|A glimpse at some of my sewing-related gifts|
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you've all had a happy holiday filled with lots of food and surrounded by some of your favorite people. I know I did! I had plans to jump on the bandwagon and do a 'sewing year in review' sort of post to start off 2014. However my focus totally shifted when I received some exciting news that made me less inclined to reflect on the past year, and more interested in planning out the future.
I've been asked to join the Mood Sewing Network, and well (holy crap!) I accepted! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
If you follow the Mood Sewing Network blog (and you should, it's excellent - and not just because I'm about to be contributing, but because all the other fantastic people that already are) you might remember some weeks back they announced that they were looking for new bloggers to fill their ranks. I dashed off an email with my blog link in it, thinking vaguely that it would be awesome to be offered a spot, but without any real hope. It's still pretty hard for me to think of my blog as anything more than this side project that only my Mom and Dad (and sister) read, an outlet for my thoughts and passions that don't get enough play in my day to day life. So I was floored (to say the least) when I got an email from Mood the day before I was set to fly back east for the holidays saying they wanted to talk to me about joining the team!
So what does this mean for my sewing practice and my blog? Well, let's talk about the business aspects first. As some of you might know already, Mood Sewing Network bloggers receive a modest stipend once a month to buy Mood fabric, sew it up, and blog about it. The post first appears on the MSN blog, then a day or two later, on the bloggers own blog. Mood has always been the first place I visit online when I'm looking to buy fabric, so I feel like I'm supporting a company that I was going to support anyway (see: my last post - totally bought that fabric before any of this was a reality). I will always be transparent about what is fabric bought with my Mood allowance, and what is not. As someone who has always sewn and blogged completely on her own dollar and in her own time, I'm looking forward to the bit of material compensation and accountability as a way to actually make me a better blogger. Far too often I feel like my hands are tied creatively because I want to make something, but don't have the funds to make it happen. This is one of the reasons why I occasionally have to go longer stretches between posts, because I simply do not have enough cash to make anything! Bummer! Joining the Mood Sewing Network team will help lighten the strain on my bank account (a little, as I said, the stipend is modest) and free up some funds for me to pursue some of my crazier ideas (leather! dyeing!) and I'm expected to post once a month, so posts will become more regular around here.
But, really, the main reason I am excited about this opportunity is not financial (because, let's be real here, I'm the kind of lady who takes a pay cut to do work she believes in - accumulating financial wealth is not my forte) or related to my blogging productivity. The main reason I am absolutely psyched to be a part of this group is for the creative challenge! I feel like this is a chance to experiment with different fabrics, and to shake myself out of my comfort zone a bit. I've always been in love with textiles, and I can't wait to push myself to try out some fabrics that, given budget constraints and a more practical mindset, I wouldn't normally try.
I still plan on continuing to experiment with dyeing my own fabric. This is something that I feel very passionate about and get much personal satisfaction out of, so don't expect that to go away. Really, don't expect anything to go away! I see this as an opportunity to push me to grow in my sewing practice, and as a blogger, and quite frankly, I feel like it's time for growth.
And speaking of 'time for growth' - I finally learned how to knit while I was home for the holidays, thanks to my beautiful and talented big Sis! This is pretty huge, you guys. I've been way too jealous for way too long seeing all the gorgeous hand knitted goodness that so many of you whip out like it ain't no thang (I'm looking at you, Lauren - Miss Nine Sweater in 2013!!) I've always felt like I had some sort of mental block when it came to knitting. Many years ago my sister and I decided it would be fun to learn how to knit and proceeded to try to teach ourselves. She took to it like a duck to water and I... well... I ended up with a ridiculous, hole-y mess, and a headache. Whatever slight enjoyment I may have been able to get out of it was totally eclipsed by my frustration, fumbling fingers, mutters of "wait, why doesn't that look right..." yarn slipping off needles, and disgust at whatever I was making. So I wrote it off as a 'not for me' type thing.
But then again... I once thought sewing was 'not for me'... Proving yourself wrong is a wonderful thing. I had decided that this winter would be the time that I would grapple with knitting once and for all. Cross it off my bucket list! And with just a bit of determination, and a slightly obsessive attitude, I am proud to say that I am making serious tracks on Wiksten's Jul Hat pattern. Of course... this is my second attempt. I already tore apart one go at it - just before I was about to start decreasing - so saying that I 'conquered' knitting might be a bit rich. Let's just say, I won't be so easily discouraged this time!
So Happy 2014, my friends! Here's to a year of growing, challenging ourselves, and many many awesome hand made garments!