Sunday 11 March 2012

My Blog, Brighton Craftaganza and Me

I feel that I've been forced to neglect this little blog of mine a bit in recent months, and the sewing/blogging community in general, which massively pisses me off. I really love this blog: the ability it provides me to express myself and explore the things that are most important and interesting to me, and how I can communicate and interact with all you wonderful individuals who make this community so supportive and truly special. So don't be thinking that I've gone a bit quiet or unfocused for lack of interest, quite the opposite. The list of things I want to explore, discuss and share has never been bigger and it grows by the day.

There's a back-log of garments I've made that I wish to show you, and the latest developments on my wedding dress design and other sewing project updates. I have more tutorials and how-to's up my sleeve, plus some tips and tricks that I use at work that I'd like to share in the hope that they will help a sister out. I've also be developing and grading sewing patterns to share for free with y'all, but you're going to have to exercise some patience with that endeavour. Plus, I couldn't be more excited about the forthcoming Me-Made-May '12 if I tried! I've really missed that ever-evolving community of inspirational people since the last challenge in September, and CANNOT WAIT to see who's up for challenging themselves in less than two months time. AND there's the awesome OWOP! project which starts in less than two weeks time, on the very day in fact that is shared by the reason for my recent lack of attention: the Spring Brighton Craftaganza.

One of my 2012 New Year's Resolutions was to:

'Make the three Brighton Craftaganza events that are scheduled for 2012 better than the two events held in 2011. Improve the Craftaganza blog to make it more useful and enjoyable for crafters/designer-makers and provide more opportunities for sellers and local creative people to meet and get to know each other, online and in the flesh'.

I explained further in the post about last December's event some of the ways in which I planned to make those improvements and achieve those aims, and since I'm now solely responsible for its success, I've invested more time, energy and effort than is probably realistically advisable into it.

Which is not to say I've been tackling this alone. I've got a clutch of incredible volunteers. I met Kathryn IRL at the Brighton De-Stash Meet-Up and she told me she had some spare time on her hands and was happy to give me a hand with Craftaganza. She helped me update the Craftaganza blog by creating a list of sellers who will be at the March 24th event, as well as writing me a killer press release to publicise the event and found me some key people and organisations to send it to. Kate Butler, a Brighton-based jewellery designer and seller at the event, also used her local know-how and freelance-worker-enabled spare time to hunt down more promotional targets. My best mate Vic aided me in getting my head around twitter and did some further promotional donkey work for me. Patty (the soon-to-be Mr So Zo) helped me design the poster which included an awesome illustration by my ex-university flatmate Jennie. Patty also picked up more batches of promotional material from the printers than was strictly necessary, if only I'd stopped repeatedly under-estimating how many posters and flyers I would actually need to thoroughly coat this city. The irrepressible Rehanon has helped me hot-foot it across town, dispensing flyers and posters in locations that aren't covered by the poster distribution service I have paid for. There are surely others who have already provided invaluable assistance, and yet more lovely peops that will be there, armed and ready, on the day itself.

'So, with all this help, Zo, why have you been feeling so overwhelmed?,' you may ask. Well, it's all a bit of an experiment really, but I need to see what I can achieve with this whole Craftaganza thing if I give it my absolute all. For example, I decided to publish a post on the Brighton Craftaganza blog every single day, plus update the Brighton Craftaganza facebook page and get busy on twitter, from the beginning of March until the event itself. Most of those posts have been in the form of often-illuminating interviews with the local designer-makers who will be selling at the event. The 'Meet the Seller' interviews have been interspersed with some wonderful 'Product Highlight' posts arranged and written by the ever-helpful Kathryn, which focus on specific items that can be purchased on the day. I have also been trying to be as open, helpful and professional about all communication with sellers, potential sellers and everyone else, generally be on point with everything as well as starting to plan the Summer event which will be in early June.

I'll conclude these self-indulgent witterings by saying that it actually probably wouldn't be all that much work if I didn't have a full-time job, other projects (like P&C, Hem-isphere Project, MMM'12 blah blah) to devote time and brain-space to, a wedding to plan, a life etc etc. Plus no-one is making me do this, of course. However, I did want to explain what's up, because sharing what I'm involved in is the point of this blog, afterall. Thank you for your time, please come to the event if you can!


Unknown said...

Kudos hun for all that you are taking on, and for the thorough and comitted manner in which you are doing it all! Success is the only possible outcome! Funny how everything seems to happen at once! Enjoy the ride though! You'll probably look back at this year and go "Phew! How on earth did I manage to fit all that in?!" But you will :)

Tilly said...

Zoe, you are a force of nature with all your super exciting projects and inspiring energy. Your blog is wonderful but it's totally understandable that sometimes other projects take precedence. Plunge your energy into your current priorities and get back to the blog when you feel like it.

Oh and don't forget to look after yourself, not just your projects. I think we are similar in that we both like taking on lots of things and sometimes I find it all gets a bit much for me. It's important to take a break sometimes - or as my mum would say, "Have a nice bubbly bath". xx

Hanna said...

To be honest, I hadn't even noticed your "not being here" so often. From what I can understand you have a lot on your plate and I think this Craftaganza will be totally awesome and surely a huge success. All the best!

Kathryn said...

Dude I am amazed at how much you do!! Don't worry at all about not posting here. You are a one-woman powerhouse! I second Tilly about making sure you look after yourself as well x

Phil said...

When I read your latest post I thought you have got more than enough on your plate for one person! We can catch up with your other doings when you have time. Good luck with your Craftganza, I am sure it will be fab! Shame I live so far away but I will be with you in spirit. (P.S. Maybe you should add 'take a holiday' to your to do list!!)

Unknown said...

I'm the last one to judge on being blogger absent, and I don't have the excuse of as much on my plate as you! You're involved in such an impressive array of projects that I'm surprised you have time for anything at all! Blog when you can, we'll still be here x

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