Welcome to the Magic Bookshelf - What is a Blog?

BookshelfThe Magic Bookshelf

Imagine that you sit down at your machine one day to make something for someone, and you realize that there is a part of your project that you aren't sure how to complete. Imagine if you could then point your hands toward any bookshelf in your house and summon it to float through the air and rest softly next to your chair. Then, imagine pointing your finger at a whole stack of magazines and books on your bookshelf and being able to speak a magic phrase, like "free-standing lace", and a magazine or book pops into your waiting hands and opens to a lace project with full instructions and illustrations, provided by an expert. Sound like something from Harry Potter or Narnia? What would you say if I told you that, with only a small leap of your imagination, that's exactly what you're going to find here on Ann's new site -- your own little magic bookshelf.

AnnTheGran's New Mission

It's going to take us a little while to get there, and it's going to require a lot of your help, but at a time in the not-too-distant future, whenever you want to know something, whether your passion is machine embroidery, quilting, sewing, or some other creative pursuit you may not have even thought of yet, you're going to be able to come to Ann's site and find an answer to your question. My job, the job I would do a little more happily if Ann would stop calling me that silly name Super Angry , is to tell you how we're going to get there.

What is a Blog?

As a former English As a Second Language teacher, I've always believed that the first step in just about any process is to never assume that those to whom you are speaking speak Logbookthe same language, and so you should always define the terms you'll be using. So, with apologies to those of you who already know this, I am going to start with answers to some basic questions. What you are reading right now is a post (entitled Welcome to the Magic Bookshelf - What is a Blog?), and the post is part of a blog (entitled Magic Bookshelf), and the blog sits on a web site (entitled AnnTheGran.com). The word blog is short for weblog, and, as you'll know from numerous seafaring tales, a log is an updated journal that helps record the ship's passage over the high seas. So, for our purposes, a blog is an internet journal that is updated regularly and helps you navigate all that information out there on the Internet.

What are Tags?

As you may have noticed, blogs also have something called tags. I'll tell you more about tags and how to use them in a future post, but basically a tag is a word or phrase, created by the blog writer, so that readers will be able to see what the post is about at a glance, and will be able find it easily later. When you click on a tag, you'll see all posts that are related to that subject. For example, you'll see below that I have created the tags "magic bookshelf", "blogs", "tags" and "what is a blog" for this post.

Why We Like Blogs

A blog is good for writers and companies because it makes it very easy to keep in touch with readers. Anyone who can create a document in a word processing program like Microsoft Word can create a blog post -- very little technical knowledge is required.  The fact that you are reading this is a testament to just how idiot-proof the blogging process is! As Ann mentioned, we have lined up some guest bloggers (writers who write on a blog) for your reading pleasure. They'll be giving you free projects, they'll be teaching you new techniques, and, most importantly, they'll be listening to what you have to say in response.

Why You'll Like Blogs

Which leads me to the main point of this post -- what the blog can do for you, the reader. A blog is meant to be a dialogue, not a monologue. On almost all blogs (and all of the ones on AnnTheGran.com), you'll see a link for Comments. If you get nothing else out of my post, please remember this. Nothing makes a blog writer more unhappy Sad than to spend time creating a post only to find that nobody comments on it, as accepted wisdom among bloggers is that no comments means no readers. I've heard from some AnnTheGran users that Trollthey don't comment because they don't know the "rules", so let me set the record straight. There are no rules! Well, maybe a few simple rules of decency and courtesy (people who leave hurtful comments just for the fun of it are called "trolls"), but, beyond that, say what you want. That means that, if a post is missing some details, or pictures, or anything, let the blog writer know. If it's great -- if it made you smile or frown or cringe -- let the blogger know. Your voice is every bit as important as the writer's; all you need to do is use it.

Building the Bookshelf...

So let's call the blog the first piece in our new magic bookshelf. The blog is the part of the magic bookshelf that creates those books and magazines that you'll want to refer to, and tags are the part that help you summon the exact information you need just when you need it.

I hope you'll join me for my next post as I put the next piece in our magic bookshelf, the trusty encyclopedia.

And I'll be waiting for your comments...Confused

Comments (22) -

grammarosie 3/8/2008 3:37:26 PM

Wow! Oh gosh, now I'll spend even MORE hours on my computer! But it will be worth it! Thanks for all this info!!

smaureenkay 3/8/2008 3:48:17 PM

Love the new set up. Thanks for the explanations, I was surprised to realize I knew most of the "new vocabulary". Think I'll be spending way too much time on here.

I wondered what "blog" is.  Thanks for the informative "post".   (Right?)

travelbug1237 3/8/2008 5:18:16 PM

HH Mr. Computer Wiz blogger akaBeamishboy.....& group

Just a quick question regarding your ESL background....Where did you study & where did you teach??? Just curious...

Question #2  for all of you who are familiar with embroidery machines....

Do ANY of you have experience on the new Singer Futura 350 machine????

Specifically do you know WHAT format it takes....I am brand new to

machine embroidery and see all those DARLING darling designs but haven't bought a one yet, because I don't know what format. (  My machine is still at the store in the box & will have my 1st lesson next week.)

ANY helps and suggestions from you will greatly be appreciated.!!


Suggestion for information:  I would like for someone with real "authority" to write about beginning to use an embroidery module or machine.  I just got the Bernina embroidery attachment for my machine and it's a new world with not so much help.  Would love some words of wisdom.  Is a blog where I might look to find it?  Bernina sure wasn't any help!

serenemachine2 3/8/2008 7:08:33 PM

What a great articule full of information for novices to this blogging idea.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

beamishboy 3/8/2008 7:53:42 PM

Wow, this is the best set of comments I could ever have imagined! Thanks so much for your feedback and for your kind words. Now, to answer your questions:

solby: Yes, perfect use of the word "post"!

TravelBug1237: First of all, love your username. It could easily be mine, too. For your question #1, I taught in Japan for 3 years, and I also ran two English language schools in Canada for ten years. As for where I studied, the school of hard knocks! At that time, anyone with a university degree in anything and English as a native language could teach ESL! For your question #2, hopefully some of our readers will help you. If you're feeling adventurous, you could even try putting up exactly the same question in our General Discussion forum at http://www.annthegran.com/cs/forums/11.aspx">www.annthegran.com/.../11.aspx (you'll get more answers if you post there)

Ninepatch: A blog is DEFINITELY where you can find that type of information from the "experts'" point of view. If you want more of a general users' point of view, you can post the same question in our forums. Make sure you include a tag like "Bernina embroidery" with your post so that others can find it easily, getting you more and better answers.

funnygirl2u2 3/9/2008 3:40:05 AM

Change is not always looked upon as pleasant, we can be creatures of habit. Thank you for keeping a sense of humor alive in your blog ~ that always is a sugary topping. GREAT JOB!

Great information !Thanks

Wow! Finally someone has explained blog so that I could understand it.  I will certainly be checking back here often.

roseliuana 3/9/2008 5:34:30 PM

OK!!!  I am fairly computer literate, but this is the first time I have ever replied to a posting.

I am attending the Orlando event and am looking forward to it.

Thanks for the simple uncomplicated explaination.

I'm really looking forward to all the neat info. I expect to see in future blogs - (will I ever have time to sew again?)  This is very exciting - how often will you be posting?

Well, BeamishBoy-

Thanks for the easy to understand information! I will definately be back, and will probably be spending way too much time on the computer!

Love the new site.  Great explanation of blogs and blogging.  I agree with everyone, now I will never get any work done because I will be too busy checking in here to see what is going on.  Wish I could attend Orlando but can't this year.  Hope you do it again next year.

Hi I am a Pre-K Director, former 1st grade teacher and I am very envious of all who are getting to go to Orlando.  some of us are too far away!!  

I have purchases one of the applique type embroidery design  (Rollin into Autumn- Sew Many Designs) and need some more specific directions to get started.  I downloaded the designs to make a schoolhouse but I do not know how to do it!!  Please tell me where I can find directions for a new embroiderier (sp?)


Thanks again everyone, and congratulations roseliuana on your first comment!

taffyhall: I hope to post every week, as I certainly have lots I want to share. The best way to keep us all encouraged is to keep commenting!

bjennings: That's a great question, and we hear from many new embroiderers who are just dying to get going on something but aren't sure where to start. Because you have done exactly what we are hoping more people will do (ask great questions that require great answers), what I'm going to do is to ask Ann and anybody out there who may be reading to post something in our Today's Top Tips section on working with applique. I know Ann will also be doing an in-depth demo on applique in Orlando, so if you're planning on going, you'll get some great information there. If you have specific questions, you can also post them in our Product Questions forum (http://www.annthegran.com/cs/forums/7.aspx">www.annthegran.com/.../7.aspx).

sewingsince14 3/16/2008 11:23:18 PM

Great blog:

I hope to read more every week and at the same time lear to use my Bernia Deco340.

Great explanation --would love to go to Orlando ---but--Australia is just TOO far away

i'm very interested to be with you step by step,so please do not forget me to send me a notice when you start next time.

thank you

I really like the new format and feel like this site is presented by Annthegran for ME.

I get to comment, question and learn.  Some sites are for selling only, and that is fine.   But I have been seeking, for some time now, a site where my input would be appreciated.  

It may take some time for people to respond because no one has ever allowed this much opportunity.  People will be enjoying this site more once they find out they have a voice.

Thanks for giving all of us this site.

Best wishes to you and yours, Pat

Thanks so much for your kind words, Pat. You've certainly gotten the point about what we are aiming for with the format of our new site. We really want the site to be a valuable resource for YOU. Of course we want to sell some products, but we really feel that the best way to do that is to create a place where you trust the information you get.

mindybrill 5/3/2011 3:11:59 PM

this answered so many questions I had! thank you!

Please login to comment