Friday, December 30, 2011

in a Year

Anything can happen in a year.  I feel like this year, anything did.  Last January I shared the good honest truth about where I was standing financially and emotionally with Stitched in Color.  What started as a hobby, needed to become a business because my other business was going belly up.  So today is my last day, my very last day working at my old business.  And I won't pretend that there isn't plenty of sadness in that, but overall I've very excited to step out into something new that is actually working.

2011, Favorite Projects
Stitched in Color, 2011

Because I love being here!  I still love blogging, even at the pace I've been keeping.  I usually have more posts in mind than there are days in a week, and while some are certainly better than others (don't you know it!) I enjoy the regularity of sharing my day-to-day creating with you.  I've peppered this post with mosaics of some of my favorite projects made in 2011!  I know that I would do far less making if you all weren't here being with me.  Thank-you so much!  Hopefully I don't blather on too much for your tastes about my children and our pigs and whatnot.  That kind of thing is like candy to some and like noise to another.  My mind is to write what I like and hope you like it too!  But, sometimes I have to remind myself of that because it's easy to fall into the trap of writing for an audience.

2011 finished quilts
2011, Finished Quilts

Sew Mama Sew has put out their annual call for folks to chime in with their thoughts on 2011 and predictions for 2012, sewing-wise  (Check out Amy's answer if you're the thoughtful type).  On the topic of social media I'd like to say that I think the #1 key to blogging is to keep your voice genuine.  Unlike a magazine or a book, a blog is a personal story.  Yes, there's inspiration and tutorials and that's a big part of the draw, but there's also a person behind it all that, hopefully, leaves their personal stamp on every last thing.  The blogs that I most enjoy become journeys in which I'm simultaneously inspired/enabled and getting to know a new friend.  Even if they don't have the time to reach out to me, I feel that I know them because of the "self" they blog.

2011, Color + Black
Black + Color

We found out earlier this year in a particular post that there are many, many folks who feel inadequate from craft blog-reading.  I think this stems from the popular choice to always keep posts 100% positive.  No person is always happy, always successful, always right.  I've made mistakes and shared them here.  I've made goals that I didn't reach.  Maybe I could have been even more transparent, but there is always that nagging question of "do they want to know".  I've heard tell that crafty blogs are your "happy place" and any negativity is unwelcome.  But that means I can't be myself (see above), and that leads to an unreal facade that you might

A. Write off as a fake or
B. Hold over yourself as a unreachable standard.

So, I guess my goal for 2012, blog-wise, is to continue to be genuine.  To speak from my heart.  To take pause because things can be (and certainly have been) misunderstood and words are powerful, but to take courage to speak still.  It is absolutely my hope and dream and goal that Stitched in Color be a lovely, glowing place of inspiration and beauty.  But let that be real beauty and real love from a real person.  And pray God that person could be me.

Happy New Year to all!

38 comments:

  1. What a lovely piece you wrote here. I do not blog, but find inspiration and a sharing here in your space. But most of all I want to tell you that your genuine voice is heard. Keep it going and God's blessings to you in the year ahead!

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  2. I love reading your blog Rachel, I love the way you write.
    You're right about sometimes feeling inadequate when reading craft blogs ( I've just spent a day ripping a quilt top that didn't turn out the way I wanted...poor old seam ripper! I suppose most people just don't blog things like that), but they're also such an inspiration, a source of new ideas for projects, and a help to get better at what you do.
    Have a good 2012, I'm looking forward to hearing all about it, kids and pigs included!

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  3. Your mosaics are just amazing Rachel!! I love your Swoon and your Summer Sampler and well, everything! I love the expression on your face in the centre photo too! Look forward to hearing about everything you fancy telling us in 2012!

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  4. Thanks for sharing, I've been enjoying following your blog since I discovered it a couple of months ago. Standing at one of those forks in life myself its encouraging to hear about others taking the bull by the horns (not to mix my metaphors too much)

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  5. In my mind, reading a blog that is always happy, happy is just not real. If it were, it would make me feel worse 'cause I surely am not happy all the time.

    I like to see people trying new things, even if they fail, and talking about they are overcoming some personal things; it helps me see how others do that.

    Keep on keepin' on here. I love your projects and your blog. I'm so glad I found you this year.

    Happy New Year!!

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  6. I adore your blog and yes to authenticity! It's easy to feel that ones blog isn't good enough. I could spend more time trying to be a great photographer...but I'd rather make a quilt! Here's to 2012!

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  7. Rachel, your 'real-ness' and beautiful creativity has been such a blessing to me in the short while that I have been reading your blog. Your passions shine right through your words and wonderful creations. I can't wait to see what transpires for you in 2012!

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  8. Love your collection of makes from this year. I hope the new business goes spectacularly for you, and have a great new year :o)

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  9. Happy New Year to you, Rachel!

    Your post here really has me thinking tonight. It's true -- So much can happen in a year. I admire you for your ability to open up and share how you do with us. You are such inspiration to me, not just for your sewing abilities, but for who you are as a person. I feel like I have really gotten to know you through your blog and truly feel like I have gained a friend in you.

    I am excited for all the 2012 holds for the both of us!!

    Blessings,
    Maureen

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  10. I tuned into your blog when you were in the process of the colorful mosaic - bottled rainbows quilt, and I was hooked. Yours is the blog I love to check on. You are genuine. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Cat

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  11. I just read the post about you on GenX. Wow I too was a teenage bride. BEST decision I ever made. I wish you the best of luck in the new year. I feel it is a lot harder now than when I was young to make your way. Hang in there and do what you know is right, it will work.
    I am now married almost 36 years, 4 kids and 4 grandkids, life is good!

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  12. I hope you never stop showing who you are on here. I read your blog regularly (I have it emailed to me, not just in my Yahoo reader--because I don't want to miss a post) because you are so real.

    My Grandpa used to tell me you have to have the bad to truly appreciate the good and that sometimes the best things in your life will come from the worst things. I really believe these things, especially when working on a project and realizing that my "mistake" is taking the project somewhere I didn't have the vision to see, or when you are forced to leave one career, only to realize what you come across after is so much better of a fit for you.

    Anyway, I'll stop ranting now. Thank you for being you, 100% genuine, and letting us have a peek at what's going on in your world.

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  13. I love your blog! Your quilts are incredible and your posts are inspiring. I am amazed at your superwoman output at times, but your blog keeps it all real.

    Happy New Year!

    LeAnn

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  14. I love your blog and the fact that you speak in honesty makes it even better. Your quilts are beautiful and your creativity is inspiring. Happy New Year to you and your family.

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  15. Love your blog, don't change a thing!!! Your work is lovely, while I am still a beginner to quilting and make lots of mistakes the journey is too fun to pass up!!! Thanks for the insperation

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  16. thank you, Rachel. beautiful projects and a lovely message. i have to say that your blog is one i look up to as i continue to grow my own.

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  17. Great post, Rachel! I hope you find success and happiness in 2012. I look forward to following your creative year :)

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  18. Beautiful post! And, you were wonderfully productive this year! I've only been following your blog for a month or two, but always find them to be uplifting and inspiring.

    I appreciate your comments about wanting to be/remain genuine in your blogs. Yeah, blogs are my happy place, but I can also appreciate when someone says "oh goodness, that didn't work" - and post pics to prove it! LOL. Not only does the post "keep it real," but I guess it does also prove that we're all human and not everything we do turns out perfectly.

    I'm sorry to hear of the end of your other business... I'm sure a lot of hard work and time was put into it, and it is hard to see that end. I wish you the very best for 2012, and all the year brings to you and your family!

    :)

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  19. I love this blog. You are so creative and inspire me to make fun things. Thanks so much!!!!!

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  20. I just joined and have looked through everything and just LOVE your ideas and helpful tutorials, looking forward to learning and quilting with you :)

    Jan

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  21. I know you've heard it 20+ times now, but I also really enjoy your blog. Reading this post tonight was exactly what I needed, because I definitely catch myself thinking "I'm not a real quilter" all the time. I suppose it doesn't matter in the end as long as you are happy. I hope your new year venture is successful. :)

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  22. I think you are right. I think showing happy perfect things all the time is so phony and not encouraging to beginners. Can't wait for your class!

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  23. You're amazing; I'm tired just looking at your mosaics! Well done, and looking forward to more in 2012. All the best for the New Year!

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  24. I've so enjoyed finding your blog this year, and participating in the Bottled Rainbows QAL was one of my 2011 highlight, for sure! Thanks for keeping it real. If you'd like, we're hosting a year-end link party at http://www.craftbuds.com/craft-buds-2011-year-in-review-link-party, and we'd love to have you. :) Cheers!

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  25. Even though I've followed all along with you, I'm amazed at what you accomplished this year!! Absolutely beautiful and inspiring work. Looking forward to the journey in 2012 (and to learning curves, eek!)!

    Happy New Year!

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  26. I will repeat, I know, but... your blog inspirates many fans of sewing (including me!). Thanks for it!

    Happy New Year, Rachel!

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  27. Although our quilting styles are a bit different, I have thoroughly enjoyed following along with you on your blog! It makes sense to bring a bit of what keeps you truly grounded to your craft/quilting blog. Keep up the great work!

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  28. I love your blog and all your projects. I really love that you share bits about yourself and your life as well. I hope that I manage to do the same, but lately I've been struggling with keeping it "real" instead of canned... I want my blog to be my happy place, and even when I am really down in the dumps and want to put it all out there, I feel exactly as you do... does anyone really care to read that? Anyway, Happy new year... Looking forward to the curves class.

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  29. Thank you for yet another real and genuine post. This is part of the reason I keep your blog in my else overfilled reader (note to self: must clean that reader up!)

    I enjoy when bloggers move out of the overly happy-go-lucky-mode and show that they are 'just' people like me, and your great post about this earlier this year was just spot on and made me jump up and down, mentally.

    Besides that, I have been immensely inspired by many of your projects, and eventhough I did not join the Bottled Rainbow QAL, I still want to do something like it!

    Thank you for sharing and all the best for your business and family in 2012!!

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  30. I think you've hit a great spot of pretty projects and reality :) I really enjoy your blog and appreciate all the hard work that you do to make it a place of inspiration and learning.

    I have to say, on the subject of craft bloggers "being perfect", I read some posts on Crafterminds a few weeks ago that really disturbed me. That crafters fake finishing projects & use photoshop to make things look finished. I think that is a far bigger problem than crafters showing only the good things. Faking finished projects... Gives us all a bad name & creates an impossible standard. Love that you are real :)

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  31. I am back! I wanted to mention that I trust your opinion and tutorials as well. I find you to be quite honest about techniques and such and that you seem to use the same logic that I do when choosing how to do something. (maybe it's that we both have time constraints and a need to "finish"...) Anyway, thanks for that, too!

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  32. Beautifully written, honest post. I love your feelings on blogging & completely agree. Thanks for keeping it real! Happy 2012.

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  33. Hear! Hear! I love your blog, and I'll keep reading. Happy 2012

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  34. I personally hate all the happy, happy, I'm so perfect nonsense. I like real bloggers who you feel like you can get to know. If I wanted to fill myself up on the too perfect, I'd stalk Martha Stewart. Keep being yourself, mistakes and all. :)

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  35. I think you do a good job of keeping it real, but not being a downer. ;) You are real...you make mistakes...you are living life just like the rest of us. Thanks for sharing yourself and your creations this year! AND I am super glad I got to meet you in person, it gives me more of a personality to put with your writing as I read.

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  36. I do think you've found a great balance with your blog, Rachel. And I love to visit you here. Congratulations on your transition. I know you will make it with grace!

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  37. Your works are so beautiful, and I love reading your blog!
    Good luck in the New year!

    Hugs,
    Tatyana

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  38. your blog is always so inspiring for me and i feel you are very genuine! i love coming here and seeing what you are up to.

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