Friday, November 22, 2013

Jumpsuit Jubilee

This is a celebratory post, dear friends!  It was two years ago this month that I first launched my blog, Lynell’s Vintage Look, after much cajoling and encouragement from my dear friend Judy in Dallas, Texas.  I had successfully undergone a 70-pound weight loss in 2011 and was looking for a way to show off all the 1970s clothing I found in boxes I had stored in my basement for decades, fantasizing about a day I might be slim enough to wear them all again. I was hoping the blog would be an occasional outlet for the pent up “writer” inside of me.  I was angling for a way to stay motivated to keep the weight off once I’d lost it – after all, nothing is more re-affirming than to go public with a dream – I thought surely that I would be more inclined not to ever let my diligence slip if I was putting photos of myself on a public blog every week.

But what I have derived from launching this blog has been so much more than just the realization of those early motivations. Yes, the vintage clothing (and Judy) spurred me into action.  I put my trepidation aside (sheer terror, actually) and published my first post, expecting polite acknowledgement and modest encouragement from my closest friends and family.  But what I have received in these past 24 months has been so much more.  I have embarked on an amazing journey that continues unabated.  This blog has become an extension of my life; a way to let those I love know what is going on in my little corner of the world to be sure, but it has also become a creative expression of who I am.

This was the very
first photo I published
on my blog
You can see my very first post here, and read how it all unfolded.  I started the blog by showing off this Army green jumpsuit by Ideas, probably my single most favorite piece of clothing from the 1970s (not counting my bellbottoms), so it seemed appropriate to wear the outfit one day this week as I set out on my 90-minute commute to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. from my home in Baltimore County, Maryland, to conduct research on behalf of my longtime employer.  As before, I dressed up the drab green with red – in vintage boots by KV, a leather belt by The Ritz, and painted metal hoop earrings, all of which I purchased at JCPenney back in the 1970s as I worked my way through college with a job selling big-ticket electronics in northern California.

To commemorate the second anniversary of this blog, I thought you might be interested in hearing a few statistics.  I was lucky to get one or two pages views of my posts per day when I first started, and I was confident that most of those were from family members trying to be supportive.  On my first anniversary a year ago, I had reached about 25 hits per day, and was amazed to have accumulated 10,000 page views in twelve months.  Now, one year later, I receive over 100 hits on my posts every day, and just this week my total page views exceeded 40,000, effectively quadrupling my readership in a single year. Mine is still a tiny operation by any means, but I derive more than a modicum of satisfaction in knowing that I’ve earned my readers without offering anything for sale, by me or by advertisers.

Daily exercise
and this blog
help me keep
the weight off offers other statistics, as well.  While the vast majority of my audience is in the United States, I have a sizable following in France and Russia, with Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, China and the UK all weighing in with readers.

Interestingly, the post which has been viewed more than any other is about my work as a volunteer ranger for the Maryland Park Service; next most viewed is a story about a magical wedding I attended in May of this year.  My other most popular posts are about a trip to Ireland I took in 2012, my wonderful rescue kitty, Ember, my horse, Chubby, and my 40th high school reunion, which was just a few weeks ago.

And I have received some interesting acknowledgments, many of which have nothing to do with fashion.  A Midwestern landscaping company wrote to tell me how much they liked the garden I designed in 2012., a vacation rental website, wrote to ask if they could link their website to one of my posts about an annual ski trip I take to Deer Valley, Utah, each March; that website now links to all my posts about travel.  The fashion magazine, Lucky, considers me a regular contributor and has honored me with a couple of “badges”, for the volume of readers I generate and for my love of animals.  And an organic foods company in Utah has added my posts about cooking to their Pinterest board.

I create an autumn display of  gourds
and a scarecrow every fall to amuse
I've even been blogged about!  The lovely Debbie Pearl, who says she has driven by my home every day for years, stuck a note in my mailbox a few weeks ago complimenting me on my autumn decor.  I gave her a call to thank her for her sweet card and invited her to stop by for a tour of my historic farmhouse. Turns out that Ms. Pearl has a website called Tweak & Style which offers interior decorating, faux-finish painting and all kinds of refurbished furniture and accessories. Debbie brought me a darling sign she made of Edgar Allen Poe's raven and took lots of photographs while she was here.  Shortly thereafter she devoted an entire post to my house and yard!  I was extremely flattered. 

All in all, it’s been a joyous ride so far.  Hearing feedback from you inspires me to keep writing, and the writing arouses the most creative part of me.  Most of you know that I live by myself and I work at home alone when I am not conducting research at the Library of Congress or the National Library of Medicine or the National Archives.  Spending so much time in isolation could be stifling, leaving me withdrawn and curmudgeonly. This blog draws me out into the world, allowing me to relate to life in a way that induces me to tell a story about my experience.  I am getting a kick out of my blog.  I hope you are, too.  

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, and yes, I definitely get a kick out of your blog! Thanks for up-lifting and inspiring writing, creative living, interesting histories, and showing the readers, your world.