WordCamp NZ 2009 – I’ll Be There!

Wordpress fan art dandy pink

A couple of weeks ago I learned through the blogging grapevine that WordCamp is coming to New Zealand for the first time. And I immediately thought what the hell is Wordcamp?

From the WordCamp NZ site:

WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.

There should be interesting speakers and networking opportunities for both bloggers and developers. Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress, is a keynote speaker for the event! Early bird tickets are a steal at only $75+GST for both days and the price includes a tshirt. If you order before the 23rd of July your tee will be ready on the day so you can be an über nerd. Kinda like wearing a band’s tshirt to their concert. Except the only people likely to draw similarities between going to a concert and going to a geek gathering are the type of people that go to WordCamps.

Anyway…when I found out the event is being held only a few blocks from my house in Wellington, and after I convinced Chickie Little to come with me, I lost any excuses for not going. So on the 8th and 9th of August you’ll find me at the Mt Victoria Bowling Club attending WordCamp NZ. If you’re a WordPress user and you can get to Wellington on the 8th and 9th it would be great to meet up. Let me know if you’ll be around!

Cupcakes and Mace Survey Results

Thank you SO much to everyone who participated in the Cupcakes and Mace survey

I started a couple of weeks ago. I had more responses than I thought I would, it was nice to get a range of responses from people that are Cupcakes and Mace lovers and read everyday, through to the people that are just passing by stopping in once and a while.
An extra big thanks to everyone who left comments with explanations for their answers, and tips and advice.

As promised here are some results and information I took from your responses.

Cupcakes and Mace regular posts

  • Some of the results were expected. You all still like Pick N Mix the most with almost 70% of people marking that they love Pick N Mix posts.
  • People were split about Hier Und Jetzt (which is Here and Now in German). A few people love it, a few think it’s OK, but most like it. It’ll be sticking around and I’ll make tweaks as I go. It’s the most diary part of this site.
  • Results were spread evenly between love, like, and OK for the Indie Finds, Things I Love, and Things I Loathe posts. Many of you can’t stand the Gala Darling style Things I Love Thursday posts, and while a few of you love Things I Loathe Thursday I think the majority prefer not to read that type of negativity. I’m going to keep these types of posts to a minimum or combine them with Hier Und Jetzt. I don’t particularly like the way I’ve done Indie Finds so there will be no more of them until I think of a way to make them interesting and pretty.
  • You were also split over the Short and Sweet reviews with equal numbers loving, liking, and thinking they are just OK. I really like doing them so I’m going to continue to do them, but I’ll make it more obvious that they are written they way they are because I’ve only given myself 30 words for the review. I’ll also try to warn about spoilers (sorry!).
  • Most of you love ‘Because You Asked’ and ‘The Week In Photos’ so they will be sticking around and I’ll work on remembering to take more photos to share. There were a few requests for Daily Outfit shots as well, I’ll work on actually getting dressed and leaving the house and then start on taking photos. :p

Prefered style of posts

In the love column:

  1. link posts
  2. photo posts
  3. how-tos for cooking and crafting

In the like column:

  1. reviews
  2. cool finds
  3. wishlists
  4. things I love
  5. things I hate
  6. advice
  7. quotes and short statements
  8. how-tos for business and blogging
  9. outfit posts

In the OK column:

  1. music recommendations


  • When you think about the Cupcakes and Mace blog you think about links, bright colours, jewellery, quirkiness, humour, rebellion, and attitude. Seems that my point is getting across!
  • The majority of respondents have been reading Cupcakes and Mace between 3 and 6 months and subscribe to the RSS feed.
  • Over 80% of you want to hear more about the jewellery business, with one specific request for more pics of my jewellery.
  • One commenter noted they didn’t like my header. I didn’t either, I’ve simplified it a lot now. Thanks :]
  • Another commenter requested a more thorough about page. Will be working on this too when I can think of some interesting things to say about myself.
  • Gratitude was expressed for my no bullshit way of writing. That’s something you can continue to expect from me. If I start sounding like I’m a marketing manager please tell me to stfu.
  • I realised before I started the survey that regular content was taking a back seat to all the regular posts I’d been doing. It was one of the main reasons I felt compelled to survey you about what you want. Hopefully you’ve seen a bit of an improvement in the past couple of weeks. It’s something I’ll continuously work on.

Alrighty. Take from that what you will, use it to improve your own blog if my audience is one you want. And please let me know through comments, emails, tweets etc if you’ve got any requests or constructive criticism for this blog.

It’s hard to put yourself out there knowing that all you can do is wait and hope that people respond positively, but it’s worth it. As long as you remember to take everything with a grain of salt.

Blogging Is Like Dating

The Keys To Love

When you first start out blogging and push publish on your first article it’s like walking into a crowded meat market, you want people to notice you so that you might be able to get a date. Those eyes on you are the visits to your blog.

You might meet a couple of people and give them your number, in the same way you visit other blogs leaving your website address.

Then you keep an eye on your phone hoping the boys with your number call. Just like you check your emails hoping to find a new blog comment.

Eventually you’ll have people calling more regularly because you’ve gotten better at meeting new people, matured, and are more confident.

Then you hit the jackpot, you get noticed by famous bachelor or you get a big payday. You’ve never had so many people watching you or calling, except how do you tell who is genuinely interested and who is just after the fame?

Cupcakes and Mace Reader Survey

My little baby is slowly starting to grow. But now that I’m a full time blogger crafter type it’s time to put some real work into the blog.
I have a short survey for y’all and I will be so grateful to find out what you think.

Take the survey

All of the questions are voluntary, and anonymous (unless you choose to give me your details at the end). You can answer as many questions as you like and they’ll all be counted.

Depending on the number of responses I get I’ll share the results on the blog and let you know if there is going to be any change in direction.

I’ll make this post sticky for a week or so so you can find it easily. Newer posts are below.

Thanks in advance!

Style Sample Magazine

As far as first forays into writing for someone else goes I think I didn’t do too badly.
Style Sample Magazine is a free to view, online magazine about and for fashion bloggers. It’s almost brand new, the second issue has only just been released and I’m a featured writer (woo!).

I sent my name to Tamia (Style Sample Mag creator and editor) through the contact sheet on the Style Sample Magazine website after reading the first issue and expected it would go nowhere, so I was pretty surprised when Tamia contacted me and asked if I would like to write a piece on the Glamourai. Of course I agreed and now that the magazine is out you can take a look.


Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Blog


If you’re a blogger you may have read about Problogger’s 31 days to build a better blog challenge. This has already been run by Darren a couple of times and I happened to be reading his older challenges the night before he announced intentions to run a challenge for 2009. I’m going to be leaving my secure full time employment shortly so there is no better time to assess and make my blog better. If you haven’t already signed up you can join heaps of other people already signed up to the newsletter, or follow via the Problogger website.

It’s been going for a couple of weeks now, and I seem to be following it haphazardly, hoping I’ll have time to do all the tasks eventually. Even though I’ve not been doing the challenges religiously, I have been reading them and it’s been great to think about what I’m doing here a bit more.

Day one’s task was to write an elevator pitch for your blog. This will help you understand what your blog is truly about and will mean you no longer have to fumble around for something to say when people ask you what you do (and you don’t want to tell them you’re in a dead end job that you hate). I’ve been getting asked that a lot lately with people wanting to know what I’m going to do when I leave my job. The jewellery side of Cupcakes and Mace is easy to explain. I’m offering a tangible product, and that’s something most people can relate to. I’m always wearing my jewellery too so I can show them my real life product.
Explaining blogging to someone that’s not familiar with it is much harder. Even if they get the blogging part it’s hard to explain a women’s lifestyle blog centred around my life without sounding overly narcissistic, boring, and a bit of a dick really. I get kind of embarrassed trying to tell someone that yes actually, there are people interested in what I have to say, and I have subscribers! :S

This is what I’ve come up with:

Cupcakes and Mace: Reporting on all the things that affect, influence, inspire, and entertain alternative young women. It’s about embracing your life with attitude. It’s remembering that you’re only as old as you feel.

What do you think? Do you have an elevator pitch? I want to read all about it!

Theme Update

Hi lovelies.

I’ve just updated the WordPress theme used on Cupcakes and Mace. Hopefully the differences for you are minimal (and hopefully it means more control at my end). I’ve tested as much as I can at the moment, but if you see anything big or small that isn’t working, looks weird, annoys you, or any features you’d like added please leave me a comment or send me an email.

Thanks for your help!


Apologies to Commenters

Just a quick note to say sorry to anyone I appeared to not have replied to. I’ve just realised that my blog theme isn’t equipped to display threaded comments so any that I’d replied to in that way weren’t showing. There were three on the lip piercing post and a handful since then around the end of February.
I’ve added the comments in again, so they show.