Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

alt: part 1

elsie marley at alt

It’s been  just about a month since the Alt Design Summit. I came back excited, inspired, and lucky to have met such an amazing group of bloggers. But I also came back feeling conflicted. Blogging is an odd thing: everyone seems to be doing it, a large percentage of people claim to be experts at it, but no one is sure where is going or what it means. 

On the plane home, I wrote up a list of what I heard the most at Alt.

be authentic, but focus on what your readers want

be authentic, but focus on making money

be authentic, but tell everyone you have the GREATEST BLOG EVER!

blog 3 times a week, but say no to being overwhelmed

focus on one social media outlet, but rule them all

sponsorship is not a dirty word, but sell yourself to make a lot of money

find your niche, but don’t get niched–you must appeal to wide variety of brands

do everything for free, until some point, then charge a lot for everything you do.

video is the future, but no one knows if video is really the future.

do all of this yourself, even though most profitable blogs have teams running them.

 

sewing bloggers unite

1. dana 2. jessica 3. me looking like it’s the first day of school 4. melissa 5. andrea 6. kate 7. delia

It’s confusing and conflicting but still all true. Oddly, it’s a lot like the advice new parents get. Maybe blogging is like parenting: you stay up all hours doing it, you can’t explain to people who don’t have blogs why you have one, and you’re not sure how it’ll turn out in the end.

creative mamas

clockwise 1. me, again on the first day of school 2. carla 3. celina 4. andrea 5. bonnie 6. marigold 7. helen 8. stacy (kneeling)

I did learn one really good thing at Alt:

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Blogging is weird. You talk to so, so many people everyday, but every interaction is planned, controlled, and/or edited. Not at lot of creativity bursts forth from controlled situations. We need other people to challenge us and show us new things–this coming from a tried and true introvert. So reach out to similar bloggers.  Collaborate! Contribute! Talk–face to face even! Gossip! Bullshit! Just say something off the top of your head for once…

 

 

kcw fall 2013: day one

Day one of KCW and I’ve got absolutely nothing to show you. Not even a stack of fabric! I’m going in cold, very cold. Last week, my husband and I went on a very lovely trip to Montreal (sans kids!) for our 10th anniversary. We ate amazing food and drank coffee and walked around the beautiful city, but there was no pattern taping or cutting or anything much sewing related at all. Though I did sneak in some fabric shopping with Celina Bailey.

legwarmers and circle skirt by Mareika

So I’ve got nothing, but you! you are on the ball. I am so in love with that skirt and legwarmer combo by Mareika. If anything can get the creative juices flowing (or the sewing machine chugging) it’s a peek at all the projects you’ve sewn.  I might just be inspired enough for an outfit or two by the weeks end, who knows.

Go check out the KCW blog for more beautiful garments to inspire you. And then turn off your computer and sew!

fabric stacks

a pile of fabrics that will soon be girl clothes

My creative process often involves simply staring at all the fabric in my stash. Then after much staring, I make lots of little piles. I am particularly excited about the pile pictured above. Many adorable things are potentially in that pile–if all the sewing goes smoothly, of course.

a pile of fabrics that will soon be boy clothes

This pile is for things my children actually need, so it’s less exciting, but I still like it. Look at me making little piles of fabric and then telling the whole internet about them. Don’t call me crazy, I know you do it too :)

 

boys clothes inspiration

My youngest has recently decided he wants nothing to do with button pants–anything other than elastic and it’s a fight to get him dressed in the morning. I, on the other hand, want nothing to do with the track pants most boys live in (or “fast pants” as my friend’s sons calls them).  Fast pants can be stylish, but are usually not; and they are always made of that slimy, synthetic fabric that gets pill-y and gross when you wash it. Picky mother => picky son.

japanese brand mol

I haven’t been sewing much lately, but this pants situation has to be remedied somehow. So I’ve been looking for pants I can sew for my sons that are comfortable and stylish. There are surprisingly few clothes out there for boys that fit the bill.  I discovered the Japanese brand, mol and they seem to get it right. The pants pictured above are my absolute favorite: a little stripe action, a random patch, some fuzzy pockets, and boom! your pants are awesome.

mol paws pants

They also have pants with pockets that look like bear paws, which any kid is going to love. Often times children’s clothes are just a mini version of boring grown up clothes. But kids are hilarious! and they like to wear hilarious clothes, like snake socks and swan dresses and hoods with teeth and hats with whiskers.

legwarmer pants

I like the idea of a capri length, comfy, elastic waisted pants with cozy leg warmers attached at the bottom. Is that too weird? There is a pattern in Carefree Clothes for Girls which is exactly what I’m talking about: sweatpants with knitted leg warmers sewn to the bottom. The photo above is a lovely version by Sew Nancy from a few years back. I have been meaning to make this pattern for years–how is my to sew list possibly that long?  I even have one leg warmer crocheted.

Help me out here people! Are my children going to look like crazy people or the most stylish kids on the block?

 

 

 

what I have to offer is me

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. I encourage you to go look at people’s stories of creative block and their cures for it (there are a few pages of comments, so dig a little). Talking about the diffuculties of making should be part of creative blogs, don’t you think? I mean it can’t be all wine and finished projects. Everyone has a dark corner or a box or a garbage can full of failed projects and honestly it is those projects we should be taking photos of and blogging about, because that’s where good ideas hide.

This is an exerpt of a beautiful speech on creativity and making by Charlie Kaufman. This video makes it both easier to cope with our creative selves and harder at the same time. Watch, then watch again.