why I blog

Jessica recently posted about why she writes a blog, apparently there is a round of these posts though as I do not read many blogs Jessica’s is the first post I’ve seen on the subject, I read many of the replies to her post and noticed many people write to an audience, this is what made me consider writing my own post about why I blog and how I started, and the journey I’ve traveled as a blogger for nine and a half years,
frances caple.ropes in nets2
in the beginning, long ago in January 2005 a quilt list I was/still am on a member posted that she had just started a weblog, web log shortened to blog nowadays, they were/are online diaries, and she asked if other quilters were doing the same or would be interested in starting, she wanted to create a ‘ring’ for quilters, you do not see rings much now and I’ve found some of the ones I belong to no longer work so I have removed them from my side bar, it was a means of a group of weblogs to connect to each other, I started my first weblog and joined the ring,
the name Island Threads came because I was at that time living on 2 islands, my home was here on Lewis but most of my week was spent on North Uist, so as I was traveling between the 2 islands, I was connecting a thread and of course textiles and quilting are all about threads,


allium detail

allium detail

so when I read about people blogging for online presence then being surprised and pleased to find they are communicating, for me communicating was there from the start, although we communicated through the quilt list and still do the weblog gave us the advantage of showing photos, which is why I have not used the title ‘why I write’ for me it’s all about seeing, I’m not talking perfect photos I’m talking seeing as you could see if you could pop round to each others homes,


I deleted that first weblog in the summer of 2006 but as I had most of the posts in word format, after having a post disappear when I clicked publish early in my blogging life, I write all my posts in a text document first, I started to upload some of the early posts to this blog a few years ago but never have finished the project,

sunrise over Barvas moor

I soon started blogging again as I missed it only this time I used the BBC island blogging site for my blog to connect with other islanders as well as quilters, the BBC closed their blog platform in (I think) 2009, as I had started this wordpress blog and used it in 2008 for a picture a day posts, I moved everything here and I hope not to move again,
I began to quilt/stitch less and garden more, I found blotanical in September 2010 and met other garden bloggers my garden took over Island Threads, I know the name does not fit so well but I’m not changing it,


I still think of my blog as an online diary, I write and post photos of what I want to record about the garden and occasionally other things, that other people should find my thoughts and photos interesting enough to want to read is nice and when they comment and we can have a conversation that’s even better, I read the blogs of people who comment on my blog (if they have one) and comment on most, I’m afraid I don’t comment on some google/blogger blogs due to the commenting set up needing me to either log into a google account or share my wordpress account with google, neither of which I wish to do, my choice,


my online diary is an evolving diary, it has changed in the last 9.5 years and will no doubt change again as the years roll on, visitors have come and gone, I’ve met some lovely people along the way and a few unwanteds which is why I now monitor comments, I have participated in textile exchanges, received plants from other gardeners and had the pleasure of meeting up with some people, x


©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

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20 responses to “why I blog

  1. Hi Frances, it was lovely to read why you blog, You live in a remote place and I’m sure on-line friendships mean a lot. It is very much the same for me; I don’t live in a remote place but it is remote from other gardeners so blogging is my way of chatting to other gardeners – learning, helping, sharing ideas. I think your name still works if you think in terms of a thread of thought (this meaning seems clear on your blog). Thank you for writing and sharing your life; I enjoy being your ‘friend’. Christina

    • thanks Christina, glad you enjoyed the post and glad you visit and comment, I have found more from the quilt list than from gardeners that many on large continents are also on islands but surrounded by land, deserted of human habitation land,
      there are few gardeners here, even fewer art quilters, the quilters here are traditional, at first I wasn’t interested in the internet as all I had heard back then (pre 2003) was about viruses, online shopping and none of it good, I was encourage after getting a computer to go on the internet, soon after I found a list for family history with ancestors from the isle of Mull and the QuiltArt list (which I realise I forgot to put a link to) and haven’t looked back it is so wonderful to ‘talk’ to like minded people, Frances
      ps, thanks for sharing your’s too,

    • Christina, your comment of threads of thought has just reminded me that was another side of the name, had totally forgotten, Frances

  2. Really interesting post Frances. I never thought about doing a “why I blog” post. Your blogging seems to have had quite an evolution over the years. Keep on blogging, it is interesting reading about your gardening challenges.

  3. I didn’t realise you were such an ‘old hand’ so to speak! Isn’t it funny how we came to value the same things, even if we did come from different starting points.
    Love the baby bunny. He’s nibbling though..

    • ah, but I didn’t ‘come’ to value communicating with others the valuing was ‘there’ right from the start it was the ‘reason’ I started to blog, I was never thinking of books and publishing and making money from blogging and never will be, for me it’s a virtual version of joining a club when I lived down south or just going to visit a friend who has the same/similar interests,
      Jessica the baby bunny photo is from a few years ago, all the photos in this post are from the photo archive of my blog, none recent, Frances

  4. Frances I really enjoyed reading about your blogging journey…I had no idea you had been blogging for 9.5 yrs. We both started at Blotanical at about the same time….and I have enjoyed following your garden, travel and other endeavors. I was thinking the same things as Christina, that your blog name is perfect still.

    I too love the conversations through my blog and it has taught me so much….I look forward to following your journey for as long as you continue to blog.

  5. Hi Frances, I love your comment “it’s all about seeing “, both with gardening and quilting the visual element is key, and one of the things I love about blogging is seeing other people’s gardens and plants. Like you it is the communication and community side of it that I value most highly, my isolation is due to illness more than geography, but the swapping of ideas and connection with others who are obsessed with plants and gardening has become a big and important part of my life. Returning to the seeing theme, one of the things I love about your blog is that you show and tell it as it is, I get to see and hear about the context within which you garden, not just carefully managed macros, and you talk honestly about the challenges of climate and environment. I am very glad to have ” met” you.

    • thanks Janet, I’ve learnt so much from other bloggers in both quilting and gardening, I like gardeners that talk honestly about there gardens and gardening, I see more than enough carefully managed photos in the books and magazines and they very often leave me feeling I’m useless or even at times worse than useless, I think it’s important to share the ups and downs as we learn most from them and with gardening being so closely linked to the elements the weather in particular can affect whole groups of gardeners, ditto, very pleased to have met your too, Frances

  6. This is a timely post for me as I am a bit out of love with blogging and have lost my way so to speak. I have seen these posts in regular basis over the 6 years I have blogged (amazed you have blogged for 9, that’s ages) and my response is I always blog for myself rather than to an audience. I have been through a whole range of approaches including writing about things I think people will enjoy and being obsessed with stats and comments.
    Recently I have felt that the blog was driving what I was doing and blogging was stopping me doing other things I wanted to do. I found myself struggling to find words and feeling like it was a weight around my neck. I have felt like this before and tried various things but this time I have decided to only blog when I have something to really say or show. I already feel better and I am sure that this break will change my approach and bring me back to why I started in the first place which was to connect with other gardeners and record my ‘adventures’ in gardening.
    I hadn’t realised your blog name related to quilting, but I think as others have said it is still apt and I find it fascinating to read about gardening and how challenging it is.

    • thanks Helen, as I was reading your comment I thought, stop and take a break, then as I read more you are taking a bit of a break, I think blogging should be pleasurable not pressured, at this time of year it’s nice to get out when we can so blogging and other inside tasks can ‘take a back seat’ in the winter when we are inside more then there is more time for things like blogging, I know what you mean about connecting with other gardeners, but sometimes we just need a summer break, I go to an art club once a week but for 6 weeks over summer there are no meetings, if we are not careful with the computer in our homes 24/7 we can let it rule us instead of the other way around, enjoy your break, Frances

  7. I have so enjoyed reading your post and all the comments, Frances, and finding out more about how you started – I was already aware that you had been ‘going’ a long time so it was intriguing to read more about the background. We hope to be in the Outer Hebrides next year so there will be another blogger you might be able to meet!

  8. Hi Frances, I always enjoy your writing, so honest; you garden in a very hostile environment but your commitment and enthusiasm battle through against the odds. May you continue to find and share pleasure from your journal for at least another 9.5 years :)

  9. Island threads … threads reaching out from your island to us your readers … it is a distinctive name that I attach to you and your blog. What you had from your quilting circle I had from Blotanical. Readers and commenters. I feel sad for new bloggers who haven’t found thier tribe (or village as Jen at Muddy Boots puts it). The ones who ask wistfully, is anyone reading this? You’ve been blogging almost twice as long as me!

  10. Hi Frances, I really enjoyed reading as to how your blogging came about. I must say I have often wondered what and how Island Threads came about. Now don’t laugh, but I never liked the name, blog, blogging, blogger, in fact I often puzzled over this strange title which you clear up for me today (weblog) duh!!!