In this week’s Showcase Sunday, I would love to introduce you to Pauline King from her blog The Contented Crafter. She has such a wonderful disposition and an amazing outlook on life. As I was reading through our interview, I realized just how much we had in common. From using mixed medias to just wanting to be the change we wish to see in the world. She has so much to offer and I am proud that I have gotten the opportunity to introduce her to my readers. Before you rush off to visit her website, read what she has to say below:
What made you get into blogging?
I started blogging February 2013 simply to keep track of all my craft and art items that were being made and given away or sold with no trace left of my progress. I thought if I started recording and photographing it would be a good incentive for me to keep creating. I’m also notoriously sanguine in my creative pursuits and get bored easily – it’s good for me to be accountable to something.
Around the same time I also changed up my lifestyle and took full responsibility for my health and wellbeing through changing my diet and applying myself in a more dedicated manner to pursuing a more contented lifestyle by choosing positive thoughts and actions as much as possible. (Hence the name of my blog) I didn’t intend to write about that, but a couple of posts in and there it was….
I didn’t really think anyone would read my posts so was quite surprised when I got ‘likes’. I didn’t even know what that meant really 🙂 It didn’t take long and a growing community of like minded people began to find their way to me and the rest, as they say, is history.
You mentioned that you love to work with mixed media, which is your favorite currently?
I guess it’s having free range to use whatever takes my fancy in the moment….. I’m a little in love with watercolour crayons and pencils and try to find an excuse to use them everywhere at the moment. I recently copied the idea of having blind prompts for working in my art journal – I don’t know who first invented the idea, it’s been around for a few years I think and I just decided to give it a go as I am currently practising ‘freeing myself up’ in my artistic endeavours. (I think I’m a little stiff) So I got 100 tongue depressors and wrote a different instruction on each. I did the first journal page just two days ago and it is vastly different to anything else I’ve ever done and was a real challenge – and really fun! So I may try that technique on canvas at some point.
Have you ever had any formal training or education in your blog subject?
No, I am a self taught mixed media artist and all round crafter and dabbler in anything that takes my fancy – a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades and dilettante.
What was your greatest failure and how did you learn from it?
I don’t see life in term of failures – everything that happens is a learning experience and a chance for us to grow and improve as human beings. If life was always comfortable and easy we would never wake up, we would never learn who and what we are capable of being and we would never learn empathy or how to reach out and help our fellow human beings. This philosophy can be applied in the art studio too.
I find that making art offers many opportunities for ‘happy accidents’ to occur and opportunities to become more creative. I think every work goes through an ‘ugly stage’ and recognising this has taught me to persevere and keep going, to never give up, because inevitably something better, different, or more exciting will appear. I guess just like in life, you have to let go of control and be prepared to be surprised. I’m constantly surprised 🙂
Who has influenced you the most with your blog?
I think we are all constantly picking up thoughts and ideas from each other – nothing is unique or original when you trace it back. So I would say that every blogger I read regularly would have had some influence on me.
How much time do you spend blogging in any given week?
I have no idea. I usually begin my day with a cup of coffee and a read of some of my favourite blogs that have come in overnight. At this time I also respond to any comments left on my blog. I guess I spend an hour to an hour and a half every morning at this activity.
If I get time to take a break in the afternoon I might read some more posts then, or work on something I have in draft form. Though mostly I write in the evenings, when I also catch up on the last of the blog posts in my reader. I post on a random schedule, when I feel like I have something to say or show – or too much time has gone past and people have started to ask me if I’m alright 🙂
So, maybe two plus hours every day. Reading, writing, commenting and interacting. That’s 14 hours a week, which seems like quite a lot!
Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
Blogging is my hobby. I interact with other hobbyists – photographers, artists, crafters, writers and just plain folks who are really interesting and fun and good to spend a few moments with on a regular basis. Many have become personal friends, it’s a great venue to meet up with like minded people. Two years ago, I was invited by a group of bloggers who had become friends through additional meetings via Skype, facebook and emails to visit them in the US and we had a wonderful time together. Four of those friends will come to my part of the world, New Zealand, early next year. We are going to have a ball!!
What is your passion?
Now this is a good question! Only one? I have several…. As an ex-teacher I am passionate about promoting a return to the classical education that moves at the same rate as the students mental and emotional development and which covers language, mathematics, sciences, geography, history, art, movement and physical and life skills in a unified and holistic manner.
As a person who believes I must be the change I hope to see in the world, I am still passionate about learning and practising the skills that make us conscious of our ability to be responsible for our lives and our experiences; for our relationships, our health and our desires. I am aware there is a need for people to take hold of habitual thought patterns and to question the societal mores that we are surrounded with from birth to death. I am passionate about our need to create a world where all people are equal members of the human race and where respect, empathy and openness are freely given to all members. I am passionate about trying to live up to my ideals even though there is a daily shortfall 🙂
Have you ever been trolled or had a bad review of something you were proud of? If not, how do you react normally to criticism, whether it is constructive or destructive.
No, I’ve never been trolled, though my Twitter account once got hacked and I wrote a post about that which gave us all a lot of laughs https://thecontentedcrafter.com/2016/08/30/bottoms-up/
I’ve learned that the way criticism is delivered says more about the deliveree than me or whatever I’ve done that is being criticised. That applies to both positive and negative criticism. As an artist I value constructive criticism – it has never told me something I don’t already know on some level and the confirmation so often gives me a hint or direction to move forward in. It can be extraordinarily helpful!
What is your ultimate goal in life?
To leave it knowing I have travelled far, learnt well and always done my best.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
That people would smile when they thought of me.
Is there anything you want the readers to know about your blog we haven’t covered?
My blog is a mixture of random thoughts, activities and daily life mixed in with whatever artistic or crafty pursuit I am currently interested in. I don’t philosophise much, that is more inclined to come out in the comments I leave on my own and my friends blogs. I’m quietly fey and spiritual and ever so slightly ditzy, but don’t spread that about unnecessarily 🙂
Don’t just take my word for it, please visit her blog and let her know that you saw her here on “Sunday Showcase.”
As always, If you would like your blog to be featured on here, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to feature you next sunday.