There are so many fabulous bloggers out there, and we want to highlight them on Cityline.ca. We’ll be profiling different lifestyle bloggers from month to month — they might write about food, fashion, beauty, décor, parenting, entertaining, gardening, you get the idea! For December 2012, we’re putting the spotlight on the stunning Bliss In Images. Run by Jacqueline Greenwood, the blog is a collection of elegant writing and gorgeous photography both taken by and found by Jacqueline, as she seeks to share bliss and inspiration through images. Here’s our Q&A with Jacqueline:
When did you start Bliss In Images and what was the inspiration behind starting the blog? How did you come up with your blog’s name?
I began Bliss in the spring of 2008. At that time I was dealing with an up-coming surgery which had me more than a little freaked out. So my response was to create a go-to spot—a place where I could surround myself with photos when I needed inspiration and to feel at peace. Photographs have always held such immediate emotional impact for me. They have the power to alter mood and energy. And they can infuse a moment with tremendous humour. I began by curating other photographer’s images centred around a theme or an idea I had in mind. In hindsight, the early years of my blog were a sort of Pinterest before there was a Pinterest! The name reflects that process: finding—and celebrating—bliss and inspiration in images.
On your blog, you post about a variety of different topics, from your family to food to home décor. What do you like about posting on a wide range of topics? What are your favourite types of posts to write?
My work life centres around making food in professional kitchens. And while it wouldn’t have been a stretch to write a food blog, I didn’t want to restrict my focus. And I have to say that for the longest time, I only had a little point-and-shoot number, so photographing food always felt a little disappointing for me. The image in my head never quite translated to the screen (which probably mattered more to me than anyone else). My favourite posts are ones that profile creative folks and the works they create, which might include Etsy sellers, photographers in the Flickr community, foodies or other bloggers. And now that I’ve introduced my own photos to the blog, I love spending time capturing the sublime quality of everyday details: a mood, an expression, or the way light falls in a room. The way people and objects hold presence, and my relationship to nature. Ordinary beauty that jump-starts my attention.
We love great photography and yours is gorgeous! Do you have a background in photography?
Thank you! I don’t have a background in photography apart from dabbling a bit when I was a teenager. I knew that at some point I wanted to incorporate my own photos into the larger collection I was curating. It took a couple of years before I felt confident enough to experiment and post my own. More often than not, I was frustrated by the limitations of my point-and-shoot. I recently acquired a DSLR and am learning a ton about my camera. I’m also taking an incredible online photography course which is flooding me with knowledge and inspiration!
What do you hope readers get from visiting your blog?
My blog is a refuge for me. I hope readers feel that way as well, that they have an opportunity to “find bliss, and stay awhile”—if only for a short while! If the images and stories people encounter lift their spirits or strengthen connections, then I’m thrilled to have played some small part in that. I blog because the process of creating visual content is an on-going personal exploration. And I hope that readers feel inspired to trust and explore their own creative instincts. I choose to focus on intention with my blog posts. And in doing that, I celebrate the small, ordinary moments in my daily life that provide me with a feeling of optimism even when I’m up against life’s tough stuff. And so I hope that readers come away from my blog feeling that small things and ordinary moments are worthy of rejoicing in.
Tell us about a post (or two!) that you’re particularly proud of and want to share with Cityline.ca readers.
I’m excited about a recent on-going series called Creative Space featuring the unique, personal spaces that people create in. The impetus for this was the need to carve out a space of my own in a corner of my attic. In turn, I love hearing about my readers’ creative spaces through their comments and emails.
Another post I enjoyed doing was a quirky food-related one: Doily Cookies. The fact that it continues to have a huge number of views is a little baffling as I never intended it to be anything more than the exploration of a fun idea—imprinting cookie dough using the (inexcusably large) number of thrifted doilies I have. Because readers love it and it was so much fun to do, I’m planning a follow-up post.
What are some other blogs you love reading?
That’s a toughie! The inspiration pool is truly bottomless. I love being introduced to new blogs, but I always re-visit:
Peonies and Polaroids: for stunning visuals and Brit humour at point blank range
Bluebird Baby: for visual artistry, superb photography and a passion for natural living
Nine of Cups: for seamlessly blending fashion, text and vibrant images into a gorgeous aesthetic
Forty-Sixth at Grace: for the love of all things wooden, handmade, pastry and foodie
Sweet Salty: for word-smithing like no other, and raw courage
Pia Jane Bijkerk: for lush interior design and love in the details
What’s your top advice for other bloggers? Do you have any words of encouragement to any other potential older bloggers out there?
Early on, I remember reading advice from a couple of “big name” bloggers on the subject of content. One advised bloggers to share only personal content as readers find it most relatable. The other said stay far, far away from anything overtly personal. And of course, both have huge followings! My advice is to carve out your own boundaries in terms of content by paying attention to what makes you feel comfortable. It’s your space—you get to decide what “success” means to you in terms of your own blog. If there are any “rules”, let them be your own rules. There’s a certain well-worn comfort and confidence that comes with the accumulation of life experience. I think older bloggers (and I’ve crossed the threshold of fifty) have an opportunity to share that perspective and build relationships within a very diverse community of readers. It really is a blast to challenge yourself, to learn something new (a bit of coding, some layout or design elements) and it’s equally rewarding to be fueled by other people’s words and images!
We want to hear from you! Do you know a blogger we should feature on Cityline.ca? Maybe it’s you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Cityline Featured Blogger” in the subject line. And don’t forget to include a link to the blog! Look forward to hearing from you!