Thursday, March 29, 2018

This One's For You

I am the worst blogger. I have great ideas for what I could post about. I have cute pictures of all of the fun things I have done related to sewing and my kids. I type fast. I have above-average spelling and editing skills. What more does it take? Oh - yeah. I might need to actually LIKE blogging. And I guess I just don't. It was fun when it had a purpose, like for that Project Run and Play competition. But now that there is no obvious reason to journal and post my thoughts, I just don't. And I'm pretty certain nobody cares. But for that ONE follower out there that is waiting on the edge of their seat to find out whatever happened to me, and my Etsy shop, and my angst and hatred in California, this one's for you.

Sewing. I actually have been doing a lot of it. In fact, a group of friends from my kids'e elementary school came up with a brilliant idea - I should teach them how to sew. A few of them had machines and barely used them. Others had never sewn before. I even had one member who had received a sewing machine as a wedding gift - over 10 years ago - and had never really used the machine. We started getting together around my dining room table, learning basic skills and practicing on different projects. We even took a few field trips in to the city to learn about fabrics and selecting patterns and all sorts of necessary sewing miscellany. My sewing improved and members of the group now regularly proudly parade around in their creations. We even mailed off a box with 15 pillowcase dresses that we created for a worthy charity that donates dresses to third-world countries. We have built a solid friendship network and though most of our field trips now end up being about the dim sum, not the fabric store, we are still sewing and creating and enjoying the journey. I am so proud of this group and what we have done together. A BIG WIN for life here in California.

Etsy. Yeah. This won't take long. I made a few dresses. I sold a few dresses. I started to slowly hate the process. It felt inauthentic to just sew something and wait for someone to come and get it. I much preferred to have a project that was assigned to me, like a specific costume or a specific outfit for an event, than to just generically sew items that sat in the closet. I gave my inventory away to friends. A few of the dresses my daughter can still wear. I'm continually in awe at the creativity and energy of the people who run successful Etsy Shops (and I'm fine not being one of them). And I am totally happy without the shop. Halloween costumes this past year were all kinds of awesome.

So was the Daddy/Daughter Dance dress that I created (without a pattern and for less than $20).

I won't offer up pictures of the dresses, curtains, reversible duvet cover, sling bags, baby gifts and more that I have been sewing but just know that sewing is still an enormous part of my existence these days.

California. It doesn't completely suck anymore. I have evolved. It must be me - California certainly hasn't changed. It is still far too expensive. The weather is so random but it is generally very pleasant. I have come to accept that San Francisco probably used to be an awesome place but that now it is suffering from too many people who can't afford to live here colliding with too many people who can afford to live here, but neither side is very fond of the other. The city is quite a mess. And while the row houses and the restaurants and the views of the Golden Gate Bridge are enchanting, I won't ever find the streets of San Francisco, with its public urinating, homeless camps, trashed subway stations and dirty thoroughfares, enchanting. That's ok. I can choose not to go into the city. I often do. I am truly biased but I prefer my Washington, DC and I still miss it. But over the past now 3 years, we have found that we are connected to the people here more than we ever expected. We have built really strong bonds with neighbors and friends. If and when we leave this place, I will be a mess all over again because I will miss these folks who have become family to me.

Life. Up and down. Lots of travel. Lots of weekend adventures. Lots of California coastline has been enjoyed. A few speed bumps for me personally, like hip surgery 2 years ago and heart surgery just last December. Our family joke is that I might not leave our heart in San Francisco but I got it fixed here! A big shout out to the people at Stanford University and the Adult Congenital Heart Program. The kids and the husband are making their way in the world and somehow we all still get along.

So there you have it, oh, lonely little blogger follower. I will not promise to do better. I will promise to keep this blog in mind when I have something say, just in case I feel like putting those thoughts out there in the world. This blog is for you - for anyone who still feels like reading it once in awhile. This life I live - the sewing and the friendships in California with all of its ups and downs - is for me.

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