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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Taking Stock

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my life and interests over the last 10+ years. In art school I used to take photos of people in their bedrooms, it’s kind of strange in retrospect. I was 20 and awkwardly taking photos of a lot of middle aged couples in their bedroom with my clunky and obnoxious 4×5 camera. Hunkering down in their closets or bathrooms with towels stuffed up against the doors to keep out the light while trying to quickly unload and reload film sheets. I was SO insanely out of my element. I would never have the balls to do something like that these days, and I envy the time when I took more risks.

Whether I knew it or not I was already becoming obsessed with people and how they used their personal spaces as a way to communicate something about themselves. Obviously this was a theme that would stick with me, and stick hard. I am still so fascinated people and their spaces and this project was a catalyst for my strong connections to home as a representation of a family and self today.

I’ve also been thinking about how I started blogging. I had an account at a place called fotolog.com (circa 2001). Back then you were only allowed to upload one photo a day unless you wanted to subscribe to a premium account. I would diligently scan my negatives, do my corrections and then slowly upload my precious images to my fotolog account. I did this everyday for months, this was a real thing!

In 2005, when I was crazy and 24, I started a party blog combining three of my fav things at the time, drinking too much (this was new and exciting), the internet, and photos. Back then blogging was such a new concept. Platforms like Blogger barely existed, if at all. I had self hosted and designed my first blog updating links manually for the first 6 months. Eventually I wised up and started a Blogger account (www.deucecities.blogspot.com) where I took too many photos of myself getting into lots of trouble with my buds. That was the real beginning of the real blogging. I even got linked to from an MTV article and I thought I was some serious shit.

I eventually settled down (just a little bit) and in 2009 I started Deuce Cities Henhouse with my friend Nicole. I don’t know what we were thinking back then, we didn’t have a real cohesive idea of what the blog was going to be except for it to be a place that we could “cluck” (get it) about things we thought were cool and projects we had been working on. There wasn’t a real strong voice or focus to the whole thing. It was a bit of a hot mess.

The point of this post is that I’m fast approaching the four year anniversary of this old blog, but what’s even more of a milestone for me is the 1 year anniversary of taking blogging way more seriously. It was one year ago today that I migrated my blog from Blogger to WordPress with the intent of presenting to the internet world a more thoughtful and well curated Deuce Cities Henhouse. Prior to this I had been blogging from the hip, not fully understanding the concept that in order to make a blog that people wanted to read and to have them in return feel compelled to comment and share, I needed to buck up and start presenting more thoughtful, consistent, smart, interesting and engaging posts.

Thus began the era of note books all over the house filled with ideas for blog posts. I posted almost every day for 8 months before I realized that trying to keep that schedule was driving me crazy. Besides it’s not posting every day that counts but that what I am writing is good. These days I’m not committed to a specific amount of posts per week but I do shoot for 2-3 and I still have my notebooks, just not as many.

Fav Photo of Me Circa 2003

I’m not gonna lie, I had high hopes of having a very popular blog when I started out last year. I thought for sure if I posted thoughtful and interesting content every day that all it would take was readers catching on and sharing links and I’d have like 1000 followers instantly. When you spend so much time pouring everything you got into one very personal outlet, you can’t help but want it to be successful. Although my readership didn’t grow by leaps and bounds like I had hoped it might, I enjoy the blog more than ever. I love that it’s all me, I love tinkering with the code and design, I love posting when I feel inspired to post, and I love that when I do post there is a group of loyal readers who share their thoughts with me.

Writing this blog makes me feel more complete in my life, it’s the creative outlet (as cliche, stupid and dumb as that sounds) that I seriously need, and without it I go crazy. It’s been good, and kept me positive and I’ve felt a lot less anxiety in my day-to-day because of it. I’m happy that I have this place where I can share, and my thoughts can be received in a supportive community. It’s such a perfect and happy combination of things that define me and my past, present and hopefully future. It makes so much sense for me to be a blog lady.

I’m not sure I could ever give this up. Thanks for being a part of it and sharing with me.

in My Life, Photography

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14 comments… add one
  • Valerie January 21, 2013

    i honestly dont understand why this blog is not more popular. It is better written, designed, and has more interesting content than many other home design blogs….

    • Scoops January 21, 2013

      Thanks Valerie, I appreciate the support :) ’tis what it is, and I’m happy with what I’ve got.

  • Ali January 21, 2013

    Thank god! I didn’t know where you were heading with this and was afraid you might be opting out. Love your work. I look at LOTS of blogs about homes and yours is a stand out.

    • Scoops January 21, 2013

      Oops, I didn’t even think about this post be dramatic in the sense that I might call it quits or something. I don’t think that would ever happen. Thanks for reading and supporting!

  • Amanda @ willful/joyful January 22, 2013

    I love that you’ve found joy in what you’re doing outside of the facts and figures of it all. From one blog lady to another — I hear ya. Being a stay/work at home mom is isolating but I’ve found that having a little corner of the internet that’s all my own has felt like a lifeline at times. Plus, on the days when the kids won’t stop making messes, the blog is still as neat and tidy as it ever was :) #sanitysaver

    Your personality and heart are what keep me coming back and what make you stand out. You stay true to who you are and what you do, and I’m sure you’ll find your community will only get better!

    P.S. I like you. I’m glad you blog. I’m glad we met. I’m glad we’re internet friends.

    P.P.S. I like your photo project. If you ever start that back up (which you totally should), you’re welcome to visit my bedroom. I’m a sucker for personal photo projects done just for the hell of it. Seriously. Call me.

    • Scoops January 22, 2013


      You are so totally right that blogging can be your lifeline when you’re a stay-at-home mom. I don’t know what I would do without it sometimes. I love being home with my kids, and I know you do too, but we still our people and we still need to be able to feel like we’re not alone in the world.

      I’m glad we are internet friends too. Maybe someday I will be in Spokane, or you will be in MPLS and we will be able to get together and have a few beers. I think that would be cool.

      Eventually I would like to get a 4×5 camera again, and maybe even set up a tiny darkroom in my house. But that someday is for sure after the kids get older.

      • Amanda @ willful/joyful January 22, 2013

        Ya for basement darkrooms! I have grand plans to open a co-op DR with a friend someday. I LOVED the communal feeling of the DR in art school and can’t imagine having one all to myself. Someday!

  • Christine January 22, 2013

    Not cliche. Not stupid. Not dumb. That’s the whole reason the term “creative outlet” exists! It’s completely yours to make into whatever you wish, and I’m just glad your creative outlet is a shared one. Here’s to another fantastic year!

    And I also really like your portrait series. They are very compelling. If you were shooting on 4x5s, I bet the detail in them is beautiful.

    • Scoops January 22, 2013

      Hey Christine,

      I’m not against the “creative outlet” aspect of the blog nor do I think it cliche, I cringe at the idea of so many people referring to the internet as a “creative outlet” and not being creative in real life. Does that make sense? I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but I feel like the internet as “creative outlet” is a little overused and thus cliche.

      I do however think it is totally cool for people who NEED to be creative to have “creative outlets” to stay mentally healthy and happy.

      I like that portrait series too, I printed them on silver gelatin paper, and that does as much to an image as the quality of the negative, someday I’d like to get back to shooting 4×5 and printing in a dark room.

      Thanks for all the support!

  • Meg@ourwaytoeat.com January 22, 2013

    I love blogs and follow many, and I especially love your blog. I predict that you will blow up, and your current readers now will say “we knew her when….” The midwest needs more solid voices, and your subject matter and presentation is top notch. Your blogspot blog—and MTV shoutout, very fun. Your bedroom photo series remind me of that Arcade Fire lyric from Neighbourhood #1–“sometimes, we remember our bedrooms, and our parent’s bedrooms, and the bedrooms of our friends.” It also reminds me of a photo project I did at my old apartment. I found an amusing vintage photo of 3 people (including an old lady in a hat) sitting on a couch that happened to look just like my couch with similar sidetables, lamps, etc. So every time I had anyone over, we would recreate the photo on my couch. It was fun. I should find those…

    • Meg@ourwaytoeat.com January 22, 2013

      I meant to say, the blog-reading world needs to recognize more solid voices from the midwest, your’s among them.

    • Scoops January 23, 2013

      Hey Meg!

      Thanks for the encouragement. I love that those photos reminded you of that Arcade Fire song, I totally snuck that into the mix I posted today. Love it.

      You should do a post about your photo project sometime, sounds cool super cool! I’d get a kick out of seeing it, and I’m sure others would too.

      Also, Just got your New Year’s card in the mail yesterday, don’t you just love Minted? Your card looks great!

  • Cam January 22, 2013

    Love ya, Scoops and I’m always in awe of your creative talents! Your blog is something special.

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