I have a blog?

Oh, hello.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I haven’t been blogging. (Perhaps you didn’t notice. I sure didn’t!) I spent a lot of energy trying to figure out what I want this space to be, and I didn’t come up with an answer, so I just kind of faded away.

I’ve been active on Twitter, and am sending TinyLetters every so often, and still write for Book Riot. I have a chapbook out of the 55-word stories I first wrote here.

Sam is ten and Grace is six and a half and the world is spinning faster than I can keep up.

Today is the fourteen year anniversary of my first post here, which I didn’t realize until after I started writing this little update. Huh. (I initially wrote twelve, because time is hard, and then I couldn’t figure out how that’s possible when it’s nearly our twelve year wedding anniversary, and also Sam is ten and how is that possible?)

13 Years

I’ve been blogging for, um, a while. I guess it’s even longer if you count my manually updated website from 2001, but let’s call it 13 years since that’s what I have archives of.

Every year when I have to pay my hosting fees and renew my domain names I think about throwing it all out and starting over, but I don’t like the throwing it all out part, however appealing a fresh start may be. So I keep plodding along, blogging less and less frequently. It’s bumming me out.

This is not a farewell post. I intend to keep blogging. But.

I am also starting a new thing. I’ve signed up for TinyLetter and am sending out emails about writing. (P.S. I am writing again.) If you’d like to get those emails, sign up here: tinyletter.com/noirbettie


New-Old Digs

This blog has been Through the Looking Glass since late 2003 (I think–it was Scratching at the 8-ball before that). Last week I impulsively changed it and I am DELIGHTED with the new name. (I will keep sporadically changing the tagline and you will keep not noticing, so I shan’t mention that.)

I am considering pepping up the template a little bit to go with it, but I kind of love the simplicity of this one and also I hate change that requires work. So. Any thoughts?

It’s just a jump to the left.

(and then a step to the ri-i-i-i-i-ight!)

Blogging! It’s making a comeback! I am pretty sure of it! My mid-year resolution is to blog more, and I think you should too! Unless you are Violet and never stopped blogging multiple times a day. My hero!

photo1 (4)
Trust me, I’m a blogger. A blogger who needs a haircut.

A lot of my Twitter friends blog, but if I met them through Twitter I wasn’t following their blogs. Which, ack. So today I am collecting URLs to add to feedly. In the process, I found myself looking at some of the feeds that are still on my list but haven’t been updated in forever, and I happened to find this post, which is where I first got the itch to have a closet full of Simplicity 3835s. It was six years ago. OMG.

We went to the renaissance fair on Saturday (pictures to come!) and while we were out the postman left a slip for two packages. The children and I walked to the post office yesterday and picked up my fabric order and part of my Old Navy order. My new wardrobe is underway! And just in time, because I got rid of more clothes after my last post. The patterns for Dress No. 1 and Spin Skirt arrived last week, and I bought a digital download of Violet (because I couldn’t stomach $6 shipping for one pattern).

Riley Blake Cherries for a summery Spin Skirt

Birch cotton voile Flight for Violet

Robert Kaufman Essex linen blend for Dress No. 1

First up, I am going to make a muslin of 3835 (with unbleached muslin I found in my fabric stash) and one of the dresses (I don’t think I need to make a muslin). Place your vote for navy, orange, or lime! (The grey is a remnant that I might use for pockets or more likely to make something for Grace.)

I’ve gone high tech

I have succumbed to the incredible ease of micro-micro-blogging, in the form of Instagram. As far as I can tell, there is no point in having an account unless you take photos with a mobile device, but you can view all of mine from any sort of internet thingy:

noirbettie on instagram


I did it. There’s still a lot I’d like to customize but hahaha I don’t know what I’m doing.

Help change is scary help help.

Hold me, I’m scared.

So, this blog is in pretty desperate need of a redesign. I’ve had this awesome template for seven years. SEVEN YEARS YOU GUYS. Do you know how I know that? Because Vicki finished it right before Sam was born. Do you know what THAT means? SAM IS TURNING SEVEN THIS MONTH.


So anyway, I want a tidier, simpler template. I would LOVE to pay somebody to design one for me but that’s just out of the question, so I’m looking at free WordPress themes and wondering if I can figure out how to customize one of them.



I’m thinking of maybe using Spartan. If I can even remember how to FTP shit. Oh man.

I am over my head already.


Anyway. Ahem. Any thoughts? Suggestions (for themes or ways to keep from panicking)?

Here’s the thing.

In less than two months, I’ll have been blogging for TEN YEARS. I love this blog: this blog is me.

I let my hosting expire this month due to severe lack of funds, and I felt SO LOST when this site was suspended. I wandered around in a fog, trying to come around to the idea of a free blog and not able to. Finally my mommy took pity on me and paid the bill.

I will never give up this blog, but I discovered something during that week of playing around on wordpress.com: starting over has its appeal.

So I’ve started a new blog. Not to replace this one, but to take care of a different need. This is my brain dump, my creative outlet, myself presented to you in internet form. The new blog is a place to chronicle the home schooling journey I am taking with Sam and Grace. Sam is officially school aged now, and it seems like the right time to do this.

Plus, I can give the link to the new one to my grandparents. I won’t say FUCK there.

So here it is: Little Frog School. Enjoy. (I’m still working out a few kinks in the template. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with a prefab design!)

Sour Grapes? Maybe, but oh well.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Art posts for some rambling. I’ve edited this a gazillion times because I’m having trouble making my point. I hope I succeeded.

I had a little bit of a hissy fit on Twitter yesterday. It started off with what I meant as an offhand joke–something to the effect of, “My invitation for Blogger Prom got lost in the mail AGAIN!” It’s true, last year I was really offended that I wasn’t invited. Last year I was also pregnant, so I assumed my response was hormonal. Actually, it wasn’t the lack of an invitation that offended me so much as the fact that they invited their friends and then said that anyone who hadn’t received an invite should ask for one.

Guys? You’re doing it wrong. Making people ask to be part of a popularity contest? Gross. It is my opinion that either a) EVERYONE should have had to ask for an invite–not just people who were not in the inner circle–or b) it should have been truly invite-only, or c) it should have been totally open.

Still, people that I knew attended and had fun, and it really did sound like a good event. But I had a bad taste in my mouth.

This year, they announced another prom and did not suggest requesting an invite. I ignored it–figuring I’d either get one or not–until my silly tweet. At least people weren’t expected to ask for an invite this year.

My friend Nina replied, suggesting in not as many words that I lose the sour grapes and ask for an invitation next time. She was totally right, sort of. Yes, I would have loved to attend. But it was barely on my radar. And I was not at all on the Prom Committee’s radar.

Look. I spent years putting myself out there (though not with any particular motivation). If I am not known as a local blogger by now there’s nothing I can do about it. Honestly, it is not worth trying. I wrote for Metblogs for two years and I’ve had this blog since I moved here eight years ago. I have commented on and linked to blogs both popular and not, I’ve gone to events. (I still do most of this, but less so because it conflicts with being a hermit.) You know what I’ve learned? Online–just like everywhere else–some people are popular and some people are not, and nothing you do will change which one you are.

I am TOO BUSY with my actual LIFE to worry about whether I am popular. Do I wish I was? Not exactly, though I think it’s fucking retarded that I’m not. I AM AWESOME! But I am certainly not going to beg for it. What would be the point? I’d much rather enjoy the genuine friendships I’ve made through blogging.

After my exchange with Nina, I got an invitation to Blogger Prom, because the committee had seen my rantings. So I had to decide whether I would rather go on short notice or continue living my life without Prom.

Did I mention that it is TOMORROW? And it’s 1940s themed, which means I’d need a new dress? Yeah. I am broke, my babysitter has plans tomorrow, and it’s just not happening. I know I’d have fun if I attended, but only if I had more than 48 hours to prepare. So I’m not going. Besides, if I went I’d have to deal with worrying about whether someone had taken pity on me.

It’s too bad, because–as you might guess from the URL of my website–I’m pretty into the 40s.

I do hope I get an invitation next year, but I kind of don’t expect to. I really do think, though, that they should ditch the invites and make people buy tickets. Like, you know, Prom-prom.

I would probably buy one. Prom was fun.