The last time I posted was back in September, and before that, it was the end of March 2013. Life with a toddler, now preschooler, gets in the way of blogging, I guess.
What brought me out in September was a tribute for Cathey's blogoversary, and it's part of what brought me out again. Sadly, Cathey passed away in October and our stitching community mourned her loss. I still keep up with many stitching blogs, and I watched the ripple of sadness as the news spread. It's taken me a while to get back to blogging, and I feel the need to make it more of a priority for the sense of community and friendship among stitchers. Many of these stitchers will never be in the same room with each other, but still develop and nurture these bonds through our shared craft. So many people came together to celebrate Cathey's blogoversary, to mourn her loss, and to help keep her memory alive for her husband and young son, people brought together by the love of stitching.
I want to make a contribution to that community, and I need to make a better effort to remain a part of it. I've made some truly wonderful friends through stitching - some I've met in person, and many more that I haven't, and the sole reason our paths have crossed has been blogging. Those relationships are important to me, and what brought us together should be more of a priority, especially since stitching is something I enjoy doing on a near daily basis.
Back in November, my friend Lee the Lake Stitcher wrote a post called "Why have we stopped writing?" I put a great deal of thought into it, then failed to do anything. I could probably blame it on November and December being busy times with the holidays. We have family obligations, a four year old in preschool, loads of baking and cooking, etc. If I'm being honest, though, I must admit things like Pinterest and Facebook have also cut into the time I normally would have spent blogging. They're easier distractions, not really requiring me to put the effort into taking photos and writing a post. By the time I've gotten through doing what I need (want) to do on those sites, I've hit a wall and am ready to get offline, without updating my stitching blog.
I'm lucky that a few of my stitching friends are on Facebook, but many more are not, and sometimes those relationships don't get the attention they deserve. I tend not to share my stitching on Facebook either, because I've compartmentalized it. I have Facebook friends from all aspects of my life and while it may be unfounded, I have this notion that people just aren't interested in my craft. Which is ridiculous, I know, because I am proud of what I do, and I've actually changed the perceptions of a few people who thought cross stitch was "those country looking pictures with geese wearing bonnets".
I want to put myself out there more than just following the blogs and making a few comments here and there. I want to share more of my work, even if it's just for me to be able to say "I made a contribution". I also need to keep up with my blog because it's my record of what I've done. I've stitched many pieces that have been given away as gifts, and this is my way of remembering those pieces. Knowing that I will eventually be blogging about my work also makes me more conscious of what I'm stitching, who I'm stitching it for, and the materials and time I put into it. Right now, there are at least two dozen pieces of completed stitching sitting in a drawer, waiting to be finished and displayed. Those pieces represent hundreds (maybe thousands?) of dollars and hours spent working on them, and I need to find some way to honor that effort until we can get them framed or finished and on display. It's not just my work that deserves to be on display either. I have been the lucky and grateful recipient of some lovely pieces from fellow stitchers, and their work should be on display as well.
In a nutshell, I quit blogging because I'm a little bit lazy, a little bit crunched for time, and a little bit too involved with other forms of social media. (Lee wrote a follow up post about why other bloggers have quit / fallen behind on posting). I want to make it a priority to return to blogging because the relationships I've developed from it are important, contributing to this community is important, and honoring and sharing my craft is important.