Hello friends! It is Monday, time for a cup of tea and a little conversation. My beautiful, lively, creative friend Jane who writes at the blog Buzzmills has invited me to join in a blog hop and that means it is my turn to answer some questions about myself and this here blog. I was really thrilled Jane asked me to participate because while I regularly ponder, read and explore concepts of creativity and the reasons why I do what I do, I don’t write about it very much. Jane has always been an inspirational, thought-provoking character and she and I often joke we wish we were neighbors. She is joking; I’m not…I really want to be her neighbor.
Besides connecting with a virtual neighbor, there is so much to say about why I do what I do and I’m hoping some of it will resonate with you.
So here goes:
Why do I write?
The very first thing that comes to mind is connection. Because I am mainly a sewist, much of what I do is visual and really doesn’t require too many words to make my point. I could post (and probably have) photos of what I make with basic pattern and fabric information. Of course, just a picture and the detes wouldn’t get across the main thing I am hoping to communicate and that would be just how ‘real’ the making process can be. It’s so exciting when it does go well! Not everything works out as planned, however. I’m very good friends with my seam ripper and I’m still bribing my kids with M&M’s for every photo shoot. Every single one. They don’t line up like adorable angels to get their pictures taken in the mama-made clothes I make them, just doesn’t happen.
I sometimes worry about the perfect images on Pinterest and other places on-line that make a regular mama like me feel inadequate.
“How come my kids don’t jump up, put on their ruffle-butt bloomers, grab an antique suitcase and wait at the door for the perfect photo shoot? What am I doing wrong?”
Maybe that is how it happens with you and, if so, good on you! But, if it all looks perfect out there it can make right here look kind of shabby. And, that just won’t do. In our world, it’s all about bribing with M&Ms; finding the camaraderie and fun in a difficult and messy project or photoshoot. It’s about the real life and how good it feels to live and embrace it. I want to connect around the joy, accessibility, humor and love of sewing and making things.
The have-it-all-keep-up-pre-fab world is everywhere around us and an honest, open view on what it means to make things is my breath of fresh air and rejection of that, as simple as it may seem. Simple is revolutionary, sometimes.
What am I working on?
Oh, what am I NOT working on. My lists are so long and so varied. I’m really excited that it is Selfish Sewing Week because I’ve fallen in love with sewing clothes for myself. I’m also looking forward to a great season of teaching sewing classes at Rock Paper Scissors. And, I’m so proud because I recently re-designed my sewing patterns on Etsy and am excited to release a whole new one, a Messenger Bag, in a few weeks. On top of all of that, I’ve got big plans for undertaking a major pattern-hacking experiment, deeper exploration of color and pattern design as well as prepping to sell things at winter holiday markets. The end of the year is always really busy in the best possible way.
How do I differ from others of my genre?
This is the hardest question for me to answer. I can’t say that I even know what my genre is, exactly. I like to sew everything from my clothes, kids clothes, quilts, stuffed animals and home items; I make and do things with my kids; I experiment with healthy food; and try to stay true to myself as a mama.
Some of the time I get to write that all down. Is that a genre? If so, I probably differ from others just based on my level of confusion. (*smile*)
How does my writing process work?
First and foremost, I procrastinate. Seriously. It’s part of the process at this point. In fact, before writing this I switched out a load of laundry, made a coffee, ate two cheese sticks ( I love cheese sticks, they sustain me), scared a squirrel away from the window and updated my to-do list. I like to be productive with my procrastination time and let little thoughts germinate in my brain the whole time. It actually kind of works. In between procrastinating, I write little bits down and then toggle between finding pictures and more writing. Sometimes a unifying thread emerges and sometimes there isn’t one. I’m not too strict with myself, I let it be what it wants to be. I’m a pretty slow writer but when it’s done, it’s done. I don’t really worry about perfection.
And on that note, I’m handing the blog hop over to two people that live near me, that I get to see regularly and that keep me constantly inspired:
Melanie from MelInTheAttic gets off easy because when I asked her to participate, she told me she already was! How about that? Read her post here. Mel is an accomplished quilter with an eye for color and design that constantly amazes me. She designs pattern for Cloud fabrics and teaches inspired, sparkling classes at Rock Paper Scissors in North Jersey. She is also a constant companion of mine in the journey toward a creative life.
Jennifer is the brains and energy behind Sewplicity, where she not only specializes in making amazing high chair covers for fabric and design lovers across the country but also finds the time to embrace healthy food habits and inspired sewing projects all her own.