When Toni asked me to become a part of the Craft Hackers blogging crew, I was ecstatic, then paralyzed by fear. I knew I would need to write a post just like this, and I’ve been struggling with the question of how do I define myself for the past year.
A couple of months ago as friends were admiring one of my recent finished projects one of them asked “So how do you define yourself? Are you a quilter? Crafter?” I didn’t have a good answer for him then, and I still don’t have an easy answer now. I do quilt, but I don’t call myself a quilter. I embroider and cross stitch, but am I really a stitcher? I make costumes, but am I a “real” cosplayer?
There are many other labels I have used to describe myself and my crafting side: textile enthusiast, costumer, creative junkie. I’ve even debated the name of my blog, worried that the inference of nakedness will drive people away. In the end it has stayed Without A Stitch On, as I share more than just the crafting I do, but my insecurities and bare thoughts that come with them.
One of the things I am for certain, though, is a PhD student. In my journey to this place in my career I’ve come to realise how scarily little one can know before you are an “expert” in something. I’ve never felt like I deserved to be called an expert in anything, although others seem to disagree with me on that. I’ve always felt if I was to attach a label to myself then I need to have a certain level of competence or passion for what that label entails. I become desperately scared that by using a label I will imply that I know more than I do and be found out for the fraud I sometimes feel, for I know the extent of my ignorance, and it is vast.
To date, I think the best definition I have created to the “who am I?” question lies in my Twitter description which reads: “Crafter, sewista, wannabe cosplayer. Sharing my journey, techniques, and insecurities.” Twitter’s characters limits have a way of forcing you to distill your words into their very essence, and after quite some time that description is still the one I return to.
Why does my crafting identity matter to you, dear readers? Because how I define myself as a craft blogger will be different from many others and at least some of the posts that come from me will probably be different from those you are used to seeing from other Craft Hackers bloggers.
The other thing that may be of note is that I live across the pond from the rest of the Craft Hacker blogging team in Dublin, Ireland. While I grew up in the US, Ireland has been my home now for almost 15 years so my perspective, local craft scene, and worldview will be slightly different. This means that those artists that I choose to highlight and the conventions I attend will likely be international comparatively speaking.
So what can you expect from your weekly WASO Wednesday blog post from me? Likely there will be some quilting, embroidery, cosplay, sewing, cross stitch, and I might even resurrect the odd knitting project. I will tell you what I learn, what I find, how I’ve screwed up, and hopefully how it all got fixed.
Possibly more importantly you’ll find my posts may have a reflective tone as I continue to explore these questions of who I am, what it means to be a crafter, and what it means to be a Craft Hacker. If you want more from me, you’ll also find me on my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Here’s to new beginnings and this new journey.