Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog tales of a toast-eating-zombie-stampire-hermit. How DO you balance it ALL?

For a while there, I was feeling a lot like this:

(a dark cloud of gloomy-messy-backwards-unfinished-ness) LOL this is a
cry for help! (lol)
wait, let's make that
'a crafty life chat'

This post is my attempt at an ultra honest (lengthy but hopefully not too heavy)
dialogue about trying to balance blogging-crafty-life with LIFE-life.

How do you balance it ALL? balance it "ALL" I mean: how do you balance crafting and/or blogging (and all the activities that entails) with taking good care of yourself and your loved ones... while avoiding burn-out?

My Sweetie Charles's buzz word lately has been "balance" and while I love the concept (and he is beyond angelic to be unceasingly supportive of my non-paying full-time job) I am simply not sure how to go about actually achieving that balance.

I'd love to hear any of your pointers or your thoughts on the subject.

Throw in the towel syndrome?

Well, You Guys might have noticed that I've been struggling to keep up with everything... Not to be melodramatic, but I crashed the other day--badly. Maybe the evil perpetual-migraine-beast finally got to me, but I had seriously decided it was time for me to throw in the proverbial blogging towel for at least half a year, and it hasn't been the first time I've considered whether quitting for an extended period of time might be necessary.

However, there must be some compromise, right? (After my brain just about exploded from the thought of giving up this passion cold turkey and no longer participating in the crafting community... and after some rethinking "with a little help from my friends"...) I thought that there must be some way(s) to balance things--that I'd better try working smarter not harder...that I should Keep It Simple Stupid! (I mean, these are clich├ęs for a reason, right?)

Please know that this is not meant as complaining at all. :0) I'm ever so grateful that anyone even visits my blog! This is just an attempt to open up some dialogue... to find a balance so I can keep blogging, but also get well... and I hoped that the subject is one that other bloggers might have ideas about or be interested in.

Some ways I had tried to manage
(a while back, and then gave up on):

At first, I gave up sleeping & became a stampire. ..

As you can imagine, it was not pretty. Charles had been known to drag me from my chair & put me to bed. (He was kind of freaked out about the burn-out schedule I was keeping.)

-------------- there I was, up all night & sleeping in the day. Hence, I became a toast-eating-zombie-hermit! (I gave up cooking & going out of the house.)

LOL (but seriously) Cooking was awkward because it was noisy at night in our small condo (but I really do love to cook.) Leaving the house was tricky, because where do you go in the middle of the night? (Really, where is the 3 AM Craftmaniac Anonymous scrap-a-thon when you need one? (If these DO exist, please don't tell me; I might revert to my evil ways if I smell a hint of fresh ink on the evening breeze. hehehe)

All in all, I really really really love people, so I don't want to be a stamp-by-night shut-in. (And don't even let me get started about the "secretary spread" that insomnia and sitting 16 hours a day in a desk chair can get you!) ;o)

-------------- then, I gave up TV watching & blurfing (blog surfing)
& quashed the impossible hope of trying keep up with emails...

I haven't missed the television & haven't reintroduced it, but blurfing!?! I've missed it like oxygen! Not making time to admire and leave appreciation for other people's work left a creative rift in me that felt like the "Chasm of Sorrow" or to quote the movie Labyrinth "bububaboom! Certain Death!!! wooooouuuuuuuuuu" The real dilemma for me in the blurfing department is how to comment on only some, because what if you (inevitably) miss someone?!?

...and not being able to answer each email, or each comment, with a long personal letter, ...or make custom requested templates for people and so on... (which I would love to be able to do)...

All of this, to be Frank, left me rather depressed and feeling like a failure and then I simply felt inert. Hmmm, a little equation maybe? --> insane perfectionism + humanness =potential depression & inertia (or the lack of ability to do anything...) maybe? sort of?


sadly, I had to give up almost all of my Design Team work...

...I do want to give everything I can to everyone under the sun. Maybe if I'm perfectly honest, I might be so insecure in myself that I fear saying "no." What if I hurt someones feelings, you know?


finally, most recently, having joined the living (non-inksucking non-stampire humans) in daylight hours, I had to cut way back on the blog posting schedule...

...but that leaves it pretty boring around the ol' blog for those of you who are amazingly sweet enough to visit daily. (a million-squigillion Thank Yous!)

...SO this all brings us to compromising...

Some ways that I hope might work to
bridge the "chasm"
between life & blog:

(I'd love to hear how you feel about these) blog schedule: I was thinking every other day would be realistic.

...prepare much smaller posts ahead of time.

...which basically means being "normal" or un-insane and posting some cards all by their lonesome (in other words, cards that do not have a dissertation & 30-odd photograph tutorials attached to them.)

...only write some posts for beginners (I have no idea how many people who stop by here are beginners; I try to write for beginners all the time--just in case, but I know many of you are more advanced than I am....bso maybe I'm wasting space & time (or insulting your intelligence, heaven forbid) by repeating things--I mean am I preaching to the choir? ;o)

...write technique-based tutorial posts that don't have a fully finished sample project. (Is that just boring?)

...share some freebies (templates & digital elements) all by their lonesome (again, no finished sample) about life. I love reading other people's life posts, but somehow I feel that my own life stuff is a snore. However, in the interest in enriching our home-life in a healthier way, I thought why not include some life stuff here? Like recipes and photos and other snippets.


Well, that's just a few random thoughts on the bloggy-crafty life subject.
I hope you don't mind that I shared them.
I'd love to hear your thoughts ever so much.

Thanks again for being You,
and for being there!


Kim said...

Mel, you sweet thing! I love your blog, as do all your loyal followers! But if you've learned anything from the all the time you've spent online blurfing and blogging, you know that this is an incredibly warm and supportive group of friends--you'll never meet most of us, but we are your friends just the same. We care about you and your well-being above all else--all your crafty fabulosity is just the cherry on top!! So you take care of YOURSELF and put the blogging on the back burner for awhile. We'll understand.

While I can certainly understand your reasons for wanting to give it all up entirely (we've all been there, and most of us don't do a fraction of the creating you do), I don't recommend it. Your sweetie was right about BALANCE, and giving it all up would not be balance--it would just stress you out in a whole other way.

So, hun--take some time, slow down the pace a bit, and take care of yourself. Cuddle with your kitty and your sweetie (not necessarily in that order) and get to us when you can. Like I said--we're your friends and will support you in whatever you decide to do.

Hang in there, sweetie!

Anonymous said...

Mel, I think you are great! I love all of your ideas especially the Copic coloring (I love the detail you provide). Although, I check your blog everyday (sometimes several times), I don't expect you to post everyday. It seems to me that a lot of the stuff you post is pretty complicated. So, if you need to slow down, please do so. :-) Besides, you are making me feel bad, I don't do half of the stuff you do and I'm dead tired! (;-) wink! wink!)

Allison said...

You, my dear, take on projects that are insane. There, I said it. I would love to try more techniques and variations however, should I still want to have some time to craft and do the rest of it, I have to keep it a lot more simple. And I am brief (most times) since a) I write that way for work (tech writing is all about saying things with the least amount of words possible) and b) I don't have the time (or inclination) to write a dissertation.

If people ask me questions (even about my personal life or ideas I add), I will post the answer on my blog which saves me emailing a bajillion people. Plus, I always try and remember to get all the links in ahead of time (so I don't have to track down a sketch, font, digi, etc.).

Believe me, if you quit, you will probably quit for good. It will be hard to get back into the groove. If you need to find a way to balance it all, I think the ideas you put out there were good ones. I am sure you know the answer, you are just too much of a perfectionist to accept half-ass. (And as I am always reminded, my "half-ass" is everyone else's excellence...if you can think like that, maybe you will come to fulfill your needs, your hubby's and your PSFs.)

Belinda said...

I think we all understand where you are coming from,and like you we are all trying to balance the lot.
We love what you do, and stand in awe of how much you do. Listen to your loved ones (family), and always put them first. Your Cyber friends will always appreciate what ever you share, and it doesn't matter how big or small it is.

Dragonlady said...

Hi Mel

Firstly, I would klike to say that you have an inspirational blog, your tutorials are fantastic and the freebies always fab and generous.
I follow about 300 blogs and never manage to comment on them all - I usually go for th eones that catch my eye either picture/ heading. There are some blogs I always comment on - my special blogging buddies and I do try to keep up with all my team mates.BUT inevitably I don't comment on everyone and do feel bad about missing some oout but you have to have a life! I have two kids ages 5 and 3 and work part time so am limited by them in how much crafting I can do. Yes, it frustrates me in some ways that I can't spend as much time crafting as I would like but in some ways the fact I can't makes it better when I can - does that make sense?
Please don't give up blogging entirely - just scale back a bit like you have said. Shorter posts and there are some things you can just post where the heading will say it for you.
What a gorgeous puss cat - spend some time with her/him de-stressing (they are supposed to be good for that)!
I think I am safe in saying that we are all addicted to thsi thing! and all get to the point where we have to make a choice. Just don't leave!!

Take care hun loads of hugs form and addicted Dragonlady!!!

Ali x

DeeAnn said...

Oh Mel, honey, sending you the biggest hugs.

Don't give up on the crafting community. I understand if you want to throw in the blog towel. I don't blame you. I would miss your blog tremendously. It's the only blog that I have in my reader, receive e-mail notifications and have in my fav's. You are a great inspiration.

I would try different ways of crafting community. You don't have to comment on everyone's blogs. Sweetie, trust me, they are not waiting for it. If they are then maybe they really shouldn't be blogging because what are they contributing except a popularity contest.

That is not what blogging is about. Blogging is about letting who you are out in this big crazy world and showing people who you are even if it is just your family. Blogging is a literary art form.

Sometimes a blogger is a small Harlequin novel with a small but loyal fan following. Even if the fan is just the person's Mother and other blogs, like your, are the Harry Potters of the world.

Enjoy blurfing and comment when you have the strength and when it truly inspires or touches you.

Design Teams give them up and craft for you. Craft always for you and nobody else. When you started this blog it was for you and it was amazing. It's still amazing but if you don't do the design teams for awhile you might be happier and can get back to where you want to be.

Don't make special request templates. You don't need to write long tutorials. If you keep up with it you better keep those frugal tips. Sending you hugs and winks. :)

Yes, write about your life. You know I am madly in love with your new furbaby. I love to hear more about your writing life.

You don't have to post 20 billion photos. When I post a card or a new creation on a forum. The readers get one picture. Yes, just one picture.

I give them the recipe I used and any frugal tips I used. Any questions I answer on follow-ups. You know most of the time it's only two questions.

Mel, I am at where you are now. It's not blogging but die-cutting. I write huge die cutting reviews, articles, how-to's. I spend hours at forums to help people. In the last few weeks there has been a lot of turmoil about a certain cutter that has gotten me down because I am behind the scenes on both sides and I can't say much for legal reasons and disclosures. I hate it. It makes me cry and I feel sick inside. I can't even eat. I don't want to paper craft any more. I will hate that too. I went back to the beginning. I use my punches, my Wishblade that is outdated. I realized I lost my way and only got hurt from it.

It's ok to take a step back. You know you have a lot of people who love you and we want you healthy and happy.

Dori said...

Mel, if you post every other day, I'll be twice as happy to see what your balanced energy has been creating! I certainly don't like the idea of you making sacrifices to the point of becomming my victim! Although your wonderful tutorials take all of the scare out of trying something new or starting a large project, there are so many wonderful ones from the past to brush up on a technique and maybe inspire a creative flow with my own personal touch!
I don't blog, but I do craft and maintain my home, support my husband and have a life. I expect my crafting to be an energy source and not a drain.
Balance is a good word, mine is priorities... I try to keep my well being at the top of my list because I've found that from this position everything else (including how others like my husband -your bloggers?- feel) falls into place & just takes care of itsself!
Not always but very often. And when everything gets out of balance it's time to step back, take a breath, get back to the top of my list and figure out where my priorities got mixed up!
take care, Dori

Lorrinda said...

I have always wondered HOW you can post so often, always new stuff, and still have a life? Now that I know you're a "Stampire" (love that!) it explains all. You really must take care of you. The balance thing is elusive, it's different for everyone. You, my dear, are a crafter. You cannot give it up or you will be seriously unbalanced! However, scaling back a bit, or a lot, won't in any way diminish your talent or your awesomeness. Post once or twice a week, wean yourself off of the blurfing (may help with the migraines?), and take some time to go outside during the day.:) Who knows, maybe you'll sparkle! (If you don't know what that means then you ARE officially a hermit! Pick up a book or go see a movie will ya?)
Your faithful followers will not leave you. Trust us:)

CreativSpirit said...

Mel, you already have a wealth of wonderful projects and ideas that you've shared with all of us. Just for now, why not concentrate on making some art "just for you" and sharing the finished project with us. Perhaps you could just do a verbal description if you would like to share. Also a include some of your daily life stories as you suggested, whatever you decide though, please make it easy on yourself, we will still come to visit when you are up to it.

Take care my friend, but don't stop blogging, we'll miss you too much. ((((((((((Mel)))))))))

furrypig said...

I really love visiting your blog and I subscribe via email and I have learnt loads. I am sorry I never post comments but thought I should today. Please do what you feel is best for you sounds like you have tried lots of things already but there are always other ways. But sometimes you have to think of ways of keeping yourself sane! I would love to hear from you still, so personally I would be disappointed if you gave up blogging but it doesn't have to be everyday! Good luck with whatever you decide and thanks for all your gorgeous work you have already shared xxx

Sue from Oregon said...

Hey Mel...boy I know where you are coming from! I have set guidelines for my blog of 2 simple posts a week and once a while a 3rd one slips in there. Short posts and trying to respond to the comments left on my blog. That keeps me busy enough to fit in some blurfing and commenting and still have somewhat of a life...I step back when needed and have decided not to feel guilty (or at least too guilty if I miss a week. but family comes first!) Best of luck in deciding what will work for you! This addiction can take over if you don't control it LOL!

Debbie Pamment said...

I soooo know where you're coming from - "blog burn out" is a real worry. And I started because I LOVE to craft and wanted to share.

All I can say is to make sure you take time when you need too - and craft when you need too (it's a need for me LOL) - and blurf when you want too!!!

Your posts are ALWAYS amazing and your fans will be here WHEN you WANT to be here too....

Make sure you put the enjoyment back into it - then everything will be in balance!


scrapcat 1 said...

You need to look after you, your other half, your furry baby, your human friends/relations and your blog/internet friends in that order because if you don't you will burn out, while I love your blog and visit every time you post I don't expect an essay or a fabuously detailed tutorial everytime. I have a blog but I only post on it when I have something I want to share thats what it's for to share what you've made or done, people who follow your blog will be happy to read, look at and comment on what you do even if you only post once a week as it will be something to look forward to.
Take care

WickedPixie said...

Mel, first, you make me laugh! The way you phrase things just makes me giggle! The blogging part of having a blog is tough for me because I am not much of a writer (but I love the friendships and sharing cards and ideas!)...what I am trying to say is you are fun to read as well as amazingly creative!
I don't really have any tips for your dilemma, but I wanted to tell you that I don't know how in the world you do what you do! I am sure that everyone who comes here will be perfectly understanding of your needing a little more time for your life! We will appreciate what you can give to us after you have taken care of yourself and your family!
Thank you!

Georgie said...

Hi Mel, I regularly visit your blog and just love and admire what your produce - you are such a talented person.

I think you should stop apologising and realise that your blog is just that - it's yours.

You are entitled to post on it whenever you like and about whatever you like. Your followers are like a family and they will enjoy reading your updates whenever you do them and they will never ever expect you to do them to any timescale.

Crafting should be something that you are doing for you - and you should never feel under pressure to do something (unless you are getting paid good money to do it and you want to do it!).

Your health is the most important thing, and then those around you come next.

I really hope that your stampire days are over (lol) and that you can get a balance that will be right for you.

I think everyone appreciates all the lovely tutorials and projects that you have provided already and there is certainly more than enough on your blog to keep anyone busy.
Visitors can take the time to look back at what you have done and revisit those posts.

I personally think that posting once a week is more than enough and also don't feel that you have to respond to everyone's comments. It must take you an age just to read through them, let alone respond too!

Take care of you and yours - and whatever you decide, your bloggy friends will be there.

Georgie xx

Jacqui said...

Your blog is lovely and you sound lovely too - however - no-one can do it all and I mean no-one! I am a migraine sufferer, I work full time and love to craft - I also got on a couple of design teams (gave those up recently though as it all becomes a pressure and spoils my pleaseure in making stuff just for me). You start doing things for the wrong reasons. Blog when you want to, cut down on length - I like to see the finished product mainly! Relax about it. I don't have the time to follow the tutorials in detail! I don't comment loads - too time consuming and I lose track - and blog myself mainly for me (what's that all about?!! LOL). I just like to make things and read a bit about others who do the same.

Renee G said...


You are a true inspiration to me and i so so enjoy your blog. I too have a blog but i do not fret about posting everyday, or even every day! I know exactly where you are coming from and I just got to the point in my life in everything not just blogging , that i have to STOP thinking about what others might think or feel! We are just assuming anyways, and no one else lives in our skin but ourselves, so WE should do what is best for us!! I think it would be fabulous if you blogged about our life and cooking etc...your projects are totally fabulous and time consuming, but it would give you time to do your projects in a reasonable time and on the days you are still working on them you could post a recipe or story from your life. I love the way you write, it think you are very interesting and so funny!Even if you dont post every day i will still visit you and even go back and look at your older posts over and over again!
I too am a night owl stamper...and sleep during the day. I have found myself not going out as much either. I suffer from a thyroid condition and its not like i really have the energy to go out! lol I hope to someday get back into the land of daylight as well...but for now i have to quit beating myself up for it...and just do what i have to do to make my life more simple. Change is not my friend right now...! I too suffer from migrains as well and those can be a beast. So you take care of you, post when you can and what you can, im still a fan and will be waiting with baited breath as they say! LOL.

Anette said...

Dear Mel, girl you are addicted as many of us are! But it's not worth a burnout. Just shut a few things down so you can enjoy the rest. For example: the post comments. You can easily do without cause we love your art and tutorials always!
Less readingtime and don't answer everybody! You have too many loyal followers to keep up. We love your work and enjoy it but we can also leave you in peace if you need it!
so cut down on the computer and enjoy other major things in life.
Indeed find the ballance> Good luck from the Netherlands, xxx Anette

Anesha said...

Your bolg is wonderful and I hope that you will continue with it in some form. Love the photos, especially of your kitten, she is so cute. Finding balance in life is something to strive for but very hard to do for most of us. Wishing you well. Anesha

Donna E. said...

wahhhat! no!!! i just found your blog!!! lol! this is like destiny :D i mean, that's the same problem i am dealing with right now. my hubby would shake my computer chair and i would jump in "surprised" surprise coz i woke him up with my keyboard the middle of the night when everyone should be sleeping...or sometimes i would hear "tsk..tsk..tsk..tsk.."..crafting or blog surfing keep me awake until 8am...and would sleep the rest of the day away.... oh and i get hungry and eat at 3am too!!!!! lmao!!

BUT we both know that this habit is SOOOOO BADDDDDD... you're right with all the decisions of cutting back in everything. I am taking my own medicine too and will sleep in the night and craft in the day :D

(to think that one of my 2010 resolution is BETTER time!)

I LOVE YOUR the meanwhile, i will bask in the glory of you wonderful templates... thank you so much GOD, i found this awesome blog!! :P

TinyPablo said...

I really love your blog and I think it would be a pity if you gave it up completely. I'm a beginner and would lovesome tutorials for beginners. Thanks for all your hard work.

Joanne B. said...

Mel, good for you for doing what you need to do for you. The urge to "feed the machine" is so easy to succumb to. I'm down to posting three times a week, and a bit more if it is release week for a DT. I've also stepped down from some teams, and gulp, even passed on some pretty amazing ones. Because, while I LOVE to craft, I LOVE my kids MORE.

That was so hard to do, but once it was done, it was freeing to not be tied to a stamping "schedule" and in the end, I love the projects that I've been working on.

No zombies allowed, it isn't healthy and you know that you've been feeling the pain of that. Get some sleep, craft when you CAN and you'll be so glad you did!

Dawn said...

you know I love ya and will support whatever you decide to do.... I can't see YOU being "normal" or un-insane! haha

Kim said it for us all I think (thanks Kim ;-)


Danielle said...

Hi Mel,

I started following your blog about two weeks ago, and I've loved what I've seen so far. I definitely understand the burn-out though, and while I really enjoy reading your posts, I would still be excited to read your work every other day, or just twice a week, if it means that you would be a healthier, happier human.

One thing you might consider (blog-wise) is just linking back to older posts for techniques that you use over and over again, like assembling bases/lids for boxes. That will save you a bunch of photos and explanation, but still make sure that people can find the instructions.

You could also do some posts that are just photos of finished projects, with lists of techniques used, rather than detailed step-by-step instructions. Again, you could link back to older posts for the different techniques if you wanted to be sure that your readers knew what you meant.

I love 'blurfing' myself, but it can definitely take up a lot of time. You might consider blurfing on days that you're not blogging yourself.

It's wonderful that you have someone supportive to go through this with you. My best advice? Talk to him about all of this, and make sure that he knows that you think he's wonderful.

I hope that you continue to blog, even if it's only part-time!

Margaret said...

Mel - I think everyone so far agrees you have been superhuman to date and you need to look after yourself and your dear ones first of all and let crafting and blogging slot in around that. What you have on your blog already is enough for most people - its where I go first for a template, ideas on how to use things and inspiration so anything else is a bonus - just add to it whenever you feel like it not because you feel you should!

You have provided us with so much - its time to enjoy what you do and we'll always appreciate hearing from you whenever.

Hugs, Margie xx

pescbrico said...

Hello, I'm visiting you everysingle post and I was always wondering how you were managing to do all that because it's a lot of time for making, photo editing and posting almost each day!! I cannot speak for myself but I think that if you do one of those to please you and the begginer (as you call them) once a month and do much smaller post when you feel like it, people will keep following your blog and will still have the opportunity to browse your old post for inspirations since they may have missed some.
Like if too important not to be confortable and enjoy what we do!
Make the best decision for YOU and I will sure keep visiting you :)

Becky said...

Hi Mel, I stop by here just about every day to see what you have come up with and am always amazed of the intricate details you do in your projects, and wondered "how does she find the time".:).
I too find myself overwhelmed, I will stop for a week and start back up, I started with a blog list to follow of 10 it is out of control now :). I was a guest designer for a month and I said I will never do that again because I was stressing making sure I do good work. And I have never done another. I just came from a blog of a person who is on many design teams and she said "This is suppose to be fun not work" she is getting burned out..
I love doing cards but I seem to get overwhelmed when I find I "Have to" do them.
Now I do it for me, I post only 2 times a week, I want to live and enjoy the sunshine, the smell of flowers blooming. Learn to love Mel and be protective of your time.Create because you want to not because you have to. If some one wants to know something of how you did it let them email you and ask - if you do not want to do a drawn out tutorial. I love your blog and the awesome details you put into your projects, I do find your postings to be very long at times because you want every one to understand how to do something.
Do what you want and give simple details, if a newbie needs to know she can always ask "as I do" :) You are gifted in art and you should share this, so before you think about stopping - post once a week.
Love U Mel - but no one can love Mel better then Mel.
hugs ;)

Cindy said...

Hey Mel, Sorry to see you in this mental turmoil. I've been there so many times (and I don't even do the long, picturesque, teaching projects/posts that you do). Somehow we have to learn to say 'No' a little more often without feeling bad about it ... meaning turning down DT invites, guest spots, blog hops, etc. I know it's hard to say No.. I've said No before and than turned right around and said Yes. A lovely illustrator or company that you adore asks you to join them on a DT or a Hop and there you go.. 'yes' comes out! Then panic because you're so busy now, how will you get it done. It is very hard to 'balance' and I may have to keep coming back here to read your followers/friends helpful advise. I work full-time and try to spend time with kids and grandkids, yet feel guilty if I'm not current on my DT requirements and then guilty if I'm working on creating and not with them. Everything always turns out okay and it is usually unnecessary guilt.

I think you got yourself into the habit of amazing tutorials with instruction, pictures, links, etc a while back (and we all love them) and now with the explosion of the papercrafting blogosphere, challenges, digital this, digital that, templates here, cutfiles there, techniques and tutorials ... seriously wow.. it's just so hard to keep it at a slower pace, harder to participate, read and comment. Our once pleasurable craft has become often overwhelming.

It's so nice to have so many online friends and such sweet people. They'll understand though, Mel. Step back and make it enjoyable for yourself again. Be true to yourself. We'd rather see less of you than none of you and certainly don't like to hear you're sick or with migraine from overdoing it.

Stay well.

Chris said...

YES! YES! YES! Post less often, post less pictures, keep the chit chat (love that, you are so funny!), enjoy life again and don't become our slave. We love what you have to offer when you do...if you stop loving it, you'll give it up completely. BALANCE! (and stick with that could even post just twice a week or once a week - honestly, we'll still LOVE YOU!!)

Carol said...

Mel, Yours is my FAV blog! Is the most creative with the BEST info! But your health/life is way more important. Suffering from constant migraines, I know first hand the importance of taking care of yourself. Find a great neurologist that specialized in headaches, get them under control, then ease back into as much of blogging as you want. Whatever you do will be loved and enjoyed. You are simply the best!! Get healthy first!!!

Elizabeth said...

Balance is a nice concept, but for many of us overextended women, it's one more thing to feel guilty about. Another 'you're doing it wrong'.
That said, it's time to lose the guilt. What can you realistically accomplish - and feel good about - in a pain-free week? In a week when a migraine hits?
I love your blog. I have learned so much from it. When I need to learn something, I come here first. You've got such an incredible archives that I can find what I need there. To bring your new postings down to something manageable for you makes sense.
We'd rather have you whole and happy. The others in your world would proabably agree.

Shantaie said...

I think by reading all of the above comments you have gotten a true sampling of how many others are looking for balance themselves.
Life is meant to be well rounded, I believe the quality of life is the single most important priority. You are an artist, you need art like others need air or vampires need.....well you get the point.
Don't throw in the towel, just dont hang yourself with it either.

I will leave a PM for you on the Cuttlebug forum with my phone number if you ever want to chat~ Shantaie

Anonymous said...

Mel, I really hope that you don't choose to throw the towel in entirely. I can totally understand if you need to take a break. I think that posting once or twice a week would be fabulous!! I'd rather have some stampire than no Marvelous Mel at all! If you're feeling good and creative, then stock pile posts for when you're not; might that work for you? I'm not trying to tell you what to do because you need to decide all of that but I am saying that I'd miss you terribly if you went away!! But that said, we all want you to be healthy and take care of yourself and your family.
On balance, I don't know!! Over the last few years as things with DS have been challenging... my energy has been very lean! I have decided that I can't do it all and I'm accepting that.. slowly. So what don't I do? Our house! It's been a mess for way too long but that's what I've decided matters the least. It's a little embarrassing if people just stop by but in the words of my dear mother, "something has to give". So make your choice with your sweetie and go for it and feel no guilt!!
Personally, nothing relieves stress like colouring with my copics! I'm a fixer by nature and you can just blend all your troubles away ;-)! A few years ago I go some peg stamps and they're pretty therapeutic too! Sometimes it was stamp, (tap, tap) stamp... and other times it was STAMP (BAM, BAM) STAMP.
Well, must go do some work... Good luck with your decisions and I really hope that you're able to trap that migraine monster soon!!
Beth Greco

Kim Nath said...

I have a dh, 2 kids in numerous activities and a full time job to which I commute 2 hours a day.
I used to do the Stampire thing and it ran me down fast.
I have found that doing a little everyday instead of marathon sessions helps a lot and it helps to have things planned out in my brain first. I would never keep up otherwise and I found myself not enjoying creating when I did it the otherway.
I think we all put too much pressure on ourselves. As much as my ego would like to think otherwise I finally relaxed when I realized that people weren't sitting at their computer waiting impatiently to see what I posted. Most normal people that follow our blogs are happy to see what we have posted whenever it comes up. So relax and do what you can.

Hobbyaholic (April) said...

Mel, Ditto the many others who have already 'said' it best.

You've given us so much to sink our "Stampire" fangs into already we could be busy for a decade of crafting. When you feel like it..I'll be reading.

Thanks for your honesty.

Elin K. said...

Oh Mel, please don't kill yourself on your blog posts. Shorter is fine! I do post every day on my blog, but all my posts are shorter and I haven't started doing tutorials yet. When I do, they will be short and sweet!

Shorter posts would be a plus for some of us, aren't the only blurfer out there! I blurf over 80 blogs every day (thank goodess for Google Reader!)

Slow down and enjoy the ride! I'll keep you in my prayers. :)

Priscilla said...

Hi Mel,
First - Your blog is uplifting and funny and your art is incredible. I do not know how you find time for all the little details you put in your crafting. Please take care of yourself, hubby and cutsie mouse. (Love the photos)

Your blog is my favorite with a wealth of details in the archives to continually feed on. Most blogs I go to post only once a week, with far less description than you give.
Crafting is for fun. If you have to work at it like a job and all the stresses, it ceases to be fun. Craft for you, Blog for you. We will all be here happy to see whatever you show us. Final projects are good. Templates are good. Links to archives and other tuts work well. I rarely comment on a blog except when I see something I just love or can't believe. The blogging world is so big you can get sucked into endless days just discovering, never mind replying to everything.
I agree with Georgie, Margaret and Chris. Don't quit just cut way way back and enjoy that hubby and lil mouse will only be into the enjoyable kitty antics for a short time so enjoy it while you can.
We support you and love to see whatever you share whenever you share

CraftinGranny said...

I identify with the allnight playing and daytime sleeping. When my huband finally revolted and said to throw the computer out and get rid of the stuff in my craftroom it really made me mad. To think someone would even mention such a thing and I wasn't letting HIM tell me what to do..LOL He was just worried about me and the crazy behavior I was exhibiting.

Then I realized he was right. I'd quit cleaning house and cooking, stayed up all night and slept all morning then was too tired to do anything till the sun went down. Then I was wide awake trying to build my blog and followers.

Well, kiddo, I found going to bed earlier, less time on the computer and more time with him started working. Just slow down and do things in moderation. Instead of saying "NO" or "I CAN'T" my favorite expression is "it doesn't work for me right now but maybe later" - no other explanation needed.

You take care of yourself Mel!! We all love your work and the inspiration you inspire in us but find yourself, slow down, get some rest and blog when it works for you. None of us are going anywhere! We'll all still be here when you blog, even if only at brief intervals.

Now get off the computer, go take a walk and enjoy the beauty God has created for you and within you.
"Love and Hugs" Granny

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Hi Mel!
Thanks for today's post...

Balance? I am 'balancing' 2 jobs, 2 kids, 2 blogs, a ranch for my home and ranch wife life (I think the prenup would have said 'must be available to husband for all 'emergency' situations!)... The personal blog takes a backseat to everyday life - and that is my crafty and 'spill it' place. Just the way it is. But my therapy too! Sigh...

I think all your crafty posts are very detailed, and instructive, and of a tutorial nature.. and those MUST take hours to make and photograph and then type up!! Actually, you have enough material for a book...hint.

Why not just post the 'end product' a supply list and maybe a one liner 'techniques featured' and leave it at that? If someone wants more info, they can go to the effort of asking sweetly!

I love seeing your creations but life is life! On this post I love seeing all your potted plants, the yummy food goodies, and your kitty.. see? Pieces of life!

Enjoy it!

Catrick said...

Mel...from a migraine sharing person...and from a caring person who started crafting a couple of years ago and your blog was the first one I found and have followed ever since....I repeat!

Please don't feel so pressured to output....I know you really want to satisfy everyone and give everyone a bit of yourself ...however, that leaves nothing for you.

What you do is supposed to be fun for you and it is such a generous bonus that it is free for us.

However, when it starts to stop being fun for you then that is the time to slow down and back off. Your adoring public with go through withdrawal and then adapt!

Find out what YOU enjoy the most...if it is a combination of showing us stuff (thank you, thank you), blogging or blurfing or all of the above --- then find your balance... scale back so that you are not producing every day at a "full time job" rate.

You need to start taking caring of yourself first (or everything else crashes), then take care of Charlie and your adorable kitten.

The rest will come and we will still be here waiting for glimmer of news or a tidbit of a tutorial.

And if you do need a shoulder to cry one or a face to natter at...we do live not to far apart!


Barb said...

Oh Mel... you are awesome. We can live with you posting less often and less hardcore... your health is waaaaaay more important! I think it would be great to break up your posts as you mentioned... technique only posts would be lovely as well!

I think whatever you end up doing to add more balance will be perfect for all of us... but most importantly, perfect for YOU! Take care, sweetie!

Beth said...

e-mailing you.

Arlene said...

Loved reading this - I'm sorry that I had no idea Mel Stampz was here...... saw a wonderful card and had to follow her link here. SO glad I did...

Give up posting every day.... there's always something that even an old hand can learn also.... so DO WHAT YOU WANT TO, WHEN you want to:)))))

Tiffany said...

mel, I am in the same boat you are in. right now! This is what I have started doing to balance. On my Iphone, i have a little alarm clock and I set it for certain times. (I'm home all day, no kids, self-employed web designer, digi stamp artist, craftoholic) So, I set my clock for 11:30 and MAKE myself get up and go fix lunch. Or, commit to myself that I am going to get up from my desk at 5:30 and start supper for me and my honey. I will make myself find stopping points in my work during the day to get up and do "life stuff". When I hear my dryer do it's jingle telling me it's done, I will go switch out the laundry and make myself do only 1 other household thing before I come back to my desk. This has been working pretty good, but that's b/c I made up my mind to do it.
You already know I'm your #1 fan! And it's b/c of your blog that I even got into the hobby in the first place and have spent $1,000 of dollars on stamping stuff over this past year! So, please don't give up, just find your own little ways of balancing things, 1 day at a time and even 1 situation at a time!! You can do it!! Love, Tiff

Vicki Doyle said...

Here's what I think of you --- you are awesome! A very generous, talented human. If you burn out, it would be a loss to the crafty, ink-sniffing society. So please, please, please -- SLOW DOWN and ENJOY the process! Don't worry so much about giving your all - you are NOT obligated to do that! Share what you can, anything is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

What is your passion and what fills your emotional needs? As your initial response may be 'everything'; write them all down (this list will pare itself down with steps further along). Include specifics, so time with your significant other (heavy on the significant)would look something like this:
Cooking two new recipes every week with him; that means sitting and looking for interesting recipes you would both enjoy, shopping for the ingredients, preparing the ingredients, actually cooking it while enjoying a glass of wine together, setting the table with flowers and special dishes, cleaning up afterwards together.

This example allows you the opportunity to see what you really want out of the experience, it is concrete steps towards completion AND you can see where you intend to spend your time. Sometimes we forget that we have spent the time and energy and the list lets us see what we have done or where we need to focus more.

This list is also a language you understand. Your tutorials are beautifully detailed and it would appear, on the surface, you enjoy this level of detail.

With your full, detailed, sumputious list of people/things you are passionate about and bring you joy you have the opportunity to reflect and be grateful. Even this step will help you fill your emotional cup.

Now imagine you are at the end of your days. What brought you your greatest joy, what are you proudest of, what are the things you said and did that made the greatest impact on your life? Take your detailed list and order it with these thoughts in mind.

Maybe blogging and reading other blogs makes your top five list. Perfect! But maybe you also realize that blogging (sharing your creativity and life moments as rich in detail as you determine fills your needs) can be done once per week. Maybe offering others encouragement on their blogs is done once a week and only three per week. Set up your structure and allow it to bring you happiness and contentment.

Truthfully, no one does it all. It may appear to the outside world as though we do everything, happily, with no assistance. Don't be fooled into thinking that is the standard by which you measure yourself or one that anyone else REALLY maintains.

Know what your passions are, know they will change and enjoy your life. The next time you look up into a clear night sky and see a particularly bright star know this; that star shines for no other reason than for the sake of being. By virtue of JUST BEING that star is a beacon, a point of reference and an inspiration. You don't have to DO anything, you're enough by just being.

Bless you.


Cathy said...

Heh Girlfriend life is too short. Do what you want and don't feel the need to apologize. We love your creativity and if it is only once a week or once a month we are fine. Find the right balance for you and we will be there to support you.

Suzi said...

As I'm always telling my DH and kids, prioritize! Your health has to come first! Without that nothing else can get done. Then ask, "What makes me happy and works for my life?" I, too, have too many health issues. It has been hard to learn to say NO, but has taken a lot of pressure off. I miss the frequent chats with fellow crafters on some of the message boards I love, but I came to realize that I can't do it all. Either can you! Do what YOU want. You are a gifted crafter and writer. We'll take what crumbs you give us and eat 'em up!And we'll still love you as much as ever! :o)

Mickey said...

Mel, every time I see how much time
and work you put into your cards, I
shake my head...How much does she
charge for those cards?? Everything is so labor intensive!!!! In my opinion, such that it is, posting every 2 weeks would be ok or one simple post a week. Take care of
yourself and don't think your followers will be mad if you miss sending out a blog...Take time to smell the

Holly =^..^= said...

Hi Mel. I was reading what you wrote and I’m so very sorry to hear that all of this is taking such a toll on you, your health, your family. Nothing is worth that, nothing.

I love following your blog, your projects are AMAZING, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. But I find myself thinking all the time how does she do it all and with such frequency! If I did one project a MONTH to your caliber I’d consider myself doing well.

I think posting every other day is fine. In all honesty I think we’d all be happy if you posted once a week – especially if it meant no more migraines! Just try to be as realistic as possible with what you can do and what will weigh you down if you don’t get it done.

Blogs are wonderful things, the friendships they build, the sense of community and belonging. But you are one person, and you just can’t do it all. When the things that are supposed to be fun become weighed down tasks draining us emotionally and physically – especially, and I mean this in the kindest way possible – when you are doing all of these things for FREE! Then I think it’s time to reevaluate.

I hope it doesn’t come to you deciding not to blog at all - there would certainly be a huge void if you did. But blogging less often so you could keep normal hours (both awake and asleep), normal eating habits and time for kitty and your main squeeze would certainly be a step in the direction of a better life balance.

Take care of yourself Mel!

Cindy said...

LOL, here we are giving you 100 comments to read through. What I've been reading has some very good suggestions, though. Mel, we love your blog, and if you only post once in awhile, we'll do just fine. I get an email notice when you post and I can come right over! Danielle (and others) suggested linking to some old posts, and I think that's a great idea. You have such a wealth of ideas and projects here that could keep us busy "CASE"ing for a long time. Think of it as crafting from your stash!
Wishing you luck in finding your balance, and in calming your migraines!

Maria said...

Hey Mel,

I'm going to share my 2 cents here. . .you know, and I think I've told you about my own personal experience with crafting/blogging burnout. I've come to terms with a few things:

1. Blogging although it feels like real life is not exactly real life in terms of those visiting my blog. It may feel like it because of the investment I've put in trying to befriend my virtual friends but well, it's not the same as real life friends. It's just isn't whether I like it or not. They're wonderful but I really need to put things into better perspectives.

2. Crafting should be an artistic expression and not feel like a job where I "have" to create something day in and day out. It just sucks all the fun when it becomes "work".

3. The fear that people will stop visiting my blog. . .oh, well. . they may stop visiting, but that's okay. I think my time with my family and having other interest shouldn't be at the expense of my no blog visitor phobia.

4. My crafting and blogging mojo comes in waves, it comes then it goes but comes back again. I'm usually more refreshed and motivated when I've spent some time away from them and have done other things that interest me.

5. Simplify things. . .yeah, that's much easier. Creating tutorials when you can, posting templates when possible, posting new ideas as they come up. . I think blog visitors appreciate whatever is posted. I don't think they'll hold it against me if I haven't posted any tutorial for months (in my case). . LOL!

6. I've given up on commenting all the time. . I comment when I can find the time to squeeze a few comments in. I don't expect others to comment my blog either. . although it would be nice sometimes, it's of less importance to me now.

7. I can't replace the time spent with my family when the time already has passed. I need to keep what "really" is important in life as priorities or later in the future, I'll probably regret the fact that I spent that time creating a tutorial for 3 hours. LOL!

There's more but when I've come to terms with some of these things, I'm so much happier about blogging and crafting. I've come to enjoy crafting again and to me, if anything is the most important part of this wonderful hobby.

I think you do so much more and beyond the call of duty. . .LOL! I can't think of any blogger who have put in such an investment and sharing such wonderful and spectacular ideas. Anything you create is magic and anything you share is inspiration enough.

I say your health, your time with Charles and your new kitty, time for other interest, . well, can't be "done over" again. . you can't come back to what already has passed . . blogging and crafting will always be around, I don't think it'll be going away any time soon.

Don't place a schedule on blogging. . post when you're inspired to do so. . .:) You've shared a gazzillion tutorials and templates. .I still need to catch up on them. . you have shared enough to last someone's crafting lifetime. LOL!

Sharing life stuff on days you can't post a project or tutorial is fun to read. Take photos or something and share a story as a filler. I think visitors will like that. . .:)

Take care Mel. . .take a short break, a week or two at a time to catch up on life then start up again and take breaks from time to time. I don't think quitting cold turkey will work. Besides, we'll miss you too much. . .:)

Occasional breaks, I believe, will make you happier, feel healthier, and I think that's the best thing you can do for yourself.

Do what your heart tells you to do.. . .:) Whatever you decide to do. . we'll still be around whenever you post something. Thank you so much for all you've done . . .I so appreciate the dedication you've put into this wonderful hobby of ours. . .but we do want you to be happy. . :)


lilscrappers said...

Dearest Perfection seeking Stampire Hermit, we love you and all that you do. We also all wonder how you managed to do it. Obviously, you don't! So slow down, you don't need a project a day, you don't need to be super - calli - fragi, tantastic (as my kids say ;0)) all the time. I for one love to visit your blog and re-read your older stuff and come back to attempt some of the ideas you have shared, not just to see new stuff!
As I hear many others say, we have to squeeze the craftiness into the hours the babes are asleep, crunch it between shift work and meals and kid-tivities and the men in our lives (which takes a lot, lol). I would love to craft as you do but have to set a day a month aside with a friend that I can devote to it. So, don't worry, we'll be here what ever you decide. After all, you do have about three years worth of inspiration that I haven't even looked at yet :). So, cut back on blogging, start living in daylight and you'll find yourself more inspired, more creative (possible??)and much happier in the long run! Enjoy yourself and make good decisions with Mouse as your guide.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Mel, Please take care of yourself first! Whatever you post will be amazing and I know that I am happy just to see what you are up to. Your creativity is boundless, but you need to take care of yourself and conserve your energy. Take a minute to pickup Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth"'s a great book on spirituality that helps us sort through our life's journey. The first chapter is a little dense, but there after, it starts to pull together. Feed your soul and your energy and balance will return...and thanks for feeding my soul by sharing your gorgeous creations! (you know you have a craft book already written, with what you post!) Take care and many blessings, Mary

mudmaven said...

Everyone has said most all that can be said ... balance is just something most sane people strive for every day in their lives. It's hard to achieve, but not impossible! I totally and completely love your blog - however often you post, however long those posts are - you share things that spark something in me and I appreciate every one of them. Just do what you feel is best for you and it will also be best for everyone else. Thanks so much for everything you do and share with the rest of us! ~chris

ileana said...

Hi Mel, I´ve been reading you several months now but I never left you a comment, so sorry about that because I really admire your work. This time I´m leaving you something because you are asking for help and everyone who ask for it should get it.
First, this blog is your place, you have to make it for you, only you. If you feel like posting, do it... if you feel like sharing a thought, do it... if you feel like sharing a recipe, do it! but don´t do anything to please us, your visitors, because you´ll end up feeling all this like an obligation instead of something made just for fun.
I´m physicist doing a PhD in biophysics, it´s hard, demanding, exhausting most of the time, frustrating the time I had left but I love to do crafts. At the beginning of my BS I stopped doing everything that could relax me, and that was the biggest mistake of all I made in my life. I do what i have to do first, my obligations first, but I always save time to relax. It could be cooking (I love cooking too!), crafting, watching TV, reading, walking... anything that relaxes me. Maybe you could try something like that to see if it works for you too.
I love your tutorials, they are so good, you are an excellent artist, but you have to take care of yourself before anything. If posting tutorials takes you more time of what you want to use, then just stop, explain with words what you usually show with pictures and you´ll see everybody will understand without actually seen the picture :-)
Take care and do a bit of what you like to do, if you cut everything you like to do you´ll feel frustrated. Hope my experience will help you a bit. Have a geat day!
A hug from Spain :-)


Dotty Jo said...

Mel, you just give so much of yourself and your creativity that anyone would feel totally burnt out by the experience. I keep things as simple and small as possible and find that it helps. I adore your posts and all the fun and freebies and info but everyone who follows your blog will be just fine if you take time for yourself and post less often and in less detail. Ease back a little Mel and enjoy life in the slow lane for a bit!!!! Big hugs, Jo x

Anonymous said...

You are fabulous. I do NOT know how to tell you to find balance. It seems to elude me ALL THE TIME. Even though I do check your blog at least once a day. I agree with other posts, I'll take what you can give. You inspire me!!!!!I turn on my computer and go to your blog, but I will be happy to see WHATEVER you can and will post. It WILL always be inspiring. Take care of yourself, first, then the family. Peace to You.

Carol said...

Mel, You inspire and your creativity is awesome. Perhaps if take a rest you'll be well and able to see what you want to do. Play with mouse, grow some stuff and walk. Think about other things and get your mojo back by osmosis. I'd miss you but your life is sort of important don't you think.

Cheryl said...

Mel, This crafting stuff is supposed to be fun. When it starts feeling more like a commitment or a hassle, it is time to make changes. I am glad you are making the changes you need so you can enjoy your craft and your life and still share your marvelous creativity with us. I love your blog and will still follow it and be awed by your projects what every you do.

Gini said...

Your blog and tutorials are brilliant Mel, but it is no good for any of us if it makes you ill.

How about 2 projects a month with 2 other posts in between that don't explain everything, just show what you have made and the materials you used.
That's 4 posts a month.
If that is still too much, only one project a month.
Discuss a new schedule with your husband and then make a decision and stick to it.

Put a permanent post at the top of your blog stating your new schedule.

If comments are overwhelming you
add another paragraph to the permanent post that whilst you'd love to be able to answer every comment you can't, sorry but you can't.

Pick one of the following formula's for any replies you make.
Answer every 3rd comment.
Answer every 5th comment.
Answer every Xth comment. (Let your husband choose the Xth number, even if he says every 100th comment - do it)
Or answer only prime number comments!

Then you can put on your sunglasses do a little twirl or two and get out the door into the sunshine my lovely.

Do not reply to me, or visit my blog (it's crap anyway) I'll be just fine and you will be guilt free :-)

(Hard as nails me!)

Leigh said...

Hi Mel, To blog or not to blog that is the question... I too got a little depressed and stopped blogging for about three months. I am just getting back to it. This time I'm not pushing myself to come up with big tutorials and now just enjoy making things when I want to. I don't post everyday. I don't write a lot in my posts. I've never been good at that anyway. If you are not enjoying what you're doing don't do it. Blogging is for enjoyment not something you should feel pressured or obligated to do. You don't need to reply to all of your messages. Everyone understands how busy life is and they probably don't answer all of their comments either. Stand back each day and decide if you want to post, answer, create. You are a wonderful, talented lady but you will loose your talent if you keep pushing yourself to point of hating it.
PS. Go outside and take a walk with your great hubby. Enjoy each other. I started walking with my hubby and we are getting along better and I get tired enough to sleep at night now.

Kristin said...

Here it is...short and sweet. You are awesome! Sleep when your family sleeps, eat when your family eats, play with your family. Then every day, set up 1 hour of 'me' time and do what you want for that 1 hour. If you can squeeze more, great, but if not it's ok. Oh yea, and pamper yourself at least 1x per week.

Melody (lacyquilter) said...

I love your blog, but have probably never posted a comment before, since I read most of the blogs I like in a reader and don't go the blogs themselves (big time saver, although then the blog author doesn't get comment love), but I simply found that there were too many that I wanted to read and not enough time. Occasionally, I will post a comment, but not often. I also do not feel it's necessary to post every day. Even a short post with one picture and very little verbiage can take a half hour. Sometimes I post every day for a few days, but more often it's once or twice a week or even less. Af first I felt guilty for not posting every day, but then I decided there was no reason I should. I share on my blog because I want to - not because I'm required to. If someone benefits from what I post, great, but if not, that's OK as well. It is so easy to gather in all our internet 'students' and feel that we must teach them something every day because they expect us to and we can't fail them. But, the reality is that it's all voluntary - not a requirement at all. And to be a little 'less' than our own expectations doesn't make us a failure. So, please take time for yourself and family and blog at your own pace. No expectations! Big hugs.

Jana Weaver said...

I totally understand!! I basically disappeared off the blogging map when my son was born because of all that his birth entailed (he was a preemie, and has had complications!) I pretty much went to posting ONLY for my 1 DT, once per week, and that was it for 6+ months. Then...I slowly started finding more time to stamp, and now that he's 18 months I'm on a second DT again and back to using stamps from some of my other favorite companies (MFT included!) I discovered during my hiatus, what really made me happy was to be creative - so I found some ways to do that while still caring for my family. I think it's all about doing what you can, when you can!!

I think all your compromises sound great, and I hope that gives you the balance you need. And if you need to change things again, just do it because we all understand, and we'll keep coming back!


Rufus said...

I will very quickly say that I agree with what everyone else is saying. You CAN'T do it all ~ guess what you DON'T need to! Do what YOU want, when YOU want to. This blog is really for you, we just all benefit. (Boy do we!) Post when you are in the mood and have the time. Simple is fine! You don't always have to have a full tutorial. First and foremost take care of Mel! We'll still be here. If you lose a follower or two (unimaginable) you didn't need them anyway! We don't want to lose you totally.

scrappychica said...

Mel, I love your blog. I visit it regularly and I try to comment as often as possible. You do some amazing projects, the tutorials are out of this world and I love that you share links to other sites where one might find a tutorial or template.
I don't know how you manage to do so much, I love what you do but I would LOVE for you to take care of you first. If that means taking some time off, by all means do so, if it means posting every other day ok, even if the post is a picture of a card or project that would be cool. Just don't stop crafting and don't leave us! Thank you for sharing your talent and creativity with us all. Your projects always make me happy.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog too! But even every other day still seems like a LOT of work. Why not pick just two days per week? Then we'll all be looking forward to those 2 days. And if you're feeling great then you can throw in an extra short post now and then.
Take care of yourself!
Ann Marie

Deebi27 said...

Mel, I have come to this blog in the fairly recent past. Your blog has brought many wonderful cards, goodies and most importantly thoughtful words. You can do only so much. We crafters are a loyal bunch. We will all understand if you blog a few times a week or once a week or ever other day. It doesn't matter we are and will be here for YOU! Always remember make priorities and stick to them. Something like family, friends and then Blog! Take care of self 1st and foremost! Hugz darling Mel!

the PaperTemptress said...

I truly hope that all of these amazing comments from your friends will give you the answer you are looking for and deserve! You know how I feel and that I am ALWAYS here to support you in whatever decision you make, if you post once a week, once a month, or daily (which means that you are feeling better which would be ultimately fantastic)! Your friend always!

the PaperTemptress

Anonymous said...

Mel, I love all your work, and I can see how much effort it must take. I would rather you post less than lose your wonderful blog altogether and I think you will find everyone else feels the same way. Even posting once a week that special little thing you've been working on would be great. You have so many crafty friends, maybe they could fill in your off days if you want to keep your days full. But hey, as long as I can hear from you every once in a while I'll be happy. It's not worth the migraine and unhappiness which could spoil your beautiful craftiness. Sit back and cruise. Remove your email for a while if it will help. People can put messages in the comments if it's important. But we'll understand. Love and Craftiness xx

Darla said...

Mel, I absolutely LOVE your blog. Your long tutorials, short posts (I think there might have been one hee hee), beautiful creations etc etc etc.. but I think one of my favourite parts of your blog is the humanness you bring to it by writing how you would talk (or at least that's how I imagine you talk) when you don't bother to erase stuff you just let it be and throw in a little comment about how you should really go back and shorten the post, or when you write your little names for things on your desk since you're not sure what the real name is or.... let's just say I LOVE it all!!!
In know way back when you said you were cutting back your blogging I was expecting like maybe onced a week or less... but the daily posts continued (definately not complaining about it!!) I wondered how much rest you were really getting and honestly worried about you!
I think all of your balancing ideas are wonderful!!! You could even either ask people to comment a link to a photo of a finished sample they made using your tut or add a mr.linky and then the people that continually use your templates or follow your tutorial can do it and post their finished project instead of you!
Anyways, I am really glad to hear that you are going to take a break and put your health/sanity/sleep etc etc first!!!
Thanks again for all that you do in the crafting community.

Dawn B. said...

Boy Mel you sound like so many of us out here. Trying to do it all. I love this craft but it has become an obsession that is so time consuming that you really do start to wonder is it all worth this.

I think your blog is fantastic. I think you have so much talent and I visit quite often. I do think that if you polled all of us and asked which we would prefer we would chose a happy healthy Mel. that is what is most important. If you only posted once a week that would be awesome. I too love to read about everyone's lives. Your photography alone is wonderful.

So bottom line.... take care of you. Give us what you can and the rest is just a bonus...:)

Chantell said...

Mel, you have a great blog and I can not wait to see what you have done every day. Life is short and you need to enjoy what you are doing and not feel that it is a chore. Take a break and do other things as well and enjoy life. Post when you feel you want to and not because you feel you have to. You are so talented and it would be a shame if you give it up completely so do project when you feel like it because if you give it up completely you will also feel that there is something missing. Good luck.

Chantell - South Africa

rush8888 said...

whoooooaaaa....i just got here, and this topic is pretty heavy. you're a crazy woman, and i just signed up to keep track of you and your blog!!!!! i love a good rant, and i have been known to do one myself. see you again and again!

Anonymous said...

Ever since I found your blog I have followed you. I really like the items you tell us about but I am sure none of your admirers would like our pleasure of all the things you show us to be at the expense of your health, it is too important to be endangered! I know everyone would understand if you cut back and would still enjoy reading your blog so don,t cut yourself off from the crafting world you obviously so enjoy. Hope these thoughts will help you in your decision.
with love
Pat from England

Charlene said...

I'm just going to ditto all the other comments and add that I've struggeled with the whole balance life, blog and stamping dilemma as well. Some days just don't get posted and I've been sicker this year than any. Have been worrying about all your migraines so it's time for R&R sweet lady. You've got enough back info to keep us busy forever. So enjoy your life with your hubby...paper lives forever, people don't.

liannallama said...

(((HUGS))) to you! You are so sweet but you really *can't* do it all, LOL! Though you seem to have done more than almost anyone! Make sure *YOU* are the priority in everything. That will make sure you have enough time and life in you left for your family.

I think blogging every day is way too much (though I love your blog and your AMAZING projects!) If you cut down to 3x weekly or even 1x weekly then you can get a break!

I love your photos you posted and your kitty is so sweet! Take care of yourself and do what you can and don't let guilt pressure you or make you feel like you are anything but FANTASTIC!

Darla said...

Okay so I read and commented on this post the other day but I just found this stamp set while blurfing today and immediately thought of you!!

had to share!


dee1219 said...

Ok, first of all, you my dear are AMAZING!! Your blog is by far one of my favorites out there. I check in once a day everyday. need to slow down! You are a mad woman! But I understand and appreciate your dedication to your followers. So what if you did a Tutorial Tuesday and a Technique Thursday type of thing. It will put you on two times a week and that is it. If you feel like blogging something else, go for it, but two times a week is more than enough!! Your tutorials are amazing, and believe me, just starting a blog, I am utterly shocked how long it takes to post a single tutorial!! I put about 3-4 hours in per tutorial, taking pics, editing pics, uploading pics, writing the instructions, editing the instructions, etc, etc, etc, etc....whew, exhausting!! I only do once or twice a week. So, take a breath, and relax. We will not leave you if you post once or twice a week. I would however not give it up. It is fun to do and we all do love looking forward to your tutorials. But, you need to think of you and your Sweetie. Life is to short to not enjoy the ones you love. So you do what you need to do for you!! We will all support you 100% :) Good luck to you Mel!

Swedie said...

Mel, I have loved your blog ever since the first time I saw it. You have wonderfully creative ideas. You have the most innovative ways for doing a technique without using the expensive tool everyone else uses. You have a humongous wealth of information and links to another ton of information on this blog. I would absolutely miss your blog if you stopped completely. But surely you can blog less, even way less, and still fulfill your creative urge. I know from personal experience that you can do so much of a craft that you lose complete interest in ever doing it again. So... whenever it becomes overwhelming, take a day, or several days, or a few weeks off - and then come back to it refreshed.
Of course, we will all miss you, but we would much rather you are well and happy - than to see you knock yourself out trying to do too much. Good luck and good health in what you choose to do.
(I didn't know Zombies ate toast!?)

Donna said...

seems you have been left a LOT of love! You know I love you, huh? You are one of the few still in my Google Reader (went from over 300 blogs to read down to a dozen when I went back to school) and it was freeing! Kudos to you for scaling back - we will still be here even if you don't post that often. I LOVE the sprinkling in the personal stuff on blogs (love seeing and reading about your new kitty) and more! You are blessed you can stay at home and not work a full-time job but that doesn't necessarily mean you should spend your whole day creating/blogging/blurfing, etc. because your family should come first! You ultimately need to do what makes you happy and keeps you sane.

Meda said...

Hi Mel, I just stopped by to see how you were doing and the images of your cat drew me to this post. By the way, I saved the last photo on my desktop so I can look at your cat until one day hubby lets me have one of my own.

So, now to the balance matter. We have talked this over email a few other times... I think all you need is to simplify the way you approach it. What is a blog after all? It's a virtual journal. Hence it is a personal thing and is meant to make YOU feel good and not someone else and although I love seeing your detailed posts, your innovative techniques, I'd rather you had a better life. SO who says you need to have a posting schedule and posting rules. Just let go and post when you feel like, what you feel like and most importantly when you have TIME. Do the same with leaving comments. Maybe stay on just 1 design team.
I hope to hear you have found the balance soon. Hugs from Romania.

leslie said...

You blog because you want to and because you have something to share or something to say. It's supposed to be fun. If it becomes work, or an obligation, then don't do it.

I would love to see a card you've made even if you don't have time for all the How-To stuff. If you live for the How-To stuff, then only do it now and then, and not for every post.

Crafting should be FUN, not work! Lighten the load and everything else will fall into place, I am sure of it!

helen scott said...

Mel, I hear your pain from half way around the world. Take a deep breath and say three times "It is ok to say NO sometimes" - after a while it might even feel good. The people who follow you, myself included, do so because your warmth shines even brighter than your talent - and that takes some doing.

If you need a break then take it, the world will not crash and burn, we will wait for you. Every day posts is a little bit like madness so slow down and you might enjoy it more again. These things are supposed to be a pleasure not a chore.

For me the balance is strict - internet 2 nites a week only craft bits 4 nites a week and a "date" nite once a week (that includes dinner as a couple and a movie on the telly).

I thought about it several times but have never set up a blog because I think it would take over and I can't allow that! I look after 2 boys, a disabled hubby, have 3 part time volunteer jobs and attend 3 classes a week. For me the crafty is all about relaxation (and earning some pocket money for the kids!).

P.S. I feel kinda good at the minute because I turned down 3 extras this week although its a guilty good. It takes a while but you can find a balance for you. X

mypaperpleasure said...

Mel, I love your blog and your neverending ideas that inspire your fans. Whatever you decide to do, we are here to cheer for you, take rest and come refreshed.