Saturday 12 May 2012

Guest Blogger Week 14 Made in Oxford


Hello, All!  First off, thanks to Susan for asking me to guest-post today :)  
I’m Laura and I blog over at Made in Oxford.  
In general, I describe myself as a crocheter, but I also quilt, make clothes, knit, make stitch markers and recently branched into cosmetics as well.  
I usually say that I never met a craft I didn’t like, although it has to be said paper and I do not get on very well.

This is the kind of thing I carry around on an average trip, just in case I get bored!

As well as these, I think I should also describe myself as a blog-addict.  
I subscribe to more than I care to count, and on an average day, my GReader has about 80 posts in it.  They’re not all crafting, and I definitely don’t read them all daily, but that’s still quite a lot to get through on a regular basis. 

Like a lot of people, I think, I tell myself I read so many blogs to get inspiration.  
But I think also like a lot of people, I sometimes reach the point where reading blogs stops inspiring me and starts intimidating me.  
As someone who works full time, is married, has some mental health issues and tries to have something approaching a social life, crafting is squeezed in around everything else I try to do. 
  It’s all too easy to read these hundreds of blogs and feel totally and utterly overwhelmed.  
Blogland is big and is full of highly creative, productive people.  
There are definitely times when it makes me feel very small!

Assuming I’m not the only one who gets like this sometimes, I thought it might help to share some of the strategies that I’ve used to get things back in perspective.

1. Only read blogs that make you happy
I know, I know, this is a bit of a ‘duh’ one, but if it’s a blog that’s popular, or that everyone else likes, it can be hard to drag yourself away.  Somehow, I worry that if I don’t read it, I’ll be out of the loop, not down with the cool kids, and generally excluded from something that I ‘should’ be reading. 

Except there’s no such thing as ‘should’ read, and the chances are that my perception of what’s cool and what isn’t is rather distorted.  
So if I find that reading a blog is pushing my buttons in the wrong way - either because it makes me feel inadequate or overwhelmed - I make myself take it off my reader. 
  Life can make you feel pretty small somedays.  
You don’t need your hobbies doing that as well.

The recent KCBW was a great chance to get to meet some new bloggers

2. Talk to people
This is the one that I find the hardest, especially when I’m having a bad-head-day.  
Looking at some of the stunning things people make, or the beautiful pictures they post, I can sometimes forget that they love getting comments as much as I do.  
And that’s really the key.  
If I like being talked to, then they probably like being talked to as well, whether that’s by one person or one hundred.  
Every comment is precious, even if it’s #326.  
It tells the person who wrote the post that you read it, you liked it, and who knows?  
You might just make their day too!

As an aside to this, blog platforms are not always the most reply-friendly, so do remember to check back to see if the blogger has replied to you!  
I’ve started replying to most of my posts via email, since Wordpress doesn’t notify them and I like to talk.

3. Inspiration is found in the most unlikely places
I love sewing blogs.  I love crochet blogs.  I love knitting blogs.  I love quilt blogs.  I love food blogs. I love book blogs.  I love kitten blogs.

There are days when I look through my feed and wonder quite how I ended up with such a crazy mix.  Then a knitting pattern will inspire a quilt, or a kitten will inspire a crochet pattern.  You never know what’s going to happen, so don’t worry about mixing it up a little.  Inspiration is out there, you just have to go look for it!

Hope everyone else is having fun out there in blogland!  
Nice to see you, and have a good day :-)
I hope you will join me in thanking Laura for her wonderful post.
I hope you will pop over to her blog & visit her

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