Warning: ini_get_all() has been disabled for security reasons in /home/imagine/public_html/wp-includes/load.php on line 1472

Warning: ini_get_all() has been disabled for security reasons in /home/imagine/public_html/wp-includes/load.php on line 1472
Imagination In Colour is 4! - Imagination In Colour

Imagination In Colour is 4!

Good evening! Four years ago today, I set up this blog (way back then I was on Blogger – which is a story in itself…). At the time, I had started my January A levels (in 2011), and as a little treat to myself I had bought a handful of nail polishes and decided to start a new hobby in blogging. As such, Imagination in Colour was born!

Today we are having a look back at how my blogging style has changed and *whispers* improved since I began… a bit of an appraisal if you like – it promises to be a bit of a long one, so if you’re up for it, grab a cuppa! There’s a little bit of life stuff in there too, if you want some gossip. Not that I’m gossip worthy, but you know what I mean. I hope.

If you want a good giggle, you can have a look back at my first posts here, or by using the ‘Archives’ button in the right sidebar a bit further down.

… Er right, I’m back half an hour later – God I rambled a lot back then! I thought I was bad now!

Time for another giggle – here is my first ever ‘NOTD’ (nail of the day) post. Cringe!

First nail of the day

In 2011, I was 17 years old and trying to do A levels, and apply to uni, and all of those lovely things… it was a stressy time so I guess the rambling was an offloading of all that exam misery – ha ha.

Honestly, the lighting, application and overall quality didn’t improve all that much for a good while. Here’s one from January 2012 – one year on!

January 2012

Lighting and image quality had improved a bit by this point (I’m not saying it’s perfect!) – but the application is still a sore point. 😛 The posts had at least begun to take on some structure by then, and you could probably glean most of the information you needed with a quick scan through. I hadn’t yet discovered the value of topcoat, clean-up, or nail-shaping!

In 2012 I was in my first year of uni, studying Occupational Therapy – which turned out to be all wrong for me (at the tender age of 18, anyway) and I ended up having a particularly awful year of depression and pretty severe anxiety, which pretty much knocked me, and consequently my blog, for six. I’d be happy to talk more on that point in another post if anyone’s interested, but for now it’s just part of the timeline.

This brings us to January 2013 – my blog and laptop simultaneously broke in the Autumn of 2013, which led to a severe lack of posting (and also coincided with my first full-time job – and it was more like double full-time with how many hours I did!). So the blog took a break, and I re-emerged like this:

January 2013

Image-wise, the quality has improved following me dropping a solid £500 on a DSLR (which I still use today). The lighting still wasn’t ideal. I was definitely making an effort by this point to make sure my application was at least neat. Although nail shape is leaving something to be desired! What you can’t see in the photos is that my hands and nails were suffering horribly from all the chemicals I was using at work, and from cycling in freezing temperatures for over an hour every day – my hands were practically weeping and my index nail had a good few layers missing (from peeling) from about the middle of my nail! The things we do! The blog posts had started to take good shape though, and were pretty similar to the format I use today (which is a little more condensed). I also just noticed that I managed to put some form of ‘watermark’ (don’t laugh too hard) on my images – someone didn’t work out the whole using layers thing until 2014, actually. *shakes head*

2013 was my ‘year of self-discovery’ – I had a great, but really exhausting job – on Sundays I could end up doing 19hrs at a time with just an hour break, and I did 90hr weeks and other such horrors, but it was all totally worth it. I was promoted to Team Leader within a couple of months and my ego fricking loved it, haha.

Fast forward to January 2014 (that sounds scarily close – I don’t think I’m over 2014 yet! Sob!), and surprisingly, I am looking back and still cringing a little!

Nail Lacquer UK Christmas Night Indie Handmade nail polish etsy blue jelly glitter pink circle iridescent green holographic shimmer blog review swatch swatches ciate pool party

The lighting has markedly improved and image quality is quite a bit better, I think! My application had definitely improved by this point. (I was unemployed for a short period at the beginning of the year, and my blog was pretty much the only thing keeping me going at the time so I felt a real desire to improve). Nail shape though – not going to say anything! 😛 I am happy to report that I was at least a regular topcoat user by this point. In terms of post structure, it’s largely the same as I use now.

At the very beginning of 2014 I moved out with Andy, my boyfriend of 5 and a half years, to Bournemouth. All on our own. The first night was pretty terrifying because when you live with anxiety, any very big change puts you in fight or flight mode – it didn’t help that nothing worked and our letting agent at the time was the opposite of helpful! Anyway, that improved over the year and after the shock to the system, I got a temp job in March, and my sense of self started to recollect. I had another job-change in June, so I now work from home as a remote PA. Honestly, the experience has really changed both Andy and I (for the better) – even at the lowest points there has always been something to smile about.

2014 marked a real change in the health of my nails, and for the first time I grew them very long. Why, you ask? Well, because I could. Looking back they give me the shivers though!

Green Nail Art

I have nothing against long nails – I don’t mind them on other people, at all, but on me it just looks, feels and JUST IS all wrong! So if you ever catch me doing it again, I need you to give me a stern talking to. Okay? Good.

So finally we come to January 2015, and I know it’s horrible to be pleased with yourself, but over a transition of 4 years I am quite chuffed with where my blog is now. It’s far from perfect, but it’s more on track for sure…

Picture Polish Wisteria

Photo-wise I feel I am starting to get pretty okay with image quality, lighting, colour accuracy etc. Application, I feel I have it nailed, at least by comparison to a couple of years ago! Again it could always be improved but I’m pretty happy with it just now. I’m sure my writing is still rambly, but I guess that’s just a part of me I find a little too hard to shake!

I had a little blog do-over this year, in which I attempted to make the site a little lighter and easier on the eye – for a good while it looked a bit botched and clunky so whatever you think now – it’s better than it was, I promise!

March 2011

Imagination In Colour Snapshot 2011

Wow – barely recognisable right? I barely even remember my blog looking like this!

March 2012

Imagination In Colour Snapshot 2012

Er… this is just an example of what was going on on my blog in 2012 – I’m not sure what planet I was on when I decided that those two colours looked like pure perfection together but apparently I did! The snapshot of my site back in 2012 is incorrectly formatted so there’s not much point in me showing you the whole thing, but that pink patterned stuff was my background, with a translucent body for the text… eek!

January 2013

Around about this time I was getting a bit more serious about my blog and decided (after that horrendous pattern) that I needed some clean-living – enter infinite blank space:

Imagination In Colour Snapshot 2013

It’s actually not all that different to my blog now – the theme is the same, and the background in fact – but there is at least a splash more colour now… Perhaps it’s time for a change! Anyway, I digress.

May 2014

Imagination In Colour Snapshot 2014

Hmm. You know how I said it was missing colour? 😛 This is what I mean when I said it looked a bit botched. I spent a good few hours creating dat shizz on Paint though – what can I say. Masterpiece. No but seriously… what was I thinking?!

January 2015

Imagination In Colour Snapshot 2015

So we’re back to clean, slightly stark… but overall it’s a great improvement on the travesty that was March 2012!

If you want to look back on snapshots for your website, go for Wayback Machine – it is pretty slow but it’s very handy! 

Blogging highlights

  • Being invited to review for my favourite highstreet brands, Barry M (in 2012), and Rimmel (2014).
  • Being invited to my first blogging event (2012) and actually attending my first blogging event (2014).
  • Hitting my all-time high for views on a single day which was a good way over 1000 unique hits – yay! (2014).
  • This wasn’t a moment, but over time I have managed to claw my ranking back after Google Penguin wreaked havoc with on-page SEO everywhere.
  • Starting my YouTube channel – woop woop!
  • This is a total brag moment but being propelled from pesky minion job interview to managerial job interview because of the marketing & SEO skills I have learned through blogging. No I didn’t take the job but I was offered it! Okay no more bragging now, I promise!

Blogging improvement goals

  • I think I need to look at revamping my layout, just a teeny tiny bit, so that it’s not quite so blank!
  • While lighting in my photos has much improved, I think I do still need to work on forming some consistency with the lighting.
  • Maybe have a little diversity in the content – it doesn’t have to be all nails (or does it?)

I hope you enjoyed this post – it was a little self-indulgent, I agree, but I promise no more self-indulgence until at least year 5!!

Thanks for sticking with me – I know I ramble a lot (checking back through this post it’s gradually got worse as it goes on… oops!) but I appreciate every one of you. I especially love it when people comment – even if it’s to say something hateful haha (I work from home, I’m deprived of social activity all day!).

Here’s to another fun year of blogging!