Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sharing Our Common Interests, And The Liebster Award

Liebster Award, June Anderson Liebster Award, Under The Plum Blossom Tree Liebster Award

    Since I started blogging just over a year ago, I have met many interesting and talented people from all over the world, people I would love to meet in person, have a coffee with, and talk face to face, about our passions and the blogging and social media world.  We have common interests, and a desire to share them, and these common interests are what link us. For instance, I met Pauline from the blog Cloverhome on Instagram several months ago. Pauline lives in Nederland (also known as "The Netherlands" in the US) and is a talented photographer who blogs about her love of flowers and nature, has some great DIYs on her blog, and you can also learn interesting things about life in Nederland from her.  Imagine my surprise, when recently she nominated me for the Liebster Award.

I hadn't heard of the Liebster Award, and from a Google search I found that this is an award that is passed around in the blogging community, as a way of recognizing and connecting with bloggers who are relatively new to this media.  A nominee has a series of questions to answer, then in turn, nominates others for this award as well.  So, here are the answers to the questions I was asked, followed by my own nominees for this award.

What made you decide to start blogging?

I was inspired to start blogging because of my love of photography and scrapbooking.  These have been a large part of my life for some time, and telling the stories of my family through photos and words is both a creative outlet and an important part of documenting my family's history.  Over the years, especially as my children became older and less interested in mugging it up for the camera, I started photographing other parts of my life - the things I love, such as my garden, and the things I see around me in my every day life.  So, it seemed a natural progression to start a blog, as it is still telling stories through photos and words, but in a different format.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

At first the challenge was figuring out how to use Blogger and design the site itself.  After that was done, I must echo what other bloggers say - finding the time is the biggest challenge. The most valuable bit of advice about blogging I've read, is to figure out what a realistic schedule is for posting and then stick to it.  For the most part, this has worked out for me.

What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?

I love the variety of tasks involved in putting blog posts together - creating my own content, whether it is making a piece of art, growing flowers in my garden, or cooking a favorite recipe, and then the act of putting that content together with my photos in a meaningful way in order to communicate, in a broad sense, my ideas about the world.  

What is the story behind your blog name?

I have a lot of interests and from the beginning I decided that this blog could be a place where all of those interests could come together.  I wanted the name to sound like somewhere, a place, a destination, that anyone might relate to, and what better symbol than a tree?  Humans have been attracted to trees for, well, perhaps millions of years, for various reasons.  But for us modern people, I think we are drawn to trees for their aesthetic qualities as well as for practical reasons, and my thought is that we tend to want to spend time under them doing a variety of things that we love - reading, picnicking, making art, counting stars, being lovers - to name just a few.

What kind of tree to name my blog after was an important choice.  You may have noticed that I've written a bit about plum blossom trees and the fact that in Japan, these particular trees have a very personal meaning; because their blossoms come and go so quickly, they are a visual reminder of life's fleeting moments.  Right now is the time to find and enjoy happiness!

What are your three blogging essentials?

A camera, a computer, and the notebook that you see in the above photo.  I write down ideas and make notes in this notebook, as well as keep track of individual blog posts and the photos I've used.

What blog posts do you like to read?

I have to tell you that my number one favorite blog is A Beautiful Mess.  I discovered Elsie Larson about ten years ago when she was first submitting her work to the major scrapbook magazines.  I find her advice about blogging incredibly informative.  And because I still love to scrapbook and have shifted much of my memory keeping to pocket style albums, I enjoy Ali Edwards' blog. I occasionally read Grace Bonney's Design*Sponge; I like the variety of topics she and her team write about and I listen to her podcast After The Jump.  They also have fun hashtag challenges.  Another blog that features podcasts I listen to is EnJOY it by Elise Blaha Cripe.

And what would my blog roll be without the fantastic women I've 'met' from across the sea? I have Instagram to thank for that - after getting my first smartphone about a year ago, I immediately started brainstorming ideas for a way to become a part of the Instagram community.  That is when I found Emma's blog A Quiet Style and joined in with her Instagram hashtag Gathered Style.  It was from Emma that I discovered that she and many others (including Pauline from Cloverhome) have taken workshops on styling and photography from Emily Quinton, who runs the blog Makelight, which I now also read.

What one thing would you never leave home without?

Well, it's one thing that carries a few things - my purse, which has, among other items, a phone with a great built in camera.

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Enthusiastic, Imaginative, and Industrious.

What is your favorite flower?

Dahlia!  The range of varieties and colors of dahlias is amazing; see my post Summer Garden: Dahlias to find out more.

What is the most underestimated flower?

Dandelion.  At least in the temperate climates of the world, dandelions are everywhere, they're hardy and fast growing, and a lot of people hate them and call them weeds, but they really are beautiful. 

What advice would you give to a newbie gardener?

Just start!  I know, it's a catch phrase right now - a meme I guess - but it's so true!  The only way to be a gardener is to just start being one.  For years, I wished I had a garden, I thought my yard was too small for one, I didn't know anything about gardening, and I couldn't figure out how to get started.  One day, I just decided to get out there and do something, and ever since then, it's become a big part of my life.  
Even if you only have enough room for a container garden on your patio or an apartment balcony, start with just one or two or six plants - whatever you are comfortable with.  See what happens, and then learn from it.  You'll soon know what to do next.

So now that you know a little bit more about me, here are my nominations to pass on this honor:

meeni - Madeline Norris is a multi-talented artist who works in several medias, creating a wide variety of colorful stylish dolls, homewares, paintings, collages and jewelry. For her dolls and homewares she uses both vintage and new fabrics.  Her paintings and collages are also made with new and vintage papers, and her jewelry is made with glass beads that she created.  She also plays music and sings.  I met Madeline on Instagram where she features some of her handmade items, and there you will find that she also loves flowers and is a baker.  

Leaf and Petal Vintage - Karen is a collage artist who loves vintage paper.  I first caught a glimpse of her images on Instagram and then found her blog from there.  Right now, her cut and paste collages are full of images of women from vintage magazines that she has placed in some very amazing scenery. She also collages images cut from vintage dress patterns. She also enjoys writing, gardening and horticulture. 

Muff and Teacake - Carol's blog is all about living a creative family life.  There are ideas for children's books, photography tips, and featured crafters who share their works, to name just a few of her recent posts.  Carol is also on Instagram and loves to photograph flowers.

The Rules: (It appears these are loosely drawn - maybe they could be called guidelines.)

Each nominee must link back to the person who nominated them.

Answer the 11 questions given to you by the nominator.

Nominate three other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Create 11 questions for the nominees to answer.

Let the nominees know they have been nominated.

My questions for you:

What made you decide to start blogging?

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?

What is the story behind your blog name?

What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of starting a blog?

What blogs do you like to read?

Coffee or tea?

What is your best photography tip?

Can you share one tip for creating a fabulous Instagram feed like yours?

Where do you find inspiration for your art or craft?

What are three tools of your trade?

Oh, yes - one more thing!  Of course, there is no pressure to join in - only if you fancy it!


  1. So interesting to find out a bit more about you and thank you so much for the nomination, I'd love to join in xx

    1. Hi Madeline, thanks for taking a look, and I am so happy to hear you've accepted the nomination! I look forward to your post!

    2. Hi June! I spend so much time working at my computer. I need a large screen for my work, and I sit a lot. I suppose that blogging can be done with a small screen & therefore is more portable. I will have to consider it. Anyway, Congratulations! Happy Blogging & IGing too.

    3. Hi Gail! Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, you should consider it - I love your Instagram photographs of your town and your use of apps in editing them. They would make great photo essays. I know what you mean about sitting and working a lot - especially when the weather is nice. But yes, I think some people blog from their phones. Again, thank you and see you on Instagram!

  2. Lovely to find out a little bit more about you June. Thank you so much for the nomination. I have been nominated a few times in the past so I won't be doing a new post but appreciate you thinking of me and love that you enjoy my collages. x

    1. Karen - so nice to hear from you! Yes, I can imagine that you have been nominated before - such an awesome blog you have. I'm amazed at your stash of magazines - here in the US things like that are hard to find - they were snapped up ages ago. These days the price of just one issue is probably what you pay for a whole box or bag of them.

      I'm curious - do you have any particular collage artists that have influenced your work? And do you show your work in any galleries?

      Thanks for your reply and have a great day!

    2. My favourite collage artists at the moment are Eugenia Loli, Sammy Slabbinck and my friend Kate Cuthbert of Satin and Tat. Check them out! If I can be half as good in the future I will be very happy. I don't have anything in a gallery at the moment although in the past I have done some joint projects with a painter here in South Australia. Thank you so much for your interest x

    3. Karen! Wow, yes I can see where your inspiration comes from! Eugenia Loli, Sammy Slabbinck and Kate Cuthbert are indeed artists to watch. Thank you so much for sharing them with me - I have followed both Eugenia and Sammy on Instagram and bookmarked Satin and Tat. And of course, I am already following you on Instagram and pop over to your blog on occasion. Anyway, thanks so much for responding.


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