A few months ago I hit an unfortunate milestone: a full year had flown by since I’d last posted chez Grinlow. I’d been sewing with extreme fervour throughout 2021 and the early months of 2022, so it wasn’t for a lack of stitches to shout about. I’d also started developing some exciting projects which were taking my work in new directions. I love learning and then sharing (OK, I admit, banging on about) what I’ve learned, so again, it’s not like there wasn’t much to discuss.
On a personal level it was a tricky year – health issues and family bereavement meant energy had to go where it had to go. But, as we all know too well, life – and work – must go on. So even that wasn’t the reason, it just drained a few cylinders that might otherwise have kept a sluggish engine running.
It took a few months of rumination to realise the real reason behind the grinding halt: it turns out that a rose by another name might actually smell a bit sweeter.
Once I knew a year had slipped by, I kept returning to the site with the intention of writing. But with each revisit it became clearer that some of the initial purpose had ebbed away along with a fair bit of the joy. Blogging kings say it’s great to have a niche, but all of a sudden the ‘-sews’ felt restrictive.
Sure, I earn my livelihood through sewing, and it’s where most of my creative expertise lies, but I wanted this space to be about creativity and making in a more expansive sense. In many ways, I draw on my experience of sewing to inform my understanding of creativity and everything that goes along with it. It’s the exploration I’m keen to share: the physical experience of being creative (and the resultant tangible products) as well as the intellectual exercise of decoding its mysteries. The incessant tug-of-war between the forces of motivation and procrastination that drive and impede creative activity will never fail to fascinate. How on earth does so much psychological noise deliver such extraordinary wellbeing and keep us coming back for more?
And so, over the past few months, I pondered the alternatives.
Since the summer of 2020 I’ve been creating sewing patterns for homewares and accessories. These have been published in Love Sewing magazine and will later appear on this site either for sale or as a gift to subscribers. I’ve built up quite a library of patterns and prototypes, and I’m looking forward to bringing them to you along with – technological acrobatics permitting – the odd video tutorial. There, I’ve said it. Now I’ll have to do it. (Maybe after a post on commitment devices, and then another on procrastination…)
This autumn, my first sewing patterns for garments will be published. I have to keep the details under my hat for the time being, but I’m really rather excited about this new direction and will share more soon.
My forthcoming patterns will be published under the label Grinlow Patterns. So, again, I wondered – Grinlow doesn’t just sew – she writes, she designs patterns, she also mucks about with guitars and oil paint. What is it Grinlow actually does? What does Grinlow want to do?
OK, reality check – I’m not Grinlow. Grinlow is a hill (and a very lovely hill at that.)
But this Grinlow – this website – is a kind of workshop. It’s where I communicate my experience of and thoughts about making and creativity. Grinlow is my studio.
And there we have it. As soon as the word studio popped into my head I slammed down my hard-earned cash and switched everything over to a shiny new domain.
What is Grinlow Studio?
Here you will find my musings on creativity, motivation, productivity and wellbeing in relation to people who make. I will, of course, talk about sewing in absolute buckets – but I may also touch upon other creative interests and activities while I’m at it.
I’d like this to be a space for all makers, for everyone who feels that creative drive within them, whether or not they know what to do with it. However unlikely it might seem, that urge is in all humans, it’s just that sometimes it takes a bit of tapping into. If that’s the case, I hope some of what you find here will be helpful.
So, I’ll be back soon – I hope to see you next time!