Saturday, 5 January 2013

Keep Falling On My Head

Raindrops, that is. Or they did, back in mild, over-worked December, when I managed to keep up with taking outfit photos but not with posting. This is my final leftover 2012 outfit. 




I admire bloggers who are able to be really consistent. I'd like to be posting more than once a week, and enjoy to do so when I can amid revolving priorities, that pesky "time" business, and all of those unpredictable variables which apparently keep life interesting. 
You know the ones. 


scarf: Lupita's (Harlingen, TX), a gift from my mother, last worn here
cropped denim jacket: Smart Set, last worn here, detail of pins here
obi belt: Elizabeth Kelly London, etsy, last worn here
skirt with diagonal tiered ruffles: Nygard Collection, thrifted
shorty patterned rubber cowboy rain boots: Corky's, Becky's (South Padre Island, TX)




If you are a daily or near-daily blogger, what choices or routines do you find most helpful in streamlining the process? 


necklace: Tradewinds (local shop), detail here
cardigan: Deane & White, Winners, last worn here together with same shark-bite-hem tank top: Bellina, Winners




Some things I am learning: 
  • don't take too many pictures
  • if there are aspects I don't mind at all of blogs I love to visit (a standard set of poses, frequent repetition of clothing / footwear items, f'rinstance), I am free to let go of worries and any self-inflicted pressure about doing / not doing those things too
  • easy there on the verbiage, cowgirl
  • fun does not deserve to be strangled by perfectionism, that is mean
  • and don't take too many pictures 




Oh right! You probably want to see a bit more of the boots: 




I like for my rainy days to have a sense of humour, a touch of the absurd, a whole lotta colours, and a soft red lining too. (Stay tuned for spring - when the skies open I also enjoy some skulls and roses, and a green, green sole. Can't wait!) 




I initially passed on this skirt because it felt a bit "old-timey me," but when I went back to exchange another item, there it was, waiting still. In all its fluttery-black, semi-sheer-ruffly-layered, pretty-draping, well-made goodness. While it's true I haven't worn it a lot, my affectionate soft spots endure. 




I so appreciate your taking the time to visit, and your comments! I'm also very grateful to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for hosting Visible Monday, and to all the other participants. It's always a high point of my week - and it does wonders for my baseline post frequency. See you there.


67 comments:

  1. so glad you posted the last of 2012, those boots, my oh my, be still my heart! extremely delicious! and as always, the rest of your ensem very savvy, happy new year Amber, so glad you are in blogland :))

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  2. SH*T, those boots! And they're rubber? They'd be perfect here in rainy ol' Orygun.

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    1. I find I need cheerfulness wherever It can be found! Thanks, Val. :)

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    1. Thank you, Ulla-Marie! I find them wonderfully funny.

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  4. As a blogless readar, I can only thank you but have no helpful advice. Your posts are always a delight, and what you have to say can always be trusted to be delightful, amusing, interesting, or moving, if not a combination of those things; your outfits I love and find inspiring - so your posts are thus always worth waiting for. Thank you for finding the time to post whenever you do.

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    1. What a lovely comment - thank you for such kind and encouraging feedback, Radostin!

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  5. Beautiful jacket and really fun boots! I have really streamlined my process. I read a lot of blogs, and I often have things tumbling around in my head to talk about. I'll occasionally write the text part of a post the night before, especially if one day I have a lot of busy-brain topics. Then add in just a little about the clothes.

    I take around 5-8 outfit photos depending on weather, varying through some basic poses. Then grab a couple detail shots if I have enough time.

    I use microsoft office 2010 picture editor thing (red icon) to crop and resize my photos to the "Large online" size 800xwhatever or in that range. I usually pick 1-2 'good' photos and post. Very rarely, I'll do a color correct in photoshop, but only if I feel like the real life colors weren't captured.

    As for repeating items, I keep things on a sort-of two week rotation. Sometimes longer, but I try to make a conscious effort to wear something completely different everyday. My closet has exploded in the past year - and I hate to think I'm not taking advantage of every single piece.

    Speaking of exploding closets - I went thrifting for my birthday (early shopping because of 50% day!) and I found a trench dress in dark grey that reminded me of you! I had to buy it. It was only $4. I can't wait to get it washed to wear.

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    1. Thanks for these fantastic tips, Megan - you are a total superstar. With only being able to manage the very basics, anything much beyond a simple crop/resize/auto-fix exposure if needed is not stuff I want to spend time learning / doing either. When the days aren't so darn short, I'm very lucky to have great light.

      Making better use of my whole wardrobe is one of my motivators too. I have a ways to go with that, especially since I'm most drawn to accumulating clothes dressier and less practical than my actual daily life calls for. Overdressed-schmoverdressed, bah!

      I'm excited to see your trench dress! $4 is amazing. I've been pleasantly surprised with how much wear I'm getting out of mine, it's coming right up in my next post!

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    2. Woo! Looking forward to it! I need some inspiration for it. I've got mine in the wash today, hopefully to make it out to play this week.

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  6. Those boots are to die for, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, dear Amer you have such an eye for the best shoes in the world.
    I post about 3 times a week.
    Take losts of photos, but post few- 5/6 top. It is very boring to see 20 pics of one outfit.
    Have a lovely Sunday!!!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Thank you, Sacramento! I have a weakness for excellent shoes. I like to do a front and back view, details, and also try to convey something of the outfit's motion, or the experience of wearing it. I appreciate the reminder about "too many" photos, and you are right, especially if the pose / angle / information in them is all the same.

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  7. Those boots are UNBELIEVABLE! I have never seen anything like those. Also love your jean jacket. The whole outfit looks wonderful.

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  8. "fun does not deserve to be strangled by perfectionism, that is mean" Ah, I love this and will use it at least once a day : >

    As a frequent-blogger, I do a lot of what Megan does - I jot scraps of ideas on my iPad, take about six pictures and edit to just a couple, and re-wear my clothes (too much?). And if I miss a post or two, I don't perspire.

    Crazy-good boots you got there!!

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    1. I know, right? We have to stop that! ;)

      Thanks for your input Patti, and again for the glorious fabulosity you created in Visible Mondays!

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  9. Amber Dear,

    I am another blogless reader who adores your posts, for your creativity in all respects. And for your honesty, and sense of humor. You are a true inspiration!

    I would love to do a blog, in fact, but the time thing is my barrier, for now. Just too hard with the work load I carry. But I have made my peace with that, and perhaps when/if I can take a sabbatical in a year and a half, I can try blogging for myself! In the mean time, I am fed by a few wonderful folks, like you, and grateful that you find whatever time you can to do this.

    I adore those rain boots. And, speaking of shoes, I just want to tell you that I have been obsessing about Fluevog Prepare Guides since I saw yours a few months back. I actually tried some on when I was visiting Portland last Monday, and loved them so much; just couldn't quite allow myself such an expensive treat for now. But some day. . .

    Thank you for all you do. Post when you can. We will be grateful.

    Hugs from Tucson,
    Linda

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    1. Dear Linda, thanks ever so much for this. I deeply relate to workload issues! Being bless-cursed with an intense work ethic, my life could easily be swallowed up, though I do love my job. Blogging is one way I hold the line demarcating non-work, and for me one of its functions is to shift my brain into social / recreational space in a not too energy-taxing way.

      I was in the same boat with the Guides, but lucked into just over 40% off (still a lot, I know) through Amazon, where they sometimes drop the price on the last pair in a colour / size; Warehouse Deals can also be worth haunting. I've also saved for things like special shoes, art, and trees through a special-occasion fund - instead of gifts on xmas, Valentine's, birthdays, anniversaries, Beary and I will put some money in an envelope designated for the dreamy item. Hope you'll be dancing around in them someday!

      I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog - thanks again for your generous comment!

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  10. Hello there Amber, those boots are magnificent! Can't believe that they're rubber! And thoughtprovoking words about blogging.... personally my criteria is that the pictures be large enough to be seen clearly - I'm really turned off wardrobe blogs which show only tiny picture of the clothes. Your photos and those of all the best bloggers are of a good size so allow me to actually see what I'm commenting on! I know what you're saying about the work/blog balance, but remember it can be a treat to look forward to a new post rather than be inundated with them daily...

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    1. Thank you, Emalina! Yes, I had helpful feedback on photo size right at the very start, and it's crucial for enjoyability. It's true too that there's something to be said for a bit of anticipation - fortunately, there are no worries about a daily Butane Anvil inundation at the present time, lol!

      I'm glad you started blogging too, I really enjoy your posts.

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  11. First of all: those boots! Amazing!

    And second: I so get where you're coming from with the consistency thing. I look at daily outfit bloggers and just in awe of how they manage to keep up with that kind of schedule: I mean, I'm self-employed and work from home, so technically I should have all the time in the world to take photos and write posts, but lately I've been lucky to manage one post a week, mostly because the weather has been so awful that I just haven't been able to get out and take photos (and my indoor ones always come out really dark and blurry due to the poor light indoors: gah!). So I have no real advice as such, but what I have found helpful is to just try not to stress about it too much, and to give myself "permission" not to post if I just can't manage it. I'd rather have one semi-decent post per week than seven really bad ones, so I've decided that I will simply post when I can, and not worry if I can't. I have to admit that I still have to battle the feelings of guilt I get when I haven't posted in a while, but I'm actually convinced that people don't really notice anyway, so I get over it!

    Thirdly: did I mention how awesome those boots are? It has to be said twice :)

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    1. Thank you, so much Amber! I find your posts well worth any necessary space in between and enjoy them as they come - funny isn't it about the "shoulds," I get those too and appreciate your thoughts!

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  12. Those little welly boots are just fabulous, Amber! and with the floaty flirty skirty and fab belt, it's a brilliant ensemble.
    I don't know how anyone manages to post daily, and I certainly don't feel the need to do so. Blogging is about fun and friendship, surely, so your friends will wait for your posts, and understand that life gets in the way of blogging sometimes!
    I'm just glad to see you when you're around, love! xxxx

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    1. Always so wise, dear Curtise. Balance is where it's at! xoxoxo

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  13. You know I love patterned rubber boots - just got my first pair this new year.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. YES! Don't they make mud and rain just super? :)

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  14. I swear I wouldn't mind the constant rain here if I had YOUR BOOTS!! Your boots will make the sun shine on my toes! Your boots will turn puddles into rainbows. Those boots could build pyramids. Oh, did I say I like your boots?
    And I love that swirly, floaty, filmy skirt you've paired with them. Rubber and chiffon...dreamy!
    Re posting frequency, I have no advice whatsoever. I fail in consistency but I win in terms of my own peace of mind. Blogging without obligation. I like too many pictures. And I like reading if you're the writer.

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    1. The boots do help - a lot!
      I have much gratitudinal feeling for your voice of non-obligation, another Wise One, O Melanie mine! No wonder your mind is so brilliant, what with all that wonderful peace.
      Thank you for liking "too many" pictures, too. :)

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  15. My dearest friend! Do it YOUR way, period. That's the only advice I could possibly offer, given my own limitations. I love all your posts regardless of length. If it's long and I don't have the bandwidth to digest it all, I'll mentally nod and think, "Wow, Amber's really smart AND I love those boots." Like now. I love those boots! And you.

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    1. Aww, big love right back at you! Thanks, Jean!

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  16. Great outfit and seriously cool boots! Just do what you want to with the blog posts...as long as it is fun...then it's going great! I know there is peer pressure in the blog world, but I really try hard not to let it get to me. Just do what you want! We enjoy it when you do!

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    1. Thank you, Pam, for being so supportive! No-pressure fun is definitely where it's at and must stay in order to be sustainable. Thrilled to hear you're enjoying it!

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  17. Some good advice here! As one of those pesky "everyday" bloggers, here's what's worked for me:
    - don't take too many pictures! You know this already, but it works for me.
    - take the pictures quickly. There's a reason I only have 2 signature poses: they work and they're quick and they are reliable and consistent.
    - I crop and resize like Megan Mae, in MS Picture Manager. It's easy and fast.

    I take my pictures in the morning - it only takes a few minutes to do both the indoor and the stair shot. I upload my photos and crop/resize as soon as I get home from work, then write my post. I usually am thinking about a title or what I'm going to say about the outfit throughout the day. My posts have taken longer this year due to having to find every instance of previous wears on items in the capsules, but a short post can only take me 20 minutes at the most. The monster recap posts take 4-5 hours. Yes. Hours. I do them on the weekend, with my hubby's watching football, or I write them over the space of a few days, then spend 2 hours doing all the links.

    And your outfit: magnifique! I love the boots - I've been on the lookout for some funky second-hand rubber boots for months. I never find good ones in my size!

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    1. Oh Sheila, thank you so much for your generosity intaking the time to add this response - exactly the kind of voice of experience I was hoping for. Hardly pesky - completely, knock-me-over impressive, more like! Hats off in serious admiration of you and what you accomplish with your blog on top of your incredibly and awesomely full life.

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  18. Gorgeous rubber booties Amber. They look like some antique china. Hey, just do it however you want, that's the point anyway, isn't it? Who wants to look at blogs that are all alike in format, frequency, and flavor?! The only thing I don't care for is videos (and so what?), it's not like they're mandatory viewing. Peace.

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    1. Great input, Pat!

      Re: videos, I'll rarely watch the odd very short one or maybe play a bit of a song someone's added - they are very, very hard to do well and my connection's too slow, so the vast majority not worthwhile for me either.

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  19. I have no advice on more frequent posting. I am lucky here lately to get in one post a week. I'm retired and I still don't seem to have time to get everything done.
    Your outfit posts are sheer perfection. I love everything about them-the way you pose, the way you dress, your writing... yep, everything.
    I'd be happy for rain. We have been in a drought for 2 years and it is starting to get really, really serious. I fear water rationing if we do not get rain soon.

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    1. Thanks, Debbi - the appreciation-society is mutual! I hear you too, there is plenty to do in life without ever working, going to school, or blogging.

      Sending rainy thoughts your way - here in SW Ont it hasn't been nearly so bad, but I've never in my life seen acres and acres of corn all brown in death-spikes like this past summer. I get the sense that all farming communities are following the worrisome climate shifts closely.

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  20. So, are the boots comfortable? They sure are purty! The whole outfit sings, gal!

    As a blog reader, I prefer not so many photos. I like it when the blogger can edit to their BEST. For instance, your first shot captures the boots perfectly and you didn't need the other collage of 4 images. Just my personal opinion.
    Ha. Notice I said blog reader and not viewer. I don't mind verbiage -- if it's worth reading. Your's is.

    On SpyGirl, my fashion blog, I take my photos in the morning, usually as I'm running out the door late for work. And it's rare that I'll post more than one image. For a while, I was posting outfits almost every day -- but it became too much work. My fashion sketch segments I do "whenever". At the start of this year, I actually starting scheduling posts (writing them and scheduling them to post in the future). I'm working on a SpyGirl sketchbook that's due 1/15 and contains 15 outfit sketches but wanted to stretch out the posts for longer. That has made my life much less crazed. Speaking of crazy, I have 5 blogs! Most of them are neglected.

    Gosh, we're all writing novels here!

    The reason I stopped by is Tami (Thrift Shop Commando) mentioned you as the last in the queue for the famous yellow skirt. True? I would like to be next, please! Confirm and I'll send you my address.

    Oh, one more thing -- your hair looks FANTASTIC! I love the front spiky bits.

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    1. Welcome, Anne! Yes, absolutely comfy - the rubber has a give to it, and though these run slightly small in size, it was an easy fix - pulled out the insole of the left, it being my bigger foot.

      Thanks for sharing what works for your own blog process. In my reading / viewing as well as posting, I enjoy relatively more photos - see my response to Sacramento, above - 10 max, but more is great if it's a round-up post or other event. With my life and work being what it is, sometimes I have nothing left over for one more decision, even if it's just "this one or that one"!

      Re: your Yellow Skirt inquiry - it is already spoken for after me and by at least three bloggers beyond that; I don't actually know who the last in line is. Best I can recommend is stay on the lookout for it, and keep building these friendly connections!

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  21. Oooh, dem booties is damn fine!! Me loves 'em. Me wants 'em. As far as how often I'm going to blog this year, let's just say a heck of a lot more than last year. I aim for consistency in 2013. Let's say 2 or 3 times a week? Yes, that sounds about right. Just have to do it now.

    Cheers from England,
    Rosemary of www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

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    1. Awesome, Rosemary! Your frequency sounds reasonable and comfortable, and thanks for your kind words!

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  22. I adore your BOOTS!!! Your whole outfit is lovely.

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  23. Made for each other... adorable skirt and the best boots in the known universe. Look in the dictionary under "cool" and there is your picture!
    Thanks for all the inspiration, and I'm looking forward to however much you manage to share with us in the coming year.
    (I'd like to post twice a week, but am not managing that. Patti and other hostesses of these cyber-hangouts keep me focused. I'm also still settling into what I really want to present in my little blog, and less sure of what I want to inflict on folks!)

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    1. Thank you, Jan, for this thoughtful articulation of your evolution, and for your generous feedback! Yes, those hard-working hostesses and that bit of structure, incredibly helpful.

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  24. Dear Amber, your boots are sheer perfection, and your sheer skirt is perfection too! I always enjoy your blog and everything about it.

    Ever since I let go of a more frequent pace, my enjoyment of blogging increased. I want to explore other worlds in life as well, so Style Crone and all the bloggers that I love remain a huge focus. But I want to be in the moment with other pursuits as well, and I feel that I have found my rhythm without pressure. Whatever you do with frequency, etc., I will remain an avid fan.

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    1. That's exactly it, Judith - having room to be present in all aspects of life that call me, and finding rhythm without pressure. Beautifully said. I'm an admirer of yours as well, and so pleased by our developing connection.

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  25. YeeHAW! Those are the best darn boots south of the Pecos (wherever that is...). LOVE the pattern. Your blog posts are great - you write with such warmth and are so articulate, and your outfits are always a treat. I can't believe that I used to post every other day, but that was when it was more of a street style blog than a personal one, and it was easier to quickly post a photo with a sentence about what I liked about the subject's style. I've tried to make my posts a bit more "meaty" this past year. Working at a full-time day job doesn't leave a lot of time or energy in the evenings to post as frequently as I would like, and I like to set aside time to connect with the bloggers I follow. Keep doin' what you're doin' girl, it's awesome!

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    1. Much appreciated, Shelley! I especially like how you describe the shifts in your process and subject matter over time.

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  26. I love your gorgeous rain boots and the frilly feminine skirt and how you've fearlessly mixed them together.
    I hear you on the blogging consistency - I have good months and then pretty bad ones - would love to post more than once a week but I think I would need to hire an employee in order to do so!! I'm just doing it like Jean above says - my own way and ignoring all those blog advice articles that seem to be written for people who have the luxury to blog full time - if I didn't do it my own way I probably wouldn't be able to blog at all.

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    1. Hallo, V! Your posts about dance and black lace and images of tiered ruffles inspired me to get more use out of this skirt. Yes, I've seen a couple of those articles you mention, and I also think it makes a difference if one is endeavouring to earn income or meet specific traffic / audience benchmarks and such. The blogs I love, including yours, I enjoy seeing whenever there's a post and I am so glad you have found your own way!

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  27. I'm a new blogger and still finding my way in the blogosphere so I can't offer any advice on posting more frequently and/or with more consistency. I will contribute that I think it takes time to find your own personal comfort zone when it comes to how many posts, and the content of each post. Artful blogging doesn't necessarily happen right out of the gate. Having said that, I think you've nailed it. I love your photos and the written content keeps me coming back. Whether it be one post a week, or several...I look forward to the next one.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sue, for your well-considered and kind feedback. I'm at about five months, and not sure when I'll stop feeling like a "new" blogger! I agree that some things come only with time, you're on the money there!

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  28. I love these pictures. The boots are great and the overall ambiance is super.

    Regarding consistent blogging -- I have trouble with this, too. Some days I feel like writing a lot and others times I am uninspired or overscheduled. The great thing about Blogger is I can schedule posts in advance. When I'm inspired or have some extra time (hah!) I do several posts all at once and then let them appear every four days. It makes me look more consistent than I really am.

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    1. That's awesome to hear about the ambience in this post, thanks! It was way dark already when I took these so I've got the overhead bare bulbs on and an experimental solution over to the right. Winter, bah!

      I haven't used the schedule-posts-in-advance feature, yet, but I like these advantages you mention.

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  29. Those boots are fantastic!! Patti's Visible helps get me in gear to do a post, too!! lolzzz I find taking good pics difficult because I have no tripod and no one to help most of the time and posing is hard, too. I am not a 'natural'-- but I am starting to have fun :))

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    1. So nice of you to say! The only advantageous item I have from your list is a tripod, and all the rest is learn-as-you-go! Fun is what it's all about, glad to hear you're getting there. :)

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  30. Love your posting advice. I couldn't agree more... especially about the pesky strangulation that is perfectionism!

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  31. I always love your verbiage, Amber. And those boots are perfect and whimsical and pure happiness.

    I love my daily blogger buddies, but decided not to post more than 1-3 times a week, partly 'cause it felt a little too self-absorbed and partly to give me time to read other peeps' blogs.

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    1. Yes, that's a big part of it for me too - keeping tabs on other peoples' fabulousness, as much as I can manage, does affect my posting frequency. I miss responding to all or most comments as well, and the way that supports really taking them in and deepening / broadening / expanding the conversations. Thanks, Lynne!

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  32. OMG the boots are indeed great! The pattern kind of reminds me of William Morris!
    I used to blog every day but that became too much pressure so I just do it every other day!
    Hugs :)

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    1. Oh, cool reference, thank you, Sara! Your blog is beautiful, I just love following your eye through your week, and awesome that you've found a manageable way to keep it up which fits. :)

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  33. Darling, I am rather obsessing over those amazing boots! Most excelllent to get a good close view, you must have been reading my mind!
    I do post fairly often! I've pulled back a bit, as I was worried it was getting boring!
    I am a bit sneaky and often just load pictures for several posts in one go, and then when at work pop in and do the words as I can....it's also rather naughty, but O well. But really, just when and as you feel the urge is enough. And I find not taking many pix works well, then it doesn't take more than a second to decide which few to use.I'm not a perfectionist, luckily! Some ladies take hundreds in the search for the perfect pic, I hear!
    Back to this awesome outfit, the skirt is awfully pretty! I love having different and unusual pieces in my clothes selection. Sometimes I get bored, or just have a diffeerent mood. It's fun to change it about. I wouldn't want to be predictable, if I can help it!
    I love your quirky style, it's refreshing and different. And you take some great shots at funny angles that i love! You could probably stand on your head and I'd applaud!
    XXX

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    1. Helga! "Boring" is probably the last word ever that anyone in their right mind would imagine describes you. You are a naughty, extremely photogenic, full-of-heart goddess who is stupendously skilled and talented at creating fabulous ensembles, and hilarious besides. Thank you so much for your thoughts on process and frequency! To be as marvellous as you are of course you'd have things well-figured out. I love that you visit here and have such great things to say. xoxoxo

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Thank you for your comments!
- Amber