Welcome to 2018 – Little update and Happy New Year!!

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A new year has officially arrived! I am so excited for a fresh, new slate with so much to be seen as God unfolds His faithfulness and perfect plan for the year.

God is so good, which should never be mistaken to think that 2018 will be full of idealistic good times and happiness, but it does mean that God has a perfect plan for us, to refine His people, and to one day return to judge the world and rule us perfectly in glory, wiping away the stain of sin and tears for those who have followed Him in this life.

 

A Small Update of Sorts:

I love blogging at Smile and Craft AG, and I hope you love reading and are encouraged by it. Last semester I had some trouble keeping up on posting, and this year will probably be even busier for me, as I plan to get a job on top of school.

That being said, I’m not completely sure what the coming year/semester will look like with posting consistency, so I just wanted to give a little heads-up about that. Hopefully I’ll still be able to post relatively often, but I’ll have to wait and see! 🙂

 

So anyways, Happy New Year!!

So this post isn’t picture-less, here’s a dramatically lighted picture of my cat, Callie, sitting at the piano (with the beautiful song, Blessings, on the stand). (Edited in Photoshop)

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What are you looking forward to for 2018? What would you like to see on Smile and Craft AG this year?

 

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Redesigning Plans

HELLO!

One of my summer goals is to re-design my blog. I feel like the design isn’t quite… up to date, perhaps?

I want to make it cleaner and more professional (and pretty!! 😉 )

I’ve made a color palette, inspired by Megan and Clara‘s DIY Design, and I thought I’d share…

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It’s basically like my current one, but it’s fun to put it in a palette. What do you think?

 

So you may see some changes around here for a while, and I would love to hear your feedback and ideas!

 

What are your thoughts on Smile and Craft AG being redesigned? What do you like and/or dislike about my current design? Do you have any suggestions for the new design?

 

Also, is anyone doing July Nano and in need of/have room for a cabin member? I’ll be gone for some of July, so might not be able to be super active, but would like to join a cabin for Nano, if I can find a good one, and would love to be with blogger friends! 🙂

 

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Hmm, maybe I’ll even make a new sign-off!

P.S. Anyone know where I can find a cute yellow watercolor (or something like that) daisy graphic for free?

Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you Kiki for nominating me for this Award! I’m excited to do it!

 

Here are the Rules:

Thank the nominator! And give a link to their blog or blogs

  • Write a post about this award
  • Give a short bit about how/why you started your website
  • Give some advice for bloggers.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers
  • Tell those 15 bloggers via comment!

 

How/why I started this blog:

Let’s start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to staaart!). So I had a couple dolls, and I loved crafting for them! My friend who also had dolls introduced me to My Froggy Stuff, a super great doll crafting blog. (Her crafts are AMAZING. If you haven’t checked out My Froggy Stuff, and like doll crafting, then I highly recommend you do!)

I began to use her site, and I started looking for doll crafts elsewhere as well. I believe the two main blogs I found that inspired me in my road to my own blog were American Girl Fan and Fun with AG Fan. At first I looked at their blogs for the crafts, but eventually started reading and enjoying other posts.

Somewhere along the road, I decided I wanted to start my own blog! I waited for perhaps six months (I think I wanted to wait until summer), and then started Smile and Craft AG (by then I had all four dolls)! I’m very grateful for the great examples I had to start me off on blogging, and it’s been so fun finding, reading, and following other amazing doll blogs, as well as growing my own!

 

Advice for other bloggers:

Oooh, this is great, because I wrote my post on blogging tips (you can find it here), but there was one thing I left out that is important to me! So here it is:

I highly recommend replying to people who comment on your blog. It feels more special and personal to have a reply to your comment. I, personally, appreciate seeing my comments replied to on other blogs. Something about it makes a blog seem so much better. Of course, maybe your blog is super big and you get a bunch of comments and have no time to reply, and that is ok (maybe just reply to readers’ questions), but if you are able to, replies are wonderful!

If you’d like to see more advice, you can check out my blogging tips post 🙂

 

I nominate:

Grace

Grace (there are so many Grace/Gracie’s in the blogosphere; I could probably name off five right now!)

Kara

Jaclynn

Blackiesunshine

Megan

Allison

Christian Homeschooler

Emma

Maelyn

 

And I’m stopping at ten, because 15 is A LOT of people to think of (not to mention comment with the news!)! So if you would like to be nominated for this tag, let me know in the comments! 🙂

And, I believe that’s it… *goes back and checks the rules*

I hope you liked reading this award! Thanks again to Kiki for nominating me!

 

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Welcome 2017!

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I wasn’t thinking of doing a post like this, but suddenly decided to. XD

I thought I’d talk about a few accomplishments from the past year (Mainly blog related), as well as goals for the new year!

 

2016 Accomplishments

 

2017 Goals

  • For my blog to grow, and improve from 2016
  • To grow in the Lord and give glory to Him
  • To go to the American girl store again (maybe…)
  • To work on and improve my Etsy shop
  • To get 100+ followers (we’re so close already!)

 

Here are a few of my favorite posts from the past year:

 

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Twice Clara showed up on this blog to show you her gymnastic skills, and it was a lot of fun! She’s done her floor and bar skills, and hopefully will come again soon to show her beam skills, too!

 

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You guys seemed to really like this one. I got quite a few comments about Caroline’s lovely hair.

 

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Menu Monday didn’t last too long, but I got to show you how to make some fun foods while it lasted! And who knows, maybe I’ll start it up again someday!

 

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Like I said in my list of 2016 accomplishments, I purchased a camera! And here’s where I dumped some fun experimental photos into a post introducing it! (I first said I got it in a Caption it! #2 post)

 

I hope you enjoyed this post!

What are some of your goals and accomplishments?

Happy 2017!

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Blogging Tips + How to Get Your Blog More Publicity/Followers!

Hi there! Today I have the long awaited Blogging tips post for you all!

The tips are going to be more from a reader’s perspective, as I have read blogs longer than I’ve written them. 🙂

Also, please note that many/most of these are my opinions, and that I am by no means a professional blogger, and am still learning and improving, myself, at blogging. 🙂

I hope these will help you!

Let’s get started!

1) Blog design- I recommend having a blog design that isn’t too complicated. It can have color, but try not to overwhelm your reader! Bold, bright backgrounds and crazy fonts might distract from your blog’s content.

Personally, I do not like seeing yellow text on a white background. See how hard it is to read? It kind of blends with the background. Isn’t that difficult to read? It might frustrate your readers as they try to make out the things you are saying. I know it’s bothered me before.

2) Content- Grammar and spelling are important! If I’m reading a blog with typos everywhere, I’ll probably not think of it as a very professional blog.

Also, write about what you love, but try to make interesting, well-written posts that will make your readers want to come back for more!

3) Pictures- Pictures can greatly affect your blog. If they are dark or blurry, that makes your blog seem less professional and less enjoyable to view. One good tip for indoor photos, is to try to get pictures by a sunny window.

4) Post frequency- If I stumble on a blog that hasn’t posted in weeks, or one that apologized for not posting and still hasn’t, chances are, I might not be as interested in it. It is great to post regularly if you can. Note, I didn’t say post every day. If you are busy, and decide to make one great quality post a week, that’s good! If you are able to post every day, that’s good too! (just make sure they are good quality! 😉 ).

5) Lastly, and most importantly, have fun! Be yourself and make posts that you would want to read!

 

And now for some tips to help you get more blog traffic and followers!

  1. I think one of the very best ways to get your blog “out there” is to get  involved in the blogging community! Swap buttons! Follow blogs you love! And Comment, Comment, Comment! Most times when I read a post, I also look at the comments, and many times I’ll click on the name of a commenter or two to check out their blogs! So commenting is a great way to get viewers for your blog!
  2. One neat thing that you can do to get publicity for your blog, is shout out your doll site on American Girl Fan! Every so often Jessica does a post where you can link to your site, so that others can check it out! It’s pretty neat!
  3. Also, I recommend taking a minute to write out tags and categories for your post, to help people find your post via search engines. But – at least if you are using WordPress – try not to put over fifteen categories and tags, because I read, here, that your post may not show up in WordPress search (topic search? I’m guessing that’s where you search for topics in your WordPress reader.), due to them trying to filter out unrelated posts.
  4. And probably the very most important thing, is to keep writing! Keep posting things you enjoy and have fun with it! Don’t worry if you don’t have a hundred followers in two months! Just keep posting about what you love, and the followers will most likely trickle in too!

I guess that’s about it! I hope that these tips will help you!

Post for you later!

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