Thursday, December 19, 2013

Photo Backdrop

This is where I will be taking my photos from now on (taken prior to putting up our Christmas Tree).  It's cold outside here on the East Coast and I'm truly a cold weather wimp! *LOL*




I've had a few things on my mind and I wanted to share them...

  • First and most importantly I am a sewing blogger...not a fashion sewing blogger....not a fashion blogger...just a sewing blogger.  Honestly, I don't know if the sewing blogging community is moving in the direction of fashion sewing bloggers, but I'm not headed there.  There won't be a lot of amazing backgrounds and me posed wearing my creations in front of waterfalls and lakes...nope not happening. I think that wall pictured above will work just fine during the winter months and the scenic walkway outside my front door will suffice the rest of the year. My passion IS sewing.  I only model the clothing so that other sewists, especially plus size sewists, can see how things fit or that more styles are available to us than are featured in RTW or even the pattern catalogs.  If I could figure out a way to photograph them on a dressform, I probably would...but it's just not the same as seeing a garment on a real body.
  • I'm having some challenges with photography which I keep repeating over and over again because I honestly have NO desire to learn the intricacies of photography.  There are two reasons for this ~ 1. I have a limited amount of free time because I work a very demanding job which recently became even more demanding with a new boss and more responsibilities.  2. I would much rather sew than do almost anything else during my 48 hours of free time each weekend.  Why? Because sewing calms me.  It smooths out the rough edges of my workweek and it allows my creative side to come to the forefront.
  • Lately I've been feeling strangled.  Tied up in knots so I've been unable to sew and blog.  This has happened a few times before in my life - after the birth of each of my children, during my divorce, moves, etc. Personal times of trauma...there have been some of those types of events in the last few months that have affected my ability to sew.  I believe that I've finally resolved those challenges and will now be able to sew with abandonment...and I don't know if this is good or bad for you as a reader, but if you're looking for new sewing posts...hopefully more will be coming after the holidays!
  • Somewhere in the last couple of weeks, I passed the 1500 blog post mark. One I can't believe I've written that many posts!  And two, I can't believe I've written that many posts...*LOL*  However, I can assure you that as long as I can, I will continue to blog right here, in my spot in cyberspace, because like I said earlier, my passion is sewing and I want to continue to share my passion with all of you.
Now that the desire to sew is slowly returning, I'm going to be working on my Crazy 8 Wardrobe, as well as, going over my sewing list, maybe adding a few new items and prepping my sewing cave for my annual "Start of the Year Sewcation."

BTW, can I share my new blog crush with you...Melody authors the blog, "Sew Melodic."  I'm in love with the garments she creates.  Please surf on over and visit her.  I'm sure you'll love them too!

...as always more later!


75 comments:

  1. I can appreciate the "feeling blocked" to write or sew or just being creativ for that matter. Depending on what life dishes out it can be all consuming and takes all the strength and energy we have. Not to worry Carolyn we all love you and appreciate your blogging. You truly are an inspiration. Have a lovely christmas and only the best for the new year.
    Therese

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  2. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have put into your posts -- they have helped and inspired so many of us! And my vote is NO DRESSFORM pictures -- seeing clothes on a real person is so much more helpful and encouraging and humanizing;) I look forward to seeing what you make this next year. Merry Christmas!

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  3. I definitely appreciate seeing pictures of you modeling your creations. I share some of your frustrations with photography. Despite the number of people who claim that taking stylized, high-quality photos is "easy", it's not. It takes skill and equipment and, like you've said, a lot of time. I think it's great if some people are able to pair a love of photography with a love of sewing on their blogs. But, for me, fashion-quality photography is not what I value in a sewing blog. I'm looking for tips, techniques, and inspiration--all things that your blog is full of!

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  4. You and me both on the photography and fashion blogging! I don't want to learn photography. I love a good photo but have no interest in an entirely new skill set.

    I get the love of fashion going hand in hand with sewing...but I wish more sewers discussed technique and fabric choices and technical things vs "look at this outfit I put together!" NOT a criticism, just a preference.

    Glad things are resolving for you and we get more blogging! Yay!,

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  5. I love you, your blog, and your critical thinking and instructive posts.

    May the holidays provide the foundation for you to sew with abandon all the way through 2014!

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  6. Glad to hear the knots are loosening. Happy Christmas!

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  7. You are also brave to give your readers a peek into your mind! I'm trying to get started sewing again, and appreciate your tips on choosing fabric, pattern and new techniques. Your results are absolutely beautiful, and your photos helpful! You may be the most quoted sewing blogger on the interwebs, probably because you give all those tips etc but also because your results are so great! I am one of many who appreciate the effort you put into writing your blog. Bless you at this holiday time!

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  8. I am glad to hear that things are going better for you, and that you will soon be back in the "Sewing Zone"! Your blog was one of the first that I found when I realised there was a land of blogs about things I was actually interested in, and it made me so happy to see someone who was into sewing and creativity with a shape more like what I see in my sewing room mirror... Keep on sewing Carolyn - I would rather see your projects in simple pictures than a thousand bouncy young girls in fancy fashion photos

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  9. It's a lot of work to write a sewing blog without also having to have fabulous photography, perfect accessories and gorgeous locations.
    Whatever works for you is fine.
    Have you tried just using the automatic settings on your camera?
    Maybe you'll get a chance to play with it during your staycation. I admit I like to know how my camera works so I played with it and took lots of pictures. At least you don't have to pay to get them processed!

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  10. The fashion blogs can be nice to look at, but I much prefer the sewing blogs, especially ones that really talk about garment construction, pattern selection, all that fun stuff. :)

    and congrats on 1500! wowza!

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  11. Yours is my all-time favorite blog. I so much appreciate the work you put into it (blogging time isn't sewing time!) and being able to see real pictures of all your garments on it. As a plus size sewist I find you inspirational. I love that your blog is a sewing blog (and I've never seen anything wrong with your photos - they are clear).

    I'm glad you are working your way through your challenges. They do take up a lot of creative energy. (I like to have some 'started projects' for when I don't have the mental strength to start something. For me, that's often crochet as the finished item is less important to me).

    I wish you and all your family a calm and happy holiday season. Enjoy your sewcation!
    Lyndle

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  12. Firstly congrats on 1500 posts. Secondly your followers follow you for...you. Your expertise, your sewing skill and the inspiration you provide. Have a great christmas and come back refreshed.

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  13. Sorry to hear that you have been having problems. Glad that things are returning to normal and you will be sewing again.

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  14. I'm with you 100% on the photography. Sometimes I feel like I desperately need to step up my game when it comes to location (especially when I look at everyone's stuff on MSN... and then you see my photos HAHA), but, eh, no one is coming to my blog for the ~gorgeous photography~. The pictures are clear, you can see all angles - I reckon it suffices. For me, anyway hahaha.

    Regarding your camera, oh man, I feel ya. I went through the same learning curve with my camera - and I would still probably be rolling through that curve, except I gave up and put all the settings on automatic and just roll them through a quick photo editing program. Eventually, I'd like to take a class to learn how to properly use the camera, bc it seems a shame to have such a nice piece of equipment and not use it to it's full potential, but I don't have the time or patience to take multiple photoshoots and have the resulting photos come out blurry and unfocused. So my advice to you - put that sucker on auto already! Who cares! Haha! We can be subpar photographers together :)

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  15. I appreciate that your blog reflects a real woman whose life (and blog) is full of ups and downs. Real. Not fake. Not some made up fantasy of fabulous locations and perfect outcomes and photos. Glad that you are reaching through your recent challenges and feel a good sewing mojo coming on. Hope it stays with you for a good long while.

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  16. Thank you for what you do, Carolyn... it is just perfectly understandable if you feel that it is overwhelming at times. I think Pinterest and all these blogs are making us feel inadequate (well, some of us - especially the younger set). Just go with the flow. I am going to start my new year by joining Goodbye Valentino's Ready to Wear Fast... largely because of YOU. I am plus sized and just didn't think sewing for my size was possible - mainly because when I did, I didn't like what I made. You have been such an inspiration to me that I am ready to start and sew ALL my clothing this year. I also am horrible with a camera and that is the big hang up about being in the RTWFast group. But that isn't the point - the sewing is. So I am gonna go for the challenge!! Merry Christmas!

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  17. Take care of yourself Carolyn and I will be here when you have something to say or show as I enjoy so much reading your posts.

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  18. Ahh problems, life can do a number on the sewing side. You do an amazing amount of sewing for the blog, especially being a working commuting lady. I think you do just fine with the photos where ever you manage to take one.
    Your shots are really helpful unlike a lot in the fashion shoots where you see everything except the garment. I have horses here if I want to look at one of those and I guarantee unlike the magazine shots I will not be in high fashion in the paddock running along side one. I like all the posts even the fashion updates you glean on the commutes and the family and sewing room fabric stash shots. I can't tell you how helpful your blog is for rocking the tnts and the adapting of fashion details when a pattern is not available. I enjoy reading whatever you put up. Sorry life has been putting up the speed bumps, I have had several years of those and my sewing room gets really lonely and dusty. Thanks for all the helpful posts and sharing your sewing and thoughts.

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  19. Carolyn, I'm not sure what prompted your post (it sounds like some negativity behind the scenes, maybe?) but PLEASE don't change your style/format/blog to follow the masses...please don't even consider it!!


    I've been drifting around the 'net the last few months looking for inspiration for my own sewing and I swear to you that I nearly always think "I wish more people blogged like Carolyn"

    there are RARELY construction posts and the *tada look at what I made and tell me it's beautiful* type posts leave me wanting

    I want to know how someone altered a pattern...I want to see the inside of a garment

    SHOW me how you did thus and so rather than a whole lot of words with only a perfectly posed picture of the finished garment

    your blog is the reason I have an almost all sewn by me wardrobe now...and I regularly go back and re-read your old posts (start to finish) because every few months I feel like I can take on a new challenge (I just lined a jacket for the first time) and I use your blog as a reference guide because you explain things so practically and with perfect pictures

    stay as you are!!

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  20. Go with what makes you happy. It is your life, your sewing and your blog. The rest of us are happy bystanders appreciating that you share yourself with us. I hear you about the photography. I'm one of those people who hate with a purple passion to have my picture taken. I think that is why I suck at blogging. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of your sewcation.

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  21. Glad to read your blog. LOVE your pictures - it really does help me see I have so many more choices in clothing styles being a plus size woman. Can't wait to see your new creations.

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  22. Chiming in to agree with all the good comments you have gotten here! My blog is nothing like as extensive as yours, but I from time to time feel some vague pressure to kick it up a notch. To take on projects that are more "blogworthy", to sew from patterns that are hot, to search out new locations, do a better job on hair and makeup, etc., etc. But I try to remember that I want to write about things I would want to read--things like you discuss: pattern and fabric selection, alterations, techniques--in other words, sewing! Love your blog. It is really worthy of the buzzword "authentic" in that it reflects you and not just an image or brand you have constructed. Wishing you much happiness in the new year, and hoping that will include some calming, satisfying sewing!

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  23. Wow - 1500 posts! You've brought us along on your many adventures - thanks. Hope you get back to your usual prolific sewing soon!

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  24. Your home is lovely, like you and your sewing creations. I can't wait to see what you photograph in it next.

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  25. I absolutely love your blog just as it is, especially, ESPECIALLY, the fact that the clothes are on a real plus size person. I teeter on the edge between regular womens sizes and plus size, but we have a very similar basic shape. You have encouraged me to break out of my comfort zone, and helped me see the potential in styles I never would have tried on my own.

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  26. Anything I had to say, has already been said, but my two cents are that I read your blog for sewing inspiration, information, and now that I've been reading for a while, I enjoy hearing a little about your life and family. I'm not sure why you're feeling pressure to change anything on your blog, but I hope that pressure has gone away, because it's certainly not from the majority of your readers!

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  27. Carolyn, I've been reading your blog for years! Your style of blogging has been fine for all 1500 posts. Now, if you wanted to do something different, cool. If not, cool. You're sounding as if somebody made you feel some type of way about being "you". Blogging, unless you're a full-time blogger paying bills via your blog is a hobby. It's supposed to be fun. It's your FREE gift to the interwebs. And there's an audience for every imaginable subject. Once you start feeling stressed and like you have an obligation to make excuses or explanations and it's not fun anymore, you're treading in the deep end... and you need to swim back.

    You can't please everybody. I gave up on trying to please a long-time ago. Do you... do what you enjoy. Stick to your style! If you write it, they will come.

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  28. Please don't stop, i really enjoy your sewing adventures oh the possibilities (lol) you show
    Jocelyn

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  29. I empathize with you and I'm glad that you think you're getting a handle on things again. Enjoy your sewing - I really enjoy reading your posts.

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  30. Hopefully you are feeling the love now ! I love your blog as well just the way it is. I am with you about the photography. Some people have more time and inclination to do those things.

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  31. Ditto what Erica B said! I'm glad you are starting to feel more back to yourself!

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  32. I am sorry that I don't comment more often, cause I sure do follow your blog. I read every word you write, rather than skim the blog post like some of them that I follow. I love your blog and always excited when you post. Your blog is a treasury of sewing education. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

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  33. First and foremost I thank you for the blog love. For years I have admired your passion and been enamored of your garment sewing skills. You are a master of the craft and I am honored by your kind words. Please continue to be true to yourself and know when you return to sewing with great abandonment you will continue to inspire so many others with your magnificent creations.

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  34. I am only interested in the sewing. Blogging so much for so many years is quite an achievement already.
    Thank you for that!
    And please, if there is pressure from whoever to change anything that you feel would be taxing, don't do it!

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  35. You do what you do and that is perfectly fine! There is space for everyone. I like to see pretty photos but I love the "real" people blogs best of all.

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  36. I also appreciate seeing the clothes on you. Not sure if this has been mentioned, but a camera tripod & re to shutter release may help.

    As for feeling strangled - glad to hear you are the way to breathing again. Do take care of yourself!

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  37. So sorry for the junk that has went on in your life, and am glad you are past it!

    I love your new blog crush site. I just bookmarked her site. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  38. Carolyn, I stumbled across your blog a few years ago and fell in love! Do not feel compelled to change anything about it. Please! Because of what I read there, I can sew for the body I have, and sew what I want to wear--even if the pattern doesn't come in plus sizes. As a result, my fabric stash has gotten a lot more interesting, both in type of fabric and in color. I have always loved to sew and now I am learning to love WHAT I sew. Thank you!!

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  39. I love your blog and I think you're amazing. I feel the void of fashion sewists in my life, finding your blog has helped me advance my sewing. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, kathy

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  40. First, I love your blog.
    It was the first one that I saw that spoke to me, you were a woman of "a certain age" with all the size problems and fit issues that many of us have had to adjust to.
    You are sassy, and I love sassy.
    And, thank God, that although you have great style you aren't a slave to fashion.
    You've got me thinking, creating and sewing more again and I truly thank you for that.
    Take time for a few deep breaths, I hope things are become more peaceful for you and have a wonderful holiday.

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  41. 1. I love your photos!

    2. I'm sorry to read that you have had a rough time lately. Be patient with yourself. You'll be back to your old self when you're ready.

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  42. Carolyn, after reading all these posts you should realize that we love your blog just as it is. Please don't change it to be anything but a sewing blog. Your photography is clear and appropriate for showing your techniques and how the garment fits on your body. We're here for you when you're ready to resume your sewing and posting!

    Karen




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  43. Love your blog as is! Thank's for continuing to share your passion and knowledge!

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  44. Pretty pictures are all very nice but I'm reading blogs for information and inspiration. Sometimes it's fun to see a blogger in a new setting...let us see you on the streets of New York once in awhile...but mostly keep on doing what you're doing. Glad you are past your block and ready to take on the sewing world once again!

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  45. Dear Carolyn, as you can see from the many replies, people obviously think a lot of you. Sometimes things happen in our lives to make us stronger. I don't know you, but I empathise with what you are going through. Be Strong.
    This was the first 'plus size' blog that caught my eye. And as I said in my previous comment, you are an inspiration. I am of a similar size to you, and to see you in the clothes you have made is far more honest, no fancy trick photography, just a beautiful woman sharing her love for sewing with many people.
    Wishing you a superb Christmas and may the New Year be a brighter better one for you. I know an element if mine will be and that is down to you. Fay

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  46. Whatever you do, wherever you do it, know that your fans, especially this one, will continue to cheer you on, learn from you and feel grateful that you choose to include us in your sewing life. I'm sorry that you're feeling strangled, but no apologies needed. Sending you strength and peace. And for all you do--Brava! Judi

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  47. 1500 posts is quite alot and I probably read them all! I appreciate all the effort you put into your posts and you certainly need a break. If there's something going on privately, remember it's only temporary.

    Love you, your blog and the inspiration it brings. Have a wonderful Christmas and even better 2014.
    Sewjourner

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  48. Just want to let you know that I love your blog. You are an inspiration!

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  49. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I've felt exactly the same way as I read other blogs and see them speaking of fashion more and less about their sewing experiences. I've been a long-time reader of your's, so I've seen most of those 1500, and I just want to express my appreciation for your sharing what you find that works as well as those things that don't work for you. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and God Bless.

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  50. I love your blog as is! I come to read blogs for inspiration and instruction, not so much for people modeling for modeling sake. You make creative and classic outfits that give me ideas for things I want to make. Keep it up!

    Lynda

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  51. Whatever you and whatever you post will always be welcomed by me. Take care of yourself.

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  52. ooooo!! I vote for "streets of New York" too!!!

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    1. Sorry Beckie - not gonna happen! By the fireplace and outside my front door only!!!

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  53. I for one read everything you write and appreciate all you share with us. I'm glad you've resolved whatever was keeping you from sewing and will be anxiously waiting to see what you come up with next. Thanks for telling about Sew Melodic. I visited her and love what she sews! God Bless and Merry Christmas Carolyn

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  54. Carolyn, you are an awesome blogger, sewist, mentor & inspiration to everyone who stops here and appreciates all that you share. It is perhaps a coincidence that this topic was introduced on the Stitcher's Guild Forum:
    http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php/topic,22654.0.html
    You have many followers here because of your style & content which is top notch. Your health and happiness are what is important. Your sewing and blogging will cue from there. No deadlines.No timetable.

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  55. Dear Carolyn
    I've admired your work and I'm really pleased you've
    - shared your sewing journey 1500 posts is a lot.
    - been part of the MSN
    - experimented along the way.
    I have always learnt from your sewing experiences and this has helped me sew for myself and my family. Thank you so much.

    I wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year. May it bring you whatever you want.
    This is your blog and I hope stay focused on the things that bring you joy.

    And your backdrop is perfect.

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  56. Hear hear! I am SO with you Carolyn on being tired of sewing bloggers who suddenly think they're also fashion designers. Just recently one of them announced her "new pattern line" the first design of which appears to be: a t-shirt dress. (Hint: she was eliminated from "Great Sewing Bee") I just about died laughing.

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  57. Carolyn, I feel fortunate when you are able to 1-sew and 2-tell us about it. You are far more generous with your time than...well, than *I* am. No explanations about photography are required. I'm looking forward to a good 2014, and it sounds as if you are, too. Happy New Year!

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  58. Hey, Carolyn: Stepping back from blogging is OK, isn't it? We all need our time alone to deal with all the stuff life throws at us and don't need all the "up the gaming" stuff going on in the blog branding shuffle these days. Hope you're doing all right and having plans for a great and relaxing Holiday season. Know you've got loyal friends and that means see ya when we see ya! It's OK.

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  59. 1500 posts! Wowsers and super congratulations! That's amazing. And I just wanted to say thankyou thankyou THANKYOU for your first point. Your blog is so encouraging and it's so obvious your delightful passion for sewing is what this is about. Have a wonderful Christmas and holidays (you're getting some days off, right?) and here's to a lovely 2014 of sewing calm and creativity.

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  60. I love your blog. As another plus-sized woman, you've shown me it is possible to be plus-sized and fashionable. If I had to read only one blog, it would be yours.

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  61. Congratulations on your milestone, very impressive! That's a lot of great dresses. One of the things I REALLY appreciate about your blog is that it is a sewing blog and not a photoshoot modeling blog of a garment someone happened to make. I see some sewing blogs morphing into that type of narcism and frankly it bores me. I am so glad your blog is true to sewing and your passion for it. Your effort is greatly appreciated and thanks so much for it, Caroline! You give the sewing blogosphere a good name and a bar set high!

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  62. Congrats on the overwhelmingly wonderful blog post anniversary! Amazing... not that you have hit this number (well, yes that's amazing too!) but it's gone by so quickly. You have so much to say and share; that not a day goes by that I don't check out what Caroline has to say. I totally enjoy reading your blog; and when you have a sewing block; I just pray it will clear quickly for you; and for me... because I want to read and see what you've been productively doing. I don't get to my sewing as often as I would like. (seems I've always got some mundane stuff to do... mending,etc...) Thanks so much for sharing your enjoyable blog with us all. When you blog... you make us all happier! ;)

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  63. I see i'm late to the game anyway. First off congrats on reaching such a post milestone, second I prefer sewing blogs over fashion blogs even tho I do look to get ideas and thirdly do take care of yourself. I know all too well how life interrupts those things that make us happy, I'm struggling with one now but I know one day I'll get through it and be much wiser,and happier. Happy sewing

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  64. I think your photo backdrop is perfect ;) I hear you on being a cold weather wimp. I hate the cold. Congratulations on your blogging milestone! Fifteen hundred posts is a major accomplishment.

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  65. I love your blog and your backdrop is perfect. Please continue to model your creations and thanks for a sewing blog. I learn so much from your blog!

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  66. Glad you have come out of the other side of your recent personal sewing/blogging slump. I can empathize with how that can happen. I look forward to seeing you back in full sewing/blogging mode.

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  67. I was sorry to hear you were in a slump. I think we who follow you may forget sometimes that you have a full time job and other commitments. I think you write an amazing blog and take great photos. I would love to have a D-SLR but realize my rotten knees keep me from going places to make full use of it and I am therefore grateful for my little HP point and shoot digital camera. The most I have to change is portrait or landscape, as well as white balance to tungsten if I am taking photos inside and that is so easy I can do it without thinking. While I love all of your posts and photos, I do know you are human and may have off times when the mojo may not be working. I, for one, will wait until it is as you are a major inspiration to me, and others.

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  68. Dear Friend in my head,
    It's your blog and you can do whatever you want whenever you want! Hope your holidays are good ones. Thanks for all these posts!

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  69. Many people have said all that I wanted to say already. Thank you so much for your blogging. I find your blog and garments inspirational (I don't fit on the pattern chart all the time and sortof gave up). I too have a stressful job and my creative time is just really important to sanity. And so is buying fabric (and beads, and yarn). It's better than counseling - there's something pretty at the end, and if it doesn't get made into anything, well it puts me in my happy place just looking at it. Don't worry for 5 seconds about the photos or your backdrop or whatever. I sew. I want to see the clothes. I don't care about the backdrop. If you can get the silly thing to focus, well, you're golden in my book. No crazy poses, no weird lighting, just the clothes.

    Thanks for all the time you spend helping us all. Blessings on you and your family this holiday season, and happy sewing in the New Year.
    Leigh

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  70. Count me as one who appreciates substance over style. I cannot stand the "hey, look at me! Oh by the way, I made this!" posts from some others. If I wanted to see a photo shoot, I'd go buy a fashion magazine. I read sewing blogs to learn and be inspired to try something new. Its so hard to relate to people who apparently have the time and resources to put on some expensively accessorized outfit, drive somewhere and have glamorous photos done. Unless there is something about the actual sewing, it's a waste of my time to even look at it.

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  71. Great post, and great blog!! I am so thankful to have finally found it.

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  72. I love your posts. I am also a Plus Size, and it's lovely to see such a happy person actually wearing the creations. It gives me confidence to try more things in 2014. I have only made pretty basic clothes for myself lately, as I just didn't know what to do for the best. You have given me the incentive and courage to try new styles, colours and fabrics.
    Thank you for that, and Happy New Year

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  73. My sentiments exactly. I think I said as much on SG's thread about blogging today. I admire you for your blog longevity and your skill at communicating your passion.

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  74. Can we get a 'Whoop Whoop' for sewing? Hell, it's why we're all here. Your (dare I say it) 'no frills' approach to talking and displaying your sewing is one of the many approaches I enjoy reading. And I do enjoy the many approaches, as long as it's all about the sewing :)

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