Hello my very patient internet friends!
I apologize for the VERY long delay between posts! I had a blast participating in #MeMadeMay2016 but felt kind of burnt out by the whole experience. I kept meaning to post a blog but then the days seemed to whip by (there were so many big events in may! including my 30th birthday!), and then I started to feel bad about not posting and beating myself up about it. So then the blog began to feel more like a chore rather than something fun I decided to do. I promised myself at the beginning that I wouldn't let blogging become something I HAD to do but something I actively CHOSE to do. Next thing I knew we were well past mid June and I still hadn't gotten around to even saying that I had participated in me made may much less reflected on the experience! So this is me apologizing for not keeping my promise to myself to keep blogging fun and apologizing for not posting sooner :( So today I'm going to share my very first Me Made May and at the end I'm going to outline my plan to keep blogging fun! (I'm also sharing some of my favorite outfits/pics from the challenge!)
Let's start with why I chose to do MeMadeMay. Given that this is my first year of blogging I really wanted to join in on some of the fun, social media based, creative events that I had read about or seen but never had the guts to participate in before. I felt that in the sewing/knitting/DIY blogosphere MeMadeMay was one of the better known ones and it seemed like everyone enjoyed participating and had a positive experience. It was also a chance for me to start to get over my personal, biggest bottleneck to writing new blog posts...Photos.... I really REALLY don't like having my photo taken. This is especially true when I'm trying to get a photo by myself when someone else is taking the photo for me. I know this particular 'phobia', for lack of a better word, is true for most people and luckily most people don't have to really have to worry about it except for those few occasions (like on your birthday for example) when you just have to grin and bear it. Of course I chose to blog about the things that I make and it just so happens that most of the things I make are clothes for myself :S so this is a problem I just need to get over!
So now that you know the why let's have some stats now shall we? I hear that collective groan from all of you but I'm a scientist by training so you'll have to just deal with my need for some numbers at the moment ;P. For me made may I posted a total of 24 pictures to my instagram (@beccamadethat) that documented 26 days of the 31 days of may (some of the pictures had multiple days), an 84% success rate which I think is pretty good given my dislike for taking my own picture! I actually wore at least one piece of me made clothing for 30 of the 31 days, so I did much better in the wearing vs the documenting portion of the challenge. Of the posted pictures the hand made items featured 16 tops, 11 sweaters/cardigans/blazers, 5 dresses, and 3 skirts/pants/shorts (this adds up to 35 but I wore more than one hand made item most of the days). It's pretty clear that I have made a lot of tops and sweaters I haven't made that many "bottoms" items that I can wear on a day to day basis. I work in a lab so Monday to Friday I can't really wear things like dresses and skirts so those that I have made tend to sit in the closet until the weekend roll around.
One of the greatest things about this challenge was being inspired by all of the awesome projects everyone else was making. The challenge hashtags really exposed me to a bunch of other sewists and knitters that I hadn't seen before which was really awesome! And I have new Instagram friends (internet wave hello!) Of course the downside to all this inspiration is that my project queue is about a mile long and the summer is whipping by meaning I need to get a jump on all my summer sewing plans!
I felt that by the end of the challenge I had, surprisingly, accomplished my initial goal of breaking out of my comfort zone of needing to pre-plan picture taking and really just going with the flow. Bus stop selfie? sure! Pop out during lunch and take a few quick pics? Not a problem. I'm starting to realize that taking pictures isn't really a big deal, and yes you may look silly for a few minutes but then it's over and you have some nice shots and you can move on with your day. I'm hoping that I can carry this over to my regular blog photo needs which will make the whole process of creating a blog post that much easier and enjoyable :)
So now the question is how do I plan to keep blogging from becoming a chore?? I've realized that my initial plan of creating a post a week was unrealistic and it was causing me to mentally be very hard on myself when I didn't reach that goal. I also tended to try and do all the things necessary for a post all at once: take pictures, edit and select the ones to use, write a post outline, write the draft, edit, and post. I've realized that this creates a lot of stress for me and then I feel like I've spent so much time blogging and not so much time doing the making :( So I've decided to cut myself some slack and aim for a post every two weeks (except for this first week where you can expect a new post next week ;) ) this will give me time to break up all the blogging tasks into manageable chunks instead of trying to accomplish everything at once. I'm also planning on posting more of my progress pics to Instagram, I've really come to enjoy being part of the sewing/knitting/DIY community on there and only posting picutres when I have a new post (which is what I had been doing) means I won't be able to engage with that community as much as I would like, so expect updates on Instagram much more frequently than before!
I think that's pretty much it for this post! Let me know how you guys keep blogging fresh and fun (tips and tricks also greatly appreciate!)