Three years ago today I sat down at a computer, made myself a blogspot account, then roped my boyfriend into taking pictures of me in my new Asos dress. I then proceeded to make a fairly amateur first post, the formatting of which now makes me cringe. And all I got for my efforts was a single seedy comment.
But slowly my blog began to blossom - I became obsessed with online shopping, was introduced to the world of lookbook and chictopia (which helped people to find my blog in the first place), and started posting outfits once a week.
Inspired by other bloggers and the then very-popular galaxy look, I tried out my very first DIY.
Very shortly after beginning to blog, however, I was diagnosed with a very scary and life-threatening illness, which was to become a very large part of my life - certainly not a defining feature of who I am, but still something that I continue to battle every day.
This space then became so much more than a fashion blog to me - it became my place to escape.
Some days all that I was able to do was to throw on a pretty outfit, take some photos, and then be utterly exhausted. But it gave me something to do, some sort of purpose, rather than lie around in bed feeling defeated and sorry for myself.
At first, you wouldn't have been able to tell I was sick (such is both the blessing and the curse of having an invisible illness), but slowly the medications that I was taking took their toll - my weight shot up, my face ballooned and my hair began to thin. So I dyed my hair and hid my face, terrified that people would discover that I "wasn't normal", but determined to keep blogging no matter what happened. Dressing up and doing DIYs became a sort of therapy for me.
I got my first ever sewing machine, and started making my own clothes - the above picture shows the very first circle skirt that I ever attempted! While the hem was completely uneven and I had to wear it with a belt for it to stay up, I was beyond excited that it was possible for me to make my own clothes. For valentines day in 2012, I wrote my first DIY tutorial.
Companies took notice of me, and decided that they wanted to start sending me clothes for free, which was basically the most exciting thing in the world right then. Super enthusiastic, I signed up with about 20 companies - then realised that was way too much work/pressure, so I stepped back a little and became a bit more selective.
I discovered wigs...
Started actually working with aforementioned websites like chictopia on style campaigns...
And at the end of 2012, I started blogging about science!
I wrote for the Scientific American, was a guest on one of my favourite science podcasts and met a whole community of scientists and science-lovers who also adored vintage and loved to craft!
I met up with one of my favourite bloggers, Ashley of Candy Kawaii Lover in Japan, proving just how much of the world blogging had opened up for me. Ashley showed me around Kobe, and we became good friends - meeting up a second time when she visited Australia!
In 2013, I moved out of home, and was asked to be in a magazine. Shortly before the release date, I was asked if I would actually like to be on the COVER of the magazine itself! And so this happened:
I started thinking more carefully about my impact on the world and my fashion choices, and how the two were intertwined. Just under a year ago, I decided that I was no longer going to support/buy from companies that were possibly manufacturing their clothing in sweatshops. I had a complete overhaul of how I viewed fashion, but also aimed to prove that I could still maintain the same style solely through thrifting, DIY and shopping more ethically.
I started writing for Birdee Magazine at the end of last year, and this year I branched out into the world of video blogging and started my own youtube channel, on which I have just hit the milestone of 10,000 subscribers. This is both awesome and mind-boggling - as my "film studio" consists of me sitting in a very awkward spot where the light is just right in the middle of my kitchen.
But the best part about my three years of blogging?
Seriously though, it is! I will never be able to thank you all enough the love and support and lovely comments and "fan-art" and emails that have made me cry - to know that I have touched the lives of so many people in such a positive way is the greatest feeling of all. And in return, you guys have made such a positive impact on me!
So that's three years of The Pineneedle Collective (Happy Birthday, blog!) and I am very much looking forward to what the next three years has in store!
All of the love in the world,
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