Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome to Fig and Thistle

It may seem like my decision to leave Blogger came suddenly in a bout of mania, but I've been ruminating over the move for ages.  Blogger was pretty good to me, but lately I endured several frustrating glitches and I was tired of the entire look of Blogger.   My html experience is lacking (okay, pretty much non-existent) and I thought my layout clunky at best.

I have seriously analyzed some of the blogs I adore to establish what it is that hooks me.   Several of the blogs I enjoy like this one, this one, and this one are WordPress blogs.   The look is very clean and well-organized and that is something that this library girl can completely support.

There were several other reasons why I made the switch to a new blog.  First of all I started The Blog Jar fresh out of college and while I was still obsessing over Sylvia Plath and overall completely frustrated with life.  That was the first Blog Jar (the one I irrevocably deleted after a bout of vodka drinking-- long story) and then I started The Blog Jar again in January of 2007.

I feel like I've outgrown that blog.  Since January of 2007 I've married and am expecting a new baby.  My daughter is fast approaching tweendom and I've accepted the fact that I will never find my blog niche.  I've struggled with deciding if I should blog about my personal life, or be a strict book blogger, or move to embroidery blogging, or scrap everything else and bake my ass off.

I still love Plath, but not in the same way.  I don't identify with her personal life quite as much.  There are still some blue days and days I struggle to balance family, work, and creativity, but on the whole I have an amazing sense of contentment my life.  I need a place where I can share my days (not in a spilling the sordid sort of way).  I want to share that blend of work / family / reading / creating that makes time special.  There will still be sarcasm and rants, but perhaps this blog will reflect the balance I have in my life rather than leaning heavily in a certain direction.

The realization has struck that I'm an everything or nothing blogger.  Truly, "my candle burns at both ends."  I love to be busy and my days are filled with family and friends, baking and stitching, reading, and tons of other things I enjoy.  Compelled to share everything I love, I can't limit or structure my blog neatly into a specific category.

Some of my friends have asked why I chose the name Fig and Thistle.  It is a name inspired by a favorite collection of Edna St. Vincent Millay poems, A Few Figs From Thistles.  I haven't researched this to see if my literary opinions are "correct", but to me the collection captures a vibrancy and excitement with life.  Also, thistles are prickly fellows and figs are juicy and delicious, I think the title implies that even when things are "prickly" one can always find something wondrous.  For example, no matter how bad things are, I can always enjoy a hug from Hope, or nap with my cat, or watch Monty Python skits with Sam, or indulge in a slice of warm bread with a giant cup of tea, or lose myself in a book.  And I'm a firm believer in nothing cures depression like a trip to the library.  My hope is that this blog will be 100% me figs, thistles, and all.

Welcome to Fig and Thistle.


Eva said...

What a wonderful post! I feel quite complimented to be in your inspiration links (I like the cleanliness of WP too), and I really loved your final paragraph...since I struggle with a chronic illness that lowers my serotonin and thus makes depression a constant 'lurker', I REALLY identified with:

>>For example, no matter how bad things are, I can always enjoy a hug from Hope, or nap with my cat, or watch Monty Python skits with Sam, or indulge in a slice of warm bread with a giant cup of tea, or lose myself in a book. And I’m a firm believer in nothing cures depression like a trip to the library.

Traci said...

If I blogged more, I would totally make the switch too. For what it's worth, I like that you present a variety of topics. Enjoy the new blog!

Thomas at My Porch said...

Amanda: (Am I still allowed to call you that or do I need to call your nerdybookgirl?) I too have been tempted to leave blogger. I think the designs available are inelegant to say the least. My biggest challenge is that I couldn't pop in photos as large as I like to currently and that it would be a major pain to convert old posts. As I am not willing to leave them behind.

The Fig and Thistle looks wonderful.

nerdybookgirl said...

Of course you may still call me Amanda. I just needed a log in name and nerdybookgirl seemed appropriate.

I haven't finished converting and importing old posts. I might just let the Blog Jar hand out and then keep Fig and Thistle only reaching back to June.

Thanks for stopping by my new place!

Eva said...

That's so sweet of you to say! Like Traci, I love the variety your blog has: I think it's its own niche. :D

Andi said...

I think it's a brilliant idea, and I'd follow you anywhere! I've also found that level of contentment you mentioned, and it's a long way from where my blog started to where it is now.

And do you realize, you, me, and Heather have known each other for damn near TEN YEARS NOW. Holy crap!

Heather said...

I love the new blog Amanda! And the title is perfect. In a very strange way, I feel like I've "grown" up with you (and Andi!) a bit through our blogs. You are such an amazing woman and you continue to be such an inspiration. Your blog, like you, are perfect just the way it is.

My God Andi, as if I didn't feel old already! LOL Ten years? Wow. Yep, it has been 10. Wow!

everybookandcranny said...

Great post!

I have both a wordpress and a blogger blog and I, hands down, prefer wordpress. It's leaps and bounds beyond blogger in terms of user friendliness and you have much more fine tuning control.

Love the title too!

marriedtocake said...

wow. just wow. thanks for the seriously awesome repping amanda. i'm discovering i'm an "everything or nothing" blogger myself. just trying to figure out the same things with my blogs too. you're fantastic, you know?

nerdybookgirl said...

Holy Crap, Andi! WE should have a party to celebrate our 10 year bookish / webish friendship. To think, it all started in a Yahoo Group Room!

nerdybookgirl said...

Everybookandcranny -- I'm really adoring the user-friendly aspect of Wordpress. I'm surprised by how little I miss Blogger!

nerdybookgirl said...

Awww Heather, you're so sweet!

Danielle said...

I shall be updating my link on my blogroll and have already changed it in google reader. I always enjoy your posts, though I admit I don't come out of lurkdom to comment as often as I'd like. I share my needlework often enough between bookish posts (I love your embroidery), and I love your baking posts (if was good at it I might share things like that as well). Whatever you feel like sharing, I'll keep reading! :)

bahnree said...

i liek ur blog.

No but seriously:
Why thank you! I'm a new follower, found you through the read-a-thon. I like your posts a lot; you have similar book tastes to me and are very thoughtful in your discussion.

Katie said...

Love the new look - title and all. I love that you don't have a niche ... neither do I. :)

cubiclegirls said...

Time to own up: I've been creepily snooping your blog for a couple months now... I can't even remember how I landed here, but you've made my daily rotation of "things to read to mentally escape from tiny, grey cubicle".

Love the new layout and truly covet the typewriter image above. Will quit job, write wildly successful book from home and purchase fresh flowers immediately.

Anyway, great job!
I'm here if you need to populate your own daily rotation ;)