Sappiness. Bear with me.

June 20, 2008 at 11:26 am 14 comments

This is a slightly different type of post for me to write, but it’s important enough to me to get these thoughts out, so here goes.

Two very special anniversaries have crept up on me. Anniversaries of two events that completely altered my life for the better.

Today is the one-year anniversary of this blog. A year ago today, I sat at my computer and wrote my very first post. No pictures. No frills. No readers! 

I had no idea that anyone other than my mother would ever visit. I had no idea that starting a blog would bring crafts and sewing — and even photography — back into my life in such a huge way. And I had no idea that having those things back in my life would affect me so much.

It’s hard to put into words what starting this blog has done for me. I’ve “met” an amazing community of fellow crafty bloggers who encourage each other to improve and push our creativity to the next level. A community of folks who give advice and shell out compliments without expecting anything in return. It’s a comfortable and comforting and simply wonderful place to be.

Because of the encouragement of some of my blogger pals (and very strong encouragement from Alex), I opened up an Etsy shop. Before starting this blog, I hadn’t really considered selling my stuff. I used to sell patchy purses made out of corduroy pants that I found in thrift stores in college. But the quality of those pieces never really mattered. Hell, I don’t even think I measured anything. Measuring was such a waste of time. I would just cut and then hope for the best.

Here I am selling my wares at a Phish show about 10 years ago. The girl behind me in the blue dress is modeling one of my bags.

phish show

It was a completely different game back then. You think anyone at the Phish show was worried about quality and straight seams? You think they even remembered buying the bag three hours later? Hardly. But the Etsy shop has pushed me to create better, more professional pieces that I never would have attempted 10 years ago. Or even one year ago.

This has been a wonderful journey and the perfect creative outlet and has brought a fulfillment to my life that I don’t think I even realized was missing.

And in another fit of pure sappiness…two years ago this upcoming Monday, I met the man of my dreams on a very hot, sticky night in Fernandina Beach. Alex and I talked all night at the Green Turtle over beers long after our other friends had left. What completely bowled me over about him (other than his gorgeous eyes) was how often he turned the conversation back around to me.

He asked me questions about myself, my friends, my job, my family, my likes, my dislikes. He did a fair share of talking, too, but he never dominated the conversation. Not once did I subtly roll my eyes or wish I were elsewhere. That night, we agreed to see each other again, and the rest is history.

Karyn and Alex

There are about a million reasons why I love him dearly and why he’s the best thing to ever happen to me, but only one I’ll mention here: Alex has been my number one Fat Orange Cat supporter since day one. After working a 12-hour day on his feet, he comes home to find me sewing and immediately asks what I’ve been working on. He sees, touches, comments on everything I create. He offers suggestions. He tells me which fabric he likes better. He tells me to buy more fabric when I complain I’m running low. He moved his computer out of the bedroom so that I could set up a permanent cutting table. He takes pictures of me modeling my bags even though I’m completely obnoxious and controlling and usually tell him he’s doing it all wrong.

I know I’m lucky to have the most important person in my life wholly support me like that.

So, Alex, here’s to two amazing years and 100 more! I love you!


Entry filed under: Family/friends, Things and stuff.

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carla  |  June 20, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  • 2. alex  |  June 20, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Happy 1 Year Anniversary! It has been such a joy to see what next you create out of fabric and share with others through this blog and Etsy, as they do with you. Simply browsing through other linked blogs, pictures, and shops makes me realize something really special is happening here, elevating what you and your fellow crafters do into art. I’m of course privileged enough to live in FOC central, and get to see what you come up with next before anyone else. I’ve watched you grow and take chances with FOC. I’ve seen your beautiful creations find a home on someone’s shoulder, on a couch, or in a kitchen, and a few that just didn’t turn out the way you meant. The point is that you grow and advance with every new creation and mistake; may you never run out of ideas, and with your trusty sewing machine by your side, always create from the heart, where the possibilities have no boundaries and you’re limited only by thread and fabric.
    Happy (almost) 2 Year Anniversary!! I love you. Oh, and meow.

  • 3. flappergirlcreations  |  June 20, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Happy Anniversaries! 🙂

  • 4. Sandra :)  |  June 20, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Happy Anniversary!!

  • 5. Kathi D  |  June 20, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Congratulations twice!

    Love the Phish photo!

  • 6. Betty  |  June 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Happy double anniversary! I am completely the same way to my boyfriend when i am having him take the photos. Always telling him- no you are too high, no too far, no too close, no your not doing this or that. I am spoiled rotten too. (in a good way of course!)

  • 7. Allison Fouse  |  June 20, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Sounds like a great guy! Happy anniversaries!

  • 8. jodz  |  June 21, 2008 at 4:15 am

    Happy aniversaries!!!! and many more.

  • 9. Chellie  |  June 21, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Happy anniversaries! That picture of you at the Phish show is priceless!!

  • 10. Jenaveve  |  June 22, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Congratulations on both events!! It’s great to read how things have changed over the years for people, particularly how blogging has affected daily life and creativity.

    We should all do a shout out to anyone who has encouraged us and given us the freedom to just live creatively. Especially the wonderful people we live with.

    Happy anniversary!!

  • 11. dana wyzard  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:40 am

    How I loved reading about the love of your life. I married mine late in life. I was 50! I had adored him from a distance, so I knew what he was like. No surprises. Except that after we married we learned more where the day to day, dull, humdrum life is concerned and I can only say it gets better when it’s the right person. I can’t believe how involved he gets when I”m choosing something as menial as a new tablecloth, or when I’m making up my mind between a tall salt shaker or a short one!! he he

    I hate to sound so dumb at this age, (58) but what is a ETSY shop? Don’t know what it is, but I want one too!!

  • 12. dana wyzard  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

    hmmm. My current age didn’t appear (that darn smiley face is so smug) and I didn’t want ya’ll to think I was hedging on my age. it is FIFTY-EIGHT.

  • 13. Goosie Girl  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    I love this post. I love the picture of you 10 years ago selling your bags. And I think it’s so awesome that your #1 Fat Orange Cat Supporter takes such an interest in your work! Happy Anniversaries.

  • 14. kalki  |  June 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Beautiful post. Alex is awesome.

    Happy Anniversaries!


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Fat Orange Cat is a site about finding the beauty in all things homemade, appreciating the secret story of dusty vintage pieces, and realizing there is nothing cozier than curling up under an old quilt with a glass of wine. ::: If you feel inspired, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you! ::: Email me at karynjeanne12(at)gmail(dot)com.

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