Thursday, November 17, 2011

On blogging and other things--including yummy chocolate cookies

When I told the hubs I was taking a bit of a break from blogging, he asked me if I was feeling okay.  Then he asked me why I needed a break from a hobby that is fun for me.  Good question.  I think it all reached the point where it really wasn't as much fun anymore.

A while I back I met a fellow quilter who complained about sewing bloggers who post too much about their kids and family.  She said, "I don't care about them or their kids.  I just want to see their quilts and sewing projects."  I was really taken back and didn't know exactly what to say.  I've thought about this statement a lot over the past few months.  I accept the fact that this is her opinion; I just don't agree with it.  I think one of the best parts about blogging is connecting with others who love quilting and are struggling with some of the same issues in life that I am.  I like knowing bits and pieces of their day-to-day lives.  Her statement made me think a lot about how I blog, what I write about and why.

I started this blog only because it was fun to share my projects.  Having lots of readers wasn't my initial goal.  That changed as my blog started to grow, and I felt pressure to post even more projects, tutorials and continue out-doing past projects.  As a friend said, it's like keeping up with the Joneses.  I was trying to keep up with other bloggers while my available time to sew was quickly decreasing due to kids' needs.  I feel I'm getting back to that point where I just want to share my projects.  I just want it to be fun.  The posting will probably be less frequent.  There will be less tutorials.  I probably won't be great about posting my process, but I will have a lot more fun just sharing.  I don't want to make this into a business, I just want to enjoy it. That's what it's about.

A few weeks ago I took a break from Reader as well.  I realized I was spending too much time looking at everyone else's ideas and wasn't working on my own.  I didn't read any blogs for almost a week.  Then I went through and purged.  I deleted almost half of the blogs from my reader.  Lots of them were the ones I realized that just make me feel like a bad mom in general--you know the ones.  They make a gazillion craft projects, have perfect houses, perfect photos, cute kids, and amazing vacations.  I know it's all part of their business.  They just don't share the bad stuff.  I just didn't want to read it on a regular basis anymore since I'm trying to cut back on screen time as much as possible.

So that's where it's at for now.  We'll see how things go.

Onto fun things:

The current Color Wheel Charm Swap is making great progress.  This is what I have sorted so far:

I pulled fabric for a scrappy quilt at 2:30 a.m. the other night when I couldn't sleep:

My kiddos were super cute at Halloween.  I adore them:


TimTams are back in the stores for the holidays.  I so wish I could find these year-round.  Okay, it's probably best that I can't.

Here is your food tip for the day (as if we need any food tips this time of year).  My sister lived in London for a semester in college and became addicted to TimTams and hot chocolate.  She brought some home to share and taught us her trick.  First make a nice hot cup of cocoa--we're not talking Swiss Miss here.  Use the good stuff with whole milk.  Then take a small bite out of opposite corners of your cookie.  Sip the hot chocolate through the cookie like a straw until your cookie starts to melt and you can't sip anymore.  Then enjoy your divine, gooey cookie.  The hubs and I ate a whole box last night doing this.  Good thing there are only 9 cookies in a box.
Have a wonderful day!

71 comments:

  1. I've always figured I wasn't a big blog because I don't do "shabby" like 98% of craft blogs, and I mainly post what I've been doing and where I got the idea. But, when I do worry about growing the blog, that's when I get frustrated too, so I just return to normal! Then I'm a happy blogger. I'm glad you found a happy bloggy place!

    p.s. I do the same thing with Grasshopper cookies. Minty yumminess!

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  2. Thanks for the life/ blogging/ color wheel updates, Kati! I try to never apologise for my blogging content or schedule, but it's hard! You are right that there is always pressure. I think you are doing the right thing by making sure you stay happy and balanced!

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  3. I personally like blogs where people share a bit of their lives. Look at your blog today, those Halloween pictures are priceless and brought a smile to my face. I think that's what it's all about. Thanks.

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  4. i haven't seen those cookies before but they look delicious and thanks for the tip!

    can't wait for the color wheel swap to be complete! i think i have a fairly good idea of what i want to do with both of my sets of charms.

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  5. Glad to hear you've found what it is you want out of this blog. I'm SO glad to have met you in person, to be on our bee together, and to love your quilting style. The friends we've all made is what makes blogging so fantastic!!

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  6. It is like you are in my head this morning, Kati! I agree with so many of the things you said and personally love to hear little bits about other bloggers' lives. I don't mind fewer posts if it means I actually get to feel connected to the writer, not just made to feel inferior because I can't possibly keep up with their perfect lives! You are right, your kids are adorable, and thanks for the tip on the TimTams. I'll definitely have to give that a shot!

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  7. I enjoy blogs about people and their projects. Not blogs about just projects. I love your blog and I hope you keep being you here. :)

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  8. your kids are so adorable!
    i'm with you, i love to read about other people's families and lives as much as their sewing projects. i hope you'll keep up your blog with what makes you happy, and i will continue to read.

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  9. Hi Kati! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I think every one of us could do now and then some thinking like you did. That reader grows so easily too wide and after a while as you said we stay too much with the computer and don't create much anymore.
    Even our crafts are the main thing in our blogs, I think there needs to be a little bit other spicies, too - children, dogs, cats, chocolate etc. That's one reason why we follow some blogs - we like to be friends with them and you like to know your friends - or what!
    I do hope you don't stop blogging because I enjoy your posts and admire your works! I'm more new follower on your blog and I felt sad when you said you will take a brake. I thought: now, just when I found your lovely blog!
    I go to knit now, other wise I spend all my evening on the computer!
    xxx Teje

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  10. Welcome back - bringing chocolate biscuits and cute kids with you is more than fine by me!!

    It's all in the balance and reckon you have it totally right!

    I'm know if people only want inspiration, not 'baggage', they won't stop by my blog more than once, but I can live with that!

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  11. My husband loves TimTams, ever since he went to Australia. He got me hooked when they came out here. We do the hot chocolate straw thing to. A lot.

    And btw, I love your kids (even though I've only met them once) and I think they deserve all the attention you give them. You're a great mom, but not perfect, and that makes me love you all the more! (since I am far from perfect myself)

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  12. Great post, it can be hard to find a balance in the blogging world. For myself I have been at it for close to a year now and am enjoying it a lot. I think it helped that I set some boundaries for myself at the onset. I share my own personal quilting journey sprinkled with some stuff going on in my life.

    I decide how often I post or what my content is and then if it grows it grows and if not that's fine as well. No apologies needed.

    I can imagine it is harder for you younger moms with children at home. My four are raised and gone leaving me with a lot more time. We shouldn't compare but enjoy each others journeys.

    You have a lovely blog and your personality does shine through. I like that.

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  13. Your friend's comment is one of the reasons that I ONLY blog about my life. My blog is for me, and the blogs I read are my way of being nosy and looking into the lives of others. I'm exactly the opposite of her -- bogs that don't feel "personal" to me are dull. Glad you took the time off to think about what your blog is to you. :)

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  14. I totally agree with everything you said. To me, a blog is a chance for me to keep track of things I have done. It doesn't matter what other people think of it! I blog for myself. And anyone else who may happen to take a peek at it.

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  15. I don't think blogging should ever be an obligation as it then becomes a chore. I totally see where you are coming from....I go months without blogging sometimes as family and life take precedence. I enjoy hearing about the personal aspects of a blogger's life and the things that are also important to them. Love the photos of your kids....sooo cute.

    And that is the Tim Tam suck...vey cool way to eat TimTams. Have you tried the Chilli ones?

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  16. Try a TimTam straw with coffee, that's what we do in Australia :)

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  17. I think you are wise. Blogging is about reaching out to other people, not competing with them. I feel like my blog posts are a kind of letter to many many pen pals. I mainly talk about craft but my life is what surrounds my craft. My life is the framework on which my crafts are built. If I only wanted to talk about craft I would write a book or a diary.

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  18. I agree with you! Blogging should be an outlet, a way to share everything in your life. I'm sure I post way too many pictures of my kids but my heart is there and I think that's what my readers enjoy- the honesty.

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  19. I love to see more than just projects, however, I don't want to just read about family. I like to see how quilting fits into life, how you have adapted and what is working for you. Talking about TimTams, that's all I need, another yummy, gooey, delicious chocolate cookie! Sigh! I used to hoard away mint chocolate cookies, think freezer, but now Keebler has grasshoppers all year long. So it could happen.

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  20. Love your late night scrappy quilt stacks! Looks like it was inspired by the charms. I can't wait to get my stack!

    And a good Reader purge is always refreshing.

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  21. I think your attitude is so spot on :-) I too find myself sometimes comparing myself to other's blogs, and and feeling like what I am doing doesn't measure up. I, like you, do this for fun. Not as a job or a business, but because I enjoy it. Thanks for the slight wake up call to remember to do this because I enjoy it. I personally love seeing and hearing about your adorable kiddo's, their costumes are so so cute! Can't wait to see what comes of that gorgeous stack of scrappy fabrics!

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  22. I love the kids' looks! Why is it that they can't look at the camera in unison. I love the skirts on the girls! I agree. A good blog keeps you inspired, and you do that! Professional blogs must be a full time job.

    Tim Tams look yummy, but would you believe I just found out I am allergic to milk chocolate! At least I am not to fabric! Your stack looks even yummier. :)

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  23. It kind of makes me laugh when I read that people don't want to read about family life on a craft blog. Your family life is what makes you You and you might not be the crafty person you are without them. I don't have kids and never wanted them but that doesn't stop me from reading posts about kids. I actually enjoy them. The post you did awhile back showing how you had to tie up the chairs and lock the fridge cracked me up.

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  24. I think the best thing you can do is what feels authentic. I want to know about your life and other bloggers' lives. I already know how to sew, so I'm not looking for lessons on how to do stuff; I'm here for inspiration and connections. Of course, that might be why I have 12 readers:-)

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  25. I've always been of the opinion that if all I wanted to read about were projects I'd buy a magazine. I like hearing about other people's lives and kids especially when I read about other people's messy houses and rotten kids! It makes me feel "normal". I love your blog, so please do whatever makes you happy!

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  26. Great post Kati. I think we all want to see a little bit of other bloggers lives, and that they are real :-) I saw Tim Tams at Target yesterday, so I guess I will have to go back and grab a package!

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  27. A huge ditto here! I'm with you! Blogging about family, friends, and trips, as well as quilting, is who we are. I'm sorry for your quilter-friend whose ventures into the blogosphere sound like forays to suck it dry for quilting information. I'd bet money she isn't a blogger herself, or she wouldn't have said such a foolish thing. Happy for you too to have discovered Tim-Tams. You should see the store shelves in Australia... full of every type, kind a variety, and all of them costing a fortune! I bet you could find TTs at World Market, if you have one in your areas. Thanks for your thoughtful post, sharing more about who you are than the quilts you've made lately! Hoorah for Kati!

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  28. Do what makes you happy, Kati! And I love seeing pics of the kids (and handy cookie-eating tips too!).

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  29. Glad you're going to keep on doin it your way! And wow, what I wouldnt give for a packet of TimTams right now!!

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  30. I love blogs that are transparent and show our whole selves! Yes, there are blogs dedicated to quilting only, and there is a place for those. However, I feel the majority of them are like us, a blend of our everyday lives, which is our kids, life in general and our quilting endeavors. I was struggling with this myself, realizing that I had originally set up my blog as a place to update family on what my family was up to, and I've veered from that. Thank you for helping me to see that I need to go and write what makes me happy, not just what I perceive people want to hear. You helped me bring back perspective, thank you!

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  31. As long as you are a happy blogger, then I am a happy follower!
    I like what you make, love your tutorials and adore the little bits and pieces from your life. The total gives me an impression of a whole and 'normal' person, just like myself. Thank you!

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  32. Really, really interesting post. Definitely think you have to set guidelines as to why you blog. Fortunately I too only and only ever will do, blog for fun and to share what I am doing, I won't be making patterns, bringing out a fabric line/book/whatever. I sometimes feel that some crafty bloggers are pretending to be in it for the 'fun' but are actually in it to get to the book/fabric line/world crafting domination! Then you just see incessant blog posting that at times I find too much.
    Would much rather you blogged when you wanted and had something genuine to share. There should never be any pressure to blog. Good luck and I admire your honesty. I wish there were more like you.

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  33. good for you! I treat my blog like a journal. I want to keep track of all my projects and who they went to. And I hope people like what they read, but ultimately it's for me. I need to clean my reader out, but I"m too lazy for that. hee hee!
    Glad to know I'm not the only one sorting fabric in the middle of the night. I did that at 4am this morning! :) And timtams? I've never heard of them. Pregnant lady must check them out! wohoo!

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  34. Great post today! Glad to see you are keeping it real and not giving into the pressure! If you don't enjoy it, what is the point. I need to purge my reader too. Maybe I would make more quilts if I spent less time looking at other peoples!

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  35. That tip about TimTams sounds amazing! I'm both sad and glad (for my waistline) that I don't think I can get them here...

    I'm glad you were able to figure out how to make your blog fun for yourself again. :)

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  36. Good to have you back Kati and hear you on the blogging. The charms are looking beautiful and your children are uber cute. Enjoy your Tim Tam dunking!

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  38. Excellent idea of how to drink hot chocolate! Those kiddos are obviously far more deserving of your time than those that are out to compete bloggily (you can rest assured, I certainly can't compete, I've never even managed more than about 4 posts in a week, and my house? Well it's a good job no-one comes to visit ;o) )

    I have a friend in the bear-making world who has taken, of late, to complaining on many of my posts that there aren't any bears, and she wants to see more. The thing is though, while my blog is, in a way, connected to my 2nd business (bear-making), I'm also looking to evolve in other ways, and bears really aren't making me happy right now. I really need to grow a pair and tell her that all the sewing I'm doing right now is actually making me happy, and she's really bringing me down... So really, the moral of this is, don't feel like you have to produce things for anyone but yourself, you need to be happy with you before anyone else in the world.

    BTW, the charms are looking fab, thank you for all your hard work on this.

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  39. Yes and yes. I have struggled with this, but this current pregnancy has kicked my butt. My kids need me and I want to be with them. I honestly can't "blog n' sew" and be a really good mom. I am picking the mom part now, and I think I am choosing wisely. ;0) Plus, I like blogs that are just "crafty", but I also like posts about "real life", and I have always enjoyed your posts about your kids!

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  40. ugh, I know what you mean. There is a fine line between blogging being fun and being overwhelming. I too have been purging my reader :)

    I think I will just have to take your word on the Tim Tams... I just don't need another unhealthy but totally yummy thing right now (my SIL just introduced me to Biscotti, YUM)

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  41. Hi Kati, we have Tim Tams all year round in Australia (I thought they were Australian made by Arnotts). There are now a plethora of varieties inlcuding dark, mint, caramel and black forest ...divine. Biting the bottom off is a right of passage...welcome to the Tim Tam club. AND we have 11 in our packets! Do you know why there is an odd number? So you buy another pack because you're arguing about who is going to eat the last one! ENJOY!

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  42. Oh my gosh PLEASE keep sharing about the kids and the real life - it makes me feel we have something in common and I love reading about it just as much as your amazing sewing. Your mini destroyers post was THE best (I mean it made me laugh AND cry a little but still, loved it!). I read blogs as much to connect with others as see cool projects.

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  43. Where do you find Tim Tams in the US? I've heard so much about them.

    I totally agree with you about blogging. I don't blog for readers or comments, though I certainly enjoy both. I started m blog to chronicle my hobby. But then I began to develop relationships with bloggers. I was really surprised by that. It's been rewarding in ways I could not have imagined. And yet, I still disappear from time to time! :)

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  44. A good purge in the reader helps to keep things manageable - you can soon add more if you want to! I love reading about your projects and your life and I'd say blog whatever you want! Tim Tams are an aussie thing, here in Aust. we have some great varieties of them, my fav is honeycomb! Or blackforest...well the list is endless.

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  45. Oh I hear you! My blogging has dramatically dropped and it takes me weeks to get a new project blogged. I just don't feel like going through the hassle of taking pictures. I want to spend more time sewing and last time typing about sewing! And my google reader is overflowing with unread blog posts...I hear you on that aspect, too. I am working on Ellie's quiet book and I keep having to remind myself that it's for ELLIE, not for me to parade on my blog. She doesn't care if it's not perfect, she won't appreciate the details I'd planned to do but can't bring myself to slave over now. Those were to show off on my blog and flickr, not really for her. And that's a hard thing to think about!

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  46. Hiya! I'm glad you're back. You do what is comfortable and right for You. Never mind everyone else's ideas and opinions...who are "they" anyway?!
    My blog is My Blog and I write for me and no one else. If folks read it, great. If not, great. It's for me.
    You go, girl.

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  47. I totally agree with Melanie - I think that blogging about the other things in your life is what makes you "you" and what makes me enjoy your blog so much :) I'm glad you're back, and you sound good and refocused. Look forward to reading more from you again :) And oh yes, Tim Tams are super fab - I bought some from Target on a whim one day when they appeared on the shelf, and wow, I was so glad I did!!! Love the kiddo Halloween photos, looks like they had a good time!

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  48. You are so right about blogging - let's keep it real. Glad you took a breather, and hope coming back can be more satisfying. I really enjoy your quilty gifts, but not at the expense of YOU.
    Love the kiddo pics and um. I've never heard of TimTam. Thanks??

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  49. This post makes me happy--It's all about being who you are made to be!

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  50. Wow! There are so many things I could respond to in this post. Firstly, I'll stick around for however much or little you post. I am an infrequent, irregular poster and am pleased with those that have stuck by me. I've always enjoyed your posts, especially the crafty inspiration. Second, I know what you mean re blog supermoms - I am definitely not one of those. Finally, if you are ever in extreme Tim Tam need, I could ship you some out from Down Under ;).

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  51. I feel exactly the same way about blogging! I stress myself out so much, sometimes I just need to step back for a bit.
    I love the idea of documenting my projects, but I'm trying to focus on that aspect and not on the number of followers or my stuff compared to others. :)

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  52. I think you are right on Kati. It is so hard to maintain a pace that keeps up with the ever growing online community and keep a bit of sanity. Especially with little ones! I always think you are amazing for what you are able to do and you have three! My ONE keeps me on my toes all the time. I definitely have days where I force myself NOT to look at other blogs or flickr pictures so that I don't get overwhelmed with all the beautiful things that others are creating...and ironically it seems to hit me the hardest when I've actually finished a project.

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  53. Glad you'll still be around, and that it will be at the level that makes you happiest!

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  54. Love your blog, keep doing what you want it has to work for you!! BTW, Tim Tams are available all year round in Australia and I will trade for fabric *g*. And the drinking cocoa through a Tim Tam is called a Tim Tam Slam in Australia :).

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  55. Thanks for this post! I too have been on a blog reading break... I'm still posting but I'm not as crazy as usual. I'm also getting a lot more done. Now if I could only give up pinterest for a week.... then I'd really get something done! :)

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  56. I love seeing a sneak peek into bloggers lives. The personal connection is what attracts me to a blog. I'm very interested in the colour wheel but your picture and comment about how much you adore your children reminds me of how much I love mine.

    Living in Australia I have(fortunately?) access to Tim-Tams all year round. Though I prefer mine really cold, almost frozen to nibble on.

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  57. I think you're being BRAVE by confessing you're NOT going to keep up with the Joneses and you're quite right too!
    This is about fun and sharing that fun and sharing whatever else you'd like to share about life: fortunes are easier to share, but the misfortunes give everything a certain depth.
    YOU GO GIRL!

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  58. Excellent thoughts on blogging ... I've been thinking through some of the same things since I recently started blogging. I'm trying to strike a balance between the computer-time and the sewing-time, which is what I'm blogging about ... Thanks!

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  59. You are SOOO right and HOW CUTE are the KIDDOS!! I LOVE reading about your family on this blog! Stick with your gut and what makes it fun for YOU!

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  60. I love your blogs and sharing kids is part of what makes you "you"! If you blog less, I will just enjoy each one more. Keep up the good work and keep a good work/craft/life balance.

    As many others have stated keep with your instincts...we all in your corner.

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  61. I agree fully about your blogging experience...I need a break, too, and think I will be taking one soon. I have lost some of that "fun feeling" when crafting as well, and if your hobby isn't fun, why are you doing it, right? Time to step back and balance out life a bit. This holiday season, I plan to kick up my heals with some store bought cookies, and gift a bunch of store bought presents. Instead of driving myself nuts making stuff I will spend lots of time hanging out with my family. That's what it's all about, right? And by the way, I often enjoy the family bits on blogs the best. It is nice when people are "real" and not just quilting machines!!

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  62. I truly enjoy reading what you choose to share on your blog - the balance is perfect for me. And it is supposed to be fun, I hope that will be your focus.

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  63. I enjoy your blog. I also started a blog some time ago and realized very quickly that I don't like to blog...I just did not have enough to say! I would rather read others! We can never keep up with others (you know the type I mean) and let's face it...they don't show the bad hair days or the stains on the carpet and we all have those! Do what you want and enjoy! You are in a very busy time of life and it will only get busier as your children age! Have fun!

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  64. Good for you, Kati! And thanks for sharing the pictures of your adorable kids. Everybody wants a different balance of things in the blogs they read - so I say do what works for you.

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  65. I am so glad you are back! I love reading your blog, no matter what you are sharing. Your children are adorable and those TimTams sound like they are so yummy!! Wish I could get them here in Ottawa!

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  66. I have also thought about content on my blog and how personal I want it to be. I started mine as a vehicle to document my creative process and output, as well as meet other people. But part of my process is inspiration and the bulk of that comes from my every day life, just like others. I am not a fan of blogs that project perfection or are only about being a business. I do want to make a living creating, but my blog is about the entire journey for me.

    To keep this short, keep on sharing little peeks in addition to what you are making. That is more interesting to me (and the others who have commented as well!).

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  67. I agree with you Kati, you need to post about other things too. You are totally awesome at sewing, and inspiring. But you're also inspiring because you're fun, have other fun things you like, and you're human. I miss our drives to quilt group when we would chat. I have to say that the kids were ADORABLE! I love David's outfit. -julie

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  68. I feel the same way about reading about people's lives. I LOVE seeing people's sewing, projects and amazing quilts. But if that's ALL I'm seeing, I begin to realize that that person is nothing more than a quilt. I can't place them in "real" life and I quickly loose interest. Anyway..make it YOURS!! Then you'll get LOTS of joy out of it!!!
    Happy Blogging : )

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  69. I love yoru blog. Just the way it is. I have read some comments about people complaining that they dont want all the pictures of kids, etc and I honestly believe that, if they dont like it, then stop reading it! I have no followers, being new to blogging and I hope to someday make some people inspired by my postings, whether they are about happy or bad times. And when the time is right I will add pictures of my kids and share with my readers a little more of my life than just my crafts.

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  70. Sorry I missed participating in the color wheel charm swap - it looked so fun! And I loved your kids' Halloween costumes. The fireman is just to die for, but the others are adorable too.

    Someone once said that no one can make you feel bad without your permission. There are plenty of people out there who will try. Ignore them. Your blog is great but your family needs you more. And I love to see how people fit their creativity into their "real" life.

    I enjoyed your blog. Thanks for writing.

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