Create / Enjoy: The big, big, big news, and welcome!

Friday, August 1, 2014

The big, big, big news, and welcome!

I have some big news. At least, it feels like, like, really big news. Almost as big as the fact that I started this blog, or am writing a book, or got married, or bought our house, or...

Well, you’ll just have to read and see what I mean. (Or, skip to the summary at the end if you don’t have time for all these words!)

Niche blogging veteranhood


I’ve had this blog since October 2009, so 4 years and 9 months. When I started my blog I spent my (for a while ample) free time sewing and decorating our apartment, and I dove into the blog world in those topics. I had just finished grad school, worked part time while trying to get a job in my field, and had just moved in to a new apartment with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. My life was very different. I was so excited to improve my sewing and DIY decorating skills while outfitting my home and having all the dresses I wanted, and get share my projects with the world!

But for a while now I've had a hard time publishing that type of content, for a combination of reasons. I’m busy, enjoying my day job, not having as much spare time to sew as I used to, caring much more about other interests like health and nutrition, wanting to spend my time weight lifting or trying new recipes, being tired of having a closet of homemade dresses I don't wear, getting off medication and gaining so much weight so fast I can't wear most of them anyway... all in all, a little discouraged and not feeling the love and energy for my sewing blog that I used to.

But, I’ve been a sewing blogger for almost 5 years; it’s what I do! I’m in my routine of design, cut out, sew, photograph, write about, promote – for dresses and pillows and whatever else I make, even if I don’t need them very much or really feel like sewing every single Saturday morning.

But I really am busier these days, and I’m not posting 5 or 6 days/week like I did a couple years ago, and I don’t have the time to participate in every pattern tour or blog theme series that I might like to.

Although it’s also about how I choose to spend the free time I do have. And I realized a couple weeks ago that I'm pushing myself and pushing myself to keep my blog going, but to what end?! I know the internet can tell when my heart's not in it anymore anyway. But for a while now I’ve been beating myself up about not having endless energy for blogging about something I don't spend as much time doing and loving all the time. It's almost like I felt like I need to justify not making something new every week, despite the fact that it can be exhausting and wasteful and I know I want to do other things with my time.

So why don’t I just blog about something else more often?

Well, that’s one thought. Yes, this blog has grown and changed with me over the years, but I’ve still been feeling trapped by the name and narrow focus. I know I can share anything I want, and there are plenty of blogs with names that have nothing to do with the content, but I wanted to find a name and space that really fit me and the things I care about. As you can tell from my About page, I love a of things besides sewing – I love making things and feeling creative, but I also love enjoying time in my home.

Moving on


So a couple months ago, I decided it was time for a change. After years of sewing and being a DIYer and feeling the pressure to make stuff, I need to spend time to sit around and enjoy what I've made, and learn that there's no shame in relaxing and doing nothing on my Saturday morning but reading and petting the cat. That has been a big learning experience for me, a pretty type A, busy person, and I'm happier when I find time for myself.

But how to fundamentally change the blog I’ve built, but also keep that sewing and DIY content I’m proud of, but also give myself a venue to share the things I’m truly passionate about in the present? Sometimes that's sewing and making things, but there are lots of other non-DIY things I love, too.

Once or twice I've I felt discouraged and frustrated and felt the urge to quit blogging entirely, but I don't think I would be happy just doing all the things I like to do--it's always been part of my personality to want to share things I'm excited about.

So I knew that I still wanted to have a blog, even if it's not a strictly sewing blog. But what blog would it be? What would it be called?

One name stood out to me, based on something my mom used to tell me about how we need to balance producing and consuming. I.e., watch TV for a while to recharge your batteries, but then go sew something or do something in the garden and make something better. Produce some, consume some. I turned this idea into a name - create/enjoy. Create new, beautiful things in the world; but then also slow down and appreciate them!

So this new blog was born. Create/Enjoy: A DIY blog for a happier life. Over the weekend I'll be changing over all my blog info and accounts (most of my social media accounts are not changing, since they are my name, suzannahstanley, but the buttons at the top right of my blog will work.) By Monday, when look up in your address bar, regardless of how you got here, you’ll see the new URL, and below that the new header. From now on when you visit my blog (or any of my old posts or pages) you’ll find yourself on the new blog, same post or page.

It’s been a good run


I’ve made a lot of things in the past 4 years and 9 months, and learned a TON. I’ve made:

And while my house will probably never be 100% full and I’ll probably always find something new that I want to make myself, I sure do feel like I can slow down. This blog change will give me permission to do that while keeping in touch with you!

It's scary to do something new!


I'm excited, but and I'll miss this home I've had for so long, thinking of Adventures in Dressmaking as my place online. It still is, I guess (all my dress posts can be found here; all my sewing posts here), but it's still not like it used to be.

I have a lot of emotions about this, actually. As you can see...

I feel optimistic!, a little concerned about how the switch-over will go, definitely a little stressed about what I need to do and what will happen, but then mostly I feel excited and happy that I get to share more, broader, more current-to-my life content with you all!!


Not all my current readers sew, although I imagine the majority do. I’m sorry if you’re bummed that I won’t be sharing almost exclusively sewing and home décor content anymore, but really, the variety of content I do share will be better because I’m excited about it! Sometimes that’s sewing, when I have time and a reason, but sometimes it’s something completely unrelated to creating something new! There are loads of other sewing-only blogs out there that you can read if you want sewing inspiration only, but I’d love to have you stick around for the other stuff I share, too.

But the thing is, now I spend my free time on other things besides just sewing, but I know all of my readers also do things other than sew 24/7. So I’m sure we have plenty of other interests in common, too!

(And feel free to ask me any questions you may have! I publish this blog so YOU can read it, so I do like to know what you’re thinking and wondering!)

Thank you!


I am so grateful for the friends and community I've found and developed while writing this blog and working with other bloggers. I love supporting local businesses and talented artists/photographers while sharing my passions with you! I hope to do more of that in the future.



The Cliff’s Notes version


If you didn’t read all that, I don’t blame you. So in summary… I’m rebranding this blog to switch my focus and keep my blogging energy up. After nearly 5 years of writing primarily about sewing, I've realized what I'm passionate about now includes so much more than my typical content of sewing, DIYs, and home decor. It’s hard to blog about a topic you’re not surrounded by and enthralled by anymore! Plus, I've learned how important finding balance and low-stress time is, rather than go-go-go-must be productive all the time, which is how I was for years, and creating new things for my home and wardrobe is no longer a priority for me.

Adventures in Dressmaking will be rebranded with a new message and name (Create/Enjoy), about how I balance creating the things I need and taking the time to actually use them rather than filling my life with more things. I'll still share some sewing content when I am so inspired, but also real food recipes, travel, and reflections about becoming a happier person. I hope to use lots of beautiful photography (mine and from a few local photographer friends I'm partnering with) and write high quality original content about the variety of things I'm interested in. I won't take down any of my old sewing posts and the blog will look largely the same, except the new header and maybe a few new elements. Readers who go to  www.adventuresindressmaking.com will be automatically redirected to www.create-enjoy.com.

That's it! Welcome!


Above all, WELCOME to the new blog! I hope to see you around lots!



30 comments :

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. I've been a reader for close to two years now, first time commenting. I was initially drawn to your blog due to the sewing stuff, but have really enjoyed the other things you've written about (for example, the paleo recipes - yummy!). So, I'm breaking my lurking just to say that I'm very excited about you and I can't wait to see what more you're going to surprise us, the readers, with! :) Wishing you all the best with the new blog!! (back to my lurking corner now)

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  2. That's great! Love mixed content, and I'm sure you'll have lots to offer of interest to your readers.

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  3. !!! It's sooo cool, I'm really looking forward to your new blog!!! :)

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  4. Nice! I actually started blogging over a year ago with the intention of strictly sharing my sewing projects & restaurant adventures around town, plus a few of my organizing projects and recipes thrown in. Basically, I knew from the beginning that it would be a lifestyle blog with a mix, but primarily with the first two topics. Little did I know that I would sew less and less (with no space and time to do so), and my restaurant section would become a whole, SEPARATE blog because it was so popular. Anyways, blogs always change as bloggers' lives do, and it's nice to see yours doing so too! :)


    Side note, I went to a sewing blogger conference, and I totally felt like an imposter with all of my "other" content. I even won the grand prize $50 gift card for fabric, so it was definitely a surprise for me, and a sign that I need to sew more!


    Diane @ vintagezest.com & theepisodiceater.com

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  5. You little turkey! I totally thought I was going to read a baby announcement! :) haha :) Congratulations and looking forward to seeing and reading the new look!

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  6. Congratulations on creating a new approach! Looking forward to reading more.

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  7. I look forward to your new blog, life changes and we need to continue to evolve!

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  8. This is so exciting! Good for you! I love the name/concept and I can't wait to check it out!

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  9. I love reading everything you write! Looking forward to you finding your groove with the new blog! Just like the previous poster below, I totally thought this was going to be a baby announcement, haha, but I'm pregnant so I just have babies on the brain ; )

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  10. What a great blog idea! I can't wait to see how it develops!

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  11. Congratulations on realizing what will make you happy and following through with it!! Can't wait to see what your new content will be like. All the best!!

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  12. You taught me how to patch my favorite jeans, so I will forever love you. Hope this blogging thing takes you wherever you want to go. And personally, I like reading bloggers that have full-time day jobs that do not involve blogging (with a few major exceptions--young house love) because what you post and how you share things resonates more with me and my schedule.

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  13. I've been thinking the same things about my blog, whether I should stop...if it's time to just start a new one... I'm glad you figured out what is best for you! Looking forward to the new content you'll add. :)

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  14. So excited for this new direction! I appreciate your thoughts on having a balanced life.

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  15. Aaw! Thanks, so glad I could help. That's a good point, I know what you mean about feeling less connected to some of the full-timers!

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  16. Your food photos are gorgeous!! Another calling, perhaps? ;) Many skills can make it hard to stick to one thing!

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  17. Oh, thanks, that's awesome!! Love hearing from readers like you, thank you!

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  18. Totally understand what you mean. I used to have a sewing blog called 'French Lace and Happy Days' when I was a student and used to make my own dresses (that's when I discovered your blog in 2011 hehe), but as I started work I realized that I don't really have time for sewing anymore, and don't really wear the stuff I make anyway. So I changed my blog name to 'Michelle ma belle', which is really all about me, so I can truly share whatever that is going on my life that I feel excited about!! You gotta design a life you love :)

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  19. You already have a following and the people that love the "you" that shines through your sewing that you've shared will keep them coming back. I, for one, think you're adorable and I'll keep you on my reading list. Congrats on taking the leap! Change is scary but always worth it if you feel like it needs to happen.

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  20. good for you!!! i look forward to seeing the changes and what's in store for this little blog!!!

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  21. I love what you're doing here and am happy to say that I found you through something other than sewing! I, too, have taken my blog through various niches and settled earlier this year on sharing and writing about whatever interests me. That's the beauty of blogging. It sounds like you're going to love your new path and I'm excited to read what you have in store.

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  22. Everyone grows and changes and it only makes sense that their blog would evolve too. Looking forward to getting to see where your path takes you!

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  23. Very cool! Your blog is beautiful, I like looking at your diverse interests! Thanks for reading mine!

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  24. Oh, that's so sweet, thank you! I appreciate it!

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  25. Oh, cool! Good for you, glad it worked for you!

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  26. I know what you mean about the name of your blog matching the content. I have home decor projects that I have never posted because it doesn't match my blog name. I have thought of doing home posts with a "Dressing Up My House" title, so maybe one day I'll get around to it. :o) So happy you're staying in blogland!

    JJ
    www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

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  27. Aw, thanks! Believe me, I would love to photograph, eat, and cook food all day, especially since I've been getting invited to more and more foodie events. It's so hard to say no when the day job calls! :(

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  28. Congrats. I followed your "old" blog for a long time. I know the feeling of getting tired of the DIY pressure and wanting to just do nothing. Might learn from you to blog about what I'm doing now.

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