squares and drama

Last night almost half of the squares needed for my Island quilt were cut while watching the first part of Stand By Me. Remember that movie? When I was younger, I thought it all excitingly dramatic with evil-adults-vs.-righteous-children, and deliciously angst ridden. Last night, I was still quite entertained, mostly with seeing very young versions of very famous actors, but mainly I was thinking, 'Oh, icky! So the drama!' I have enough melodrama in my life right now, thank you. Angst isn't nearly as exciting and attractive viewed from this side of parenthood.

Anyway [she suddenly remembers she is writing a crafting blog], we, The Man and I, cut squares. Most of them are from button down men's shirts, who's arms had been previously sacrificed to make sleevy pants. Here is 180 six inch squares (with only another 200 to go).

Thanks to everyone yesterday who shared links to great quilting blogs. I had a look through and, man, the talent out there truly blows me away. Not only are the quilts amazing, but the presentation is art in itself. Quilters always strike me as a fairly zen group. It takes a lot of patience to put together a quilt. Patience, forethought, planning, and tenacity. All admirable characteristics I wish I grow more of in myself.

I always feel a strange mix of admiration and inadequacy when viewing some of the more polished blogs written by crafty women with children at home. It's intimidating, sharing space on the internet with the likes of Anna Maria Horner, Amanda Soule, and Amy from Habitual. They are all multi-talented ladies, being accomplished crafters, writers, designers, photographers, parents, and, hell, they're pretty good looking too! I am grateful for the small peeks into their worlds they provide through their blogs, sharing their inspirations, projects, homes, and children with us.

Looking at my own life and crafty efforts after reading their blogs, well... blah. I usually have to give myself a little pep talk. I remind myself that a blog is, by it's very nature, a staged production, and that I can not know all that goes on behind the curtains. It's not an intentionally deceptive, or at least not deceitfully so, it's just the nature of the medium, it's the need for privacy, it's because a blog is art in itself. A blog is a spotlight on a part of a life, viewed through many filters, embellished, and then edited. In many ways it is a fantasy, lots of wishful thinking on the bloggers' part, and also a confession or testimonial. Life isn't a blog and a blog isn't a life.

Besides, what if these phenomenal crafty ladies actually shared all their tedious daily struggles with me? What if they told me about every parenting screw up, not just the funny ones, but the dark ones too? What if they shared the ways in which they've been damaged by their parents and their struggles to nurture their inner children or find themselves or come to grips with their sketchy pasts? I'd be thinking, 'Oh, icky! So the drama! Shut up and show me the fabric!'

Anyway [she suddenly remembers she is writing a crafty blog and not on a therapist's couch], my insistent children believe I am supposed to be taking them to the parrot refuge instead of sitting here blogging. I shall have to return to the my messy, angsty life now. Until tomorrow...


Ps., in order to make up for my obviously staged photo above (I took the squares outside to get a clear shot in good light, seeing as I live in a dark cave, and I did move the sea shells closer, and I did pick them off the ground and restack them when Birdie pushed them over the railing, after saying a very nasty word) I shall do my own part to promote a bit of realism in blogging by telling you that I am still in my pajamas... from yesterday morning. Ahem.


  1. I am always impressed with how much crafting you accomplish with your two kids. And inspired by how you encourage your own kids (especially Smootch) to express their own creativity. I'm a new mother and am trying to figure out when I'll be able to do anything crafty again! People like you give me hope that it will someday happen. :)

  2. I appreciate your honesty on staging the photo of you quilt squares. I have been known to stage a photo or two myself.

  3. I recently found your blog and I love it. I must also admit...I too am in my pjs from yesterday morning. Sometimes moms need a break too :)

  4. Some blogging friends and I have been having this exact conversation, lately. And for the record, I'm blown away by your blog.

  5. *grin* Your writing is great. You made me laugh, nod, think and grin in one post. Well, I guess that says somethings about your skills, doesn't it? Anyway, I loved your desciption of the little photoshoot. Very recognisable!

  6. Your blog is great and gives me feelings of inadequacy at times! Seriously, I like your writing because it is REAL and PRACTICAL and always makes me laugh!

  7. You are very funny! I love your blog!

  8. You impress me. Having little ones not in school (and in my case a big one who is homeschooled) makes it virtually impossible to craft.

    My xmas present quilt for my little one - is halfway cut into squares, sitting on my dresser under piles of laundry and other misc stuff waiting to be completed.

    I love the island too - we moved here 4 yrs ago and I won't leave - almost have my extended family convinced to move closer to me :P

  9. I really love your blog, and I'm so amazed that you've only been sewing for two years (right?).

    I have SouleMama and Anna Maria Horner on my rss feed (I'll have to check out the Habitual blog!), but yours stands out just as much. I appreciate how you truly use what you have, and make it all work together. Plus, you are very charitable with your free tutorials! thanks again!

  10. Love the photo and I'm feeling inspired by your use of those shirts!

  11. Don't sell yourself short - I love your blog and your style, which really stands out in the crowd. I scan a lot of blogs and most of them start running together in a blur, except for yours. You have a unique voice.

  12. you have a thousand plus followers and I have nine, you have been quilting/sewing for a short time, I have been doing the same probably longer than you have been alive -- ahem... I'm jealous! You have an interesting voice and fun tutorials and you hit a cord when you said that a blog is not life and life is not a blog, I believe that but one of my past readers did not (my sister), keep writing and I will keep coming back to visit your blog. I do enjoy it.

  13. Oh hun. Your blog is wonderful. You do what makes you happy and invariably it will make others happy to, as evidenced by your blog.

    It's like seeing photos in the Pottery Barn catalog. They're gorgeous - but styled and not lived in. Your blog is lived in. It's what I aim for in my own blog.

    Keep up the good work! :D We love it.

  14. Thanks all for the encouragement! It seriously freaks me out that anyone would feel inadequate when reading MY blog - must cut that out! We crafty bloggers are all a pretty generous lot and here to support each other. Thank you!

    Xenia, four years now (omgoodness, my baby is getting old!)

    Katie, saying my blog is lived in is my new favorite compliment! I totally get why that's a good thing. And now I've seen your craft room too, so cheers to us both, and I'll be back to check how that furniture comes along - I have a whole new sewing room to set up next week!

  15. Oh wow, that must have been a fairly old tutorial I was referring to when I said two years... Still, four? I'm impressed!

    I learned to sew a long time ago, but didn't get a machine of my own until last December ('09). I haven't stopped since! I can't help but wonder if this kind of spark will sustain itself or if I'll crash and burn out? I guess I'll keep at it for as long as I can!

    Happy quilting (it's so fun! I'm such an amateur, but they're the best).

  16. I haven't read the blogs you mention and, if they make YOU feel you aren't doing enough then maybe I won't go and look at them. I'm not in my pyjamas but I haven't got a blog, haven't done any crochet for 3 days, haven't done any real housework for a day or too, haven't managed to copy my photos onto the PC let alone sent copies anywhere. In fact, now I write it down I'm not sure what I have been doing. So I'm still in awe at what you do, the generous spirit you do it in and the great things you create.

    And I love the sand dollars - I never knew that is what they are called.

  17. I adore you, veg. I adore your honesty, the fact that your life DOESN'T look "perfect" like Amanda Soule's (much as I love her books, her blog). I'd be a nervous wreck around Amanda.
    You, I can see inviting around for afternoon tea with your two munchkins, to tear my house (even further) apart with my own darling toddler! I've felt that way ever since noticing your amazing stuff on craftster, before you started this blog.

  18. If it makes you feel better.... I don't have kids!!!! I'm just an Architect and an Aunt who is cah-razy about her niece and nephews. That's who I sew for because my sister has no time- too busy raising the little rug rats! Ha!

    Day to day.... it's just me, hubs and The Dog. ;)

    I think you're great! And I'm loving your patterns!

  19. Habitual, I always get carried away in my pity parties and smudge over a detail or two. We can stick with good looking and also mention that you are a pretty fabulous aunt (and super aunt to twins!) and sister... hmmm something else to envy :D