Friday, August 24, 2012

800 is the number of the day!

According to Blogger this is my 800th blog post! CRAZY! So I thought I'd take a moment to share some info and ask my readers some questions, so please make it to the end. ;)
I've made this announcement in some different venues, but haven't really declared it publicly yet: I am going to be working at our church's preschool as Dashiell attends. While it would be more fun to drop him off and come home to sew, staying and working is really the most practical decision for our family. I made the same decision five years ago when Annaliese started preschool, too. I enjoy working with the staff and being near my preschooler.

So for the 2012-13 school year I will not accept orders from the public. If a request comes from someone I don't know, my answer will automatically be NO. And I'm going to be limited/choosy about what I do say yes to from my dear friends and past customers. Please feel free to ask, but also don't be offended or surprised if I say no. :)

In conjunction with this I'm also scaling back my online presence. I LOVE the online embroidery community. Even though I'm not active there any longer, I am so grateful for Sew Forum and all the wonderful women that helped me out when I first got started. I was introduced to my favorite digitizers, downloaded lots of free designs to start my stash, received tips and inspiration from so many people... Honestly there are very few original ideas here on my blog. In recent years I've been an active participant in several groups/pages/forums which I have loved. BUT I have to take a break. As I reflect back on my spring/summer I had too much on my plate and wasn't as good of a mommy as I should have been... my mind was always somewhere else. I'm facing the fact that at the moment I have a self-control issue.

A majority of it is because I genuinely enjoy helping others. I can't repay the God-given talents I inherited from my mom, nor the generosity of my mother-in-law, nor all the help/inspiration I received from strangers at the beginning, so I choose to pay it forward. I love sharing tips and promoting the digitizers who make my projects possible.

But if I'm honest with myself... part of it is my pride, too. I like being the one who can identify the unknown font first, or point you to the perfect applique design for your project. I have caught myself telling my kids to wait a second while I look something up to answer a posted question. Or I'll check in via my phone while I'm supposed to be playing superheroes, etc. It finally dawned on me one day, no -- her embroidery project is NOT more important to me than this perceived immediate need of my child. My kids are my priority, not a bunch of women I've never met. Well, DUH! That sounds so obvious when I type it out. But I found it quite easy to slip into volunteer roles (which I really enjoy) that overtake my free time and more.

So I have left all forums and groups except one. I mean, I need at least ONE outlet and connection to the applique world. But I'm setting some boundaries for myself -- I won't be popping in as frequently as before.

I will still be working closely with a few digitizers -- those relationships are SO important to me, and they are my longest-standing commitments. I won't back away from those roles unless I have to pack up my machines for good!

Have no fear, I'm not giving up my blog! I acknowledge that it's been pretty neglected in 2012 and probably will continue to be so for a while... there will be fewer projects to show off! But it has been with me from the beginning. I do still consider it my online scrapbook and I want to continue documenting every project.

Whew, are you still with me? I guess I had a lot to get off my chest. :) Now for my questions!!

800 is the number of the day not only because it's my 800th blog post, but because very recently I also surpassed 800 fans on my Facebook page. That is crazy to me, as well!
  • I want to know who you are! Who is reading my blog? Are you a friend or family member that simply enjoys looking at my projects? Are you a customer that I don't know personally? Are you a gift recipient of an item Stitched by Janay? Are you a fellow embroiderer? Are you a digitizer? If you wouldn't mind, please leave a comment! I get lots of blog hits a day, but not a lot of interaction, so I'm curious who is actually reading.
  • How did you find me? Why did you come back? And what do you want to see more of? Just pretty pictures and less words? ;) More tutorials and how-to's? If so, what specifically? I'm making no promises of course, but I'll keep your suggestions in mind.
Thanks for being with me! Here's to another 800 posts!

18 comments on "800 is the number of the day!"

Lyn on August 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM said...

Hi Janay My name is Lyn Gledhill and I have been sewing all my life it seems. Started embroidering about six years ago. I am a grandmother to one grandson who is two and love to make him shirts and lots of other goodies. I sell locally to customers, mostly through word of mouth and usually do about four or five Fall/Christmas craft sales. Hope you keep up some blogging. Love your tutorials and lots of pictures and ideas. Will miss seeing you on Facebook.

Janay on August 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM said...

Lyn, you applique name pillows are awesome! I love seeing each one you post on 8CP's and FSF's facebook pages!
I'll still be hanging out on Applique This and That Too, so I'll be around. :)

DarylandRebecca on August 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM said...

HI Janay, it's just me :) You know me, I was just reading out of curiosity = I love your sewing, but I love you and your kids even more and am proud of you for making these decisons, as tough as I know they are. Rebecca

sc on August 24, 2012 at 3:19 PM said...

Hi Janay. My name is Shane Chaney and I enjoy following your blog. I have been a fabric store owner, sewing machine dealer, and sewing teacher. I've made heirloom christening gowns for over 20 years and custom, personalized flip flops for 6+. I have an online business - Flip Flops for All - and facebook page. I do monogramming and machine embroidery for people and love all your ideas - I do a lot of baby gifts. I do very simple digitizing and recognize it is a true art and mostly leave it to professionals! Thank you for all your helpful hints and you do what you have to do - we will all understand!

Christine - Party of Five on August 24, 2012 at 3:21 PM said...

Hi Janay,
I love your blog (I think I heard about it on AT&T2), and I appreciate your honestly in your good and bad "applique" days:)Seeing the ways you have fixed your goofs with a good attitude has made me not so hard on my perfectionist self!! I also want to applaud you for your decision for the good of your family. God will bless you and you will never regret it!
Christine Howard Henry

dianecrane on August 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM said...

Hi, Janay! I "met" you on Applique Forum, and I always love your projects and your encouraging words. I wish you only the best as you go back to the world of preschool. :)

Diane Crane

LondonStitches on August 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM said...

Janay, I have been struggling with the same issues! Finding a balance is not easy, kudos to you for realizing where you really need to be! I'm so glad I'll still be able to "see" you around the LP group :0)
Good luck and best wishes!

Emily M on August 24, 2012 at 5:05 PM said...

I'm Emily - a fellow embroiderer (just for my grandkids!)

I'm not sure how I found you (maybe the Embird yahoo group) but I've gotten lots of good tips and tutorials from your blog - also I love seeing your stitchouts from some of our mutual favorite digitizers!

jazzo on August 24, 2012 at 10:42 PM said...

Janay, I first met you on SF, then on AF. I have been following your blog forever and you are one of my fave bookmarks. I love how generous you are and you really do pay it forward. You are my inspiration to the wonderful world of machine embroidery. I will continue to follow your blog. Thank you so much for everything you did and still do. Kudos to you for setting your priorities to family first. I know how hard that decision must have been for you. Thanks again!

Tracy on August 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM said...

It's me! Tracy Reavis and I love reading your blog!

Tracy on August 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM said...


Tracy on August 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM said...

It's me, Tracy Reavis! Love the blog!

Becky Hubbell on August 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM said...

Hi Janay! It's Becky H. from the AT&T2 group! I was just telling you how much I enjoy your blog! I've been a sewer for 30+ years, managed fabric stores, and have now been machine embroidering since November 2011 and LOVE it! I have an Etsy shop and make items for use on cruise ships, shirts, onesies, and miscellaneous other items! Basically, if I think I can embroider on it, I'll give it a shot!

Your tips, techniques and positive attitude have been such a blessing and I will continue reading your blog! However,I believe you have made some great decisions and realizations and you and your family will all benefit from your new direction and focus! Sometimes, the self analysis and awareness of your family's needs is harder than anything, but I can certainly relate to your circumstances. I am a single Mom and, even though my daughter is grown and married now, I clearly remember making personal sacrifices and decisions based on what would best meet her needs!

See you on AT&T2 soon!

Kimberly on August 25, 2012 at 2:40 PM said...

Hi Janay! I'm Kimberly - you've helped me out a few times with your words of embroidery wisdom! :) I love seeing your work posted in facebook groups. I have also enjoyed reading your blog updates regularly this summer and will miss them! I applaud your decision - I actually made the same decision! I worked in a preschool with all 3 of my older children and finally decided to stay home with #4. We just started a preschool at our church and so the "baby" and I go a few morning a week. It's the next best thing to being a stay at home mom! (and there's always nap time - fingers crossed!) If you have a burning desire to make another pencil pouch, I'll gladly volunteer as the guinea pig recipient! lol :) Good luck with your new adventure and please do keep us updated as much as you can! (I'm going to have to dig back in the Stitched by Janay archives! :)

Sabrina on August 25, 2012 at 7:39 PM said...

Hi Janay it's Sabrina! I really love your blog:) Thanks for all the information in this post. It can be difficult when our priorities seem to slip, but I already know you are a great mama who is striving to be even more wonderful!

Shannon on August 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM said...

Hi Janay! It's Shannon from AF and AT&T2. I love your blog and it has helped me avoid many mistakes. I am glad you will continue posting. I wish you the very best in your transition to finding more life balance! God bless you!

Anonymous said...


I absolutely love your blog! I don't remember where I "met" you, but through Facebook groups or digitizers. I completely understand your need to do what you are doing. I was a SAHM for the first 6 years of my children's schooling and then I had to return to the work force, something I did not want to do at all but was forced to do due to life circumstances. I have only been embroidering/appliqueing for 2 years and I have received a lot of great information from you. Thank you so much for all the help you've given me!


Tiffany on September 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM said...

Hi, Janay! You know me from church, obviously. And since I don't get to see you every week anymore since we moved away, I always seem to forget about your blog until you post somehting abot it on Facebook and then I go back andget to catch up on a bunch of projects all at once. I love everything you do--including the parenting decisions you make. Enjoy this next year with reduced stressed and increased mommy-time!





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