Blogging

Ah, blogging. So here’s a little history since I’m trying to get back in the habit of blogging and don’t want to do it without taking it seriously and posting regularly. What am I doing my first day blogging? Writing multiple posts to publish throughout the week so at least I’m off to a good start.

I started reading blogs about four years ago while I was sitting at a job where I had absolutely nothing to do most of the time. I discovered She Walks from a Best of Craigslist link and went “whoa, blogging”. I followed links around to find good writers (and started reading Dooce, This Fish, and Suburban Bliss to name a few), and established a little routine of which order I would check them in throughout the day. I think around 11 am I’d check the West Coast ones to see if they’d posted anything. No bloglines or google reader, apparently.

Crazy Aunt Purl  was the first crafty blogger I read, which I don’t remember jumping out at first, but I would occasionally read knit/crochet blogs because of her even though I’ve never really gotten into either craft. It’s kind of odd, because I also remember reading Super Chef and the Amateur Gourmet quite a bit too, even though neither has much relevance to me. At the time I started a xanga blog because my brother was on it with his college friends, and I’d write in a “what I did today” kind of style and posted the results of quizzes that we use facebook for today. When I traveled by myself I thought in terms of blog posts and in the voice of writers I was reading at the time, even though for the most part those posts never got written.

Then in the spring about three years ago, I started looking for a pattern for a stuffed elephant to give to a friend who just had a baby. All of a sudden the world of craft blogging opened up, and there were these memes that everyone seemed to be doing all at the same time. Not too much later I got a digital camera so I could start participating and posting on flickr myself. I made some of Hillary’s bunnies but didn’t take a picture, missed the bonnet mailorder but made sure to subscribe for the rest (and eventually ordered and made that pattern), bought a thumbwar print from the small object, and am still in awe of Alicia’s writing.

It turned out to not be such good timing for my craft hobby to kick in right as I was going back to school and while I still was involved on flickr to some extent, I wrote papers instead of blog posts. Then I started dating my now husband, and didn’t need to write about my day to the internet anymore, I had someone to talk to instead.

Things have changed on the internet in the last four years, though. I have a google reader to manage my 500 blog subscriptions. My interests  in crafting have gone from softies, stuffies and embroidery to more sewing of my own clothes and quilting. I appreciate so much the advice that others have shared about what they make and feel badly that I haven’t given back. But I’ve also debated what exactly my new blog should be. I don’t want it to be just about promoting my etsy shop, but definitely wouldn’t mind expanding my crafty business so my fabric-buying habits can be self-supporting. I don’t see it as just being about fashion sewing because I can’t stay on one subject, but a lot of people won’t understand the posts that are about sewing clothes. I’d love to have some posts that are political, some that are about shopping and style, some recipes (although my kitchen lighting makes for the worst food photos) and some about travel, but I’ve decided not to worry about the theme of my blog and just start writing. Hopefully I’ll keep at it enough that I can justify registering my own domain and fixing it up to look like I want it to, too!

I’ll keep telling you who I’m reading and posting good posts, too, because I think good writing is good writing, even if their blogs & lives don’t fit in the same category as mine – those mommybloggers come up with good stuff! I plan on taking advantage of the tools of blogging, too. The only way I’ll be able to blog on a regular basis is to write more than one post on a day when I’ve got photos uploaded and ready to go, and then schedule them to post later. If that feels inauthentic, I’ll change as I go. So, are we ready now? This should be fun!

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Quilt for Ezra

This is my second completed quilt. I bought the fabric a long time ago for a friend who was decorating her nursery with a jungle theme, but never made the quilt (sorry, Jaci). So when I went looking for fabric for a baby boy it seemed perfect – and maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that the yellow, green, and brown fabrics that matched perfectly were also already in my stash. Especially odd since I don’t usually have a lot of solids around, but I was surprised that the Bijoux print combined the colors just right.

It’s quilted with a wavy line, and although some spots were skipped or tangled, I was the most surprised by how much more successful I was at doing the quilting when I switched to Gutermann thread- the better quality made all the difference here. Sadly, I didn’t use a color catcher the first time I washed it and the green turned out to be a magnet for the extra brown dye in the wash.

Now I just need to get it in the mail to Germany and get over my fear of puckering that’s keeping me from basting my next quilt! That top went together quickly but it’s been sitting in the pile for quite awhile. I have another that’s just waiting for the binding to be finished and started a top on Sunday night that I’m looking forward to seeing finished.

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Four New Pillows

I finished these pillows this week for my shop.

Linen Squares Pillow

I feel like they’re a good blend of my personal taste and what I think people might buy.

Sometimes I have a hard time with that in my crafting. I don’t need all the things I make so I don’t spend all my crafty time making things for myself. But if I make only gifts, then I’m not getting to express the full range of ideas I have, because I’m making things that other people will appreciate as well. So I’m hoping that through crafting for the etsy store I’ll get a chance to play around a little bit and try some different things.

Some of the things in the shop are more “use what you have” exercises- the materials were cheap, so I was playing with how I could make them look good. Others were things I could envision taking to craft shows (even though I’m not sure craft shows blend with my personality at all).

I’m hoping that blogging will give me the opportunity to keep trying new things with the thought of sharing them, not necessarily knowing their purpose when I start out.

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