four years in.

It’s my blogiversary!  As of today I have four years of blogging under my belt.  I’ve written 736 posts and had 121,042 visitors to the blog with 338,987 views of my posts, and those numbers don’t include those who are following via email (another 86,000 views for 2017 alone).

Wowza!  I definitely did not see those kinds of numbers in my future when I started this blogging thing.

I started my blog on Thanksgiving weekend, 2013.  The only reason I started then was because I happened to have some time on my hands with the four day weekend.  I wasn’t thinking ahead to the idea that my upcoming blogiversaries would coincide with Thanksgiving weekend and thus become the perfect opportunity each year to express my gratitude for my readers.

In other words, I couldn’t have planned that better if I’d tried.

So here we are at the perfect time of year for thinking about the things we are thankful for, and I want to take this opportunity to say that I am extremely thankful for all of you!  I have the most supportive, thoughtful, kind, enthusiastic, insightful, creative … well, let’s just face it, positively brilliant readers out there in all of blogland.

I cherish each one of you and I appreciate each and every comment that you leave whether it be short or long.

It wouldn’t be a blogiversary celebration without a giveaway, so be sure to read to the end of the post for more details!

In light of the announcement earlier this fall that this will be the last season of Fixer Upper, I’ve been thinking about longevity a lot lately.  How quickly people rise to the height of fame, and then either move on to other things or disappear off the map entirely (not that I’m saying that will happen to Chip & Joanna!).  Or conversely, how many start something and then just fizzle out quietly.

I’ve been at my day job for 30 years (I know, crazy right?), we’ve lived in our house for 29 years.  We’ve been married for 28 years (yes, Mr. Q and I shacked up before we got married).

And I’ve been painting furniture for more than 20 years.  Since long before chalk paint or milk paint became all the rage, and definitely before blogging was even a thing.  Actually, the internet itself was just getting rolling back then.

I know it’s terribly ‘old school’ of me, but I place some value on longevity.

I guess it goes without saying that when I find something that works for me, I tend to stick with it through thick or thin (whether it’s a job or a marriage, or so far even a blog).

That seems to definitely be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to blogging.

I’ve watched so many blogs come and go over the past four years.  And I totally get it.  Blogging is very time consuming, and the financial payoff for most is fairly minimal if not pretty much non-existent.

I could work harder to promote my blog, and I could ‘monetize’ it (by adding those annoying pop-up ads).  I know there are a handful of bloggers out there who have been able to quit their day jobs and live on their blog revenue, but I think that is pretty rare and not always long lasting.  I have no plans to ‘monetize’, and in fact I just upgraded to the next level of WordPress which means you’ll no longer even see those ads at the bottom of each post (you’re welcome!).

I do get one awesome financial benefit from the blog though, free product.  I’ve gotten paint and other supplies from Little Billy Goat, Rachel Ashwell, Real Milk Paint Co, Fusion, Homestead House and Miss Mustard Seed.  This benefit has been totally amazing!  It’s like getting a fun gift every time I receive a box of stuff in the mail. Although most of these have been one time deals, the Fusion/Homestead House people have been incredibly generous in continuing to send product on an ongoing basis.

Over time I’ve dabbled with increasing my exposure through HomeTalk and a Facebook page, and I’ve thought about adding Instagram.  There seem to be a million other options for social media these days.  But those things all take up valuable time that I’d rather be devoting to either refurbishing vintage furniture or to writing the blog posts themselves.  After putting in the time at my full-time day job (the one that actually pays the bills), there are only so many hours left in a day and I have to choose what I spend them on wisely based on my personal goals.

So, if I’m not doing this blog thing for financial gain and I have no immediate desire to focus on expanding my exposure, why am I doing it?

The answer is really very simple.  Because I love it.

It totally makes my day when I get comments from you guys about how much you enjoyed a post.  I also get a huge kick out of meeting people and having them say “I just love your blog!”  It’s always fun when someone tells me they were inspired by one of my projects.

I really enjoy the photography side of blogging as well.  Staging a piece to take photos of it is one my favorite aspects of blogging.  I’ve been working on improving my photography skills which has been pretty fulfilling.

Writing blog posts is also something I enjoy.  I’d never considered myself much of a writer before, but as it turns out I take some pleasure in writing a good blog post.

But most especially, I really relish the process of taking a beat up old piece of furniture and giving it a new lease on life.  I feel a certain zen-like sense of peace when I am alone in my workshop with some Pink Martini playing (anyone?) and a paint brush in my hand.  I could (and often do) spend hours just painting stuff.  I know I would do this with or without a blog.

You see, I am a furniture painter first and a blogger second and maybe that’s why I have managed to keep at it for four years now.

So thanks to all of you for sticking at it with me, and here’s to many more years!

As I mentioned at the start of this post, it wouldn’t be a blogiversary without a giveaway right?!  I wish I could just send this gift to each and every one of you, but that isn’t possible so instead I will draw a name at random from the comments left on this blog post by Thursday, November 30 at midnight (U.S. Central time).  The winner will receive a Seven Swans a Swimming box, a copy of the issue of Vintage Holiday magazine with a story about my ornament non-collection, a jar of Fusion’s English Rose (provided by Fusion!), five vintage pink bell ornaments (crossing my fingers that they will arrive intact!), and a pretty hair pin I made using a pretty vintage earring.  I might find a few other things to toss in as well.

Best of luck to you!  And thanks for helping me celebrate my 4 year blogiversary!

227 thoughts on “four years in.

  1. Congratulations on your blogaversary! I anxiously wait for your email to come to my inbox to see what you are working on and sharing. You are such an inspiration!

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  2. I just love your blog! I enjoy reading your fresh ideas and seeing your before and afters! You should definitely start an Instagram!!! Your blog will reach sooo many people and you’ve already done the time consuming portion writing your blog and posting to Facebook. Congratulations on your Blogiversary!!!

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    1. I know, I know. Instagram is where it’s at now. I just haven’t managed to convince myself to take that leap. Maybe if we get some brutally cold January days I’ll hunker down under a down comforter and try to figure out Instagram 😉

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  3. Congratulations on 4 years of blogging! You are such an inspiring and creative painter/re-doer. I have pinned more pictures from your blog than any other. And I love the pink Christmas ideas!

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  4. Congrats on 4 years of blogging Linda <3!! Love reading all your posts and looking and dreaming at all the photo's <3!! Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Q <3!!

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  5. Congratulations on four years! I love your posts and eagerly look forward to your most recent one showing up in my inbox. Your non-collection of vintage ornaments is so lovely, it brings back wonderful childhood memories of decorating our family tree with similar (now vintage, like me!) ornaments. As I have stated many times before, I wish we lived closer to you so I could purchase some of your lovely pieces. I am getting ready to refinish my first – a desk that my daughter and I recently picked up at a thrift store. It’s hardware has been removed, and it has been cleaned and sanded – but I have been too nervous to actually start painting!

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  6. Cindy congratulations on your blog aniversary. I may not comment often but I do really enjoy reading your blogs daily..
    You really do inspire me to learn from you
    I just need to start….hopefully this winter since it is my slow season…keep blogging my friend your awesome ♡

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  7. Congratulations on this anniversary, I enjoy your blog and your ability to recycle items into beautiful gifts and decorative items. Nice of you to provide a giveaway for your readers.

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  8. I found your blog for the first time this week and was drawn in immediately. I am 68 yrs old and have been married 48 yrs. I love ornaments and decorating my tree. I have been collecting them starting with my marriage so I guess they are vintage now! My daughter introduced me to chalk painting furniture and up cycling 2years ago when we moved to British Columbia from living in Alberta most of our lives. I refinished and painted a free table and chairs left on a driveway. My bedroom lamps are my mother’s old brass and cream lamps repainted silver with new shades. I love painting with chalk paint now. I also collect vintage Pyrex. Your give away looks so beautiful that I had to enter, even though I have never done this before. I will be a regular reader of your great blog from now on.

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    1. Welcome Janice! Now that is a long lasting marriage, congrats to you on that! I love that you have just gotten into painting furniture. Well, you have come to the right place. Hopefully you’ll learn a few q-tips here and there that will help you out as you paint more pieces.

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