In this age of Social Media, it’s easy to get obsessed with followers, status and likes.  I’ll be the first to admit that I get discouraged when I “earn” some new Instagram followers only to find, two days later, that my numbers have dropped back down again.

If progress is measured in number of followers, then I’m certainly still in the Dark Ages across ALL of my social media platforms.  However, the bright light that keeps me going is the truly lovely connections I’ve made with  quite a few people here on my blog, and on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Case in point…today, when I opened up my Instagram account, the first thing that popped up was this delightful portrait of me done by a friend in Dublin:

Watercolor portrait of Joana by Emma Montonen

I “met” Emma on Instagram about a year ago and was drawn initially to her beautiful watercolor architecture and landscape paintings.  Along the way I also learned that she’s a kindred spirit in the music world as well – a classically-trained violinist who studied in Helsinki. We’ve chatted over music, her art and my cartoon posts, and when she put out a request for pictures for a portrait project, I jumped at the opportunity and emailed her a photo.

Emma’s openness about her process, her triumphs (and struggles) and where she finds her inspiration is fascinating to me.  Short of being able to hop over the pond to talk art or music over a cup of tea, I’m doing the next best thing by following her blog and keeping up with her Instagram posts.

Being honored with such a lovely portrait is the icing on the cake…and proof that social media works best when it’s about making real connections and finding kindred spirits!

Thank you, Emma!



  1. Martha Heiden says:

    It is nice to find an internet friend that is so talented (just as you are – Love your recipes, cartoons, drawings, etc.).

    • Joana says:

      Hi Martha, Ooh, that means a lot to me! I also appreciate knowing what you enjoy about my blog. It’s a good reminder to post some more recipes – especially since I continue to tweak the things I make these days to make them healthier (less sugar and lower carb.) I hope you are doing well and that your February is off to a nice start! xox – Joana

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen, Emma is really lovely (and talented!) If you do follow her, you should tell her that you’re my friend (and my #1 fan…after my mother, of course. Hee-hee!) I owe you another email, but for now will send lots of love, 🙂 Joana

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