Winning… and some Musings

I sit at my computer and stare blankly at the screen.  What was that amazing blog post I was writing in my head the other day?  Where are those amazing lines I mentally penned just this morning as I dwaddled in my long, hot shower?  The minute I sit at the computer it’s all gone.  Writer’s block?  Burn-out?  Winter blahs?  Cabin Fever?  Not enough Pepsi?  Too much Pepsi?  To much on the to-do list?  All of the above?  I know not the answer and I’m too lazy to contemplate it for long.  So I shall throw some thoughts out here and see where they end up.

giveaway win

I won a wonderful giveaway back before Christmas.  Laura at Decor to Adore has a Black Friday Giveaway every year and she always has the best goodies included.  Completely over-the-top wonderful.  And this year I won!  I was so excited.  Just look at all the goodness she included :)

giveaway win 2

When I started blogging 4 1/2 years ago I had no idea what I was doing, hardly knew what a blog was and had a handful of blogs I read daily.  I’d only known about the blogging world for about 6 to 8 months.  Decor to Adore was one of the first blogs on my list that I read all the time.  My blog list changed and grew, some bloggers closed their blogs, some I quit following for one reason or another, but not Laura’s.  I always went back.  And she’s become a wonderful friend.

giveaway win 3

(there are three of these darling bracelets – Becca had hers on when I took the photo.  They are sized just perfectly for my girls)

When I decided a year ago to take it to the next level with blogging, I had no idea what I was in for.  I looked at blogs I loved and thought ‘I want THEIR readers to read MY blog’.  I also thought ‘They get all kinds of comments.  I like comments.  I want THEIR commenters to come comment on MY blog.’  And it was all about numbers, and stats, and comments, and likes.  And a whole lot of headaches setting up a blog on WordPress.

giveaway win 4

WordPress is AMAZING.  I love love love it, am so glad my sister went with it, therefore giving me the info and encouragement I needed to make the switch.  But when you are used to blogger, creating a blog on WordPress is a huge learning curve.  I considered hiring a designer.  Almost daily for 3 month I considered hiring a designer.  But besides the high price tag, I always came back to the fact that I like to do things myself.  I just wasn’t ready to hand it over to someone else and give them free rein with it.  I probably would have driven them to tears too.giveaway win 5

In late April I discovered the fun of link parties.  I’d linked up with Freckled Laundry earlier I think, and maybe a time or two at Tea Rose Home.  Stuff I’d sewn.  But then I discovered a whole world of link parties just waiting for all kinds of great posts.  And they were chock full of greatness!  So much so that I could spend every single minute of every hour of every day poring over it all if I didn’t stop myself.  I know I’m a little late to the party (or parties) but better late than never.  I started linking up and visiting a multitude of wonderful blogs.giveaway win 6

I commented, hoping to get a little traffic to my blog.  I was so thrilled with every single comment.  And slowly something started to happen.

giveaway win 8

I began to make some absolutely wonderful friends.  No longer were these people just a smiling picture on the sidebar of a blog.  No longer was it about numbers and stats and likes and comments.  Instead it’s become about friendship, and sharing ideas, and meeting new friends, and having fun.  giveaway win 7

No longer do I wonder if I can fit in.  Or if there is a place for me out there.  Or if my blog will every grow much.  It’s not the most important thing anymore!  Instead I feel so overwhelmed, honored, blessed, and thrilled to have a community of online friends.  People who share the same likes, people who ‘get it’ when IRL people don’t!  People who will come alongside and support me, and care for me, and inspire me.  Now I don’t stress (much) about trying to get a blog post out every day.  I don’t worry that if I don’t comment for a few days on a blog they will forget about me.  Instead I blog when I can, read when I can, comment when I can.  These people are my friends and I am so thankful for each one of them!  I made a list at Thanksgiving time of all the great blog friends I’d made.  The list needs updated already but you can view it here.  I really should add to it for my own record.  It is so much fun when a connection is made with another person in the blog world.  Some blogs you comment on, some posts get comments, and then you move on.  But with some, you comment back.  Or they comment back.  Or you reply, and they reply.  A friendship is formed.  If you don’t have a list of all the bloggers you have connected with and call friends, I encourage you to do it.  It’s such a warm fuzzy feeling – kind of like a big friendly hug!
camera necklace

Another giveaway I won right before Christmas – this was waiting on me when we got home from spending the holidays with my family in Kansas.  It is from Linkel Designs and the giveaway took place over at On Sutton Place.  Ann, the blogger behind On Sutton Place is one of the friends I’ve been talking about.  She is someone that I had watched from afar and was so thrilled to connect with.  She is just wonderful.  She got me started on the road to making grain sack camera straps.  She mailed me a package of grain sack ends – leftovers from the things she had made from grain sacks – and I turned them into some fun camera straps.  I loved them so much I ended up putting one on my own camera.  The others have all sold through my etsy shop.  Ann recently had a sale in her etsy shop and I purchased one of her grain sack totes.  It arrived today.  I will share it with you soon.  I’m telling you I would be very hard put to top her sewing – I’m not sure it’s even possible to top it!  She is that good!  If you want a grain sack tote she’s your gal!camera strap g

I finally got this camera strap cover made for a friend back before Christmas.  She’d been waiting awhile.  Not giving me a deadline is a really bad idea.  You might keep getting put at the back of the line that way.  I can be the worst procrastinator around but I’ve never missed a deadline.  Not yet anyway.  If it is within my power to meet it, I WILL meet my deadlines!

B pillow

Pillow made for an In Real Life friend who has been a wonderful friend and supporter of my business.  She bought several things as Christmas gifts.  This pillow is like one I made earlier that I painted a number 15 in the middle of the circle.  My friend special ordered this as a Christmas gift for her son and daughter-in-law.  The one with the 15 sold at my Open House sale.

Speaking of making In Real Life friends wait, here is a one thing of two that I finally finished for a friend!  Besides this chair pad I also made a curtain for her kitchen window and it looks fabulous if I do say so myself.  She picked it up so I don’t have pics of it.  She posted one on fb so I could see it after it was hung, and I hope to stop in at her house someday soon and take a few of my own.  She is planning to paint this chair black – won’t that look cute with this Parisian fabric? :)

So I’ve shared my latest giveaway wins with you.  And I’ve shared some musings and ramblings that have run through my mind.  Hopefully your New Year is off to a grand start and you are ready to accomplish great things!  Blessings on all your creativity, ideas, DIY’s, makeovers, and writing about it all!

Sew a Fine Seam

Comments

  1. Jill- I am up in the early morning hours here and this is a wonderful post. Your wins are wonderful-fun and awesome but the guts of your post about how you feel connected and accepted is what really grabs me. The online women friends I have made connections with are wonderful. When I first started blogging I had only ever read ONE blog- for a few weeks! But my friend encouraged me to try it and I started out posting. For the first year and a half I only had 2 or 3 comments (or none) a day. But as I got bolder and visited more people and commented more my real “personality” came out and I connected. My kids all think I am crazy (I know they do) and so does my hubby but blogging satisfies something deep in my heart and soul…and look….I have met wonderful people like you- someone my daughter’s age that I consider a friend…a real friend.

    You did a wonderful post here today- I hope your week is a great one! xo Diana
    Nana Diana recently posted..How To Sew A Horse- WHAT????My Profile

  2. I love this. And even though I don’t blog, I do understand the idea. Almost 11 years ago when the twins were born, I became part of an online twins community. People thought I was crazy but I consider those people just as much my “real” friends even though I’ve never met many of them in “real” life. The world is bigger now than it used to be and it can be a beautiful thing!

    • Janice it always amazes me when people look at me like I’m crazy or I can tell they think I’m loco! And then I have to stop and remember that they haven’t experienced it so they have no idea what it’s like! Their loss :)

  3. This is a lovely post! I enjoyed reading about your blog-journey! And your give away wins are awesome!! Thanks for your inspirational post! :)

  4. Dear, dear Jill,

    Thank you so very much for the link.

    You have found a true gift in blogging. It really is not about numbers but people. Not everyone realizes that. I think that is why they close their blogs, etc.

    Have a blessed day my friend!
    Laura Ingalls Gunn recently posted..Transforming The Office For Under $30 ~ Part IMy Profile

    • Blogging really came a live for me when I started connecting with so many great people. It’s just so nice to have a community of people that get you and understand the things you are passionate about! Have a wonderful weekend Laura – God bless!

  5. Wow – you hit the jackpot with those giveaways!
    Mrs. K recently posted..Advent PocketsMy Profile

  6. So happy to have met you Jill and include you in my circle of friends. I love blogging because I meet amazing women with whom I would never have crossed path with in real life. Thank you for such a beautiful post. -K
    karen recently posted..Trashy Tuesday, I am feeling Dumpy!My Profile

  7. What a lovely, lovey post. I certainly am happy to have found you too C:

    PS small one is happily wearing her frilly pants today to preschool
    Adventuresindinner recently posted..Cookies in a flashMy Profile

  8. Jill, I can’t imagine you wondering if you “fit in” with any blogging community. But isn’t that the way. We all have our musings about this and that, and life just gets in the way from time to time. Your talent and heart are always a treat to witness. Thanks for including me in your “friends” list. I am thrilled to have found “a kindred spirit” in you, as Anne from Anne of Avonlea would say (one of the old shows whose dialog I find myself imitating from time to time). It’s good to know people of faith are everywhere. “We are not alone”, and you remind me of that all the time. It doesn’t get much better than that. Bravo!
    Liz
    Liz recently posted..Respecting The Wayback MachineMy Profile

    • Thank you Liz – from the bottom of my heart! I’ve never figured out exactly what it is that makes the connection with some people. There is just something that ‘clicks’. So glad to have met you and made that connection with you :)

  9. I loved this. I felt like we were in the same room and you were talking to me. Thank you so much for the nice things you said about me…every single one could be said by me about you! You are the first blogger I have met who “gets” the sewing obsession. Bouncing ideas off each other, sharing dreams, asking for advice are all the benefits of finding a kindred soul…and we are you know…kindred souls.
    Ann recently posted..Lemon Snowball CookiesMy Profile

    • Aww Ann, you are so sweet! I just made some valentine things out of grain sack scraps – I want to send you a pic and see what you think. My hubby thought they were cute but he didn’t get real excited about them! LOL!

  10. What a wonderful and inspiring post and amazing package of things you won. Just think how many people are now looking at your blog thinking the exact same thing, how they wished they had your comments and your followers :)
    Amy of While Wearing Heels recently posted..Go Manual – FLASHMy Profile

  11. What very fun giveaways!! And I so get what you’re saying about the heart of blogging. I do feel like I’m still in the finding the “niche that fits” phase. Nevertheless, I do love looking back through my own blog! :)
    deborah recently posted..A Bug in a Rug {Hello Monday}My Profile

  12. Wow! You won some great things! Isn’t it fun to win something you love? I’ve had a lot of problems with Blogger and have heard so many good things about WordPress, but I’m also a creature of habit and don’t feel like switching right now. Looks like I’ll have to use Google Chrome to fix the situation. Arrgghh! Good thing you started with WordPress.
    Kelly recently posted..Vintage Styling in the KitchenMy Profile

    • Thanks Kelly, both of these giveaways were very fun to win :) I think you will like Chrome – I switched from IE because it was giving me fits with almost everything. Chrome is so much better. If you have a list of favorites in IE like I did I just discovered that you can import them all to Chrome!

  13. Jill, how did I ever miss your Thanksgiving post? And what a wonderful idea. To make a list of blogger friends that you’re thankful for. If I did this, you would surely be right there, at the top of my list. I can truly relate to the feelings you expressed in this post. Regarding the stats and numbers part of blogging that makes us crazy and insecure. And I truly appreciate your honesty. Especially when you shared your concerns about “fitting in” the blog world. Me too. Hoping for comments. Me too. It’s so real. And I’ve struggled to let go of those same concerns and just focus on the relationships and the writing. Which is where the real value of blogging lies. I feel a kinship with you in so many ways and I’m so glad we found each other in this big blog world!
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)
    leslie harris recently posted..finding your writer’s voiceMy Profile

    • Thanks Leslie! It’s so easy to think no one else ever feels that way! But we’ve all been there I think :) I rather like having my list of blog friends – I need to go back and update the list just for myself. I wasn’t sure about posting it – I don’t want to look like I’m bragging or trying to show off how but that really wasn’t the reason I was posting it so I went ahead with it. I so appreciate all the friends I’ve made and how welcome everyone has made me feel!

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