midweek thoughts: on thoughtful comments, staying motivated, finding balance, and other things

friends, i think one of the things that many of us hope for in starting a blog is the ideal of shared conversation—finding new friends, new inspiration, and having a dialogue with however many (or few) readers you have.  the comment, if you will, as the gold standard of blog discourse.  how wonderful it must be, for example, for gertie to share her exciting homeowning news and find more than 100 people excited for her and her family?

my house, not gertie's, but i guarantee you her cats will be as shocked as mine was!

for me, though, there is something even better—the thoughtful comment.  the only thing better than “congratulations!” is congratulations followed by a cute detail or personalizing touch.  i’ve been driven to leave more of these myself by two particularly wonderful comments left here:  one from meaghan, who says,

“you also challenge readers to look beyond the picture on the pattern envelope and think creatively about their garments. thank you for all the great posts and pictures.”

readers, is this not a platonic ideal of a comment?  it’s specific and kind and very encouraging.  i am sure sal would approve.

similarly, i could kiss meg the grand—instead of complaining about how little sewing has been going on (a sort of mid-march malaise seems to have struck me and many of us, it would seem!) she left this lovely note:

“i love all of these posts that talk about your process of getting the space together and choosing your accessories – it’s very sewtastic to me, and i get to live vicariously through you!”

thank you, meg!  i’ve been wondering, lately, about how to keep my end of the conversation going when i’ve been falling behind on all the work i want to do.  i’m still only about 60% finished with my red coat, for example (it has a lining now!  and shoulder pads!); i never finished my “refashion” for the sew weekly; and i’m definitely dangling on the precipice of making any progress on this week’s “pretty as a picture” theme.

muslin...from two months ago!

personally, i love reading other bloggers’ attempts to make sense of their inspiration, or their sewing space, or their struggles to find balance in all of their activities.  jillybe’s recent travails really spoke to me, and i was very moved by a recent post by carolyn on “construction details, yay or nay?” which sparked an interesting debate on what kind of posts we sewasaurus rexes like to see.

sometimes, reading about others’ projects, inspirations and interests is the only thing (besides wanting to post and share myself) that helps me keep my sewing energy up.  i’ve been loving the sew weekly, for example, because even though i haven’t finished a project in 3 weeks, having the theme forces me to think realistically about my project board/to-do list, what i want to accomplish vs. what i can accomplish, and to be creative about getting projects off the board and into reality.  for the first time in my short sewing career i have a handle on my goals and don’t feel that constant overwhelming feeling i tend to get when i’ve gotten overambitious about what i can accomplish in a day (or a week, or a month, or even a year).

my art inspiration: Amoureux de Vence by Marc Chagall

speaking of years (what?) i hit my 30th one yesterday.  i celebrated with excellent takeout, a snuggle on the couch with my handmade ryan gosling, and sewing progress.

if by “progress” you count six darts and two seams for this week’s sew weekly!

my proper birthday dinner will be tonight, with family and friends (as it should be) and a weekend spent with my mother and sister up at the new place.

two days to friday.  stay sane.



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10 Responses to midweek thoughts: on thoughtful comments, staying motivated, finding balance, and other things

  1. Jilly Be says:

    What a delightfully thoughtful post, thank you 🙂 And goodness, thank you for the link love as well!

    It’s nice to be carving out some time to read the blogs I love to read – I’m REALLY looking forward to following the evolution of your new sewing space!

    • puu says:

      jilly, just to say again, your post really touched on a lot of my feelings these days–another bonus of the online sewing community is seeing how all of us try to cope with similar issues!

  2. Hahahahaah oh man I love that expression on your cat’s face on top of the shelf! People say that cats don’t have expressive faces, but I totally disagree. Also, I think I prefer your version of HRG.

    I appreciate your thoughtful comments on my own blog, and I’ve been trying to get better at leaving them on others, too. I realized that although I love getting comments on my work saying “Gorgeous! Awesome! So pretty!” and such, I learn more (and feel more like the commenter could actually be an IRL friend talking to me, except that my IRL friends don’t know anything about sewing and are therefore more likely to say “G! A! Sp!”) when the commenter talks about things I didn’t consider in my construction, or what aspects are actually flattering or not. So here’s to better dialoguing on blogs! Thanks for the insightful links, too!

    Lastly, happy birthday, and many happy returns of the day!

    • puu says:

      your blog has quickly become one of my favorites, because i so enjoy the way you describe your projects and your process–also, i share so many of your “nerd” obsessions, i feel an extra sense of kinship. i appreciate very much that you come over here and share thoughts with me, too!

      also, i am pretty sure your walnut could give my indiana jones a run for his money on expressive faces, from what i’ve seen over on your site. should i be worried that so many of us in the sewing community could be described as “crazy cat ladies”? 🙂

      • I don’t think we need to be concerned about being crazy cat ladies. Obviously, even the best of us (Gertie and Debi come to mind immediately) love their cats, so it can’t be all bad! Besides, cats keep us grounded. I know when I get into a snit about the latest sewing mishap, one look at Walnut’s concerned expression relaxes me and helps me laugh. And nerd obsessions are the best!

      • puu says:

        definitely. cat- (and firefly-) lovers unite!

      • Debi says:

        ah, the kitties keep us sane 🙂 I always love seeing photos of Indiana Jones and Walnut! Sometimes Echo will come and lay on my fabric–especially when I am having a sewing mojo-less week just as if to say ‘you can count petting me as being productive & creative!’ hehehehe. Thanks for the great post about blog comments too. I try to be an active participant but realise that many times I leave the standard all caps excited message about how much I love something instead of going into the reasons as to why….good food for thought!

      • puu says:

        yes! cat-lovers for better comments, onward! 🙂

  3. Kat H says:

    Cats and sew-a-saurus-rexs seem to go together. (Maybe because they love playing in piles of fabric they naturally just gravitate towards us and convince us to own them?)

    This is such a lovely post, by the way. I often find it hard to leave a thoughtful comment, especially if I’ve just been a passive reader on a blog up until that point. Mainly because I wonder if people will feel a little odd if my first “hi, here I am, I read your blog!” comment is a semi-personal-thoughtful one. (Yes, I admit it, I’m a shy wee lassie.) This post is encouraging me to be braver, though! So, thank you. 🙂

  4. puu says:

    posting a comment can totally feel strange! i absolutely agree, but then i remember that what i am looking for is a discussion, and that i have to participate in order to have one. i’ve been a much braver, better commenter since then 🙂

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