Why I’m Quitting Blogging

 

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I’ve been having a bit of a dilemma lately, I need to make cut backs in certain areas so that I can get more time for others! This is the problem when you have so many interests and two businesses to run! Well I say two, I really need to find time for my second one that I’m trying to set up. I made some much needed charges to my vintage selling business to free up some time but it’s not enough, I need to make more cut backs elsewhere.

This has been playing on my mind a bit for the last few months and as much as I love blogging, it seems I don’t love it enough to keep in on the stay list. I have been blogging since early 2009, I’ve never been a very dedicated blogger, it’s waxed and waned over the years, over the last few months the urge to blog seems to be waning and trying to keep up is becoming a chore. I never wanted to be a professional blogger, I definitely fall into the hobbyist catagory so not keeping up in the blogging loop has never really bothered me that much. But i do still enjoy reading other people’s blogs.

August is always a good time for reflection, things slow down in the summer for business as everyone is a way and it frees up time to do a little reevaluating of things. I feel that I’m spreading myself to thinly these days  and with so much to keep up with am a) only producing half arsed worked and b) not getting enough personal time in. So I’m cutting back and refocusing that energy into projects that require it especially my new shop, I’m so far behind its silly! So that means I’m putting the blog on hiatus for a while maybe forever. I like writing and want to also focus on some creative pieces that have been languishing in a pile and if I choose between writing a blog or writing a novel, i think I’ll give the novel a go.

I’ve enjoyed blogging (most of the time) but now I feel is the time to let it go and move on as my heart really isn’t invested in it anymore. Maybe one day it will again but for now I’m concentrating on other things. I’m toying with turning this site into more of a professional portfolio and keeping the blog as an archive but there are so many things going on over the next few months, I’ll come to that decision later.

August Goals

Sunbeams

July again was work, work, work on the old shop and so yet again although attempts were made, goals were not met. In other news I’ve made some changes to the vintage shop and what is being stocked which will hopefully free up not only time but space as well in my time work room.

Speaking of making space, the great summer clear out is almost done and dusted. We made massive headway of clearing stuff out, lots of broken and unusable stuff went to the recycling centre, a batch of stuff went to the charity shop and bunch of stuff was sold on ziffit and eBay. I still have some stuff to list on ebay and also sort the CD collection and then that is done. So the flat is feeling a lot less cluttered. I still have some stuff to scan and sort out but feeling like a conquered a small mountain. So all in all things got done which is an achievement, so not feeling so bad about not getting through other stuff, swings and roundabouts and all that jazz.

August is traditionally a quiet business month, everyone is holiday so I usually do my Christmas and Halloween prep. I’m not even sure if I’m going to do a Christmas range this year, I have bought some new supplies to make some smaller pieces to tide me over whilst I work on designing and finishing the bigger pieces. I’m tying to keep a streamlined and slightly more branded approach but to be honest I’m not sure that is my strong point but I will keep at it. I still have loads of supplies to use up despite the streamlining and declutter but it’s no longer overwhelming so that’s another bonus.

halloween supplies

As for setting goals, the main one to slow down a little and refocus on work life balance. I really have fallen out of the habit of making and sewing and I miss it a lot. I get that sometimes you need to focus on one area more in order to get other stuff done later but I’ve spent way more time on it than I intended. It’s easy to fall into a habit of working all the hours under the sun and moon when you’re self-employed and I’m really trying to implement a more structured working day and week, like I would have if I still worked for someone else. Personal time is essential when freelancing and all too often it gets pushed aside because of the fear that the work will dry up. So as things are slower in the summer, it makes sense to enjoy the quietness whilst you can before the busiest season of the year starts (well for those of us who work in retail/e-tail that is).

I’ve occasionally been knitting in the evenings but most of my work day has been taken up with the vintage shop, which is fine because it brings me in money but I’m limiting my time on it to two days a week, three to four days on the handmade shop and the rest is personal time. Obviously I can be flexible when needs be but for me August has always been about enjoying summer and celebrating birthdays. So many people I know are born in August, me I’ll be turning 40 towards the end of the month. I’ll be writing more about that later.

penny dress

Anyway back to goals, so August’s goal is to chill out a bit, finish organising our trip to Canada, flights are booked but need to book accommodation and look into what to do whilst there. I also want to catch up on some sewing and work on my wardrobe etc and also spend more time dedicated to blogging and writing. I’ll be making a few tiny tweaks to the blog over the summer but instead of just saying I will write about style, making clothes etc I will start publishing these drafts I’ve been working on (once I’ve taken pictures). The blog will be focusing more on style and clothes, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while and have dabbled in in the past but it’s still way out of my comfort zone but it’s time to step out of the comfort zone.

So August won’t be concentrating on specific goals like reading a certain amount of books or finishing a certain number of projects but more gearing up to setting better habits, finding time to do things, going on mini adventures, slowing down, relaxing, refocusing recharging and enjoying the rest of the summer.

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Feminist In A Fifties Dress!

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Two rants in two days, I’m not even gonna apologise because sometimes you need to get stuff off your chest right? Oh and if you don’t like swears, you might want to skip out now because there are a few and I was being restrained! Normal boring blogging will resume next week.

‘Old fashioned values’ is a term that quite frankly I despise because half the time it refers to a way of life that was actually quite repressive. Before you go on about manners and courtesy and whatnot, personally I don’t see these as old-fashioned values, they are just values that people should aspire to anyway, regardless of what times we live. This constant harking back to the ‘good old days’ and ‘old fashioned values’ because most people cannot relate as they did not live these time, they are other people’s experiences handed down to us in trust and sometimes you just can;t trust other people’s judgments on things,

Let me explain as to what kicked off this latest rant, so someone shared a video into my facebook feed (yes I know I’m supposed to have quit arsebook but we’ll go into that another time) about a girl who dresses vintage and why. Now as a person who dresses vintage, I found this video highly problematic because it was about dressing for respect and behaving like a lady, so that people, mainly men would treat you like a lady and that if women were more modest than people would respect them more. So basically cover your skin so people don’t think you’re trash! Excuse me, fuck you and the proverbial high horse you rode in on!

Firstly this states that you have to dress a certain way so that men behave themselves, forget that the sexual harassment was just as rife in the 50s as it is today. The fact is you’re saying that women have to take responsibility to curb the actions of others. We are taught from such a young that it’s our fault and that we must behave a certain way because it’s not the responsibility of predators to control themselves. Seriously sister, you could cover yourself from head to toe in the ugliest outfit ever but if someone wants to sexually harass you even just disrespect and judge you, they’re gonna!

It’s snobbery! Making yourself out to be superior because you behave a certain way is just snobbery. You are not better than everyone just because you choose to be more ‘modest’, your friends are not beneath you because their skirt is shorter than yours, you’re just stuck up!

Clothes should be worn because you like them and feel comfortable in them, not because you think people are going to respect you. You can wear the prettiest dress in the world but if you’re a complete arsehole, then the dress is not going to change that fact!

What the fuck is ladylike, not this language for a start but who do you get to dictate what is ladylike. So you want a world where men fall over to hold the doors open for you, carry your shopping, whilst you giggly coyly and sip tea with one picky in the air, go fucking you! But you know also thanks for undoing years of work on trying to eradicate repressive stereotyping like this!

The old days weren’t better, they were different and with far fewer choices. Remember when women couldn’t show leg because it was deemed unacceptable for a lady to do such a thing, as was voting. Or that we couldn’t have our own bank account when we got married and it was automatically transferred to our husbands, or we could get fired for being pregnant, or the fact that to be married you had to be heterosexual because being gay was illegal? Need I go with this, no I don’t think we do?

I also get extremely annoyed when I hear the phrase it’s a generational thing especially when it comes to excusing things like sexism and racism. Firstly no, it’s just ignorant! As long as you are alive in this planet you never not have an excuse to educate and better yourself! Secondly it’s insulting to people of that generation who are not ignorant, racist, sexist and whatever else was shit back in the day. Thirdly I’m sorry being politically correct is such a chore for you, how terrible it must be for you taking into consideration other people’s feeling by not being a total prick!

This is pretty much why I stay away from specific scenes in the vintage world (and just people in general). I have quite a few friends into vintage style and they go to all the rave and riots, I go to Viva Las Vegas but that doesn’t mean we immerse ourselves in a reenactment of they way things were. Dressing in the clothes and dancing to the music doesn’t mean we catapult ourselves back to the past and relieve them authentically, though I have read of some that do and you know what that is fine because choices!

Just so you know, just because I dress like a lady doesn’t mean I act like one, I believe in progression, I believe that people should have choices, I believe that people are born equal and should be treated so, I believe that you shouldn’t be judged by standards from a long time ago, I will stand up for myself, I will say what I feel if I think it needs to be said no matter how becoming of me it is! Be yourself, be true to yourself, don’t be a slave to the patriarchal bullshit! You can still be a feminist in a fiftiess dress you know, they’re not mutually exclusive!

 

You Can’t Sit With Us!

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Sometimes you will come across people who just don’t want to engage with you and you know what? You just have to accept that because not everyone is going to like you or want to be your friend but there seems to be an increasing amount of people getting way above their station on social media and acting like they are way better than everyone else and selective with who they talk to.

Whilst in the most part many people are nice, chat, mind their business and do their own thing, there is that bunch that ruin it for everyone else. There is not a week that goes by where there is not some drama or another in the blogging community. I’ve been blogging since 2009, I have never really taken it seriously or been that committed and that’s the great thing about choices but there is a reason why blogging is never going to be taken as a serious professional due to the lack of professionalism that some people display and not just bloggers but also the PR firms and brands they work with.

As it get’s more competitive, the claws get sharper. I won’t lie, I’m not a fan of the term girl gang that gets banded about, I find it to be quite a toxic term and problamtic, I get that the majority of bloggers are females but the term initially comes off quite exclusive. I know they say everyone is welcome but the name suggests otherwise. What starts off as a small community of support and camaraderie, soon gets infected as it grows bigger and it only takes one person to infect the pool and then it all kicks off and as always it’s only a select few that ruin for everyone else, those that are faux and just out to gain something usually for free. or people complain about being left out out because someone else is getting more attention etc, etc, etc.

I’m not a fan of this whole follow for a follow bullshit, it makes absolutely no sense to me! What is the point of having so many followers when hardly any of them interact with you. It’s no big secret that to be successful you have to engage, you are not a rock star, you don’t get to be all aloof and mysterious, you need to interact and engage with people and I’m not just talking hitting a like button to acknowledge their presence! Feeling popular and actually being popular are two different things. Of course the more popular you are the more jealous people will try to take you down and steal your crown from you, which is in part why I’m glad I’m not popular and in other part because I’m too lazy to deal with this shit and I have enough to keep me busy not to need these kind of dramas.

I understand (not from experience) to keep up and interact with lots of followers must be hard but some just comes across as downright rude and of course you don’t have to follow them, though I feel that there is some unwritten obligation to follow people who follow you but again that’s bullshit. It’s called social media not anti social media, if you’re there just to validate your own worth and feel popular due to high numbers then frankly my dear, you’re doing it all wrong. You might pay them a compliment or answer a question they put forward and they don’t respond or even acknowledge it anyway, not even through a like or a thank you but you know that’s also their right, they don’t owe you anything, just like you don’t owe them anything. Chalk it up, move on and find someone who does care.

I get that social media is all about the freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to share their opinion, if you’ve ever followed my twitter feed, you know that I do that a lot (more than I probably should!) but that doesn’t mean people need to respond. If I don’t like something I more often than not just keep scrolling or if really disagree with someone’s opinion I unfollow (usually because they’re a racist bellend). I’ve always been the proverbial outsider even when it comes to the internet. I always seem to be behind on all the popular sites and everyone has already set up their groups, going on meet ups and whatnot and it can be hard to try to integrate without feeling like your gate crashing. Social media is a highly contradictory and volatile ecosystem, sometimes you don’t want to be the one that upsets the balance. But there are tonnes of lovely and welcoming people out there, you will find them and they will find you.

I started blogging like most people did because I could and also as a place to share my opinions and that is just what most of social media is people sharing their opinions, bad comes with good and all that but it’s up to you how you respond to it. Your blog is your blog, you can do whatever you want with it, follow your own path, be you but be the best you that you can be but remember you are human and you are allowed to falter. You are allowed to have your own opinion, you don’t have to follow the pack all the time, stop trying to be someone else because they look popular, looks are deceptive, stats are just numbers, just because someone has 10k followers doesn’t mean they are rich and successful. The internet is just a snapshot, a photograph, you have no idea what is going on outside the frame, more importantly just try and not be a total dick! By all means disagree with people, no one is telling you to lick arse but there is no reason to be a total jerk to someone whose life and livelihood has taken a turn for the worse. You can just jog on and not give you’re two pence worth and on that note that is my two pence worth!

PS this is just my opinion, it doesn’t make me right.

American Valhalla!

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Not so long ago a missed out on a limited edition bundle of Iggy Pop records on coloured vinyl but I decided to get the same bundle on ordinary black vinyl when that was released on preorder because why not. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s pressed on red or black vinyl at the end of the day, even though I have to say it’s quite pretty watching coloured vinyl spin around, but it is mostly about filling the gaps and building a decent music collection.

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I’ve always liked Iggy Pop and although a little young at the time to appreciate his older stuff, Post Pop Depression for me was a great album and not just because Josh Homme was involved. Obviously I’m educated in the classics, though I have found out recently that he released an album consisting of French cover songs.

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My music posts aren’t really about how great a pressing is, or the quality of the sound or even whether it is limited edition or not, I think it’s more about my own personal journey with music and how it influences me and that it is okay to like what you like for no reason other that you do. Though I do like collection albums that are related to the year I was born in, so this 1977 live fits in well with that.

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I get that most people will probably find my music posts a bit pointless and boring but I have a double-sided Iggy Pop tote bag to carry all my ‘I don’t give a fucks’ in!

On a different but connected note, the other week I found out that Josh Homme was doing a Q&A before the showing of a new documentary he is involved in about the making of Post Pop Depression. I snapped up two of the last remaining tickets and despite feeling crappy tootled along.

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As I said I really liked Post Pop Depression as an album, I know some didn’t or were sceptical because it didn’t sound like classic Iggy but it’s always interesting so see how an album is put together, especially a one-off project. The though process in choosing band members, who’s writing the lyrics, how musicians work together, and the stories behind the songs and the album title.

The documentary is directed by Homme and Andreas Nuemann and charts the times through the conception of the idea through to tour that followed the album. I managed to see Pop at the Royal Albert Hall last year and he was phenomenal, he is a show man and he love being there every bit as much as we did.

The Q&A itself was interesting  and informative. Even the drunk dude who turned up late, put on his sunglasses in a dim-lit theatre and proceeded to strut straight into a pillar before professing his love to Josh and bestowing him a gift, didn’t distract too much from the proceedings.

If you can, check out the documentary. You can find out more here at the site.