advanced beginner : ten years of blogging

songbirds 20016

Ten Years!

This February marks the ten year anniversary of my blog. 10 years of trying stuff and sharing it.

Posting my efforts and experiments has made me braver and continues to help me push myself to keep moving, take chances, and get over myself. And I love having a record – evidence of small consistent effort over a long period of time, evidence of growth, a catalog of moments and sensations I would have forgotten. It is also a catalog of missteps. I looked through the entire blog over the last couple days – I never have before – and a lot of it makes me cringe. Not even just the really old stuff. There is a shocking amount of things I felt good about at the time that I see now as terribly flawed or awkward. Part of me wants to edit that all out but that is not the spirit of this effort – the spirit of this effort is reaching and sometimes reaching is flawed and awkward. In all of it that is what means the most to me – I tried stuff and I will continue to try stuff and share it. I’m deeply motivated by the idea that my best work is always ahead of me – I feel like I’ve barely gotten started.

To mark the occasion I chose a photo from each year to share in this post – some are images I loved, or times when I felt like I got somewhere new and some are just little moments I’m glad were preserved. Some of the images remind me of collaborators I was lucky to have and people who have been showing up here for the entire ten years – I am truly touched and grateful for that.

Beginning with 2006 – paper birds.

paper birds 2006

2007  –  the ginger rose

the ginger rose 2007

2008 – snapshots from Camp Wapameo for Birds

camp wapameo (for birds) 2008

2009 – diorama/illustration – theater

diorama 2009

2010 – snow

snow 2010

2011 – cardboard playhouse

yummy fun playhouse

2012 – fortuny spider

fortuny spider

2013 –  painting – utopia

utopia 2013

2014 – sri threads toadstool

sri threads toadstool

2015 – fancy unmentionables

mini doll


  1. Tara Wilson

    I bought my first bird from you in 2006! Congrats on 10 years.

  2. Congratulations! Of all the blogs from the last decade, you’re one of the only ones that’s kept it’s place on my feed reader. 🙂 The tiny worlds you create (both 3D and 2D) feel both instantly familiar and perpetually fascinating to me. We are lucky you take the time to delight us with a peek into your creative life. Thank you, Ann.

    • This whole comment really resonates with me, especially this bit: “instantly familiar and perpetually satisfying.” Well said, Alice!

      Ann, you’ve created a world I love to inhabit. You’ve also inspired me, time and time again, with your writings on process, curiosity, trial and error, practice, and showing up every damn day. I turn to this space, your blog, for those reminders on a regular basis—very likely to those posts that make you cringe, even! It’s a wonderful record you’ve created. No doubt a very valuable one. Here’s hoping for another ten years of following along and learning.


  3. Congratulations on 10 wonderful years! I’m so grateful I get to watch your work.

  4. Congratulations and thank you for putting into words so right on as to why some of us blog!

  5. Congratulations, I have just done 10 years too. I loved making your free paper machete boat for my great grandson.

  6. and huge congratulations from me as well Ann! It’s fantastic that you’ve made it this far without giving up, as many of us have, me included!
    I don’t always leave a comment but will often click through to read your posts.
    You’ve made some wonderful creations and written some very interesting and thought provoking posts. x

  7. This is definitely a milestone! I love your imaginary world of magical creatures, ships, and now dolls. What prompted me to start reading your blog was a post on a beautiful but fragile antique dress that you were going to take apart and use to create your works of art. It was hanging against the wall and the bottom was in shreds. I was so taken with the image and your idea of reuse that that image has stayed in my mind since I first saw it. Congratulations!

  8. Happy 10 Year-versary! I am in love & delight in the imaginarium of your world. Thank you for sharing your beautiful spirit.

  9. so many wonderful images..what I love most about blogs is that you can trace back the developing style and the ups and downs of life etc..they are a lovely reminder. I also cringe when I look back at mine..although now much abandoned. Thnaks for sharing your journey with us 🙂

  10. Congratulations! It’s so heartening to hear your story. It’s only that last year or so that I have been sharing things publicly. It’s very brave – for all the reasons you describe! We all have work that we look back at and cringe, but that’s all part of the journey. Easily made up for by having a full and wonderful record of all the creations and changes along the way. Cheers to another decade!

  11. You are a true inspiration to me, thank you. I design fabric and make pillows, scarves, and tea towels as well as photography and watercolors. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging. I am still so afraid to show much of my work, I hope I can get over that someday. Suzanne

  12. Mollie Bigger

    Thank you for all your sharing. I am new to seeing your work. I love what you are doing.

  13. Congratulations Ann on ten years of your wonderful blog! I discovered you only a couple of years ago but have enjoyed every post. Thanks for sharing your journey and providing glimpses into your creative life and process. I love opening your email each week and seeing what new delight you have for us. Thank you!

  14. Thank you for all your wonderful inspiring projects – and for your blog. It’s pushed me into doing new things I never thought I could try. I look forward to every post and I have lots of catching up to do.

  15. Very nice crafting you have around here. And 10 years are a great accomplishment, well done!

  16. Beautifully said! I have had the same reactions to things I made even a year or two ago. I really enjoyed seeing the projects you chose for each year. The cardboard playhouse is my favorite.

  17. So cool! Like others said, yours is one of few blogs I’ve continuously read since discovering you in 2010, so beautiful, creative and authentic. I also started my first blog on 2006, but deleted it twice to change names and platforms. Wish I’d had the foresight to choose a simple all encompassing name and kept a continuous record of my journey all this time. What a treasure!

  18. Helen Gillis

    Congratulations! I love your Blog! I’m sewing your tiny rag doll and clothes over holiday break. Merry Christmas! Helen

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