Many Happy Returns...!

Whilst this may seem a little self-congratulatory - Sequins and Slippers is One Year Old.... TODAY! And because this little place has given me SO much to be happy about, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about how it's developed over the past year... Hold on tight, this may get a little sentimental...



And the obvious blog post soundtrack for today, courtesy of Stevie Wonder... if you can listen to this whilst reading this post, all the better!

Now don't be fooled into thinking it's been all 'little blue birds singing in the trees, me sat cross-legged on the grass, sewing needle in hand, pausing only to write posts for my eager readers'! In the past year there have been plenty of highs and lows with Sequins and Slippers... From starting out, with small beginnings, on a standard Blogger template - I was intent on regularly writing good content, that's to say, readable, enjoyable, interactive, content - the sort of posts I would be interested in reading myself, and that has continued to be the main premise of it's existence... But I could have never forecast the opportunities that have come about through blogging. I underestimated the power of written word, having spent my life making a living from talking... 
So let me try to break this down into bite size chunks... 


Before Blogging... (BB)

In my BB years, I was oblivious to it's charms. I may well have read links shared on Facebook, or visited a blog to enter a prize draw, but I was never particularly enamoured with it's form.
'Oh wow... blogging... tell me more...'
If people told me they blogged, I attempted to feign interest - but I just couldn't fathom why anyone would write to themselves. That's how I viewed it, self-serving and a little strange... I mean, how do you know HOW to write or what to write about, if you don't know WHO the audience is, or if you'll even have one..? It's a marketing conundrum, surely? I couldn't get my head around it, not only why anyone would start - but where it could lead... Surely only famous people had something to say that other people wanted to read (no matter how mundane)? Or even people with an obvious specialism... I just liked talking! But then I found sewing, and crafting. And I realised that writing about it was as natural as talking about it... 
I think the issue with wanting 'success' from a blog is that you're asking for a return of some kind - the focus should be on expression, NOT on how it's received. If you truly write with that purpose, the whole process is much easier and clearer - you're not trying to be a crowd-pleaser, you're just writing from the heart, about something you feel passionately about - if anyone reads it and likes it, it's a bonus. Obviously, blogging covers a myriad of subjects, so maybe it's not always possible to blog passionately about a conked-out carburetter, for example - but being authentic is appealing, no matter who you are or what you're passionate about... I'm not for one minute suggesting that my blogs have been incredibly received, or that I've 'arrived' in any way as a writer - just that blogging continues to surprise and challenge me - and for that I'm grateful :)


Coming Around to the Idea of Blogging...

It's only when you fall in love with something that you really invest time researching it... I found online resources to be overwhelmingly helpful; but isn't it funny how you go from being an amateur, to being a critic in a very short space of time..?! I found myself liking certain bloggers more than others, and my daily reading matter was shaping up accordingly... and during this process I was at the same time, effectively, drafting up my own curriculum. (And that process is worthy of it's own post...). It was in those early stages that I realised I gravitate towards writers who use their own voice, who I can 'hear' when they speak, and who don't aim to be anything but authentic. Authenticity is key - and something I'm hot on, in general - so it became obvious to me, very early on, that I should just write as myself, in my own voice... and see what transpired. 


One Step At A Time...

Honestly, I started the blog as a back-drop to the crafty videos I'd filmed.
In other words, it's purpose was complimentary - and that's another reason why I didn't feel as much pressure to 'perform' as a writer. I thought, incorrectly, that the videos would be my focus, and the writing would serve as a backdrop... but you know what? It's the complete opposite. That's been a major surprise... And, through entering a dressmaking competition in the first month, a whole new world of talent opened up before me - by flicking through pics of the other entries, I discovered the undeniable community spirit (spanning across continents)... AND - even though I thought using a curtain to make my Laurel dress was quite innovative, I came to realise there was a whole new world of refashioning just waiting to be explored... something I thought I'd come up with! (You can stop laughing now. I really DID think I'd invented it..!) The great thing about coming to something like this, in an organic way, is that you find there's a community of talented people, and a massive wealth of resources, that are just waited to be accessed... 

And sew it came to pass that I became A Refashioner...

The Refashion Coop is a wonderful mix of seamstresses who create something new, from something old. That's the basic premise, but within that remit almost anything goes... I love the fact there's such a diverse range of contributors, mostly from America, who share their wares with the world... And in the same week I started contributing to The Refashion Coop, I was also taken on as a tutor for Curious.com - so that meant I had extra incentive to create new crafty videos... (something I really must get on to!). AND, on top of that, I also had interest from two TV companies, to appear as a Refashioning guest! One of those conversations was VERY exciting (and would've been a weekly daytime slot...) - but didn't materialise (I'm still hoping..!) - the other was a valuable learning curve for me, and can be seen here... 

Sew What's Next for Sequins and Slippers..?


Where do I start?! Short term? OK, two projects that are begging to be finished; one is the Zinnia skirt (in time for the competition deadline at the end of May), the other is a pair of jeans I'm refashioning into a skirt, as noted in my Summer Refashioning post last year (!). I'm about to 'release' the third and final (for now) crafty video on Youtube... Long term..? Well... without giving too much away (and sounding over-ambitious), I feel like creative collaborations will definitely play a big part in the way this little space of mine develops. I definitely want to host monthly guest spots, and already have quite a few interesting people lined up - which I'm excited about... And I want to take part in more challenges, both to develop my own skill set, and to connect with other seamstresses. Oh, and a pattern-cutting course is definitely on the cards, I saw this course advertised only last week and put it on my wishlist (seeing as this particular course has sold out). 

A mish-mash of what's on the cards in the year ahead...

So here's my question to you, what is on YOUR wishlist for the coming year..? I recognise this is normally a question reserved for the New Year - but I definitely feel, as the flowers open, and the nights get lighter, that Easter is much better suited to new beginnings... It's a much more welcoming environment for ringing in the changes... is blogging for you? Or, on a smaller scale, is writing a journal an option? I find writing to be very therapeutic, and having a blog has really made me focus on what I want to achieve - both creatively and professionally... 

Finally...

Thank YOU so much for visiting, for reading, and for commenting (when you feel appropriate... that's not me saying "Respond now!"!)...

Over the past year I have definitely experienced less-confident moments, when I question the purpose of spending so many hours sewing/crafting, photographing/videoing, writing and editing, in between everything else that I do... And in those less-motivated times, invariably I get an e-mail from someone that perks me up, a comment on a post out of the blue, or a request to do something sewing-related elsewhere that makes me feel buoyed. So THANK-YOU,  whoever you are, whatever your reasons are for visiting my blog... Maybe there's something in your wardrobe I can refashion for you, as way of thanks? And no, there's no charge! This is a one-time offer tho', comment now - and I'll get in touch :) 



Happy Birthday Sequins and Slippers!


Comments

  1. Happy Birthday S&S.. Nice to see it blossom in, what appears to be, next to no time..I do find your humour and enthusiasm infectious, as I'm sure others do, I'm sure it;ll go from strength to strength in the next 12 months and I will get round to starting my blog soon..
    Hopefully on its second birthday you'll be able to reflect on your on-screen crafting and dressmaking success..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Brian!! And yes, I look forward to reading your blog...soon! :)

      Delete
  2. Happy birthday Gema. It's great to see all your hard work is looking soo good.
    For next year's challenge, as you've navigated the blogging so well, maybe you could do projects that need the techniques you're not too confident with and tell us how you go about learning and practising something new

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alice- and yes, I'll definitely be pushing myself to grow...there's so much I need to improve upon!! :)

      Delete

Post a Comment

All comments welcomed, it's lovely to hear from you! If there's a slight delay in your words being published here, it's only because they're being moderated first... just to make sure you're not a bot ;) Thank-you!!

Popular Posts