Checking In, Links, and an Unscientific Instagram Study

Hey, everyone!  I’m happy to say that I’ve been plugging away at projects here in the “new house” (the family and I still call it that).  While the to-do list is still as long as sitting through a piano recital, I am pleased that we’re making progress.  Having our first dinner guests over recently was a kick in the motivation pants I was needing.  The dining room, finally free of moving boxes and stacks of art, was dreamy to dine in at night with the pretty chandy aglow and a vase full of dogwood blossoms.  Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 2.25.12 PMAnd, nope, we didn’t serve quesadillas as the dining room was designed for.  We had burritos, decidedly more sophisticated than q-dillas, with cashew-salsa verde sauce and pico de gallo, and chocolate cake and raspberries.

Having guests over in our new place and watching all the kids laughing around the whole house filled me with joy.

I’ve made the decision over the last few weeks that I’d work on the house with the few free hours I have instead of blogging.  Am I considered a blogger anymore?  Whoops.  But I do feel like I am at a point where I can show in-progress photos of the house–if I wait until the rooms are finished, I wouldn’t post for years.

Also, I need to post the last stop on the loft tour.

Speaking of which, thank you to my friend Myquillyn for featuring my loft tour recently on her Saturday Bird Watching post!

She is living exciting times right now with the launch of her family’s new encouragement website hope*ology and her new book The Nesting Place, which you can pre-order on Amazon, coming out the end of the month!

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.42.38 PMI’ve pre-ordered mine, and I can’t wait to get it.  She was the first decorating blog I found, way back in 2007.  I’ve loved watching her grow her blog into a successful business and now a book–blessings and talent for sure!  We also love advertising our cottage on her blog each summer.  Thank you, Myquillyn!

Thank you, also to Erika Ward of BluLabelBungalow, who wrote the sweetest post about her family’s stay at the cottage recently.  Erika, Erika, she is like a calm, radiant angel with a wicked sense of humor.  I loved working with her on Room Service Atlanta, an organization that she and Dayka Robinson co-created to coordinate designers with service projects for those in need of beautiful surroundings.

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.20.42 PMAfter seeing this photo on her blog of little Cam’s cheeks, I should have crashed their mountain weekend for some baby love.

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.22.29 PMphotos | BluLabelBungalow

Thankfully I didn’t have to suffer long for a baby fix…

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 9.23.27 PMphoto | Fieldstone Hill  Instagram

I had some quality time with Georgia Lu, who brought her mommy along, in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay.  My friend Natalie, from 4th grade, and I made a road trip out of it and just swung into Pennsylvania to see Darlene’s historic stone house before settling in on the bay.  People, it’s gorgeous and full of the charms old homes bring.  I don’t know why this bellissima signora doesn’t show us around her house more.

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.34.14 PM

I took this photo whilst resting on Dar’s vintage silk sectional, sipping coffee and falling under the spell of this room.  She’s got skills and a husband who baked us two loaves of homemade bread to take on our girl trip.  Seriously.

So while I’m away from the blog here, I am still making appearances on Instagram.  I told my friend in the middle of the Great Instagram Boom of 2014 (when my feed grew substantially from Jenny’s endorsement), that soon a mass exodus would occur when everyone realized who they started following.  And I was right!

I love being right.

It wasn’t until I posted this photo that I noticed I was losing followers with every new post–offensive, ill-compositioned oranges:

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.13.51 PM

Hmm, I thought, this is fascinating!  So I embarked on a week of charting “unfollows” corresponding with each new photo I posted, just to see if there was a trend–because this social media stuff is so interesting to me.  While I was so tempted to post shocking or calculated photos, I didn’t because I felt it was manipulative.  So I just posted photos as I normally do, in the moment and spontaneous.

The first one was my husband biking at sunrise on the beach.  ”Hey, sweetie, your photo cost me five followers right away!”  He loved hearing that, ha!

But the photo that cost me the most was interestingly the one in which I proclaimed, “free da be me.”

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.13.16 PM

I’m free to be me, but not everyone will like it–especially if they think those are my legs and bottom, with a stick up my rear.  Or they hate Frida.  Those red stems belong to my partial mannequin not me.

The photo of our powder room resulted in the fewest unfollows.

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 1.23.45 PM

From my official study, I’ve determined outdoors/family/silliness lose the most followers among my group.  Interiors lose the fewest.  I know, you’re asking, don’t you have better things to do, Angela?

It is just so interesting!  While I’m sure people are just mainly cleaning up their feed, my imagination can’t help but create a scene of my photo popping up on a person’s feed and she screws her face up in disgust, pulls her pointed finger above her head before plunging it down on the “unfollow” button, and yells, “darn you, angenigma, and your germy kids–no more!”  Or something like that.

But enough about the people who left the party early, I’m so grateful that such personalized communities exist–and I adore the interaction with others on my photos and the photos of people I follow.  If you follow my Instagram feed, thank you for the coming along for the ride where I’m free da be me!

I will be enjoying the dogwoods until next post. Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 12.04.40 PM

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  1. Michelle says:

    I love ALL your instagram photos. It’s my TPH fix in between blog posts. You are always inspirational. Unfollowers just don’t know what they’re missing.

  2. Eliza says:

    I am with Michelle — I just started following you (and learned about you from LGN), but I LOVE your instas, including the free-da-be-me post. I am totally inspired by your home(s) and your style. What you do is elegant with pizzaz. I just love how you see such interesting possibilities and then you execute them so beautifully. I am building a house and your ikea kitchen with custom doors has inspired me to do the same — my builder is gonna HATE me, but I don’t care! I shall think of your Frida socks and press forward with confidence. It seems like you have done several ikea/custom collaborations with your carpenter. Do you have any advice for four novices (me, my builder & his carpenter and then the Ikea kitchen designer) before we do this? The thing that makes me nervous is, with so many people in the mix – there are a lot of chances for things to go wrong. It’s that glorious price tag that is the real incentive.
    I give you and your insta feed five stars! You are a true original. Thanks for posting – here and on your instagram account!

    • Thank you, Eliza, for the encouragement and kind words!

      All the best on the IKEA-custom hybrid kitchen–exciting! I don’t know that I have any great advice about the process except communicating very well about expectations and pricing to know exact cost savings. It all went smoothly for us–very basic kitchen configuration, nothing fancy. I hope it all goes well for you!

  3. Laurie says:

    Ditto the raves above. I never comment, but I also came from LGN. You and Jenny seem to have a similar style, which I’m slowly working into my home. Does your style have a name? I’m thinking “collected eclectic.” And, yes, those of us that remain avid IG followers want (nay, NEED!) to see your new home!

    • Thank you! Ha, I don’t know what my style is…Multiple Personalities??? I’m getting better about identifying what stirs me up–vintage, a little kitsch, art references, and classic elements. And, COLOR!!!

  4. I discovered your blog from Jenny as well and I love following you on Instagram. You don’t flood it, your pictures are real (ie. not styled up the wazoo just for Instagram) and you seem like a genuine person. I find analysing that sort of stuff fascinating as well though so I totally get it!

    • Good, Catherine, I’m happy you get it, too!! The psychology behind it all is fascinating–from the poster’s side to the follower’s side, which I’m both. It’s not at all that I’m sad that I’m not pleasing everyone (impossible, of course!). But I do love those who appreciate the same offbeat beauty like i do. My husband is ready for me to be done analyzing and theorizing about this, ha!

  5. Helene says:

    I discovered your blog from LGN and i really like it, though still don’t follow on IG. (I just follow my real life friends on every social media, sorry…)
    I like the pictures you posted anyway.
    This comment was just to mention, if you want to analyse your feed and the reactions the gained followers/lost followers etc.
    Thanks for taking the time to write your blog, it’s appreciated by those who read you!

  6. From the perspective of someone who loved you and your red-legged-stick-up-butt-mannequin-self, I say it will all balance out in the end. If nothing else, hundreds of thousands of people got clued into the fabulousness that is Angela and Angela’s house by Jenny’s post!

    Glad to be one of the 97 you follow ;)

    P.S. You were in PA recently? Where? More importantly, were you near me?!?!

  7. If it is any consolation, I got a ton of Instagram followers today after you posted. But never fear, they shall all depart as soon as they realize I post unreasonable amounts of baby pictures. What can I say? I cannot help myself. Consequences be damned.

    My hubby is thrilled to have made the Angenigma’s blog. He is baking me some gluten free bread as I type… wanna come over?

    Miss you already. I do a ridiculous happy dance every time you post. It looks a bit as if I have a rod in my rear…

  8. Nichole says:

    Hmm…Interesting that people unfollow you for those posts. I find myself wanting to unfollow some of my “friends” more than the blogging instagramers I follow. I find that if a blog is informative and artistic enough to elicit many followers, then generally that bloggers instagrams will be the same. Maybe a lot of my “friends” aren’t that interesting? am a military wife who is on the move constantly, actually we will me moving again in 2 months, so I am always happy to find a blog or instagram that can give me inspiration in decorating yet another house. Although I will admit it is often frustrating because I am generally renting so I cannot change things to look as beautiful as the inspiration I get from yours and blogs like yours. Keep posting what suits your personality and the right people will still follow.

  9. this is hilarious. and strangely enough, i just realized i already follow you on IG. :)

  10. I started following you from LGN as well. Your house is pretty great but sometimes I forget who you are when you post on insta just because the posts aren’t design related. I don’t really care either way. Although, inspiration pics more often would be cool too!!

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