interview with ez

hello hello! it is here! the last interview that will complete the {blogging… by bloggers} interview series… it has been such a great week… you do not know what i am talking about? we had this fabulous week over the {place}, because we had fenomenal guests answering some interesting questions about the art of blogging. just for a quick reminder…

monday – {brittni} from papernstitch
tuesday – {victoria} from sfgirlbybay
wednesday – {tara gentile} from scoutie girl
thursday – {erin} from design for mankind

what do you think? rocket week or not?

so today it is all about comfort… creature comfort… or using other words, this is ez’s time to speak!

“hello lovelies! i’m ez (pronounced ee-zee) and creature comforts is my little inspirational haven. i’m so glad you’re here to share it with me! this blog is all about celebrating the tiny details that make life so amazing and looking to find beauty in the unexpected.  blogging has also become an incredible way for me to connect with people and things from around the world that i would otherwise have never known (like you).  i love sharing this creative space with you and am constantly inspired by all of my readers and this amazing community of ours.”

let us read about the main subject {blogging} by ez… what does she has to say on this?

1. do you remember the first day you blogged? what did you have in mind?
i remember spotting a few community oriented sites revolving around the handmade softies theme (at that time i had no knowledge of what a blog was and was into making stuffed creatures) and wondered what it was all about. on a whim i clicked a “free trial” button on one of those blogs, set up creature comforts and just never stopped since then (even though I’ve changed blog hosts a couple of times over the years). i certainly didn’t have any lofty plans and never would have imagined having a blog that has such a amazing group of readers. i still have to pinch myself all the time!

2. what does your blog represents for you? how many hours it represents on a daily basis?
my blog serves so many purposes for me. most importantly it gives me the opportunity to be part of a community of like-minded people who inspire and challenge me to work towards achieving my dreams every day, and on the less thrilling side of things it also puts a roof over my head and provides the income my daughter and i need to get by. i tend to have a hard time ending a workday and work very long hours. i’ve gotten better at scheduling my time in recent months though, and i’d say i now blog/interact with the blogging community/create projects for my blog/source new content, etc. for about 11 hours daily/6 days a week.

3. when you started to wish to make it grow in a really strong way, what strategies did work for your blog?
it took a while for me to realize that i might be able to make a living with my blog, and honestly for much of the time (especially in the first couple of years) the growth process involved a lot of trial and error. i’m sure that there are books that can be read on growth strategies for blogging (and maybe i should read them), but i’ve always wanted the focus of my blog to be about the things that inspire me, while also supporting independent artisans, and sharing in the amazing blogging community that i feel so lucky to be a part of.

4. since which moment you believed that your blog was a successful one?
i think that the first time that i received an email from a reader thanking me for inspiring them to pursue their creative passions i felt that i had achieved something really great. i would be lying to say that the number of readers doesn’t matter to me, because it does. but that number is more than just a financial means or gauge for “success.” it truly fills my heart with joy to think that that number (whatever it may be) represents an amazing assortment of incredible and inspiring people who chose to take a moment from their day to visit my site. i think that’s pretty cool!

{frances janisch via creature comforts}

now… let us think about other blogs and blogging…

1. if there was a main rule about blog etiquette, what would it be?
credit…credit…credit. what goes around comes around (especially in the blogging world).

2. publishing a story every day… main rule towards success or not at all?
if you want to build a site you definitely need to have consistent content that your growing readership can anticipate and look forward to. whether that is once a day, once a week, or 5 times a day is a personal decision. i would venture to guess that the more quality posts you produce the more rapidly your site will grow.

{inspiration daily via creature comforts}

3. when you read a blog, what is “that” thing that makes you click on “add a comment”?
i really appreciate when a blogger shares something personal about themselves, their passions, etc. there is something so real about that…like a hand reaching out through the screen…you just want to reach back, hold on, and be a part of the moment they’ve invited you to share with them for a little while.

{inspiration daily via creature comforts}

4. what does your eye catch when you are searching the web and you find a new blog?
i really notice when a blogger has their own aesthetic that they are sharing through their blog (it could be the blog design itself or the content). it is easy for things to begin to look the same when you are online constantly clicking links and trying to discover sites you’ve  never seen before. and when you come across one that stands out, it seems to always be because they have that authentic quality that can’t be forced or faked. those are the sites i can’t bookmark fast enough and can’t wait to share on my own little corner of blogland.

{site for sore eyes :: follow studio via creature comforts}

and this was the end my fellow friends… a full week of delightful insight, amazing focus, creative challenges… i believe that after this week, we may feel the need to stop & think. think about what we wish to do, what we wish to accomplish, what we wish to deliver… what we wish to be.

i hope this special interview’s edition has been a pleasure for you…

but enough believing & imagining…

give me your thoughts on these {five} interviews.

until then have a great friday!

greetings from twiggland!

step-by-step recipes :: tomato, olive and goat cheese crostini

hello lovely friends, how are you? it is friday… it’s the end of the week as we know it… now i am just singing that song… but that is because i really love fridays! so… what do you wish for today? let me guess… friday… next to saturday… weekend… we have more time, for us, our family, our friends… and what do we do when we are together with our families & friends? we eat. and for that to happen… someone has to cook! and today i shall present you with a fabulous recipe… i could drool right now, because being portuguese, our cooking is mediterranean, so this kind of recipes are so tasty for us! but i shall talk no more and share that recipe with you!

who shall be the cook today? sylvie from gourmande in the kitchen. she speaks french, her favourite flavor for ice-cream is caramel, she can’t stand bananas, she gets cold easily and tried to make us believe she was allergic to chocolate… and then she does {this}, and she is my lovely friend sylvie.

what is the recipe?
sundried tomato, olive and goat cheese crostini

note from the cook: crostini are little toasts that are piled with various toppings, such as vegetables, spreads, and cheeses.  my version here is comprised of a chunky sundried tomato and olive tapenade that is piled on top of crunchy bread slices that have been slathered with a creamy goat cheese spread.  this is a quick and easy recipe that can be made at the last minute from ingredients you probably already have in your own pantry.  Serve it as an appetizer for a dinner party or as light lunch with a green salad on the side.

¾ cup roughly chopped, drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes
1 cup roughly chopped, pitted black Kalamata olives
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
1/4 cup drained and well rinsed capers
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf of Whole Grain bread or 1 French Baguette cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
¼ cup or more of extra virgin olive oil (enough to thinly brush the bread slices)
One  8 oz log of mild fresh (not aged) goat cheese, at room temperature
2  Tablespoons of milk (any kind), or more as needed

how do we cook it?
preheat oven to 400°. combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and lightly brush with the olive oil.
{bread & olives}

{bread, olives & goat cheese}

bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. remove toast slices from oven and cool 2 minutes.

{crostini with dried tomato, olive & goat cheese}

mix together the goat cheese and two tablespoons of milk, add more milk if necessary until a creamy spreadable consistency has been achieved. spread the goat cheese mixture thinly on one side of each toast and top with the sundried tomato and olive mixture. drizzle with extra olive oil if desired and serve.

{call your family & friends… & delight yourselves}

sweet sylvie also shared one more thing with us…

dear kitchen…
“thank you for being a constant source of comfort and inspiration in my life.  you are the place i come to fuel my creativity and lift my spirits.  thank you for filling my childhood summers with wonderful memories: preparing jam with fragrant freshly picked wild blackberries and raspberries, thinly slicing apples for my grandmother’s always perfectly arranged apple tart, biting into the crusty end (le crouton) of a still warm baguette and spoiling my appetite!  you were and are always the center of daily life.  when i think of you {dear kitchen} i remember these experiences, the food we have made together and the people i love.”

and this was our recipe for today… i am willing to cook this because this is my kind of starters!

but do not go yet… do you have a thing for moroccan food?

here is a good sneak-peek at moroccan recipes from {traveling mama}, my sweet friend tina is sharing a bit of her experience while she and her family lived in morocco. i am definitely going to try it!

and this was it for today as in recipes, of course! there is still one more thing to go on our weekend… and that thing is… the last interview on {blogging… by bloggers}! in just a while, do not miss the last one by… ez from {creature comforts}!


interview with erin of design for mankind

hey you! it’s me again. i am like the postman that always rings twice… well i am the blogger that always posts twice! and this week i have been downing my posts to two poer day, not that these interviews have anything to do with that fact, but it has been such a busy week, i have put on stand-by all those second-posts-of-the-day. but be prepared my friends… lots of good news next week!

and who shall be our next guest? if you have read the last post about {cecile de vries} you may have guessed… blond, short hair, beautiful smile and has been sharing what she wears every day for 30 days…

{erin loechner from design for mankind}

“professional blogger and freelance magazine writer with a knack for design and wit for life.”

{a wolf tattoo from hudsalva via design from mankind}

let us read about the main subject {blogging} by erin… what does she has to say on this?

1. do you remember the first day you blogged? what did you have in mind?
i do, actually! i told my husband i was going to start blogging again, and he rolled his eyes. i had blogged personally when we first met (over 10 years ago now!) and swore i’d quit cold turkey. turns out i couldn’t stay away… i didn’t have much in mind, other than i wanted a crash pad for cool images and artists i spotted online. became that crash pad of randomness and i updated it every now and then.

{juxtaposition via design for mankind}

2. what does your blog represents for you? how many hours it represents on a daily basis?
you know, my blog represents community. it’s amazing how many people it impacts, and that’s because of our community as a whole. we really do have a voice online, and its often exponential in its reach. as far as hours go, i really spend very little time sourcing for new content (a lot of it comes to me, and i don’t like to overthink it), but emails related to blogging? that takes HOURS. a good 10-12 daily. luckily, it’s my favorite part!

{winter on my desktop via design for mankind}

3. when you started to wish to make it grow in a really strong way, what strategies did work for your blog?
i think the only strategy that worked for me was to not wish for growth, but to blog for myself and to fill in voids that i saw elsewhere. i like to make people happy, so if i saw that a niche wasn’t being filled, i wanted to fill it. i think that’s why i post so much art — i see so little of it elsewhere and there are so many creatives (fashion/graphic design, artists, makers) that thrive on visuals and need that stimulation. i’m far from a designer myself, but i do think relatively aesthetic-based, so i can see why it’s a need for some. it’s certainly a need for me! i do, however, coach others on making their blog succeed, so i suppose if i gave myself my own advice,iI’d say to add something relevant to the conversation. immerse yourself in your community, and give more than take. you can take that literally, or figuratively, but it works every time.

{off to san fran via design for mankind}

4. since which moment you believed that your blog was a successful one?
oh, dear — it’s so funny to read that question. i just really don’t think in terms of success, but i am proud of this wee little corner of the world i’ve built. i so love what i do. i‘d say when my college magazine covered me as their november headliner this past month, that was a pretty cool thing. i mean, it’s interesting to see people that you know in real life reading your blog. it’s one thing to have thousands of internet friends, but the second that veil is lifted and you run into someone you’ve known before you blogged that keeps up with your work online… well, that’s sort of crazy.

{inspired by… via design for mankind}

now… let us think about other blogs and blogging…

1. if there was a main rule about blog etiquette, what would it be?
i think there are a few rules, but i’d recommend always giving credit where credit is due. whether you’re sourcing images or you were simply inspired by someone else’s post, it’s nice to open that train of thought to the readers. there’s a stigma that if you link to another blogger or website, you’ll use your readers to their content. that’s the craziest thing i’ve ever heard! in fact, you just might gain a friend in that other blogger. be nice to each other and raise each other up — it’s what we’re here for.

{protect your floors via design for mankind}

2. publishing a story every day… main rule towards success or not at all?
i like consistency, so i’m drawn to blogs that publish every day or multiple times a day. there’s a fine line, though, as i find myself posting 5-7 times daily and i think that’s a little much. but then again, i like to think there are no rules. because i just can’t help myself — i love finding unusual things and sharing them with the world!

3. when you read a blog, what is “that” thing that makes you click on “add a comment”?
anything personal where the blogger is sharing something that he/she is truly passionate about. i’m not an avid commenter, but i do when i see that someone has poured their heart/soul into something. i think that deserves a response of some sort.

4. what does your eye catch when you are searching the web and you find a new blog?
i love seeing new designs, and i like seeing a blogger breaking the rules or doing something completely new and thematic, like pairing art with fashion or photographing numbers all day long. anything super niche-driven is cool to me.
{a year ago today via design for mankind}

so… now i want to hear from you? what do you think? this was our forth interview…

we had {brittni’s} on monday
we had {victoria’s} on tuesday
we had {tara’s} on wednesday
& today we had erin’s.

i wish for opinions so far… and i have learned so much. i think that this was a really good idea, sorry for saying this out loud, but i never thought i could pull something like this, that people would want to hear this, and that these sweet & kind bloggers which i admire would want to answer and be a part of these series.

one thing is certain.

blogging is about {community}.


number’s editorial :: cécile

hello there friends… how are you feeling today? i hope you are feeling good in this thursday! i am happy, though these last few days, hosting the series of interviews on {blogging} with glamourous & talented bloggers, i have been thinking so much about what i want to do… what is this blog’s mission… what content do i wish to deliver you… i have been thinking about you. what can you wish for? what can i deliver you that may catch your eye?

well… but i will leave this for later…

today is that day of the week… {number’s editorial}… what is number’s editorial? well, a few random questions that allow us to know a bit more about someone in particular. these guests are always special for some reason… i admire them for their work, i am friends with, i admire them & am friends with…

today we shall have a very special lady, how could it be the other way around? she is ducth, has curly hair, wears glasses and has a bunny as a pet. clues?

{ciel photography via flickr}

number :: 29
i’m turning 29 on december 20. at first i wanted to pick the number 30 because that is just something i’m not looking forward to. but then i was like, ‘wait a minute, 29 comes first, you still have an entire year to do whatever you want to!’ when i start to think about this in a more serious way i also feel that all these years brought me lots of positive things. i really think that i have developed myself a lot this last year. i am way more confident and i’m starting to make choices that i feel good about. i have become a much stronger person, even my boss told me so, which was such a nice compliment. when the people around you start noticing these things, well that makes it even more special! i guess i really feel i am becoming my own person… my qualities, my imperfections, my silly little habbits. and you know what? i like that person.

letter :: l

i’m so happy i got an {L} because l is for {lola}. my bunny, she’s about nine months old now and i got her at seven weeks old. i wanted to give her a sixties/seventies inspired name and {the kinks} sure do have some catchy tunes! some of you will know her, because every now and then she pops up in my photos. she’s kept indoors and is toilet trained! after spending lots of time with her, and oh-my-god being very very patient, we have become best friends. i can not imagine my life without having animals around me. i adore spending time with her, just looking at her hopping through the house brings a big smile to my face!

a perfect day is when…
i wake up and the sun is already shining. i wear one of my favourite dresses… and have a cup of tea with my bunny. then i would take a couple of my cameras out for a photowalk (or bike ride9. find a few magic spots, with great stories to tell. perhaps some afternoon shopping followed by a nice cozy dinner. and last but not least… some beautiful mesmerizing live music to take me through the night.

one thing i would love to learn is…
photoshop, but i’m too lazy to learn myself and i don’t have the time to take a course. so unfortunately that’s not really going anywhere.

would you rather be an english woman in new york or a new yorker in england?
i’m actually ducth myself and i’ve never been to england nor new york, but i have to admit i have a soft spot for england. the wonderful accent would be the main reason! i couold totally picture myself as some sort of bridget jones walking the chaotic streets of new york. inner poise!

{ciel photography via flickr}

i’m day and night, earth and sky. i’m a flower child but too sweet for rock ‘n roll. i’m a dreamer and a fairy-tale believer. i’m a tiny dancer, the girl on the bus. i’m a fighter, the first rule you do not talk about. i’m wondering who the f*** i am on a sunday morning. i’m taking you down, ’cause i’m going to strawberry fields. i’m the monsters in my head. i’m the shiny happy people in the crowd. i’m my future, i’m the soundtrack of my life. i’m the girl behind the camera because i guess every girl goes through a photography phase. you know, flowers, clouds… taking pictures of your feet.

and this was a little bit about this sweet girl. cecile made me a surprise yesterday by making an {ode to twiggs} and she has described me as “she is a girl like you and me” which i loved… by its simplicity. like i have said before… ordinary girl… just trying to find out her place (therefore… a place for twiggs). i hope you are enjoying these interviews. i love these, because they were my first feature here on {…a place for twiggs} and because they allow me (and you) to know a bit more about that person, making this place a little bit more personal.

have a swoon day… & do not forget! there are still two more interviews about {blogging… by bloggers}… and in a couple of hours, there will be a forth one… she is blond, she has short hair, amazing smile… and is sharing with us what she wears… for 30 days. clues? sneak-peek {here}!


interview with tara gentile

hello hello… are you waiting for something juicy? i have that juicy for you! today we shall have the third interview on {blogging… by bloggers}. if you haven’t been around, this is a special daily edition of interviews concerning blogging. as we newbies, and maybe not that newbies, that have been striving with blogging our own ways, we do have doubts. so, in order to clear, just a little bit of those doubts… i have come up with 5 interviews with 5 bloggers that we all know so very well. so… today we have the third interview… but you can still read the previous two interviews: brittni from papernstitch {here} & victoria from sfgirlbybay {here}.

but let us stop the talking and head out to the next guest… tara gentile from {big thinking for small business} & editor of {scoutie girl}.

“i’m tara gentile the writer, big thinker, and web designer behind scoutie girl, the outside-the-box manual for creating living & mindful spending. i’m in the process of building a web empire. true tale.”

{childhood memories via scoutie girl}

1. do you remember the first day you blogged? what did you have in mind?
i do! the very first day i blogged was during my senior year of college (winter 2004). while i’m not sure how i heard about blogging, i found the xanga platform and knew i would start one sooner than later. But i was in need of a reason to create my first post. whilst watching tv, i saw a commercial for velveeta cheese. it was about how velveeta was better for salsa dip than real cheddar. ’cause you can’t really microwave cheddar. i found this quite absurd. use fake cheese because radiation won’t work on real cheese? wow. needless to say, i had the fodder for my first blog post.

{childhood memories via scoutie girl}

2. what does your blog represents for you? how many hours it represents on a daily basis?
my blog represents my inquisitive mind and my energetic personality. while not everything i write or think or feel or create ends up on the “formal” blog, the process of blogging is a part of almost everything i do. and i like it that way. i never wanted to have a work life & a home life. i always wanted my work to be a part of me and i a part of it. that’s what i’ve found in blogging. so, to put a number of hours on my blogging practice is pretty impossible for me! there are very few hours when i’m not experiencing some aspect of blogging.

3. when you started to wish to make it grow in a really strong way, what strategies did work for your blog?
the best strategy for growing my blog has been to really focus on creating unique content. i strive to create content that you will find no where else because it’s a reflection of my own philosophy on the creative life and creative economy. when i stopped trying to make my blog a successful “design” blog and focused instead on what i really loved, my readers became fiercely loyal and engaged. and loyal & engaged readers mean more casual visitors. then casual visitors turn into fans. it’s a great cycle!

{kiki and polly via scoutie girl}

4. since which moment you believed that your blog was a successful one?
i knew my blog was finally successful when i wrote a post that was a personal rant about our limiting philosophies about money & abundance. i thought people might think i was crazy. or that they might not read it. or that i had no business giving that kind of advice. instead, it quickly became a twitter sensation and then was picked up by several other blogs & content outlets. that post really opened my eyes to reshaping my blog into something that was both very popular & something that reflected my true passion for creativity and life.

{fall print roundup via scoutie girl}

now… let us think about other blogs and blogging…

1. if there was a main rule about blog etiquette, what would it be?
i’m not sure if this is etiquette per se, but the main principle i would want people to learn is the art of the riff. instead of posting other people’s content, or just linking to things you find cool, or passing on other people’s ideas to your readers, add your own two cents. riff off of the original idea with your own original perspective. it makes everyone’s blog better. the original blogger will love you more for an insightful link back. your readers will learn about your unique perspective. you will learn to become a part of the conversation and not just another frequency of noise.

2. publishing a story every day… main rule towards success or not at all?
absolutely not. i’ve learned that blogging less with better content is way better. if you have nothing to say, by all means, inflate your page views with post after post of meaningless fluff. but if you do have something to say, something interesting to offer the world, much better to hone it & refine it and offer it up slowly.

3. when you read a blog, what is “that” thing that makes you click on “add a comment”?
i rarely comment on other people’s blogs. when i do, it’s because someone has gotten me to shift my perspective on something that’s important to me. whether it’s business or design or writing, i comment when someone has moved me.

4. what does your eye catch when you are searching the web and you find a new blog?
the thing that catches my eye is originality, at the risk of sounding cliche. blogs that are obviously trying to do something that’s already been done turn me off. but bloggers who are doing something new, offering up something innovative or fresh, those are the people that grab my attention in a serious way.

now, i have loved all the previous interviews… they all have pointed out something that made me think, whether rules, originality, character, design… but there is always one major thought that does not leave my mind. and i believe that this is the real thing we should all be asking. and by {we} i mean all of us that are striving for something in our lives.

how can i make the difference?

see you tomorrow friends!

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