Blog Hopping!

 Leila nominated me to join the Blog Hop thing that’s been going around… and of course I said yes! The wanna-be-cool, detached part of my brain always slightly mocks chain-letter-ish things like this when they come up… but the giddy excitable kid in my head yells, “But there’s a reason people like chain letters!” Joining in is fun, and that’s the truth.

And so, the blog hop questions:

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Well, to answer that, I looked back at my first blog post. Why did I start this thing, anyway? (BTW, it was a crafting blog to start – look at these first posts! I didn’t start garment sewing until a few months later…)

Here’s what I wrote in that post 3 years ago:

“I’m so thrilled to finally be making myself a craft room that I just had to share! I’ve wondered about it for a while – I love getting inspiration online, but I feel like it’s time for me to give something back to the community. No matter how small or insignificant, I’d like to at least contribute a new idea or two in return for all the joy of seeing other people’s work every day!

After moving home from Japan (along with my precious Japanese crafting supplies!), I tried sewing and crafting in our bedroom for a few months… but that left me stumbling over half-finished project on the way to the closet each morning! 

To my eternal gratitude, J decided that I needed a craft room of my own. One night, he bravely shifted boxed, furniture, keepsakes and piles of junk to make a basement nest for me! About half the room is still piled high with stuff, but the other half is ready for sewing, felting, hot glueing, and whatever else strikes me! Truly, I’m so grateful to have a husband who understand the value and importance of a well-curated collection of things one loves, in a place of one’s own!”

What is clear to me, looking back, is that I was desperate for community. I’d spent three rather isolated years teaching in Tokyo with my husband (and oh how I wish I’d been a blogger then, or at least reached out to other Tokyo bloggers!) We’d just moved back to live with my parents in a small town, I was underemployed, and life was a big ball of stress and unknowns. From the moment I started this blog, it has been a haven when I could ignore real life and focus on the simple joys of sewing. When we moved again this past year, I didn’t need to worry about being lonely in a new city, because I have so many great friend online that I’ve met through blogging!

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I really don’t have works-in-progress… Everything I like to sew is so quick that it rarely takes more than a day. I find WIPs stressful, so I avoid longer projects! That said, I’m working out the fit on a different Style Arc pants pattern, and I’ve promised to make a knit Anna for my sister… Oh, and that French Terry cardigan I mentioned in the last post still needs reworking! So maybe I do have WIP after all?

On a larger scale, I’m still figuring out the new WordPress site, and slowly learning about how to better use my DSLR. I’m thrilled that the Sewcialist monthly themes are being run by other people now, and they are doing such a wonderful job. I’m trying to get a Mentoring program started over on the Curvy Collective (and please go sign up in the Forum if you would be interested in mentoring someone through a project! You don’t have to be plus-size or curvy, nor an expert – just knowledgable to help set a total newbie on the right track!)

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I actually blogged about this a few months ago, which prompted lots of interesting comments as people thought about their own niches. I think my niche is cute, colourful and comfy knits. That’s easily 90% of what I sew! I do try hard to be an enabler and a contribute back to the community (huh, that really goes back to my first post, doesn’t it?) As a teacher I think my natural tendency is to lead, organize and encourage, which is why I like doing things like the annual Top 5 of 201_ posts and the Sewcialist themes. I’ve very aware that my sewing skills are nothing special, so I’m very glad that the sewing community is accepting of everyone at our own level!

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I sit down and I type. Is that not the most boring answer every? I guess it starts with the photos, really… I pick my favourite 6 or so from the 100 that I’ve taken with a remote, and upload them to flickr. Then as I write I know I need to lead from one picture to the next. I admire blogs like Heather’s that have an unmistakable voice, but that’s just not how my words come out. By the second half of the blog post I’m thinking about what question I want to end with. I always ask myself “What is the key idea that I really wrote about in this post?” and “What would I really love to hear from these readers if we had a coffee together?” It’s hard to come up with great questions though – and if comments end up being generic stuff like “nice dress!” then I know I should have asked something more engaging!

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For my nominations, I’m going to pick two Canadian bloggers from opposite ends of the country. There’s something so great and unifying about using fabric from the same chain store, even though we don’t live nearby!

On the east coast, Margo from Creating in the Gap! She obliged me by sharing photography tips during Me-Made May – and who doesn’t dream of having photos as lovely as hers?  She consistently makes beautiful, elegant wearable clothes, and is super kind and friendly to boot.

On the west coast, Corinne Begg from The Sewing Affair! She’s just started up a sewing podcast, and the first show was an hour of chatting with Seamstress Erin. Go take a listen! She’s also recently sent a pattern out to testers, so big things are in the works! 

I’d also planned to nominate Heather from WhereHeatherGrows but Heather B beat me to it!

I always wonder: Who sat down and started blog fads like this blog hop? What was their goal, and are they pleased with their success? It makes me think: What would I ask if I was starting a new blog hop? I think I might go with something simple, like Two Truths and a Lie. (Does that game exist everywhere? You tell three facts about yourself, one of which is false, and everyone else guess which is the lie.)

I’ll go first, and maybe you can guess/offer your own in the comments!?

Two truths and a lie about Crafting a Rainbow:

  1. I’ve lived on 5 continents.
  2. I have a tattoo of cherry blossoms.
  3. I can flint-knap stone tools.

Can you guess?


23 thoughts on “Blog Hopping!

  1. hmm I’m not sure I can pick the lie. I’m ruling out #1 because I think you have mentioned living in a lot of different places before. So it’s got to be #2 or #3. “When in doubt, pick C.” I guess #3 is the best guess I can give.

    I enjoyed reading about your writing process and reasons for blogging. You always ask the most interesting questions. =)

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  2. I am guessing that #1 is the lie. And I love these kinds of blog hops, except I’d hate to have to do the part where you nominate someone else. I don’t like the idea of passing on an obligation.

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    1. I feel the same about passing obligations on… Leila checked with me beforehand tho, and I checked with my initial two nominees in advance.. but then heather nominated other Heather, and I didn’t have a chance to ask Corinne beforehand… Oh well. I figure people can always just decide not to post about it!😉

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    1. Hehehe – yup, stone tool making was definitely part of my crunchy-granola-hippy upbringing! And I’m just too practical to get a tattoo, because all I can think is how it will look at 80!

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  3. Hmm…you’ve mentioned you aren’t very “handy”, so I’m going to guess that the last one is the lie. This sounds like a fun game, might have to try it tonight with our guests. I’d have think pretty hard to stump my hubby though.😉

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    1. Did you play it with your guests? It is a really fun game – I often have classes play it at lunchtime because it keeps the kids focused and quiet instead of loud and rowdy!😉

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      1. You talented lady. My step dad is a rock hound, and made me dig up agates and other rocks near the mountains and volcanos of the Cascades. I have been knee deep in mud with shovels digging up crystals more times than I can count!

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  4. I have no idea which one is a lie! Thanks for the nomination… I blushed at your lovely compliments…no lie. You are a hard act to follow! I always love the questions you pose at the end of your posts. And why in the world have I not seen Corinne’s blog!?? Shame on this Canadian blogger! I’m going there now.

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    1. I hadn’t seen Corinne’s blog until recently either! I’ve seen her more and more on twitter and IG, so that’s how I found her blog.🙂 Looking forward to your blog hop post!

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  5. I loved this post Gillian – I really like the Blog Hop because it allows bloggers to open up a bit and share a little more than just sewing. It’s nice to get to know these people that I read about everyday!
    As for your truths and lies, Ummmm what is flint-knap? I would guess number 1 is a lie. But I have no idea!

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    1. I’m always excited to find out a bit more about people’s background and personality, too! It’s nice to get to blog about something that’s not a finished product sometime.

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  6. I always enjoy your questions and how they round out the blog post nicely. You are also excellent at planning and executing stuff /coming up with great ideas/making people feel like they are part of a community. Basically you’re awesome and I’m super glad to have your brain to tap on from time to time.

    P.S. I guessed the lie correctly but can’t prove that now.😉

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    1. Aww, thanks hon! Ditto to you – you are so good at sharing your knowledge and making us all feel like it IS possible to sew consistently even with lots of other things going on in life!😉
      BTW, the only reason I didn’t nominate your for two truths and a lie today is that I know you’ve got the Pattern Review contest going on, and that guest post to write… but I’d love to read your post if you decide to join in!

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