Featured Image Slider Plug In

For my WordPress blogging friends: In an effort to ‘showcase’ certain posts at DIYShowOff, I asked Max from A1Website Pro to develop a featured image slider to control which posts I’d like to promote. You can see it in action underneath my blog header:

featured image slider - a1websitepro

 

Easy to install, then simple to upload thumbnails or choose from your media gallery (up to 35 thumbnails!) with the option to include a link. It’s a great way to control the blog posts I’d like to feature, front and center on my home page. Cool! You can get more info at A1Website Pro along with a helpful installation tutorial. 

Benefits:

  • Upon installation, featured images will be pulled from your blog to showcase recent posts. 
  • The option to customize the thumbnails that show with links so that you can showcase specific posts such as seasonal, holiday-related, most popular posts, themes, link parties, blog hops, special deals, etc.
  • The potential to increase page views. 

featured image slider plug in

Deal of the Month: A1WebsitePro is offering this awesome plugin for $10.95 (regularly priced $19.95) through the end of June 2014. 

I’m in the {HomeTalk} Bloglight today!

Hello friends! I am SUPER excited! Guess what? I’m in the HomeTalk Bloglight today! If you’re new to DIY Show Off, welcome! {I’m Roeshel, blog author of DIY Show Off. It’s nice to e-meet you!} You may want to visit the DIY Show Off home page to catch up on all of the awesome things going on this week. I don’t usually talk much about myself and in person, I’m usually at a loss for words but warning – writing comes A LOT easier for me so this is a long one {see * below}! You can usually find me wearing paint covered cloths, no make up and working on a DIY project…

DIY clothing

and if  we’re already friends…thanks for sharing my excitement today {and all week}! You’ve already seen me at my worst and you’re still here! Blogging = true friendships, I tell ya.

I’ve actually been a long time member at HomeTalk (since May 2011) and love the community that supports everything “home” related. If you’re not familiar, HomeTalk is a site dedicated to DIY, home improvement, home repair, home maintenance, gardening, decorating – with so many ideas, inspiration and a place to ask for advice, collect inspiration and pretty much just talk about home {“Home+Talk”}! Oh and a place to share and ‘show off’ – my kind of hangout! You can find DIY Show Off on HomeTalk.

HomeTalk Bloglight feature

I had the pleasure of meeting this super sweet woman from HomeTalk at the Haven Conference this past summer. Miriam is such a supportive and encouraging friend to many HomeTalk members and DIY/home bloggers. {Thanks, Miriam!}

Roeshel and Miriam

Being in the Bloglight means I get a virtual trophy, cash prize and tiara, I think. Just kidding! It means I get to share a few things about my blogging experience. I always feel shy about doing so. I’m not an expert, but here’s my story:

About me…

How did you first get into blogging? While I still feel like a new blogger a lot of the time, I wrote my first blog post in 2007. Yep, five years ago. I’m still loving every minute of it. {Well, minus crashed blog pages, html coding or those types of things…enough to drive a technically challenged blogger mad!}. My blog was actually a diary, a journal of what was going on in our lives. No introduction, no “hello world”, no grand launch – I didn’t really think anyone would actually read it. Back before the days of social media, it took NEARLY 1 YEAR before I had a real comment that wasn’t spam. And yes, I read and commented on other blogs too. It just took a while for things to warm up. Can you imagine waiting that long? I didn’t really think much about it at the time because I didn’t expect that anyone was reading. Things have changed since then. It’s been a long journey of ups and downs. Don’t give up! In 2007, we purchased this old neglected farmhouse and as you can guess, a lot of my blog posts discussed our projects, our before and after transformation, our DIY.

Roeshel

After a couple of years of writing my personal blog, I found that others online shared my passion for DIY, home improvement and decorating and DIY Show Off was born. I’ve been writing about DIY for over five years. I’m often asked what I will write about when our home is complete. Um, I think we have projects to last us 20 years and during that time frame and to infinity and beyond I’ll be starting over, changing my mind, rearranging my home. It’s something I’ve always loved to do.

How did you decide on the name for your blog? There are books filled with baby names and dog names and cat names. I think I’m going to write a book filled with blog names. It’s HARD to choose a blog name! After blogging for a couple of years and discovering that the topic I enjoyed writing about most was DIY, I decided to create a new blog dedicated to do-it-yourself. I started focusing on sharing our home projects and giving others (bloggers and non bloggers) a place to share {SHOW OFF} their DIY home improvements and decorating, with links back to their blogs. I love recognizing a DIY job well done and helping other blogs grow too!

It’s a place to Show Off DIY. So…”DIY Show Off” it became after a sleepless night when I couldn’t stop thinking about a name. Some of you might remember my first look and my tag line…

DIY Show Off header

Which project has brought you the most traffic to date? It’s a toss up between my painted foam playmat (which I now use as outdoor wall art because it turned out too cute to step all over)…

How to, DIY, painted foam play mat

and my last minute idea to for a “using what we have” stair landing makeover with FrogTape…

DIY Show Off Home Tour - stairwell landing makeover

By far, our home tour has been the most popular page and is my favorite post to update. Because if I’m editing that home tour page, it means we have progress, baby!

farmhouse home tour

Since I’ve been a member of HomeTalk for quite a while, most of my posts are before the HUGE growth HomeTalk experienced this year. I invite you to check out my HomeTalk post. To date, my most popular HomeTalk post was my super easy DIY yarn pumpkins {yarn+pinecones}. Shared 1.6k times! Woo hoo! And yes, that traffic trickles down. Blogging can sometimes feel lonely. HomeTalk is a place where you can meet new friends who share your DIY and decorating interests, a great tool to help grow your blog too. If you’re not a member of HomeTalk, it’s free to sign up!

Do your friends and family read your blog? Yes! My daughters read my blog. Bri reads it regularly and Ali has been reading more, especially since her apartment reveal is coming up! And Mr. DIY? He catches up on posts regularly. He loves reading comments. His favorite DIY blogger comment was that our marble subway tiled backsplash is “to die for”.

marble tiled backsplash

Hearing words of praise and approval are so encouraging! We’re like blog dogs. The more “good job” comments we get, the more we want to do it again!

I know my mom and sisters check in on occasion and I have at least one friend who tries to read every day. And if I get excited about something and share on my personal Facebook page, all of my family and friends are very supportive. Outside of that, I’m lucky if someone knows what a blog is which is so hard to believe. Stuns me every time I’m asked. I probably say the word “blog” 100 x a day and some people don’t know what it is?! It’s an everyday part of my life.

How has keeping a blog changed you? The changes I’ve experienced through blogging have all been positive. Home projects are more fun when I can share. I’m still amazed that what I do inspires and helps readers. Knowing I’m helping and encouraging others to create a home they love encourages me. It’s also a huge help at keeping me focused and seeing projects through to completion. It’s helped me stay focused. Blogging sometimes makes me more confident, then turns around and makes me more humble too. Discouraging days happen and hanging in there during those takes makes me stronger. And the best part by far has been the friendships and relationships I’m making. Connecting with other DIY lovers has changed my social life!

How I blog…

*Do you stick to a strict posting schedule? How do you keep track of when and how often to post? I prefer to keep things low pressure. My blog linky parties are the only strict scheduled posts at DIY Show Off. The DIY Project Parade is creeping up on it’s 150th post!

DIY Show Off

Other than that, I post when I have something to share and when a feature by another blogger or reader is submitted that is a good fit with the topic of DIY. DIY Show Off is 99% DIY related but I’m trying to incorporate a little more personal and lifestyle posts. I enjoy blogging. My posts aren’t always planned, my schedule isn’t super strict. * I find that if I put too much planning and scheduling into my blogging, I change the post 20 times and add enough details to compete with the longest novels {ahem…this blog post is the perfect example of a planned in advance blog post. I rest my case!}. The most I’ve worked ahead is by one week and although it does feel good and like I’m all organized, I then get lazy and start back over with writing the day before I post or the same day. Besides, when I finish a project, I want to share ASAP, not store it in draft for weeks. 

What are your favorite types of posts to read/write? Well, let’s see. I think you know the answer to this one! I love posts related to DIY, decorating, thrifting, repurposing. But I also enjoy posts about fashion, crafting, blogging, photography and lifestyle.

DIY!

What advice would you give to other bloggers that you wish you had known when you started blogging? I wish someone had told me that even though I would approach blogging with a casual attitude, that there is the potential for it to become a HUGE important part of my life. {It’s contagious and addictive!} That even though I love blogging, even though I’m passionate about my topic and excited and all motivated, there will be times of doubt, lack of confidence and discouragement. There are highs and lows. There are smiles and tears. It happens to everyone. Blogging looks easy and positive enough and it is! But it also portrays an organized, beautiful, mostly always happy life where everything is perfect, going well and positive. Most times, Blog life isn’t true reality, it’s an edited airbrushed version of reality. We never know what’s going on behind the scenes. We see what others want us to see. If you’re a new blogger or just a blog reader, I’m grabbing your hand, looking you in the eye and stressing…

life of a blogger quote

Blogging is time consuming and a lot of work and in most cases, something else {less important} is being put on hold or neglected. If you find you love blogging but feel discouraged or overwhelmed, don’t give up. Step away from the computer. You’re a blogger! You make your own schedule! Real life and good feelings are the priority. The worldwideweb won’t explode if you don’t post or take time off. Find a balance that works for your real life and realize that growing a blog takes a lot of nurturing, hard work, learning and dedication…but real life comes first. 

I’m doing something I’m completely in love with…making our house a home. If I allow it, weeks can go by tied up in projects, taking and editing pictures, writing tutorials, proofreading, hitting “publish” and starting again. A lot of hours go into just one project for one blog post. Add blog maintenance, fun opportunities {some even paid}, blog friendships {there are so many inspiring friends/blogs that keep me on the computer for hours before realizing I missed lunch!} and social media to the mix and you have time to eat and sleep. 😉 It’s important to set time aside for real life. When blogging becomes a full time career, it means the potential to work double time. And while it’s a lot of work, I love it and it’s a good fit for my life. Growing a blog takes time, patience and work but your content is out there. Someone, somewhere, sometime is going to be reading what you’ve written and be inspired.

dream.create.share.inspire

Making new friends is so much fun! Thanks to HomeTalk for the awesome feature and letting me share a little about myself today! Thanks for stopping by! I’d love for you to stay in touch by following DIY Show Off…

Facebook
DIY Show Off - FacebookDIY Show Off - TwitterDIY Show Off - PinterestDIY Show Off - FeedDIY Show Off - G+

Thanks for enduring 4 blogs posts within a 48 hour time frame! There’s just been so much good to share this week with the 3 HUGE giveaways, DIY Fall Festival linky party, today’s fun HomeTalk Bloglight feature and my Joss & Main Curated Collection later today! And I promise that after today, you won’t hear a peep from me until Sunday…where I’ll be hosting the regularly scheduled DIY Project Parade from a warm and sunny vacation US destination. I.cannot.wait!

My blogging experience, my story…

I just created a page under my “about” section for new and long time readers to learn a little more about the girl behind DIY Show Off. I’ve never really done this before and not sure why, but here’s the introduction…

Ever have one of those times when you’re feeling super blessed? When you’re so happy you could just burst? Nothing specific has happened. No awesome event. Not a special announcement or exciting news. I write for my DIY blog  (DIY Show Off and you’re here! “HI! Welcome! or Welcome back!”) and I almost always have a DIY project in progress. I looooove DIY. I love being crafty, decorating, improving my home, shopping, planning, organizing and even cleaning. I love learning. I love hands on. I love transforming ugly into pretty.  And I’m so thankful that what I love to do has become my career via my blog. It’s a dream come true and I’m thankful for each and every visit every single day, every link up, every comment, every share and every feature. And the encouragement and support I receive, that makes it all worth while. Thank you!

Hello. My e-friends call me Roeshel. My family calls me Shelly. Mr. DIY calls me Mittens. My girls call me Mim.

Roeshel from DIY Show Off blog

Since I’ve been blogging for so long, sometimes I assume I’ve known my blog friends all along. But my analytics show differently most of the time. So, if you’re new to DIY Show Off {“Welcome! Hi! SO glad you’ve stopped by!”}…you may not know our story. I’ve created a page that tells more about me, my blog experience and my life. I hope you’ll stop by, I’d love to e-meet you! 🙂

Here it is: DIY Show Off blog story 

Behind the scenes of this DIY blogger’s life…

Okay…I’m warning you. This might get a little scary!

Behind the scenes of my DIY blogging life:

I can’t believe I’m going to share this but sometimes blogging isn’t as glamorous as it looks from the front side. And seriously, I have had my fair share of un-glamorous days this summer. You know what I mean, right? So if you’re here and you see that profile picture and pretty staged photos of my home…I want you to know that for every day look I like this…

rachel griffith

Just kidding! I’m told that’s my movie-star twin, Rachel Griffiths.

Roeshel DIY Show Off

{me with my girls}

there are 10 more days in a row when I really look like this while I’m working on a DIY project…

DIY clothing

and some days when I’m editing photos, writing a post, reading blogs, catching up on my social media or doing laundry (or not) and unloading the dishwasher and not leaving the house, {maybe even enjoying a little laziness and re-energizing}, I look like this behind my laptop surrounded by cat fur, dusty end tables, a spray bottle for when the cat gets wild…oh, and my dirty lunch plate. 

blogging

{curse those hereditary dark circles! Rachel Griffiths never looks like this!}

{real friends will NOT pin the above picture! lol!}

{curse that old comfy couch that I don’t like}

YES!  This is how I show up when I visit you but remember, it’s perfect acceptable attire for showing up to any web address. Party dress, black tie not required. And when you visit my web address, I’ll embrace you and only see your beautiful smile and hear your kind words if you’re leaving a comment. Most times, I have a feeling we visit each other when we don’t look our best. And we’re still friends. 🙂

And while my dining room looks so pretty when it’s all cleaned up, especially for a photo shoot like this…

  farmhouse christmas dining room

{source}

in real life while we’re working on the apartment renovation and collecting things for baby girl’s first place and boxes for a moving day AND there’s no time to clean {catching my breath} – my house is neglected! It looks like this…

“Dining Room! Dining Room?”

“Where are you? I know you’re in here!”

cluttered dining room

{Inspiration! Makes you want to get up and clean, doesn’t it?}

Or my guest bedroom in a magazine looks so pretty and cleaned like this…

DIY Show Off FrogTape ad

{see the guest bedroom before/after here}

but a few months later:

Real life happens and a daughter takes over the room, there is little storage, a family room is emptied here to redo floors and teenagers have little regard for folding clothes and it looks like this (and I highly doubt YOU have a room that looks this bad in your home!) See if you can spot the painted/stenciled floor in this room? haha! It’s there…somewhere!

cluttered guest bedroom

hides face in embarrassment….

why yes, that’s a pillow in an empty fish tank sitting on an old media center on the left, thank you for noticing.

When I get to feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and wonder how in the world anyone can have such a perfect life…I stop and remember, we can all make it look fabulous when we only share what we want to.

And right now this is my life. I will find the time to catch up. When the apartment renovation is completed and baby girl is moved, I will see my dining room and guest bedroom again. I can’t wait for the day when my stairs won’t look like a “build-a-cat” store.

And did I want to share these images with you? Not really…but I love reading honest real life stories. And this is the blessed one I’m living right now and I know sometimes when I’m working hard but feel like I’m running in circles and not everything is getting done and my life isn’t as perfect as I share {with the exception of today}, that…

Real life is beautiful and amazing. But it’s also dirty, messy, busy, lazy, hectic, crazy, overwhelming and you are just 1 person.

Not superwoman.

Not perfect.

But a friend just the same.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed and under dressed, remember that you are amazing, talented, kind, generous and thoughtful and real. And if you spend a day here and there in your pajamas without makeup and if you have a cluttered neglected home until you get the time and motivation to clean, just know that I love you most those days because you’re just like me…not a fictional character but real with lots of blessings and life going on around you. And if you share those crazy days too, I won’t think less of you because it makes me realize that we share something in common…being human. This is my real life.

Thanks for being here, reading along, leaving comments, sharing your DIY, pinning, your support and encouragement and friendship, for liking me just the way I am. I may not always have time to show it, but I try and I appreciate it so much! Now, I think I’ll go get dressed. 🙂

Enjoy the weekend!

Want to join me in being real, revealing a look behind the scenes? If you write up a blog post, share the link in the comments. I’ll pop over and give you a shout of encouragement and support. 

Why I blog

Are there days when you ask yourself the same thing?

My blogging started as a way to journal our home improvement, decorating before and after projects. When we bought this old house, I discovered a ‘register’ where previous owners recorded their home improvements.

before

after

farmhouse kitchen

My blog is my ‘register’. It’s easy for us to see all that’s not completed and the long list of home improvements that still remain unfinished. I don’t know that our list will ever not have something on it. It’s pretty long. But if that day should ever arrive, I have a feeling it will be so far in the future that we’ll be starting over because my style evolves and changes so frequently. We’ll never be done. The good news is, I never get tired of playing with my life-sized doll house.

before

in progress

after

My blog is a place where we can see all that we have accomplished. When we look back through our home tour, we always feel a big sense of accomplishment and can’t believe how far we’ve come.

We saw potential in this old house, had no idea it’d take so long but love turning this neglected old home into “our home”.

before

after

before

powder room before and after

after

powder room before and after

{see more before and after DIY in our farmhouse home tour}

But, blogging developed into more than ‘just us’ and our home. I started meeting others who shared our passion for budget friendly DIY solutions. I made friends! Most of which I’ve never met face-to-face but the friendship is still just as real.

Can’t wait for the Haven conference!

I’m inspired by you. And you push my creativity and skills to a new think-outside-the-box level. It’s motivational. What would I do without you? I look forward to our projects. I look forward to YOUR projects. I know I can share with you and you appreciate the labor of love just as much as we do.

Then opportunities started coming in.

It’s exciting!

It’s work.

But it’s so rewarding. Not in a BIG financial way. There is a little financial incentive for blogging on occasion and I love that part too.  It’s extra money to work on more do-it-yourself projects (more blog content too). It’s fun trying new products and sharing the experience with you. It’s exciting that our opinion and experience is reputable and companies are realizing there is value in our blog voices. For me personally, it’s not enough to pay the bills but it is enough to sometimes purchase materials and check another DIY project off our list.

Another reward is inspiring others, teaching others that a home can be beautiful without spending a lot of money, that we can be successful in do-it-yourself home improvement. And that perfection isn’t always necessary.

I love supporting and encouraging you too. I love seeing your homes transformed, your creative ideas and hard work. I love ‘showing off’ your do-it-yourself, giving you a big congratulatory pat on the back and high five!

DIY Show Off

These are the things that make my heart swell and make me smile. That’s the key. That’s the gift that makes me blog. I know you feel the same way too.

And there are so many blogs and so little time but if you’re here today, if you’re visiting me regularly, if you’re leaving me a comment…I just want you to know that it doesn’t go un-noticed.

HIGH FIVE…um, “low five”…

doxie

{source Kalyxcornucopia – sweetest doxie photos ever!} {Check out her awesome etsy shop

Even while preparing this post, I met a new friend. See the image above? You guys know how much I love doxies. You know I’m still heartbroken and miss our girl, Niski. Well, I stumbled across a new-to-me blog and I’m definitely staying in touch with Kalyxcornucopia to get my doxie fix. Her blog and her images make me melt. I can’t get enough of those big brown eyes.

doxie

Comments and visitors are the biggest reward, aren’t they? I may not always reply to your comment (questions are the exception). But you’ll notice that I try to follow you back to your blog and comment on what you’ve been up to so that you have that same feeling of “I have company!” when you see your stats show one more visit, when you get that email saying you have a comment and you can know that someone cares.

So, welcome to our home…

our blog…

DIY Show Off blog

Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for participating in the weekly DIY Project Parade and submitting your projects to be featured.

Thank you for making me feel like this everyday…

thank you

{source}



Lucky Linky Follower – Giveaway

Do you feel LUCKY?

Cheri (It’s So Very Cheri) and I both pestered kindly suggested to Brent (the creative genius behind Linky Tools and the new Linky Followers) that we were a teensy bit panicked over the Google Friend Connect abandonment and something fun to take it’s place was needed. We rounded up some friends to join a test group and helped to work on the best new follow tool which we announced yesterday.

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