Don't panic, there are posts on the way I promise. I have been very busy at work these last two weeks - three plays I have directed in two weeks as well as full time teaching and paper work as head of department/faculty.
So, I have been working quite a bit on guest posts. I have four coming very shortly (3 are scheduled for this week ) - one for Mrs Brimbles, one for the lovely Hannah at Plan With Hannah and one for Kelly Bendelow of Hazy Days UK.
I will also be writing a guest post in November for Geraldine, Jeni and Kelly over at
Dream Create Journal, so keep your eyes peeled on the blog for the new posts. In the meantime subscribe to get the posts to your inbox and follow me on social media:
Instagram | You Tube | Pinterest |
Twitter | FB Art Journaling Group
I can't go without leaving you with a planner spread, so check out the lovely kit I have received from Ugly Bug Plans available in her shop, so pretty and loads left over for a monthly spread and another few weekly pages. xx
Yay we have a winner for the Blogs first birthday prize of various scrapbook and creative journals goodies.
Congratulations to Penny-Sue Wolfe, I will be in touch to send you your prize. Thank you to everyone that entered.
Guest post for Mrs Brimbles Creative Arty Team.
Well it’s finally Autumn, my favourite season, but that’s no reason not to still create pages with hints of Summer right? The collage sheets from Mrs Brimbles Patreon are stunning and allowed me to do just that. I have created a page by cutting up her artwork collage sheets that she created originally for canvas work. I must say I love the final result of the art journal page.
Creating the page:
The page I have created is for a Travelling Art Journal Circle over on my Facebook group Kerrymay._.Makes a Mess. I was sent a stunning book from the person before me in the circle (Sarah Gamble), I was really scared of ruining the page and paper. I applied a thin layer of red hued acrylic paint which I added to the page using a brayer roller. I went over this with white acrylic paint to dull down the colour and allow the background of the page to peep through. I then used a stencil which came free with a magazine and applied heavy texture paste to create small flowers.
Next I used some homemade spray inks over the flowers and to the right of the page to give it texture and shine. I think the gold spray in particular looks lovely and really makes the page pop. A little gem was used in the centre of the two mini flowers for added sparkle.
Next I used a stamp pad and stencil/mask to add more texture to the page. Now came the fun part: adding the collage sheets. I printed off the canvas artwork sheets then put them all together and held together with a paperclip. I then drew a flower petal shape on the top layer and cut this out so that I had 10 cut out pieces all identical. I then arranged and glued them in a flower formation to the left side of the page. I added detail using a standard black and purple felt tip and then added some gold glitter glue blobs to add a bit of bling.
Finally a circle vinyl sticker for the centre of the flower was added and I used individual letter stamps with black ink to add my caption to the page: ‘You Are Blooming Amazing’. I love the way the collage sheets really bring out the colour in the page, they look so textured.
The final page looks lovely in the book I was given to create the page. I hope the recipient likes it.
In addition to the lovely artwork collage sheets, Anna has provided a multitude of other stunning collage sheets using her own artwork. There are the beautiful Autumnal animal paintings that you may have seen on The Happy Place… I am saving these for my next post though as I plan to do a spot of Autumn creative journaling and dashboard making.
Related Posts :
Mrs Brimbles Creative Team Posts
Ahhh Autumn, I love you and I love changing up my planner to my Halloween and Autumn stickers and planner setup. I have so many favourite stickers and shops for Autumn goodies, but thought I would share with you my favourites this year.
There are two shops on Etsy that are my go to place for great quality and stunning ephemera and planner die cuts; Away With The Fairies Co and Little Rainbow Moon. The Autumn/Fall Fashion ephemera is stunning. I haven't used it yet, but can't wait to get it stuck in to my creative journal, I will definitely be using it for my Plannercon Europe travel journal. Jo from LRM is always a favourite, stunning hand painted watercolour images. I won the set off Jo last year and still use the cute woodland animals in my journaling and planner pockets year on year. You can see my haul from LRM here - Little Rainbow Moon Prize Unboxing.
Autumn Planner Stickers:
My favourite Etsy shop for planner stickers is Hazy Days UK and not just because I am on the PR Team, I do genuinely think they are the best out there. Kelly makes amazingly gorgeous sets and the two above are my absolute favourite Autumn stickers. The Fallen Leaves kit is stunning - please do go and see for yourself. You can even grab 15% off if you use the code KERRY15. In addition the Woodland Fairies kit is another stunner and favourite of mine.
Autumn Printables for your Planner and Journals:
Anna Brim has some stunning printables over on her Mrs Brimbles Patreon Page as digital collage sheet downloads. There are around 10 sheets each month and this month (September) has some stunners. In addition to the ones above there are also her gorgeous hand painted watercolour animals. Do consider becoming a patron, it is so worth it.
Halloween Planner Stickers:
Finally on to my Halloween stickers for this year. For my monthly layout I am using stickers from The Mix and Match Planner, which are beautiful, you can't beat a bit of goth girls in your Halloween planning. I also have the Kawaii Halloween Stickers on order from Hazy Days UK (again use code KERRY15 for 15% off), I can't wait to receive them.
Wow it really doesn't seem like a year ago that I started this blog. It was actually on the 9th September, so I am a little late in sharing the blogs birthday information. I have a little giveaway for blog readers to mark the occasion. It is open internationally too. The prize will be a secret package of some 6x6 scrapbook papers, some pieces of ephemera and a few other goodies I have collected for use in scrapbooks and art journals. Simply enter by logging in below and verfiy yourself as a subscriber to my channels. The You Tube follow is your main entry ticket, You can then add bonus entries. If you already follow me you can still enter by entering your details. Good luck. The competition will run until October 1st or until I reach 50 entries, when the winner will be announced here and via email.
Phew, I have finally fully completed my first Creative Journal / Smash book which I started over Easter in 2016. It has quite a lot of pages as it is in one of the Moleskine cahier books. The end of the book has my Adventure Journaling Course pages that I have just completed from a course over at Mrs Brimbles I thoroughly enjoyed the course and hope that it is going to continue pushing my journaling forwards. Plannercon Europe news at the bottom of the post.
Have a look at my flip through below for all of my memory keeping, journaling, days out, events and scrapbooking for the year. If viewing from email please click here to see the video.
You can see what Smash book journaling is all about here
20 Ways to Use Smash Book Style Journals
Eek... in other news, I have won a ticket for Plannercon Europe! I know, so excited. I am seriously feeling the UKPA love - BIG TIME (I won the ticket over at the planner group Uk Planner Addicts). I'm in a state of shock. Booked my hotel and am going to stay from Wednesday so I can sight see and have a day in Bruges (only 1 hour away on the train). Hello chocolate, waffles, frites, beer, hot chocolate and planning!
Oh and the best of it all - Erin Condren is the keynote speaker... Yay!
Time for me now to complete my planning with a new Travelogue / travel journal to take with me for creative journaling on the go. Keep your eyes out for an update post on this before and after the trip.
Over in my Facebook Art Journaling group we have just completed a junk journal challenge which ran through the month of August. I have had an overwhelming amount of people taking part and loved every minute of it. Such beautiful books and journals were created. I for one will most definitely be making many more, they are so pretty and it has been so therapeutic. I will be using mine as a Happiness and Inspiration journal to log my moments of happiness and likes as well as adding mood boards and inspirational quotes.
The images from my journal are below as well as a video flip through of the completed journal. You can check out the pages participants have made using the hashtag #kmmamjunkjournal on Instagram, there are some stunning pages. People have taken part across a range of platforms; on their blog, in the group, You Tube, on Instagram and on Google Plus.
For the pages I used a variety of different papers and vintage ephemera from scrapbook paper, old books, vintage cigarette cards, vellum, journal cards and printables which I used to make some cute tags. I also used envelopes and paper bags to create pockets and pouches. Finally, I added some lace and trimming to some corrugated cardboard for the cover which was hand sewn. I bound it all together using two large ring clasps and then added some pretty ribbon.
Completed Junk Journal Flip Through Videos
We have six members of the challenge that have filmed their videos. Mine is posted below. If viewing from email please click the header to come on to the page or click here to view the video directly.
Check out the members stunningly beautiful videos and please subscribe to them from the links below.
Stephanie Kitching's Journal
Ashleigh (The Onyx Raven's Journal)
Susie Brays Journal
There are a few more videos but they are posted over in the group
Participants Junk Journal Photos:
Finally I will leave you with a plethora of the 'delicious' images (Thanks She for that word) of the participants journals, I love every single one of them, thank you for taking part, can't wait to see how you fill them up throughout the year.
I hope to run the challenge again next year as it was such a success. I have several smaller challenges going on and mini challenges in the group that you can take part in, or you can simply just be a part of the community. If you enjoyed the post, please do pin the image below to Pinterest and leave a comment. I hope to see you in the group soon.
Take Care and thank you to all who took part,
I'm going to cut out the jargon, there are NO affiliate links, email list sign ups or selling in this post, just me sharing my tips. Firstly have a look around my Pinterest Page
1. Prepare Your Blog With Google Analytics
So you've got your blog and want to try to gain page views... the first step is to sign up to connect Google Analytics to your blog. It is easy to sign up, just visit the page and create an account, this will now start monitoring your blog traffic. Bookmark the page so you can check on your web page/blog stats. I use the Acquisition tab for most of my analysis and then click social links and or referrals to see how many visitors I have to the blog and where they are coming from. Below is the social acquisition for the last 4 months from May to August and you can see that Pinterest has dominated my page views with very little effort from me. I spend more time promoting on Facebook than anywhere else.
My blog is coming up to a year old and I'm so proud to have achieved almost 20,000 visits and over 33,000 page views in that short space of time. I used to have a successful website years ago and that had a total of 800,00 page views, but that was over the course of around 8 years and it was a slow process driving traffic to the site. Below you can see how my Monthly visitors have grown since I started taking Pinterest seriously.
2. Add SEO Descriptions and Keywords to your blog post
I promise to keep these short... SEO is so important for your blog traffic. Make sure whenever you hit publish or schedule that you have got a title in the SEO section and a description that tells people what the post is about, this will automatically add the description when you pin to Pinterest. Use keywords and long tail keywords that might make searching for your content easier. For example if I am posting about a planner set up, I would use a detailed title in the SEO section that explains more about it, such as Planner Setup - How I Use My Travelers Notebook. This adds extra search criteria, words and categories to your post. If lots of people are searching for planner setup, you need to be sure your site is seen, so adding more keywords increases those chances. You can read more about long tail keywords and why we should be using them on ahref's blog: long-tail-keywords-research
Post titles are important in your Google and Pinterest ranking. How to... or posts with numbers such as 5 ways to... perform better in searches. The description should then have keywords such as planner setup, plan with me in my Travelers Notebook etc, this all helps to narrow down the search and opens it up to a wider audience.
3. Pinterest Set Up
Add around 15-20 different boards to start with and have a board for your best blog posts. Make sure the boards all fit in with your overall blog niche or category. People who are interested in your blog want to see relevant pins, not pins about plumbing if you have a blog about art. If you do want to keep boards that are personal you can set these as secret boards in the board settings. Don't have too many boards, it can be overwhelming for you and followers.
Set your Pinterest account up with a detailed (keyword rich) description, add a suitable and searchable name for each board and add category and description for each board (through clicking board settings which is the pen icon). Make it all look pretty and consistent (I go for pastel and bright colours for my main board image to make it visually pleasing for the visitors). Set the board image again in the settings (you can only do this on a pc or laptop). I will discuss Rich Pins and getting a business account in the next part of the series.
4. Use Tall Pins and Canva
Tall or long pins do better than small images. The second and third images above are my most re-pinned pins from my blog pages here and here. They have over 8,000 re-pins between them in just a few months and most of my blog traffic comes from these posts. Use a free program on your pc called Canva - www.canva.com to create them. Select Pinterest Graphic and have a play with the templates and try to use your own images to make them stand out from others. Bright and pastel coloured pins perform better than dark or blue (cold colours). Apparently they get up to 60% more pins.
5. How to Pin
Don't just pin your own pins, it is important to pin useful content to other boards too, try to link these to your niche. Boards with high quality pins that have a high pin count will do better and get more views. Pin Consistently and Often, this goes without saying. You can't pin a post once and expect it to be re-shared. You need to get it out there, pin it often and re-pin it rather than creating a new one.. I often re-pin pins that have dropped down my board and then delete that pin after re-pinning, this refreshes the pin and brings it back to peoples feed. Try to have around 50-100 high quality pins on each of your boards as this will get you more viewers. It is advised to pin around 25-40 pins a day, a mix of your own and others, it sounds a lot but it is worth doing, besides which I enjoy browsing and pinning. Get rid of badly performing pins - higher pin counts do matter. I prefer manual pinning, but more on this later... told you this was an epic series! If a pin is doing well keep re-pinning it to a variety of different boards and group boards (more on these in the next series).
Phew, I hope you got all that. These are just the beginners tips, give them a go, have a tweak and let me know if they have helped you. You should start seeing the changes to your traffic straight away.
Take Care, Kerry xx
Blog Planning, Organisation and Productivity
Hi I'm Kerry a Notts UK blogger and drama teacher. I'm also a planner, art & creative journal fanatic. Make a cuppa and browse my tutorials, musings, and crafty makes.