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That is one good looking cactus I bought at IKEA last Saturday! We were actually there looking for new mattresses. Isn’t that what always happens, you start out looking for one thing and you end up with something completely different (but thank goodness we also found mattresses)? A little metaphor for life. Ha.

And so when I started to write an Urban Jungle Bloggers post, I ended up with some personal ramblings about visual strands. Can we actually do that: an Urban Jungle Bloggers – ramblings mashup? Well, today I’m giving myself permission to do so ;)

This month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers topic is kitchen greens. I had high hopes for this one (lots. of. herbs!), but life turned hectic. And I bought a cactus. Which does live in our kitchen and is green. I’m happy with that. We don’t have a lot of counter or shelving space and so I’m sticking with this one – for now.

There is one other plant in our kitchen though, find it here: Urban Jungle Bloggers Plants & Flowers.

If you are more adventurous that I am (how can you not be), do join in and visit Have a peek at Judith’s and Igor’s posts too: (aha! cactuses!) and Nice!


Right. Onto the ramblings part.

What happened in my two week blog break? Well, besides eating food, watching films and other Christmas stuff, I started putting things off and raising that proverbial bar a littler higher for myself. I felt properly hesitant to start again, like I couldn’t even type the first letter. See, I figured that after one week off everything including the day job, I would feel refreshed (seriously, after only one week) and eager to start writing and working on visual strands again in the second week. And even do a little restyling. I couldn’t. I felt terrible.

At the end of this month visual strands will be a year old. That’s kind of amazing. The first six months were a (positive) rollercoaster and I felt so grateful for all the people who contributed. Summer came along. I kept posting.

But then something happened. A few people weren’t able to contribute and that was fine, I put them on hold. And then a few more people, although very enthusiastic, weren’t able to contribute on short notice. That’s when then my carefully stacked backup posts ran out.
You see, meanwhile the day job demanded my full attention (no work, no income right) and when some other personal things started happening at the same time I was unable to put in the time and especially the energy that I put in earlier that year. I felt stuck and stressed out.

And that nagging thought: ‘What if I just stop? No one will miss it really, will they? Lots of bloggers quit after the first year.’ Oh dear.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to stop. visual strands is dear to me. But I do want to make a shift from mostly posts from other contributors to more posts written by me. Actually, that’s what I thought visual strands would be like before it started. Just me, making little connections and sharing them with you.

Yet somehow I got caught up in the -positive- ‘connecting with like-minded people’ vibe (at some point I even started to envision a ’visual strands live’ event with stimulating conversations and lectures and workshops? Stop laughing, a girl can dream. And who knows, it may still happen. For now, I’ll tone down my caffeine intake, which will surely help in the crazy planmaking department). Anyway, I wanted to share all that positivity and inspiration.

Visual strands was an online zine which started looking more like a community. Should I nurture and grow that? But that isn’t really what I wanted. So I’m going back to how I thought it would be. There will still be posts from other contributors, but only once a month (for now). And they will be inspiring ones, promise.

That bar I raised way too high? Because I love reading well-written posts, my ‘worst’ should be at least as good as the best ones I had read. Which is of course ridiculous. Friends told me to ‘just start writing’ and see what happens. So that’s what I’m doing now. From time to time you may expect these personal ramblings, but I’ll try and keep them down to a minimum ;)

I would like to write more about things that inspire me: from little observations to bigger connections I notice in the world of design, art, nature or elsewhere. Return to really observing (and photographing) again. I hope you’ll come on that journey with me.

Oh and yes, there’s the restyling. It will get done. But for now, I’ll stop beating myself up about it and breathe, and do some yoga, and have another cup of tea, and take that walk. And just write. And see what happens.