Since 9 of the 10 posts in the ‘Top 10 Most Viewed on My Blog in 2013’ were actually written in a previous year, before very many people were actually reading here, there is a very high likelihood that you haven’t seen this content, so I thought I’d give you a rundown.
Before I proceed though I must say that I consider my blog to be still in its rookie phase, being a little over 2 years old, so in the big scheme of things on the internet the hits to these posts are modest. That said, I am happy with where I am on this blogging journey and am grateful for every single visit made to my site.
Beginning with the most viewed post in 2013 …
( 1) It’s No Hassle to Make a Tassel
Originally Posted: November 22, 2011 Here
This tutorial on how to make two types of tassels, one using a skein of embroidery floss and the second using yarn, was written after I had completed a crocheted scarf and wanted to trim the ends with big yarn tassels.
This was the first time that I did a step-by-step photo instructions and I think people liked being able to see everything laid out like that. The post gained further popularity after it was linked to here as part of a gift wrapping tutorial.
Update : The embroidery thread tassel I made in the tutorial is still decorating the cabinet in our kitchen, and the scarf has become one of my favourites because it is so long, soft and warm, and because the tassels add a shot of good cheer in winter’s gloom.
( 2) An Old Blanket Gets a New Life
Originally Posted: November 30, 2011 Here
I bought a vintage red pure wool blanket that off ebay a few years ago, and while I really liked the look and weightiness of it, we just weren’t using it because it was so darned scratchy and not really cozy to the touch. So I set about felting it by washing it a few times in the clothes washer using detergent, and then drying it in the dryer on high heat. The method worked really well and softened the old wool up very nicely. Note that the blanket shrunk by doing this but that was fine with me because I prefer it smaller so I can use it as a throw on the couch.
I guess I was the only person willing to risk ruining a woolen item that should only be dry cleaned by washing it this way and then writing about it online, because this post gets at least one visitor a day wondering what to do with an old woolen blanket.
Update: My blanket gets softer with every wash and I love it. In fact, it is fresh out of the wash right now and is folded up in the living room, awaiting its chance to keep me warm and comfortable the next time I curl up with my book. (I’m reading ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini and am really enjoying it, although it is quite heart wrenching so far.)
( 3) Party Palate Pleasers : Marinated Olive, Tomato and Cheese Hors D’oeuvres
Originally Posted: August 6, 2013 Here
In July I hosted a get together Party for my female friends, and this is one of the things I made for us to eat. I have actually been making these hors d’oeuvres for parties for a few years, so had the flavour combination in the marinade down. The secret ingredient that is not so secret any longer is a bit of grated lemon zest.
Part of the reason that this post has been such a success is that a new friend in real-life, Julie, was at the party and sampled these. She then pinned the recipe on Pinterest here and also included it in her list of ‘Favourite Weekly Pins’, so a big thanks goes out to her for helping to spread the word on my behalf (and for generally being a very cool person too).
If you’re into Pinterest you might want to join the almost 6,500 people who follow Julie here, as she really finds some good things to pin.
Update : The recipe continues to get pinned regularly on Pinterest and has had more than 740 pins and repins in under 5 months. One person recently stated that these were what she planned to bring to a party on Christmas eve. (I hope they were well received!)
( 4) Palace Arms Hotel
Originally Posted: September 24, 2011 Here
One of my earliest posts included photographs and a bit of the story behind this old place, built in 1890 (which is pretty old for Toronto buildings). Nowadays it is more of a rooming house than a hotel, one of the last few located in the downtown core. It is such an interesting looking building and really stands out among all the new development that is going on around it.
It turns out that the Palace Arms does not have its own website, so I believe people have found my post when searching for lower cost accommodation in Toronto. Also, and this was a biggie as far as driving traffic to this post, since there was no website specifically for the hotel, a major local newspaper, The Toronto Star, linked to my post in an article they published about the current situation with rooming houses in the city, here ‘Where Will the Poor Live in a Toronto Filled With Cupcakes’.
Update: Now there is considerably more development going on nearby this place, as a huge condo complex is nearing completion just to the west of it. But the place seems to be safe from developers so far and still stands as it always has.
( 5) Making Origami Stars
Originally Posted: December 13, 2012 Here
I made some origami stars to decorate the Christmas gifts that I mailed to our young relatives who live afar, because I specifically wanted something that would not get crushed when packed up for mailing. This was my first try at a relatively complicated origami project and while I did find making these to be a bit challenging, they really turned out nicely.
At the time that I made these I submitted them to a blogger ‘Link-Up Party’ over at a popular site called Nifty Thrifty Things, and then Vanessa the creator of that site selected my post to be featured, here, which was great. Also, last month, a few popular Pinterest users added these stars to their Christmas Project Boards, which resulted in a bunch of new visits to the post.
Update: I didn’t make these origami stars/snowflakes this year, rather making a different crushable gift decoration using coffee filters, as seen here.
( 6) Tying a Basic Macrame Knot : DIY Cat Toy
Originally Posted: December 17, 2011 Here
I learned to macrame when I was a kid and have always liked doing it, but don’t really find that many uses for the skill. But I did find that making a simple length of square knots, decorated with beads, worked well as the base for a cat toy for our cat Eddie.
I think this post was as successful as it was in 2013, because it places well on Google Image Search in two categories, ‘How to Macrame’ and ‘How to Make a Cat Toy’. Double whammy!
Update: The feathers I originally stuck into it were eventually pulled out by an overzealous playing cat, but the toy which is kept draped over the back of a chair in the kitchen so it hangs down to the floor, is still a big favourite. Only this morning that bell was a-ring-a-ding-dinging as Eddie had a good go at it. We quite often hear him helping himself to this toy, two years after giving it to him.
( 7) Chocolate Peanut Marshmallow Squares
Originally Posted: December 9, 2011 Here
One of the first cooking posts I put up were these squares made from chocolate chips, peanut butter and coloured marshmallows, my version of a treat that a friend’s mother used to make at Christmastime.
A year after posting the recipe I received an encouraging note from a woman saying that her mother used my recipe to make them for the family, and that the woman’s 37 year old son had also requested the recipe. So three generations were enjoying them!
To be honest, I think the reason the image does well is because I used coloured marshmallows, although that detail of the recipe was not a necessity.
Update: We opted out of making sweets at Christmas this year, but I’m sure I’ll make these again if I’m ever called upon to make a treat that will serve a lot of people.
( 8) Olive and Cream Cheese Spread
Originally Posted: January 20, 2012 Here
This was a second thing I made for the ladies who came to my summer party. This spread made with ripe olives, cream cheese, capers and garlic is something I’ve been making regularly for years, having developed the recipe for an appetizer for one of the first dinner parties I ever hosted. I see it as a no fail recipe for parties as it always gets good reviews from people who taste it, even those who don’t like olives.
Again a big part of the reason this post became as popular as it did was thanks to Julie as she kindly pinned the recipe here and included it in one of her weekly favourites.
Update: This is one of my sister’s favourite things to eat ever, so I have been known to make her a batch as a gift. I brought some to our family Christmas dinner at her place this year, and she just went on and on about it, and may have eaten a bit too much so that she ruined her appetite for dinner! Watching someone’s delight as they eat something you’ve made is such a rush.
( 9) Sending Love : A Greeting Card Made with Tissue Paper
Originally Posted: May 10, 2012 Here
For Mother’s Day I made my mom a card by sticking a piece of patterned tissue paper to a card. (It was a bit more complicated than I’ve made it sound!)
While the card turned out nicely, to be honest, I think that what people are really searching for when they Google ‘Making greeting cards with Tissue Paper’ is information about putting a piece of tissue paper within a card, like is often seen in wedding invitations, so I hope they’re not overly disappointed when they arrive to see my post is not about that.
Update: I had used a mixture of glue and water to attach the tissue paper and I wasn’t sure if it would stay stuck down well. My mother reports that it still looks nice … (she saves all the cards I make for her … aww). I plan to use the same technique to make more cards this year.
(10) Shopping for Ribbon on Queen Street West
Originally Posted: March 7, 2012 Here
I had a project in mind that required a piece of sheer black ribbon. After checking out a few of the sewing supply stores on Queen Street West, I found exactly what I needed at a beautiful store that sells only ribbons.
Then I wrote about it and now people come upon my post when they are searching a source for ribbon in Toronto.
Update: I originally had included a goofy looking self-portrait that I had taken in one of the mirrors in this store, which I subsequently took down once I realized that the post was getting a lot of viewers.
I have also done posts on shopping for buttons (here) and shopping for fabric (here) on Queen Street West. Upcoming soon will be a post on finding some beautiful yarn, as my fingers are itching for my crochet hook, as they always do at this time of year.
So that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little summary and have found something of interest on my site that you hadn’t seen before. I also hope that you continue to visit during this new year, as I share with you the photos I take, the places I go, the things and food I make, and the people I see. Thank you always for taking the time to drop over.