Some thoughts on the balancing act that is following your passion…


In the past week 2 things have happened that have made me realise that things are changing in this place that I love so much and maybe that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. When people ask me what I do and I answer “I’m a blogger and a quilter” (which is my answer more and more these days) there’s a lot of questions that usually follow the answer. The range from “what is that?” to “so, you can make money doing that?”. I try to demystify blogging when I provide answers and help people to understand that while what I do I love (it’s in my top ten of things in the world that I love) that it’s also a job if you want to do it with the level of focus and commitment that I do it.

There’s heaps of people that love to blog and love to blog as a hobby and that’s awesome. I’m grateful that there’s so many of us out there that love the medium and dedicate their time to it because it keeps it alive. However there’s also a small (well maybe not so small these days) portion of people that want to be able to provide a steady stream of good quality work. People that spend their hard earned money on making their blogs something that you want to read and come back to again and again. A place where you go to find out the answers to thing, to be inspired, to be encouraged and to connect with someone.

To run one of those types of blogs takes a massive commitment of time, money and a big slice of that person’s being. Projects aren’t cheap to make. Think about all the supplies that are needed to make a project – sewing machine, cutting utensils, fabrics (oh the fabrics!), quilting services (if you use them), wadding – the list goes on. There’s a reason most people only make a handful of quilts per year – they’re not cheap! They cost time away from other things (like your family and friends) and money.

Now think about the blogs you love to read in the crafting niche. What’s one thing they have in common? The depth and variety of projects, right? To be able to do that the blogger has to be able to pay for all of those things and more. That money has to come from somewhere and for a lot of us we pay for it out of our day job. However, to be able to deliver a blog to a certain quality that we’d like a lot of us make the decision to take on Sponsorship.

It’s a tricky line to walk – too much sponsor placement and people switch off and don’t come back. You find the community you’ve worked so hard to build and connect with has left you and the thing that you were doing because you loved connecting with people, inspiring them and sharing your passions has soured. Not enough sponsor placement and you start to struggle to maintain the quality, variety and depth that you’ve worked so hard to develop and provide for people.

To do a blog well, it’s a huge investment. There’s IT costs (hosting, domain registration, design elements, software), learning and development (courses, books, one-on-one mentoring), project costs, photography equipment (blogs are visual mediums after all), time (it takes on average 2 hours to write and prepare a simple blog post – when it comes to making a tutorial that can be a whole day of work – and that doesn’t include responding to emails, interacting on social media, developing content plans, brainstorming session, making projects, going out and getting decent photographs) and supplies (photo props, stationery, business cards) – the list is long and it all adds up.

Some of us are lucky that we have day jobs that can provide some financial support, but those day jobs impact on how much time we can devote to running a successful blog. I spend, on average, 6-8 hours a day working on things that go into making my blog. That’s sewing, photographing, social media, content generation, emailing, design, etc. etc. That time is on top of doing my day job, being a wife, a mother, the household maintenance and trying to maintain some sort of life. That’s on a good day – some days (remember Sewvivor?) I worked 14 hours in a day to get things done.

Please don’t mistake this for complaining – it’s not. I love my blog. I thrive on the work and it’s not “work” it’s my passion. But just like marriage is about love, there’s times when it takes commitment and work to make a blog survive and thrive. I’m very lucky that I’ve found my passion and I’m able to share it with people through this amazing medium. I am grateful for each and every person that finds something they can connect with on my blog and that want to see what I make and do. I never stop thinking about my readers. As much as this blog is about my expression I try to let that expression come out in an entertaining way so others can do what I do with blogs – read them for inspiration, information, escapism and to experience someone else’s unique take on life.

I’ve been blogging for a long time and I’ve seen the debates pop up on blogs over the years about what’s the right answer when it comes to sponsorship and I’m yet to see someone hit on the magic formula that provides bloggers with an income to keep doing what they want and for all their readers to be happy.  It’s a fact of life – everything costs money – and to keep blogs free for the readers bloggers often look to sponsors to help support them in what they do. It’s like magazines and television having ads.

I don’t think I’m yet to hit on a formula that works for my corner of the internet. I look back on the past month and I think it’s way too heavy on sponsored content and it’s been way to long since I posted a completed project or shared a tutorial. It doesn’t make me happy to see my blog (or social media) look like that. I too don’t like it when blogs move from being personal places to places where there’s sponsorship upon sponsorship. But I do think there’s a happy medium and I’m working to find it, I just hope that you’ll give me the time and space to find that happy medium safe in the knowledge that I’m working to keep you entertained and not overloaded on sponsorship.

With all that said, it’s not blog sponsorship that’s leaving a sour taste in my mouth. I stand behind my decisions and I’m so very grateful that there’s sponsors out there that want to help me to be able to continue to do what I love. It’s the fact that in the past week I’ve started to see traffic being referred to my site from GOMI (Get Off My Internets) and people are providing feedback without leaving their real details.

GOMI disappointments me on a number of levels, none of which have to do with my blog, it’s more about what it says about the people that are reading my content. I like to think that one of the reasons people come to my blog is because I work really hard on making this a positive place. I try to make this an uplifting experience for my readers. I try to encourage the better sides of humanity. I know that we all slip and I am far from perfect, but in this space I like to encourage us all to be better people; to work on making ourselves the best possible version of ourselves.

GOMI is the antithesis of everything I stand for, both on my blog and in my personal life. It’s for people who want to tear down instead of building up. I have struggled for a long time to understand what it is about the internet that brings out the worst in people and I’m still struggling with an answer. Is it the anonymity? Is it the speed at which we interact now? (There’s no time filter that there used to be when we’d have to write a letter to voice our unhappiness.) Is it that we’ve all forgotten that at the other end of the keyboard is a real living human being who, just like you, has feelings and deserves, at the very least, a basic level of respect.

I just don’t get it. I’m proud to say that I’ve never even been on to GOMI’s website – I don’t have to to know what it’s about, there’s been enough bloggers who I’ve admired and respected chronicle their battles with the people that inhabit that place to know it’s not a place I need or want to go to. It’s also definitely not a place that will make me feel better about humanity and in this day and age if I wanted to feel bad about humanity I’d just watch the news.

I will not tolerate bullying, in any form. This is no place for trolls. If you’re going to leave a comment I expect you to provide real details about who you are. If you can’t stand behind your own comment then don’t leave it because there’s obviously something about that comment that’s not sitting right with who you are and I don’t want you to cheapen your character by doing that. If you want to say something, I want to hear it and I want to know if you’re unhappy, but I want to know from you – not from some random collection of letters.  While your feedback may be valid, leaving it anonymously takes away any credibility you had and makes that feedback less relevant – it becomes less about helping you to get what you want and keeping this a place that you want to keep coming back to and more about allowing you to take a cheap shot.

Maybe I expect too much of my readers, but I like to think that birds of a feather flock together and my readers aren’t the sort of people that would condone bullying either. Whether it’s using a site like GOMI to tear people down, or whether it’s leaving a comment that you can’t put your name to, it’s not tolerated in this space.

I may not be able to make the internet all rainbows, kittens and unicorns but I can control what happens on my piece of it so you will never see me use this platform as a place of negativity and I will never allow people to treat this place as somewhere they can come to anonymously make comments about what’s going on. (Sure you can leave bogus details to get around not being able to leave an anonymous comment, but we’ll both know that you did it and only one of us is going to have to live with the knowledge that they weren’t a strong enough person to make a comment without hiding behind anonymity.)

To keep me being able to evolve this space and deliver the kind of content I want to be able to do, I’m going to take on sponsorship that feels right for me. I’m not always going to get it right (the past month is a good example), but know that I am focused on finding that balance and that this place will never again have a month like the last one where it was more sponsorship then personal content.  That decision is not because of the two things that have happened in the past week, but because at my core I’m a fan of blogging and I don’t enjoy blogs where there’s more sponsor content then personal and therefore I will not let this place go that way.

As much as I’m using my blog to help sponsors get more exposure so I can continue to do what I do at the level I want to do it, I’m also committed to helping those that are unable to afford advertising get their message out there. So, if there’s something you’d like me to include on the blog please feel free to send me an email via my contact page and tell me all about the amazing things you’re doing and I’ll share it via my Community Cork Board feature on Monday’s. It doesn’t have to be business related, if you’ve got something you’re proud of and you want to share it – let me know. You might be a blogger too and you’ve written something you want to share, or maybe you’ve released a pattern or tutorial, or you volunteer and there’s something coming up you’d like to let people know about. Just let me know and we’ll work together to get the word out!



Want something included on the Community Cork Board, then why not drop me an email and if it’s applicable to the GnomeAngel community I’ll share it. It can be anything from a local fate, a charity raffle, a class you’re teaching, a pattern you’ve released, a sew-a-long you’re involved in to a community event that’s happening. Be sure to send me as much detail as you can and links to any applicable websites.  Click here to email me.


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  1. People can really suck sometimes. I love sewing, quilting, and crafting blogs as I think they are kittens, rainbows, and unicorns. It’s my little corner of the world. I have seen a few people posting about being bullied and I’m shocked. Seriously, folks? We are adults, we are all creating, and if you don’t like it there are plenty of other mediums for you to let that out. I would encourage running or self examination as to why you are bullying, but that is the health coach in me.

    Your posts and thoughts challenge me to be a better sewist and blogger. The struggle is real when you have a full time job, family and blog. Since I’m not a big blogger I have considered walking away and focusing on my family. However, I enjoy telling my story. Continue telling your story and if you speak load enough you drown out the critics.

  2. No worry, Angie, quality rises and floats above the muck. 🙂

    Rude and hurtful comments on a blog like this stick out so much, nobody in their right mind would take them seriously. And else, there’s Harry Potter’s spell:


    Pronunciation: /rɨˈdɪkələs/ ri-DIK-ə-ləs[17]
    Description: A spell used when fighting a Boggart, “Riddikulus” forces the Boggart to take the appearance of an object upon which the caster is concentrating. When used correctly, this will be a humorous form. (

    While I understand your concerns, I think your dedicated readers – the ones that love you, your blog and what you’re doing – will understand what you are doing, especially when they invest a lot of time in their own blog. And also, there’s a big difference between a blog showing a bit of sponsorship and being all about sponsorship.

  3. Haters gonna hate. I find it shocking that such people will read sponsored junk on FB without issue but make a huge deal out of it if they personally know the person who’s gaining from that sponsored content. Burn them bridges and stick to your loyal flock i say!

  4. Well done Angie you’re work and the effort you put in to your blog is truly inspiring, it saddens me that there are groups/websites out that promote such negativity, it’s just so unnecessary. I know it’s a bit cliche but… haters gonna hate so it’s lucky us makers are gonna make and if sponsorship means you can continue to do that and we get to see the lovely things you and others do via your blog then yay! I love your sponsors.

  5. I’m so glad I fly in your flock. Well, you make me soar when I read a post from you\. I understand the sponsorship dilemma you find yourself in and I do unsubscribe to blogs that all the posts are about new fabric bundles and where to buy them. I am just so happy to be able to still follow blogs. I being an ‘on the twilight side of the hill’ opposed to not quite ‘over the hill’ do not do instagram or facebook. I love to see and read all about quilts and zipper pouches and bags and get some inspiration and even a tutorial or free pattern. I have been quilting since the cornflake box templates era and have seen a lot over the years. Nothing is really new, only the way we do it and the fabric placements. Even fabric is always coming back in vogue. You know what they say, ‘what goes around, comes around’. You don’t expect too much at all. I was taught to treat people how I would like to be treated and have tried to adhere to these words from my Mum. I have never heard of GOMI and will never give them the satisfaction of even going there.
    Hugs to you and keep on keeping on.

  6. Hi Angie,
    I have been reading your blog for a few months now. I am not a blogger myself as I know I do not have the time needed to do the kind of blog I would like to have.
    I live in France, and might not be able to visit Australia in my whole life. This is what I love with internet, and blogging in particular, that opportunity we have to be in touch with people we would never hear of otherwise.
    I am very grateful for all the things you share – I arrived in your “place” because of the quilting projects, but I do enjoy every article even if it’s not quilt related. I read every article because I appreciate the person you are – I am sure your blog shows who you are in “real life”.
    Please keep on doing what you do, your blog is of great quality. I do not expect anything from it, I just enjoy what you share whenever you decide to share anything, I know you are doing it on your personal time and I admire this. Thank you for your commitment!

  7. Damn phone sucked my comment up…I’ll paraphrase instead LOL …you and I are of the same feather so we definitely “flock together”….life is short please yourself and at the end of the day you only have to answer to yourself and your boys.
    the beauty of the morning is that you get to have another crack at a whole new day xxx

  8. You and I definitely “flock together” ? we are of the same feather, I just look forward and try not to be swayed by naturally occurring worries and insecurities you only have to answer to yourself and your boys…..x

  9. Hi Angie, glad you’re always thinking of your readers. Don’t take the GOMI thing to heart, I’ve had a look through a few times (because I’m paranoid but thankfully not blogfamous enough to be noticed) and you’re a Stay On My Internet read so it’s good traffic!

  10. Angie, I had never heard of GOMI before. How sad and pathetic that anyone would try to destroy the good work of others – instead of doing something constructive with their time. What is so difficult about being kind and caring towards others? I know it is upsetting when people say such awful and untrue things but try not to let them get to you. They aren’t worth the energy. I so enjoy your blog, the way you write, your open and honest posts and the way you help others. And your work is beautiful! 🙂

  11. Sorry – me again!!!!! I went to GOMI today to have a proper look around – as before I only followed a link to a specific thread- and oh boy some people obvs have too much time on their hands.. there is a section called “hate reads” as in something you specifically go to knowing you hate it… it just me or is that weird?? While I realize it would be upsetting to have some of this directed at me personally, coming from a third party view it’s sad/a little bit funny that people are putting time into this! Sorry – dont mean to hog your comment space! Hope all the GOMI-ers can at some point in their life perhaps find a hobby of their own instead of bitching about other people doing theirs!!

  12. Hi Angie, I love reading your blog and find all the different things you cover very interesting. I’m glad you send out a newsletter to remind me to go read it! I don’t read many blogs anymore, but yours is one of the few I do. You are very down to earth, and friendly. Keep it up!

  13. As someone new to your blog and fairly new to quilting I am somewhat gobsmacked that you even have to write such a post. It is an indictment to today’s society that people have to resort to complain and provide criticism of someone’s effort to provide assistance and pleasure to people like myself. I have learnt so much from reading people’s blogs, I attend classes but it is the internet that assists me the most with the skills. Without it I would be struggling so much more than I am. I am sure most readers are so appreciative of your’s and other’s efforts to assist the wider community of quilters. With regards to sponsorship I have no issues unless every day was an ad instead of general chat about quilting. I also love Brother but I wouldn’t mind if you were involved with any one of the other sewing machine manufacturers. Surely those companies are also there to help us as well as sell machines. When I started quilting/patchwork it was through a friend who realised I needed help as I was not coping with work pressures. By nagging she convinced me to attend classes. Without the that interest and support of my fellow classmates my life over the last couple of years would be vastly different and I would not have coped so it really upsets me that people feel the need to denigrate such a positive community especially having come from a very bullying environment at work. I hate to think it is infiltrating what to me is such an accepting, loving community. Please keep blogging and realise there are many like me out there that may never say what we really feel but we so appreciate what you and others are giving so freely to us. Thanks so much.

  14. GOMI? You’ve got to be kidding?!? Just keep being you. Your blog is great the way it is! I know it’s difficult not to take some comments to heart, even one can launch us into a negative place. But consider the source. I kind of feel sorry for people like that. They obviously have little purpose in life and even less self respect.

  15. Angie I enjoy your blog so much and it’s because it is real. Who you are, how hard you are working to achieve your goals and how much pride you have in your work comes through in every post.i especially appreciate the fact you respect your readership. I know you want to connect with me and I love that about your blog., it’s personal. And the fact you love your family, rainbows, kittens and unicorns makes it even better. ?

  16. Hi Angie, I find I enjoy your posts whether sponsored or not – they never read like an advertisement and you write from your personal point of view, not like a salesperson. So to me, even your sponsored posts feel like personal posts, if that makes sense?

    I was curious about GOMI, so I went to have a look. It seems like a place people get together to have a ‘bitch and moan’. It was kind of perplexing actually – people willing to spend their time reading things they don’t like just so they have something to complain about! Or so it seemed from my brief look. You might find it interesting that someone had listed your blog under SOMI – STAY on my internet – if that’s worth anything – so that might be where the GOMI traffic came from.

  17. Gosh, I’ve never even heard of GOMI’s website, let alone visit it? Just keep truckin’ Angie … this is your space not ours, we just have the privilege of visiting it 🙂

  18. Hi Angie, sorry you had to write such a post. While I personally don’t like to see too many sponsored posts, I understand your need to do so and if it is of no interest to me I flick to he next post in my feed. Why is that so difficult for others?
    Also just wanted to let you know the link to Rachel’s blog in your Community Cork Board is incorrect, it should be Stitched in Color but you have linked to Jeni’s blog.
    Have a great day and thanks for all you do in this space,

    • Thanks Tanya! Another lovely reader sent me an email to let me know that I’d linked to the wrong place – teach me for trying to do 50 things at once and not paying attention. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know and I agree, what is so hard about it??? I’m the same, if it doesn’t grab me I move on and read something else. Life is too short for bad books or bad blog posts! 😉 🙂

  19. Hi Angie, please keep on blogging and quilting and don’t let the bullies win! I so enjoyed meeting you at Craft Alive, your positive energy and sharing nature was awesome and I thank you for the help you gave me. You will find the balance that you need because you are determined to. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you! xxx Ang

  20. I’m so sorry that you have idiots trying to sabotage your work and bring you down please don’t confuse them with your readership. I doubt very much if the two groups have many people in common. I am guessing that there are 0 people in common. I am a newly handicapped young older middle aged person. Ha! That’s funny. What I mean is that I’m young in disposition and on the upper end of middle aged in years. Anyway, I am stuck at home, eighty percent of the time in bed, trying to manage through constant chronic pain that can be very severe, like it really, really hurts every day. This is despite a LOT of medicine.
    I only share this for a reason. My blogs are terribly important to me. Yes, I get a lot of satisfaction if I can sew up something cute from my blogs, but remember, I can’t sit up to my sewing machine usually. Oh, and there’s no cure. I can’t “fight hard to recover.” I just lay here, experiencing intense pain knowing that’s probably what I’ll just keep on doing day in and day out. My blogs help divert my attention from my pain. I like the quilting, making blogs because they are nice. They are positive. I need that. Trust me, you reach out to a very wide audience out there that are tuning in because they connect with you. You do far more than you know.
    I hate to see you frustrated. You don’t have to always get bigger and better stuff, projects, etc., don’t feel like we’re breathing down your neck. We are breathing with you, identifying with what you share and truly enjoying and appreciating it. I would hate for you to get overwhelmed and leave us. And I sure hate that there are some bullies focused on you. Try to block them if you can. I don’t know how to help in a situation like this one except to raise my hand up in the vastness of cyberspace and try to shout out through the distance that I am here and I am real and I love kittens and rainbows and I love reading your blog. Keep your chin up!

    • Oh Beth… I don’t cry easily. Well that’s a bit of a lie these days, ever since I had a baby it’s like my emotions no longer fit in my body so I physically react to things that I used to just think were very lovely, so I cry more often then I used to. Long story short – your comment made me shed a tear. Thank you! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, for leaving such a personal comment and for wanting to stand with me. Thank you! (it would have made me cry before the baby too!)

      I wish I could provide you with something more than a place to come and hang out and read, but I can’t and so I’m ever so grateful that I can provide you with a distraction from the pain (how ever brief that may be).

      It’s funny, but I rarely feel external pressure when it comes to my creative endeavorers – it’s more my own personal pressure. I know what I want to achieve and the timeframes for that and so I know when I’ve let my own expectations down (which I feel like I have in the past month). Thank you so much for your lovely words and pure kindness. I wish I could reach out and give you a big hug. I hope you’re having a good day today – you’ve brought sunshine to mine! <3

  21. Hi again! Forgot to add that I love the “fun things to click on” – im often pressed for time and don’t have all the time I used to to surf all the blogs I like and this gives me great things to check out without the hours sacrificed! Keep it up!

  22. Hi Angie- i follow your blog and instagram and wanted to say good on you for staying true to yourself..I haven’t read what they have said about you on GOMI – but i have visited before- sometimes it’s the only place to get the lowdown on patterns in this age of sponsorship and back patting. Saying that – i more often disagree with what is said (the Alder shirt dress by Grainline is torn down as being terrible and it’s my fave pattern) and generally only spend a few minutes checking a few threads about relevant new releases, but i do think everyone is entitled to voice their opinions and haha to them if it’s bringing you traffic. Stay on your path, not everyone is going to like you , and if they did that would make you pretty boring I say! In the vein of transparency and identifying commenters I am @shesewsalot on instagram!!

    • Hi Eleanor! 🙂 I’m sure that there’s great people that use GOMI as a resource for making positive decisions and I knew when I wrote the above that I’d inadvertently tar them with the same brush, but that was not my intention. I guess, while I understand the need for that kind of disclosure I just wish it wasn’t on a website that was set up to be a place of nasty. And I agree, I think people should be allowed to voice their opinions I guess I wish they’d do it in an uplifting way instead of going for the cheap shots and tearing people down in an effort to build themselves up. I understand that we’re all going to come across stuff that we don’t like, I just don’t get the need to be so destructive and threatening about it.

      What do you mean not everyone is going to like me???? *boggles* *wink* I know, and quite frankly I don’t want to live in a world where I’m everyone’s cup of tea it would rob the world of so much. I just wish we were kinder to each other, even when we don’t necessarily want to be besties with someone.

      I’m glad you like the fun things to click on – I have a lot of fun finding stuff for it and I always hope people get some good from it. Thanks for putting a “face” to the comment I appreciate it and I’m thankful for you taking the time to read and comment and being fun on Instagram. Hope you’ve had a smashing day! <3

  23. I love your blog, Angie! It is full of fun and interesting content, and great tutorials. Thanks for taking the time to share your creations and excitement with all of us! I completely understand about sponsors being a part of the blogging community and I have found some of my favorite fabric shops from great blogs like yours. Keep up the good work and know that there are way more of us, (the kind compassionate people), than the other rude ones.

  24. I think it is the anonymity that makes people so mean…what a shame. I am normally just a lurker but wanted to commend you on this post. I appreciate the work you put into your blog and totally understand that sponsorship helps you continue…thank you for the inspiration and the positive thinking! Please keep it up and don’t let the bullies get you down!

  25. Angie, my heart sank when I read the word GOMI. Those spineless cowards are definitely NOT a voice to listen to, and I’m so sorry xx

    • Oh Alyce, there’s no need to be sorry. I never went and read what they said, I just thanked them for the traffic (the ultimate irony – they don’t want people to do what they do, but they send them traffic which helps them continue to do what they do?!?!?) and kept on running my own race. It’s not that someone linked to my work on that site, it’s that someone who would read my site would also read that site that makes my heart sink. I like to think we’re all awesome here and we wouldn’t need to partake in the kind of messages that GOMI sends – maybe I expect too much of the world, but I’m not going to stop expecting it. We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down – and if we can’t do that then we should just walk away and not say anything. <3

  26. Angie, I found your blog last summer during Sewvivor. (Has it really been a year?!). I have enjoyed all your posts since then. I too am trying to build a crafty business. I appreciate your transparency about that aspect of the quilting life. From my perspective, the last month did not feel heavy with sponsorship. Blogging about your adventure to Craft alive felt like you were taking me along. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Andi!!! <3 I know! Where has that year gone - seems like just yesterday. I miss it more than I thought I would. Thanks for your encouragement and positivity - I really appreciate it. If there's anything I can ever do to help you with your goals and dreams let me know - us crafty peeps need to stick together. 🙂