Saturday, October 1, 2011

True Confessions

I do my best to create certain illusions about Robin Denning, and blogging is a great way to create an idealized persona.  In case you haven't see through to the real me, I have a few confessions on these illusions:

  1. Robin is computer savvy.
  2. Robin a good mother.
  3. Robin is good at sewing, dating back to childhood.
  4. Robin has millions of ideas that flow like Niagara Falls, and energy to see them through.
October 1, 2011: emptyness
Let's start with #4-Niagara Falls so I can confess the truth.  My last blog post was at least a week ago. I looked inside my little brain for ideas and, people, I found nothing!  

It is easy to explain the empty brain I am experiencing - Laura came home.  Getting to know the 2011 version of her seems to be crowding out my obsession with sewing.

She is great, and we have a great relationship, but I can't say it's because I am #2-A Good Mother.  I made all the mistakes people moan about "parents these days".  From 1990-2004, I was a divorcee raising a child while ambitiously pursuing a career.  I confess, I wanted her to like me and, I set very few boundaries.  I confess, I treated her more like a friend than a child.  Yep, I confess that we were more like Thelma and Louise than parent & child.  It was OK with me that she went to the other side of the world after college and it was fine that she hasn't been home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or her birthday for most of the last 5 years.  After all, adventure is awesome.  I was all for it.  Other parents seemed to feel sorry for me, that I must miss her terribly, but I saw it as a chance to visit Europe and Asia with the her to be my tour guide.  We had Skype and we never grew apart.

This geographical distance between myself and Laura brings me to #1-Computer savvy.  I confess I set up my blog by accident.  Laura was in Germany in 2008 and she created a blog to share her adventures.  The first time I commented on her blog, I followed the prompts to create my own account.  Oops - look at that - I had just set up a blog.  I quickly realized that I could post my own photos and narratives of life at home without my little accomplice  daughter.  It may have looked like a sewing blog, but that was just a cover-up for my desperate  desire to post about life at home for a certain family member to read.  I won't bore you with how she banned me from commenting on her blog at one point (apparently it is not cool for mom use that avenue to proclaim pride in daughter's every little activity) or how shocked I was the first time someone commented on my blog about my sewing. That was, um, a little weird.

This brings me around to how and why I got so focused on sewing, #3 Good at Sewing.  I really wasn't that good at sewing.   I had sewn since childhood, and enjoyed it a great deal, but sewing certainly wasn't so central to my life back then.  Oh yeah I thought I was pretty good, but once I saw the work of others in the online sewing community, I had some catching up to do.  I practiced A LOT and the rest is chronicled in the 419 posts prior to this one.

In conclusion, I hope this doesn't shock you too much.  
Just kidding, you probably already knew my dark secrets.

I have every confidence that ideas will return and sewing will continue, but posting may be light for a while.  She has found a job and new digs are soon to follow.  But for the first time in many years, Thelma can spend the holidays with Louise and a new normal is unfolding for our family.

Thank you for reading and thank you for following.  You all have become an important part of my life. You helped me through a challenging time.  Final confession: it was a wee little bit hard to live on opposite sides of the globe from my child for 4 out of the last 5 years.
But, I think everything is going to be [more than] OK.

Happy Sewing, cyber friends!


  1. Great post. Take your time with Laura now, you know we will be here when you get back in whatever version is comfortable for you. Life has stages most of them with challenges.

  2. everything there is a season, at time for every purpose....

  3. As long as we are aware of our imperfections we are headed in the right direction. Right?
    You sound like me when it comes to sewing. I have sewn since I was 5. I thought I was good- until I looked at others on the internet. Now I'm working to improve and catch up. It is nice to see that it can be done. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Great post, a bit melancholic, and Bunny's comment is so appropriate

  5. Enjoy having your daughter home. There is always time for sewing. I was close with my mom, and she, like you with your daughter, encouraged me to leave the nest, to be independent, to forge my own life. In my eyes, number 2 is not a myth. It takes much more strength and confidence as a mom to support and celebrate our children's independence.

  6. Don't waste your time blogging for us when a precious child is home! We'll wait for you:-)
    My mom encouraged adventure. I now live in the UK by way of Rotterdam by way of Abidjan. As we both get older, I hate the fact that she is completely on her own. It's nearly impossible for me to change the situation now. I just have to appreciate email and the fact that long distance calls are practically free these days.

  7. Okay well everyone else is being nice and telling you to spend time with your daughter but hey what about us!?! I'm going to miss your posts, what you're sewing, what you're buying. And I'm a firm believer in time management - in that plan I (okay we) get some time too!

    So right here and now I'm demanding some equal time...okay not demanding...more like pleading...okay, okay...begging for some equal time.

    *sigh* alright go spend time with your daughter I will be right here waiting...*sigh*

  8. A great post, Robin. And I LOVE the picture you made!!! LOL

    I appreciate this because I am going through a similar (but entirely different) transition. I keep telling myself everything is fine, but I also fight being sad or dwelling on it. My response has been to blog (gee) and work on developing my own life/interests.

    Don't worry - if you take some time, I promise not to unsubscribe. ;)

  9. You sew very well and I enjoy reading your blog.

    One thing: Women who sew in factories are "seamstresses." It is not a flattering term. Yet I see it used all the time by home sewers.

    It is sexist and dated and not in my opinion deserving of reappropriation.

  10. What a great way to tell us that you're too busy to blog cuz you're having fun with your family! You take time and live your life. We'll be reading when you have time...

  11. I worked in a garment factory, a huge union garment factory and the women who sewed the garments were never ever called seamstresses. They were called stitchers by their own mouths, their co workers, their bosses and the unions. Are we in different countries? I have never found the word seamstress to be sexist.

  12. See how nice you all are? I love you! Look, even the "negative" comment about the use of the word "seamstress" was prefaced by a compliment!

    Carolyn, you crack me up! I will be sewing just as soon my sewing rooms recover. I had been using DD's old bedroom furniture for sewing storage. She wanted it back, so I dumped all my stuff out. yikes.

    As far as what to call ourselves, I am totally OK with the word seamstress because the word sewer looks like the big pipes that take away sewage waste. I don't think it degrades a woman to be called an actress vs. actor, so to me it is not negative at all. Since so many of us call ourselves seamstresses, doesn't our usage count in terms of defining the term?

    I also like sewist and dressmaker, and the word stitcher has a nice sound, too.

  13. HI :) LOVE your blog :) If you need to take some time to 're-group'...DO that :) Sometimes we ALL need to do that :) You have been a great parent. Your daughter seems to be a mature, responsible young woman.

    I AM a self-employed, PROFESSIONAL SEAMSTRESS. I do not find the term degrading at all :) I agree with you...SEWERS are pipes and water and...AHEM :(

    If people are sewing and being creative, I don't think it matters what they CALL themselves :) Call us...'NEEDLE AND THREADERS'.... :) Just keep sewing :) Good luck from Cheryl :)

  14. Couldn't have phrased it better than Bonny.

    Just keep on being your own cheerful, happy, authentic self - as you always are - and we'll keep loving you for it!

  15. I know what you mean about getting to know the latest version of your daughter. Mine left home straight out of high school to go to Israel, then came home to go to university in another Australian city. This is perhaps the norm in the US but very unusual in Australia. I miss her a lot and when she came home to visit last week, I felt like I didn't know the independent, clever, opinionated young woman that arrived on the door step.

  16. Ahhhh, your post touched something in me. I too raised children alone after a divorce and was a little loose with my discipline (very common with single parents). Now they are grown and I LOOOVVVE them so much. I love any time I can spend with them and enjoy them so much as adults. They turned out to be very nice people. I've even had some sewing days with my adult daughter, making things she wanted for her home: stockings, Christmas tree skirt, aprons, etc. I loved it! I understand feeling melochany for missing so much of their childhood (did I detect that a bit?). I am so happy that your daughter is with you again, maybe you can do some sewing with/for her. It will be doubly satisfying!

  17. Thank you for sharing yourself. I too was a single parent after a divorce in 1975. It was interesting to learn how your blog began and the details of your life with your daughter. Parenting always has its challenges and life is a complicated mystery. Looking forward to following you into your next chapter.

  18. Robin, I very much "get it". DD was not across the world, but a 6 hour drive, often times through a snowbound pass. We tried for a very long time to get pregnant and she is, in a word, my miracle. I cherish every minute with her (even the mess that trails behind her). She'll be back next weekend and while I am not crushed by the empty nest, having her around is like boosting the brightness. Have a great time finding that "new normal".

  19. Oh Robin, you missed out "International Sewing Star" - I opened the UK edition of Vogue Pattern Magazine and there you were!

    I totally agree that "sewing in a vacuum" can lead to over rating ones competence. Since seeing the high standards of others sewing I'm starting to think that instead of 40+ sewing experience, I've got 1 year repeated 40 times.

    Hope you'll have time to blog soon as I really enjoy reading of your projects.

    Juliet, Thames Valley, UK

  20. Children do need to "spread their wings", but it is wonderful to see that somehow they turn out to be amazing people.
    I was absolutely thrilled to see your picture in the Vogue Patterns magazine! Do hope that (when you're ready) you will once again share your sewing adventures with us.

  21. I'm grateful for the time you have shared with me/us. Life throws things at us and we just have to follow that path at that time. You posts will be sorely missed!

  22. aw, I love you all!

    I will still blog - I just need a little time to re-group and find my sewing mojo! I know it's in the mess here somewhere :D

  23. Awww...enjoy your "new normal". I love the way you wrote this post.

  24. Good luck with the next step in your life... life is just a series of steps you know.... you just never know where they may lead you! Hopefully yours will take you to a new adventure... maybe one you would like to share with us some time.
    Good luck on the new job!

  25. Enjoy your child! I enjoyed learning more about you.

  26. How wonderful that you have time to enjoy your daughter and yourself! Enjoy every minute and sew when you want to or when you can. I love reading your posts though. I agree with Carolyn though, put yourself first sometimes.


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