Category Archives: Writing Turns One! Five Tips from My Year in the Craft Blog Trenches

5 tips for new craft bloggersEvery year, change seems to come my way in late February. It’s been four years since I moved to San Francisco, two years since I moved into my lovely Mission apartment, and one year since I got laid off from my corporate job and started this very blog. This post is coming to you late because I was sequestered in the woods on a meditation retreat, but the sentiments remain the same.

This blog has been an invaluable gift and learning process. I’ve taught myself through lots of Googling, Pinterest boards and trial and error to make beautiful things, do my own graphic design and of course make crafts and patterns. I’ll attempt to share some practical advice from my year in the paint and fabric trenches:

Get it out sooner rather than later: I can’t tell you how many times I was delayed in posting a project for weeks because I didn’t have anywhere to photograph or I needed to just edit the post. I can often breeze through the first 90% of a project, but struggle with the finishing touches. If you have just 10% more to finish and think, “I’ll finish it tomorrow.” Days can turn into weeks and before I knew it, nothing new had been posted on my blog in a while. It doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect. The wonderful thing about the Internet is that it’s a living document; it never stops being changed or rewritten. If you wake up to find a big typo in your post, no matter, fix it then. But at least you got it out there. More Tips after the jump!

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Lessons From My First Month as a DIY Blogger

Comparison is the thief of joy
A quote I love via How Joyful

I started this craft blog just over a month ago, but I’ve been sewing, painting and crafting for my entire life. I cannot tell you how many times this month I’ve been on the verge of giving up on a project just because it didn’t turn out perfectly. I’ve been ready to scrap the whole thing because I sewed the wrong seem on a dress or my camera didn’t take a good picture. I’ve thought: “This isn’t good enough to post, it doesn’t look as good as the one on Pinterest.”

It was frustrating when on the last step of an extensive furniture painting project, I accidentally sprayed white enamel all over it before realizing that no, it will not just dry clear and had to repaint the whole thing. It was frustrating when I couldn’t figure out how to load my new staple gun,  and it was frustrating when I accidentally got glue on my hardwood floors (don’t tell my landlord). Did I mention that all of these frustrating things happened today?

I’ve always been a very imperfect crafter, but now it’s different, on a good day a few people actually pay attention to the projects I put out, and my success as a blogger depends on my success of my projects. The Do-It-Yourself industry often creates an aspirational lifestyle that is hard to live up to. The idea that, with just the right supplies, the right tutorial, and right camera we can all be the next Martha Stewart or Centsational Girl is just untrue. The truth is that some of us will just never be that creative nor that talented.

I ripped this quote from my friend Anna Pully’s blog, on the illusion of ease in art:

“I think a lot of art is about creating the illusion of ease, and I think it’s great to enjoy that illusion, but I think it’s great to know that it’s an illusion, and I suspect—in my experience—the process of creating anything involves quite a lot of fear and difficulty, and it involves covering up quite a lot of that fear and difficulty.”

– Excerpt from The Chairs Are Where The People Go, by Misha Glouberman and Sheila Heti.

I suspect that some of  the best bloggers experience a lot of fear and difficulty, but present the illusion of ease  and perfection. I am not, nor will I ever be perfect. Yet, I will never stop trying to make my home, my clothes and my life more inspired and more personal. Every day that I create beautiful things and share them with others is a joyous one, I just have to remember that mistakes are part of it.

Some things I learned in my first month with this blog:

  • Make sure your clear gloss enamel is actually clear and not just white glossy spray paint.
  • Sew knits with a wide stitch, small stitches make the fabric pucker.
  • Know that you will almost never have a perfect project, and that it’s totally ok : )