This is by absolutely no means the whole list of blogs I love. I have perused blogs on and off for years, my favorites waxing and waning with my cyclical favorite hobbies. But these, not only are current, but have the style and content to keep me coming back for recent and archived information. It should be noted that because they are all hobby blogs, they all have shops. Some link the stuff in their shops to items they use in blog posts. Some are outright sponsored by companies and that is all they shill. Still others have their own business, and the blog is a natural outlet for selling what they do. All of this is par for the course in hobbies, and never bothers me. If I can make it myself, I will rarely buy it, no matter how awesome your shopping area is (at least online; in real life I am a total impulse shopper).
First off, for anyone who wants to start a blog on scrapbooking, the place to start is a site called “Scrapbooking Blogs.” It is a powerhouse of scrapbook blogs: updates, templates for your own site, and lots of freebies for both blog sites and those of us just looking for cool scrapbook techniques. Templates are also given on lots of scrapbook blogs for page spreads, and freebies often mean recipes for creating one of a kind accents or pages.
The blogs are typically divided up into traditional or digital blogs. I myself am a traditionalist. I love cutting, poking, ripping, staining, and layering paper, and digital just doesn’t “cut” it for me. But I think I have found a kindred spirit in the author of the blog, “ScrapMatters.” She has put together a blog that is a hybrid of traditional and digital scrapbooking, with a little bit of selling thrown in. She does have a shop, as do pretty much all of the scrapbook blogs I have toured so far, as well as a great gallery, and challenges for newbies and pros alike.
Music writing blogs are a little harder to find, as most of these consist of someone just trying to sell their latest homemade CD. That is good, and some of them are great songs, but that isn’t a blog to me. However, I stumbled across one called “The Writer’s Corner” by Jerry Gates. This is through Berklee Music blogs. He talks about techniques as well as theory, and has links on the right hand side to other bloggers divided by types of blog. His “About me” section proves that he knows of what he speaks.
A more laid back blog is “Songwriting Scene” by Sharon Goldman. She is a more natural blogger. She posts about how she needs to learn to finish songs that she has started (I hear that), how she writes, what she writes about… a great, and personal blog in my opinion.
Baking (cakes or pastries, I do both) is a blog area that is stuffed to the gills! There are blogs that do nothing but rate blogs about these subjects. I got so lost looking around for blogs I like here that I ended up in a shoe blog because I clicked on a shoe-shaped cake. I do have to say, I love the look and feel of “Half Baked – The Cake Blog.” Yes there is some selling in there, but when they talk about a cake, man do they go into detail. And the pictures… loads of them that showcase everything that is wonderful about the cake they are talking about. I love their featured DIY’s; something cute and cool that I can do myself on a website full of professional decorating. Awesome. Another great is the “Cake Journal.” It is a blog tutorial site. Most of the blog entries I see are how to make this or how to make that. It seems to be focused more on the decor side than the baking side for my taste, but the site is very well put down. I read several pages of it before I remembered I was supposed to be telling you guys about it.
As for a straight up baking site, I found “RecipeGirl” to be quite breathtaking. It is chock-a-block full of recipes, her little self-blurb says 2500 of them. Not all of them are baked goods, but all of them are delicious looking. And she tells you about the recipe herself. They are not just clips from allrecipes.com, they are telling you how to do these recipes on this site. And her blog talks about what she does during her regular life almost as much as she lists recipes.
“Joe Pastry” is an amazing pastry making site. It lists the history behind pastries as well as how-to’s in its no-nonsense site. “Dessert First: A Passion for Pastry” is another pastry obsessed blog. This one is less formal than Joe Pastry, but the personal touch brought me in. She talks about what is popular in her area, about when her freezer broke down, anything that has to do with pastries in her life. I love “Charmaine’s Pastry Blog,” a blog about one woman switching careers from ophthalmology to pastry, and all the things in between that she loves.
Before I leave you for the day, I will give you a great blog site for a hobby I don’t do at the moment. Not because I don’t want to anymore, I absolutely adore beadworking. No, I don’t do it because I don’t have the time to do much of the above hobby genres, let alone something as expansive as beadworking. But I do miss making sculptures, baskets, furniture, and little people out of nothing but beads and some tiny wire. I still read this blog every so often. I don’t know why, maybe just to make that tiny voice in my head nuts. Maybe just to torture myself. But “Beading Daily” is a bunch of blogs stuffed together, and is full of free recipes, tips, techniques, and everything I need should I ever dive headfirst back into it. Enjoy.