You have a lovely blog and you are an authority in your field (gardener, textile junkie, beader and enthusiastic cook). Why don't you publish a post that simply states you would love to have more followers and provide instructions for how to follow your blog?
You can upload the documents of accepted filetypes like excel documents to your WordPress.com blog using the Add Media icon, particularly for users who wish to upload a document and add its download link to a blog post or page.
1. You can set up email subscriptions by using this guide > http://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/follow-blog-widget/
2. If you would like a follow button to appear on the bottom right hand corner of your site for those who do not have WordPress.com accounts see here >
3. You can set up a customized contact form http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact-form/ on a static page http://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/ or in a text widget http://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/text-widget/ and above that form you can ask those who wish to have their email address "captured" to use it.