happy New Year…!

This has been a hectic year for our family. The main highlight was the trip to the States, including Chicago, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. 3.5 weeks of amazingness : )

The work on the house continues and we are approaching the final stages. Our journey into and through home education with our two bouncing boys continues and is one of the main reasons for the lack of activity on my blog. Since stopping the picture a day sequence of posts, which was quite a challenge, my motivation has waned – I haven’t even updated my blog with the pictures from the States!

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(Birmingham Library: Mecanoo Architects)

To be fair on myself, I have just finished a Blurb photobook of the trip (all 320 pages of it!!) which took maybe 4 weeks to compile, including a 4 in the morning upload experience : )

Thanks to everyone who has visited the blog this or any year and for the likes and comments. Here’s to 2014 and all the opportunities and creative experiences which are in store, just a glance or touch away.

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‘Hits’ and ‘followers’ landmark…

Just over 4 years ago (May 2009) I started this blog. Today the blog passed a bit of a landmark – 100,000 views. At the same time, the number of followers is just below 100.

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Thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on, followed and viewed the blog during those 4 years. I’ve appreciated the feedback and still feel the process of blogging is exciting and worthwhile. It’s been the gateway to the world of blogging and all the awesome blogs I regularly check from people all around the world. It’s a great way to record part of my life in pictures and words.

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3 years of blogging…

I just realised that I started this blog in May 2009, which is 3 years (and 6 days) since it all kicked off and I jumped head-first into the digital international community!

At the time, we were moving our bathroom upstairs, I was getting ready for my first solo photography exhibition and I had just become vegetarian! The main subjects are still there in the blog – family, DIY and art/photography, but more have been added, including gardening/allotment, sustainability and music/mixing.

Since that first post, 1200 posts have been added and my blog has had 50,000 views. A big thanks to everyone who has taken the time to have a look at it and for all the comments and ‘likes’.

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Matt’s blog gets the social media treatment…!

The power of social media…

As an experiment, Claire ‘pinned’ 4 of my recent blog images, including a few of my own photos and one of the melting crayon ones which I in turn had copied from the original website. The above image is the result of that single action.

Going from an average of around 100 hits per day with no personal social media platforms (such as facebook, pinterest, linkedin, blogger, twitter etc), the single day jumped to 672! At first it was quite cool, but then it just got ridiculous.

The other interesting thing about it was that all of the hits were very insubstantial, or shallow, without meaning. They were just hits, without any response, feedback, comment, ‘likes’ etc. There was no follow up at all. The far fewer number of previous hits had produced much more feedback. I love scanning through Pinterest for creative ideas, just like Flickr, but I suppose the gaining of this level of hits (with such an increase) has slightly put me off, in a strange way.

This does also show the power of incredible photos, to inspire and push people to action. The crayon image was re-pinned 223 times, with the total number of hits to my blog, via Pinterest, being 394, with 345 being specifically for the crayon image. It’s a very unique image and something very cool and visually stimulating. This is defo on my list for the next cold and wet day!

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1000 posts…

I’ve officially gone past the 1000 mark for public posts on my blog, which I setup over two and a half years ago.

First post was May 2009 and i’ve just gone over 30,000 hits. Not bad for a random and inconsistent offering of sometimes bizarre subjects! It’s been a fun experience so far and a great record of some of the family and life events.

Thanks to everyone who’s checked the blog out over those years and I hope you’ve found something interesting or inspiring!

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Blog header…

Just saw a great blog on the freshly pressed screen on WordPress, with a really nice sculptural header image…

http://mattalbertsphotography.com

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New blog appearance…

A new winter season starts (well almost – the stove has been kick-started anyway), so i’ve switched to a different appearance for the blog…

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Bye bye blog theme…

The sun is setting on Tarski, and rising on Twenty Eleven.

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New blog theme…?

I think I might have found a better layout/theme for the blog…

http://twentyelevendemo.wordpress.com/

I’m slightly reluctant to switch it over because it actually took ages to cutomise my existing blog, given the fairly restricted options which existed a couple of years ago. The theme i’m using (Tarski) was also pretty much the simplest theme on offer, which meant a minimal background, which helps to highlight the content. The major problem though with WordPress is the restricted layout options (certainly compared to Blogger) and with Tarski it’s the fixed and narrow column width.

So, there might be a new and (hopefully, possibly) improved theme emerging soon!

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New header image + Jamie writing…

I’ve been getting a bit bored with the look of my blog and have tried to alter a few things recently.

I tried switching the background colour to black, but all the hyperlink text came out a strange blue green and just didn’t work. I’ve checked other themes on WordPress but there’s nothing quite right! I’ve also altered the photos tab on the left with a grid of photos, rather than a slideshow, making it easier to scan all the images.

One of the better blog styles i’ve seen is the Slugs on the Refrigerator blog, with great fonts and image styles + with a much wider layout.

So, the next stage is to just get the CSS upgrade for WordPress, learn how to use the CSS programming then update and later my blog. There are some serious time constraints with that though, given how much else we have on, so i’m just going to have to put up with it for a while!

Anyway, i’m quite pleased with the home page right now and have just changed the header image to a recent bit of writing that Jamie did.

So far we haven’t been pushing the reading or writing with him, just reading a lot with him. He’s been getting the hang of words and sentences and keeps asking what various words mean etc.

But for the boys card to their Mum, I got him to trace over some dotted letters, to form his name. He did it really well and was really concentrating on it. I also suggested to him that writing was just like drawing, as it’s all based on symbols + you use a pen etc just like when he’s drawing! So I might do more of that with him to get him used to writing more.

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502 posts and going strong…

So, i’ve past the 500 post landmark! I was going to do a summary of the past blog experiences, as soon as the site got to either a certain number of posts, time (maybe a year since the start) or number of hits (maybe 10,000). Well, it’s been over 17 months since I started this blog (14/05/09) and have received over 9,000 hits.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to check out what we’ve been doing and I hope it’s been worth it! So far, i’ve really enjoyed taking the time to put it together and keep it going. I’ve been able to check back on various things over the months and it’s been cool to be able to show people what we’ve been doing. I know the various far flung family members also check both mine and Claire’s blogs, so it a good way of keeping in contact.

It’s also a brilliant family record of some of our major life events. The last few years have basically defined my life and it will be awesome to be able to show the boys some family snapshots from when they were still small(ish). I’m trying to put stuff on here which sort of defines me as well, so there’s things about all sorts of things – family, house DYI, sustainability/environment, politics, art/design/architecture, work things, Liverpool FC. I want to put more of the boys developments on here, particularly as we start/continue our journey into ‘education’.

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