Friday, 18 March 2011

Where will my mood board take us: a journey to unfold

Apologies for that brief interlude in transmission – Planet Baby has been particularly busy this week. It’s also so hard in the middle of the tragedy and disaster unfolding in Japan to focus on other seemingly trivial matters, isn’t it? But in the midst of this, my maudlin mood has been absolutely lifted by the generous and kind comments of you, my dear Planetarians, on my BYW mood board here and here. I have been absolutely fascinated about your thoughts on how my little board has moved you. Some of you have even told me that it’s made you question what your blogs really represent. Yep, it really has started a lot of grey matter churning out there in Blogland! Especially mine.
Now, I wonder what my favourite colours could possibly be?!
What is the purpose of a mood board?

It’s proven a perplexing question on Planet Baby, I can assure you. Mr PB and I had an *interesting* chat about what my mood board was really about. Why hadn’t I included any family photos or mementoes of the pixies? Why indeed? We eventually decided that it’s a positive thing to see my creativity and passion for life outside Planet Baby sparked again. As I understood the BYW task, my mood board was to cover either what my blog touches on and/or the elements of me which I’d like my blog to focus upon. Let’s break it down. Are you ready?

What does my blog touch on?

From the outset, I wanted this to be a pretty little haven, somewhere to record precious moments in our family life, have a creative outlet and adult conversations and connect with like-minded souls around the world. You know – a pastime to ease the loneliness a SAHM can have, especially with 3 littlies and severe PND. I can see some of you Planetarians nodding out there. I wrote about my reasons for blogging here and they all ring true. Still.

But the biggie in the list was my desire to rediscover my identity. That is, I think, the part where I’ve hesitated to venture. Which leads me to my next questions – what are my other passions and why haven’t I blogged about them yet?

What are my other passions?

What are the things that make my heart sing? I’ve previously posted on my loves of all things French, words and foreign languages, foreign words (here and here) and stationery (here, here and here). So many of you Planetarians have revealed your passions for them as well. So what other passions do I have? In my ‘More about me’ page at the top of my blog (I’ve just rewritten it and there’s a new photo of me Mr PB took last week, after my haircut, so you might wish to take a peek at it here), I list many of my favourite things. Some of them are all things German, travelling, maps, papercraft, international affairs and typography.
Ah, my fluttering French butterflies lift my spirits!
Why haven’t I blogged about them yet?

I’ve been pondering this for a while and the BYW course has highlighted my need to find the answer. Not having the time or ideas hasn’t been the problem – I have 149 draft post topics sitting there, just waiting to be brought to life! Why have I hesitated to open up these sides of me to you and posted about so many other things instead? I’ve ended up a little unsure of where to steer this Planet next. I think there are a couple of reasons why.

Firstly, my blog has always been both about my family life and me as a person. Getting the mix right is a constant struggle. Whilst I’m happy to be a SAHM for now, I never intended this to be ‘just’ a Mummy blog. I mean that with no ill intent. I read, and thoroughly enjoy, plenty of such blogs. But I guess my long journey of self-discovery, particularly triggered by my recovery from post-natal depression, has made me realise how much I need to also focus on what gives me pleasure outside PB. And that’s the rub. How do I meld these two aspects of my life into a cohesive whole which is both enjoyable for me to write and for you to read? I think I’ve put it in the ‘too hard basket’. That is linked to my next reason.

Secondly, I am a perfectionist. There, now I’ve said it! A post on that topic has been rattling around in my head for months now – I think it’s about time I wrote it! I’m finally realising that this blog is my vessel and I can choose where to steer it. I have the tiller. But what holds me back is my fear that you Planetarians will be confused if I start posting about topics which don’t directly appear linked to my ‘life on Planet Baby’. Then I ponder whether I’ve chosen the wrong blog title. Has it limited my scope? The perfectionist in me keeps tapping on my shoulder, second guessing at what I should write and worrying whether you Planetarians will feel a ‘disconnect’ with the blog you’ve come to know if I steer us into uncharted waters. And so all those posts remain unwritten.  
Now Felicity, did you spot my special Australian reference I snuck in for you?
So where to next?

And then, in the middle of all my anxiety and self-doubt, your delightful emails have been flooding into my inbox this week of affirmation, encouragement, excitement and even joy at my idea to post about the items on my mood board. The most intriguing and welcome email came from my dear bloggy friend, Le from Third on the Right. She commented that my mood board was  “so very Jane. As one would hope. I can see you clearly in it.” 

Stunned, I pressed her further. Here’s an extract from her extraordinarily insightful and thoughtful response.


The Tassie map [the map of Tasmania where I live in the bottom right hand corner for those overseas Planetarians] and the way the ribbons were held on the cards.


The pale blues, gentle colours and recycled stuff.


Fountain pen, buttons, paperweight, Paris, doilies and the wee world box.

Exploring the future

The materials and what promise they hold.

A wordsmith

Stationery and the dictionary pages.

World citizen

Maps, passport and mementoes from trips.


Ribbons, cut-out butterflies and garlands.

Quality and style

Fountain pen

A maker

All the paper products, the words, letter stencils and hand-coloured papers.

A lover of prettiness

Liberty fabric and the hand-drawn gift box with the three stars.

A keeper

A giver

I am just dumbfounded. Merely by peering at my mood board, Le really ‘gets’ me. She’s never even met me. Yet, she picked up insights about me I hadn’t even tuned into! So, buoyed by such comments, I’m going to start writing up those 149 draft topics just waiting to have life breathed into them. Let’s see where this journey takes us! Now, does anyone have a map for me…


  1. Wonderful, Jane.

    I think Le has you pinned! I wouldn't worry about that though. Often we know ourselves least. I think it's nice that others can 'know' us by seeing what we like and what we say.

    I think you're refined, and literary, and feminine; delicate; worldy; educated and leaning towards calm (Hard with children).

    Sometimes our individualities get lost in motherdom.

    Celebrate who you are through your blog. That's where you can really be you! Let your blog be your little haven. The children are always there in the background ... but you're 'You' and they're their own little people.

  2. Can't wait for the 149 and those to follow. Love being part of your planet. Hugs, Emma. xx

  3. Why would subjects be right or wrong...there are no right or wrong themes or ways to write about's not a contest or going to be marked or judged..because who can judge? Your blog is your story, your experience and your choice as to what and when you share anything with us. I don't mind whatever you choose to share because it will show me another facet of you and you are an interesting person to me.

  4. Such a beautiful concept Miss Jane. I love the photos - beautiful. I love how things like this can help you see your own self more clearly. It seems this little task has really captured you. Being creative has some lovely healing powers :)

  5. What a thrill to read this Jane. I'm finding it hard to put a lot of what's in my head down on paper. I have so many things going on I don't know where to start...and I have to go back to my real job on Monday...YUCK. I can see the class is a perfect fit for you...T

  6. Wowee! There's so much to look forward to Jane and I for one am on the top of the list of readers.

    How wonderful to read Le's insights - so true and so beautifully written, she is a true gem.

    xx Felicity

    PS Loved my little snippet of logophile fun

  7. Jane, remember that whatever 'you' put into this blog is 'you'. There is no formula, and even if you feel you're steering 'off-path', it is infact giving your readers a more wholistic look at who you are.
    Don't over-complicate your blogging experience, we're all avid readers who enjoy learning more about other's lives. Just because you don't mention your pixies in every post, we have know doubt they're still there being very much loved by their mum.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. I like your "about me" section.

    You need to get those draft posts out there, Jane. I think blogging is a great outlet for people who need to express themselves in some way. I know I use my blog in that way and I get immense pleasure from it. xx

  9. Blog on Jane, you have souch to offer. Just write for you, don't be trying to please us. We Mums have enough demands, our blogs should be our havens. Having said that, your mood board promises a pretty and thoughtful haven. Have a great weekend.

  10. 149 drafts?? Goodness, you have so much to share with us. My drafts amount to a big fat whopping 0!
    I think Carol sums it up for me - there are no right or wrongs here. Every post that you have written in the past has meant something to YOU. That's the important thing isn't it? Use your mood board for inspiration, but also don't lose the lovely everyday stuff that just 'happens'. You're doing a good job Jane and I love reading.

  11. What lovely insights from Le. It all makes sense. I know what you mean about blogs and their 'theme'. I worry about that as mine was supposed to be abut our reno. Little did I know how broke we'd be and so I have to blog about other things. I do still want it to be a reno blog with art and life thrown in. I don't want to lead readers astray if you know what I mean? All will be well no doubt. Have a lovely weekend! x

  12. Beautiful, Jane. The method is just as gorgeous as the result. x

  13. Just be yourself Jane and the rest will take care of itself.
    People want to get to know what makes you "tick" and I think it is wonderful that you know so clearly what that is.
    I think I am still trying to figure that out after 4 children, or maybe I am still too worn out.
    Seeing your mood board it is clear that you have lots of things that you are passionate about.
    I think you will inspire others with your passion and by being true to yourself with your posts.

  14. I LOVE what Le wrote about you Jane. It's all so true! May I add thoughtful, enthusiastic, insightful, reflective and accomplished to her list? You really are brim-full of wonderful qualities dear girl.

    I really do believe you can't go wrong if you write about what's moving you. And I think the title is still apt, because it was the starting point for the blog, and it is still the context, the background to your current life. It still works, even if you're not doing pixie posts all the time.

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend and enjoying a bit of this lovely gentle sunshine today!

    x Sarah

  15. Dear Jane, thanks for popping by my blog, I have just spent the morning reading through your blogging tips, and have laughed out loudly on several occasions. Just started blogging in Feb, and I tick almost all the boxes on being obsessed. Thanks for your fab tutorials.
    I am your newest follower - Have a lovely weekend.
    A xx
    PS: the only thing that I so far haven't figured, and I would love to know, is how to make edges on the background of my blog -Like yours ?? Any ideas ?? :O)

  16. hello dear one - well that all came together beautifully :) some time back I had blogging angst and thought I needed a second blog to show some other aspects of 'me'... after several months of maintaining two spaces it became a chore - something blogging should never be - but I did not learn from that .... I started a new second blog for my house stuff ... similar fate - ended after several boths ... after some fine tuning I have taken the aspects I loved from each and just dumped it all on the third :)

    now I blog for me ... I don't fret about the readership, I don't keep my focus and this week I had the most lovely comments from several girlies who are rays of sunshine in my life - and you are one of my most shiney rays :)

    blog on babe :) le xox

  17. ps love the extra bits on the more you page - great new pic and all - makes me think I should review mine :) best le xox

  18. Any post you write will be a reflecion of you...don't limit yourself. You will most likely be pleasantly surprised at how great you feel getting them out there....I know I will enjoy reading anything you post :)


  19. great post jane. i love how you share all that is going on in your head. I have often thought it ironic that i named my blog with my children's names, yet I started my blog for the same reason as you - to rediscover my own identity. It's certainlydoing that for me, as I see it is for you too. I don't think it matters what the blog is called - it just becomes 'you' naturally because it is yours. I don't think readers have any expectations at all apart from that - that's the beauty of blogging. I think the fact that you have so many followers in such a short space of time is testament that you are on the right track.

  20. P.S. Loving the garland made from a map.....might just have to get Goose onto making one of those!

  21. woah Jane, what a wonderful last few posts you have. sorry I am just catching up on things.
    I love your mood board, it looks like a pic from a magazine. I just want to reach out and touch everything you have there.
    you should definitely get those posts out of the drafts folder.
    it's your blog & you need to express the things you want on here. Write them for you!

    looking forward to your posts & seeing more of your moods ♥

  22. Hi Jane,
    It seems you are really enjoying the course and the process of reflecting. I decided to have a separate blog for family/life stuff in case I wanted to print it into blog books one day I thought I would just want the family stuff and not all my other stuff but it's tricky because there is overlap and sometimes I am not sure what to share where etc. sigh. Maybe I should be doing this course too. Lol. Happy weekend to you and I look fwd to reading more on PB.

  23. JANE, YOU WON!!!!!!!!!
    Sen me your address, I can't wait for you to receive the book! Congratulations!

    Northern Light

  24. Jane.... you are lovely and funny and clever... my advice to you is to let PB be a journey and see where it takes you - after all, isn't that half the fun, the not really knowing? Let it be a record, let it be your outlet, but most of all, let it be fun and cathartic. As a loyal follower and bloggy friend, I kind of like not knowing what to expect when I open up your blog!

    Ang xx

  25. Hi This is my first time at Planet Baby, your comment on Maxabella's Aussie bloggers conference post pulled me here. You mood board pic lured me in as I saw stamps and paper and things I love : )
    Now I just want to offer one comment after a really rushed and reading of your intriguing post. If your blogging changes directions in following yourself, some readers will go, some others will come. :)
    I personally will be back to read more later when time permits :)

  26. Hi Jane,
    Well, a lot to think about and yet not. I think you should just start writing some of the topics and indeed journey ahead, go with the flow and see where it will lead. Although lawyers never go with the flow I believe, but it can be surprisingly good. It's again in the middle of the night here, couldn't sleep, and I wanted to show you a new blog I found, well, she found me and I think you also will like her...
    ex-lawyer, one toddler, super newborn baby named Pixie... go check her out, she is lovely, her name is Dani and she lives on an island not too far from you. Take care my lovely Jane!
    Maureen xx

  27. Beautifully said Jane. I love your mood board and what it says about you. Look forward to seeing more of those drafts and enjoying your planet. Thanks Jane
    Rebecca x

  28. I am definitely a perfectionist too - such a curse and blessing. Love what you do - keep on keeping on :) Lovely mood board too XOL

  29. I've just discovered your blog and am a new follower. It is beautiful and inspiring in here! I'm looking forward to coming back for more. Your mood board is especially inspiring... leave s me looking for time in my week where I could start something similar.

  30. Love your blog. Your mood board is amazing and I love all things French too.

  31. Just had a thought. You mentioned the thought about not having the family etc on your mood board. I was thinking what my mood board would have and I was the same. Infact I struggled as to what I would put on my board! Your mood board was so yummy.

    I think the family etc is not on the board not because you do not see them as not part of you but because they are part of you. They are there - they cannot be changed - but the board can.

    Does that make any sense? I can understand it in my head but cannot choose the right words toe explain!

  32. Isn't it just amazing how putting all those little pieces of loveliness that are special and mean something to you ..on a turn..put all the lose little pieces of loveliness about YOU together aswell.
    Almost like a piece of a puzzle...the more you added..the more you found out about yourself.
    I love how Le looked deeper into it..and into I do believe that these little things..often say ALOT about a person.
    Enjoy this journey is so great that this whole blogging experience has become something so much more for you....I think for most of us...we all have come to realise that our own blog has become something so much more...than what we first had planned or intended for it to be.
    Look forward to seeing more the the beautifully unique Jane unfold :) x

  33. I'm a little behind, but what's new? I'm glad that your mood board has given you so much insight. I look forward to the many good things to come. I totally understand what you mean about having different directions on where you focus.


  34. Ah, you gorgeous Planetarians! I've replied to most of you individually but I just want to say how moved and touched I am by all your thoughtful, insightful, warm and encouraging comments.

    Your responses are all so varied and fascinating. What I take from them all is your encouragement to follow my heart and write about what moves me. Now you're getting me excited! J x

  35. I'm back, sweetie! What a treat to come back to see your lovely mood boards :) Have a great rest of your week - and thank you for joining Post Of The Month Club :) XOL

  36. Calling by from Happy Homemaker UK as participating in Post of the Month and really enjoying meeting everyone else and reading their favourite posts. It certainly sounds like you are not short of inspiration.

  37. Ooh, I missed these ones - thanks, ladies! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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