Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Push-Up Bra Blogging [7]: with guest Jennifer Grace

Hello, hello.

Welcome to week 4 of Push-Up Bra Blogging. I almost asked 'How's it hanging?' ... but I'm not sure those would have been the most appropriate words ... all bra-related things considered ...

If you remember back to the Introduction to the series I explained that wanted to create this series as a follow-up to my earlier 'Tips for the Design Team Curious' course where I asked DT hopefuls to consider putting energies into their own blogs instead of / alongside that of a DT blog.

And, during that course, I stridently declared [as I have a tendency to do] that if there's a magazine or blog you'd like to appear on then you shouldn't be afraid of contacting them and explaining what you have to offer them. And so ...

... when Jennifer contacted me after hearing [via my Facebook page] that I was writing a new blog series about blogging ... and she explained that she'd read my advice in Tips for the DT-Curious ... and then she detailed how she could write a guest post all about how she organises her blog parties ... then how could I refuse?!

So, let me step out of the way so you can read ...

 'My Big Weekend Blog Extravaganzas' by Jennifer Grace

I’m usually a terrible blog planner.

Most of my posts emerge from something I’ve been doing the day before. I do post my design team commitments on the right date, but the projects have often been finished and photographed at the last minute... I’m a close-to-the-deadline kind of girl!

That’s just the way I blog, apart from when I have my BIG WEEKEND BLOG EXTRAVAGANZAS!

When I started out I didn’t realise they would become extravaganzas ... but they did. I held two of these blog events in 2012:
And, over the weekends I posted tips, tutorials, challenges, crafts, and giveaways every hour from 4pm-10pm on Friday, and 10am–10pm Saturday and Sunday!

I got the idea to run a weekend celebration from other online blog or forum events, like those held by Shimelle Laine, Cocoa Daisy, and Two Peas in a Bucket. I liked the excitement and rush of it all happening in a weekend; it was fun to watch new posts coming up and to read other people’s chat or comments.

I didn’t want to have to wait for the next weekend event and I wondered why more people didn’t do them... so I decided to make my own!

I was careful not to ‘copy’ anyone else’s personal ideas; I just took the idea of a weekend event and made it my own. Since then I’ve found out why more people don’t do them... because it’s a crazy amount of work!

I knew I’d need to prepare in advance for it (unlike my usual blogging), but I still wasn’t quite ready for how much it takes over my life! I started jotting down ideas for what the posts would be a few months before the event. And then about a month before the event I contacted possible giveaway sponsors and blog hop participants, to tell them a bit about the event and ask them if they’d be interested in joining in.

I tried not to be scared when contacting people – I figured the worst they could do was say ‘no’ (or ignore me!). Thankfully I had lots of lovely bloggers join in the hop, and some fantastic shops agree to sponsor a giveaway (including Julie!).

Once I knew I had these to fit in, I started a spreadsheet to plan the weekend, colour-coding the posts to show whether they were giveaways, or tutorials, etc – so I could check things were evenly spread throughout the weekend.
Then came the mammoth task of actually crafting, photographing, and writing all the things for each post, as well as making sure sponsors were providing their information, and that the blog hopper’s remembered to write and schedule their posts (I had more spreadsheets to keep track of these)! I had managed to do quite a lot before the first weekend in June, but not everything, and some of the posts were written last-minute, and went live on the blog a bit late. But people were forgiving!

For the next weekend, in November, I was more organised, and almost every post went live on time! I’ve already started prepping posts for the next weekend, so that one should be even more on-schedule.

With each event I’m learning more about how to plan and prepare for them.

I also know to keep the weekend clear of other commitments, because I need to keep an eye on the posts appearing, and respond to comments and challenge entries, etc.

No matter how much hard work the weekend blog events are, I know I will keep running them, because it’s so much fun! It’s really exciting to see all the comments popping up all weekend. Frosty Festivities had over 740 unique visitors over the weekend, and over 1000 comments, so I hope that means lots of people are being inspired and sharing the papercrafting joy!

It keeps me passionate about blogging, and reminds me to refresh the look of my blog as each event approaches.

The next blog event will happen on the 10th – 12th May from my new blog. See you there and then!



  • has Jennifer's 'I think I'll give that a go' attitude inspired you to run something 'big' on your own blog?
  • Or maybe there's something there you could interpret your own way?
  • Could you do something similar ... but stretched out across a longer time frame? Maybe even a whole year?
Get in touch by leaving a comment here or talk to Jennifer direct through her own blog.

As usual you're welcome to ask any questions, shares ideas and make poor jokes about push-up bras in the comments here, or over on my Facebook page or Twitter-ry place.

Push-Up Bra Blogging continues tomorrow with more ideas for what you can fill your blog space with, so drop back then or catch-up on earlier posts by clicking the image:



You can do this via my Just Giving page where I'm hoping to convert the hours I've worked on this series into at least £500 worth of aid for children worldwide.

**Please don't feel uncertain about adding just £1 to the pot. If most of the readers who stop by my blog in an average day left £1 ... I'd have reached the £500 target by bedtime on the first day.

£1 is plenty. And you're one of the good guys. Thank you. x


  1. Great post, but I don't think I could find the time to run one of these! Makes me appreciate Jennifer's even more!

  2. Thanks for sharing Jennifer. I admire your dedication it sounds a lot of work but I can tell how much you enjoy it. I'm not quite ready for a big event on my blogging journey but the idea of a bit of planning and being organised has hit a spot.
    great series Julie

  3. I enjoyed both of Jennifer's blog hops and even won two of the give-a-ways! I think I would be too scared that no-one would take part as this has happened with previous give-a-ways on my blog! It seems like a lot of hard work but they are enjoyable so tfs!

  4. Great guest post today. I've host a few blog hops (just none recently), but my biggest hostessing takes place with my summertime photography scavenger hunt. It's tons of fun (and a bit of work), and it definitely creates blog fodder for those three months.

  5. I admire your energy, Jennifer, and I know I would not have it or time at present. All kudos to you for the hard work and effort you put in.

  6. I admire your energy, Jennifer, and I know I would not have it or time at present. All kudos to you for the hard work and effort you put in.

  7. There is a lot of work involved Jennifer, but I took part in November and managed to visit every single post, most of them as they were published. So I did appreciate all the time and effort you put in. Great fun and glad you are planning another soon.
    A great post from you both.

  8. Good to see Jennifer here and a great post too. I can imagine the amount of work that goes into a blog weekend!!

  9. Great post, Jennifer! I'm looking forward to your event in May.

  10. Just got caught up with this series and I am loving it! Thanks so much for this...I've actually been contemplating shutting down my blog, so this came at just the right time!
    It is so amazingly cool that Jennifer took up the task of doing these weekend events. What a fun -but challenging! - thing to add to your blog. Totally inspires me to stop being so lazy with mine! =P

  11. Great and inspiring post. I love the insight into your planning and think planning is the key to events like this.
    My big worry is getting people to join in and to not just post and link, but to interact with each other, to comment and to visit each other. I fear that if I try to run something then no one will join in, or just one person will reply and it will all fall flat.

  12. Ok guys, I have taken the bull by the horns and emailed Shimelle ... if no-one else has offered to take it on and if Shimelle is ok with it, I will host the 10 things thingy ... Julie, I'm holding you entirely responsible for this moment of insanity!!! :)

  13. Ah poo, rookie error already! Posted this comment on the wrong blog post! Duh! sorry for spamming you with comments Julie ...


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