tipping point

modflowers: Copenhagen hama bead wall artWell, I had a lovely birthday, as it turned out.

It seemed to stretch over about ten days in all, what with the trip to Copenhagen, followed by a few days in Cornwall.

Oh, and there was a mini-celebration when I got home too, with presents from family and friends.

But now it’s all over and life settles back into it’s normal pattern.

I was going to post pictures of Copenhagen, but actually, I was too busy living the experience. And the few photos I did take were to remind me of the lovely time I had, rather than to show off.

This one was taken at the (not very good) flea market…

modflowers: Copenhagen flea market waresBut, on some deeper level, I just didn’t feel any desire to share.

In fact, I’ve not been very interested in the internet world at all lately, apart from keeping up with people I know in real life.

I’ve had no taste for blogging, no interest in Pinterest, nothing to put on Instagram and no tweets worth twittering on about.

I’m not feeling down about it, there’s nothing really wrong, but I just seem to have no need for it all at the moment. I feel sort of satiated – both with reading / looking, and contributing.

Pinterest is now a mess of seen-it-all-before stuff (and adverts). Instagram feels over-styled. Facebook is an ever-accelerating treadmill. Everywhere I look, a cacophony of self-promotion jars my nerves and makes me feel cynical and cross. Neither of which I want to feel. And I don’t feel much like I want to add to it, either.

I also seem to have more or less stopped wanting to buy things. I rarely venture onto eBay any more, visit Etsy only occasionally to look for presents for others, and feel no need to browse fashion / homewares / random consumables websites that used to be regular haunts.

I didn’t even want to buy stuff in Copenhagen, despite it being full of former “objects of desire.” Which was only partly because everything was super-expensive.

My partner did buy me these fabrics though…

modflowers: my partner bought me these fabrics in Copenhagen!It’s as if my birthday was some kind of fulcrum, and reaching my half-century has effected a sort of tipping-point.

I’ve lived long enough to recognise, somewhere deep in my bones, that nothing is really new, and buying things does not make you happier, and the number of “likes” you get on the internet doesn’t mean anything really, in the big scheme of things.

Of course, I thought I knew this all along. But somehow this has translated itself into something different, helped along by a touch of overstimulation-induced ennui.

There seems to be a trend for “de-cluttering”, “pro-organising”, “slow-living” and other kinds of purging and soul-searching. In fact, there seems to be a whole industry developing around throwing things out and stopping doing things.

I don’t think how I feel is anything to do with that. Stuff is just stuff. It has only the power we assign to it. It’s what it brings to your life, how you feel about it, that matters. I’m not about to throw everything away and go and live in a cave. I’m just going to do what feels right.

So please forgive me if I am a little quiet for a while.

I am going to read books, do gentle exercise, cook dinners, nurture my sadly-neglected creativity and maybe do some sewing, if I feel the urge. No pressure.

I need to regroup, rethink and re-know myself, now that I have crossed that invisible tipping point.♥dots

angels and demons

modflowers: vintage hankie boxI have to say, I was amazed at the response to my last blog post.

It seems I hit a nerve, and my feelings and words resonated with quite a few people.

Many others, it seems, have been where I am now, or have felt similarly about their creativity, or their ability to make it work as a means of earning a living.

modflowers: vintage hankies labelI am hugely cheered and humbled by the way people took time to comment and send messages of support.

It made me think about how we live our lives in silos for much of the time, feeling disconnected from others. When really, what we need to do is just find a way to connect.

I am very glad that my blog has reconnected me to so many others in the same boat, both near and far.

modflowers: vintage hankies I received this pretty box of vintage hankies in the post, a gift from one of the lovely people I connected with a while ago as a result of my blog.

People say the internet is full of demons, trolls and weirdos. But I am happy to say that I seem mainly to have encountered only angels.

Whilst I still need to work out where I’m going next, I no longer feel that I have to make that journey all on my own.

And I am no longer alone with my demons. ♥


lost and confused

modflowers: vintage fabricsOver Christmas I took a bit of a break from making and selling.

At the time I felt I deserved the break. I’d been making quite a lot, both for commissions and fairs, and was glad to have some time to kick back and relax.

But somehow, during that downtime, something sort of shifted. And ever since Christmas I’ve found it increasingly difficult to motivate myself to get back into work with any sort of enthusiasm.

I’ve been making / blogging / selling stuff for a while now. However, instead of feeling all smug and experienced and knowledgeable and happy, I seem to have lost my spark.

modflowers: vintage fabrics from the Festival of QuiltsI have felt this way before, to lesser degrees. I have mood swings.
(It’s partly my age.)

Some call it “losing your sew-jo”. But actually, I do still want to sew. And I have lots of ideas sloshing around in my brain for creatures I want to make. But I don’t feel like doing it.

I can’t get started. I just sit there. Because I don’t have any faith in it making me a living any more.

modflowers: vintage fabrics and trimsIn the past I’ve just carried on and pushed through, thinking that things will get better. And generally they do.

But not really better enough.

So in an attempt to shock my system and force me to make things better, over the last few weeks I’ve done some online business workshops, signed up for lots of business advice mail-outs, and joined the Etsy Resolution programme.

Which has made things immeasurably worse.

modflowers: gift fabricsWhy? Well, there’s nothing like seeing lots of keen newbies putting their hearts and souls into launching shops, setting up social media profiles and getting to grips with all the stuff I’ve done over the last few years, to make me wonder what the point of it all is.

Several years on from where most of those newbies are, I have small-in-the-big-scheme-of-things, but enviable-to-many numbers of followers on social media. I have worked out for myself how to take halfway-decent photos, how to find, apply for and sell at craft fairs, and taught myself any number of other things.

I have blogged. I have tweeted. I have marketed, although hopefully not in a way that I would consider to be off-puttingly pushy.

And I still don’t earn a living doing what I do.

modflowers: bright vintage fabricsI seem to lurch, these days, between feeling annoyed at strangers on the internet for being able to sell their (often inferior) wares when I can’t (which is just stupid!) and feeling annoyed at myself, for being so rubbish as to sit staring at Pinterest when I know I should be making things, stocking up my shop and relentlessly promoting myself to all and sundry.

It’s all very well reading about juicy goal setting, time management and SWOT analysis, but when your main weakness is a loss of belief in yourself and your business it all becomes something of a hollow exercise.

modflowers: vintage fabricsI wonder sometimes whether disillusionment and general world-weariness is seeping into every aspect of my life, fading it’s bright colours and prematurely shrivelling me up into a grumpy old woman.

I do hope not.

Perhaps it’s just a bad case of the winter blues setting in.

modflowers: bee & bird fabricsI’ve always felt that once basic needs (food, shelter, warmth, health, love) are met, your degree of happiness is generally mainly of your own making. So I do realise that what happens next is down to me. I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps, summon up my enthusiasm, and get to work.

But I just can’t seem to come up with a plan, or even a general idea, of what I should do next.

It feels like I am in the middle of a long hike, which whilst quite picturesque, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

And I am without map or compass, feeling lost and confused. ♥