It is so crazy to me that this will be the last time I use this banner. So crazy to me that this is the last blog post about my ’27 before 27′ blog challenge. So, so crazy to me that I am now 27 (It’s my birthday today! Woohoo!!) So crazy to me that I created 27 different embroidered felt flower brooches in the relatively short time this challenge happened in and even crazier to me that I completed this challenge.
I started this blog (publicly) on January 7th this year (2014) and this is the 76th blog post. Right at the start, on the 9th January, 2 days after I launched this blog into the unknown I thought “Hey, I know, I will set myself a blog challenge” what I really should have thought was “Hey, I know, let’s make all of this new blogging goodness a hell of a lot harder and totally take over the time in each working day” It also didn’t help that my Fiancé and I bought our first house after renting for ten years together a few months ago, so our evenings and weekends have been filled with packing and sorting and packing…and did I mention packing!? Which also meant that I was working around rooms full of boxes and trying to keep hold of my studio for as long as possible!
So, I gave myself just over 22 weeks to make 27 brooches and I have to say I thought it would be a breeze. It wasn’t. A few days after I set the challenge in a rush of excitement and positivity, I started to panic. I was scared I wasn’t going to make it and that I wasn’t going to make it in front of everyone that read my blog, everyone who knew me, everyone I had ever spoken to and now was a friend of mine on Facebook, everyone that may want to buy my art. Jeez…
I kept going. I wanted to set up this challenge to get my crafty butt into gear, to hold myself accountable so I couldn’t just make excuses and only make a handful.
I had to push myself to think outside of the embroidery hoop, to imagine the possibilities past the fear of the unknown, take one big fat crafty leap into the giant mountain of buttons and own it.
I wanted to be able to work towards something. I work really well with a little pressure and a big old deadline. When I was studying Art and Design at college I used to leave my projects right up to the last minute and then cram through the nights before the deadline to get it all done. My quality didn’t suffer, but it was like my brain just couldn’t compute the enormity of the project until I really had to get running. With scissors. For my life.
This challenge was no different really. I made one each week, sometimes two if needed, sometimes taking time to learn new stitches from scratch, sometimes throwing it all in the bin and starting over. Sometimes crying my eyes out in gasping sobs and wailing that I couldn’t do it anymore and I was going to pack it all in. But, Francis Ford Coppola once said…
“I don’t think there’s an artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing”
And, I felt better that it wasn’t just me, that I might not fail this after all. That someone else out there may just be having the same quarter-life crisis and be moments away from picking themselves up off the floor, picking off the stray threads and getting back out there. Sometimes I felt like I had to hit the bottom to be able to push myself off into the next day and come back full of creative fuel and drive.
Maybe I just needed to find the courage to touch the butt!
Each brooch I photographed about 90 times, narrowed it down to about 15 photos for a blog post, edited the photos, stamped my little copyright label on each one, watched them all upload to the blog, grabbed a cup of tea and poured my thoughts and feelings and creative processes out onto a blank page. I filled up the white space with words that spill out about how proud I am of each one and how each brooch holds a part of me that I won’t forget. That’s what you are buying into if you decide you want to buy one of my brooches when my Etsy shop opens (more on that in a while) You are buying into the hours of love and care that I can’t help but plant into each little petal of each felt flower brooch, and of course time. You are allowing me to pursue this as a career, allowing me to have time and freedom to make more, design more and create new things.
I love seeing them all lined up together! They are so colourful! You can read about each embroidered felt flower brooch by clicking on the name of each one in this list.
1. Daisy Daisy
5. Hello Lover
18. Leafy Greens
21. Pink Hearts
25. Sage & Onion
27. Sunny Days
I am so so glad I made the countdown image and added a brooch to it each time I posted them here on the blog as it meant I could make this fab time-lapse video! I had almost forgotten about some of the early brooches!
I have two very big announcements to make here today.
First of all, as I mentioned before, we are moving house which also means that I am moving the Eliston Button Headquarters. This is both super exciting but also super time consuming…I mean have you seen how many buttons I have!? We are moving on the 12th June, as in tomorrow, as in the day after my birthday (which also happens to be two days after my sisters birthday – it like a super celebration week every year!) Nothing like a bit of awkward timing (or one hell of a birthday present!) So you can see that it’s a pure miracle that I finished this challenge at all! Anyway, I will be taking a much needed blogging break to move and unpack and build up the Eliston Button Headquarters. I will also be taking a little extra time to relax, think about my work and spend a little time planning the future of Eliston Button. I will also be most importantly, spending time with my fiancé , who has probably forgotten what I look like without a sewing project, a brooch or a laptop in front of my face and he totally deserves to have me back for a bit after the tears and late nights and “just a minute, I am almost finished” moments!
I am hoping to come back on the 23rd June, full of new, fresh ideas, rejuvenated creative juices and a better frame of mind that isn’t as close to burn out as this exhausted brain is (or at least be there with a Headquarters update!) I will be popping in on Instagram and Twitter from time to time with snippets of life and photo-a-day prompts so it will be great to chat to you all there.
Anywoo…The biggest announcement of all is the date I will be opening my Etsy shop with the 27 brooches adorning its virtual shelves for sale to all of you lovely Buttoneers! Its super exciting!! Please pop over when it is open and have a browse, after all it is what will keep this blog going! So…drum roll please…
Phew! All done! Thank you all so so much for all of your lovely feedback and kindness in this newbie bloggers first six months. It means so much to me that you are reading my blog and taking the time to chat with me.
What do you think of the brooches? Are you excited for the Eliston Button Etsy Shop opening? I certainly am! I would love to hear all about your thoughts!
Meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below. I’ll click the kettle on!