Meet MsCurlyPops and her blog CurlyPops
When did you start your blog?
It seems like an entire lifetime ago now, but I started blogging on January 15th 2008.
Why did you start blogging?
I’ve always loved making stuff and I had a habit of bringing things into work for show and tell. So when I had to give up working full time in mid 2007 due to my lung disease, one of my work colleagues gave me a newspaper article about craft blogs. I was completely amazed and intrigued about this entire blogging world that I’d never heard of (it was still quite new in 2007).
It didn’t take long before I was completely addicted to craft blogs, and decided to take the plunge and start my own.
Since then, my blog has gone from strength to strength, but my lung disease has deteriorated further, so I’m now on the waiting list for a double lung transplant.
Describe your blog in 20 words or less
It’s really just about the craft, with a smidgen of my life thrown in for good measure!
What are your 5 must have tools for blogging?
Craft blogs are very visual so it’s more about the image than the words (luckily for me).
1. A decent camera
2. An iPhone for good photos when out and about
3. Adobe Photoshop (there are lots of different photo editing programs but I like photoshop)
4. A sense of humour
5. A large monthly upload/download limit
What is your favourite part of being a blogger?
My favourite thing is most definitely the friendships that I’ve made with other bloggers, and the opportunities to get out and about and learn something new.
It’s also increased my general confidence.
What would be the biggest thing you have learnt since starting your blog?
The biggest thing that I’ve learned is to just put yourself out there and take a chance.
My life now is so completely different (and so much better and more fulfilling) when compared to what it was before I started blogging.
If you could start again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I’ve loved the entire journey so far.
What has been your blog’s biggest achievement?
Even though CurlyPops is a craft blog, I include some personal stuff as well. I think that my blogs biggest achievement so far has been to educate people about organ donation, and to assist in raising money for the Margaret Pratt Foundation Heart and Lung Transplant Trust via The Hottie Challenge. There’s a connection with an audience through blogging. The people who read my blog may have never thought about organ donation before. Maybe they’ve never ‘known’ anyone who has been waiting for that amazing gift of a second chance at life.
If I can get people to have that discussion with their families, and sign up to the national registry, then I feel that it’s the best achievement I could ever have from blogging.
Another quite lovely thing that happened this year was that I was nominated by Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of their top ten Fun Fearless Female Bloggers. I didn’t make it through to the final, but it was exciting to be nominated!
What do you find is the best way to help promote your blog?
I mainly just use other forms of social media for promotion – I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr etc… just search for CurlyPops. I’m sure you’ll find me!
What advice would you have for new chick bloggers?
Be yourself and have fun. Don’t have too many expectations. Don’t follow the pack. Use your own voice.
If my blog wasn’t fun for me, then I most certainly wouldn’t still be here after four years.
Do you (or do you plan to) make any income from your blog?
I don’t make any income directly from blogging (and I never intended to), although I do have an online shop where I sell my crafty wares. So indirectly, I do make some income by pimping them on the blog.
Blogging has also led to some freelance writing work.
What future goals do you have for your blog?
The only future goal that I have at the moment is to get some new lungs!
Being on the waiting list means that I can’t really plan anything too far in advance for the blog or for my crafty business. I could get a phone call at any time of the day or night and have to be at the hospital within two hours.
I might be away from the blogosphere for a little while when that happens…. but it won’t be for too long I hope.
I’ve also started a separate blog to write about the entire transplant process, from the pre-assessment testing and right through the recovery process. That blog may take precedence over CurlyPops for a little while.
As far as crafting goes, I’ve started designing and selling my own fabrics. I’m really looking forward to seeing where that takes me. Blogging is great for feedback, but also for documenting the entire design process.
What is your all time favourite post that you would love people to read?
That’s a really hard one to answer.
As I’m answering this, I’ve written and published 1661 posts over the last 4 years of blogging.
This one from June 2008 is the first time that I publicly acknowledged my illness on the blog. It was extremely hard to do at the time.
The day that I officially joined the waiting list - August 31st 2011
For pure and utter silliness (and to further embarrass myself publicly), I also love any posts that include my alter-ego Ms SuperPops. Thank goodness my photo editing skills have really improved since this post in 2009!
What is you most popular post (in comments, or traffic received)?
My most popular post of all time comes from my tutorials page
It’s the tutorial for ‘How to Make a Chef’s Hat for your budding Masterchef’
There’s lots of googling going on by people who want to make a Chef’s Hat, and they come from all over the world. I suspect that it has something to do with the worldwide Masterchef phenomenon.
Who are your 5 favourite chick bloggers and why?
This is one of the hardest questions that I ever get asked…. I have about 500 craft blog subscriptions in my google reader (and yes, I do actually read them all). Thank goodness they don’t all post every day.
I can’t decide so I have to choose 6.
Cathy and I both connected via a blog art swap that she organised when we were both just starting out, and we’ve been fabulous friends ever since. I’m so glad we found each other.
Anna’s blog is both shiny and happy (just as the name suggests). I love her work and I know that I’ll get a little dose of sunshine every time I visit.
Vic is crafty and hilarious. I know not to take a mouthful of coffee before reading her blog…. lest I might spit it out on the screen in laughter!
Michelle makes gorgeous clothes for herself, and she has completely inspired me to start doing the same.
Cathie and I first met at a pre-market meeting a few years ago. Just take one look at her blog and you’ll see why I can’t resist. It’s lucky I don’t live around the corner from her, because I’d be on the doorstep looking for cake every day.
Jess makes the cutest little critters that you could ever find. Take a look and see if you can resist!