Blog Spotlight: Smoke Signals Baking
At Storyware, we love food, so naturally we enjoy following Tumblr sites who blog about food. One of the most mouth-water Tumblr sites we follow is smokesignalsbaking, founded by Tara Jensen in 2012. We were able to pull Tara away from baking and farming for a Q&A about her Tumblr, which uses our Mallow theme.
Where does your passion for baking come from?
My passion for baking stems from a love of working with my hands and watching things transform in the oven. Prior to embarking full time on Smoke Signals I juggled a day job in a bakery, moonlighting as an artist. Although I considered baking a definite craft, I was hesitant to call it an art. When I started my own bakery the two naturally combined in interesting and informative ways. The process of making breads and pastries is an outlet for my self expression and documenting it through media, like Tumblr, adds a strictly visual component. I think of the artist as a mirror for society and chronicling my journey with food is a way of presenting the subject in a reflective and exposing light.
What’s your favorite thing to bake? (Please say pie… please say pie… )
Pie IS my favorite thing to bake. From the moment I realized I could cut pie dough like paper I was hooked on making elaborate crusts. I began putting pie tops on pies that are traditionally open faced just because I like experimenting with the dough so much. It brings me true joy to have my favorite music on and an expanse of crust rolled and ready to be carved into different shapes and sizes. Sweet Potato pie is my favorite to make. I operate a farm with my sweetheart (Paper Crane Farm) and there’s nothing like roasting a freshly harvested sweet potato. They’re wildly creamy, earthy and delicious.
Also, There’s an element of quickness to making a pie that I find gratifying. The breads I bake contain naturally leavened cultures and require long, slow fermentation times. They are much more alive and dynamic than a pie or tart, but often come with their own agendas and demands. When I pull a perfect loaf out of the oven (which doesn’t happen often / we’re our own worst critics) it’s the result of several days labor and attention. A pie doesn’t ask for much more an afternoon filled with love, butter and imagination.
Besides making our mouths water and develop sudden cravings for bread and pie, what do you want people to take away from your Tumblr?
I hope that by seeing my life through the lens of baking others will be inspired to make something to eat! Lol. Really though, it’s that simple. Unfortunately we live in a busy world and most of us lead pretty hectic lives. I bake and farm for a living and even I have difficulty stopping to create a healthy, home cooked meal. We’re seeing increasingly more and more health problems linked to what we eat and are losing plant diversity every time we blink. It’s crucial to block out some time, even if it’s just once a week, to make a meal where you have a relationship to the ingredients. A dinner that has a story, a snack with a childhood history, a sweet treat to share with your neighbor. Making food and sharing it is preservation of culture in action.
Of all the blogging platforms in all the world, why Tumblr?
I chose Tumblr a few years back on the recommendation of a friend. She worked at the local record store and we would go out dancing together. I liked her style and I knew if she thought Tumblr was onto something it must be true. I was immediately grabbed by the simple interface and sleek themes. It looked fresh to me then and still does today.
Why did you pick our Mallow theme for your Tumblr?
My blog is heavily photo driven and I like the way Mallow presents visual content in an organized and professional format. I also highly enjoy the customizable sidebar that allows followers to quickly access important information and social media links. I feel like I get the best of both worlds: a blog that can act as a website and a website that has an immediate and active presence. I think of it as a live business portfolio. On top of all the easy-to-use features, I also value the classic tone of Mallow. It remains both visually current without falling victim to media trends. It’s exactly what I look for in a good loaf of bread: craftsmanship, timelessness and creativity.
Check out Tara’s blog here.
Our demo blog for Mallow is available here.
My latest Q&A subject is a baker of pies and breads. Also, if you’re looking for a fresh, customizable Tumblr theme, look no further than Storyware. I’m using the Mallow theme and it’s pretty slick.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Blog Spotlight: Lindsay Gabler
At Storyware, we love seeing how people use Tumblr to share their passions, express their views, and promote worthy causes. And we’re humbled that many of them choose our themes to help them tell their stories.
We had the opportunity to talk with Lindsay Gabler - lndsygblr, the woman in charge of social media for The Grammys. Lindsay talked with us about what social media means to her and the kinds of things she posts to her Tumblr, which uses our Single A theme.
1) How does being a social media professional affect how you approach your personal social media channels?
Working in social media, it is important for me to not just have accounts on the various social platforms, but to be active. Each platform has a different community and I find that I do my job the best when I truly understand how and why users engage with different content. I am blown away with people who work in social media that are not active on their own personal accounts.
2) How do you decide which social media outlets to use, and which to pass on?
I love learning about new platforms and understanding what makes them really stick with users. Therefore, I at least try out new platforms, but there are only a few that I use daily. The way I decide on which platforms to use is if I am inspired by the content and/or community of each.
3) Why Tumblr?
The Tumblr community is incredibly creative and thoughtful. It is not the same content you find users engaging with on other platforms. I am constantly energized by the way users tell stories and how they utilize text and media to communicate. For me, Facebook is more for personal messages and stories and Twitter focuses on my love of music and technology. Tumblr allows me to be more playful and showcase a variety of my hobbies and inspirations through images, GIFs, quotes, anecdotes, news excerpts and more. By default, Tumblr users are creators.
4) What do you want people to know about you when they visit your site?
I want people to get an idea of what moves and inspires me, what music I love, what makes me laugh, and my food cravings. I hope that people can find joy in the content I share, just as I feel about those that I follow. One day I’m posting about a new digital trend and the next I’m posting a GIF of a grilled cheese sandwich being made. How can you not love a grilled cheese?
4) Your thoughts on the resilience of the animated gif?
GIFs are the perfect bite size piece of content for the limited attention span we have in today’s culture. I find myself constantly skimming. Skimming over articles, through my Twitter timeline, fast forwarding videos, just long enough to get the theme and/or idea. GIFs are able to deliver these messages in seconds.
5) Do you have a favorite gif that makes you crack up every time?
I find myself pulling this GIF up whenever I need a laugh, it gets me every time.
6) Why did you choose Single A for your theme?
When looking for a Tumblr theme, I wanted a two column format and one that was clean and simple that could serve as my website. I also wanted a theme that pulled in my Tweets and showcased links to my other social channels, both of which Single A showcases. In addition, I wanted my ‘Likes’ to be displayed on the right hand column. This fit all my needs and wants.
Check out Lindsay’s blog here.
My Q&A with Lindsay Gabler, the director of social media for The Grammy’s. No biggie.
Yeah, you! Did you know that Tumblr keeps backups of your HTML customizations?
Totally true! If you’re feeling nostalgic about an old version, you can always switch back. Tumblr stores recent versions of your Custom HTML on their Theme Recovery page.
Is that cool or what?!
Yeah, we thought so, too. Carry on, Tumblr!