Inspirational Blogs

It’s been nine months since we arrived home from Canada. I’m noting this because it was about then that I noticed I wasn’t as obsessed with knitting and was looking for new inspiration and creative outlets. It led to me starting this blog – a fresh start and a place to record my explorations of new crafts and interests.

As time has passed the types of blogs I’ve been reading have changed to reflect that exploration. So I thought I’d stop and write about this, because when the list in the sidebar changes, a copy of the old arrangement doesn’t remain on old blog entries. Not that I want to record this in detail. Just to note the general trends.

When I started out, most of the blogs in the sidebar were knitting and weaving blogs that didn’t come up under the ‘friends’ list in Ravelry. (I still read knitting blogs in Ravelry, because it’s a more efficient system.) A lot of those bloggers weren’t posting much since Rav came along, so I removed them from the list. It also turned out that many of the weavers who blog tend to do complicated work that takes a long time, so their posts were either too technical or a long time in coming, or both. I’d decided I didn’t want to do complex weaving yet, so I culled some of those, too.

Then I added the blogs of two friends: Konstant Kaos and Pivotal Xpressions. Exploring the blogs that they listed introduced me to a whole new world of craft. The kind that involved simple, sweet little creations you could whip up in an afternoon. That really appealed. I reckon knitting caught my interest partly because my job involves working hard for a year or so before the satisfaction of finishing, and knitting gets me that satisfaction a lot quicker. Now perhaps the appeal of these quick crafts was I could get a hit of finishing satisfaction even faster.

So a lot of crafty blogs and a couple of magazines got added. But then something strange and annoying kept happening. It seemed every time I found a vibrant, often-updated blog, within a few weeks the blogger decided they’d had enough and stopped blogging.

However, I found I really liked blogs and sites about recycling and reusing stuff. Especially the sort of stuff I’ve had hanging around for years: paper and art materials. And that led me to bookbinding. Okay, I’d already had a go at this, but badly and in a simple form. I started buying books on bookbinding. I did a class. I started adding bookbinders’ blogs to my sidebar. Some of these bookbinders produce art, or art books…

At the same time as all this, I’ve slowly been gravitating back to art. I’ve been struggling with this for a few years now. Usually I get inspired to do a certain kind of art, and it occupies me for a couple of years until something else catches my interest. But for a couple of reasons I stopped painting a few years back, and since then nothing has caught my interest. All I know is I don’t want to do the sort of art I used to do.

Then I found the An Illustrated Life podcast and book, and decided that sketching would be a way to incorporate a little art into my life. This is now complimented by the bookbinding – I can make my own sketchbooks! So recently I went looking for artist blogs, particularly those who keep sketchbooks, and found plenty to inspire me. (I’m just waiting for half of them to decide they’ve had enough and stop blogging.)

So that’s where my blog explorations have taken me over the last nine months. I now read blogs about knitting, weaving, tapestry weaving, painting, dyeing, jewellery making, paper craft, sewing, home decorating, design, recycling, bookbinding, photography and sketching. It certainly makes for interesting and inspiring reading!