10.03.2015

IRL

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | IRL

I had a brilliant idea during #sewphotohop, inspired by the cacaphony on Instagram, and the crickets on blogs. It was "The UNstagram Challenge." The goal was to write, instead of squeezing life into a snap, a blurb, and 800 hashtags.

And then my cat died.

That challenge never happened, partly because I felt that I was being mean to Instagram (see above for the rest of the reason). I pictured an UNstagram button on the sidebar, pointing its accusatory finger at the happy little social media platform, and it made me feel bad for the app. (Because obviously, inanimate objects and pieces of code have feelings. See; Kenny, Ellie, Ricky, LucilleGeorge.) And besides which, I love Instagram! Hell, I've been looking forward to #sewvember since last November! So, I abandoned the idea.

And counteracted the stress of obsessing over the sick critter on the couch by posting fabric filled shots. 

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | IRL

Yesterday, I went to get my quick fix of inspiration and pleasing life moments, and the first six shots were advertisements. Not IG sponsored stuff--I mean shots that were swiped from the web and reposted, or carefully composed colorful text, or GIFs shimmying and shaking in a little square box. Announcements, links, reposts. I think of them as Fakegrams. This is all fine, of course, as Digital Underground so rightly crooned, dowhatchaLIIIIIIIIIKE, but I think this shift might be what knocks IG out of its current first place standing in social media. There are fewer and fewer Actual Life Moments, snapped and posted within minutes. Now, even when one does go old school, that Moment needs to be masterfully edited, if the preponderance of tutorials meant to help you beautify your pics have anything to say about it.

(Don't get me wrong, I'm totally guilty of throwing a fakegram up on IG when I post here. I'm fakegramming at a level, oh, I'd say, three? Haven't been able to bring myself to use text yet. That gets you to like, an eight. No shame if you're a ten. And I love photo editing!!! In fact, I'm seriously considering throwing down a whole two dollars for SKCRWT, an app designed to correct lens distortion on your phone. What?! I would go on to say, WHO AM I, but let's face it, I have nine photo editing apps already, and it makes total sense.)

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | IRL

When we lost our big guy this past Labor Day, I posted a shot of an organized thread drawer. It was how I spent Labor Day, but it was how I spent Labor Day because despite our best efforts to keep him from any suffering, our cat of 16 years took a major turn for the worse over a holiday weekend, when there was nothing to do but wait to give him a way out.

Oddly enough, for all my talk about wanting to get back to blogging and sharing Actual Moments with each other, many of you probably don't even know we had a cat. We've had five, actually. The most we've had at one time is three. Those three cats made cross country road trips, forced us to keep feline hours in doorless apartments, and gave us incredible amounts of happiness. Cody was our last musketeer. I stopped posting about them long ago, because it was too hard to post about them when they were gone. It sucks, and pet people get it, and non-pet people (sometimes) don't. It's super fun when the response to No, he's not here is When are you getting another. Easier to not bring the subject up, but I'm bringing it up anyways, because it was a quiet reminder of what deserves concern.

The rise of Instagram! The demise of blogging! Cars that drive themselves and Amazon Obelisks that will spit out everything you need to know! It's a little silly, isn't it? I don't think that any of it is cause for true concern (save for the fact that the machines will one day take over, and they'll be ruling a whole generation of people who will have completely lost the ability to hold an off-screen conversation, no biggie). Social media, in whatever form earns our passion, shouldn't gain our everyday thought. It can't replace real life. (But, it can be real cool. Example: the wonder of color in the second shot, that brightened some very sad days, was a gift from Lusty Wench, who I met on...you guessed it...Instagram.)

I don't have any specific snazzy questions to end this post, but I'd love to know what you think. About pretty much anything. You're more interesting than a blurb has room for.

85 comments:

  1. ((soft hugs)) 4 cats, 1 dog here... it bites when they leave.

    I love your colorful pictures, you pick happy colors and your posts nearly always delight me. -appreciation-

    Sewing for tweens is ... festive. I think pattern companies and RTW companies are ignoring a (possibly impossible to dress) stage of life. Nothing fits, everything looks odd, you're neither fish nor fowl - clothing from the kids' lines don't fit, clothing from women's lines don't fit, trying to find something fun and neither childish nor adult is challenging. I'm glad I can sew for her.

    Do you remember that stage in your life? What did you do about the years of neither fish nor fowl?

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    1. thank you :)

      What a great question... I always loved color, and I wasn't really concerned with fit, so shopping at the Mall with my Nan was always a blast. And I would borrow from my Mom's closet as much as possible! Come to think of it, I did take scissors to garments that were too long, and fabric paint to those that didn't have enough oompf.

      And, I was pretty shy in my fish/fowl years. I bet your daughter is so happy to have her own original wardrobe!

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  2. Ohhhhh, lady, I am so sorry to hear about your cat! So hard.

    Secondly, I have all the same complex and conflicted feelings about sharing online what essentially amounts to a constructed representation of your life. The thing is, this happens in blogs too--not just Instagram. It doesn't really matter how many words (or lack thereof) you present, you will always be presenting some framed and not-exactly-100%-accurate portrait of your life. It's curated, and I actually have come to think that's okay as long as you realize that's the way of the internet--both as curator and consumer.

    I also have complex feelings about blogging because I actually was on the internet as a teenager. Starting in 1996, I coded my own website and posted my personal life in obsessive detail for about a decade until I grew out of my adolescence and realized well no, actually, perhaps it isn't the best thing for you and 1 billion strangers to know every nuance of your life. HAHA. As of now, I only have an Instagram account because a blog would mean less time sewing, and I try to keep as few obligations around sewing as possible since I've determined the lack of responsibility is 2/3 of what makes it fun for me.

    It's a tricky line to walk, for sure, but for every surreptitiously sponsored post that gives me the creeps, I remind myself of all the wonderful connections I've made with other women and sewers in particular *because* of the internet. The good with the bad, yo. That's life, isn't it?

    Hugs from Cincinnati.


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    1. VERY true. There might be more opportunity to expound in a post, but that doesn't necessarily mean more transparency. And I definitely curate things here to a happier vibe, it's an outlet to get away from regular life stress! I think of IG that way too, so it's a little disheartening to see it filling up with ads. But just like blog ads (and hell, networks, of which I'm a part!) I'll get used to it, I'm sure.

      So interesting that you came out of the other side of teenager that way! I wonder how it will be for teens now, since telling it all on the web is SO much a part of their lives.

      And again, very true, there's a lot of good to temper the bad! Thank you for the hugs :)

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  3. I think Instagram is a social media platform where friendships can be formed but like any social media platform there is no need to share EVERY aspect of your life there. So you had a cat and didn't share. So you used pretty pictures to help you cope with your loss. That is your right! And if you ask anyone who has overshared in social media and it came back to bite them in the arse, they will agree with what you did.

    You know that I love blogging and Instagram but ALL of my life is not shared there. There's no reason and ALL of my real friends know who I am and what's going on in my life...not the "likes" I get on social media.

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss but please don't be sad that you didn't share it with the world!

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    1. oh, I'm definitely not! I had no urge whatsoever to share it there, and it was only this morning that I decided to ramble about it. And IG did serve a very valuable purpose with the pretty pictures!

      I loved our pics of #wineandcheesewithkashi. were they perfectly composed? nope! but it was a wonderful evening and a great memory to look back on!

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  4. My cat, Alexander the Great, has a bug of some sort that makes his poo a tad bit thicker than pee. We are seeing the vet on Monday. I as a proper cat mama googeled the symptoms. The first thing to pop up on my search was 'cancer'.
    Now I wonder if a two year old may have... and I don't sleep, I stay up and worry.

    I also finished some jeans from stiffest denim ever, they feel and sound like I am wearing cardboard but I still think they are awesome as I wear them while qashing dishes.

    When I am sad, I like to clean as well and organise stuff, odly it calms me.

    I'd like to blog more, but a lot of the times I get lost in translation. I feel I have a lot to say even if no one really wants to listen.

    Also Maimu is my real name. Try saying it out loud.

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    1. I hope he's okay! (And what a great name.) Google is great, but also goes to the scariest possibility pretty quickly, so my fingers crossed for you.

      I love these thought snippets...and organizing is pretty much the best calmer ever. And indeed, I say your name in my head every time you visit here! I usually find that my ideas are wrong tho ;)

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  5. Hello, lovely. I'm so sorry about your cat - my parents had t put down their cat this summer, that we'd adopted when I was 17... and now I"m tearing up. Damn you, cats! Why you gotta be so cruel? Make us love you and then you don't live forever.

    I hear you about IG changing... reminds me of the way twitter changed, and was suddenly only full of IG references and retweets instead of #fabricchats and people actually saying stuff. I'm confused by Snapchat and Periscope - I've been tempted to try both out, but I think I'm going to sit them out instead. Maybe I'll miss something, maybe I won't.

    There have been a few mentions around lately of blogging dying out... I don't think that it is (or even dying down) but I do think perhaps it's a bit of a changing-of-the-guards period in sewing blogging, with some of the "big" bloggers blogging less, or shifting focus... and as long as everyone is feeling welcome and doing what they want, I think that's probably just natural over time. Other random thoughts I've been having about blogging lately: What does it mean for bloggers/wannabebloggers when monetization is increasingly common? And how is blogging affected when the standard for sewing skills/photography/prolificness seems to just get higher and higher all the time? That's just my mind rambling though... not quite sure what my point is! ;)

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    1. I have some of these similar thoughts Gillian, like if I don't up my photo game, will people still want to read my blog?

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    2. Heather, I started thinking the same way about Instagram! How did these fun little outlets become so...I don't know...rule-y?

      Gillian, Ruggy saw me uploading a pic of Cody and he said "are you sure you want to post about him?" because he knew how sad I might get. Dammit felines!!!

      I got into twitter after it had become a party where you only hear snippets, and most of the snippets were repeats. I'm terrible there, I only tweet because I feel you're supposed to. BUT OH GOD. Ruggy, who has *zero* desire to participate in social media, informed ME about Periscope months ago, and made me create an account! The world might well be coming to an end! I don't know...I don't really like my devices to make noise, so I usually stay away from videos and live feeds. But he really wants me to do an oona-oriented cocktail hour live feed. ?!!!

      Also, I thought of you when I was writing this post, because I knew you could figure out what the hell my point was, and have the perfect thought provoking ending questions. (Seriously!) Maybe monetization is why blogging is losing its luster? And maybe that's the trend beginning on Instagram? We want places to connect, but it's all becoming a platform. I'm totally part of it, with my Amazon sewing goodies posts, but man, have those helped me keep my sewing needs alive!

      Photos wise, you know I love a pretty photo, but I also love authenticity. And if that's a 6am shot in the driveway before work, that's cool. I love your photo series, it's great to have advice on getting better shots. But like you said, it's all about doing what you want. No one is making us blog ;)

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    3. Heather and Oona - exactly!!! I'm worried I'm making things worse with my photo series, frankly (albeit in a tiny way, bc I'm not claiming to be a trendsetter!) I started it because a) I legitimately am loving learning about taking pictures, and I've been enjoying taking pics not just for blogging but to enjoy the process; and b) because I hate the idea that there are people who want to blog but don't like having their photo taken! The last thing I wanted to do was create pressure to only post if you have great pics. Ugh.

      Frankly, I think that introverted, used-to-feel-uncool women (like me!) who make up so much of the sewing blogosphere are great at adding pressure to our hobby, and worrying too much about what other people might think of percieve. (GOMI is not helping this shit, because now there's the added fear of what people will say behind our backs.) Pictures not good enough? Pictures too good? Sewing not difficult enough? Too proud of our own accomplishments? We're worrying about it all. (Or I am.)


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    4. Gillian, I appreciate your photo series. I have a blog where I mostly feel like no one is reading, but I have trouble blogging about sewing my wardrobe because of how much of a hard time I have taking photos. I am fat and I have bitchy resting face or whatever it's called.

      Oona, so sorry about your cat. I went years between cats because I could not bear the thought of losing another. I got a cat again when my kids left me with an empty nest.

      I mostly feel inadequate on instagram- I feel like even people's WIP photos are staged with a bunch of color coordinated props and I am just cropping tighter and tighter to avoid sharing my total lack of decor!

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    5. Gillian, it's funny because what I love about the sewing community was that there is an active one in regards to blogging. I started off in the knitting blog world and just about everyone has stopped blogging. Mostly it's due to Ravelry a major knitting website, which don't get me wrong, it's absolutely changed my life! However I miss that personal connection of being to follow along with someone's project and have a conversation. A big social platform just isn't the same! I'm sure it's probably just a matter of time before it happens with sewing blogs as well, but in the meantime, it's been fun getting to know everyone and being apart of a great community once more!

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    6. Thanks, Maggie. I think it'll be awhile before we find another furry guy, but I know it'll happen. And yes, color coordinated props! Where does everyone get these matching notions?!

      Melissa, I've heard that Ravelry was an enormous game changer for knitters. I think Burdastyle was like that for sewists when it first started up as a free community. I guess there are so many options now, you can choose your level of community...maybe that's a better way to view Instagram!

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  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your little cat. That is so tough and I totally get it.
    It was so hard when I lost my little Solomon pug last year, but I did choose to announce it on Instagram, not to get people's sympathy (which was really nice anyway), but because he was such a big part of my feed (and my life). And I really didn't want to hear/read Where's Solomon? It seemed easier to just let everyone know - I mean death is part of having/loving a pet, if you want to share it his life and love
    I don't like Fakegrams either, but I do love Instagram, and I love getting a peak into other people lives, and to be honest, I've made a lot of great sewing buddies on there too.
    I really hope that neither blogging or Instagram dies out!

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    1. I hear you! That's part of why I didn't share Cody-- I got those questions about our other cats in the first few years I was blogging. I absolutely would have shared it, if he had been a presence on the blog & such. And I'm sorry about Solomon. I know it still sucks.

      I think my love for IG will win out over Fakegrams! Can't totally hate, since I do it as well ;)

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  7. Oh Oona! I am so very very sorry about your cat! *huge hugs* that's the problem with pets - they tend to leave before we do :( my cat of 15 years is in declining health as well - makes me very very sad :(

    Blogging vs social media is an interesting one. I don't think blogging is dead, but I do think there is far less commenting and discussions going on, likely as a result of the prevalence of consuming blog media via readers and aggregators on mobile devices, which make it a lot harder to comment, especially as I think a lot of us now read blogs in snatched moments of time such as while on a bus or waiting for a friend at a cafe. It's a lot faster and easier to like or write a quick comment on an IG post as a result.

    I agree with Gillian's comments above too, around the changing of the guard and the potential impacts of increased monitisation.....

    It's funny. I really enjoy hearing snippets about the people I follow and their lives outside of sewing and yet I rarely share any of that stuff myself! Thanks for sharing a bit more of "you" with us today :)

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    1. Thank you, and I hope you have good time left with your kitty!

      Absolutely, it's so much easier to comment over on IG. They've really cornered the market on keeping your attention and making it easy to participate! Blogs just don't hold up on tiny devices.

      I feel the same way about lives outside of sewing, so thank you! In fact I was trying to cook up a plan with Pandora Sews about post prompts for that exact thing. Then cat trauma happened... maybe we can still get it going.

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  8. First - I'm sorry for your loss - and that doesn't even begin to be enough. I'm glad pretty pictures helped you deal with the loss and that they were there. I really enjoy instagram and blogs. What I notice about myself is that I read most blogs on my commute on my phone and commenting is difficult - so I don't. i never go back when I get home to say what I thought. But a quick "cute/fabulous/darling" comment on instagram is easy.

    Like you - I love the friends I've made through blogging and instagram. I always love when I get the chance to meet those people IRL - like at Carolyn's house last summer - good times! I wonder - how - someone like Kyrstle - breaks through blogging. She's trying so hard to build a business, working, blogging, instagram, twitter, her own company and it just seems like so much work for very little reward. Although she's loving it, so ....

    g

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    1. Thank you so much.

      I have the same problem with commenting, even when I get my phone to play, the comment often gets lost in the blog ether. Lately I've been "saving" posts on Bloglovin, in the hopes that I'll get back to them and comment when I'm on the computer...you can guess how that's going. And yeah, man, if Krystle is loving it, that's great, but it's a monster keeping up with all that! I mean, I had to decide maybe the world wouldn't end if I didn't do every day of sewphotohop, so really, social media upkeep for business sounds like YIKES. Of course, if there's payoff, the yikes is worth it!

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    2. ^this is exactly why I just recently ditched BLovin. I've put through the effort of making a comment, and sometimes some of the worst log-in hoops to jump through to post to a blog, and it just goes POOF. I partially blame BLovin, and partially really too-tight mobile rules for commenting. Don't make me get off my butt, put down my ipad, and fire up the actual Mac when I'm comfy. I won't do it.

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    3. that last line is the best :)))))

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  9. Earlier this summer when all blog posts from everyone were tying back to Instagram I tried it for a few weeks, right at the beginning of the sewphotohop and soon after the cakewithcashmerette, but I never could get in the habit of taking photos and posting... So once I realized that I was basically lurking more than usual, I gave up on it... Not for me, I guess!
    I'm not a cat person (because I firmly believe that they're plotting to take over the world... plus I'm allergic), but I can understand why bringing them up is a catch 22...
    My neighbor down the row has at least 12, though, including one that I've affectionately named Fluffybutt after finding him on my windowsill two days in a row. I'm starting to believe that they're adopting me as a fellow member of their society.
    Here's to your furbabies and the memories you'll always have!

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    1. 12!!!! That's...wow. We thought we were nuts when we had 3 :). And yes, the memories are great.

      I think you caught IG just as it was shifting to micro blogging, and higher self imposed standards... it's still great, but it used to be much easier.

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  10. So sorry about your cat! I lost my 18 year old cat about a year ago and my 21 year old cat a few years earlier. We have two new cats now which was fun for my kids. They had to live with my geriatric cats and never had a chance at kittens until now. I love the new cats, but miss the old ones. My kids miss them too. My oldest son really loved my old persian we just lost. I think that cat loved him more than he loved me :)

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    1. Wow, your critters got up there! I don't know if I've ever come across a 21 year old. I love that your kids got to experience both at a young age. And isn't it funny how animals have no qualms choosing a favorite? Cody was that rare cat who started off with one favorite (me), then realized he could get double the love and volleyed back and forth between us.

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  11. Oh, peanut! I am so sorry you lost your furry big guy :( Losing a family member is always really, really hard. I'm sending you big, big hugs! xo

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  12. I'm not a big sharer. I find most of my navel gazing facebook friends really annoying, and find it odd when I know intimate details of a passing acquaintance. That said, I love sewing blogging/slowly getting into instagram. Having a passion like sewing gives direction to my online presence. Sometimes I will post other things, but I love the idea of having something concrete to base it off. I'd never have instagram just to look at breakfasts and fitness photos. Fabric though? I'm all over that.

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    1. I can't stand FB oversharing either! I feel so hypocritical, because if it was on a blog, I probably would be just fine with it...why? No idea. Maybe FB is like a public (the word "restroom" comes to mind, but I'm sure there's a better word) RESTAURANT. Yes, that's better. FB is a restaurant and a blog is a personal kitchen in one's home. So the sharing seems more appropriate... I don't know. I might be delusional.

      Yeah, my IG feed is mainly fabric! Appropriately, that's also my favorite part of FB ;)

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  13. I am so sorry to hear about your kitty - the loss of a furry family member is so truly sucky. :( Thinking of you guys.

    IMHO, there has been a big shift in the way peeps are using Insta over the last year and I agree with Gillian in that it has signalled a massive shift in the blogging world. Sometimes I just don't have the time to get through the crazy amounts of blogs in my reader but Instagram allows me to check in with everyone and respond to their lovely creations. Though I do miss the detailed construction notes - deets are the best!

    It's also great for me personally to Insta post most of my makes. I am queen of the wardrobe basics but noone wants to see my fifth striped Plantain on the blog. I like that I can document my makes on Insta with my dorky hashtag and when I feel 2015 has been super unproductive click the link and check.

    Though the ad thing drives me bananas. I get it but it still drives me bananas.

    Anyways, enough waffle. Thinking of you guys xx

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    1. Girl, I always want to see someone's 5th plantain. Because sometimes fabric makes things work different, or there's a new hack or way to style it, or maybe it's just to celebrate how awesome a pattern is that someone wants to make it ad nauseum! All hail wardrobe basics! :)

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    2. Me too! I totally love it how the same pattern can become a totally different animal when it's made from a different fabric combo. Plus, it encourages me to actually repeat patterns and improve their fit instead of hoarding a zillion patterns that I'll probably never use*.

      *Who am I kidding?!? My name is Liz, and I'm a pattern-hoarder from WAAaaAAAY back.

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    3. Thanks Amanda. He was a good little lion.

      I love IG for exactly those reasons, the community is so big now, it makes it easier to keep up. But yeah, I miss those detailed posts too, in fact, I've started taking some deets shots on my camera, instead of my iphone, so that I'm tempted into actually posting them ;). Your hashtag catalog is genius, I never considered a hashtag's worth in that way!

      And yeah, I agree with Gillian & Liz, show us yer basics and TNTS. I need all the basics inspiration I can get!

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  14. I am sorry to hear about your furry companion. Furry companions are the best and it is so very sad.

    It has been a while since I popped into the sewing community, but I thought should pop in and say hi. Sometimes, it seems like it is much easier to Instagram than blog. However, I really hope the media doesn't die, I think we connect more with others by blogging.

    I miss you. You popped up on my tv the other day..Elementary...I wanted to hug the screen but I suspect my tv would not like that.
    Much love,
    Trice

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    1. thanks Trice :). and who knows, maybe your TV would like a hug. Maybe if we show the electronics some love now, when they take over the world later, they'll be gentle overlords...

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear about your cat.

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  16. I am so sorry to hear of your loss! We had three cats at one time, and all of them perished when they each reached 17. I still think of them.
    As for IG...I don't have a smart phone! I feel excluded. I have an account but cannot post anything to it. It is like I am looking in the door of a party, but a big ol' bouncer won't let me in.
    Poo.

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    1. Oh.... so they were all very close timewise? That must've been terrifically hard.

      I'm surprised IG hasn't allowed desktop use yet. I guess it's not the point, but viewing on a laptop is quite beautiful, and why not take over every device they can get their app on?

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  17. We had two cats before we had kids...and the cats never quite forgave us. After the second one crossed the rainbow bridge, we didn't have another pet for, like, 12 years. We were going to move someday, and we told ourselves we didn't want to have to deal with a pet until we had made that transition. It just took awhile. But I used to have kitty hallucinations...I really thought I saw the cat. Even after we finally moved. And of course, the cat hair was just part of the furniture. But we did get another kitty awhile after we moved and settled down and we came across a rescued street kitty that needed a home. She's just sweet enough just often enough that I'm enjoying her. And she loves depositing cat hair on all my black pants...

    My blogging is just who I am; my pictures are few and more or less adequate; I have an instagram account but rarely post (I have a stupid phone but an occasionally used tablet). And I have a pretty slim blog readership who collectively very seldom comments. I had to just come to the conclusion that I'm blogging for my own enjoyment and not worry about whether or not anyone else comes by. So there's very, very little chance I'll ever monetize. But there are some blogs that have become about the sponsored posts and products...that I used to read because they were online friends talking about sewing and life..that I have left by the wayside. Sadly.

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    1. I know your cats were mad! Non-cat people think it's a bad quality, but I love how they can hold a grudge so spectacularly, and still want your love at the same time. We both still see our cats out of the corner of our eyes too. I hope your new girl continues to get sweeter and sweeter:)

      That's what gets me down about blogging now as well, and I realize I'm walking a slippery slope there with network posts. But it's such a lucky thing for me to have my sewing, well, I guess sponsored is the right word. I think we all love to enable our shared passion, so I (obviously, ha) am good with people getting sewing help. But yeah, there are some topics that seem out of left field. Doing it for your own enjoyment is the way to go!

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  18. Awww I'm sorry to hear about your fur baby that really sucks 😩😩

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  19. There aren't really words...how is it that such small beasts leave such big holes in our hearts when they leave? At one time we had a family of three cats...we had unknowingly adopted a pregnant princess and we kept two of her kittens. The loss of Magic, the youngest and last of the three, was the hardest. I felt as though I had lost not only Magic...my kitty soulmate, but also the last tangible connection with the his brother and Mom. I am so deeply sorry for your loss Oona. {{{hugs}}}

    From my perspective, you write an authentic and engaging blog. Not everything needs to be shared. I think I'm pretty bad about sharing a lot on my blog. I do sometimes wonder if by only blogging the happy bits, that I am somehow being inauthentic, but honestly, I'm like that in real life. I'm just hard-wired to respond to 'How are you?' with 'Awesome, thanks.', even if l'm going through a tough patch.

    I'm in active email discussion with two of my best blogging buddies about...well, blogging in general, but IG in particular. As you may recall, I have no cell phone...yes I know...IG is nearly, but not quite, impossible. Lately, it seems that everything I read is about how great Instagram is and how I've gotta be on it. I'm so confused.

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    1. thank you Sue, and I'm so sorry to hear about your guys. Especially the way you described it!

      I think I'm wired the same way, in fact, I meet a lot of New Yorkers who assume I'm from out of town because I smile so much ;). And Sue...how...HOW do you get away without a cell? I've recently resigned myself to the fact that everyone communicates via text now!

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  20. So sorry about your kitty, but glad I accidentally sent some sunshine at just the right time! I'm also dealing with an aging cat. Not sure how much longer he's going to be around.

    I've only been on Instagram for about a year now, but it was as a direct result of starting to sew and getting hooked on some sewing blogs. I'd love to blog, but frankly nobody wants to read what I write, not even really me :-) Posting on Facebook and Instagram are about the best I can do. I do find it inspiring to read your blog, Cashmerette, Lladybird, Tanya, and many others. The biggest surprise to me is how social the sewing community is, or at least seems to be. Everyone is so friendly. My in-person social life has gone from zero to 10 at a time when I really needed it. Even though I've met very few of the Instagram/blogger crowd in person, that community has contributed to me getting off my ass and into the world, so I appreciate all of it so much.

    At the same time I get what you're saying about the commercialism. My favorite bits are always the real life bits with all their warts. I love it when people talk about their failures just as much as their successes. I learn from all of them, and the realness is what really brings me back.

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    1. Your package really was a bolt of high octane sun! And I hope you have many more good sunny days with your furry guy.

      I think having an IG only presence is becoming the new normal. But if you want to blog, I'd read! I think we're the most social bunch around!

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing. It's a strange sense when your furry friends are no longer there. I lost my kitty Cinnamon a few months back and can definitely share your pain. It's strange how, with instagram, people see but won't pay attention in a way. She used to be featured a bit, then she wasn't, and although I talked about her to people in person, as well on my blog, I will still get people asking me "How's your kitty?" and it's such a strange position to be in to say that she's no longer there.

    But yet, without Instagram, I would not have discovered, met and befriended many members of this amazing community, instead languishing all alone on my little blog space no one knew about. It is strange to see everyone's polished version of what they want you to see, but in a way, I feel invited to know a little bit more about them that way. I don't feel intrusive. The staged images bring me to their other online spaces where we can relax and really get to the good stuff. I don't know.
    We're in a strange day and age.

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    1. Ah, that's the spot I wanted to avoid, a sort of constant reminder & constant re-telling...though it must be nice to look back at all the pictured moments. I had a quick look at your (beautiful, added to my reader) blog, is that Cinnamon in the header?

      I love the thought that staging brings you backstage. In fact it's making me think about fakegams in a new light! Strange indeed, the things we think about now.

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  22. I grew up with a few pets but was never really attached until we had Thatcher...our golden retriever...his passing was so hard. Even years later, I will mistakenly call our new baby Thatcher. Not that we don't love Skipper any less but that is the deep imprint Thatcher left on us. So sorry for your loss.

    I was late to the Instagram game...as always... so I don't really know about the 'good ol' days' but I have noticed the ads showing up in my feed. From bloggers that I really like too, which is a shame. This being said, just last night, I was discussing (through Instagram) with Maria from How Good Is That? about sewing alterations for well developed runner's legs and it was great! I learned from so much from her and we are thousands of kms apart!

    I started blogging as a way to document my makes and so I don't share much about my personal life and keep it to what I have made but I never dreamed it would enrich my life as much as it has! And I haven't even had a real life blogger meet up! That will blow my mind for certain!

    Love your blog and the cheery vibes you send out! Hugs

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    1. Thank you, and I'm sorry to hear about your Thatcher! They do leave a brilliant mark.

      Yeah, there's still so much good on IG! Just a bit more scrolling to get to the good ;). And I'm shocked you haven't had a meetup yet--must remedy that! Seeing your clothes in person would be a real treat!

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  23. *hugs* We do love our pets! I love instagram and reading sewing blogs. And yours is a favourite! Social media will continue to evolve. I loaded the periscope app but I haven't figured out how to use it yet. :)

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    1. thank you :)))

      same here on periscope! i give it the side eye every time i scroll past the icon...

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  24. I love your blog, and am sorry I don't comment more. Thanks for taking the time to do it. As for Instagram, meh. If I want a giant time-suck, I go to Pinterest! ;-D
    Keep it real--real fun!

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    1. haha! i think there's a pinterest vs instagram camp! and now orries on commenting, glad that you come by either way . there's life out there to be lived, after all!

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  25. I'm so sorry about your cat! :( that sucks, especially when you can't do anything else. I actually blame the wane in blog commenting on the rise of handheld devices---it's much more awkward and takes longer to type in anything on my iPhone than on a proper keyboard, yet that's where I do most of my reading these days, because who wants to sit under a laptop when you can just play around with your phone while curled on the couch? And the phone is always there in the little spare moments that are most of my leisure time these days. Sigh. I wish I had as much time to blog as I used to, though---I wrote every day for six months before anyone ever read a thing I blogged, because it was a way to record my process, my details, my struggles, and I love that I have that learning process recorded. I wrote every day, often just a little blurb about what I was doing that day. Often there wasn't even a photo (I didn't have an iPhone yet.) It's that daily stuff that ends up on Instagram for me---the moment you realize you sewed center backs to side front, or when you just spilled coffe ALL OVER that $25/m dry-clean-only silk. These days the blog just gets the finished project posts. Maybe that's ok, I dunno. I miss the comments (not that I ever had millions) but the blog was for me first and last, and remains so. :)

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    1. thanks girl.

      and yes, the rise of the handheld is the main culprit. so impossible to do much more than stare at it... god. i'm going to have to start limiting my time on it! i love real moments on IG, your feed is awesome, and of course I'd love for you to blog more. But real life trumps all (i hear all my devices laughing at me...)

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  26. Ugh, losing a pet sucks. Pets are family. I'm sorry about your sweet kitty. And as for me, I've been turning the dial down a little on all the social media I consume. So much noise, you know? It feels good to cut back some. I won't quit completely, I'm sure. But yeah, real life.

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    1. Thank you, lovely lady.

      And SO MUCH NOISE. I turned off the noise on subway rides as a way to cut down, but now I'm thinking that's where the noise should be ON. Maybe I don't need to wake up by scrolling through Instagram, ya think?!

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  27. So sorry about your cat. We have two cats (both 11) and two dogs (both 3). I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be to lose one of them.

    I try to keep all my social media pics as real as possible. I don't do a lot of editing, mostly just crop and add a filter. As much as I love seeing the shiny bright photos that others post, I know that is not my life and not what I want to present. I mainly use Instagram to post silly everyday things, like the pumpkin spice Oreos I just bought, or previews of things I am posting about on my blog. I do have a love for blogs though. I don't read, or post, as much as I wish I could though.

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    1. Thank you. It truly sucks, but it's also so good that we have the option to ease their way out.

      Pumpkin spice oreos! These exist? I hope you post more on your blog-- your holiday dress post was pure eye candy!

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  29. Ah I'm so very sorry about Cody, and what you must have gone through that weekend. I remember going for a walk on the day after I lost my much-loved beastie (after 16 years), and how weird and fake and unreal everything seemed - sun, sky, trees, happy birdsong - and if there had been Instagram back then, maybe I'd have taken a bunch of FakeGrams;I sure as hell wouldn't have taken a commemorative snap of the vet's car driving away. I guess my point is that, however we present them, we use Instagram and things like it to remember good moments, not the awful ones. And your little colorful thread drawer was one tiny bright spot in a really sad day.
    I am old and have no idea what periscope is! but if you do an oona-oriented cocktail hour live feed I will absolutely sign up. Much love from a random stranger.

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    1. Thank you so much! That's exactly how I felt, and I know you probably still feel sad to think about it. It's nice to have tiny bright spots during those times, and it's nice to have memories of the good moments.

      I'll let you know here if I dive into periscope...EGADS...

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  30. OonaBalloona! My heart goes out to you. Actually, it just beats in the same generally pain-filled direction. My dog just died...it's three weeks now, but it feels like less and I still cry every time I get in the car to go somewhere without her. She's been my loving companion through the hardest years of my life, and the hole her departure leaves is kinda epic. Alcohol with puppy-ed up friends helps. Being busy helps.

    Which is how I've finally finished most of the things on my UFO list, but not blogged them (my camera broke...it's a poor excuse in smartphone entrenched world). But I'll try to fix that ;-)

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    1. I just read your post, what a beautiful little girlie. I'm so sorry! I know what you mean about being busy, I started sewing everything--pretty poorly, to be honest, but it helped.

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  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your cat, Oona. I've been a bit out of it, blog-wise, and only just sat down with my blog feed tonight to catch up. I lost my own cat in March, and I know how much it hurts.

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  32. I was very happy this morning to see there were both female fuzzies present at the bowls. On the other hand, one of the shorthair males was missing. But then, that's tomcats for you. Less worrying than a missing her.
    Maybe I would offer the little fuzzy him with funny long red hairs in his ears and reddish back (all of our cats are black otherwise), but... yeah, Czech Republic to NYC doesn't work that way. That's social media for you.

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  33. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your furry critter. I hope you are doing better.
    I don't think of instagram as a blog replacement, but rather a blog extension. It gives a peek into what you are working on and will remind me that when I see your blog post on my feed I will want to see what the final results.

    Also, not all projects will be blog-worthy but I am still in full on lurker mode to see what everyone is up to and posting and sharing some of my own details along the way.

    Instagram ads =love/hate (Michael Kors can just go away!) I hate over promotion as it just becomes noise. However, I am thankful to have an audience to share new products with that will be just as excited as I am. It's a very fine line.

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  34. Awww sweetie, I'm SO sorry to hear about your loss! We had to put our Boston Terrier down a few years back due to health issues. It's simple awful, and I'd like to say that time helps, but that sounds so trite at a time like this (well, that...whatever!). Anywho, my condolences...

    It's been fantastic getting to "know" you over the time that I've been reading your blog - you're one of the inspirations for me starting up my own (neglected *ahem* bad Mugsy!) blog. i enjoy that bonne vivant, devil-may-care persona you share with us, as well as the time you dedicate for "realness" (my word, and I'm not ashamed for making it up *lol*). It's been a joy reading about your sewing, and learning that even great sewers like yourself aren't afraid of making mistakes - and even showing them off as a learning opportunity for the rest of us.
    Not an Instagram-er myself - heck, I can barely post pics on my blog! - but I also think of it as an extension to a blog, not a replacement. A picture is worth a thousand words, and so much quicker to post! :)

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  35. I'm a cat person too. I'm so sorry. Loss is so hard - there's only you left to carry the memories of the times you shared. I believe that works as well with our cats/dogs.

    So much in this post....death of a loved one and the speculated death of blogging...I think you're mourning. Not that I *know* you, but this seems to not be your kalkatroonian self, if you will. Or this is the mourning side. Totally great. Get it out. Project it on to everything you want. I know the sunshiney you that wears fabrics the psychedelic 60s WISH they dreamed of will come back with a vengeance.

    When you're ready.

    Social Mediaschmedia. It's a tool. That's all it is. Whether it be for communication or marketing or ignoring...it's just a tool. If it doesn't work for you, then you don't use it. In a hundred years, who's going to give a crap? No one.

    But this - your online archive of information, journal-ing, giving of yourself and who you are....that may still touch people in a hundred years. Keep doing it. Keep being human. Keep being fallible. Keep loving cats. <3

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  36. We lost our pup back in February, and it was devastating. I don't know if I will ever be quite ready for another, it was that difficult for me. My husband travels a lot, and the pup was the one who was always there. It didn't help that we were overseas at the time it happened, and had to make the call from there. I don't think I will ever venture back into Harrod's, where I got the call from the emergency vet.

    If you're interested, here's the post I finally wrote (in May) detailing everything: http://proverbs2pursuit.blogspot.com/2015/05/in-spite-of-everything-i-shall-rise.html

    Thinking of you, even though we don't "know" each other.

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  37. Oh, M - I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. xoxo

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  38. I'm so, so sorry to hear about your cat! :( Pet deaths always affect me deeply (even though I try not to show it). :/ Hugs!

    I don't know what I can add about social media/blogging at this point. I've pretty much dropped off the blogsphere (not through lack of desire, but lack of time. And if I blog, I loose time doing other important-to-me things... Trying to find a balance and I keep failing!). But I have enjoyed how easy it is for me to keep up with people on IG. Though at times I feel like it's taking over blogging, but lacks the depth a blog post offers! :/ Times change...

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  39. I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty! I'm one of the non pet people trying to be a good friend and get it ;p

    As for your question. I've no real opinion of Instagram. 'Fake' posts or otherwise. I do sometimes like to remind myself how much one can't know about me from what I post. So, it must follow that their pool is much deeper/troubled/complicated than what they post, too. Good rule of thumb when you're threatening to go down Envy Road via Jealousy Avenue ;o)

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  40. I'm so sorry about your cat. I do understand. I am very definitely a cat person and I still miss cats who passed years ago. I feel that one should have at least two cats who are nowhere near the same age so that when one passes the other still, hopefully, has years to go. Currently though, my two cats are only a year apart in age - a 6 year old and a 7 year old.

    I'm not much of a social media person. I do Facebook only because several of my family like to communicate that way but I'm most comfortable with blogging. My blog is like my front porch. Everyone's welcome to stop by and chat but it's still mine, not like other social media sites that are more like... I don't know... more public, not homey.

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  41. So sorry about your kitty. Been there lots of times. We rescue kitties who have no home, and have three right now. It's just something you can do for a fellow creature when you can't solve the world problems we hear of every day. You have a lovely blog and lovely pictures. Yes, social media takes attention from even children, as in people walking their children and at the same time stuck to their phones...sad. Happy sewing!

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  42. I had to put my 23! year old cat down this past Monday. She started failing over the weekend and that was it. I feel your pain. Your blog is lovely. My thoughts are with you.

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    1. 23! how amazing. I'm sorry, that must've been so difficult!

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  43. Thank you, everyone, for the beautiful words! Our furry critters are obviously very special to us.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!