Welcome to my very first blog post!

Aspiring Photography by Carole Cardinal


Cardinal Sewing Nest very first blog post

Why am I starting a sewing and DIY blog of my own?

After all we are now reading articles stating that the Millennial’s cannot sew and have stopped practicing this ancient skill (?!!). I also read that people are now born into houses that do not have a sewing machine for the past two generations. A phenomenon that I have also witnessed among my own family and friends.

On the other hand, we are also reading encouraging articles saying that sewing is revived, that home sewing is a growing trend and that the crafts industry is enjoying a resurgence.

In recent years, I have noticed increasing interests from my surroundings towards my crafting skills. When I wear garments that I have altered, embellished, refashioned, or tailored (that I skillfully strut around with some matching jewelry also handmade by myself) I have many people surprised by how skilled I am, and yes, my spouse, close relatives and coworkers DO count as many people!!

I understand that people are amazed that yards of fabrics and supplies they see in stores can be transformed into wearable, non-homemade looking items. Friends of all ages have asked me to teach them how create similar items for themselves.

Cardinal Sewing Nest very first blog post

Which brings me to tell you the reasons why I want to start a sewing and DIY blog, in part because I love sewing and enjoy artisting in general. (If you wish to know more about my sewing journey). I would like to contribute to the current sewing/crafting renaissance frenzy and for that reason I believe that with a blog I will reach a wider audience as I do not have the time to teach family and friends on a, one on one basis because my own crafting To Do pile is sky high.

I am passionate about the creation process. It is a continuous joyous quest in my life. It is usually initiated by some visuals or a sensation that gets my attention and gets my imagination going.

I always have a sketchbook in my purse that I then quickly grab. If not, a dirty napkin using any lip pencil will always do. I essentially write down my flashes with a minimal sketch to illustrate my notes. I draw arrows to connect the words to the drawing… I cannot understand my sketches if I don’t include arrows. Don’t ask me why!! Those initial outlines are drafted very quickly, I just want to retain the feeling and the vibe that strikes me.

Cardinal Sewing Nest very first blog post

One idea brings me to other ideas and I day dream and conceptualize until the project is exciting to me. Appealing isn’t enough, I must feel absolutely thrilled about executing the project. Otherwise I do not invest time or effort on it.

How do I know what I want?

When I reach my point of certitude. Let me explain. At first these visual inspirations are still malleable.  For example, no sewing projects are final before I ransack my stash’s and my wardrobe, looking for fabrics, textures, sewing ornaments; any trinkets that appeal to me and could be suitable for the project.

Cardinal Sewing Nest very first blog post

For all art projects, I proceed the same way; I chose or shop for the needed supply that I then display for a few days before committing to a final decision. For instance, if I’m doing a stained-glass panel, I will display glass sheets around the windows of the house to look at them and ensure that I am pleased with the color combinations. If it’s a sewing project I will leave my sketch or the pattern, and the supplies around me for a few days. During those days, I do my internal “product testing” .

Cardinal Sewing Nest very first blog post

My rules are simple

if it is a non-expensive project like needing a black skirt for the next day or if I have a plan to refashion a thrifted jacket, I can do it in a snap without over thinking it. But the more expensive and time consuming the enterprise is, the more I juggle the options and the feasibility. And, this is usually when sleepless nights follow, exciting subjects and mental gymnastic keep me awake…

Before starting a project, I need to have reached my point of certainty. I cannot explain how I arrive at that feeling of total certitude that the design is complete.  I just know that I have reached the state that I estimate that the piece couldn’t get any better and that no improvement is needed. But I know that it is finished because I feel elevated, awakened, and I feel immensely content. Once I have reached that state, I immediately stop obsessing about what I need to change to improve/perfect my idea, and then start taking actions towards creating the item.

Once I reach that level of conviction, I also do not bother about the opinion others might have about my design. I have arrived at my point of absolute certitude, I am confident, and it is final.  I am Zen and at one with my future project.  Well, sometimes I end up keeping my completed art pieces stored away in the “no-one- loves- me” corner. Like this stained-glass piece below, titled “My wish 4 U”, even when offered for free I found no takers!

Stained glass with recycled dishware handmade by Carole Cardinal

I know that everyone is not going to appreciate my artistic views, and that is OK, because I know how to deal with it.

Don't sweat the small stuff CardinalSewingNest.com

That mark of certainty is also my Achilles heel. For me, that sentiment of content and plenitude is relatively more satisfying than doing the actual work of bringing the conception to life. My elation comes from the quest for new ideas, my reward is that jolt of awakening I get when I reached my point of certainty. My numbing drug is brainstorming and my best state is when my brain is totally scattered… Yes, when confined inside my mind, I live a wonderful life!

How about you?

How do you brainstorm your ideas and how do you arrive to your conclusions? Do you get a feeling of certainty? I am curious to know how you go about your own creative process. Write to tell me!

Enchanté de faire votre connaissance!

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