The Citizen Rosebud

The last word in style. We sell fresh picked vintage + pre-loves for you to bloom madly.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

20 on +40: The Ragged/Rags Interview



20 on +40 
Note:  To showcase the wide appeal of +40 bloggers that goes beyond their own age-group, I'm starting a new blog  feature, the 20 on +40. This feature will showcase 20 other friends in the community who pick their favorite +40 blogger, interview them, and write about it.  This is the first of the series.
There are so many people who are an integral part of (what I consider) the Rosebud community- and in the thick of it is Terri from Rags Against the Machine. Terri is an academic and her approach towards fashion and style is thoughtful and thought provoking. Her blog posts have an appeal that reaches well beyond her age contemporaries;  Terri engages women of all ages, with her sharp observations and warm personality.  One such reader, a twenty-something blogger  was a natural choice for this new blog series, and that was Meghan from the Philly based blog, Meg's Ragged Edge.   

The Ragged/Rags Interview
by Meghan Edge

I have started this intro over and over during the last few weeks trying to figure out what I could possibly say to introduce Terri from Rags Against the Machine to you. I get stuck because she's been such a big part of my blogging life and I can't figure out how to say in words how supportive, kind and fun a friend she's been to me. I feel like I've been a part of her adventures and we even had a few together- like that time we both hula-hooped on camera for our blogs! She's one of the nicest people that I know but she also won't lie to you. When Bella asked which 40+ blogger I wanted to interview, there was only one in my mind: Terri.


Meghan: I remember your outfits having a more casual feel in the earlier days of your blog. I know for me, most of my outfit posts are taken as I'm heading out to work. Are we seeing a lot of your work outfits? Have you started dressing a little more formally from having a blog? How has your style changed over the years?

Terri: My outfits were more casual in the beginning.  I've lived most of my life as a t-shirt and jeans sort of girl/woman.  However, at my age now, that is a sure recipe for blending into the crowd, exactly what I don't want to do.  I really enjoy dressing up and am often comfortable in dressier clothing.  I just could never really afford it before all of our brood of children (8 of them) were raised.  My adult daughters love that I am interested in style and fashion and I think they are as surprised by this development in my late years as I am!

Meghan: I am an avid DIYer and I know that you DIY, too. I've been thinking a lot lately about how DIYers are ripping off large companies and large companies are ripping off artists and generally how one person creates something and there is a domino effect of social media (everyone pins it, shares it, tweets it,makes one) and suddenly a company will have a version of whatever it is. Do you think DIY contributes to the fast fashion trend with the advent of social media? I think it does a little. I remember the first time I saw something in a store and realized they'd ripped off someone on a crafting website. 

Terri: Hm, I think this could go both ways.  Companies rip-off true artists.  Wendy Brandes rings are an example of this.  But, if I glue a scrabble letter to a ring form and wear it, am I taking her idea?  I'm really sensitive I think to illegitimate copy-catting from years as a teacher of writing.  I see value in "intellectual property," but I also see value in sharing an idea.  An idea is not copyrightable, though the expression of the idea IS. I know on Pinterest, I have pinned things that I think I could make...but I often don't, simply for lack of time.  Lately, I've been making "lint balls" from recycled wool.  These balls are made from discarded wool items, wrapped up with un-spun wool.  And, they take the place of static reducing products in the dryer.  A green alternative.


Meghan: Over the last few years, you have occasionally blogged about being invisible. I am not a 40+ blogger but I have felt invisible from time to time, too. Just from letting go and not paying attention to myself, not taking care of me. Have you had a lot of younger bloggers reach out to you on feeling invisible?  I ask because I feel that with the internet and blogging trends it is both easier to be seen and be yourself, but it is also easier to be bullied or feel not good enough. I also feel like you and I were both using our blogs (in the beginning) to rid ourselves of the same type of invisibility despite our age difference.

Terri: No, I no longer feel invisible, but I'm fairly certain that this feeling began with my position of being the family photographer.  Everyone loves to look at photos of themselves and it simply never occurred to family members that it would be appropriate to return the favor.  I remember when out of the blue someone at Forbes put me on a list of blogs for professional women to watch.  I was mortified, as I'd only been blogging for a couple of months and still liked my anonymity!  I signed up for my first 30 for 30 challenge as a way to deal with this and what you saw in November, 2010, is like my usual work wardrobe.  Some sort of button down blouse, a skirt, and modest heels.  Often a jacket. 

 I 've realized though that since my colleagues know I keep this blog that they often comment on my looks now, and before that didn't always happen.  I'm aware that some of my colleagues have stepped up their game too.  I think now that I do give more importance to appearance than I once did.  For many years, I preferred to be recognized for my expertise.  And believe me, creative writing students really don't care what I wear!
One or two younger bloggers have e-mailed me with questions about my "mature" perspective on things--my thoughts on my youngest daughter's tattoos for one, but never advice on the self-esteem or body image issues.  Patti's Visible Mondays have been a great boost for many bloggers my age and younger.
I have gone through periods of wanting to disappear, for example after the youngest daughter's wedding.  I had my makeup professionally done for that event, but when I saw the photos, I was mortified.  I felt like the makeup actually enhanced my age.  And I didn't blog for three months after!  I guess that was a bit of a self-esteem problem, huh?


Meghan: This is a cliche question (although so is the one above) but I was wondering what advice do you have for other bloggers? Not just older or younger, or newer or veteran. What advice do you have for everyone? Are there things you wished you'd heard when you first started blogging?

Terri: Yes, I have some advice.  When I began, I was greatly intimidated by all of the info that was circulating on how to increase your stats.  There were terms like SEO, and all kinds of social media platforms that seemed really confusing to me.  Gradually I realized that these posts were for people who hoped to make money from their blogs.  That has never been my goal...and I wished I'd learned to tune out all this unsolicited advice from the very beginning and just continue to enjoy my exploration of fashion.  I wanted the freedom to make a fool of myself and learn from my own mistakes.  I have really been seeking friendship and community.
I remember too, worrying when I hit the 150 follower mark.  I'd read an article about how a person really cannot maintain significant relationships with more than 150 people.  I worried that the quality of my blogging and my relationships with followers would begin to suffer.  What I've come to realize is that in real life and in blog life, people come and go.  I pride myself on having a circle of loyal followers and on NOT selling them anything.  I've watched this happen in education.  We've commodified students to the detriment of the quality of the education they receive.  I want to have human relationships with both my students and my readers...and never want to have to think of humans as a "market."

This interview is just a little peek into Terri's awesome blog and life. She is an amazing lady and she's also incredibly friendly in a world where bloggers can seem intimidating, so hop on over to Rags Against the Machine and say hi.  You won't regret it! 
Meghan Edge is a professional blogger and marketing coordinator  who blogs about her lifestyle, DIY projects and thrifty finds at Meg'sRagged Edge. She is also currently working on a series of paranormal romance books.
#

35 comments:

Please may I? said...

Great interview hun

x x

Sacramento Amate said...

Brilliant inteview, Bella.
You, together with Ari are given us all a voice.
You are magic, my dear friend.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Loved the interview! I think Terri has been an inspiration to many of us! She does a top notch job!

Krista said...

Great interview Meghan asked some really good questions, Terri is a wise beautiful woman!

kaffesoester said...

Terri is such a fantastic woman, educated, stylish and beautiful! It's great to learn more about her, Megan did a great job!

Vix said...

What a fantastic read! Terri is just lovely and thoroughly deserves to be treated like the superstar she is! Meghan asked some great questions, she's wise beyond her years! x

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

I just love this idea.

Very interesting to read.

Bisous
Suzanne

That's Not My Age said...

This is a fantastic idea, and a fantastic interview! You're the champion of 40+ bloggers - good for you!

Kristina said...

Fantastic Bella. And I really like the idea of this new feature. It gives us a little glimpse into people behind blogs.

Melanie said...

Since I discovered blogs I've been a follower of Terri. Her outfits run the gamut from playful to professional, and her wit and smarts keep me coming back for more Rags. Her investigations into the fashion industry and retailers have been incredible. Thanks for this, Meghan, and thanks, Bella, for SEEING everyone, young and old! You are awesome!

Lynne DeVenny said...

TERRI! I love Terri so much. As an English Lit major, I really appreciate the articulate and insightful approach she takes in her post. I always learn something, or have something to ponder.

Also, Terri has no idea how absolutely stunning she is, which sometimes makes my mouth hang open, because if I looked like Terri I'd be so much more obnoxious - there would be pics of me all over the place! :)

gracefully50.com said...

what a great interview! Terri IS awesome!!

Marla said...

Yes, really a great interview.

Sheila said...

I love Terri!

Excellent interview and I love the concept of having the series of interviews. Looking forward to more!

Joni said...

I love Terri's quote on the first photo with her lying on the park bench. I've enjoyed following her (you) and truly miss her posts.
What a great interview! What a fantastic community of nurturing women.

Terri said...

Bella--so many thanks to you for coming up with this idea. Meg was among my very first readers...and it was quite an honor that we were paired up.

Veshoevius said...

Bella what a wonderful idea and a wonderful interview with one of my personal favourites! Some real gems here from Terri, I love her blog for so many reasons - but mostly this is a woman with a sharp and critical mind who questions the world of fashion and consumerism, and by doing so encourages her readers to do the same.
I really like this idea because I remember at age 20 being fascinated with older women and seeking their friendship and advice. These days its so often the case that a great divide in the generational gap is what media tends to focus on. Look forward to the next one.

edie pop said...

Terri has a great sense of style, she's stunning and I'm glad that Meghan introduced her to us!Beautiful interview!
xxx

Heather Fonseca said...

Great concept Bella! And it created a really interesting article with very cool questions and answers. Love it!

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

I am thrilled to see a feature on the brilliant Terri! Thank you. Her perspectives are among the most fascinating and intelligent I have ever come across.

Bella, what a fantastic series you have planned, I'm so looking forward to future instalments! Genius idea.

Meghan Edge said...

Thank you so much Bella and Terri for this awesome opportunity. :-) It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to do it!

CityScape Skybaby said...

I really enjoyed this interview and could relate to a lot of it Bella. I'm looking forward to seeing what else you've got planned for future interviews and I'll definitely be visiting Terri's blog. She sounds a very interesting woman and Meghan did a great job of interviewing her. xx

The Style Crone said...

I love this new feature, Bella. And very fitting that you start with Terri, one of my favorite bloggers who I have followed since I began blogging. I am an ardent fan. I admire her thoughtful posts and her intelligent and open perspectives on a multitude of topics.

You continue to amaze me with your new ideas and warm and inclusive 'Rosebud Community.'

Forest City Fashionista said...

This is such a great idea Bella! I enjoyed learning more about Teri's thoughts on blogging, and am looking forward to reading the other interviews. You are such a great supporter of the 40+ blogger community - I feel privileged to be a part of it!

Thrifted Shift said...

I really enjoyed reading this interview and can't wait to see more!

Misfits Vintage said...

Fantastic interview - GREAT questions! I'm looking forward to more in this series - thanks Bella, Megan and Terri! Sarah xxx

seƱora Allnut said...

it's always interesting to read Terry's opinions about blogging and life, she's wise and honest and love her 'friendship & community' attitude!
besos y gracias

Patti said...

Wonderful feature, B! I have been a fan of Terri's for years - her posts always educate me as well as show me some fabulous outfit she pulled together. She's a treasure, as are you. thanks for sharing the fabulousness with Visible Monday!

sabine said...

a great post and wonderful photos of terri! thank you

Style Agent 909 said...

Terri's blog is great hope her wrist is better soon.
Great idea you have here Bella. Can't wait to read the other interviews.

Tamera Beardsley said...

Bella you are forever the provider of inspiration and championing your 'Rosebud Community'.I am always refreshed with Terri's writings and skilled intellect.

On a different note, I was so inspired by your oxblood post that i read last night...i am now the proud owner of a bag in just that color..I needed a bag for my trip to Europe next week...and found the color inspiration to be the perfect choice to bridge the browns and blacks of my traveling wardrobe.

Thank you Bella for the many ways in which you inspire!

odysseyhome.com said...

What a cool lady. I'll check out her blog. Great interview, Bella!

fashionoverfifty said...

Thanks Bella and Megan! Terri was one of the first blogs I identified with and was consistently impressed with her photos, wit and style. A blogger friend from the beginning ~

Anne @ The Frump Factor said...

Wonderful interview. We all love Terri and her blog -- it was a joy to read her comments in this kind of format.

Anne @ The Frump Factor said...

Great interview! Terri's blog is such a joy for those of us who love fashion AND food for thought. Thanks for featuring her.

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