Thursday, May 15, 2014

Crafting a New Direction

Well, it's finally happened. It started out as a great thing and gradually began to decline over time, and now Helium has just announced to all its writers that the site has reached the end of the line. I'd been thinking of migrating my articles off the site to a new location for some time now, but with over 300 titles, and well, a life, it's a task that's easier said than done.

Last fall, Helium had gone through a major restructuring which included migrating all content to a new web site which meant new urls. That may not seem like a big deal, but for the writers it meant going back to places they'd previously shared links to their content and updating or re-sharing - a very, very, very time consuming and tedious project.

Alas, that was then... Now, in just one short week, Helium will revert to read-only, and thousands will scramble to decide which of the many titles they've contributed over time to scrap, revamp, resell, or even re-post to their own personal blogs. Just thinking about the task ahead makes me want to take a nap.

Over the next several weeks I'll be one of the ones re-sharing (and possibly revamping) articles to my own personal blogs. (In the beginning, I never really liked posting how-to crafting content without photos) Since there's no time like the present, I may as well get started now.

One of my first articles for Helium was for the Yarn and Needle Craft sub-channel. It received so many views and was such a good earner (back then) I decided to do more craft title articles, and crochet articles in particular. I'd originally planned to write about wine and music, two of my biggest passions, but those topics were not quite as popular and didn't pay as well.

The funny thing is, crochet was always something that presented a challenge for me when I was younger. I was first introduced to crocheting via my great aunt, Inez when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. I can remember her showing me something and then later me attempting to make something on my own, but beyond the basic chain stitch and the adding on of rows I was pretty hopeless.

My mother's sister also crocheted, and in the 70s crocheted corkscrew hair ribbons were quite popular, but alas I never made any. I (didn't see my aunts that often to be able learn from them, and) I wasn't able to make much sense of crochet patterns until a few years ago.

That's why it's kind of ironic that I would have my first success on Helium with a craft article about crochet. It's really not all that complicated, once you realize that everything is just variations on rows of single, double or triple crochet, everything sort of clicks. Above is a one of my favorite photos of me with a very simple crocheted shawl I made a few years ago. I think a friend of mine owns it now...

I've digressed somewhat, but I can't decide where to begin - that is which article to re-post first. Oddly enough, I can't remember if that first article was of a "how to do..." or a "where to find" sort. It could also have been "Easy Crochet Patterns For Beginners," but the point is now moot as it seems impossible to sort through my list of titles under the new site format. (Sigh)

This is not going to be as easy as I thought. Things may seem random in the coming days and weeks, but know there is a method to my madness - to share as many of my articles (which are mostly archived on the hard drive of my old computer which has to be sitting in front of a fan to operate and barely boots up) as possible before they disappear.

Stay tuned...

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