A Rant About Blogging, Following and a Discovery

I am a blog reader that prefers to subscribe to blogs in my Google Reader, rather than officially follow them . The reason is that I like to read a blog for a certain time and see whether I am really interested in what goes on there. I would not like to "follow" somebody for a while and then disappoint them by "un-following", or is it "de-following".

I should confess that I seriously dislike the way some people insist on one being a follower of their blog, Facebook page, even Twitter account  in order to participate in polls, giveaways or discussions. I do understand that often there are commercial pressures for some of them to demand it, but I still believe that there should be a degree of separation between sharing and hard sale. The former, for me, makes the blogosphere the interesting, funny, cosy, amusing and warm place bursting with ideas that one can visit to relax, or recharge creative batteries. The latter can appear occasionally but should not usurp the attention in my opinion. I do not mind when there is a reference to one's Etsy shop, or other personal commercial website - it's only fair and convenient to direct your visitors to the place where they can find your products. What gets me are the dozens of adds and "sponsors" that cloud the space and often have very little to do with the spirit and the content of the blog. Do people really fall for such blatant advertising, I often ask myself? Isn't it counter productive  for the blog in the long term? There are less intrusive, more elegant ways to do it, so that it does not interfere with the reading when you do not want the publicity, yet it is there to access by the people that want it.

"Sew Many Ways" is one of the blogs I have in my Google Reader for a while already. I love the way Karen thinks of unusual applications for pretty trivial tools in her  "Tool Time Tuesday" posts. I like her no nonsense, to-the-point style in her tutorials and her "Blog Buddy" helpful ideas. You might like to read her very pragmatic and intelligent analysis of what makes a good blog in a recent post. It seems her musings on blogging have provoked lots of comments and one of them touched her profoundly. She went to visit the person who left the comment and she discovered  "Patchouli Moon Studio" blog.

Well, I went to check it for myself and found some beautiful creations. You might want to see it too.

Sewing machine cover
The lady above has a couple of friends, that are just as whimsical and most certainly fun to have around in your sewing room.

Daryl from "Patchouli Moon Studio" also knits the most adorable baby hats and toys. Here's a small example to give you a flavour of what she can do.

Knitted toy snake

On her blog there are more creations that will put a smile on your face and make you wish you were her grandchild.

Pay her a visit and see for yourselves. I am sure you'll go back for more!


It Is a Sad Day ... Let's Celebrate!

It is a sad day when you wake up to the news that Steve Jobs has lost his battle with a cruel desease.

"A visionary" they call him in tributes that are being beamed at us from every tv station and every internet forum, "a creative genius", "charismatic entrepreneur", "an inventive mind that defined an era". I happen to agree with all these descriptions and I do feel saddened by Jobs' premature passing away. Still, I think that we owe it to him to celebrate his life and the profound impact his creations brought into our lives.

For those of you who live on a far away planet and have not yet seen it - here is how Steve Jobs thought you should live life.


Heart Swap II

My swap partner has received the package, so now I can let you see what I sent her.

I thought she might enjoy having a matching set of hearts to use as charms for scissors, keys or anything else she fancied. 

Then I decided that a bookmark is something we all need, so I made her one as well. I think my hearts were quite well received and have put a smile on her face.

You can have a look at her blog and see for yourself!


Heart Swap

A month ago I was tempted and joined a heart swap organised by Katrien whose blog I follow already for a while. Everybody was assigned a partner to whom we were to send a friendship heart by the end of february. The only requirement was that the heart should have a ribbon attached, so it could be hung to be displayed.

Yesterday I got a package from Anita with the cutest embroidered heart. I wanted to take a picture of it immediately, so I could post about it and let the other participants admire Anita's beautiful work. The weather was sunny, so taking a photo should have been a breeze. Should have ... 

I climbed on a chair in the veranda, so as to profit from better light and snapped a pic with my phone. So far, so good. Then I stepped down and that is when it all went wrong. In a split second my foot got entangled in some scarf, or a pullover that should not have been where they were in the first place. Should not have been ... Then I fell with a heavy thump on the stone floor of the veranda. Oh, how I wished I were a squirrel with a fluffy tail to land on and soften the blow. Luckily, I don't seem to have damaged myself permanently, but I have to tell you that at this moment (about 24 hours later) I still feel a dull pain where my fluffy tail should have been. Should have ... if it wasn't for evolution. 

On a brighter note, thanks to evolution I am able to tell you the story and can eat nuts while warmly snuggled in the sofa, rather that hanging upside down from a branch in the cold. And thanks to Apple designers my iphone, as if by magic, does not seem to suffer any pain after its equally flamboyant journey through the air and landing on the hard floor.

So here is Anita's present for all of you to enjoy. In the end, I did not even use the photo I took myself. I opted for a version my husband snapped of it in the garden.

Hearts are much loved in our family. My daughter never misses an opportunity to make one. Here's what she put on my plate yesterday evening. It's cheese - joy for the eyes and the taste buds!

Thank you, Anita! Your heart is in safe hands and will be well loved! Thank you, Katrien for taking the trouble and organising this swap!


Where am I?

Could anybody recognise my current location?

Vacationally yours


Sashiko Tutorial

A couple of months ago, together with some quilting friends, I took a class on sashiko. I have been admiring this beautiful technique for a while when I signed up for the lessons. Unfortunately, the instruction was "suboptimal" to put it mildly. We were left with a feeling of disappointment and regret for what it could have been .

Today, while browsing the blogs in my Google Reader, on  Sashiko Started It  I came across an announcement for a free online sashiko tutorial that will be delivered through the newsletter of Sashiko Stitchers  beginning July 14, 2010. All you have to do is sign up for the newsletter at  www.sashikostitchers.com or by emailing the organizer at sue@aboutfuroshiki.com. Then gather your supplies and we can enjoy a sashiko-along in two weeks time.

Until then, enjoy the good weather!


I've Got Mail ... Again

The postman came again and he didn't have to ring twice. Look what he brought me:

I love opening envelopes, especially when they contain goodies like that! 

Mary Anne Ciccotelli from Sewing and Beyond sent me a little present for taking part in a quilt quiz on her blog some weeks ago and I was not even the winner! Well, I think that in a way now I am. ;)
In all fairness, the quiz was not easy but I did work hard and got the answers right.

Mary Anne has free tutorials on cutting hexagons from fabric (no template, just a ruler) and on folding hexagons. Check it out - definitely worth trying! 

Now that I have a hexapin myself, I might try and make some for friends using her tutorial.

Thank you, Mary Anne!


I've Got Mail!

... and here is the proof!

The orange envelope lived up to my expectations - that's for sure!

Out came a bag adorned with the cutest fabric collage and a sweet inscription.

And then out of the bag popped the top Emily from Em Celebrates! generously offered me a couple of weeks ago.

She posted about a couple of UFO's in need of a new home and I volunteered to "adopt" one of them. Thank you, Emily, for choosing me to take care of your flower children. I shall nurture them and let them blossom!

Here you can see me taking a picture of the top while profiting from one hour of sunshine (a rare commodity in the last couple of weeks) but for some reason I made a video instead of a simple photo (don't ask!), so if you want to see a better shot of what the top looks like you can peek at Emily's photo of it.

I think I'll let the top hang around while I make up my mind about adding some borders and raid my stash for matching fabric. I'll keep you posted.

BTW if you like looking at gorgeous nature and wildlife photos, do visit Em's blog and enjoy the sight of a mustang (no kidding!), an enchanted tree, majestic scenery, or if you feel particularly adventurous imagine yourself in this picture. Have fun!