The one where life gets in the way of blogging

First world problem alert… my life gets in the way of blogging. Poor me! I saw a post by fellow blogger Mancunian Vintage (http://mancunianvintage.com/), who said she’d been neglecting her blog and thought, me too!

My day job is pretty full on at the best of times, with a two hour commute each day, but last week was just plain crazy.

This combined with the general ‘to do’ list of a homeowner, wife and mum of a 5 year old means blogging – and making for that matter – gets left by the wayside.

Well it felt like I’d had no time for making, until I had a quick flick through my iPhone. Then I could see why I’ve had no time to blog…

I have been plugging away at my Erika Knight cardi and have made it to the sleeves…only another 40cm or so to go before I start decreasing…

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I’ve been baking apple crumbles and cottage pies…

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I’ve snatched an hour here and there to perfect my boxy make up bags, corners and zips…

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I’ve carved a few pumpkins…

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I’ve been sorting out my craft room…

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I’ve been chocolate decorating at a team building day…

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Happy 1st Bloggy Birthday To Me

It’s my first birthday!

bloggy birthday

It’s gone by so quickly I almost missed it. It really has been a whirlwind 12 months for me, in addition to starting my blog we’ve sold and bought a house, I’ve changed jobs and generally been all over the place.

I can truly say that I don’t know what I did before I launched Knit Stitch Sew. Watch too much TV probably. The blog was on my list of things to do for yonks before I actually took the plunge and wrote my first post back in late August 2012. I don’t know why it took me so long – a combination of time and focus but more overwhelmingly, the worry that people would think ‘what IS she doing? Knitting? Cross Stitch? WHAT???’.

My liking of craft has always been bubbling away in the background, never something to admit to but with the launch of various craft magazines and my journey into the world of blogs as a reader my liking reached obsession status and the blog was born.

So what were my aims when I started? I wanted to connect with like-minded bloggers and crafters. I wanted to try to make my mark in the UK craft scene (not as a crafter as much as a writer/commentator – I can only follow patters, I can’t write them!). I also wanted to add a focus to my crafting – by telling others what I was doing, I’d have to do it. Right?!

And what have I learnt?

1. I love blogging. It really has added focus to my crafting adventures and its great to have a record of the work I’ve done over the past year

2. Bloggers are a friendly lot. I joined the bloggy community with the aim of connecting with like-minded people. And boy, did that work! Tick! Craft bloggers are a lovely lot. I’ve been to a blogging conference (TOTS100 in Bristol), taken part in numerous Twitter chats and parties, attended exhibitions and generally had the most lovely reception on and off-line from the bloggers I’ve met. Thank you.

3. I’m still a bloggy baby. Blogging is hard work. It takes time to build your page, your followers and it’s a cliché, but you really can only do it for you. If you’re blogging to make money forget it. I’ve been lucky and have already received invites to press events, been included on PR media lists so I receive press releases and have been sent crafty product to trial BUT there has been no money changing hands…. ah well, maybe next year… 😉

4. It’s a great learning experience.  Writing my blog has motivated me to try out some new crafts – crochet which I LOVE LOVE LOVE, machine embroidery and paper craft

5. It’s opened up the world of commissions. Far from being laughed out of the park with my revelation of being a craft addict, I have been commissioned – yes people have actually paid me money – to craft for them. WOW. This is something I never, ever thought would happen. I’ve knitted wedding shrugs, embroidered new-born baby memory keepers, crocheted baby blankets – amazing.

I hope my second year brings more brilliant crafty things. Watch this space! Here’s a quick pictorial round-up of my favourite makes from this year.

round up of the first year

Why Do I Blog?

Over on Twitter i’ve been following https://twitter.com/DillyTante and the various musings of this self-described Mother of two, paper pusher, craft blogger, yarn bomber, feminist, wannabe psychologist, and avid mumsnetter.

Following some truly ridiculous slurs comments from Liz Jones some silly woman about mothers who blog after being invited (!!!) to be a key note speaker at the Mumsnet BlogFest conference this year, Dilly has been asking us bloggers a simple question. Why do you blog?

So here you go!

Why do you blog?

I blog for myself first and foremost. I’ve always enjoyed writing and have been a bit of a lonesome crafter for the past couple of years, so it seemed like a great way to combine both of my passions and have a forum through which to reach out to fellow crafters. I am also a teensy, weensy bit addicted to social media so have been reading blogs for years and always thought ‘I could do that’. I’ve only been blogging for around three months but its addictive, I love sharing my passions with family and friends and its a great way to meet like-minded people. It really is a talking point in my life.

What do you get from it?

A creative outlet, a place to share advice and ideas. It’s also fast becoming a place I use to record my thoughts, crafty to do lists and just things I really like. When I was little I loved trawling through magazines (still do) and tearing things out, sticking them into scrapbooks (don’t do) or putting them on my pinboard in  my bedroom. My blog is the perfect way to collate all of these thoughts and cool finds. It also allows me to channel my creative energy into real projects and encourages me to finish them!

 Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?

Yes and yes! I don’t think that matters. I’m not paid to write my blog. It’s my hobby and if you don’t like reading trivia don’t read it!

Why should people be interested in what you write?

I don’t expect anyone to be interested, it’s for me, about me.

But if they are, great. I’m meeting more and more people who have been secret squirrel crafters but for some reason it has been hidden away. I’ve lost count of the amount of people who wrongly assume only grannys knit or people who are ‘mumsy’…(being a mum I don’t think there’s a worse insult) enjoy craft. Its creative, artistic and fulfilling. Wise up people!

Do you care if they are not?

NOPE!

If you blog just for you why do it publicly?

I use my  blog to connect with others who craft and to share ideas, tips and try my hand at a few different things I might not have come across before. It’s also a great way to virtually ‘meet’ people.

What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?

Being a working mother, I think it’s important to show you can do other things, pursue hobbies and have some ‘me time’ that doesn’t involve a spa or a bottle of wine and some chocolate (although I do enjoy both of those pursuits!!). Also sharing my belief that crafting isn’t for grannys!! (see above!)

Do you feel defensive about blogging?

Not defensive but guarded. Even though I don’t blog about my family or life much outside of crafting in comparison to other ‘mummy bloggers’ it is still a personal account of your life.

For this very reason it took me a year or so to decide to take the plunge and share my blog with my family and friends. Most exposing of all is the inevitable self promotion you undertake as a blogger on social media – for me that means Facebook and Twitter) and therefore opening yourself up to criticism from hundreds of people you’ve never met. Fingers crossed, so far I’ve only had a positive response.

Picture credit: thepittfamily.wordpress.com

This is a blog hop!