miscellaneous

10 year blogiversary

I didn’t ever keep a journal or diary when I was growing up.  I tried a couple of times, but was always so embarrassed when I re-read what I’d written that I quickly ripped it up into tiny pieces.  So it often surprises me that I have kept on blogging – now for 10 whole years! I discovered craft blogs when I was searching for a pattern for a fabric headband.  I found one by Heather Bailey, and that rapidly sent me down the rabbit hole.  The blogroll led me to one blog, then another, then another.  I bought chenille online from Jodie, and she encouraged me to start my own blog.

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My first blog entries were about bags and clothes I’d sewn for Clare.  I was quite pregnant with Stella when I started blogging.  Back then I was sewing simple chenille and fabric square cot quilts for the babies that were entering my family and friends’ lives.  I learned to crochet, and started off with scarves and hats.

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I was sewing pillowcase dresses, yet more fabric bags, and various craft items.  My sewing room was still being set up and organised.  I took headless photos so that I wouldn’t be identified – that seems hilarious to me now!  I took part in online quilting bees, posted vintage crochet photos, sewed for the girls and for myself.  I did pattern testing, was part of “blog hops”, and improved my ICT skills.

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The blog started in February, and Stella was born at the beginning of June.  So I’ve been blogging for all of her life!  Many of you have watched my kids grow up.  Clare from a pre-schooler to a teenager, now in year 9.  Stella from birth to almost ten years old!  All those cliches about time flying – they’re true.

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Right from the start, I began to meet people online.  Fellow crafters and crocheters and talented quilters.  I gradually began to meet online friends in person.  Weekend sewing weekends away started.  Other crafty gatherings.  I found more blogs about garment sewing, and shifted back from general craft and quilting to what I had been doing all my life – sewing clothes for myself.  And I met more and more people.  Many of these people are now among my closest friends and I love them dearly.

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I have learned a great deal about sewing while I’ve been blogging.  The blog scene has changed over the years, with much less commenting and even much less posting on blogs as many have moved over to instagram.  Some of my favourite sewing blogs have now been inactive for a long, long time, but others have sprung up in their place.  I have gone through a number of hair colour and style changes and have clearly gained, lost, and regained a lot of weight!

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As much as I love instagram, to me there is nothing that quite beats the detail you can find in a blog, and the friendships that you can form.  It’s that community – the great parts and even the snark.  Sure, we won’t like everyone who sews just because they sew.  But it’s a great starting point.  And it’s allowed my textile interests to blossom.  No longer am I that kid sitting in my Nanna’s lounge room reading back copies of Golden Hands Monthly.  I am sewing, crocheting, quilting, crafting, and sharing what I’m doing with people who are interested, encouraging and enthusiastic.  My skills have definitely gone up a notch or two or three, and I feel part of something.

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Visit to Style Arc

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And that’s due to all of you.  Thanks go to those of you who blog yourselves, and share so much.  Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, whether you are able to take the opportunity to comment or not.  My life has been enriched by the sewing blog community.  Ten years ago I never would have dreamed that this would be such a wonderful part of my life.  Thank you.

Style Arc Goldie skirt and Olive top with Fadanista Sneaky Shrug (all fabrics are remnants)

family · miscellaneous · musings

And just like that…

So, it’s 2017!  Just like that!

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

(This blog post will feature random photos from the year).

I still have over 30 garments from 2016 that have not yet been blogged.  Gulp.  I have finally made it as far as getting photos for most of them and uploading them to Flickr, so maybe while we’re away I can get a few of them up here on the blog.  It would be nice to get that done before February.

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

Did you notice that “away” sentence?  I think that mentioned a few times now – we’re heading off overseas for three weeks!  We depart on Thursday for Thailand, heading first to Bangkok for a couple of nights (if the planets align I might be able to catch up with Meg while we’re there), then taking an overnight train to Vientiane, Laos.  We have five nights there, then move to Luang Prabang (also Laos) for six nights, then fly back across to Chiang Mai, Thailand for another seven nights (I’m hoping to catch up with Gaye again while we’re there).  We are SO looking forward to it.  (And yes we do have a house/dog sitter staying while we are away so we are not telling potential burglers about an empty house – because it won’t be!)

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I do plan to blog about our holiday regularly while we’re away, depending on available time and wifi access, so those people who come here for the sewing, I’m letting you know in advance that for most of January this blog will primarily be about our family travels!

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

Last time we visited Thailand the girls were 11 and 7 years old respectively.  This time Clare will be 14 (her birthday is on that overnight train) and Stella will be 9.  They are equally excited about our travels, and we’re fortunate that both of them travel very well.

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We all feel very much in need of this holiday.  My husband has been in his current job for over a year now, and this will be his first proper break.  There has been quite a bit of interstate travel involved for him over the past year, which he doesn’t really enjoy, and he’s looking forward to this trip very much.  I tend to do all the holiday organisation and planning, so he can sit back and do some reading and some exploring and just enjoy.

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Clare goes into Year Nine at school once we’re back.  She’s doing very well academically, has made a great group of friends with common interests and I thought that many of you would be interested to know that she won the Year 8 Design Technology (what many of us know as Textiles) award this year.  Stella will go into Grade Four, with teachers she’s had before and we know will bring out her best.  She’s at a small primary school of around 200 kids, and we all benefit from the close community that it provides.  She’s had a great year culminating in her first dance concert, where she really did show off her natural movement and expression.  And finally she really gets reading – hooray!

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

I anticipate that the girls will be busy with their usual activities during 2017.  Camps with Girl Guides, music lessons, dance classes, school productions, copious amounts of time playing Sims or Minecraft.

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

And me?  After we get back from holidays (there’s that wonderful word again) I go straight into starting a new job.  It was very sad to leave my current one, as I deeply value many of my colleagues, but the new job was an offer that I just couldn’t resist.  It’s three days per week (I was doing two days previously, but often more with other contract work or additional days) and I figure that it will take me quite a while to get used to it.  I’m looking forward to being involved in bigger picture issues, and extending on my current skills.  It’s an exciting time yet I’m also quite nervous.

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

There will be social occasions with my sewing friends.  Thanks goodness for blogs and instagram!  Melbourne has a wonderful group of fun, intelligent, creative and clever people who just love sewing and love to talk about it – especially in conjunction with food and drink.  Thanks to all of you!  I already have a few weekends away planned – one with the “school mums”, two to Sewjourn.  I love all these women.  They add so much to my life.  I will be ever grateful to the internet for turning what could easily be a solitary hobby into the opportunity to meaningfully connect with others.

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

As for sewing goals?  Well, they change all the time.  I need to do another wardrobe purge.  I will need some dressier clothes for my new job, so will need to shift the proportions of casual versus more formal in my wardrobe.  I’ve also put on quite a bit of weight this year, and doubt it will vanish any time soon, so need to get rid of any clothes that are a bit too small and/or uncomfortable.

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

There will always be sewing.  My main aim will be to use what I have as much as possible.  To enjoy that time searching in my stash for the right fabric to go with the right pattern.  There is so much in there that I love!  And I haven’t used up all of the fabric I bought the last time I was in Chiang Mai.  I have many patterns just crying out to be sewn.  Speaking of my fabric stash and sewing room, it was recently featured on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog.  Many thanks to them for asking me  to take part.

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

I never quite know how to adequately thank those of you who read my blog, and those of you who also manage to leave comments!  I don’t always respond as much as I’d like to, and that is something I plan to change.  I really enjoy and appreciate our interactions, and reading other people’s blogs is always a highlight of my day.  Yes, Instagram has definitely slowed down blogging, but in my view there is always a place for a blog.  I’ll keep on going with mine – February will be my ten-year bloggiversary!  For someone who has never been able to keep a journal or diary, that’s significant.  And it’s really due to all of you.

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

So, we’re looking ahead, not looking behind.  I hope that 2017 is a year of joy, prosperity and health for all of you.  We certainly hope that’s what it will be for us!

miscellaneous

Merry Christmas

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.”

Blogged at https://thornberry.wordpress.com

To those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas! And to those of you who don’t, best wishes for a wonderful holiday and festive season. Much love from my family to yours.

miscellaneous

bpSewvember

I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long between blog posts.  I have still been sewing, and as a result have plenty of blog posts to write, but don’t seem to have found the motivation to actually get them out of my head and onto the internet.  However, I did participate in #bpSewvember over on Instagram, which was a terrific sewing-themed meme run by the lovely Amanda of Bimble and Pimble.  Each day had a word to prompt a photo.  I thought that those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram might be interested in seeing the photos that I took for each day.  So this will be a very photo-heavy blog post! I’m leaving it to you to figure out why I took each photo for each prompt.

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1. Three facts.

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2. Like a boss.

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3. Inside.

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4. Inspiration.

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5. WiP.

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6. Slow or Fast.

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7. Stash.

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8. Why sew? #bpSewvember

9. Game changer.

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10. View.

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11. Tools.

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12. Community.

#bpSewvember day 12 - Community. Photo copyright www.BaliWellnessRetreat.com

13. Style.

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14. Help!

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15. Heirloom.

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16. UFO.

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17. Print or plain.

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18. Dream project.

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19. Workhorse.

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20. Tried and true.

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21. Best part.

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22. The vault.

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23. Essentials.

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24. Skill up.

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25. Oh no!

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26. Best make.

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27. Detail.

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28. Sewing space. (this is a short video)

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29. Confession.

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30. Next up.

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Huge thanks go to Amanda for running the meme – I didn’t originally intend to take part but really enjoyed the entire month. While the rest of life kept me very busy I could still participate in my favourite hobby – sewing.

Now it’s time for me to get onto some of those well overdue blog posts!

miscellaneous · musings

Why I don’t monetise my blog.

I’ve read a couple of posts by “big-name” sewing bloggers recently about why they are monetising their blogs.  They provide great arguments and rationale.  I especially understand why you would want to monetise your sewing blog if you have a sewing related business – or if you have a huge readership who clearly do follow your links.  But here’s why I don’t monetise mine.

  • Sewing – and by extension, blogging about it – is my hobby.  By definition, a hobby isn’t a job.  I don’t make money out of it.
  • If I wanted to make more money, I’d do more hours at my day job.  The hourly return there is far more than I would ever get from blogging.
  • I’m a small-time blogger.  Why would I want to bother monetising?
  • Money creates expectation.  If I’m being paid or receiving financial reward in some way from what I am doing, there are certain obligations that go along with that, whether explicit or implicit.  I’m not interested in those obligations.
  • No-one makes me blog.  I blog for me.  I am thrilled that there are people who like to read my blog, but the main driver of my blogging is to record my sewing and crocheting.  It’s an online journal.
  • I link to patterns I like, products I use, books that I read, web-sites that I frequent, shops that I buy from.  Because they are what I use.  Not for any other reason.  I don’t want to link for any other reason.
  • Not everything in life has to be about money or financial reward for effort.  What about karma?

Many of these points are inter-related.  I suspect that others may have similar reasons for not monetising their blogs.  I am not saying that people shouldn’t monetise, but I also think that there are valid reasons for not heading in that direction.  Your thoughts?