Monday, January 7, 2013

Seen and Noted in 2012

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

My dear hubby and I both got bad chest colds over the holidays, if you can believe our terrible luck. Too sick to stray far from the living room couch on Christmas Day, we passed the day watching old movies and napping like children.

The turkey I had bought languished in the fridge- neither of us felt up to big-deal-type-cooking. Instead, we had a simple, and very untraditional omelette stuffed with onions, red pepper and cheddar cheese for our Christmas dinner.

My son and daughter-in-law rescued us on Boxing Day with turkey left-overs from her parent's home. I was feeling a bit better by then, so I whipped up buttery mashed potatoes and roasted some vegetables in the oven to go with the left-over turkey slices. That night we enjoyed a proper Christmas feast- if only a day late.

To start this brand new year, I thought I would begin with a quick glance backwards over my shoulder and down that windy garden path that has brought us all to this point.

I was originally thinking of entitling this series of posts "trends", but the things I have noted here are in some cases more general observations than trends. Other phenomena are just as likely "trends?" with a question mark. These are recurring themes that have sometimes left me puzzled and wondering: is this the direction in which things are headed?

Let's plunge in with the first item on my Seen and Noted in 2012 list:

The Rise of Pinterest (and the decline of Blogs?)

It has been an interesting exercise to put together my first boards on Pinterest this past year.

I see myself-my tastes, my interests reflected back to me in the images I have selected. It is a bit like looking around a room I have decorated, a garden I made or into a closet full of my clothes.

There I am! Spelled out in the series of choices I have made.

To be honest, that reflection in the Pinterest mirror has surprised me just a little. There are none of the usual reality checks and balances, and no budget constraints to restrict my selection. I can pin as grand a room, as vast a garden and expensive a dress as I dare to dream.

That my boards are a riot of color is not unexpected.

But the degree to which that bright, happy color has spilled over into my interior design boards has caught me off-guard. I guess I like color as much on the inside as the outside.

I am not a romantic by nature, but I sure seen to love soft, pretty romantic things. 

Most of it is pie-in-the-sky daydreams. I mean really, where would I ever wear that dress on the lower right (that is if I could ever fit into it in the first place)?

Chances are excellent that I will never get around to making those cute, crochet strawberries or organizing my wool into little canning jars. 

But it is fun to dream about being that crafty and organized, isn't it? 

For those of you who may yet to have discovered Pinterest, it is a one-stop internet shop for ideas in the form of pictures. 

Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Pinterest is sure to have lots to inspire you! 

So where do all these Pinterest images come from? 

Blogs, among other sources, feed Pinterest boards. The great thing about a good picture is that it is universal. Language is not the barrier it can be on a blog.

Does that mean internet users now spend time searching around on Pinterest instead of reading traditional blogs? 

Quite possibly.

You also have to wonder about Pinterest's effect on magazine and book sales. Why buy a cookbook when you can find a delicious, creamy-looking dessert online?

Everyone seems to be jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon including the afore mentioned magazines. It is no longer enough to have a website, traditional companies now adding Pinterest boards. 

Take this Kraft Pinterest page for example.

My own feelings about Pinterest are mixed. It is certainly a great place to waste time! 

On the upside of things, pins are just pictures. You still need the recipe, the how-to instructions or that plant name for that matter. 

Pinterest may take traffic from blogs, but it sends it back too, and for that, I guess I am grateful.

I am launching some Pinterest Posts today as well. These are mostly older images from my archives. Feel free to pin anything you may like to your boards.
More "Seen and Noted" posts up next, as well as winners for the Christmas book draws. In the coming weeks, there are also the winning essays for my November writing contest to look forward to. Baring unforeseen circumstances, I hope to publish the first winning essay this Sunday.


  1. I just heard about pinterest a few months ago when I discovered photos from my blog were being pinned. I was flattered, and I do feel that it may direct traffic toward my blog.

  2. Pinterest is fun...but I still like to read blogs better, somehow they are more personal and contain more information. I think that perhaps they compliment each other.

  3. Sorry to hear about your Christmas Day. I once survived on eggnog over Christmas under similar circumstances.
    Like you I am surprised what it says about some of my tastes. I like using it for personal pining. Sometimes, if I'm wanting to use an image on my blog, I'll try and follow the history back to the original pin, for copyright info and credit purposes. I'm not sure what the protocol is, can you enlighten me?

    1. Susan, I am not an expert on Pinterest protocols. Certainly as a photographer, I would want to be credited. You can find Pin Etiquette here: And rules about copyright here:

    2. Thxs for the info. I will follow up. S.

  4. Shame that your Christmas day was spoiled and glad that you're feeling a bit better now. After the initial excitement of pinning I have calmed down a bit now - life is too short to sit looking at pictures and dreaming of things you can never have. But I do find it useful and often use pictures to illustrate my blog posts when I have nothing suitable of my own.

  5. Wonderful inspiration you´ve collected!

    It´s so weird by the way, Google Reader showed 4 "new" posts from you today but they were all a couple of days old but I haven´t seen them before they came up now. Must be some problem with the service.

    1. Tina, I did put 4 "posts" up at once all late in the day. 3 of them are just pages of images that people can root through to pin images to their Pinterest boards. Not sure why some of them come up as days old.

  6. I'm sorry you were sick for Christmas, and I am glad you are doing better now.
    I like Pinterest, but I still think I like blogs much better.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  7. I too have joined Pinterest.. Love it ........ but I still love blogs. Glad you are feeling better , bad season for colds and flu..

  8. Hi Jennifer
    Sad to hear you and hubby were among the many who had colds and flu over the Holidays. Glad that your son and daughter-in-law live close enough that you were able to celebrate anyway - just a few days late.
    I too have fallen under the spell of Pinterest. At first I didn't know that if you search Google Images for say, Bathrooms, you should not pin the small picture that first appears, but should click on it further to credit the site. That's how I also learned that you can get to a recipe or a set of instructions if the site appears at the bottom of the picture.
    And I guess copyright is not really a problem on Pinterest because the Pinner is not claiming to have created the photo - he/she is just adding the photo to a set of favourites.
    Anyway - I often lose precious hours playing on it, but I really do have fun. I love it!
    As far as replacing blogs? I'm not sure that would happen - Pinterest really is just pix - good blogs also have excellent writing. 2 distinct areas to be enjoyed.

  9. Happy New Year Jennifer girl !
    I hope you and hubby are well recovered by now ? What a way to spend the holidays though .. bummer !
    Pinterest ...I just don't know .. I spend a little time there but not as much as the average user probably .. blog traffic .. I don't worry about that .. I only have a few friends that stop by and that is fine with me : )
    I am moving on to trying to plan what I want to do with the garden this year and a few home reno projects I won't have a lot of time to waste there .. not that I don't enjoy it .. I just can't sit here long and do that! LOL
    Fingers crossed we have a great or at least better garden year THIS year than last eh ?
    Joy : )

  10. I love pinterest and it saves me a fortune on magazines as I used to cut them up to make wish boards and scrap books! I'm off to look at your pins :-)

  11. Sad to hear you have been ill Certainly no fun at the holidays. I actually stayed home from visiting the husband's family to AVOID getting sick again. Better to stay home than risk being sick for upcoming travel. I have a Pinterest account, but never once pinned anything. As fun as it looks, it also looks time consuming. I like the words to go with the photos, and as passe as blogs are becoming, I feel they still are more interesting because they have the people behind them.

  12. It's a shame if blogs really are going by the wayside already, but they do take a lot of effort.

    If I get really bored I'll go to Pinterest, mainly to look at gardening and dessert ideas. I don't find the gardening section to be that great, but some of the desserts are ridiculously good! I'll have to check out your pins.

  13. I am so sorry that you were sick. Glad that you got to enjoy a Christmas feast - even if it was a little late. I don't do Pinterest, so I may be a bit prejudiced, but I think Pinterest will wane, not blogs. Everyone I know did Pinterest like crazy for a while, but now they are rarely on it. It's like the days of old when we would look through the Sears catalog (boy, does that date me!) and play "make believe you can get anything you want". After a while, the novelty wore off. Blogs are real people doing real things - I don't think that will ever wear off!

  14. never know, you could possibly wear that dress one day!!! Ha! So glad you are back and feeling healthy again! We are all sick in my house and it won't go away! As for Pinterest some of my boards surprise me too! I find that my fashion or clothing board does indeed help me. When I go to the store I have actually referred to that board to remind myself what I like! (I get overwhelmed when I go shopping!) And like you said, some of it is purely just day dreaming! Fun post! All the best in 2013 lady!!!

  15. Glad you're feeling better. I find it true what you said about looking at your boards and seeing yourself reflected back. Interestingly, a couple of acquaintances have become friends because of Pinterest. We were seeing what the other was pinning and thought we needed to hang out. It's worked out great and our friendship has blossomed!

  16. I'm better at words than pictures, so I selfishly hope blogs don't fade in favor of Pinterest! In fact, I rarely go there unless directed by friends to something particular. But I must admit, I got some fantastic ideas looking at your Pinterest posts on garden decor, so maybe I should add it to my list of gigantic internet time sinks.

  17. I think Pinterest has its place, I certainly enjoy looking around for hours on end.

  18. We will always have blogs, and I certainly hope Pinterest also...I adore it, it's like having like you said a unlimited budget to accomplish what inspires you.


  19. Thank you Jennifer for your thoughts on this. I have looked at Pinterest occasionally, even found some of my own photos have been 'pinned', but have never felt the need to join. I wondered though about people who would normally browse magazines, are they losing business?

  20. What an interesting post. I haven't had much time for Pinterest. A picture might paint a thousand words, but I like to give a thousand words a read from time to time, so I hope Pinterest doesn't replace blogging. That said, I will spend a little time on it this weekend in view of some of the comments above. I hope it isn't addictive.

    How rotten to be ill over Christmas. Here's to a healthy new year.

  21. I haven't done anything with Pinterest yet, but I look forward to exploring it. I love the pages that you have shared.

  22. Since I have not said to you before, happy new year to you as well. I see that Santa (or Father Christmas) brought you and your husband the same thing I got. I am still in recovery.


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