June 27th

fabric from africa

I bought this fabric in Mozambique. It is wax-dyed and I’m pretty sure the prints are Nigerian. Nigeria has significant influence on the fabrics in southern Africa. That said? Most of the west African fabric producers now have their materials made in China. So, this American bought Chinese fabric with a Nigerian print in Mozambique. Ah, globalism.

I had dinner with two girlfriends the other day and rattled off the number of reasons I more than likely wouldn’t be able to see them again this summer. Work, freelance writing, church volunteering, traveling, training, etc. I heard myself and laughed. Ridiculous! If I’m too busy to spend time with people I love and if the quality of my work is dwindling, it is time to take a closer look at what’s on my schedule.
I’ve decided to cut myself some slack. So what if I don’t get that June assignment for In Stitches done this week? Finny will understand. It will get done when it gets done. It is supposed to be fun after all. And if I haven’t read your blog in a month, I apologize. That’s the last time I’m going to do so. I am cutting myself some slack, and at last count? I had 250-plus blogs I am trying to keep up with, which very well could be a full-time job in itself.
I decided on my commute home last tonight that I’m quitting one of my freelance gigs. I haven’t taken a look at my novel in months and that is nothing short of stupid. Which is more important? A monthly assignment that nearly always ends up being a pain in my side? Or a potential career that could be a gateway for my creativity and livelihood? It will take a bit of budgeting adjustment to make this work, but it is a good choice.
I haven’t felt caught up in forever and it is my own fault. I am hoping with a bit of prioritizing and focusing, I’ll have more time to do what I love most: write, be creative (as in do something with that fabric!) and spend time with those I love.
Thanks for hanging around during the transition,

Posted in
Africa, Domestic Art, Good to Great, Journal
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44 Responses

  1. Oh Kelli, it’s great to hear that you are aware enough to step back and prioritize. I need to do the same, and reading your post was a great reminder of that. Oh, and your fabric is lovely.

  2. i know how you feel. there are so many ways we can spend our time. and all are important to some degree, but you ought to make time for life-changing things such as your novel! and spend time with your loved ones! that’s the most important thing. who is it that said that the most important gift we can give others is our time?

  3. i TOTALLY know what you mean, kelli. the excuse “aahh, i cant call, i’m too busy” doesnt work when you spend your days cruising bloglines, does it. and plus – what about relaxation – did you factor that in? i’m going through the same transition myself….
    p.s. the fabric is beautiful!! did you ever get a chance to see the process of making it?

  4. A very sensible decision. You only get some balance when you move the weights around a bit…

  5. 250+ blogs? you amaze me. i would’ve hit burn out a long time ago. good luck refocusing.

  6. My sister gave me an article a few months ago and this was the advice I took away from it: “You can be anything you want, but you can’t be everything”. Sounds like such a simple lesson, but it really is hard to follow. I think you’ve got your priorities set just fine now.

  7. And I thought *I* read a lot of blogs each day! Came across yours today via Luckybeans (love her blog), and thought I’d drop you a line. Ex Southern African, now in San Diego via Victoria, BC, Canada. We get around it seems. Love the fabric.

  8. Good for you for taking a risk and deciding to quit the freelance gig. You’ll probably be so happy you did once you find yourself having more time to do the things you truly enjoy. I hear you about the blogs – I think I have 250+ in my Bloglines as well. There’s a lot of good stuff out there!

  9. Wow! 250 blogs? I feel like I can barely keep up with the 20 or so I try to read often. You are a wise woman to take a step back and get your priorities set before going forward again. It’s always a good thing to take a look at what we have going on, and decide if it’s really what we want to be doing most.

    Beautiful fabrics… even if they were made in China!

  10. Good for you! It’s easy for things to start spinning a bit out of control, isn’t it? That fabric looks great.
    I made a casual drawstring skirt of out some fabric a friend brought me from Nigeria and when I made the drawstring, I used part of the selvage so it would show where they printed “Real wax printed – Cote d’Ivoire.”
    I love it!

  11. Good gosh 250 blogs. They are addictive though I know. I am somewhat feeling the pinch also. I’ve decided to cut some things like excess TV watching. A black hole if there ever was one. Nice fabric, somewhat disconcerting on how things are produced these days. Gives me a feeling like “A House of Cards”.

  12. YAY for you! And if something exciting happens, I’ll just let you know. Meanwhile, only use my blog for silly, fun times when you need a quick jolt. And don’t worry about answering every single comment I make. I know you’re out there! Best wishes!

  13. It is a good thing to make more time for yourself and do only the stuff you love to do. The fabric looks yummy, too bad it’s made in China. It would be better for their economy to manufacture themselves wouldn’t it?…ciao

  14. But I say what’s better than a fresh start? That having been said, what better way to make a fresh start than to just cut some things loose? Done and done; so much roomier. πŸ™‚ Good for you!

  15. I love those moments of clarity when priorities seem to re-prioritize themselves. Good luck with your new list of to-dos and can-waits. =) PS. I enjoy stopping in on your blog — your pictures are great and your work is nothing short of inspiring.

  16. Glad to hear you can stop, look and listen to what’s going on with you! I know that you already love life but I’m sure you’ll be lovin’ it more with this prioritizing/break. I’ll keep checking in! Keep on taking care of yourself!

  17. Good for you! I need to do the same thing; though I’m not sure if I need to cut back or just redidicate and stop procrasting… my number one problem. Good luck in the priortization πŸ™‚

  18. Good for you! I honestly don’t know how you do it.

  19. I agree. It’s sometimes better to do fewer things but do them so that you can feel satisfied with them. Less is more. I think your “fewer things” though, are many more than most people’s.

  20. best of luck with the rebalancing and ditto on the comment about not having to answer my comments left on your blog. Being too busy for friends means something is out of whack that is for sure. big hug.

  21. Good luck, Kelli. I think we all need to step back and reprioritize. Good for you for being aware of what you need in your life πŸ˜‰

  22. yeah, i think go for what you love. good to reevalute.

  23. Crystal June 27, 2007

    Good for you, Kelli! I’m doing the same thing this year but my decision is to take a leave from my job and check what it is I want to be doing.

    Thanks for the note and picture about the goody bags. I got it in the mail today and it totally brightened my day!

  24. Good for you to re-evaluate. I did it this summer and feel great for doing so. We all need to do it once in awhile because we start to get too absorbed. And, I love those fabrics.

  25. So young and already so wise – you are so right to take more time for yourself. ENJOY!

  26. So you’re not bionic after all? That’s a great relief, I must tell you, it means a lot for my self-esteem! About your 250 blogs, don’t worry, you can make it 249, I will understand. And the fabric? No matter the origin, it’s really amazing!

  27. A job? A novel? A triathlon? A bunch of crafty projects, plus reading about 250 other peoples? Yeah…. you’re totally not a slacker.

  28. Beautiful fabrics, Kelli! I can’t wait to see what you make with them! Good luck with the taking a step back.

  29. ooooh! i feel you. editing down blogs is so difficult. just so much to see out there. i’m finding that i really need to edit down right now. too many projects. i’m so lucky to have so much to choose from.

    ya know, i quit my real big person job this year to work part time at a coffee shop, and hang with my kids. best decision, ever. follow your heart, not the money. it will all work out somehow. and if it doesn’t? you can always change course.

  30. You are the last person I would think of as a slacker. Me on the other hand? Well, let’s just say this prioritizing business sounds like a good idea. I need to do a bit of that myself. Sometimes it’s good just to give yourself a break, right? Sounds like you sure deserve one!

  31. For those blogs — do you use an RSS reader?

  32. You a slacker? I laughed a deep belly laugh! A mini tirathlete is a slacker! Ha!

    Finny is a hoot! I laughed a great deal just reading her blog and have added her to my favs. You are a gem!


  34. Summer is the perfect time to reprioritize and enjoy some lazy afternoons recharging! You give so much to others that it’s crucial that you give back to yourself as well.

  35. Those fabrics are gorgeous and I know what you mean about a job keeping up with the blogs. Sometimes I feel a lather working up – What, more posts? Take care and slack, yea, cut it wiiiiiide.

  36. I think you know how much I love that orange fabric. I touch it a lot as it sits waiting to be made into cushions. Luscious!

    And, really, relax girlfriend. No one will begrudge you a little leeway. Esp. me – late on the InStitches project? BOH! Not a worry. It’s your month to pick a winner and a new project anyway – so timing is all up to you.

    And if you need a blog to set aside, FinnyKnits will miss you but understand wholly.

  37. we all need a breather now and then – take some time to smell the roses…and when you do, breath deep!

  38. Reprioritzing is tough, but good for you for making that effort and deciding what’s important to you right NOW. Enjoy this summer and do the things that make and keep you happy. πŸ™‚

    I’m still working on that part…

  39. Lovely african prints! Indeed not all african prints are made local, sometimes even Holland, UK are just a few places. Curious what you’ll make?? I have made african quilts out of my fabrics and maybe you can check them out on my blog!

    Relax and cheer up and focus on what’s on important to you….sometimes we just have to do that.

  40. Gambate (loosely translated as “go for it” in Japanese) on your novel, Kelli! Regardless of the fabrics’ source, they are gorgeous; looking forward to seeing what you make of them.

  41. The orange and black one is actually made in Malawi. or ALSO made in Malawi. I have the same one. And went through hoops making sure it was local. But could very well be either a popular design, or a gullible-Jen. πŸ™‚


  42. a big hell yes to this post kelli!! i have been feeling like i’m struggling to “keep up” for awhile, and i’ve just spent 3 days with 2 really close girlfriends that put so much in perspective. at first i felt like i should be multi-tasking and then i thought, what the hey? who is putting the expectations on me? that would be me. it feels SO much better to put things in order and recognize what your true priorities are and focus on those, letting go of the “shoulds” that are not really so important. easier said than done for me but sometimes we need that reality check of time with loved ones.

  43. Ha! i am checking your past posts looking for an Amy buttler pattern??? Of a french bag??? But i came across these fabrics… I am waiting for some that a friend is bringing me from Angola;)

  44. Yes – It is a good decision to prioritize, but some make that decision and never ge to the point of bringing it to pass. Glad you got to that level. Now you have reached the maintenance level. Hope you make it across…lol.
    Yes the prints are definitely Nigerian – I think my Mum has one of those.