Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Musings on Disappointment, Blogging, Sewing, and So Forth

First off, you've probably noticed that things have changed a bit on the blog. I recently decided to update my blog by personalizing my template. It helps that I'm a little more comfortable with Photoshop Elements now (I'm rather embarrassed by how limited my skills are! And to think that Elements is really Photoshop "lite"...). Thank you for your patience as I undertake the painstaking process of watermarking my photos (at least, most of them -- with over 500 posts, it's taking quite a while! Especially since I'm trying to fix up some of my older pre-photo-editing-software pictures), setting up a project gallery, and so on. Hopefully everything will be easier to navigate now!

I have a folder of old blog banners and graphics that I've used over the past years, and it's interesting to see how my tastes have changed since I started this blog. One of my former banners is shockingly pink. I do like the color pink, but I'm oh-so-glad it's no longer the background color of my blog.

The never-ending rain has produced a bumper crop of mushrooms in our yard. If there was some type of award for
growing chickweed and mushrooms instead of a lawn, we'd be the winners.

So, why all this change, and why now?

Well, you see, I sent an audition to the Super Online Sewing Match being held by Sew Mama Sew. And... I was not selected as one of their ten competitors. Which, of course, was disappointing (though not at all unexpected). But after my initial disappointment faded, I realized that it was a good thing! First off, I'd have spent the next few months (assuming I made it through a few rounds) slaving over assigned sewing projects, rather than sewing the garments that I really need/want right now. Second, trying to collect the necessary pictures and such for the audition made me realize that it's time for a project gallery, so that it's easy to see at a glance what I've sewn over the past few years. And third, viewing the various blogs of the selected competitors and judges inspired me to revamp my blog's look and functionality. So I've learned a bit more about CSS and HTML. A very little, but enough to get me where I want to go for now.

But through this process I learned something even more valuable. A few years ago I made a list of everything I could ever remember sewing. Adding to that list the items I've made in the intervening years, I'd calculate that in the past decade I've made over 200 garments (for myself and for others), plus numerous other bags, headbands, accessories, household items, and other miscellany.

It was like an epiphany.

 Sewing is my "thing."

Of all my hobbies, I really like sewing the best. I kind of already knew that (and you're probably thinking "duh!") -- but now I've realized it in a "I want to pursue this more seriously" kind of way. Sewing is my primary creative outlet. I want to learn new techniques, challenge myself, and become a better seamstress just for the fun of it. Granted, sometimes practicality trumps impressive techniques (for instance, sometimes all I need and want is a simple skirt or top). But I have some ideas on how to stretch myself, and I look forward to honing my sewing skills.

I'm hoping the Super Online Sewing Match is not a one-time thing, because I'd love to throw my hat in the ring again! But in the meantime, I plan to make the most of my rekindled enthusiasm for sewing. I subscribed for a month to Creativebug.com (I found a coupon code on Gretchen Hirsch's blog that gives you a month for $9.99! FYI, it expires August 1st, 2013), and I've already had a blast drafting my own A-line skirt. I hope to sew it up today. Natalie Chanin has some workshops on there, too, and I absolutely love her voice. Seriously, I think I'll watch all of her reverse applique videos just to hear her talk. And Betz White's Flight Bag is what really prompted me to sign up in the first place, so that's on the menu this month, too.

Well, I'm off to my sewing machine! I'd love to know what's on your crafting table this summer!

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