on fasting from social media

The end of my 40 days is near and it’s been an interesting 40 days. If you are new to this space, I turned 40 back on April 2nd and in celebration of my 40th birthday made a list of 40 things I want to do before I turn 41. At the top of that list was a 40 day fast from social media and a break from my etsy shop.

dragonfly @ urban threads WIP

 

I spent the first week finishing up open orders and completing a few other projects that were on a deadline. I have had some other projects that I’ve had to do with a time crunch during these 40 days, but for the most part I’ve spent these days with lots of space. As this time comes to a close, I felt like reflecting on a few of the things I’ve experienced and learned.

1. Fasting from social media (or even just saying no to things and reducing your commitments) is not a magic bullet to clarity. I truly had this expectation that when I removed some of these temptations I would automatically feel refreshed. So not true. Silencing all this extra “noise” in my life was truly refreshing at first, but it hasn’t been until the last week or so that I’ve really started to feel (and I hesitate to use the world feel) some clearing in my mind.

2. Removing something from your life truly makes you realize how often you run to it. Removing the mindlessness of facebook and even instagram I realized how much I went to it just to veg out. It was shocking to me how many times I would be working (like truly working) on the computer and find myself done with that I was working on and start to check out facebook or blogs. While the clarity didn’t come right away, the extra time in my day to find other ways to relax came on day one.

 

Dragonfly WIP - menagerie #3

3. I had to admit completely that I got a lot of good feelings (think the Norweigian dude from Frozen – “lutefisk for gud feelings?” only in my case say “social media for gud feelings?) from checking instagram and facebook for likes and comments. I really think I was in this place where I was sewing, stitching, creating etc merely because I was using it as a means to making myself feel good. And it led to a very quick burnout and creative depression.

 

Dragonfly WIP - menagerie #3

 

4. Take a break is a good thing. I really do think I was in a horrible creative depression. While I found myself able to design things as people were bringing ideas to me – there was little happening in the way of just my own open expression. I have to say that I’ve had such an amazing break and putting my shop on vacation for these 40 days has been so good for me. There has been great clarity and free-ness of mind when it has come to seeing art in the world around me and being able to express that. I really don’t think that would have happened if I hadn’t taken a break. Everyone finds a slump in their work at periods of time no matter what their work is. That’s the whole reason we have a Sabbath! A weekly point of rest for us. It’s why vacations are so refreshing at times.

 

dragonfly @ urban threads WIP

 

5. Social media isn’t all bad – there is community there. I have to say that I have missed my stitching community on instagram so much. I’ve missed seeing what other people are stitching, having conversations with other makers and just the encouragement that I do find there. I’m super excited to jump back in and the same for facebook. There are people on there that I don’t ever get to see and I do love seeing their faces and I’ve missed that. I guess ultimately it’s all a matter of using it wisely and with balance.

 

dragonfly - Flying Menagerie @ Urban Threads

 

I’ve been in a book study these last few months reading Tara Owen’s book Embracing the Body. I’m still wrestling through my thoughts on it, but in essence it’s about being awake to the world around us. Probably my favorite part of this book so far is what she wrote about creativity and making.

creation is the act that declares the physical world and can bear the weight of glory – glory expressed through us, in us and with us. Glory manifest through beauty…{the idea that} simple threads can be redeemed to physically bear messages of goodness and kindness.

Last year at this time I was really wrestling with being real. With taking a jump and being brave. I had read a  speech that Roosevelt had given about stepping into the arena. Not just being a spectator, but being brave and taking that jump. I’ve been amazingly blessed and I’m so glad that I did take the jump last year. But now, I am moving more towards being alive and aware of why I’m creating and for whom. There is nothing I love more than running my hands over something that I’ve just stitched up. I am always amazed that simple threads can be combined with stitches to make a picture of something. And I want the work of my hands to be nothing more than a message of goodness and kindness.

**photos are of a dragonfly embroidery I just finished. Pattern is from Urban Threads and it will be available in the shop soon!

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get ready…

hello, 40

In a little over a week I’m turning 40. I have shared previously my list I have going for all the things I challenge myself to try and do during this 40th year. But coming up on April 2nd is probably the biggest, oddly scariest and more than likely the best gift I can give myself: I’m taking a respite.

For the first 40 days of my 40th year, I’m seeking to remove the distractions of the web-o-sphere and step away from my etsy shop for a while.

Here’s my plan:

1. The shop will be on vacation during those 40 days. While I will try to answer convos, I’m promising myself that I’ll hold strictly to a weekday – while the kids are at school – only policy. This is not what I do now. I answer convos all.the.time and hold myself highly to being that person that doesn’t make other people wait for an answer to their questions or request.

2. I’m taking instagram off my phone and pinterest off the ipad. While I can still access both of these things via our computer, it does make it a bit more obvious and tricky.

3. I’m deactivating facebook.

4. And I am reducing the blogs I have in feedly down to my top 3-5.

5. I am keeping this blog open and not silent. Merely because I need a place for my voice. I love to create with words and stitches and I long for this spot to again be a place where I can just share what I’m doing. Not because I am looking for high stats or comments or anything – but just because I need to get it out.

Now the why.

When I started blogging and sewing, there was no facebook, instagram, pinterest etc and the only “inspiration” I really found was in the few other bloggers that I knew of. I really felt like I was writing honestly and I was creating honestly. I was overjoyed at what I was making and felt so inspired by so many things actually in the real world. Now, I feel like when I sit and try to come up with a new pattern design or sew a dress or anything I can’t come up with something original. I’m terrified of copying someone, even if it’s totally unintentional, but all the visions of all the creations I see on the web are filling up my mind. All the words I read I’m not really reading. It’s like an amazing information overload and I need to step back from it and find my own voice again.
And in all honestly. I need a break.

But it’s scary in so many ways.
I’m closing my shop right in the middle of wedding season so I’m worried about losing all those customers.
I finally feel like I have a following on instagram and I’m worried about losing it – which seems so stupid and silly to see in words.
I’ve got my first sewcial to promote and how am I going to do that without being on social media!?

And I don’t want to miss anything.

But the truth is. I might miss things. I’m sure I’ll miss customers. But I know deep down that this is something that I need to do.

And I have to be honest too – I’m kind of looking forward to it.

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when oceans rise…

Oceans Hillsong version2

It’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through the month of May already. May is always so cram packed full that I feel like I’m living almost a week ahead trying to prepare myself for what is next.

One of my favorite projects in the past few months has been this set of lyrics from the song Oceans by Hillsong United. It’s funny in some ways because they play this song on the radio all.the.time and there was a point where I was really getting that overplayed annoyance with it. Then one day I heard this acapella version on Relevant and it kind of took me aback. I’m sure I’ve posted about it already on the blog lately, but it just keeps hitting me over and again.

Oceans Hillsong United Version 1

This first half of 2014 has been amazing for me and my little etsy shop. I feel like after running this shop for going on 3ish years now I’ve learned so much and I’m so much more confident in what I’m doing. There are weeks that are hard, conversations that are tough, but the growing and stretching experience for me has been life-changing. I’m continually overwhelmed by the increase in traffic, increase in sales and just the awesome and humbling comments I get from customers. Every day I count myself lucky and amazed that I am able to do the thing I love and it’s truly a blessing to me and our family.

That said, our family is riding some interesting ocean waves lately and we are working hard to keeping our eyes above those waves and steady on where we are and where the Lord might take us. I am planning on taking a good bit of vacation from the shop in June and hope to do some major planning and product development for the next half of the year, work on the next step for The Crooked Stitch (which I think will involve some e-courses…fingers crossed!) and just work on some projects of my own. I’ve completely dropped the ball on my One Little Word journal, I’ve got a whole slew of things I’m hoping to work on to stretch my sewing muscles and honestly I need some good, quiet time with my kiddos without distraction.

So if you journey to my little etsy space in June and see the shop is closed up you have lots of other options to keep up with what’s happening in the daisyeyes household. I am totally becoming addicted to instagram (my handle is @daisyseyes) and I still post pretty frequently to facebook too. If you aren’t a social networker I do hope to post project updates on the blog throughout the summer and will for sure keep up with my what I’ve been into posts.

Here’s to a happy May and an adventurous summer!

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a new venture

stitchgirl

I’m working on a new venture around here.
If you’ve followed this blog, if you know me or if you follow me on facebook, then you know that one of the greatest desires of my hearts has been to open a shop here in my little town. I started a business plan for it about this time last fall and over the course of this past year my focus has changed a little bit. The reality of a storefront at this stage of our lives made me realign my focus a little bit and while I do hope at some point I might have an actual store space, I’m deciding to start smaller. In an effort to bring some accountability to this idea, I’ve finally published the facebook page and am doing a little promo here. Hopefully in the next month or so I’ll have an actual website and I’m hoping to have the beginning stages rolling by October.

stitchLogo Picture File

My plan at this point is to offer two different opportunities:

The first is sewing lessons that come to you. Basically, I come to your house (or wherever is convenient) and work with you on a project, on beginner sewing stuff etc.

And the second is sewing/crafting themed parties for kiddos. I’m pretty sure that the first two offerings will be hand embroidery/hand sewing themed party (such as making an initial hoop and possibly finger puppets) and the other would be making pillowcases with applique initials. Again, these parties would be at your home and I would bring all the materials needed to make the projects. By next spring I hope to have added an American Girl sewing themed party….and many more ideas roaming through my head!!

Want to stay informed on when and where the big launch is? Like The Crooked Stitch on facebook or follow along on this blog for more information coming soon!

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2013 goals: post 1

I’ve got another 2013 goals oriented post up my sleeve in the coming week, but today I was hit with a couple of quotes that really summed up for me where I am at as I enter into this new year.

give thanks embroidery

Last year was an amazing, eye opening kind of year for me. Etsy and embroidery in general had always been just a hobby for me. Sometimes I earned a little extra money sewing on the side for others, but for the most part it was just for fun. I always had a yearning to make more of it, but really didn’t believe I could.

Then came last February. I came up with the idea for the felt capes sets and things just blossomed from there. I’ve grown from a shop that just had  a little bit of embroidery to one that sells all sorts of things “from embroidery to felt.” It was a steep learning curve and I feel like I’m still deeply in that curve as I walk into this year.

max and wild thing

I’ve struggled some as I’ve had these past few weeks off with whether daisyeyes was something I really even wanted to continue. I’ve thought about giving up more than once on it and most of the time it’s because I was listening to those voices telling me that I’m never really going to make it, I’m just “playing” at having a business, it’s never going to amount to anything etc etc.

Then today I got on facebook (of all places!) and first read a quote from a girl in my town that has her own small handmade business. She was thanking everyone for the last 3 years and remarked on how she never knew she could paint. Then she started to paint and now considers it a gift. I feel the same way about embroidery. I struggle with what I’m making is even really art or really even creative. She reminded me that it’s not how I see it but how others see it. I’m doing what I do because others love it and want it. I’m doing what I do because I love to make something just right for someone. And I am an artist in my own way. I’m not this amazing photographer or graphic designer or painter. But what I can do, this gift I have been given, is just that: a gift that I long to share with others.

2012 DIY felt cape sets

After I read that post I saw a quote that Simple Mom posted on facebook today and it really sums up where I am right now. It is a quote from Emily Freeman:

“Creativity actually births courage. It comes after, not before. If you wait until you feel ready, you could be stuck in your small story for a very long time. Dare to see the art in everything, take small risks with great faith. You may find the fear fade a bit, and courage just might rise up within you like two great walls of water on either side, high enough for you to get lost in a good way in the bigness of it all.”

melongirl1

And honestly I think that’s me.
I know that walking into this year I can make this happen.
Better yet, God is who is making this happen.
And it’s only with that knowledge can I walk headfirst into 2013 ready and waiting for the amazing things He is going to do this year with daisyeyes.

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