Thursday, April 26, 2012

personal things

What is it that makes me hesitate to share personal things in this space?  And it's not just me.  Some of my favorite reads also tiptoe around their personal lives. In my case it's not fear for my privacy.  It's more...  Do you want to hear them?  Do I want to share them?  Is this not the place?

tiptoes
image by Shutter Sugar Photography via Flickr

Like Diane said on CraftyPod this week,  "On blogs, we’re often holding up things we’ve made and saying 'Isn’t this cool?' and then people reply with some variation on 'Yes, that’s really cool!'"  It's not that this kind of show and tell is a bad thing.  It's fun.  It's inspirational!   It's just that I want to do more than that.  I want to be a real person that people can relate to.

I don't really know where this is going today, but I feel moved to be personal.  I'm thinking...

*How it feels absolutely stifling to work on a quilt knowing that I may enter into the QuiltCon quilt show.  Do I really want to invite others to judge my work?  To notice the way my points (don't) match?  Am I kidding myself that my work is possibly good enough?

*How if I ask you if I should submit Quilt X, many sweet voices will rush to say that I should.  And, possibly... many sweet voices will not admit that they disagree, just because they don't want to hurt my feelings.  So those voices won't speak up even though I'd specifically asked.  Is there a way to be honest, yet kind in this space?

*That I haven't been out in my garden for two weeks.  Oh, the weeds!  I promise to give my tomatoes some love tonight (for a very short while after which I will dutifully return to the hand-stitching!)

::First Day of School::

*That yesterday was our last day of homeschool, since we run first of August through April.  I'm so proud of how nicely this year went.  Those crayons are done well worn out.  I'm so excited for next year!  And, I kind of want to tell you some about it, but I don't know where to start...  I know, I'll just start a homeschool blog too!  Not.

*Honestly, my favorite bloggers stick to a genre.  I think it's powerful to do so, to self-edit because you all can identify with my sewing, but you can't all identify with my homeschooling or my garden or my love for Egyptian historical fiction.  I don't regret self-editing, but I also don't want to get so narrow that you all don't actually know me.

your fabrics are dying to come home with me!

*Do you think you know me or other sewing bloggers that you read?  I know, really know, some of the bloggers I read.  I've had the experience of meeting some and finding them just as expected.  Well, just as expected and maybe even a little bit More.  Authenticity is so crucial. 

*Ok, here's another thing.  Jealousy.  There's this bee that I absolutely love (the concept of) and totally wish I'd been invited to join.  Maybe this has happened to you?  I've tossed around the idea of creating a bee like the one I so admire.  But then, I'm a copycat.  But then, we're all copycats.

End of personal sharing.  

Question:  How personal are you as a blogger (if applicable) and how personal do you desire your craft blogs to read?  Assuming you'd rather be spared intimate or tedious details, how much do you appreciate the background snippets that some craft bloggers share?  

Anna Maria Horner is one of my favorite bloggers, and I think that (apart from her genius) it is because she so beautifully blends in her posts her craft and her personality.  Think about some of your favorite bloggers.  Do they share the personal?

165 comments:

  1. I like this post Rachel. I think about this too. I like the blending of personal within a blog. Makes it feel like you get to know someone, especially for the blogs that I read often. And in this case, I know you because we had the lovely occasion to travel together. So I do like reading personal snippits of your life and like this from other bloggers too. I don't think I do this enough in my blogging. I tend to stick to sewing and sometimes think that my personal stuff doesn't fit in there but your post makes me wonder whether others would like to read more about me...

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    1. It's so easy to see how the sewing stuff "fits in" and it's hard to know how to introduce "other" elements while keeping the focus where you want it to be.

      Glad to hear I'm not the only one wondering about these things!

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    2. I follow both of your blogs and honestly personality is what attracts me to continue reading. I feel it is hard to find other people that are as passionate as I am about art and the craft and therefore I read because I am interested and I care and I want to know the person behind the blog.

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  2. When I read sewing blogs or quilting blogs and the bloggers posts something new every day or even 3x a week, I get a bit exhausted! I mean, WOW! How does anyone have time to sew or quilt so much?? It's nice to hear the occasional, "Wow, I didn't sew/quilt ANYTHING this week, because sometimes just being a mom takes up all my time!" or something similar.

    I say post what you want to post, and if some of your readers can't relate, they can skip that post and read the next one. This is YOUR outlet. Let out what you want to let out! :)

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  3. It's rough. I go into my posts thinking that I won't say anything and then I'm typing and typing and personal stuff weaves its way in. So far it's been okay. But I have the same questions as you.

    And I always find bees and swaps that I wish I'd been in...but I tell myself that I'm still really new to this game so of course I wouldn't get invited.
    I'm blabbing. Longest comment ever. I guess I just wanted you to know that I have some of the same thoughts/questions as you.

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    1. The key with swaps is that you don't really have to be invited. You just have to know they're happening and ask to be included, usually. Bees are a different story....

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  4. PS - I don't know much about Egyptian historical fiction, but it sounds interesting! Have you read the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger? It's MOSTLY Victorian Britain, but in Book 2, there are mummies, and in the last one (#5), all the characters up and go to Alexandria!

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    1. LOL. Well, for what it's worth. My favorite historical fiction book is The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George. It's 1000 pages and totally a page turner. =)

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    2. What about The Reluctant God by Pamela F Service? I think it's YA, but it's interesting and fun!

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    3. I'v had fun reading the Parasol Protectorate series, too!

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  5. First, I would tell you to enter the quilt absolutely sight unseen. You are an artist. Art need not be perfect to be beautiful and worthy of admiration. Second, little glimpses into REAL LIFE are enjoyable as a blog reader. It makes me feel a little more as if I'm reading up on what friends are doing and I hope my tiny blog readership feels the same about me. Occasional anecdotes or even tirades won't muddy the quilty waters too much, they'll just make you more tangible.

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    1. Nicely said. And I love that word "tangible".

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  6. My favourite blogs are the one's where the writers give something of themselves to show their different facets. If I am going to invest so much of my time following people I want to actually feel I'm getting to know the people I'm following. When I started to blog I deliberately kept it open so it could be about anything going on in my world. The majority of people following me are doing so for the craft element. But there is a lovely core of followers that will comment on whatever I write. Long term I may not get a gazillion followers, but I never set out to be the most popular kid on the net.

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    1. It's interesting that you said 1) your favorite blogs are personal and 2) that people aren't following you for the personal elements that you do share. And I don't mean that in a snarky way. I can see why you would say both.

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    2. I guess what I meant is the people that comment are people that have found my blog through my making. But they've stayed around to comment on stuff that is personal. I read and enjoy blogs that aren't personal, but I feel more connected to the one's that are. I guess it's getting a good balance. Jan

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    3. Thanks for clarifying! Yes, there is a difference between how a blogger is found and why readers stay.

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  7. I absolutely agree with the above: this is your own blog, and if this stuff is weighing on you right now, then I think it shows you are craving something more for your space here. And since it is your place, you should share whatever you want. I love when it isn't all sewing all the time with the blogs I read, and the ones I don't skim over are usually the ones that do talk about their personal lives, or even just things other than sewing. I tend to glaze over while going through my list of blogs when it's one project after another after another after another. So, I say, go for it, if that is what you want! Regardless, I love this blog and wont stop visiting if you talk about how you went on a hot date with your man last weekend or how you cleaned the toilets yesterday. Because, wait, you're a real person?! :)

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    1. Oh, I'm laughing at that last one! But, in all seriousness I guess you are right that I'm craving "something more" for my space here. I shall think on that and try to tease out what more I'd like it to be. But honestly, in another way, it's SO not all about me. As this is my livelihood, it's also what you want it to be that matters. There's a balancing act there. The ideal content is both. Mmm... I like ideals.

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  8. I have to say I will NEVER offer honest feedback on a project ever again if it isn't positive. Someone asked for this on their blog for some centerpiece or something they'd made. I said that I liked the idea but it was a little cluttered and maybe if they did this (insert friendly suggestion here) it would be less so. Everyone FREAKED OUT at me on that blog, it was ridiculous. And her next post is about how everyone isn't going to like what she makes but it is her blog so she will show it and then all the comments agreed with her, blah blah blah.

    Uhm yea... don't ask for the honest feedback if you can't take it, espec. since I was being friendly and constructive, annoying. I stopped following that blog.

    Point of my story - don't be surprised if people are not comfortable saying anything other than nice things, most people don't want to hear it even when they say they do.

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    1. Excellent example of why the environment is the way it is. I think that this may be a fundamental shortcoming of internet relationships. It's so easy to be taken out of context or to misunderstand what the author really wants without body language. Blech.

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    2. I think I remember this, Tiffany. And I remember the project vaguely and remember thinking that your comment was dead on. People completely overreacted and if that blogger didn't want honest opinions, they shouldn't have asked. If someone asks a "how on earth do I quilt this?" or "which color do you prefer?, I'll chime in.

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    3. Exactly! I don't want others to misunderstand what I write and be offended.

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  9. Some do, some don't. I don't know that I "like" one style more than the other? If that makes sense? I know I am more eager to read blogs of people I "know" even if the know part is all virtual, LOL, in some ways that is a great way to relate more to the blogger. As for your blog, I think that is a personal decision. Would *I* love to know more, certainly. Will I stop following if I don't? Nope. I think what really attracts me to blogs (and keeps me there) is how real the people are. Not how well I know them, but I have seen many bloggers get featured/published/sponsored and become complete "experts" on everything. That is a turn off. So, I think if it feels real to sprinkle YOUR blog with personal stuff, do it. If not, don't. It IS, afterall, YOUR blog, LOL!

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    1. I think most people wonder (like me) what, specifically, would be interesting to share. Most of us don't think we're all that fascinating, so it's hard to know what questions a new friend might ask. I guess the best way to find out is to put it out there and see if you get an echo.

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  11. I've been thinking a lot about this lately...because it actually kind of bothers me that the blog world is so pretty and clean and complete all the time. I think that a lot of our inner selves come through just in the sound of our voices as we write so I do think we get to know people even if they don't share their personal stuff. But I also think that there is *already* a whole lot of pressure out there for moms/women to present a pretty, shiny world all the time, so I LOVE blogs that get personal, even just occasionally, and that show us that ALL lives are full of joy and a whole lot of messes. I have a personal blog that occasionally shows off pretty things...the purpose of my blog is of course different than yours...but I really try hard to show my life as it really is. Sometimes this means I don't clean up the chaos before I photograph, sometimes it means I openly share my sorrow and my struggles, sometimes it means I admit my failures and ask for advice. I don't think that a craft blog *has* to go into so much, but I always appreciate the ones that do.

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    1. Yes, it is SO true that the craft blogworld in particular tends to present life through rosy glasses. It's partly because beauty is often more inspirational than discord. There is one blogger I so enjoy following who often, often shares the messy reality of her life. I feel like I know her. And the messy stuff is often the most beautiful. It's a gift to know how to reveal your true self. Beyond deciding to do so, it's an extra gift to be successful.

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  12. I love reading blogs where I feel like I can hear the person's voice in their writing. I also like back stories and little tidbits of personal info. As some of your readers have already commented, this is YOUR blog and YOUR space. You should share anything and everything you want to.

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  13. i'm a very private person, so i prefer not to get too personal. i'm very closed off in real life as well and i feel a little awkward even talking about crafts at times. i also like to read craft blogs and look at pretty pictures but i am not interested in homeschooling or other pursuits/interests so i would likely be turned off if the blogs i read headed in other directions. but that is just me and i certainly don't expect the crafting world to cater to my preferences just like i am not affected by those who would want me to be more personally revealing.

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    1. Thanks for speaking up. I was wondering if anyone would be comfortable enough to admit that personal was "not for them". You did it very nicely =) I truly appreciate it.

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  14. Wow this is a loaded question for me. First of all I am facinated with the fact you homeschool. Thats wonderful. I read your blog quite often. I my self started out 5 years ago, kind of wishy washy not knowing what my blog would turn into. I did know I am a long time crocheter and quilter and was learning to knit so I brought everyone on this journey. I do all three and my life is so busy I dont have time to blog on three blogs but I know what you mean about sticking to a genre. I enjoy snippets of peoples lives but find myself sticking to blogs that stick to their craft even if its several like mine...
    My life is not a good one..I have a troubled young adult in and out of hospitals and rehabs...Blogging for me is my happy place..I dont feel good about sharing all the dirty details of my life so I continue to share what makes me happy and keeps me sane!

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    1. Neicee, thanks for your perspective. One thing that your comment reminds me of is that our blogs can and probably should evolve as our journey's evolve. A person doesn't stagnate, so as we change it's authentic for our blogs to change as well.

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  15. I definitely agree that you should write as much (or as little) about your personal life as you want. This is your space and you should always feel comfortable using it. I also enjoy reading a bit about your personal life - especially if there is a combination of both good and bad! I've only recently become interested in sewing (got my first machine in January) and your blog is one that I love because I do feel like your personality shows and I'm actually getting to know you. I was recently looking through your archived posts and came across an early one in which you mentioned that you were feeling a bit like a failure because a couple of projects hadn't turned out quite right -- reading that actually REALLY bolstered my spirits! It's nice to know that you're human and make mistakes, since everything you make looks so beautiful to me!

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    1. I know just what post you mean: http://www.stitchedincolor.com/2010/12/sew-imperfect.html. I'll tell you that there seems to be more at stake with broadcasting my failures now that I am "teaching". I try to present myself as an "inspiration" as a teacher more than an "expert". But, a lot of people seem to want an expert.

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    2. I'm sure even Julia Child burnt something in the oven every once and a while.

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    3. That is just the post! With respect to the teaching, I am definitely signing up for the hand-stitched class, I can't wait! I fall in the opposite of the "expert" camp -- I find someone's ability to say "I don't know" or "I made a mistake" one of the most appealing qualities in a teacher. We're all human, and we all struggle to live up to expectations (whether they are self-imposed or from others) and seeing people who I admire show that they also struggle makes me feel even more inspired to keep working on becoming the best self I can be.

      Thanks so much for all your thoughtful posts, I really enjoy reading them and learning from you.

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  16. Great post and certainly down to earth. For me it is the snippets of a bloggers life that make a blog, as the little insights give me the background to the quilts or crafts produced by the b;og authors. These snippets make then real. When posting I endeavor to balance personal information and crafting on my blog and try and not post photographs of others if I can help it due to privacy issues and internet safety. http://ribbonsandrosebuds.blogspot.co.nz/.

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  17. I've got separate blogs, one for my family life and one for crafting. I had them together for a while, until I started to get more and more into scrapbooking and then I decided to separate them.. my crafting blog of course turned into a sewing one.. but that's evolution for ya.

    And I plan on entering a quilt for QuiltCon... and I don't plan on sharing on it at all. Mostly for secrecy, but I don't want to feel like a failure if I don't end up making it and submitting it in time.

    As far as what I like to see on blogs.. I realize not everyone has the time that they can devote to two blogs, which in that case, I'm ok with reading personal stuff. It's like how Ashley over at Film in the Fridge does things.. she talks about her quilts and whatnot, and then talks about Max. I've seen comments of people saying "I came here to look at quilts not babies." and that's just hurtful and rude in my opinion! It's really up to the blogger for them to blog about, and sometimes family and creating overlaps!

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    1. I've enjoyed Ashley's version of personal + quilts too. And, also, I think we need a whole discussion about QuiltCon. I bet there's lot we're all wondering!

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  18. Is it the Traveling Quilt that you are talking about ? I wish I was in that group too.
    At some point, we are all copycats.. When we create something, we all find our inspiration in someone else's quilt, picture, words and then we create something that is unique in a new way but it's from somewhere !

    I wish I had the guts to talk more about personnal stuff somtimes on my blog.
    And I wish everyone talked a little bit more about personnal things. Sometimes, I feel like I can't. It's crazy because it's our blog so we should be able to do whatever we want to do and write about all the things we want to write about. But again, sometomes I feel like I can't do that.

    One blog that I love is Soule Mama. Even though I've never talked to her, I feel like I know her a little bit. I love the way she writes, her pictures, her studio..

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    1. Since you brought up the bee issue, I'll observe that it is the nature of bees to be exclusive. I don't think that's the fault of any bee; it's just reality. As long as I knew that others wouldn't mind me copying, I guess I would be ok doing so. And, I guess I could just ask them, right? Sometimes we (I) make life too complicated!

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  19. I like the blogs that stick to their main focus (cooking, sewing, crafting, what have you) but share a little bit about their real life (their family, likes/dislikes, struggles and triumphants, other interests). However, I think as bloggers we should be true to ourselves and write what ever we want to write. It's your blog after all. We shouldn't be driven by our audience. Unless, I suppose, a blog is associated with a business.:)

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  20. I like to get to know the blogger. I like blogs where people are real. I know alot of quilt bloggers make their lives seem as pretty as their quilts, when i know their life is as complicated and chaotic as mine! As far as my blog, there are posts where i just want to talk about quilting, there are some with both quilting and personal and sometimes i just vent on a personal thing.

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  21. Really, (maybe because I come from a country where you can talk to a person every day for 2 years without knowing their name because it's rude to ask, and you just don't share without asking.) I DO think that you already share personal things. Maybe not so much in the "today I had a bean burger for lunch and we went for a walk" way, but in the way you tell about your charity projects, little glimpses about your garden/homeschooling etc. Plus I think that the projects/fabrics one chooses tell a lot, as well as the way you write.
    Anyhow, that's why I like your blog. While sticking strictly to the business you still manage to make it personal.

    As for egyptian historical fiction, I suppose you have already read The Egyptian by Waltari? If not, do. It's great!

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    1. Haha, I'll have to put that book on my list! Thanks for chiming in, Suvi. We're all so different.

      P.S. Don't worry, I don't yearn to give daily updates on my daily to do lists. Well, unless they're sewing to do lists. Maybe.

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  22. I come to your blog because you create beautiful things and inspire me to try new things and create more. I do think mixing in more of the other things that make you so special would be great (to the level that you're comfortable and is appropriate for the general public). Knowing more of the non-quilting things I think also provides us with insight into what inspires you and drives you in this art form. So I say go for it! Although please don't go 100% Egyptian on us :) And I say that with a love for Elizabeth Peter's historical mysteries!

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  23. Hi Rachel! I just wanted to chime in and let you know that I personally love to read snippets of personal entwined with the sewing. That is how my sewing actually is...entwined with my real life as I'm sure yours is. So why not include it? I think you are already successful at doing this (as much as AMH, I love her blog, too!). You should include what you are comfortable with your readers knowing about you and your family and it will be fine!

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  24. I much prefer blogs that share the personal along with the projects. It helps me connect with them. Blogs that are all about the projects and tutorials are just "information" in my mind. Having said all that, making connections and sharing is why I started blogging in the first place. I can honestly say that because of this I have made some true friends. My life wouldn't be the same witout it!

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    1. I think that when I get into the groove of just sharing "information" I feel really distanced from my blog. It does feel more like a business or a "machine" and thus is a lot less fun. It's just plain fun (for me) to be more personal. Still, it's not without it's risks.

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  25. Hm - so here are my rambling thoughts ....
    1. I like reading personal snippits ... I mean I think everyone wants to know how to balance it all! Crafting, whether it is for livelihood or fun or both, is time consuming ... and figuring out how to balance it can be difficult. I think it is interesting to hear stories that support or challenge the ability to balance your hobby.
    2. I think everything you shared above are all on-topic of your blog. They are more about the process instead of the finished product - but they are definitely sewing related!
    3. I think I pick my blogs based on a variety of things including writing style, project inspiration, and thought provoker ... I personally prefer when the "culture" or "feel" of the blog stays the same, rather than the topic.
    4. I think it is difficult for people to offer honest feedback in this forum, especially in an open ended format ...b/c we don't actually know each other (for the most part).
    PS: I'd love to see what you enter into QuiltCon ... I hope you choose to show it, even if it is after you submit it. =)

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    1. Ooh, so many good thoughts! I like the idea of a stable culture, if not topic. On your first point I've had several people lately ask me how I "balance it all" and the question makes me intensely uncomfortable because it implies that I DO balance it all. Which is impossible. I would love to understand what's really being asked in that question and do my best to answer it.

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  26. This is such a great topic for discussion, Rachel. I've been blogging for a few years now and have largely kept my posts impersonal in that I don't talk about my husband or my kids too directly. I don't post photos of them and I don't talk much about my own life outside of the things I make.

    When it comes to the internet, I'm a pretty private person (no Facebook or Twitter, though I do use Pinterest for visually keeping track of bookmarks). That being said, I do like to read about other bloggers' lives if their personal stories are subtly included in their main posts, though I prefer blogs to stick primarily to their main "theme" or genre.

    I do think this is something most of us bloggers struggle with. How can be authentic without over-sharing? I can honestly say I don't have the answer to that... let me know if you come up with it! ;)

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  27. Rachel,

    I think that sharing personal things on your blog helps your audience to understand you and see what motivates you behind the scenes. It gives us a way of connecting the dots in between the ideas, concepts, motivations and finished projects. The thing that stand out for me the most about your above post is the idea of copy cats. I completely understand what you are saying, but i think that this can be a dangerous phrase for an artist. We've all been given certain talents and each have a unique way of expressing these talents and abilities. I too find that I am often limited because I think 'oh, this has already been done,' or, 'I don't want anyone to think that I'm not original'. I think it's important to stay unique and have your own ideas, but if the fear of being a 'copy cat' is stopping you from doing something you feel passionate about doing, then it's a problem! Whatever it is, you should go for it...I'd love to see what you'd come up with (as I'm sure many others would as well)!

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    1. Sounds like a question for a whole post, really. I'm not much plagued by the fear of "copying" when I'm creating, but in concepts/structure/organization, that's when I worry more. I wonder why that is?

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  28. The blog I've followed the longest gets extremely personal in her blog...both professionally and family. And that's probably why I've followed her so long. I find that admire how she handles situations with her kidd. I don't even share the same craft as her any more...although I do still very much admire how she pairs colors.

    But that said...I think if you get that personal it can narrow your audience. Not everyone would agree with how she deals with her situations and if I didn't maybe I wouldn't follow her blog as closely. I'm not a huge commenter so she probably doesn't even know I exist but we are like minds. And that isn't very common.

    I don't get very personal on my blog. Although I'm starting to. It's hard to blog if you didn't happen to have time to sew that weekend. I guess it just depends on where your personal line is.

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  29. i love this topic. i think about it all the time. personally (ha!), i love blogs that get personal. or rather, ones that balance crafting with personal stuff. i want to feel like the blog i am reading is written by an actual person. so what if i don't share every single interest with them? i think alicia paulson (posie gets cozy) does this perfectly. i love the small glimpses into her every day life the most (like the posts about when her adoption fell through last year... wow) even though yes, she's primarily a crafter. the blogs that are completely 100% about quilting always attract me initially, but honestly, i get worn out by them fast. but then, maybe i'm looking for blogs/people who are "like" me? i didn't intend for my blog to be just about sewing when i started it (it was meant to be a place where i simply explored things i love... and that could be anything!) but i think it slowly morphed into that because i felt pressure (from myself, i'm sure) to only talk about quilting because i thought that's what my audience wanted. but that wasn't making me happy anymore, because i just can't keep up with that kind of output. so i'm trying to be more balanced about it (though these days that just means posting ingrid photos... sigh).

    i guess the bottom line for me is that it's super hard to be balanced and figure out what the right kinds of things to share are, but i think it's worth it in the long run.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Ara Jane. It seems like the key is to figure out what YOU really want to share. Being in that place makes a lively, genuine and personally rewarding blog. I guess for me it's believing that I can write whatever that is and not lose my audience, which I depend upon for my livelihood.

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  30. Maybe for your quilts you could ask people to share one nice comment and one constructive comment? I'm sure some would still only leave nice comments (and you should consider that sometimes you/your quilts really do only deserve nice comments!) but if you receive a few constructive criticisms on the same item/detail, it might be worth a second look to see if you agree with that criticism or not. That way you're asking people to expand their answers beyond "i like it!". My two cents. :o)

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  31. I belive you share more than you think. I've been following you for about 2 years now I think, and I feel like I know a fair amount about you. We can see you adore your family, and want to make a beautiful and loving home for them. I like to read the personal stuff - when a blogger is proud of her kids, or worried about parents getting older. I do think there is a limit to it, but most quilty bloggers are so enthused about their quilting work that the personal side takes the backseat naturally. I've enjoyed getting to know the inside you, as much as seeing your skills expand in the time I've been following you. I follow alot of blogs, but there are only a handful that I read consistently and yours is one of the few.

    And I for one wouldn't mind hearing more about the Egyptian historical fiction! I've been listening to Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series on audiobooks - more murder mysteries than Egyptian history, but cool nonetheless. Spill it girlie, whatcha been reading?

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    1. Haha! I haven't read a lot of it recently, but my favorite Egyptian fiction is The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George.

      I am incredibly touched by what you shared about your impressions of me. Thank-you!

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  32. Hi,
    Have you read Iris & Ruby by Rosie Thomas? I've just finished it, and became very engrossed.
    I like blogs that stick to their main focus too. Loads of pictures are always great! But then, as a teacher, I am very cautious about putting too much of myself online.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the book, Fran. I'd be curious to know what about being a teacher makes you cautious!

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    2. Well, we are always being warned about facebook, and making sure we have maximum security... I guess it's the risk of school kids accessing your private domain and abusing it.

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  33. I have opened up on my blog a few times and I wind up feeling hurt, because I have people attack me for my opinions/feelings/etc. Sadly, the attacks come from family members, not strangers. If you have a tougher skin than I do, and can not let mean people win, I'd love to know more about you- I promise that I will not be one of the mean people.

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  34. Once again, I enjoy your thoughtful posts. I like it when bloggers share some personal-gives something to connect to. But sometimes it can go overboard...like with this one organization blog I followed for awhile. It started to get a bit mundane, then one day, I kid you not, she posted about 12 pictures of her new dish soap. I thought, what am I doing with my time here?! For what it's worth, I think your balance of personal and content is a good mix. And I hear you on the jealousy thing...I'd LOVE to be invited into a bee, not just sign up for one, but how does that happen?!

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    1. Funny story, Valerie! It's not fun to admit to being jealous. I try to remind myself that it's not personal. It's not as if whoever planned any given bee thought "let's NOT include her". Instead, they think who they know that they'd like to Include. And there are so many wonderful people out here, it's no surprise that bees fill up fast!

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  35. I was just thinking of you this morning, while posting on my do.Good Stitches group, how awesome a concept it is that 10 people across the USA can come together to make super nice quilts for charity. When we could not do that on a individual basis.

    I believe the reasons I have not started a blog lies in what you have shared here. I work full-time and it takes me what seems like forever to finish a project, would people really like to see progress posts all the time and few finishes? And would they like to hear about all the things that take up my time, instead of quilting? But I think sharing tidbits of personal things, keeps it real, and allows us as readers to relate. Or maybe you don't want us to know who you really are, LOL! Really, that is supposed to make you laugh!

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    1. Don't worry, I'm smiling! Hm... I am a woman who hates gardening, but believes in eating local. Who wishes she could have more kids. Who likes baking way more than cooking and whose hand got cramped last night at English Paper Piecing. Yep, that's the truth!

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  36. I love getting snippets of personal with your craft/art. It's what I try to deliver with my blogging and have to admit that I struggle with the right balance. For what it's worth, I'm enjoying keeping up with your blog - and I'm not just blowing smoke. :)

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  37. I often find myself asking the same questions. I really enjoy blogs that share the meaningful bits of life, even if it happens during the dishes. I love to be inspired, in my crafts, my life, my relationships, and I love blogs that provide that. Its like the real people relationships that we have, I can seem to hang around people that are only one dimensional for so long. But give me a quilter that is real about life and we will share more that photos of pretty stacks of fabric. Laughter and tears are so much a part of living an inspired life, and I'm going on the grand adventure!

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  38. I hear you. I've been blogging since December, and the more I blog, the more I find little personal tidbits creeping in. I think that's okay. I don't want to get too personal -- there's enough of that in blogland to go around already -- but I think it's okay for people to know sometimes that we have real things happening in and around our creative moments. And yes, I've felt the jealousy thing too. I was so excited when I got into the online quilting community, and then suddenly terribly afraid that it was turning out to be the popularity contest I thought we left behind in high school. The truth is probably something in between. In the end, I decided to join swaps/SALs/etc. whenever and wherever I have an opportunity, and to not worry about what others think of my projects...just to make things that I really love. But hey, if you start a bee...let me know!

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    1. Well, now, see that would be the problem if I did start a bee. Suddenly I would be the one excluding others. Bummer.

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  39. Until recently, I focused on the quilting and creative side. But since last Nov. I have needed to express more personal issues---health being one. The amazing support I have gotten on line means so much at midnight when sleep eludes me. And bloggers have just become an extension of mt local group of friends and family. It is your blog, so be who you are and want to be.

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  40. I am fairly open on my blog. I like personal. I don't know everyone. I don't pretend to. And some people's blogs aren't always interesting enough for me to read through everyday. Sometimes I don't look past the very first picture on my reader. But I DO know some people, and theirs are the blogs that I read even if they are just talking about gardening (which I don't do) or knitting (which I've never tried). They are the people who send me emails out of the blue and who I email when I see a random print that reminds me of them. They are the people who send me a fq just because it will go with a bundle I've been putting together. Who make silly videos of me and my family online just to cheer me up when I'm complaining! We text. We're friends. And I attribute that first and foremost to being open and personal on my blog. I self-edit a bit. There are things that go on in my life that don't make the cut to the blog, but I try to be real. My blog is for me. I write about what I love and what I'm feeling.

    I get frustrated and anxious and down just like everyone else does and I share it. The encouragement is great and the advice is even better! I appreciate honesty too, but I feel it's easier to bring honesty to someone I know than someone I don't. Yet another reason I reach out, try to comment on other people's blogs, write thoughtful responses to the commenters on my blog, and use those outlets to build relationships. I can tell Laura her new purse is fugly and she'll tell me my face is. I can tell Sunni she should add some blue to a quilt and she won't take offense. And they can tell me anything because we're friends and I respect them. I'm always more cautious with my words when I don't know the person I am talking to because I don't want to offend. Some bloggers only want compliments.

    As far as the bees go, I completely understand. I was so discouraged when I first started my blog. I wanted to get involved and make friends, but I didn't know how. I thought "I need to join a bee!! All the popular kids are joining bees!!" But I wasn't invited. And I didn't know what I was doing. Ok. So maybe it's not the same feeling, but what I'm trying to say is that I've been discouraged too. I think starting your own copycat bee sounds perfect! You're organized. You're creative. You could be starting the next big thing!!

    And look at all the people who read through this whole post and took the time to write out a lengthy and thoughtful response! I'd say you would have people lining up to be your bee mate!

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  41. In terms of the various responses, I think this is a true example of the array of personalities, each experiencing life and their needs in different ways. I'd imagine that in your position of making this platform a source of economic stability for your family, it's important to incorporate business sensibility into your approach. Therefore, contemplating the best way to share yourself in a way that will attract attention would be ideal. Due to the nature of sewing, it's seems suitable to be personal. Yet, for most organizations, personal is not a necessary component {thanks to Ford's factory line...ick!}. However, what I love about small businesses and family owned operations is the inability to escape the personal. And for me, that's what bonds my interest and loyalty. In my opinion, if your approach is strictly business, you are constantly trying to find ways to compete and align yourself to be bigger, better, newer, faster, more POPULAR. That seems stressful and unfulfilling. Rather, if you are attracting people due to your ability to be personal and real, your abilities are secondary and therefore you alleviate some pressure. Not to mention, no one can one up you...you're an original. And if you don't share yourself, you loose your most loyal audience. Plus, writing is very personal: You'll be fighting back your heart strings if you don't let it out. Xxo Robin

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    1. I love this, "if you are attracting people due to your ability to be personal and real, your abilities are secondary and therefore you alleviate some pressure. Not to mention, no one can one up you...you're an original." This is so true. If you can succeed by being yourself, you have truly succeeded.

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  42. I would love to read more about the personal. I am new to this space and follow lots of sewing/quilting bloggers. I love reading about personal stuff. I love to hear/see that they have other things going on in their lives besides sweatshop like sewing (cause it seems like that must be the case for many who churn out a crazy amount of stuff). As a newbee I love posts on the process - how fabrics were chosen, source of inspiration, how long it took, how they made the process go faster, etc. Regardless of what you do though I will still read, I love all your posts =)

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    1. I definitely appreciate your list of what you'd like to hear. Those are all things I enjoy writing about, and I think I sort of forget it and focus on presenting finished projects.

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  43. Funny enough, I had the very same thoughts a few weeks ago. It's rare for me to post about my life outside of sewing, but really sewing is such a small part of who I am. So I did a more personal post, and I felt really good about sharing a bit more about me and my life. I doubt if I'll do it often, but now and then I think I'll open up a little corner and let people in.

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  44. I guess there's personal and then there's *personal*, if you know what I mean! I used to be more personal than I am now I think, and I think it's because I sort of feel like my personal also involves other people, including my daughter, and do I really have the right to blog about her? I always enjoy a bit of personal on people's blogs to give context to what they make, although sometimes I feel a bit uncomfortable with the things they'll share - conversely people who make a big point of keeping everything private except the craft make me uncomfortable because it feels so artificial. I need a personal connection with a blogger, and I think in general that comes through even if you don't tell us about Egyptian historical fiction specifically! Phrasing, topics, sense of humour, what you make - they all give a sense of person. And I'd never presume to tell someone they shouldn't enter a quilt into a competition! Since when is my taste the arbiter of style and competence? Personally I think you do great stuff and should go for it, but if you are willing to put things up on a popular blog then I think you're probably really ok with being judged yes? There's a lot more nastiness on the internets than in a quilt show :)

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    1. It's funny - I don't really feel like what I put out on the blog is "judged". I guess people obviously do, but it's not a competition; it's just sharing. I've never entered a competition of any sort. Plus, they can get all up close!

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  45. Oh my gosh. Okay, so for me I only have 5 followers + my Mom who doesn't have a blog or anything to "follow" me. The only person I know for sure who actually reads my blog is my Mom, so basically I write to her! Ha,ha, so it's kind of fun. When I started blogging I was just SO excited to have found a community of people who "got" what I had going on in my head. My friends in person are not particularly crafty and a glaze kind of covered their eyes when they would politely let me ramble on and on about baking, quilting, sewing, crafting and the lot. I read a variety of blogs about all sorts of things and I think that mostly all of them are a blend of whatever craft they do and their personal lives.
    And, I love to hear what people are reading about so I can see if it's something I might want to read, too.

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  46. Well I totally don't think you should enter Quilt X in that show, it's Quilt Y all the way baby. Just 'cos ;o)

    As for the personal, well, I guess I share a bit of the other things I'm doing outside sewing, but I have no kids or pets to share about (I don't think my flatmate counts as a pet, though he's hairy enough...) and I'm single, so no cute dating stories either! I like reading a bit about the lives of the people on the blogs I follow, but I prefer when there's more crafting and less personal.

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  47. Unfortunately I think there will always be the "haters" out there who are never satisfied with what you share, or what you don't share. Some people are just too honest sometimes. But I really, truly feel that God desires that we be authentic and real with others, and with ourselves. I think it is good (in certain circumstances) to share with others that our lives aren't perfect and that we struggle. In doing so we can connect, especially with the people who are afraid to share because they don't feel like they are good enough. Does that make sense? As I said before, there's no way you can make everyone happy with your thoughts and projects. People are always going to be judgmental. But that shouldn't keep us from being free to share our thoughts. This blog is your personal space. You have rights to share or not share the gift of your thoughts, however how personal, with us.

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  48. 1. Enter your quilt into QCon. Definitely. You are very talented! 2. Be as personal as you like. I semi started what is a very sorry blog right now. But in the small posts I have done, several are personal. Like extremely. But that's just me. I put it out there because that is who I am.3. I read your blog everyday because I am curious as to what you're working on. When I took your class and participated in chats I had a glimpse of who you are. And that was awesome! We are very different but have a common interest in craft, Alabama Chanin and all things AMH :) I think personal is good...it gives a sense of who is making all those amazing things! Now go get on with making that quilt for QCon!

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    1. Different is definitely good. Some of my dearest friends are folks who changed my life because they were comfortable claiming a different way than I.

      OMG, I even have friends who don't love AMH's work like I do ;)

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    2. Thanks for that reminder. I often forget that different IS good. But I don't think I can trust anyone who doesn't heart Anna Maria. Lol.

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  49. I feel like I know you, but I've had the pleasure of Curves Camp chats and a few personal emails back and forth. There is a glimpse at your personal life coming through the blog, don't feel like you've completely shut us out. I can see why you would pigeon-hole your blog though. I follow one Mummy blogger (the other 100 are sewing blogs), she went to a bloggers conference where they were recommended to write within their niche rather than straying all over the place. I can understand that a bit too so since I read that I've tried to cut down on family talk on my blog and just concentrate on the sewing. Problem is that I have less to talk about, especially when I might not get any sewing done or here's project X, it's still a wip, I trimmed those edges... I feel like it can get a bit monotonous if that's all I'm talking about. I think there's a skill to just adding a little bit more of your person life without letting it take over, I wish I could work it out.

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  50. My two cents - I like edited personal. My favorite blogs talk about their lives, their families and what's important to them at the time. Even though they may jump from crafty/sewing posts to a post about their kid or dog or garden, their passion comes through in both and I like reading when the other person feels passionate about what they write about. I tend to lose interest in blogs that have one strict focus and don't develop a connection with their readers. I feel like I either only use their blog for reference since it's impersonal or the writer actually starts to sound tired and not passionate about what they are writing. I think it's a balance for sure, and one that I can't say I've figured out. But I think if it's your blog, you should write what you want to and enjoy writing about. As people, we're going to grow and change and I think blogs tend to reflect that. I would rather a blogger that I like reading change their focus than to stop blogging if blogging about something else is what they want to do. I think so many blogs get abandoned because people don't know what to do when they want to evolve and they've gotten so specific they feel stuck.

    Holy long answer. Also, loved Robin's response a few above mine!

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    1. Oh wow, so many great responses here, but I'm really loving Jess' up there and that's what I strive to do too. I like blogs that are "edited personal" like she says - not all rambling about daily life stuff, but enough to feel like you know someone. And I definitely think you should post what you want - it's your blog! I don't show my kids' faces, so I like to talk about their personalities when I write. I probably should try to talk more about work-life balance since I often get the "how do you have the time?" type comments, but anyway, I have to work to show struggles, it's easier to just show a finished product and say "ta da!" :) I'm still learning. And I'm newish to following you, so I can't say I "know" you yet aside from through your creations, which are beautiful. but posts like this help me get to know you personally! :)

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    2. It's way easier to blog at the ta da moments also because it's a natural pause. So often I don't stop in process to snap a picture, especially since I sew a lot at night.

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    3. ME TOO! night sewing photos tend to go in instagram, not the blog. haha.

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  51. I'm so glad that you posted this today. Earlier today I posted about some health issues that I hadn't shared before and how the stress from people being unkind affected me. I don't normally share things that personal, but I think sometimes we forget that on the other end of that internet connection is a real live human being with feelings and things going on in their life. I also think it is so easy for what we write to be taken the wrong way because like you said we can't see the body language that goes along with it. Thank you for writing this post.

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  52. I haven't posted on my blog for awhile, but then I never worry about it because its only friends and family that ever read me. I don't mind leaving personal information on mine, and I find it refreshing when others do as well. I like that we get to find out that no one is perfect... too many blogs these days only show massive progress and no procrastination, no "oh I ripped out those seams four times before I decided it was good enough and let it go" or "you know what folks, I am sitting here in my sweatpants because I haven't done laundry in a week!". Readers like to know that you are just like them.... imperfect. I think if you want our opinions on quilt a or quilt b for a show, then ask. Yes, you will get people who will say only nice things, but you will get those of us as well who will be honest with you (but we will do it nicely!) The only thing I don't like is when a blog that I started following for one reason or another changes completely and becomes all baby pictures.... I admit, being subjected to weeks and weeks of pictures of your adorable two year old with spaghetti noodles up their nose will have me drop a blog and not come back. There is a line between being personal/personable and leaving me feeling like some kind of voyeur for being on your blog. :D

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    1. Personable - that's the word! I think we all want to personable, but not necessarily too *personal* as somone else said. It's nice to focus on our craft, but to be personable about it. Good!

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  53. Rachel, I can identify with your homeschooling, your garden and your sewing!!! I cannot identify with your love for Egyptian historical fiction, though.....and it's because I'm not into that.
    I loved homeschooling my son who is now finishing up with a Chemistry Degree in college.
    Your blog is such an interesting read because it reads "you".
    You sound fun, fun and you ARE so much of an enabler!
    I like to think my blog reads like "me". I am extremely honest and very trustworthy. Oh, gosh, I hope I can get my big head out the door now! ;o)

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  54. I enjoy reading blogs that get away from sewing some of the time, it's nice to see another side of someone, and "get to know" them like you would in real life. I guess I don't get too personal on my blog, but really because my blog is still in it's making and I haven't quite completely found my groove on that yet, I'm still exploring with it. Most of the blogs I read aren't always about what's on the sewing table, or sometimes they are a little about sewing, a little about life.

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  55. What a great post! I have spent a big chunk of time reading all the comments and wondering if I have let my readers know the real me or not? I tend to stay away from posts that are not related to quilting or sewing in some way, but I have sneaked in a few little glimpses of myself. I think it is frightening to let people know that we have faults. I would love for people to think that I never need a manicure and my quilting space stays perfectly organized, but that is so far from the truth. I never really thought anyone would be interested in knowing the real me. This had made me think. Maybe I need to quit filtering my posts. I've probably made them so sterile, nobody knows that I am a fun, quirky, sensitive person. (Okay, N.Maria, we need to come up with big hats now! hmmmmm....maybe the next tutorial!) Actually, I struggle with low self esteem and I'm terrified of hurting someones feelings or having someone hurt mine. I'm going to try to let my personality sneak out more. Thanks for the great post!

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  56. I am interested in the personal stories my favorite bloggers tell. I think that without the personal, I unsubscribe after a while, because those blogs don't stand out, and I need to keep my reading at a manageable level. I've been reading your blog for about 4 months, and I look forward to getting to your posts when I see there's a new one up. Thus far you have had enough personality to stand out, though I didn't know you had kids or that you homeschool (I used to homeschool and hope to get back to it after our stint at a fabulous school is over). You may mention these things every so often, but not often enough that the info has stuck with me. Also, with some of the craft blogs I read, I just window shop, scrolling for pictures, skipping the text. I tend to think of the blogs I actually read as magazine columnists and I like to get to know them as people or characters.

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    1. Thanks so much for telling me how long you have been reading and what you didn't know. See now, that tells me that I'm not being as personable as I would like. As a blogger, it's easy to mentally feel like if you've said it once there's no point in saying it again. So not true! I'm grateful for your perspective.

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  57. I do love a sprinkling of personal sharing on blogs, especially if the bloggers talk about their children, travels, or home schooling. Having said that, I don't usually share a lot of personal things on my blog because I would rather not discuss that I suffer from depression. I often go weeks at a time without posting because I can't work up the energy to write. It is those times that I enjoy reading other peoples' blogs the most because it gives me a connection to the outside world. I don't usually include info about my 2 grown children very much because they would prefer that I not give details about their lives. They both have Tourette's Syndrome and related co-morbidities and prefer to keep their everyday challenges private. I do try to share their triumphs because it helps to remind me of the positive things in their lives.
    When I comment on a quilt or craft project, I try to make my comment very specific. Sometimes, I resort to the generic, "I love this quilt," or "great fabric choice," because it is exactly how I reacted to the project.
    Since I am not a daring soul and am not particularly skilled as a quilter, I usually make very simple patterns. I am never going to produce a show worthy entry and I really don't care. I enjoy the process and how it makes me feel rather than how it looks to anyone else. I would encourage someone else to enter their quilt, even if I didn't like it because they may benefit by the experience.
    I like your blog and think that you should do whatever makes you comfortable. Your work and enthusiasm inspires and delights me and I suspect it will continue to do so, no matter what you choose to write about.
    Speaking of "bees," I have read a few bloggers that were told their work wouldn't "fit in" with the "Do Good Stitchers" Bee, so it's all relative. Just like school, there are people and styles we gravitate to and others that don't work out.

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  58. What a thoughtful post! I like maybe 3/4 to be quilt and then 1/4 personal. In truth, everything we do, and especially creative endeavors, are always personal. But I like to see snippets of family, friends, house, town, pets, etc... which gives me an idea of what inspires you. I do find myself feeling like I know my bloggers, some who share a lot of their otherthanquilt stuff and some who share none just by seeing the fabrics they chose or quilt designs. Or even by how they set up their blog. But if all I'm reading is quilt, quilt, quilt, then I get bored and visit less often. And then as a blogger, I can't really write much without at least a mention of my daughter or my dogs. That's just who I am! Oh, and if you feel like starting a bee.... :-)

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  59. Blogging for me is always a balancing act. I regard myself as a pretty private person who doesn't necessarily want to post my personal details out on the internet, and yet most of my favorite creative blogs are the ones (like AMH) where real life does creep in and become intertwined with the making. I always find it hard to know how much I want to share and discuss what's going on in my personal life, even though it effects my creativity immensely. I also believe that the main reason handmade is so important and cherished is because of the real person and the real life influences that become a part of the finished product. It is hard to know how to negotiate being authentic while still keeping a sense of privacy.

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    1. I love, love, Love what you said about why handmade is cherished. We should all take that to heart as we share and make our things!

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  60. For me I a number of different things going on always. Right now...gardening, reading, sewing (trying to find the time to finish a chairty quilt and do a lap one for my mom for Mother's day) homeschooling, planning for a number of different projects & events for this year and next(including next school year), trying to keep the house somewhat clean and the clothes washed, getting ready to start the remodel of my kitchen in a week..... So I enjoy blogs with a number of things going on and that include the 'real' life stuff like dirty dishes in the sink, floors need mopping, and all the toys need putting away but I'm taking some me time to comment on a fav blog type stuff ;) It helps me feel like I'm not alone and that its ok to really LIVE my life and enjoy it, mess and all.

    -annabelle :)

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  61. My blog started as a homeschooling blog. Twice, it has been voted Best Homeschooling Mom blog--but i felt kind of stuck in that genre. I didn't want to be a craft blog and I wasn't even yet sewing, but it felt more natural for it to be "rounder." Now, I have a blog that is comfortable for me. Actually, it's more than comfortable. It feels like home to me. I've added sewing to it because i've added sewing to my life and because I want sewing companions. It's an all-around real life blog:-)

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  62. It's funny because lately I've been thinking that I don't like that I've taken my blog in a purely sewing direction. I used to write about anything, and I could be funny. But now I feel like I'm droning on whenever I write a post. You'll notice that I haven't had many entries in the last month because all of a sudden blogging seems like such a chore. I don't like that. I love to write, and I love to read. I love to read about little (or big) personal goings on in my blog reader. I love it when someone can weave it seamlessly into their crafty posts, but I also love it when bloggers throw caution to the wind and just let it all out in one big post... Like you did here today. I hope, though, that you'll still give us bits of your bright (and cloudy... but mostly bright, because that's how I see you) days. Ok, enough rambling. :)

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  63. My own blog is eclectic - I do knitting, quilting, book reviews, teaching-related things, family news (but I don't release my kids' names online), advocacy for special needs kids, and sometimes I branch into religion and politics. I like having a blog that is a personal statement and not just narrowly focused on one thing because I'd have a hard time sticking to just one subject. But, I've never tried to make money off my blog and I don't have that many followers, so I have that freedom. I'd say to let your own comfort level and preference guide how personal you are, because it's your blog and you need to like what you do first of all.

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  64. As far as personal goes I read lots of personal blogs and find none of it tedious. Plucking nose hairs? We don't want to know, but you already knew that. My blog is a record of my life. An edited record that is for public consumption, but more than just the sewing I do.

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  65. If i don't read some personal glimpses on your blog, how can I know that I am "like" you?? I want to get to know the individual- as much as they want share. But as others have said, it is your blog and you have to post when you want and what you want. I'll keep reading.

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  66. Personally, I like blogs that share a little about themselves... but not too much. The 'blog as my bedside journal' thing is something i do not understand. i do not want to spend the few breaks i have reading someone else complain or go on about their problems. when blogs start going in that direction, i stop following. that's not to say i have anything against occasional 'spilling'. for instance, i thought it was really brave of AMH to share about her miscarriage and the grief she struggled with. but i am glad that's not the everyday there and that usually it's an upbeat place to visit.

    i've personally had the same concerns about my own blog, which i've transitioned from an adoption blog to a sewing blog. sometimes i want to say more about adoption (the good, the bad, the ugly), the 150 million orphans in the world, etc etc, but i'm not sure i could do those things justice on my blog. also, i don't think the internet is necessarily the best forum for those heavy, complicated topics. still, if i read something important regarding these issues, i link to it, that way if someone is interested they can check it out.

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  67. Wow, so many comments! Looks like this is something that's an issue for so many of us! As a new blogger I'm feeling my way with this too. I think "real life" relationships have a dynamic where give and take is easier and as you said earlier, body language etc. makes readability so much less tricky, so we can be more honest with each other and people see our imperfections in our daily lives anyway. In a blog it's easier to shape ourselves into an online profile which is a bit unreal, even if I try to be "real".

    Another factor for me when reading personal stuff on people's blogs is that it's great to feel as though I'm getting to know them as real people, but a little bit of me sometimes feels like I'm living vicariously and kind of, well not exactly stalking them, but there's something a bit weird about following the details of someone's life when you've never actually met them or had a conversation. Maybe a bit like reality TV? Or is that just me?

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  68. I can't say that I share anything super personal on my blog, but if I want to, I will. I think it is great to hear some of your thoughts on it and it reminds me to keep things real too.

    On another note, what kind of egyptian fiction do you like? Have you read the Amelia Peabody series? Its my all time fave.

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  69. I read a blog because their words, photos, etc connect with me on some level. Some I read are entirely for inspiration while others masterfully weave personal things in their posts and some I read entirely because the writer has a certain way with words.

    We blog because we are documenting something, whether our craft, our life, or our experiences...not because we are wanting 1 million followers.

    Proceed however you wish and those who connect with you, will walk next to you.

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    1. Beautifully said, Kristy. And, for me, a challenge.

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  70. I love it when the rest of life comes through on a craft blog. No one sews all the time! :-) Some of my most commented on posts are about something other than sewing/quilting/making. Kind of funny, really.

    If people stop reading because you write about other parts of your life then that's okay, let them leave. You have to be real too.

    Keep it up, Rachel! I like reading your blog because your faith shines through, you're a great quilter, you take great photos and you're real.

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  71. Too many quilt bloggers have their bare feet in their quilt photographs. Most of the time it's ugly feet too. Why the feet?

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  72. Wow! I'm comment number 111! Obviously you've hit on something!
    - I love Anna Maria Horner for the same reason. I feel like I know her! It was her blogging style that inspired me to blog.
    - I started blogging because I was so dissatisfied with my life (small children, no sleep) and this year has been a really important process of growing in confidence, expression, contentment. I've felt compelled to blog about this because beautiful photos can lie about what a person's life feels like.
    - I do feel disappointed sometimes that I only get new followers when I have a giveaway. And not from winning competitions or making quilts that people love on flickr. But that's been part of the process of thinking through what it means to be me and what I do this for.
    - Maureen Cracknell started following my blog before I even knew who she was (after Celebrate Color). Now I do know, and since she's shared some of her story online, I'm constantly inspired and encouraged by her as a creator, and as a follower who takes time to comment.
    - The big numbers, the competitions, the sponsors, I think, while inspiring can be a barrier to encouraging others to create? or be a bit intimidating? For me, posts like this help me feel more connected to you, even though I don't know you, and that's important to me as a follower.
    - And lastly (sorry for the essay!) I'd love to hear about your homeschooling! We're embarking on the same path and I'm dying to know what your days look like as a crafty person/business woman/mum/ 'teacher'. All my homeschooling friends say it's too big to school and work from home but I really want to make it work. And I think it will be an important part of my kids' experience. I was really encouraged to hear you were happy with it so far. :)
    That's all! (For now!)

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    1. Thanks, Jodi. I love your comment. So many good details! But most of all THANk YOU for showing me how I can share specifically about homeschooling in a way that fits to me. I'll share how it fits into my crafty lifestyle. How I do it part-time, so to speak. I think that will work. Thanks!!!!

      Now I'm going to reread your comment =)

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  73. I've had a personal blog for several years, and now that I am trying my hand at a creative blog, I'm feeling divided at times. My personal blog is kind of - in my mind - a written conversation with friends and family to help us keep up with one another, and it does do that somewhat. I would like to be able to find a balance of personal and creative. Some might have to balance professional in there too, which I don't, although I don't want to share too much or be unprofessional or inappropriate either.

    I think that sharing creativity connects more when we share more than just that. I really enjoy those personal touches, and those are the blogs I really stick to. That's the blog I want to have when it grows up. Or something. Anyway, I think this is an interesting conversation, and exploring the possibilities, boundaries, etc is a good thing.

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  74. Interesting post Rachel. I would personally love to hear about the homeschooling, partly because I am always a little in awe of it, and I would love to know how it works on a practical level.

    My family get included in my blog posts when something I am making/have made involves one of them, but otherwise I don't tend to write about them. I worry that it would be a slipperly slope and that the entire blog would degenerate into me complaining about housework! My blog is a bit of escapism, to a certain extent. Does that make sense?

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    1. Yes, that does make sense - that it's escapism and you edit accordingly. I guess there's the possibility to bring in one's personal life but only as it seems interesting and positive. I wonder if that makes us more "real" as writers or more unreal actually.... And I don't mean to apply this to your situation, per say, but to those facing the same questions I am.

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  75. Have you read River god by Wilbur Smith? Very good read. I have The memoirs of cleopatra but haven't started it yet, I keep looking at it and thinking I really should just dive in with a cuppa and some biscuits next to me :)
    I haven't blogged for nearly a month basically because I've had a whole load of personal stuff happening and no sewing stuff going on. Out of the personal things some are too personal to blog about and others are just dull lol
    I enjoy reading blogs with a little of both yet I always worry about over share in my own blog.

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  76. Ah Rachel another soap box question!
    I find purely quilting blogs a little tedious, especially the ones that only show ta dah moments.
    I find I don't connect so much with them. I'm not wanting to be buddy buddy with everyone, it's just nice occasionally to hear snippets of their lives, even if it's as dull as their mug next to some sewing.
    I'm trying to create the right balance, which is hard because you cannot please everyone.

    Apologies to Anonymous, my feet have been on show and they arent that pretty!!

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    1. Thanks for chiming in. It's definitely about balance because I like being a "sewing" blog. I like how you share your passion for gardening and such. It reads very personably.

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  77. I write about my crafts, then add in some anecdotes. That's also the kind of blog I like to read. Without meaning to sound callous, I don't have any interest in pictures of other people's kids, the walks they've taken or their holidays. I'm not a mum so I can't relate to gushings about offspring. I'm fine with it if other people want to share, blogs are a personal space to write what you want, but I'd be skipping those posts. And the ones with tons of pictures of the flowers in the garden. Again, one picture of a garden, fine, pictures of something you've created for the garden, fine, tons of pictures of flowers - yawn.

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  78. I find that singularly focused blogs are stifling. I'd prefer reality. You don't employ an editorial staff, so quit editing.

    Meanwhile, I have stopped reading blogs when they start espousing their religious/political beliefs that are not in line with mine. How's that for honest.

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    1. It's definitely honest, and natural I think. I don't mind being my own editorial staff. After all, I'm also my own marketer, photographer and admin staff =)

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  79. you raise some really great questions. i keep mine about the craft. my husband is very paranoid about the internet and wants nothing personal, at all, out there. he even gets perturbed when i have pics of the kids in something that i made for them.

    but i do love the blogs where i get to hear a little about their lives. i find in fascinating to here about what people are up to in other parts of the country or world. it gets me out of my little rural indiana bubble.

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  80. Rachel I follow you because I am so impressed and inspired by your use of color and ingenuity. Getting to know you is part of learning about you as an artist and understanding how I can translate some of that into my own work. By all means share what you are comfortable with sharing.

    I often wonder if my blog has any impact on its followers, if I am helping them with their sewing in any way...It's not about hey look at how much I sew but I hope I am inspiring others to sew something different, to teach or introduce a new technique etc....I don't think I am being very successful at this though...communicating about your art form is an art form in itself I am finding-lol

    I wanted to let you know that your blog has inspired me to gather my students and friends together to do some charity quilting and introduced me to some wonderful on-line quilt shops - thanks for that:)

    One last word about the quilt show....the purpose of judging is to help you learn about your strengths and weakness's as an artist, something we can all benefit by. Try not to worry about the placing, but do try to speak with the judge/judges so you can learn something new:) It will no doubt be good advertising for you as well, a way to get more name recognition yes?

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    1. Such wise advice on the quilt show. Thank-you!!!

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  81. Rachel This was beautiful. I don't recall exactly how the saying goes about still waters running deep. But when you become friends with someone who is deep, it takes a while for you to plumb the very depths of the relationship. But wow when you get there it is a key, a "true key" to being human. Thanks for opening a bit to more personal things.

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  82. Good discussion! A couple of points:

    It takes me hours to write even the simplest post because I keep going back and forth about how much personal stuff I want to put out there.

    The internet is a weird place to be. I know everyone else edits their blogs like I do - so it doesn't bother me that folks don't put their personal stuff out there.

    I go to a quilting blog for ideas, techniques - and if there's a bunch of other stuff out there, I stop visiting. If I want personal experience blogs, I go to different blogs for that.

    On the other hand, it has to be hellish to have a quilting only blog and publish content two, three, four times a week. Talk about sucking the joy out of it.

    There's another issue at play here too: your blog produces income. I think that can really mess with the idea of what the content should be.

    It's sort of like how my attitude changes when I think about making quilts "for sale" or "for competition" vs. when I make quilts for me - the audience changes and the purpose of producing a blog/quilt also changes.

    I have a hard enough time pleasing myself let alone that idea of pleasing others. It feels too much like high school when I wanted to be liked by all the popular girls.

    As a result, I know that for the moment, I need to live with my low "visits" numbers and set my goal for improving my writing style and just make what I love.

    Thanks for opportunity to express myself!

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  83. I like a little bit of personal. I try to write my blog honestly and I think that gives readers an idea of who I am. While I love looking at everyone's creations and recipes and such, a little bit of "personal" gives me an idea of how you arrived at that spot. I like to read stories that give me a glimpse of who you are. I strive to do that on my blog...while reading about my quilting journey you get a sense of how I got there.

    Having said that, there is also such a thing as too much information. Nothing turns me off to a blog more than someone constantly giving me TMI. I believe there's a line and most of us know where it is. The occasional venting is OK with me because that's life. Long story short...I don't mind at all reading about home schooling or gardening or even what you made for dinner last night. (Sometimes we find things we didn't know we liked.) If it's something that doesn't especially interest me, I'll skim it and come back the next time. Chances are you'll have something to say then that I can relate to. We're all different...it makes the world go round!!

    Just my two cents worth!

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    1. A very logical train of thought, Chris. Yes, having a "business" blog really changes things. It's been awhile since I posted about how that works for me and I'd like to do so again. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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  84. I appreciate honesty in life. It make a person more real, bones and grit real.
    I'd love to hear about the rest of your life on your sewing blog.

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  85. I actually have separated my quilting and personal blogs. Sure, once in a while there will be some cross over, but for the most part I keep them pretty separate. I like reading about personal tidbits as it relates to quilting/crafting or as long as they aren't the main subject in the post. Things like who you are making items for (and why) or why you are trying to earn money with crafting...those are great! But I don't enjoy it as much when people do posts about their personal life with no crafting content. I feel a little shallow saying that, but I joined their blog because I liked their work. I only have so much time, and I also have many personal content blogs that I do read.

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  86. You've received so many fine comments already, I'll just say that what I like in the blogs I read are an interspersion of some personal thoughts/insights/sharing along with the focal points of the blog. I already spend so much time reading the list of blogs I've signed up for, that I go through them pretty fast any more. So two thoughts:
    One - you have no responsibility to your readers - we are gleaning what you offer for free! So you should just write what you feel like writing.
    And two - Blog Land is like shopping at the supermarket: there are so many selections, that a person can't possibly buy everything. So they pick and choose as to what is significant at a particular moment in time.
    You can't satisfy everyone all the time. So, just be yourself, enjoy the process and the expression. To heck with what we all think!

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  87. I love a balance between personal and craft; if it were ALL craft, like someone mentioned above, it would just feel like information, not connecting. I'm pretty private in real life and even at my blog, I'm not as open as some -- I made a decision early on to not feature my kids (sorry, I'm just paranoid that way, although plenty of bloggers aren't as fearful as I am and that's fine; I love seeing other people's kids) though I do drop personal tidbits now and then.

    But I am curious about this bee thing? I'm VERY new to sewing but you have to be invited to join bees? How does that work?

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    1. Most sewing bees begin as an idea (ex. Let's all make quilts featuring embroidery). The person with the idea contacts some friends to see if they'd like to make quilts like that. She asks people until she gets a large enough group (often 12 people). Then they take turns working on one person's quilt each month. That's the general idea, but there are many variations.

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  88. I just started blogging a few months ago and am trying to find just the right voice. I wonder if people really care to see what I'm doing. I wonder how much detail of a project is too much to share. I'm pretty sure people don't want to know the details of my stomach flu, but do they want to that I was sick and that's why I didn't finish the quilt in time for my friend's baby shower? I think it is lovely to share a degree of personal information, so that reading a blog isn't like reading a dry textbook. At the same time, there are a few blogs I've read where I felt a little uncomfortable knowing intimate details about someone I've never met. Of course, that's just me. As Barb mentioned, we can't satisfy everyone, so I think it's good to share what you feel comfortable sharing, then accept and weigh the feedback you get. And thanks for this post. It's always reassuring to know I'm not alone in not knowing exactly what to do.

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  89. No you can't dissent on a blog post AT ALL as you are seen as a troll and then everyone turns and bullies the 'troll'. It can be VERY sycophantic on blogs and totally unreal. I've seen people praising things to the hilt just because it seems like that is all the blogger seems to want to say. An everyday opinion is out. To disagree with anything on a blog post is to be seen as evil. That doesn't stop bloggers from criticising others, but it must not be done to them. The comment box is seen more as the worship area. There are very few blogs which encourage you to say what you think but they are wonderful. It doesn't mean unpleasantness and bile, no it just means normal interaction which can be enlightening and eye-opening. I seriously wonder how many bloggers allow their family and friends to speak as they seem so keen on silencing everyone! Often bloggers seem to be the shy ones from school who suddenly get a place in the world to be noticed and their ego cannot be contained. Or the show offs who have always been jumping up and down saying 'look at me'

    With regards personality, and what you write; it should be entirely up to the blogger but I've noticed it gets very cliché and copy-cat with everyone trying to imitate styles and content. You can't make it all about the good stuff and then moan when people think you have the perfect life and that happens a lot. In fact I've realised the happier and more gloriously in your face happy a blogger is, then the less happy they actually are. A case of trying to convince themselves as well as others. When you realise that actually they are less together than the average moany person, (as eventually you will as the front can’t be kept up forever), it's quite a letdown. So I like normality as in sometimes we don't have to agree with you, you can be grumpy, get annoyed, upset etc. If you want this to be your happy place that's fine but don't moan when it backfires (as I have seen it do). Best not to overdo it in any case.

    You don't need to share anything or everything about your family, your job if you don't want. The only thing I really want shared is a personality but that doesn't have to involve giving personal details away to do that. I think a sense of perspective is in order. With some bloggers with large followings I think it must get totally out of hand. Some seem to literally invite people into their lives and then be horror struck at the intrusion. Others manage it perfectly. There is a responsibility to blogging – to yourself as well as others. You should not have to deal with demanding people and their constant unreasonable requests.

    My perfect blogger is ‘Posy gets cosy’. She is very popular and friendly but she never seems to get a foot wrong. She is cosy but not too cosy. And she obviously enjoys it after all this time. If it is angsty for you to blog, then please don't write ‘I’m feeling sorry for myself’ posts every couple of months as all that happens is that people tell you in their droves how wonderful you are and why you should stay. There are some bloggers who have a pattern of doing this. The first time it’s OK but after that? Well, you get tired of validating people through praise, especially when they haven’t done anything to justify it. It makes bloggers look needy. Blog if you want, don't bother otherwise!
    Katy

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    1. You said, "There are very few blogs which encourage you to say what you think but they are wonderful. It doesn't mean unpleasantness and bile, no it just means normal interaction which can be enlightening and eye-opening." I've been enjoying Craftypod so much lately because it is just this kind of place where people are having real interaction. Something to aspire to for sure.

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  90. striking a balance between TMI and what's happening in your REAL life is tricky. But I read your updates regularly because I think you do it well...as do a lot of others. I have found blogging is a lot of show and tell and not much beyond that for real friendships. I recently re-prioritized my blog life and real life and in doing so un-followed a lot of blogs and also turned off the comments section on my own. I found that there is no constructive dialog in this community. It's all 'oh, how nice' and 'great fabric' which is lovely but superficial. There is always the ability to email or comment on flickr and only a few have done so...those are the bloggers I care to hear from anyhow.
    Also it's nice to know that even the most popular blogs still have these voices of doubt; because as artists we all do.
    And about entering a quilt for a show...or any other thing that makes your stomach turn with anxiety is a good thing. Relish it and embrace it because it means you are alive and pushing yourself further. It will only make you stronger.

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    1. Kelly, I think you are brave for turning off comments - brave because you wanted to and you did. I can see how in your situation, doing so would allow you to focus on why you are blogging and what you expect to get out of it. Maybe it will not be a forever thing for you (and maybe it will), but it is brave to experiment like that.

      Thanks for pushing me to be brave about stretching myself. Really.

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  91. I came here because i loved your work - the aha moments. But I've kept checking in because of your tone and warmth. I love the way that while you don't tell me all about yourself, you show me a little of who you are, and the context around the sewing (why you sew, and how you fit it around Real Life).

    I can see that the stakes are higher when your blog is your livelihood - you're not really at liberty to treat this purely as your personal space, yet you need have enough personality to keep readers coming back.

    For what its worth, i think you've got the balance just about right.

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  92. Hi - I am not offended or put off by people who put personal things in their blog. That is the beauty of a blog after all. If I don't want to read what you have to say today I don't have to and you won't be the wiser. I do think there are some people who go a little overboard but you are nowhere near that line and I really enjoy your blog.

    I also wanted to mention that the complaint I hear most often about quilt shows is that their own tastes have not been represented. And that makes me think...well who's fault is that? Did you enter something? No? Well, there you go. That's like going to the grocery store and complaining that other people are there shopping, too. I understand you not wanting to undergo judgement. But the thing is - you do wonderful and inspiring work. The judging is in private and only a handful of people will ever know what was said. The show, on the other hand, is full of people who will look at your quilt with very little regard for technical execution. People are there to see pretty things. They are (mostly) not going to pick at seams and mull whether your binding is properly filled.

    My point is, the judging is a small portion of the impact your quilt could have on the show. Try to look at the big picture instead.

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    1. Oh, that is such a lovely way to think about a quilt show! I actually have never been to a show so I no nothing about what it would be like. Thanks for sharing!

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  93. Frankly, I enjoy knowing more about the folks who work so hard to present their great achievements. We can't know one another if we are not willing to open our hearts and be transparent. My personal blog is full of stories about my family and their stories. I enjoy reading about other's life experiences. As an artist, I draw inspiration from every aspect of life. You never know whose life you are touching. I do believe that self editing is critical though. I have lurked around your blog for some time now and really enjoy the beauty of what you create. Keep up the good work, but show us your heart more often. Thanks for sharing!

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  94. I haven't read all your other responses (so behind on my blog reading this week!). I think most readers enjoy getting to know the person behind the blog as well as what they like to make. Admitting that you feel vulnerable about entering a quilt in QuiltCon or not being in a specific bee acknowledges feelings that most of us have, even if we don't say it.

    BTW, you should definitely enter a quilt in QuiltCon if you want to share your work. Whether you get into a particular show or win can be so random. Just keep doing work you like and are proud of!

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  95. Well, I blog about my life, it's my journal. Not a typical journal, more like stories. And it's private because my husband is an extremely private person (even though I'm quite the opposite). I have readers/followers (family and close friends) who I email because they are too lazy to actually go onto any blog and because that keeps my writing more realistic and interesting, so hopefully one day my kids and grandkids will read my stories (cause I make it into a book every year).

    So that's me, but as for you? I wouldn't mind getting down and dirty as long as I'm not reading about what you did in the bedroom on that gorgeous quilt you made ;) And if you asked for honesty, I'd give it to you.

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    1. I love hearing that you make your blog into a book each year. What a treasure! Thanks for your willingness to be honest, Jenn.

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    2. Jenn, My husband has been pushing me to make mine into books also. Any particular site you use?

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  96. Interesting post! I'm one that hides, my photos are always headless and I don't really talk about much in my non-sewing life - but then I only get to sew on weekends so my productivity level means I am lucky to have something to post once a week!

    I want people to post about anything they like - if I'm in the mood I'll read it and if not I'll skim over it. I don't have kids but I'm kind of fascinated by home schooling and how you know what on earth to teach! And I had no idea there was an Egyptian historical fiction genre, doesn't mean I'm about to go out and buy some, but I still find it interesting to read about it :)

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  97. Rachel, I haven't read all the comments thus far, because I need to be sitting down with an ipad for all of them! I DO post personal stuff. And I am not sure if that is the right or wrong way. I enjoy blogs that don't share too much and blogs that share A LOT! It is kind of like reading favorite authors...I expect different things from each, but enjoy all!

    I, personally, cannot post about quilting alone. Especially since it sort of evolved so I could share my crafts, but it was a special place for my grief for the first year. Quilting isn't the only thing I do and I know that many of my local friends who are followers enjoy the crafts and the personal side. I just worry if I ever give too much!!!

    I adore your blog and wouldn't mind seeing a little more of "you", but if you never did...I would still follow you!

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  98. I was going to hold up AMH as an example of an excellent crafty/personal blog and then I got to the end of your post. Haha.

    I love reading bits of people's lives. So what if I don't homeschool? It's still interesting to get a little view into that world.

    So, yeah. Posie Gets Cozy is another of my faves. And honestly, I don't follow many blogs that are only about creating. I like to get to know my bloggers. :)

    I love getting honest feedback (especially negative because then I KNOW they're being honest!) but am always hesitant to give it if I don't have a positive one because I don't want it misread.

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  99. I love following blogs that are about the creative outlet (quilting, photography, etc) but I also like to see "snapshots" of their life every now and then so I get to feel them as a person.

    And I totally know what you mean about feeling "left out" of a bee...there's one that I've been dying to start myself but we'll have to see if I have the time. Although if there were awesome people in it, I'd make the time! I'd love to be in a bee with you though =)

    Also loving the work you've been showing of your hand stitching class...makes me want to try hand stitching and I haven't really considered it before.

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  100. I think that you can only write/blog what (and how) comes naturally to you. If you are uncomfortable writing about something, then us readers may feel your discomfort in reading it. I visit different blogs for different reasons, but for me, the ones that keep me coming back are the ones that have invited me to peek through their front door. Lucy at www.Attic24.typepad.com is my current favourite: lots of colour, enthusiasm, ideas all mixed with a peek into her life. If I don't know someone (properly and in person) I am not really interested in too much in depth detail of that persons life. But, a snippet and glimpse is good...

    Have a great weekend, Keri

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  101. I love this post and the questions you ask. While I don't have to consider the issues of sponsors or an income producing blog, I often question these same things.

    I have 166 followers. To be quite honest, I'm not sure why they follow me. I blog about quilting, sewing, photography, etc. But I also blog about my family, my accomplishments as well as my failures, my ongoing issues with depression and treatment, what it's like to be a rape survivor and spend more than a decade fighting a legal system for justice, and basically, general struggles with life at times. I also blog about my victories, however small and personal. Because all of that make up me - and I like me.

    I made this choice because I finally got tired of seeing all these "perfect" bloggers out there ... now, I know they're well-edited versions of a likely chaotic life, but to me, they're not real. I prefer to follow blogs of people/crafters who share some of their personal thoughts, their own frustrations and successes. I need to know there are other people out there who feel as I do.

    And yes, that's why I'm still following you Rachel. Not only do you do amazing work, but you let us readers see little glimpses of "you." I'd love to learn more about you, but I understand your caution as well. And in the past, you have offered me words of support when I needed them, and I hope you know how deeply appreciated they have been.

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  102. I really like your blog Rachel. I think you have a good balance. I read your blog to get ideas, check out new fabrics, and to learn and be inspired. You are very personal in the way you write about your creative achievements and very honest too. I like that you get excited, disappointed and change your mind! You write about all of this in relation to your work and craft. What you share here about other sapects of you life is up to you and what you feel comfortable with.

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  103. I enjoy your blog. I would like to respond to your post, I find your questions very thoughtful and thought provoking. There are many things I love when I look at blogs, I don't have one of my own and I appreciate all the effort it must take to have one, especially a good one! A few months ago I posted a comment to a blog that I did not intend to be mean but the blogger found it insulting and created a post about it. The comments her post generated were horrible. I could not believe the negativity of the comments and the ridiculous venom. I apologized to the blogger in private email (she had instructed never to leave a comment on her blog again) but I must say I was bruised. So, I know what you mean about asking a question and only getting positive comments. I learned from that experience that generally bloggers do not want negative comments, even if they are honest or not intended to hurt feelings. So, I think the general protocol is to only make positive comments and that's fine, but you should realize that maybe it's too risky for the commenters to be critical. Anyway, that's my experience. And one more thing, I mostly read the blogs for quilting inspiration but I don't object to personal information too. I just like the blogs best that are mostly quilt related. Sorry, one final thing, I also appreciate blogs that are not constantly selling something. The Designer's blogs are just too commercial for me to enjoy. Thanks so much for your questions!

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  104. In general I prefer blogs that do not have a lot of personal thoughts in there. I read blocks because of the crafty adventures their authors get up to and for inspiration. I do not read blocks to read about all the trials and tribulations live throws at us. That is also the rule I hold for my own blog. Of course every now and then one does mention something personal but I won't start talking about my work, my family or my bad moods in depth. The reason is twofold. Firstly I actually don't think it makes for a good read (if I want a good read I get a book) and secondly I am very attuned to the fact that what you post on the net will be there for ever as this is the nature of the net.

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  105. I definitely think personal aspects should be sprinkled into the blog. With some bloggers, I don't feel as if I know them, whereas I feel very connected with others. I agree that it's hard to strike a balance, but I think you do this well!

    I agree also, that it's hard to give differing opinions on blogs, or to expect it from readers. I'm not sure how to improve upon that, but since a blog is your own space, we can't really expect anything different, I suppose.

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  106. I read this when you posted it, but saved it in google reader until I had time to come back to it. I love your blog, Rachel, because I do feel that you give us a glimpse into who you really are, not just a robot who pumps out projects. None of us are. We all have lives beyond our sewing rooms and I think that's what makes this online community so great. We find friends who are just like us and friends who are very different. But we all share a common love. So personal glimpses, for me, are a must in who I follow.

    As far as my blogging of sewing/personal content--I only know one way to be and that is me. So, I do include personal content on my blog. It's who I am and why I do (and sew) what I do. I try to stay away from all personal content posts except for special things I really want to include, but if it relates to what I'm working on or what is going on in my life inspiring me or keeping me from sewing/creating, then it's fair game.

    Keep at it, Rachel. Blogging, like life, isn't always fair, easy, or perfect, but if we keep trying and doing our best, good results will be found. :)

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  107. I think there is a balance. I split my personal blog and my sewing blog about a year and half ago because more people that I didn't know started following for crafty stuff and out of respect for my family I separated them. My husband is actually not a huge fan of my blogging - although he has come to support and accept my crafty one...he just doesn't want personal information put out there. Now, that doesn't mean that some elements of life don't come through, it just means that on my sewing blog, I won't be sharing about family decisions or posting a lot of pics of my kiddos. But that is more out of respect for him.

    I like seeing bits and pieces of other people's lives, but I do follow sewing blogs because of the inspiration and I read a lot of other blogs for personal growth, etc. Being real is the key, I guess. Don't be so focused on presenting a perfect picture of life, but just be who you are and share what you want to share. They are, after all, our own blogs and if others want to read them or don't want to read them, that is their choice. :)

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