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WHY do I blog about my projects!?

Just yesterday I started thinking about all the backlog of projects I have waiting to be posted about.   I got to thinking, “why do I take time to post about my projects when I hardly have time to paint my fingernails or fold the laundry.. or even think clearly!?”   “What’s my drive???”   Searching for an answer it took me all the way back to my pre-teen years.  I can recall the feeling I’d get upon receiving a compliment after completing a project on my mom’s sewing machine.  I needed those compliments -badly!  It was almost as if I needed to prove my worth by the things I could do… because just me wasn’t enough (or so I thought).  Along with the feelings of pride and accomplishment I felt inside, the recognition from others was a driving force when it came to creating.

Fast forward 15+ years and I have a totally different mind frame.  I’ve gained so much over the years by trying new things.  Feeling the gratification of creating something is beyond what I can express.  In my younger years the gratification I got was more from what others would say, now I don’t need others’ opinions to buoy me up like I did before.  Taking something that was once unwanted/tossed aside and bringing it back to life/adding it to my home is a big thing for me – it’s a constant reminder of how to treat people (judge less – you never know what someone has been through and spending a little TLC ‘time, love & attention’ can uncover the beauty of what neglect and carelessness hides)!

What I’ve learned over the years is that I’ve sold myself short too many times.  I’m capable. I’m independent (almost to a fault).   I’ve learned that I’m a risk taker; I’m willing to take the chance of loosing a finger to cut a piece of wood, or get shocked each time I do something with electrical wires.  I’m not willing to live in fear and let it hold me back from trying new things (that isn’t to say I’m not nervous when I try new things); If you could have seen me the first time I used a serger you may have laughed – the cutting blade and all the cones of thread were so intimidating!  You should have seen me the first time I chopped off the wires from my first Singer sewing machines’ motor – I was terrified that I was going to screw up and render the motor useless.  My hands were shaking so bad I don’t know how I ever soldered new wires on and I remember holding my breath so long I about passed out!  I remember using a jointer for the first time in my wood shop class and being terrified my fingers were going to slip into the cutting blades and turn to mush.  What if I let fear guide my actions?  I wouldn’t have learned how to do a lot of things, but more importantly, I wouldn’t have found confidence in myself.

The fear of not doing something perfect hasn’t been a battle for me but I know it is for others and that’s why I LOVE to teach people!  I love seeing their face change once they’re able to do something they never thought they could do.   I want people to feel the accomplishment I feel after making something – that’s why I take time to share my how-to posts because I know everyone is capable of doing anything if they just try!

People tell me all the time how they’re jealous of what I can do.  I don’t really like people saying they’re jealous — I guess because the only thing they can really be jealous of is that I took the risk of trying.  You’ll never overcome your fear of saws, soldering irons, electrical wires, sewing machinery or (insert your own words here) until you try.  I think even more than overcoming the fear or trying something physical is overcoming the fear of failure.  I’ve made so many mistakes it’s crazy – I’ve cut myself so many times and have had to unpick countless amounts of stitches it’s ridiculous!  I’ve spent countless hours doing research on new ways of doing things and have had many sleepless nights stewing over solutions to how to do something I was stumped on.  I’ve spent thousands of dollars on supplies and machinery.  When I think of a Concert Pianist there’s no way I’m going to be jealous of how beautifully they can play because there’s no way I would ever practice the many hours a day they do to get as good as they are.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m envious of a lot of things, particularly people who can sing in-tune, people who enjoy making dinner or are well organized or people who are effortlessly happy and spunky… BUT I want people to think about the road it takes to get somewhere – everyone starts at the beginning.

My blog isn’t well-known and I have hardly any subscribers but that’s not my motivation.  Nothing makes me happier than to know I’ve encouraged or inspired someone to try something new!…  It makes all the picture-taking, editing, cropping, diagram-drawing, layouts and missed sleep worth it!

I blog because I genuinely want people to see what THEY can do, be inspired to do it and have courage to try (because of my awesome how-to’s).  Remember nobody is perfect from the start and accept failure as a way to learn.  You never know what you’re good at or what you love until you… TRY! 🙂

(My boys!)
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  • Reply BarbaraShowell

    Your boys are adorable! I don't know if blogger counts me as a subscriber, I have you added into my blogger reading list. I thoroughly enjoy your posts, especially sewing machine related, but most of the other projects that I wouldn't do as well. You contribute to the wealth of knowledge that can be found on the internet for getting machines back in order, and I thank you!

    June 20, 2016 at 6:54 am
  • Reply Gypsy Quilter

    That is such a great photo. You have a beautiful family.

    June 20, 2016 at 11:42 am
  • Reply Liz

    I loved this. It made me want to go do something awesome and new. And I think I will after I finish this comment 🙂

    Good point about jealousy. I have said that to people meaning it as a compliment, but now that you've mentioned it, whenever someone has said it to me it makes me uncomfortable. Or it makes me feel like they're insinuating I have a natural talent for something and didn't have to work to develop it–that it was just given to me. I'll have to reword that the next time I'm admiring someone's work.

    And even though you weren't seeking for validation, I do think you're amazing, and the way you create, reuse, and renew is inspiring to me.

    This was a really good post.

    The end.

    June 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm
  • Reply stacey

    Dani, this is really a great post. You're SO right about lots of things, I feel like just saying AMEN, haha. I love seeing the little peeks here and there of your home in NC, it all looks great! We're excited to be heading down that way later this summer and look forward to getting together with you and all those boys 🙂

    June 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm
  • Reply Dani

    Thanks for the comment Barbara! It's always good to hear someone enjoys what I do! 🙂 My sewing has been put on the back-burner since we bought our house in January… now I have a HUGE pile of mending to do and projects in mind for when the house chores aren't so needy! Hopefully soon!

    June 21, 2016 at 11:28 am
  • Reply Dani

    Thanks Liz! I also have to remind myself not to say I'm jealous to other people – because I think about this subject a lot for some reason! I always have to remind myself that if I'm not jealous of the road someone had to take to get to where they are then I have no right to covet what they have. Good to hear from you!

    June 21, 2016 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Dani

    We'd love to see you! Let me know when you'll be here and we'd like to have you over for dinner!

    June 21, 2016 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Tami Timothy

    That is beautiful! Thanks for being an inspiration to us all to try something new, love you 🙂

    July 1, 2016 at 7:17 pm
  • Reply Granville Taylor

    I love all your projects that you blog about! I'm primarily into woodworking but you have given me some great ideas on wood items to make. I've shared some of the sewing projects with my wife and my 2 daughters! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!!

    September 14, 2016 at 1:54 pm
  • Reply Dani

    Thank you!! I just wish I had more time (and money)! 🙂

    September 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm
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