Friday, February 26, 2010

Anniversary and a Giveaway!

Hooray!  My little blog is one year old today.  

This time last February I had only the vaguest notion of what a blog was.  At the same time, I knew that many of my favorite artists and writers and photographers and crafters seemed to possess them.  I went online and took a peek at one and then another and then several more.  It was a bit like sampling every flavor at a truly great roadside ice cream stand, but without the bellyache afterwards.  Each new flavor had something unique to offer.  Most were pleasing.  Some were mind-blowingly delicious.  I wanted more.  In fact, I wanted a flavor all my own.

So, I took the plunge.  My first post (still a comment-less waif, poor dear) talked about why I'd chosen The Magpie's Fancy as my blog title.  I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a bit of a thrill to hit "publish post" that first time.  The funny thing is that I've been writing professionally for twenty years, but this was different.  For the first time, there was no editor saying yes or no or maybe, but only if you change these ten things; and there were no deadlines, except the ones I chose to impose upon myself.  There was also no audience--at least not at the beginning.  I think many of us start blogging in a fairly secretive, or at least a quiet, way.  My husband knew, and my mother, and a friend or two.  But other than that, it was just me out there in the ether with my words and photos from a handy little Canon Powershot point and shoot.  I knew nothing about photography other than what I'd learned in high school as a yearbook editor back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and we worked in a crazy little thing called a darkroom.  (Confession: I'd still like my own darkroom now.  Film has an appeal all its own.  I guess the darkroom will be another item for the dreamhouse checklist, along with a laundry room with a big window, some built-in bookcases, and a cozy reading chair.  What can I say?  I like listening to laundry tumbling away in the dryer when I read.  I find it comforting.)

All I really knew in those first few weeks and months was that blogging was fun.  I began to meet a few people and to follow their blogs.  And then a few people followed mine, and then I noticed my blog name on a few sidebar blogrolls, and then, before I knew it, I started thinking about my blogging friends sometimes even when I wasn't blogging, wondering if one's dog was recovering from his surgery or if another was back from her trip to Paris.  Just a click away there was this whole community of creative and caring people from all over the world, typing away at their keyboards, knitting their scarves and socks, snapping photos, writing poems, celebrating birthdays, baking cakes, mourning losses, and making time for one another in the midst of busy, trying, fulfilling lives.  Schedules don't matter a whole lot in the blog world.  We tuck it in where and when we can.  Some weeks we have more time than others, but it doesn't matter, because each of us can come to it when we have a quiet moment or two to ourselves.  For me, it is often a reward after long hours of writing my own work or editing someone else's.  And it is still as delicious now as it was when I began.  Maybe more.  (My own ice cream flavor, by the way, is probably something like vanilla bean with a ribbon of dark chocolate and a raspberry-currant swirl.  That sounds about right.  What's yours?)

And so, this is a big thank you.  You inspire me every single day in more ways than I can count, and I can count pretty high.  

To celebrate my one year blog anniversary and say thank you, I'm hosting a giveaway.  I'm crafting a special wish box full of magpie trinkets and treasures that reflect my blog and what this whole blogosphere means to me.  I'm also going to include a print of one of my photographs in the box.  The winner will receive her choice of one of the photos in this post.  To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post between now and Tuesday, March 2.  I'll be drawing the winner at noon Eastern Standard Time.  Maybe I'll have Dill draw this winner since Scout got to draw the last one.

P.S. I bought a Canon Rebel today.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!


  1. Hey, you. Look at me, look at me. I get to be first. I'm so excited. OK, I'll be back to say what I want in a minute. For now, I'm going all second grade and securing my place in line.

  2. Gigi,
    We've talked before of our synchronicity. I know just what you mean about being giddy when you hit publish. I have a picture of the blog notice when I published my first post.

    Another thing that makes me giggle delightedly: I, too, have a Powershot and have saved nearly enough money to go by my big girl camera. Pretty sure it's gonna be a Rebel.

    I am getting really silly now. I feel like I'm poking you and whispering, "Me, too. Me, too." I was yearbook editor my Senior year. And I LOVE laundry. I'm totally stealing your idea for a reading corner in the laundry room of my dream house.

    Ok - so we don't match on the ice cream. Mine is chocolate mousse royale by the fast disappearing Baskin Robbins.

    So, now I have to say, "Pick me, pleeeeeeeease?!?!?!?!?!?!" I just know that typewriter with butterfly image is intended for the wall of the Sparkle Room. Take care, sweet girl.

    And, happy Friday!

  3. Oh. One more thing. Those balloons thrill me. Absolutely thrill me. I've loved a lot of balloon images in my time, but yours has just passed them all.

  4. Happy Anniversary!
    I'm so tickled to have found your wonderful blog.
    I do enjoy my visits here. Edward, too!

  5. Hi honey, congratulations girl on one year! It's a buzz that's for sure, all these gorgeous people round the world within our circle. Oh yeah!

    You are a total doll and I'm so pleased to have found you.
    xoxo D
    your giveaway sounds perfect :)

  6. Happy Bloggiversary dear Gigi...

    I'm so glad that I have stumbled upon your blog...I have enjoyed every word and picture here...Your photos are amazing even with a point and is all in the eye...can't wait to see what you do with your new baby:)...I just got a Rebel XSi before I went on vacation...I was intimidated at first but now I'm loving it...

    I would be proud to hang any one of those photos up on my wall...


    my ice cream flavor would have to be nutty and old fashioned and New Englandy....Maple Walnut for sure...

  7. My dear friend, Gigi,
    I bet that this first year of blogging has flown by. I never thought that anyone would comment on mine, let alone follow me ! It's still exciting when they do.
    I was the winner of your last giveaway and was so lucky when Scout chose me ! I know that the wish box will be full of glorious things to treasure and, any photograph from you would be wonderful. A very special giveaway.
    I am so pleased that you started your blog and you are a very special, loyal and generous blogging friend, Gigi.
    I will put your giveaway on my sidebar ..... oh, and my favourite ice cream flavour HAS to be Cookie Dough !!

  8. Wonderful Gigi,
    I am so glad that I found your blog - your beautiful words and gorgeous photos enrich my days more than you will ever know. I always have a smile on my face when I leave here...HAPPY HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!! That balloon photo is gorgeous!! My fave ice cream is jamoca almond fudge and java chip...yum!!! Have a beautiful weekend by fabulous friend! xxoo :)

  9. Congratulations, lovely Gigi, on your one year anniversary. I'm looking forward to your beautiful photography and breathtaking posts, in the year to come. And may I say, I am so jealous of your amazing creativity?
    By the way, rocky road's my favorite.

  10. Oh well done! It's great that you've come so far, and have got so much out of what you've put in. And what a wonderfully personal giveaway.

  11. Well done! This is an amazing place isn't it? I've only been here awhile but I am loving it and I hope in 10 months I too can celebrate 1 year. Keep writing I so enjoy my visits xxx

  12. Happy Blogiversary, dear Gigi! Looking forward to years more posts and sharing with you. :o) It has been the greatest pleasure to "meet" here in blogland. So much I admire and appreciate your special spirit and talents that you so heartily share here. Bless you... And so lovely with your generous giveaway--thank you! The balloons at the top was huge gift in itself. :o) Happy Weekend ahead--hope you celebrate ((LOVE & HUGS))

  13. Happy blog birthday Gigi-it's amazing how far you (and I, since I just celebrated mine) have come in a year.
    I want to say congratulations on creating such a beautiful and rich space here on your blog. Your photos always inspire me, as with your writing.
    Happy 1 year, may there be many more.
    I just love love love the beautiful typewriter photo above, but the blossoms and dried flowers are equally beautiful.
    Thanks Gigi!

  14. Congratulations Gigi! I am so very happy that I found you! A Rebel! I have been lusting after that camera for so long. I would love to know how you're doing with it. Brand new, so you're probably just getting aquainted, right? I'm sending you a bird's nest to help with the celebration. Have a happy, happy day Gigi.

  15. Happy birthday, sweet little blog!!! Gigi, that was so well said. You've pretty much just captured everything that I've been experiencing in the past few months, since I've started my own little ice-cream stand;). It's amazing how it really is this little secret initially; I remember, practically whispering to my hubby, after I had already written my first two posts (just photos, really) 'I think I'm going to start a blog'. It's slowly blooming and what fun it is to watch it.
    Your blog is so lovely. It's really just so full of beauty and sweet, honest prose. So, in honor of your 1-year anniversary, I'd like to say thank you for all that you share; it means a lot to those of us who read it loyally;).
    By the way, I share your love for darkrooms. When I was in college, I took a photography class and loved developing my own film; it felt like I had so much control. I also loved the smell of the chemicals (is that a little weird...maybe shouldn't admit to that one;)).
    Thanks again and please enter me in the giveaway drawing, I'd love to be a proud owner of a Gigi original!! ;)

    Happy Anniversary!


  16. Happy Anniversary! I've only recently discovered your blog, which I stumbled upon from another, and I was hooked by the title alone. You captured perfectly the beauty of blogging and your photos are wonderful. I can't wait to hear what you think of your new camera, let alone see the pictures. I'm a Canon powershot too, and dream of a something that can better catch what my eyes see.

    When it comes to icecream, I prefer vanilla-chocolate swirl. Here's to many more years of happy blogging!

  17. Yep, this post inspires that second grade response of saying, "Pick me, pick me, pick me," while frantically waving my hand in the air! I love your blog and would love to have a box of Magpie trinkets--and that print of the typewriter and butterflies--now I'm bouncing in my seat with anticipation!

    Your writing is so beautiful, and your pictures are beautiful--and I am so glad that you share them with us. Happy Birthday to your fabulous blog!

    You always inspire my thinking--and now, I'll be thinking about what flavor of ice cream my blog and I represent! I do know this--your flavor is one of my favorites right now, and I consume a bountiful portion nearly every day!

  18. eek! awesome! count me in!


  19. Oh Gigi, I went from the Powershot to a Rebel too and love it! You're going to have so much fun with it this spring when the world wakes up again.
    Happy Blogiversary! I love to visit here. Your posts are always inspiring, thoughtful, and beautifully written. And I love your photos, especially those balloons today, wow.

    As for ice cream flavor: coffee. It can have chunks of something in it (preferably chocolate something) but it's always got to be coffee.

  20. oops....i think my comment got eaten...just in case...count me in :)

  21. congrats on our one year and your new camera!

  22. Happy birthday blog!
    ps - I'm excited about your new camera.

  23. Gigi, I'm so glad you are here and that I "found" you. Happy Bloggy Birthday! How fun it would be to have a box of your trinkets!


  24. Dearest Gigi,
    I still fondly remember the day I found your blog! Ever since, I have been smittened by your loveliness and the 'friendship' which has bloomed, and one day, I cannot wait to meet you in person. I'm always thrilled to see you have posted and race over to read your beautiful words and become lost in your stunning images. What a delightful gift to give yourself - a new camera! Woooo-hoooo! Isn't it amazing the wonderful feeling which goes along with following your passions?
    Congratulations on an amazing first year, and I look forward to many, many more!
    P.S. I would be an organic vanilla bean ice cream! :)

  25. Dear Gigi, Happy blog-birthday!
    I am so, so glad that you started blogging a year ago, and ecually glad that I found your blog some months later. It brings so much inspiration, joy, and good thoughts to me and everyone els who reads it.

    I have been blogging for about half a year but I share many of the same thoughts as you do concerning blogging (I have written about on earlier posts). I really hope that you will continue blogging in the years to come.

    I love all your pictures, but if I should choose one I would choose the one with the typewriter, because it reminds me the most of your blog and I love butterflies.

    Have a great weekend.

    Hugs from MiaNostalgia

    PS. If I should choose an icecream, I would definately go to Italy and eat a big homemade Italian nocciola (hazelnut) icecream from a homemade cone. That is the best, ever! :-)

  26. Oooh how exciting!! I cannot believe it's a year old. Really? I'm trying to remember when I started reading. Seems a long time ago now, (with a falling off the blogasphere for a while somewhere in the middle!)

    Well congratulations. Definitely a Gold Star blog, Gigi.

    My ice cream of choice would absolutely have to be double choc choc chip. With choc cookie dough. Sigh...

  27. oh gigi,
    happy anniversary!!! :) you are so sweet...

    the most exciting thing in this post... :) you got a new camera... SWEET.... :) you must be soooo excited...

    congrats.... all around...xxo, kim

  28. happy one year of blogging, my dear! i have been SUCH a no-show in blogland this past week- i have lots of catching up on magpie, but i was so tickled by the sweet comment you just left. we all go a little nuts in the name of creativity, eh? says the girl who is on her computer in her studio, working on a painting at 11PM ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. peter is fast asleep at HOME, five miles away. one more week of insanity and then i'm coming back to earth!

    a few more things: you are going to LOVE your rebel (that's what i got last fall and i don't go anywhere without it); magpie has been one of the THE biggest inspirations for my blog, YOU have been one of the most darling new friends i've come to know and adore through blogging, and i'm NUTS about that dogwood picture. i would be delighted to high heaven to have it in my paint-stained little paws.

    big hugs, xoxoxo.

  29. Happy birthday to your blog! Congrats on writing it for a year. I'm a relatively new follower, but I do enjoy what you have to say. Your part of the inspiration for wanting a blog myself. (Nothing's happening until my move is complete.) And those butterflies coming out of the typewriter is a stunner of a pic. Love it.

  30. Happy One Year Anniversary! The first time I read your blog you were on the island. There were poetic pictures and writing. I didn't know who you were or where I was, but I knew I'd be coming back!

    The dogwood. I have photographs on the wall in my dining room. We live at this table, I blog here. I would love to look up and see that branch and those blossoms.

    Home made peach ice cream please.

  31. am so very happy indeed that you started this blog. it lifts my heart!

    congratulations on the new camera! cameras are the best kind of addiction ;)

  32. happy, happy anniversary, gigi! i'm so very glad i've found your blog... so beautiful to the eyes, and inspiring to the mind!

    and, how does one even begin choose a photo, out of those three gorgeous choices! i would be thrilled with any of them (well, you already know i fancy the dried flowers)

    and, have fun with your rebel... it's the camera i use (and love). i'm just now really exploring the camera's capabilities... would love to take a class to learn more about the manuel settings. as for now, i continue to experiment through trial and error.

    thanks so much for the chance at the giveaway ;)


  33. hi gigi

    i am more the dulce de leche gelato flavour. its neat how close i can relate to your blog beginning story. its very sweet.

    all the best for many more fun years

  34. Oh.
    That butterfly image.
    That is exquisite.

    sigh again.

    I came here to tell you something. A little while ago, I read a comment you left on Relyn's blog about a favourite poet of yours. This past year I have been absorbing this new-to-me art form in every way I can. I have fallen in love with words. Especially poems. And poets. A beautiful, unexpected passion that I never saw coming. So last weekend, I walked into my favourite book store and pulled a Milosz book off the shelf, sat on an old rickety chair and stayed there for I don't know how long. I lost all sense of time as I got lost in those words. So so beautiful. And then I came home and ordered one (the one in the store was a bit battered up and I am fussy that way). Each day I anticipate finding that book in my mailbox...I am still waiting.
    And I think of you. And how grateful I am that I found you. Not only do I love the little nuggets of goodness that you put out there for us to discover, but I also know that you are a poet, and I would SO love to read your poetic phrases. Please tell there a way to purchase your poetry? I would very much love to have a book of yours.
    Love you!

  35. Phew! Thank goodness I got back from the snow and sleet internet-free world in time to see your post. I can not imagine the world without your blog so thank goodness you secretly started it. And I can even pop back and read your first post. I have a confession dearest Gigi - I too would like my own dark room: it's a touch thing! And I even remember a couple of dinosaurs running round my school too... ;-) JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE miss Magpie's Fancy! Plein de Bisous

  36. Favourite ice cream flavour ??? Hokey Pokey and Boysenberry - found only in NZ ;-)

  37. Happy Bloggy Birthday! As most bloggers have already mentioned here in these comments, I too am so glad to have found your sweet blog. Congratulations on 1 year of successful blogging, you describe the blog world so well and just how wonderful it is. xo Louise

  38. Oh PS I love cookies and cream icecream... with Violet Crumble (honeycomb) squashed through... Mmm mmm mmm

  39. Congratulations and happy first birthday!

  40. Congratulations on your first year!

  41. Congratulations, Gigi! I've only recently discovered your blog and I'm so glad I did. I enjoy your writing and your beautiful photographs! Here's to many lovely blog years to come! :)

  42. oh lovely Gigi,
    what a wonderful pleasure to have met you through this amazing blogworld.
    you are truely creative and inspiring and I love that I can pop by and dream of a place far away with your wonderful words and images.
    congrats lovely friend, hope you have many more blogaversaries.

  43. hello beautiful!
    i still remember the day we were brought together.
    and what a day that was.
    you are sheer love!
    congrats on turning 1!

  44. I've never read a better description of the amazing online community! Happy 1 year and here's to bunches and bunches more :)

  45. Hi Gigi,
    I so much enjoy visiting your the way you captured the feeling of starting a blog and how it evolved and what it means...beautiful!
    How wonderful that you have a Canon Rebel...I love my old Canon Powershots but always dream about something better. The Rebel must be very exciting to use. Happy Blog Anniversary!

  46. i have been reading your blog but just a week or two. you are so right in your assessment of the blog community. we are a great group. congratulations.

  47. congrats on your blog being a year old gigi, ours is about that too ... glad that we found your blog, we love reading your beautiful stories and looking at your photographs.

    we have a few changes coming up over at our blog very soon (perhaps it's that year thing and we all feel like celebrating it)

    we'll be crossing our fingers for your giveaway.

    sammy & glenn

  48. Wow i am the 48th peron to comment! you obviously made such an impression on your first year! My first blog birthday was last month so i understand the feeling such excitment at looking at how you have progressed and achieved in a year! I love your blog and our posts your words are magical and your images compliment the words so well i actually read right the way back to your first ever post. Please enter me into the giveaway i'd love to be a part of it, and even if i dont win, i've stumbled upon a wonderfully creative blog to enlighten my days. Thanks Gem

  49. Congratulations Gigi. You wrote of the first time so clearly it brought back my own memory. What a thrill and warm delight.

    I was also passing sweet Jacqueline's when I noticed this beautiful picture on her sidebar, not seeing until later - your link. I adore the "Words that fly", it speaks volumes. Have a lovely Spring, x.

  50. Oh Happy Blogiversary!!! Those photos are beautiful I would love to have one! Best wishes with this giveaway!!

  51. Congratulations on your first year's growth through blogging..the joy of connecting with others...some who comment, some who only read...and your new camera sounds wonderful! xo

  52. Didn't answer the ice cream question because I find I can no longer eat it, but anything with caramel or butterscotch has always been a favourite.

  53. Hi GiGi,
    Congratulations on your one year anniversary...I just had mine and can relate in so many ways to what you have expressed here. Your photography is wonderful and I am so happy to have a chance to win....
    I look forward to future posts and sharing of our common interests...
    Take care,
    Laura :)

  54. Happy Anniversary. I love how Relyn was in there right at the beginning!

  55. Congratulations on your one year anniversary :) Thank you for sharing your blog with the world.

  56. Your wonderful photos on Flickr brought me here and I think I've found a new favorite blog! Congrats on your one year!

  57. gigi . one year is a happy milestone . i am glad to visit when i can . writing and photos with such talent here

  58. Thnak you for stopping by and I am glad that I now get to meet the fabulous Gigi. I am so pleased you enjoyed your gift and I know you will enjoy most the thoughtful gesture from our friend DJ. I will delightfully follow your blog.XO

  59. Oops......forgot something. Happy Blog Anniversary, a wonderful accomplishments with many reards and gifts. Stop over to read my post on my Blog anniversary(it right on the top of my sidebar. I am sure you feel the same. All the best. XO

  60. Congratulations Gigi! I'm trying to sneak in a little time and get caught up! You blog is the perfect place to start!


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