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June 8th - In the Spotlight & Giveaway: Karen Watson, The Graphics Fairy



If you've ever done a search for clip art or a graphic to decorate your blog with, you undoubtedly got a list with Karen Watson's name on it. Although you may not know her by name, she wears quite a few hats, like The Graphics Fairy, The Background Fairy, mother of four, shopkeeper, and much much more! Karen's blogs have tons of resources for new bloggers, beautiful vintage images you can use, free backgrounds, and a ton of inspiration.

Karen is giving away a $25 Michael's gift card today! All you have to do is go to her blog and leave a comment on which image you find inspiring and how you would use it. Then come back to our site, and leave a comment saying you did so. Become a follower here and you'll be entered in our drawings for our cute Bee bumper sticker too! Giveaway ends Friday June 11, 2010, at midnight. Only one entry per person.

BGB: How long have you been blogging?

Karen: I actually started my very first blog in July of 2006, for my shop Fleurish. The Graphics Fairy is my second blog, I started it about a year later in August of 2007.

BGB: What made you start?

Karen: Oddly enough, I first started the Graphics Fairy after my hard drive crashed twice, in less than 2 years, and I lost all of my images both times! At the time I already had a blog for Fleurish so, I was already used to blogging. That's when I came up with the idea to start another blog so that I could store my image collections safely, and then share them with people at the same time.

BGB: Are there bloggers who have inspired you? Which ones?

Karen: Oh yes, loads of them and for all different reasons. But, since this is "The Blog Guidebook" and all, I'm guessing your asking about blogs that explain the ins and outs of blogging? When I first started blogging I tried to read everything I could get my hands on about "how to blog". I tend to get really obsessed with any project that I'm working on, and I spent hours and hours doing research on every aspect of blogging that I could find. Most of the sites were geared towards men at the time, so that's what I read. Sites like Steve Pavlina and Problogger. It's so nice to see the new sites coming out now that are geared towards helping women and Moms start their own blogs. And I love the idea of "The Blog Guidebook" what a great resource!

BGB: Do you have any suggestions for new bloggers? Any tips on gaining followers/readers?

Karen: I would say whether you are blogging for the fun of it, or for professional reasons, make sure you pick a topic to blog about that you love and that fits into your everyday life. It will make it a lot easier to keep up with it all! Ideally you should try to blog at least 2-3 times a week so that you don't loose your audience.
The best way to get new followers or readers, is by having great content that your readers enjoy! Also visiting and commenting on other blogs that have similar topics as your own and participating in some linky parties, can be really helpful. I've been seeing some new parties,where participants are asked to follow each other. I'm not sure how well that works in the long run, if you are only following someone because they are following you. Perhaps if your just starting out though, it might be a good way to get a little boost in the beginning and build your confidence a bit.

BGB: Do you think there are specific genres that are more popular than others in blogging?

Karen: From what I've seen, cooking, design, Fashion, celebrities, Frugal living, crafting and Mommy blogs seem to be very popular. At least for women anyway.

BGB: Do you advertise your blog? If so, where?

Karen: Yes, I've just started doing some of that this year. I've used several sites on "Project Wonderful", also "Whip Up" and "Just Something I Made" have been good.

BGB: Who designed your blog?

Karen: Cathe Holden designed my logo and my banner. I made the background to match. I also did the coding for the 3rd column. We just found out that the logo Cathe made me is going to be in a book about great logos. She's such a pro!

BGB: Does your blog relate to your job at all, is it your job?

Karen: My real job is my brick and mortar business Fleurish, where I sell antiques, as well as, new home accessories with a European flair.
I've always been interested in anything old. When I'm out shopping for Fleurish I will often pick up paper items for The Graphics Fairy, so the two go hand in hand quite nicely.

BGB: When and where do you write your posts?

Karen: I usually post twice a day on TGF, from my tiny little office at home. On my other blogs I post less frequently, usually two or three times a week on The Background Fairy. I have 5 blogs now, it's crazy!

BGB: Have you ever hosted a blog party or linky party?

Karen: I do host a linky party every Monday called Brag Monday. It's really more of a "Challenge" than a party, as I require the attendees to use one of my images in their projects. It's a great way for my readers to show off what they've made.

BGB: Is it successful and why or why not?

Karen: Well, it's not a huge party, but we have a nice little group of very talented regulars and I think it's quite successful in that my readers love it! I feature one or two projects from the previous weeks party, and it's always amazing to see what people come up with using my images. It really helps to give people some new ideas in how to use the graphics. Also it's just really fun for me to be able to brag about some of my readers each week!

BGB: Have you ever attended a just for bloggers event? If so, which one(s)?

Karen: No I haven't. It's definitely on my list to do. I was hoping to go to Blogher this Summer, but I waited too long and now they are sold out. Maybe next year.

BGB: Are there any negatives to blogging you’re concerned about?

Karen: The biggest negative is finding time to respond to comments and emails. I love receiving both, of course, but if I answered all of them back, there wouldn't be time for anything else. Including blogging!

BGB: How does this impact you or your readers?

Karen: I think I've probably unintentionally hurt peoples feelings by not commenting or emailing everyone back. It's not a good feeling and I actually stress about it a lot. Facebook is easier for me since it's all in one place, and I can throw out a quick response, it's also easier to keep track of.

BGB: Which blogs do you read often? Any favorites?

Karen: I wish I had more time to read blogs, I spend so much time on my own that I don't get to read other blogs as much as I used to. I do get sucked in to reading "The Pioneer Woman" from time to time. That site can be very addictive! Also I love craft and decorating blogs, I have huge list of favorite blogs, bookmarked in my favorites folder. I have lots of friends with awesome craft blogs, that I enjoy reading when I have time, too many to list them all at once here, but most are on my Links page.

BGB: What are currently working on? Any current or upcoming projects you’d like us to write about?

Karen: My latest project is a new blog that I started a little over a month ago with a partner. It's called Ciao From Tuscany / Hello From Small Town USA. Where I compare my life, in a small town in the U.S., with the life of my partner Daniela, who is an Italian woman living in the heart of Tuscany. I've never been to Italy and I'm having a blast learning about her life there! I don't speak any Italian, she speaks some English, so we use online translators to communicate with each other. You can find it at www.ciaofromtuscany.com

BGB: Karen, it's been so fun getting to know you! We look forward to the next of your many hats!

107 comments:

  1. I love the Graphics Fairy! She makes crafts so much easier with all the wonderful images she provides!!!

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  2. Just left a comment on Graphics Fairy ... I love her site. And can't wait to look through your posts.

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  3. Hello! Nice to find this resource..isn't Karen amazing..multi-tasker extraordinaire..this blog looks interesting, too..

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  4. Love the images the Graphics Fairy posts. I especially love her French labels & will probably someday get around to printing some out to use as labels in my kitchen.

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  5. Graphics Fairy blog is one that I check everyday. Love the freebies and the inspirations of what others do with them. Awesome site and now she led us to this one! Thanks!

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  6. I left a comment oh her page about the eiffel tower graphic. I plan to use it in my daughters room as her theme is travel. I love the graphic fairy website.

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  7. Left a comment on Graphics Fairy blog! I'm a daily reader. She's such a wonderful resource!

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  8. I love the Graphics Fairy - I've used her images sooooo many times! I'm now following you, hurrah!

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  9. Such a great interview. I heart the Graphics Fairy.

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  10. I visited "The Graphics Fairy" yesterday and got a new background for my blog. Went back today and thanked her and that birdnest she has is great. How nice she is to so freely share with us.
    Debbie

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  11. How fun!! I really like the sewing mahine!! I told her I would make note cards with it to send along with my sewing machine covers!!

    suzannebake@gmail.com

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  12. Isn't she AMAZING! The best find EVER on the net!

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  13. I found this site from The Graphics Fairy! I left her a comment :)
    {Rebekah}

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  14. Karen love your sharing and beautiful images. it has enhanced my blog and art so much and truly appreciate! :}

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  15. I LOVE the Graphics Fairy! So many different ideas generated from one spot!

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  16. Karen this is awesome! I've been following you for a long time and I can't go one week without using one of your gorgeous images. It's so handy and you have inspired me to share vintage images I have in my collection freely as well, although my collection is no where near as extensive as yours, LOL. I have never worried for a second that there wasn't a reply to this or that, that's all part of blogging, your readers don't sit there expecting you to worry over such a thing and you shouldn't. We are very happy to share in the awesomeness that is the Graphics Fairy. Hope you have a great week!

    And what a fabulous new site here! I'll definitely be back! Thanks

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  17. Love Karen's blog and left her a comment about her great phrenology head.

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  18. Loved the interview Karen, and of course TGF is a daily visit on my list. Thanks for all the great stuff you do and share! :)

    Have a great day,
    --Kathryn

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  19. Graphics Fairy rocks!! Thank you Karen!

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  20. I use Karen's graphics all the time for my projects.
    She is so great to do this for us everyday!!
    Thanks Karen!!!
    Rosemary

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  21. Went to The Graphics Fairy and left a comment. Love Karen's site!
    Thanks.

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  22. Forgot to say, that I went to Karen's blog, left a comment, left one here and am now a follower.
    Thanks,
    Rosemary

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  23. Just came over from leaving a comment at Karen's blog! Now to look around your place! : )

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  24. I love the graphics fairy! Such a generous lady. I left a comment on her blog.. I am now following you on google reader.
    Sandi C

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  25. What a gorgeous bunch of graphics at The Graphics Fairy! Left her a comment!

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  26. I am a regular follower of the Graphics Fairy - I love her site! Thanks for the interview.

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  27. I am a devoted follower of the Graphics Fairy, I have saved so many beautiful images from her site. I am now a follower of this blog as well, thanks!

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  28. The graphics fairy is like mecca for any crafter who loves vintage. I'll never be able to use all the treasures I find there, unless maybe I start wallpapering with them.. hmm..

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  29. What an intersting view into her hectic life! Love the images she posts! Giveaways are nice too. :)

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  30. Love Graphics Fairy. Just left a comment. And love your site TOO :)

    flowerskissing@aol.com

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  31. I love The Graphics Fairy! I have a whole "folder" of images I have ideas for....If I would just get off the computer and get to them!
    Very good interview. Thanks for a great site!

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  32. Graphics Fairy is full of inspiration. I love all the graphics she shares with us.
    ~Tam

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  33. Karen is a gem! I love her beautiful offerings and her site. I visit daily...

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  34. Karen is on my daily walk thru blog-land and now you will be too! This was an awesome idea! Thanks so much Beth

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  35. I too love the Graphics Fairy blog. It is so useful. I love any of her images that are Frenchy. And I do love the bird you have featured as well. Heck, I love almost all of Karen's images. When we were restoring an old town square clock, we used a clock face graphic from Karen's site. Hubby had it blown up & traced it onto the clock face & then painted it. Our clock turned out pretty fabulous thanks to this website. Thanks for showcasing Karen's blog.

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  36. Great interview! Absolutely a follower of the Graphic Fairy!

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  37. WoW! Since I found Karen's blog I visit nearly everyday and look forward to her posts! I left a comment on her recent 'Man (or woman) on the moon' graphic post.

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  38. I love the Graphics Fairy! I check her out everyday!

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  39. Like so many, I am a fan of Karen and her blogs. It would feel strange not to check them out every day and see what she's got for us.

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  40. I left a comment over on Karen's blog ... without her images I would have no way to create - she makes things so simple by providing us with wonderful, varied images to use.

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  41. I love your blog, it has lots of pictures to share, which I like most is this; Free Vintage Clip Art - Paris Advertising Ephemera, I think you can do many jobs with them ... but I think that every image that inspires us up into something wonderful.

    Me encanta su blog, tiene muchisimas imagenes para compartir, la que mas me gusta es esta ;Free Vintage Clip Art - Paris Advertising Ephemera, creo que se pueden hacer infinidad de trabajos con ellos...pero creo que cada imagen que sube nos inspira en algo maravilloso.
    Anapetit

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  42. I posted here and there. I just love all of her images on her blog. I visit her blog daily.

    Thanks for all the wonderful vintage images, Karen!

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  43. I have left a comment on The Graphics Fairy blog. Great to read this interview! Now to see what else you have on here!

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  44. Have just posted a comment on Karens blog. Her images are fab and I am really grateful to her for sharing these with us :D

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  45. I am so glad Karen linked this site up to her posting this morning... so much information is available to help us out here in blogland and so many generously willing people to show us- it's wonderful! Thank you!!!

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  46. I posted on Karen's blog and now here. I have truly enjoyed checking her blog every day to see what she has downloaded. I can't wait to enjoy this blog!

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  47. oh my goodness...so happy to find the graphic fairy! spent AN HOUR over there intending only to check a few images and post a comment!!! thanks for posting...

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  48. I'm glad to find your blog. I've just posted on the Graphics Fairy and now I'm exploring your site.

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  49. I don't have my own blog but I love checking out the blogs like The Graphic Fairy. Karen spoke highly of you so I am going to poke around your blog.
    Sharon L

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  50. Did it! I love her blog and the pretty images. I've never even used one for a project... I just love to look at them and think of bygone days. Maybe with a $25 gift certificate, I'd actually get crafty with them.

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  51. She has a great blog! I visit it often and now have left a comment about some of my fav. images.

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  52. This blog is such a great idea!

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  53. Great interview! I am a huge Graphics Fairy fan and I am glad it lead me here so now I can add this to my daily reads!! Thanks!

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  54. Love Karen and her blogs, especially The Graphics Fairy. Every post of hers is interesting and a visual delight, plus she includes the background on each image that she shares too. I posted on her blog that I love her blank tickets, her b&w bees graphic, and all of the dog and cat images! --Laura

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  55. I adore Graphics Fairy blog. There are always so many great images and they are wonderful for so many projects!

    Love it!

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  56. Thank you for interviewing the Graphics Fairy. Her blog is so informative, useful, and beautiful!

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  57. Karen is amazing- her site is so wonderful- I look forward to seeing what will be posted. It is an adventure for the senses.
    xoxo

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  58. Karen is amazing- her site is so wonderful- I look forward to seeing what will be posted. It is an adventure for the senses.
    xoxo

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  59. thanks to the Giveaway, er Graphics, Fairy for pointing out a new blog! And this one is on blogging so I'm gonna have to do a bit of exploring.

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  60. Just posted on Karens blog. She is amazing and I truly thank her for the inspiration her images give me they are superb :D

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  61. Great interview, I learned loads. Thanks to Karen and to this new Blog Guidebook.

    I'll be back here alot.
    Sharon

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  62. I loved learning more about you, Karen, Love the graphic fairy blog, left a message there too. Stay Up.

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  63. Oh course I have posted at Karens. I adore her blog. I will be spending some time here too to get aquainted with you.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  64. The Graphics Fairy is a generous and lovely Fairy who seems to delight in sharing her gift of beauty with everyone! Love her blog site!

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  65. I Love the graphics fairy! I was thrilled to have found it and use images from it all of the time - Karen is the best!

    Thank you for the contest :)

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  66. I love all your darling art work it so my style!

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  67. Karen's blog is my go to source for vintage images. You never know what she's going to post, but it's always something cool. I've also posted a comment at TGF. Looking forward to exploring the Blog Guide Book blog.

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  68. Hi, I left a comment on that great blog...The Graphic Fairy! Now I'll check out your blog. Sally Hackney sjhackney (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  69. The graphics fairy saves my life quite a bit. Thanks for the gifts of education and style. My blog thanks you.

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  70. The Graphic Fairy is one of my favourite blogs and although Karen has been interviewed many times; this is the first interview I've read and I enjoyed it.
    I will become a follower of your blog as I need all the blogging help I can get.
    Kind Regards
    Judith from Australia
    http://creativestudio10.blogspot.com

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  71. Just posted at Karen's too--I'm loving all of the vintage graphic goodness here!
    Jeannie
    juanakmcd@aol.com

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  72. Luv the Graphic Fairy Blog & visit DAILY. Lovely graphics, excellent images & she picks the neatest stuff for her blog!!

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  73. Karen and her Graphic Fairy blog are THE BEST. I just posted a comment on her blog after looking at her lovely selection of the day!
    Can't wait to keep an eye on your new venture, too!

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  74. Karen's blog is one of my all-time favorites!

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  75. I love graphic fairy-it's one of the few blogs i make sure to check daily.

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  76. Graphic Fairy is one of my must read blogs. So much fun.

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  77. Hi there,
    i just found you on the Graphics Fairy site. I loooove the Graphics Fairy, by the way. Looking forward to getting some great ideas from you, as I am a new blogger!

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  78. Karen is amazing. I don't know how she always comes up with the things people want in her busy life. I really appreciate the Graphics Fairy as an art resource!

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  79. I follow Graphics Fairy with hopes that I will have a blog soon. I know which graphics I love (the pen and ink nature ones) and which I would use in a blog!

    I am a follower here, I'm going to read 'up' on the proper way to start a blog.

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  80. I just discovered the Graphics Fairy and I fell in love! It is a wonderful sight and Karen is so dedicated! Thanks, kiddo! I am now a follower and maybe I will post on Brag Mondays one of these days, I have already done three items with her work. I love the black and whites.

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  81. Great interview and loved reading and learning even more about Karen...my word...5 blogs! I know what she means by trying to keep with all the great blogs out there...my google reader is always topping out at 1,000...just so many talented women out there and Karen is a great leader in blogging and very generous...great advice here today!

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  82. I found Karen's blog just a few months ago and have been enjoying it ever since! Can't wait to explore your great new site too. :)
    Elaine

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  83. Graphics Fairy blog is one that I check everyday. Love the images and the inspiration and creativity of the GF followers that share what they do with GF images. Awesome site and now she led us to this one! I really love the idea of having the resources all in one spot, and in reading some of your resources found them to be easy to understand. I have a blog and tend to post sporadically, maybe now that I have your blog as a resource, I will find the inspiration to blog more often. Kudos to you, nice blog!

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  84. Karen's blog is wonderful, thanks to her Brag Monday I have had lots of traffic on my new blog! Looking forward to exploring your blog.

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  85. Karen is awesome and one of the sweetest, most helpful people I know. She so very generous.

    Smiles~
    Marilyn

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  86. Enjoyed the article & will check out this blog!

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  87. I just found the Graphics Fairy about 2 weeks ago, and I've been checking the site almost daily ever since! I love it! All those lovely images! I enjoyed reading this interview with Karen.

    Stephanie Doan

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  88. I just love Karens blog and pictures, she is marvelous. And now that she has led us to you, I have a new blog Im following. So thank you Karen!!!!

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  89. Don't you just adore TGF?? She has the most amazing images, and I am always in awe of the fact that she takes the time to share them with us! And this is a wonderful service you are providing - spotlighting the best bloggers out there! (I comments on TGF too.)

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  90. I love the Graphics Fairy! I read her blog every day and am always pleased with the graphics she provides for FREE! SWEET!

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  91. I adore the Graphics Fairy ... Karen is amazing and always comes up with the the most amazing finds. She is my number one resource when I can't find a vintage graphic from my personal files.

    Great interview!

    Lorrie

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  92. The Graphics Fairy is a wonderful site and she so generously shares with others.

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  93. I did it! posted to both sites! I LOVE the Graphics fairy! Where would I be without her! This is a very cool blog I would have never known if it wasn't for her!

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  94. Coming over from The Graphics Fairy! But excited to find this page, always need help and info on blogging.

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  95. The Graphics Fairy is so generous to give away awesome images for FREE!!!! I love her!
    augustgirl01 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  96. I LOVE the Lovely Bird and Nest Engraving. But anything vintage appeals to me:)

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  97. I just love the Graphics Fairy blog. I cannot believe all of the dedication she puts into her blog. Everyday she presents us with so many beautiful vintage images that can be used for so many craft mediums.

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  98. Graphics Fairy is a great resource. The vintage ephemera is such eye candy!

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  99. am now a follower, and I have posted at Karen's site.
    Thanks, Susan

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  100. Hi, I love Karen's site. I have used quite a few graphics in the cards I give to people and they really love them. I'm going to follow her work more often.
    Ann

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  101. I've just posted a comment for Karen on her blog. The Graphics Fairy has been an inspiration to me both as a crafter and a blogger. Of course I have a Background Fairy background, and Graphics Fairy images find their way into all of my paper arts and other attempts at craftiness. Karen is the greatest!

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  102. Just left a comment about my favorite image - and I read the interview. So nice to know more about your interesting life!

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  103. I love learning more about my blogging friends and this is a great interview.

    I love the Graphic Fairy blog and visit all the time for some of the best images. Karen is sweetheart and she deserves all these wonderful compliments and comments. Yay Karen!

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  104. The Graphics Fairy is THE BEST, but 'Ciao from Tuscany' is more than wonderful, too. I read very few blogs, but these are my top two!

    Congrats to Cathe on the header!

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  105. thank you! new follower and I love bees

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  106. I would be lost without Karen!

    I left a comment and entered the contest, & I'm now following your blog as well!

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