I haven’t sewn anything new lately, so it’s been kind of quiet here. Incidentally, I think I’m going to start using capital letters when I blog, because, you know, I can. I know how. I use capital letters when I write by hand. & I’m starting to feel weird about clinging to this affectation I embraced as a teenager now that I’m 36 years old.
There has been a little more action recently on my miniatures blog. But I am wondering if I should fold the content over there into what I do here. This has never been just a sewing blog or a parenting blog or a feminist blog or whatever. It’s always just been a Ciara blog. I got an email from a woman who reads here (hi, Kathleen! Sorry I haven’t replied yet!) & she said she first started reading my blog because she was into my zines, & then she was into the parenting stuff because a lot of her friends were having babies, & then she liked the sewing stuff because she sews, & now she’s excited about the miniatures thing because she recently got into miniatures too. We contain multitudes, right? Why should I cordon my interests off into these little bits & bobs when I’ve never really done it before?
I honestly think I just feel kind of embarrassed. While many people are able to recognize that miniatures can be incredible works of art, there’s still this whiff of weird around “grown woman has a dollhouse”. It doesn’t seem very punk! & definitely part of what bothers me about some aspects of the miniatures world (& this goes for sewing too) is the emphasis on acquisition & collecting. Spending money to buy what other people have made. Granted, some of those people are incredible artisans that are able to produce work I could never dream of. But I don’t want to collect & acquire. I want to make.
I am also thinking that making a mini-a-day is probably way over-ambitious. After all, there are other things I want & need to do with my time. I still want to sew, I still want to read, & I still have a child to look after. This realization was prompted by putting Ramona down for her nap yesterday & then sitting down with my paints to make a Christmas present for Jared. I was just painting a little portrait, a little bigger than a playing card. I was thinking, “This will take me half an hour & then I’ll wash the dishes,” or whatever. THREE HOURS later, I was finally finishing it up. & it didn’t have quite the level of detail I wanted because a) I don’t yet have the skills for that, b) I need better quality paintbrushes, & c) he came home a little bit early & didn’t honor his promise to stay upstairs until I told him I was done.
So I’m thinking maybe a mini-a-week is more realistic, & I can revisit this goal as I learn more about miniature-making & where my skills & abilities lie. At this point, I am reasonably good at sewing & made a 2015 goal of sewing one new item a week…& I did not meet that goal. I think I made like forty things. Which is pretty good, & obviously a few of them (paper-pieced, hand-quilted quilt, I’m looking at you) demanded WAY more time than a person could give in a week, even working full-time. Had I counted each individual block in that quilt (each of which took a minimum of two hours, which is about how long it takes to whip up a knit shirt start to finish, which would count as one item), I would easily exceed my one-project-per-week goal.
Also, I am pretty sure Jared got me a dollhouse kit for Christmas. (He doesn’t read my blog except for like twice a year, so I think I’m safe floating this supposition.) & not just an easy-peasy two-room $25 deal from Home Depot. I was showing him different dollhouses online & showed him a giant 11-room mansion with two balconies & gingerbread & a secret tower room & a really unique L-shaped construction & I was like, “This is basically my Platonic ideal of a dollhouse, but let’s be real. It’s like four feet wide.” He was like, “So? If you like it, that’s what you should get.” I was like, “We’ll see,” & laughed it off, & the next week, an enormous box arrived in the mail.
Having never built a dollhouse (or, really, anything aside from a very lopsided & poorly-sanded wooden box back in 8th grade shop class) before, putting this thing together is going to be a HUGE project. & since I don’t see myself ever really feeling the need for more than one dollhouse once I have a four-foot 11-room mansion, I want to make this one good. Like with lights & properly-scaled wallpaper & maybe even working glass windows & stained glass transoms here & there. It’s going to be a HUGE project.
Plus we will almost certainly be moving again in 2016 (even if we stay in Lawrence, we’re moving houses because our landlord is such a joker–how it is almost Christmas & he still has not followed through on his promises to install storm windows “before it gets cold”?) &…I just feel like I have a lot on my plate. I want to pursue this miniature-making hobby, but I don’t want to bite off so much that I instantly regret everything.
I miss my sewing machine. I took a big break after I finished my winter coat, & then I put the machine in storage so we could re-appropriate my sewing space for our Christmas tree. We just got the tree on Saturday, so it’s only been a few days, & it’s only a few more days until Christmas. But having my machine unplugged & tucked away is a weird feeling.