My beautiful girl-cat passed on just after 5am on December 9, 2012. She was 18 1/2 years old. Some day, I might tell you more about that. But that day will be when I can remember it for the beauty of her last hours and tell you about some of the funny things she used to do (instead of tearing up and going all soppy over it). It will be when I’m feeling centered enough to face the possibility of feedback from Those With Firm Opinions(tm) and The Well Meaning(tm). Right now, I’m focussed on the obvious: I have been a crazy cat lady for literally half my life. I am out of cats. That makes me … just crazy? I’m thinking I might need a slightly updated self-definition.
So, I read a thing on the internets about how you can find your direction in life by sorting out what you want to be remembered for when you die. (I was having an incredibly morbid streak of googling last week. There was a heavy death theme, and every flipping search I did turned up pictures of tabbies. Search for “how to get my life on track?” Sleeping tabby. Search for “kitchen appliances gifts”? Tabby in cat tree. Search for “php classes self construct”? Tabbies playing. Seriously? I mean, really, Google? Have you no pity? Also, none of these will work now, because the Electron Gods want to drive me to insanity.)
So I started a list. It got big. Then it got prioritized, and then, because I am me, it got edited. Ruthlessly. Multiple times. I edited until I had a statement of who I am/would like to be when I grow up/want to be remembered as. It’s like this:
I am a Designer of Things and a Maker of Stuff.
That’s really it.
I design. I make.
I want to be remembered as someone who designed and made cool stuff.
Except that’s really not really just it, because I’m happiest about the things I design and make when I have recorded (in some fashion) enough to be able to convey the specifics of the making them to others. Just sitting here at the keyboard shouting, “Hey, look, Internet! I did this cool thing!” feels too much like bragging, and bragging feels like ego, and I’m rather against ego lately. (She says, focussing on herself and her opinions and aware of the obvious irony…)
I am a Designer of Things, Maker of Stuff, and Purveyor of Information.
Designer. Maker. Datamancer? Teacher? Blogger? I have no idea. I just know that I’m not really content unless I’m writing, and specifically writing directions.
The problem, here, is that I have changed over the years, but I have tried to keep the blog basically on-topic. I mean, sure, I expanded from historical recreation and research for the Elizabethan era into the murkier waters of costuming. The problem is that that’s really not the half of what I do anymore. And it’s impacting my blogging, because, seriously, I might have nothing to say on my actual topic of go off on tangents. And I’m digging on simple home improvements lately. And easy electronics junk. I also spend a stupid amount of time writing code (php, html/css (does that even still count?), sql, jQuery), churning out graphics (Illustrator, Photoshop, and iDraw), mod’ing the house (apparently the dining room is next – mom likes to throw plans at me before coffee has sunk in so I’m not really entirely sure what I’ve agreed to), trying to make the workroom actually work (this time, it will work), dismantling dead electronics to see what’s inside (still can’t get to that darned electron gun), knitting (currently: socks), spinning (something lovely in a green wool and silk variety on the drop spindle), and sewing (a tailored jacket for mom for xmas – eek!) when I have time – because, after all, it’s important for adults to be productive rather than farting around with what they enjoy doing. Le sigh.
So here is my question to you, dear reader:
How do you feel about instructions for not-sewing things? Do you want a recipe for a storage-work-table? How about the crappita I read about cognitive science and the learning or design process? Are you interested in stupid WordPress hacks?Do you want the things I muse about when going over my Principles of Design for Apparel syllabus? Modern clothing and tailoring? How to hold a battery pack inside a hat? Jewelry and painting and leatherworks? Personal productivity tips that am trying at the moment? How to build a garden bench? I keep wanting to stick all the not-costume stuff into my personal blog, but it never happens. This is my online home. The other place… meh.
If I go off-topic, will it interest you, utterly not affect you, or annoy you? Are you good with just reading what you want to read and ignoring the rest? Or will you, like the Googles, judge me if I lose focus?
Because I don’t know. I think it would be fair to say that you know far more about me than I know about you. What do you want?
Nota bene: I make not guarantees I will do as told. ;) I’m bad like that. But I do want to know what you want.
I’ve been reading your blog since it was Sew Happy. Come to think of it, this was the first blog I started following. You’ve taught me & inspired me, but I think more than that I like reading what you write. You have good tone & I’d probably read anything you write. Also, a lot of the topics you mentioned interest me too! I can’t promise to speak for the whole internets, but I vote more posting, whatever the topic.
You win the “first to make me tear up” prize for this one… Sorry there’s no actual prize. But that just touched me more than I was expecting. Thank you!
You absolutely need to do what makes you happy. People will follow whatever you do. You really have been an inspiration to others, and if you change your focus that just means you can help possibly a new group of people. I’m still here, Sandy up there is still here, and I think you will find that there are a lot of folks who will stick around. Because it is not just the info and tutorials, but it is about you. And you are awesome.
Also, I am sorry about the loss of your beautiful cat. I hope you find comfort in your memories of her. I know I do in the memories of mine.
I can’t wait to see your second act, girl!
Hey old friend – I’ll read anything that you write, and I am totally interested in all those things that you mentioned! I love your tangents, and I always learn something new when I read your blog. You are already quite a success at your mission in life! I think you should write about whatever interests you at any given moment. It’s always brilliant and informative and fun to read.
And my mission is going to be to comment more and stay in touch better. I’m so lazy about reading stuff while lurking the shadows and not taking the time to post comments. I never have quite adapted to the interactive vs. passive webpage thing. I’z old skool. But I’m always happy to see your posts and get a peek at what’s going on in your world. :)
Since you asked, I follow you because you’re a good costumer and seamstress and teach me how to do cool things in that area of my life. I’m not terribly interested in home improvement projects here; I have other blogs teaching me that. But they can’t make me a better costumer. You can.
How do you feel about instructions for not-sewing things? Leary.
Do you want a recipe for a storage-work-table? Only if it has 3 unique things tailored for sewing/costuming.
How about the crappita I read about cognitive science and the learning or design process? …I’d actually like that because I love learning about learning and designing.
Are you interested in stupid WordPress hacks? Only a little.
Do you want the things I muse about when going over my Principles of Design for Apparel syllabus? Only if they’re about Design for Apparel, not your grocery list
Modern clothing and tailoring? Yes
How to hold a battery pack inside a hat? Yes
Jewelry and painting and leatherworks? Yes/if it’s painting fabric or props or batiking/yes
Personal productivity tips that am trying at the moment? Meh. I like hearing tips and tricks.
How to build a garden bench? No.
I keep wanting to stick all the not-costume stuff into my personal blog, but it never happens. This is my online home. The other place… meh.
I’ve been following you for a couple years now. I like the tone of your writing and have no problems if you branch out. I came for the historical costuming but other things interest me as well and if you go on a tangent I’m not interested in, I’ll just skim that post.
Basically, it’s your blog. Do what you want and we’ll either adjust or you’ll lose some people and gain others. I at least will just be happy to read your stuff more often.
Please, do go ahead and write about anything you like! You’re clever, you do interesting stuff, and it’s fun reading about it. One of the reasons that I’ve followed your site for several years is that I like your style of writing, including how you go off on tangents in on-topic posts too.
Ooops, the little guy is crying – got to run…
I’ve been following this blog for years now, and it always makes me smile to see a new post, so more posts means more smiles from my point of view at least!
It also just so happens that pretty much all of your interests interest me as well, so any tangents into electronics and home improvements are just as welcome to me as new sewing demos. I’m one of those people who just skims Instructables in my spare time…
I love your blog and the way you write. If you want to write about things other than historical sewing, have at! I am interested in other things as well and always love a good “how to”, even if I may never use it. I like knowing I have a resource that will tell me “how to”.
I’ve also been reading your blog for a long time and not been very good at commenting. I’ve been enjoying the posts where you branch out, and would like any how to posts that you feel like writing. Your tutorials are always clear and interesting. If you happen to write a post that I’m less interested in, I have no problem scrolling through.
Hey, all – thank you for the comments, and the input. I really appreciate it! A huge part of the reason I ever started blogging is because writing is part of my thinking process. Actually doing stuff helps me learn how to do it, but going through the process of trying to explain it to someone else helps me learn why I did it. And I need my whys.
So, from from this side of the keyboard, you all have been politely allowing me to ramble through my learning process for years. True story – not kidding, nor trying to make nice. Thank you all for that. :)
Also, I know know I have something in common with many of you – I am also really, really bad at actually commenting on blogs (including my own, it seems). *laugh* I’m not one of nature’s more sociable creatures.
ps – Jen and Laura – I totally
stalkheart your blogs too. ;)