Blog Giveaway for Bloggers – from Crimson Pear


Today’s post is a great giveaway for bloggers …or wanna-be bloggers, so really ALL of you can consider…

I want you to meet Libby. Why? I owe her a huge thank you for pulling me out the water when I was drowning in HTML, code, CSS and all sorts of weird technical jargon that I did not know the first thing about. She helped me learn how to swim and even though I am still water paddling (slow learner these days?!)….I made lots of progress and my blog is up and running. All the things I have not yet done, like a proper blog header or my courageous blogroll I never kept up, are not by her fault. It takes time and patience to decide and figure it out, but I want you to get the benefit of a blog tweak as she generously offered a huge discount on those services specially for any reader of this post !

That in a nutshell, but let’s go one step back again….

One of my many self-awarded titles is to be a “blogger”. Note the word “self”…?!

It’s easy – you find a blog and you start writing. Well, so I thought….

And then reality hit.

I mean really hit. Hard.

There were countless little…no, big…. technical issues that came with the decision to move from a hosted to a self-hosted blog. The “self” is where the problem came in…that word I miss-judged… the one that implied hours and hours of technical tweaking !!!! I pulled my hair out that I ever started.

Newsflash for those who still consider blogging…….

Image: Shabbyblogs

But at this point I was hooked. There was no turning back.

I cried out for help….

and to the rescue came ….. a LIFE-LINE thrown to me by…

..the lovely Libby , whom I met via the Blogging-your-Way course ( – the highly acclaimed and highly, highly recommended-by-all-course commonly known as BYW By Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring).

Libby is the owner of the blog, Current Observations and web-business, hot off the press as we speak, Crimson Pear.

And here we are today. A work-in-progress…. but Auburn and Blue is good to go for now and I am blogging. And happy.

I know that there are many of you who are in the same position as me – you want to blog….you have wonderful ideas, you are creative or you simply need a let-out. So, all you need now is a BLOG. We can solve the problem of the unfed husband later !

Or you have a blog already, but the only thing between you and wonderful content is the know-how to make it look and feel exactly the way you want to…. you are at the right place.

Today on offer is a blog giveaway to help all the wonderfully, creative people out there who just needs a little…or a lot of help with the tools of the trade and and at the same time to introduce Libby’s newly launched web business as a thank-you from me.

To recap, today’s giveaway:

Full details on which services she offers is on her site. And obviously this is open to all countries. Libby does a Skype consultation as part of the service and screen sharing goes beyond borders…gotta love technology too !!

Since today is not about me – I am not going to force you to “like” MY blog to qualify for this one. Because you don’t need to be a fan of mine to make use of Libby’s service (but obviously I will never stop you from “liking” my blog via the facebook button on the sidebar if you have not done before !).
But here is what you DO need to do to qualify:


That is to get a 20% discounted rate for any of the services in her range.

You have time till December 25th to enter and Winner will be announced on December 27th.

…and the BONUS FEATURE is, that if you comment on this post – you will ALSO stand a chance for the blog giveaway that is still open for all comments for the month of December…. and win a beautiful BATHROOM SET. If you missed it, you can find it here.

If you are not in need now, you WILL BE one day in the future – trust me! It could come in handy later.

You can knock on her door anytime and make use of her services, but this is a once-off opportunity for a discounted rate.

So, who exactly is Libby? Well – I can tell you this… she does not easily talk about herself. She offers help and then she gets to work and get it done. But we all love to get to know people a little better, right? So I decided to dig a little deeper so you too can get to know her and tell your friends. Sharing the love ! Something bloggers love to do. And it was SO worth it !! Even just doing the interview with Libby was so fun as I found it fascinating and also became aware of a few new lovely blogs (see her shout-out), I was absolutely blown away by her second youtube favourite (have to watch !!) and I enjoyed the new song from Regina Spektor so much that I bought it and did try to embed it here for your listening pleasure….but remember that part about me having lots to learn….yes, we were reminded of that again…. I did not manage yet and so you will have to go search it on i-tunes..but it is a great choice !

A little bit more about the woman on the ABOUT ME page from Current Observations:

What would you describe as your perfect way of having your coffee?

Oh that’s an easy one – large skinny latte. I don’t do small coffee cups.

A specific kind or brand you prefer??

I buy from a local coffee roaster called Wagonga Coffee and my favourite blend is the Sumatran Mandehling Organic.

Have it alone or with friends? ?

There’s nothing like coffee out with friends but I’m also OK with my own company.

In a coffee shop or at home??

I do both but I have my favourite spots; the organic café at the local markets, early morning end of shopping treat at the Saturday farmers market and Sunday morning home made while eating buttermilk pancakes with my husband.

What do you miss most? And would you ever want to live there again or is that chapter over??

Oh I love southerners they are so hospitable and I miss the trees and great southern food like key lime pie and fried okra. For now that time has past but I would go back in a heartbeat. My husband doesn’t feel the same but if someone offered him a role in Oregon or Maine I’m sure he’d jump at the chance.

What do you enjoy most living in Australia??

The expanse of the country – it’s so varied, you can ski in the south and snorkel in the north. I love the mix of cultures in Australia and what that has done to how we live and eat. I love that I can drive for a whole day and not see another car!

If you can live anywhere on the planet – where would that be??

Denmark – I have a thing for Danish design, furniture, food, jewellery and lets not forget Lego.

Having a job, a family, a business, being a student – how do you manage your time??Any tips out there for fellow busy bees?

The ultimate question – well I don’t stop moving but that suits me. I’ve worked out I can achieve a lot in a very small amount of time. The days of having endless hours on weekends are gone when you have children so instead of aiming for an hour to complete a task I break in up into smaller blocks. I find I’m more efficient and procrastinate less. I’m also one of those really annoying people that get bored really quickly so I have to move from one task to another so as not to drive my whole family crazy.

Who is the Libby most people know??

Ah – I’m the geek on the block who likes to make and grow things and is just a little bit obsessed with colour.

Who is the Libby most people don’t know (the parts you don’t mind sharing)??

I’m the girl with big plans that fears success more than I fear failure. I’m painfully aware of what I don’t know and tend to focus too much on that than having faith in my abilities. I’m just starting to work out what my personal style is and I’m enjoying making judgments accordingly.

What can you not leave home without??

My Swiss army knife and Envirosax shopping bags

What is it like living with 3 men in one house??

I love my boys! My husband is the best and my little men are growing up to be the boys I wish for world. Polite, considerate, kind and interested. I was never the girl that wished for a daughter and there’s a certain advantage to being the only girl in the house – I get very spoiled by my boys.

What is the one thing you would like your kids one day to remember you as?

That I had an inquisitive mind and always thought my dreams were possible.

Who inspires you most in the world out there??

Even though she in no longer here I still have to say my Mum. She was my constant and the measure by which I based my decisions. She quietly achieved so much and made a significant impact for the better on the lives of others.

What is your wish for the world out there??

That if each of use makes one small change in how we live we can reduce our impact on the environment. I’m a big believer in the butterfly effect.

What is most important in your life right now??

My little men and their wellbeing, getting my business website up and running and making sense of our very large garden.

Your biggest dream??

To design, print and sell my own fabric.

If you knew what you know now about life, what would you have changed in your 20’s ? and your 30’s??

That going to Art School has been the catalyst for everything I’m doing right now. I wished I’d worked it all out sooner rather than taking the detours I did.

Who is your best friend – or group of friends and what do you like about her/ them so much??

My oldest friend in the world (we met in kindergarten) lives in Canberra also and no one knows me like she does. Our parents were friends and she’s so important to me. When my Mum died she was the first person I called and I knew she would know how I was feeling. I also have 2 gorgeous friends I met at playgroup when our kids were small. Penny is my exercise buddy and each week we do yoga, swim and bike together. I joke that I have never had so many numbers pinned to my chest than since I met her – she’s always signing me up for sporting events. Kathy is just so special, smart and my week is not complete if I haven’t talked to her at least 5 times.

Is there something you would like to see change in your own life or in life in general??

You know, I really don’t want for anything. I could say a new kitchen would be nice but really I’m happy right now.

What is your favourite song right now??

Well that’s a tricky one – I love so many different kinds of music but I’ve been really enjoying Regina Spektor (especially One More Time With Feeling) and I’ve just rediscovered Nina Simone after a 10 years and I always have a least one David Gray album on my iPod.

What is your favourite treat??

Going out for breakfast.

What is the best gift you ever received (other than your boys !)?

That’s a tricky one. My husband is not known for his gift giving but when he does they’re always memorable. The first year we were dating he gave me a wooden dinosaur skeleton that I had to build myself – so cool and I still have it. Another year it was a Swiss Army knife and last year it was brakes for my bike!

Is there anything on youtube you enjoyed lately??

Great question! Two things have really made me smile lately – the first is the Flash Haka (I love the haka a New Zealand Maori tradition)

….and then this video about THE LOST GENERATION PALINDROME took my breath away !!! (note from Ilze – blew me away too, thanks for sharing !)

As a mom – What would you warn little children against in this day and age? The biggest threat you think they face??

Wow that’s a hard one. I would love to impress on my boys that they can be the change they want to see in the world. Sometimes though I think that notion is very Pollyanna of me in world of terrorism and threats that can’t be easily identified.

What is your favorite part of your day??

The morning – it’s when I do most of my exercise and have alone time while my boys slumber.

Anything out there that you would love to learn to do??

Knit and play piano.

Having lost your mother recently – how/ has that changed your perspectives on living??

I have been reflecting on all her talents and the time it took to learn those skills and wonder sometimes if I’m wasting time. I also find myself asking ‘what would Mum say’ – so if I’m hatching a new plan I picture talking to her about it. She was always so supportive of my pursuits but I always knew whether she thought it was a good idea or not.

Which parts of blogging do you find rewarding? Frustrating??

The rewards are meeting new global friends – like you Ilze. I love connecting with people that have similar interests and new insights. I have collaborated with so many wonderful people in different ways and it’s one of the most rewarding parts of being a blogger.
Frustrating is spam and even me and all my geekiness cannot fix that one.

What is your biggest challenge with blogging??

Making the time to create a worthy post. I don’t find myself short of topics to blog about but I like to present them well and that eats up a lot of my time. I would also like to write better and I’m yet to determine whether that can be learned or if it’s innate.

Working with/ following other blogs – what are the new trends developing??

I just love the way people are so expressive and embracing their creative pursuits. It’s really such an inspiration. I’m also seeing a lot more ‘how to’ posts and people sharing their craft or methods.

What have you seen ‘enough” of lately??

Dare I say it – I’m a little over ‘Mommy blogs’ – I find them kind of disturbing.

Where did your love for design start??

I cannot put a definite time on it but it was very early on. My mother was a beautiful seamstress and I grew up in the 70s so you can imagine the kinds of patterns and colours that surrounded me in the fabrics she worked with. When I went to Art School I was determined to major in drawing but I had one semester with the worst lecturer ever and on a whim enrolled in Design 1 – I was hooked and it took me about 2 weeks to work out that I was destined to major in Design.

Words of advice for new bloggers??

Just do it! Don’t get too caught up in the technology or the look and feel at first. You can’t know if blogging is for you so write a month of posts and see if it’s what you want to do. Read and leave comments on other blogs. Don’t be afraid to reach out to seasoned bloggers and ask them for guidance. It’s amazing how willing people are to answer your questions. I started blogging to find myself, which sounds strange. I was at somewhat of a crossroads in my life, I had just moved to Canberra from Atlanta, had my second baby and was thinking of returning to work. I had worked as a corporate trainer, I had worked at Microsoft, I had done technical writing but I just didn’t want to return to anything like that. Then I read an article by a fellow whose advice for people who aren’t sure where they’re heading was to keep a blog. It was such a revelation because what it did for me was allowed me to filter what was blog worthy to me and what wasn’t. If you read my early posts you can almost see this transformation happen.

Which one of your posts is your all time favourite??

One of my favourites was written on the eve of my Jolly Monkey turning 7. It’s probably the one and only time I’ve published pictures of him. I always enjoy reading my reflection of the boy he was then – see here . I also really like my screencasts and hope to do some more soon – take a peek here

What do you think is the future of blogging??

I definitely think it’s here to stay but I think the wider audience is going to become more discerning in what they want as subject matter. I think it’s going to be harder to make blogging a money making venture, which fortunately for me has never been my motivation.

Who is the most interesting person you have met in your blogging world??

There are so many but if I have to choose one I would say Robin from The Mess That Is My Life . She writes so well and with such raw emotion and she’s been such an important person to me over the last year.

Who inspires you most??

Really anyone who just does what they set out to achieve. It takes so much determination and tears to follow your dreams and I am fortunate to know so many people who have done just that. They inspire me daily.

Where do you draw your inspiration from for your blog posts??

Lots of things really, the seasons, things I’ve read recently, things that happen to me or if I become aware of something that I just want to share, like an object or idea. I like to write about my creative process. I post a lot of unfinished and raw scribbles and designs. Some of which I’ve fine-tuned and others I’ve abandoned. I also like to do image only posts.

Do you want to give a shout out to 2 or 3 blogs out there that you enjoy reading??

Well I’ve already mentioned Miss Robin so a few other favourites are:
o Pugly Pixel – Katrina is a geek of my proportions and I love reading her posts, and she’s so generous with sharing her knowledge and creations.
o True Up – because I am fabric obsessed
o Spagat Blog – I have a confession but Sidsel is also sister to my good friend Mette. She’s a graphic designer based in Aarhus Denmark and she’s so talented.

Hopes and dreams for your business?? A little sneak peek you want to share what it will be all about and when will it be ready??

Well you can have the full tour! I’ve been developing blogs and websites for individuals and small companies for the last 4 years or so and I decided to get a little serious. My business is called Crimson Pear – web :: surface :: print :: design. My plan is to keep on engaging with small businesses to build their online presence but also to develop WordPress themes for bloggers. Some will be for free and others will be for a small cost. I love blogging and I love empowering others to get past the technology and into their own blogs. My website address is . I did a soft launch last night (which basically means I didn’t tell anyone about it) but it’s live and out there and you heard it hear first! Or simply click on this link: Crimson Pear

Thank you Ilze for giving me this shout out! I’ve so enjoyed working with you and you have been one of the motivations behind my business. I’m sure we’ll always be blogging buddies.



1 Response to Blog Giveaway for Bloggers – from Crimson Pear

  • I love that video of the lost generation… I wish our kids learn the lesson and help us change the world!

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