Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Grow Your Blog" Event and My First Giveaway!

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Welcome to "Grow Your Blog" Day, coordinated by by Vicki Boster of 2 Bags Full. This is Vicki's second annual event helping bloggers get to know one another. This year almost 600 bloggers have asked to participate! I firstly wish to thank Vicki for the enormous labour of love she has undertaken; the complete list of participating blogs are to be found at the above link to Vicki's post.

I will get right to task and introduce myself (hopefully as briefly as I can... not my strongest suit LOL.)

My name is Monique, I live in beautiful New Brunswick, Canada and I have been on blogger since May 2012. I was still an internet newbie then, but I have learned to love the blogosphere and the many generous bloggers here. I started my own blog on my birthday exactly 18 months ago today, and I've been loving it and learning ever since! 

Here is a recent picture of me:

OK, not so recent. Circa 1961... that's me on the right
with my lovely Mum, in France, military posting.

That little girl loved to explore her small apartment, and Mum knew I was somewhere I shouldn't be whenever she heard me proclaim, "Monique fait rien"... Monique isn't doing anything!

Eventually, Mum broke down and let me "help" with the baking. Yum! I was hooked!

We moved back to Canada and I began training as a nurse:

Well, that actually only happened in 1979 :)

I showed musical talent  quite young:

Yes, I did get a "real" piano much later, and I really do still love to play and sing :)

Fast forward...

I have been married for 25 years and today, January 25th, (and Happy Bobby Burns Day to all who claim Scottish ancestry) is actually my 25th anniversary. That's right, we married in the coldest month of the year. We have four sons and are fortunate to have the two youngest still at home. The oldest lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he is in his gazillionth year at university (or so it seems). Son #2 is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, and serves in the Canadian military, presently in CFB Petawawa, Ontario.

The last time we were all present for a photo op (May 2011):

Me with my five "boys". Son #1 receiving his first degree.

I loved my childhood traveling near and far as a "pigeon" (military brat)... but I am so happy to be in Maritime Canada to grow my roots again. 

I have enjoyed many crafts and arts throughout my life: drawing, embroidery, cross stitch, sewing, quilting, baking, music... but my latest loves are jewelry-making and polymer clay crafting. As I noted, I started blogging 18 months ago, primarily to learn from the wonderful artisans in the jewelry field, and I HAVE learned PLENTY! I use crafting as a stress-buster against life's occasional tribulations, and for my own pleasure, and I do not sell my work, but rather I donate to several charities (you can find some of them in the right-hand margin). But I also follow blogs in many other creative fields, and dedicate part of each day to an ever growing list of blogs. I especially look forward to meeting other bloggers and reading your stories!


I feel the "secret" to being a successful blogger is to get out there and visit, support, follow and especially comment at other blogs. Get involved in blog hops that interest you, or start your own with a few online friends. Encourage others! I would guess the words I have typed, at the blogs of others, are at least 10 times what I have written here on my own blog. I have at least 150 followers, but I follow over 350 blogs... and plan to increase that!

In the 18 months since I began my blog, I have published 150+ posts, received 1100+ comments, and this morning passed 32,000 pageviews, from 108 countries around the world. Not bad, as this is my only consistent online presense (I don't much care for Facebook and I don't sell online). All this is not to "brag", but rather to show how supportive other bloggers can be; but it needs to be mutual. More important than mere numbers, are the wonderful online friendships I have know who you are, ladies!


Finally, there is a **GIVEAWAY** (my first ever). I participated in the Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge last year, and would like to offer three pairs of handmade earrings to a randomly selected reader who leaves a comment. You DO NOT have to follow my blog, nor do you need to HAVE YOUR OWN BLOG in order to participate in this giveaway, and it is open to all, regardless of where you live. However, I must be able to contact you. If your email is in your blogging profile, that will work. If not, please include your email (preferable) OR your Facebook name in your comment, so I can get the message to you if you are the winner. The winner will be chosen and announced on February 15th.

Below are the earrings I will be giving away; since it is difficult to know what would appeal to others, I decided to include my three designs which received the most "Re-pins" and "Loves" on the AJE Pinterest board. However, you are welcome to check my year-end post, where all the pairs I created are displayed. If you are the winner and would like a substitute pair, I will be happy to oblige, if the alternate pair(s) are available. Hopefully you will enjoy wearing and/or sharing these as gifts:


Thank you for visiting, and I hope to return the favour in the next days and weeks!

**IMPORTANT UPDATE: if you commented between Jan. 25 and Feb.2, you may be wondering why your comment is no longer visible. :( I am trying to find out! Please know I have a record of ALL 45 MISSING COMMENTS FOR THIS POST, both on my email and at my Intense Debate account. You WILL all be included in my giveaway! Your comments are ALL very important to me and I thank you :) SO SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE :(


  1. Hi Monique, I've visited your blog before, it was nice to learn more about you this time. Your photos And captions are very funny and your mum looks like a very stylish lady. Your giveaway is very generous, all of your earrings are gorgeous, I think I saw some of them on art jewellery elements too.

  2. Hello , my name is Dawn your my one stop on the blog party, Hope that I soon will be friends with all of you cyber neighbors. I just say that 600 plus bloggers that sign up to the Party and I am only up to 224 whew a lot of good read and great giveaways. Thanks for this opportunity to join friends with you and be apart of your giveaway. Can't wait to see more of your great projects in the making. My site and contact info is

  3. So nice to meet you at the GYB party! Your work is just lovely! Hope to see more of what you are doing! ~Terri

  4. Hi, Monique - working my way through The Blog Party list, and happy to have landed here this afternoon. Darling photos of your younger self...I dabble a bit in jewelry, also. Newest Follower, and off to read a bit more before moving on, but I WILL be back! Happy Tuesday - Tanya

  5. hi there. i really enjoy the vintage shots. such great memories. nice to meet you. & thank you for stopping by my blog - i really thought i did comment on your post here back when the party 1st started in January... that is so, so, so odd??! ( :

  6. Hi Monique! Thanks for visiting my blog. Love the 60'ish photos - I can so totally relate! Enjoyed learning about you and shall be back to visit again in the future. Lorraine

  7. Your intro was so much fun to read and your jewelry is beautiful. Would love to win those earrings. Thanks for the chance. Jackie

  8. Great post - feel I know a lot about you. Would love to win the turtle earrings. Thanks for the chance! I am a new follower. And thanks for helping Vicki with this great endeavor.

  9. Hi, it was fun looking through your early photographs as I'm sure it was just as much fun for you sorting them out and posting them. It's always nice to meet another Canadian blogger. There have been so many great site to visit via the Grow your Blog event. I'd love to be entered into your give away. I can be reached at craftygardener at xplornet dot com I don't have a Blogger profile so the link on my name will be a back door link into my actual site. BTW, thanks for stopping by and visiting my site already.
    We've had a huge amount of snow so far this winter (Ontario) and I'm hoping for an early spring.

  10. Hi Monique! I am in complete agreement with your idea of a successful blogger. Being supportive, getting out there and visiting is important. You get what you give, right? Love, love, love your earrings! especially the turtle ones. Thank-you so much for visiting me earlier, and I will be back soon.

  11. hello and nice to meet you. You are so right about the blogging thing - being supportive and creating two-way friendships. I'm happy to find more jewellery bloggers on this hop, I usually only find bloggers who only post for blog hops. Your earrings are lovely, but I don't wear earrings so please don't include me in the giveaway

  12. Nice to meet you through GYB. I hope you have had as much fun as me visiting all the great blogs. (Mine is about embroidery.)


  13. Monique- thank you for participating in my GYB party. I can see that you are already making new friends.

    I love the photo of you and your Mom- it's just beautiful:)

    Have a wonderful Sunday--

  14. Wow, three pairs of 'made-by-you' earrings. Each so different and each so lovely. I just joined your blog yesterday and there certainly is much to peruse, and what I love is that you are Canadian and living in the DISTINCT location of New Brunswick and you include your cat in your blog. Access to your SHOP did not jump out at me, but I will continue to look for it. I, too, create with wire and beads but would say that I have a long way to go before showing my product. Thank you for your blog, Monique.

  15. Hi Monique, what a nice post!!! Now I know something more about you.
    The earrings are beautiful and I'd like to participate in your giveaway!

  16. Monique, The BEST blog post ever. I feel like I know you. I am following in your footsteps in donating most of what I make to charity. I now do Beads of Courage with all of my scrap polymer clay; Ears to You and the Art Charm Exchange, which we do together. You can contact me thru the later if I am the lucky winner! Susan

  17. Monique,

    I saw your comment on my own GYB post but I didn't work hard enough to find you. I was determined after you left a comment on my most recent post to find you. Who says determination doesn't pay off? And now that I've found you, I'm glad to make your acquaintance.

    I enjoyed your GYB post--the pictures and stories of your childhood are precious. I also like your approach to blogging--learn a little, give a little.

    Please don't include me in your giveaway. Your jewelry is gorgeous--unfortunately, I'm allergic to almost all earring materials, so I would much prefer that someone that you draw someone's name who will enjoy them better than I can.

  18. Hi Monique, great post! Your earrings are awesome and love them all.. You are so good at making these jewels.. Thanks for stopping by my blog and looking forward to read more of your posts. Following you. Hugs:)

  19. Hello Monique,Your childhood photos were a delightful change from most of the blogs.It's hard to be different when there are so many people participating int the hop. Your earrings are indeed beautiful and unique. I would definate wear them should I be luck enough to win the giveaway. Looking forward to a growing friendship.

  20. Hello from Yukon, Canada! I'm still working on the GLB and I'm glad I found you ♥
    Thanks for sharing lovely photos of you.

  21. Enjoyed seeing the old photos and the humor with them. So nice to meet you. The earrings are beautiful!

  22. Salut Monique! J'ai vu les photos anciennes avec du plaisir. Vous avez beaucoup d'humor. Ma liste des blogs de Grow Your Blog Party à visiter est encore grande. J'aime vos boucles d'oreille, surtout ceux avec la tortue. À bientôt. Ana


I love your comments and read each one! I am happy to reply to anyone who has an email attached to their profile, and I love doing just that (plus I was brought up to say "thanks" LOL). I don't usually reply here on the blog, but I will if you are a "no-reply blogger" with a question. Know that I appreciate EVERYONE who takes time to drop me a line!

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