Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy Blogiversary to me - 10 years!

I can't believe my blog is ten years old. My first post was on February 18, 2004 (the actual first was on the 17th but it was just a "hello world.") In that first post I lamented about having "so many projects", and I proceeded to list them. So let's see what happened to those projects:

Projects from the Past

First up was Burda 2560:

I remember this one. I made the muslin out of a striped cotton fabric from - probably paid $2.99 for it - and hated the result. The fabric was too stiff and the stripes didn't help the look. If it's not in a scrap bag somewhere, then it went into the recycling bin. After that wadder, I didn't try the pattern again, but looking at it now, 10 years later, I think it could be really nice in a drapey rayon, sueded silk or perhaps a polyester blend or a lighter weight cotton.

Next was a fake fur throw. It was already a UFO then, and it remained stuffed in my closet for probably another 8 or 9 years. Pairing a long-pile fake fur with a short-pile fake fur was a mistake. The throw was very heavy and reminded me of those lead aprons they put on you in the dentist office. Not good! So I gifted the two fabrics to my sewing friends. It was decent fake fur but sometimes when a project doesn't work, keeping the fabric is just a sad reminder of that failed idea.

Curtains for the family room. Completed! But this was just a hemming job on purchased curtains. Plus I'm embarrassed to tell you that the hems were safety-pinned for a long time before I finally sewed them.

Pillows for the family room. I never made them. I still have the fabric. I still want to make those pillows...someday.

First Quilt. Nope. Never finished. Guess I'm not really into quilting. But I can't explain why I have a lot of quilting fabric in my stash. Oh, yes I many cute prints. Plus I like the idea of quilting, but cutting lots of squares and strips and precisely stitching them with quarter inch seam allowances...not so much.

Cream and pink knitted baby dress. This UFO is still in storage somewhere. It has sentimental attachment but I think it's time for it to go. I am not a hoarder. I am not a hoarder. I am not a hoarder...

Off white cotton sweater. In 2004 I hadn't yet gotten into knitting like I am now, meaning that I think I had this sweater and one other UFO (from the 80's!) and a few huge cones of yarn from a store closeout. My knitting stash fit in one drawer. I did finish that cotton sweater about a year later, and it was a disaster. I only had one sleeve left to do but my knitting had changed so much that the gauge was way off. No amount of pulling and tugging and blocking could get the sleeves to match. I didn't even like the darn thing at that point so I frogged it. I recycled some of the yarn as warp for some cotton placemats that I wove. Oh yeah, the placemats aren't 100% finished either. Good grief, only one of these projects was completed!

But I have made plenty of things in the 10 years since then. I won't go into all of them - I'm not even going to list my favorites because it'd take a long time to go back over everything I've made.

Why I blog:

I started blogging back when there weren't many garment sewing bloggers. There were a lot of blogs by knitters, and there were a lot of creative young women making "softies" and other such insanely adorable items and blogging about it. I liked seeing their projects and reading about them so I decided to start my own blog so I could share my creations with others...and my mom, who reads this blog faithfully (Hi Mom!)

The blog has proven itself as a great record of my sewing and knitting projects and of other events -  when I blog about them. I haven't been a very regular blogger. Looking at my archive, it seems I started strong for the first five years with an average of 68 posts per year, but then I dropped off because the next five years only had an average of 28 posts per year. Work interfered, life got busy, and other things that I couldn't post online interfered. We did a lot of remodeling of the house and although I sometimes wrote about it, I didn't want to turn the blog into a home remodeling blog. Same thing with travel. 

I actually started "blogging" wayyyyy back in 1997, but it wasn't called blogging then. I had a geocities site. Remember those? I was in the Yosemite neighborhood because we sometimes went kayaking and skiing. I used the site to post photos - digital cameras were brand new then - and I started a journal to keep my family and friends up to date on what was going on in our lives. This was before Facebook of course! The name of this blog comes from that geocities site. One of my sub-sites was our "monkeyroom" - it represented the idea of a room we would have if we had infinite space and money where we could just collect ridiculous monkey-themed stuff. Instead I collected pictures of the ridiculous monkey-themed stuff and arranged them on "shelves." Another of my sub-sites chronicled my early sewing and knitting projects.

I get visitors!

My most popular post by far is the pincushion tutorial. Oh my goodness, that post has had over 61,000 views! At a very distant second place is my post on how to fix a retractable measuring tape, with 5289 views. I occasionally hear from people that they used this info to successfully fix their tapes - woohoo! But that pincushion tutorial lives on in links all over the internet and the world, and it's on Pinterest too. I didn't blog about this (though I meant to), but a few years ago I submitted the pincushion tutorial to a request for ideas for this book...

...and it was accepted. But the submission request was only for the bonus patterns for the special edition book sold only by Barnes and Noble, so it's not in every book. I couldn't find the special edition on the Barnes and Noble site so I don't know that you can even get it anymore. After my tutorial was selected, I was sent fabric from which to make the sample pincushion, which they photographed for the book and included with all the other one-yard creations on the book tour.

I thought I took a picture of my pages from my copy of the book, but I can't find any. I don't know why I didn't blog about this when it all happened in 2011. But looking back, that was a busy year - busy at work, overseeing some major home remodeling, and we managed to squeeze some travel in too.

Speaking of travel, I've been very blessed to have the opportunities to travel like we have. Not just while we're living here, but over the last 10 years as well. I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my favorite photographs from these trips - at least the ones I've blogged about.


I intend to keep blogging on this site and I hope you keep visiting. I know some people have switched over to Facebook or Instagram to showcase their creations, but I'm not interested. Facebook is great for short and quick posts, and that's where I usually post my travel photos first, but I only sometimes post pictures there of the things I've made. Besides, it's much easier to find my old posts here than on Facebook. I haven't explored Instagram but I don't think my brain can handle another site for sharing and organizing pieces of my life. Let's see, there's Facebook, Flickr, Ravelry, Patternreview, Twitter, LinkedIn...

But that reminds, me. I need to back this blog up. I wouldn't want this documentation of 10 years of my creative life to vanish!

Hopefully I'll get to some sewing tomorrow. I have a jacket for my nephew almost complete, and I have fabric washed and ready to cut out to make myself a robe.


  1. Congratulations! I blogged for a couple of years and gave it up - too much work. But I applaud those who keep going! - Heather

  2. Happy blogiversary! 10 years is a long time to blog.
    I was on geocities too and in Yosemite as well even though I had an SF fandom page...

  3. Happy blogiversary! I enjoyed reading about your UFO'S. I have plenty of those too and I'm in the process of finishing one at a time in between making something new. I also have curtains that have been in the UFO bin for 2 years that are done except for the 'pinned and ready to sew' rod pockets.