on Instagram & loosing myself


Last year I was honoured to be placed on Instagram's Suggested User's list. This is IGs way of saying yay for what I was doing with my account, and loving the way I contribute as a community member. I gained approx 80,000 extra followers in 2 weeks - wow, hey!

I'm not saying this to gloat, or boast, but more to talk about 'how fame went to my head'…. HA!

While it hasn't gone to my head (entirely, I still have to wash up and change the baby's nappy), it did alter the way I view Instagram, and also….. sadly (!!) the way I post images. And that was never my aim. I went through a little stage of posting only for likes - oh golly, am I really saying this? Yep. It's true. And I don't like it. Not one little bit. For sure - this whole online thing, showing off sharing our lives is about connecting and having others 'like' what we do. Is it not? A little bit (a lot?!) for sure, it's about that. But what's the use of sharing parts that aren't real, of making things up just to show off. 

OK I never make things up, but mostly I choose to share an editing version. And I've been thinking about that. Why do I only share those views of my life and my home and my children and my making.

And this is what conclusion I've come to :
I don't want to share the messy, horrible, dirty… not because I don't want you to know about it, but because for me looking at the beautiful distilled moments bring me a little bit of joy and calm peacefulness amongst my noisy busy hectic noisy noisy day.
I've found over the past year or 18 months or so, that making the time to style and take photos has given me more than I thought. It's allowed me to spend time in my head, quiet slow soft thinking time - focussing on the faffering in front of me stills me even if only for a few very short moments. It's also showing me a creativity that I knew I had, but had never developed in this manner before; and that makes me happy and shows me potential. My potential.

This year I'd love to have the time (find / make / magic up the time!) to spend doing more styling, product shots, image-making. To make it a real thing, rather than a two-minutes 'don't touch baby' thing. I keep wondering if I have time, space, head space - could I make ti something proper?

How do you feel about Instagram? Do you sometimes get a little lost in the numbers game of it? When I go through that stage I always chat with someone else about it (mostly this person), and my family. And then I put it out of my head. I stop checking the numbers. I stop comparing myself to the other people getting lots of likes. I step back subtly and delve deeper into the image making, and the thing making, and the creating. I start making images for myself, rather than worrying about the likes it might get on IG. I keep putting it out there and stop questioning everything that I do. And really - I know that the reality of some of it that life is a popularity contest and there's no way around that. And in the end the people who are "liking" my images are the real people I want to connect with anyway. And golly - they are sweet beautiful supportive lovely real people.

Sometimes I need to remind myself that I'm a quality not quantity person - I prefer having less friends who I value and who value me.

So - note to self "Ellie… get over yourself. Just keep doing and making and taking photos and all that because you want to, because it gives you joy and pleasure. And for no other reason than that". 

1000 crochet doilies & connections stitched

Creative Process, Craft Tutorialsellie3 Comments

This week I am finally sending off the 30 doilies I have crocheted for

Lisa Solomon

's 1000 Doilies project. I have loved working on these for so many reasons, the main being the connection to all the other people who were making them as well. 

How wonderful for someone to put the word out, and ask for people to follow a pattern and crochet some pieces to add to an installation of her work. 

You can read a little about Lisa's

art piece here

. I love the thread colours and the 10 doilies x 100 colours = 1000.

I first "met" Lisa through Instragram, I think.. I can barely remember anymore. Does it actually matter? Nope, not really. I was immediately drawn to her use of colour in a methodical and thoughtful way (I mean, look at those colours up there - this project is about tonal gradation and hues), and to her dangly tangly threads that I saw in her work. The finished yet unfinished aspect of it really captured what I myself felt I was working on - or maybe a bit of how I work. I urge you to go and have a look through her


and find some lovely.

Lisa is also super-cool. And I love that. Cool in a real way. She is an art teacher and a practicing artist, and a mama. I love her instagram feed with the view points of shape and colour and line. I love

her book

. I also love the way Lisa seems to be collaborative - she has connections with other artists, and gathers people in. She shares skills and advice. 

Mostly I love that Lisa trusted me enough to be part of this amazing project with her. With everyone else who is making. All these lives that we've stitched into our doilies will be gathered together into Lisa's hands and displayed. And most people who look at the art work (in real - I'll only see it in pictures) will probably see the beauty that is there. The colours and lines and shapes. They won't know the stories of the people who made these pieces. The way that I carried a little fabric pouch with my thread and hook and pattern, the way I never fully remembered the pattern, so had to carry it with me. The way I sat at cafes with threads in front of me, and other customers asked about the teeny little work I was making - and were surprised that I was making it to send to an artwork on the other side of the world. The way my family knew it was an important thing I was working on, for an important project, and helped me along the way - let me count that one row of stitches where I couldn't talk or I'd have to start again. 

And you know what. I love the fact that two of my very special instagram friends also made doilies.


(blog) /


(IG) and


(blog) /


(IG). We encouraged each other and enjoyed sharing where we were up to. The way I thought maybe Kate and I could sit and crochet together one day, and somehow here we are are working on one big thing together. 

You can see the doilies here on the instagram hashtag


. I'm following along to see the final work with all our stitches and those colourful doilies talking together in one room. Thanks Lisa for letting me crochet with my far-away friends. xxxx

*bottom image of threads stacked is from Lisa Solomon's blog.