PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

16 years, 1000 blog posts

16 years ago today, I hit ‘publish’ on my first post to this blog. Short and sweet, I said:

I hope I’ll be inspired to be more creative by keeping track of my crafts here.

I think I succeeded in that hope! Here are just a few of my favourite projects from the past 16 years:

a variety of craft projects by June Gilbank: crochet, punchneedle, papercraft, polymer clay, knittingClockwise from top left: crocheted orangutan and punchneedle embroidery globe, papercraft flowers, polymer clay R2-D2 and BB-8, knitted sweaters

And, 6 years ago, on my 10th blogiversary, I said:

Little did I know that this blog would change my life and my career path, allow me to build a successful business, and help me to meet some of my best friends and inspiring crafters all over the world. PlanetJune (the business, and my career) has all come about as a direct result of starting a little blog as a way to document the things I make, way back in 2006.

That is so true! Thanks in large part to this blog, I stumbled into becoming first a crochet designer, then a full-time self-employed business owner, then a published author, and paid teacher, speaker, YouTuber… Would PlanetJune even exist today if I hadn’t started this blog?! Probably not.

A Thousand Posts in 16 Years

This, today, is my 1000th post. That seems like an impossibly large number, but it’s only an average of 5.2 posts per month (for 192 months)! Right from the start, I vowed to only ever post when I have something to say, so I never followed the typical advice to post on a regular schedule. In my early fast-paced youthful days I’d sometimes post 2 or 3 times a week; these days, it’s more like 2 or 3 times a month, but I’m still here, and still going.

I’ve just looked back to some of those early posts, and my writing style has definitely evolved over the past 600,000 words. (That’s enough words to fill eight 300-page novels – it’s no wonder I’ve developed as a writer…)

My blog has been there through everything with me, slow and steady, chronicling my progress and sharing my creative ideas with you. I’ve made friends from all over the world and bonded over our shared love of crochet, crafting, animals and nature.

wildlife photos by June Gilbank: lion, peacock butterfly

Life can be hard, but when you can make lovely things and appreciate the wonders of nature, it always makes life feel that little bit better, don’t you think?

In today’s fast-paced world of stress and social media, I hope I can provide a little oasis of calm from the overwhelm every now and then, and I’m honoured that you choose to spend a little time with me here.

The Rise and Fall of Craft Blogging

Blogging has changed a lot since I first started in 2006. There was no social media at all back then, and the craft blogosphere and forums were the main ways that crafty types met online, made friends, and shared ideas and projects. People would flock to new blog posts, nobody expected your photos to be professional quality, and you’d get lots of affirming comments whenever you posted. It was, simply, fun!

In 2013, Google Reader (the main way people kept track of blogs they followed) closed down, and blogs were ‘replaced’ by social media. Was this the end for blogs? Who would bother to visit my blog when they could see so much more stuff in one place on Facebook, or Instagram, or Pinterest..?

Never one to follow the trends, I stuck with blogging anyway, and I’m so glad I did. I have all the usual social accounts (I’m @planetjune everywhere if you want to follow me) but I really like writing: crafting a post slowly, and editing it multiple times before I hit ‘publish’.

Blogging just fits me. It’s slower, more thoughtful, and longer-lasting. Social media is fleeting – if you miss something when I first post it on a social account, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see it – but you can browse through my 16 years of blog posts (or choose a category to browse through, or search for something specific) at any time. Or when you google for something, a post I wrote over a decade ago may still be relevant and pop up for you:

Shrinkydinks Rings by PlanetJunee.g. google “shrinkydinks rings” and my tutorial from 2008 is still the first result!

An Oasis of Calm

These days, most of the remaining crochet and craft blogs are jam-packed full of ads. Those ad boxes are the primary source of income for many designers, but isn’t it frustrating when a pattern, tutorial or recipe is constantly interrupted by ads?

I find it so jarring, so I’ve stubbornly stood my ground about keeping PlanetJune ad-free, even though I’m leaving hundreds – maybe thousands – of dollars per month on the table. My goal in life (and business) isn’t to make the most money by any means possible, and it just seems wrong for me to make money at the expense of your comfort… so, I don’t!

I hope you appreciate the refreshing ad-free experience here. 🙂

Thank You!

Although very few people leave comments on blogs any more, that just makes it more of a delight every time someone does leave me a comment. And every now and then I get an email from a reader who’s still out there, reading and appreciating, and sending me their own news in return – that always makes my day.

So, friend, whether you’ve been with me since the early blogosphere days or you just found PlanetJune this year, I’m so happy you’re here, and I hope you’ll stick around to see what comes next!

Cheers! 🥂

17 Comments »

  1. Debra Whitbeck said

    Please keep writing and posting!! I’ve been a fan for years!

  2. Marilyn said

    Just coming to agree with all the previous comments and let you know how much I’ve appreciated your blog for tutorials and pictures and stories. I love the ad-free space and the more thoughtful, long-format writing. You’ve helped me learn many crochet techniques since I was newly married, and now I’m starting to introduce my daughters to your methods and patterns as well! Thank you for all you do!

  3. Marcia Johnson said

    Dear June. I thoroughly enjoy no ads. I have a few of your patterns and am waiting for my order of the stuffing tool, which I could have used today. I tried the squirrel pattern but I got confused with some of it so I put it away for now. I just started crocheting this year, am 81 years old, a retired RN and a caregiver for a 97 year old friend who is bedridden so I don’t get out much and I needed something more to do with my time at home caring for her. I have been doing Amigurumi lately but I have arthritis in my hands so I have a little trouble sometimes with the pain. Your videos on uTube have been a tremendous help for me in my Amigurumi venture so thanks for doing them and keep up the wonderful work you are doing. Lots of crocheters recommend you so you are quite popular and well thought of. No wonder you have been around so long on your blog. I will continue to follow you for as long as I am able. Thanks for all you help. Marcia

  4. June said

    Thank you all so much for leaving such lovely comments on this post! This is like those ‘good old days’ of blogging all over again – it proves I’m not just talking into the void; you actually read what I write! And there’s lots more to come, I promise 🙂

  5. Miriam P. said

    You are a treasure, June. Happy 1000th blog post and here’s to many more in the coming years!!

  6. Hermione Impett said

    Hi, I found your site a couple of years ago and have been following along since. I love reading your posts, even if I don’t usually comment. I love seeing the things you create and appreciate the patterns you share. Thank you for all your creative inspiration and dedication to everyone who follows your posts. Stay safe and healthy and keep posting so I can keep reading. Wishing you all the best

  7. Jennifer said

    Thank you for writing your blog (and for staying ad free!), and congratulations on your milestone! I don’t comment very often, but I always read your posts and enjoy them! = )

  8. Ruth R Lister said

    Congratulations June on reaching some more milestones on your blogging journey, and for sticking to your guns in regard to pop up ads. They are definitely so annoying, and I much rather going to your website, or to Ravelry or Etsy, and paying for a pattern, rather than plowing through all that guff.
    I love too that we are not being bombarded every other day with email.
    I took up crochet again in 2014 after a 40+ year hiatus. I realised that I would need an interest in retirement, so I picked up my crochet hooks and started making toys and assorted winter woolies for extended family and charity. Fortunately, somehow, I happened across your patterns June, and have invested in and used a number of them over the years. I love that your patterns are well written and easy to follow. You give so much detail and help is available if required. It’s a no brainer! 🤷‍♀️
    Thank you for the great service that you offer to fellow crafters and the time you take to support, encourage and generally make life easier for new crafters.
    Kind regards
    Ruth

  9. Nancy Faraday said

    Congratulations on 1000 posts. I have learned so much from your tutorials over the years – almost everything I know about how to make well finished amigurumi and other crocheted projects. I constantly come back to see what there is to learn or to admire. Thank you so very much.

  10. Katy K said

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I found your website while looking for a pattern for a lemon, that was 7 years ago! I was a beginner back then, self taught, and your patterns (and books) have helped me become a much better crocheter! Your website is first stop when looking for a new pattern! Thanks for continuing to do things your way!

  11. Hello! I just read your super good chronicle today , and tought I write you à few words.I want to congratulations you forestier being here and to have improved all slogan those years. I come on your website from time to time, always read your email you send , and bought a couples or you patterns…Its true mI write comments a lot, but its mainly on uoutube and Instagram. But, for me, you are one of the ” pionniers , the first cool designers of amigurumis that we always can count on for ” classic” looks, good quality, and good prices on amigurumis patterns. I wish you à Happy continuing crafty life with lots of good surprises along the way Chantale Perron, Montréal, Canada ( sorry for English mistakes , my first langage is French)

  12. Elizabeth Kelp said

    Good morning, June! Thank YOU for sharing your practical knowledge, patterns, techniques for crocheting. I prefer amigurumi that are close to natural, and your patterns are just wonderful. The comparison of hook size, and yarn sizes are scientifically done, easy to understand, and also very helpful. Your communication style is personal and pleasant, yet professional. Keep up the great work.
    Sincerely, Beth

  13. Thanks for all the years of quality posts. I appreciate the ad free zone that this is. Sometimes I can’t even read a post from the blogs that are littered with advertisements. I love your patterns and all the work you do to produce such quality work and I’m always looking forward to whatever you come up with next.

  14. Pauline said

    Hi,

    Just want to tell you that you are so right, you are the only blog that do not use ads, I am so happy for sticking with you for all these years.I very much appreciate every time you write to us. I hope you never stop writing to us! Have a very very long career and good health.

  15. .: petrOlly :. said

    Happy anniversary and I wish you many more years of successful crafting business. I do appreciate your blog and shop being ad-free. I enjoy the close and friendly contact with you, and of course your patterns as well. The planet of PlanetJune is a very cool place to be 🙂

  16. Congratulations on sticking with it for so long, and on your own terms! I think I missed my own blogiversary (I feel like I have two – September 2005 when I started a Livejournal that I kept up sporadically, and June 2007 when I started the self hosted WordPress blog I still have today). I miss those days of spending a long time crafting a single post. Most of my writing energy goes to my day job these days, but I still make sure to show up weekly to Polka Dot Cottage, because maybe someday I’ll be able to do that full time again and I’d hate to come back to a ghost town 🙂
    Happy Blogging!

    • June said

      I’m still following you, Lisa, and looking forward to the day you have more time to blog again (whenever that may be…) 🙂

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