Hi, welcome to String Revolution. I'm Léan, I live in Dublin with my husband and two little boys, and I am a dangerous stringy subversive.
My job is to radiate my creative truth, and to help you radiate yours. I create, without exception, every day. I write here when I have something to say.

(learn more about me).

October and November Got Away

Open bobbin case

My review of October’s posts never got written, so this is for October and November. It’s been an intense couple of months, between bereavement and swine flu and the aftermath of our extension works. (Yes, still ongoing, thank you. Why, only this week I have been doing the familiar round of “Where in the Seven Hairy Hells are the Bloody Builders?” phone calls each morning, for we are going through the arcane and operatic process known as “snagging”.)

What I wrote about

I started October with a Sunday Stash post, which featured a brief meditation on socks. My review of September’s blogging followed, and then I was stopped in my tracks by deaths in the family. When I returned it was to introduce you to my trusty grey cardigan (aka “the 9-year knitting project”), and then it was time for another Sunday Stash post, this time featuring silk from Kolkata. Next, I showed you a sock in progress – fruit of the abovementioned meditation – before turning to consider words on clothes (briefly, I am against them) and unveil my Zazzle shop (where I hope to collect exceptions to that general rule). In my final October post I showed you a dragon, drawn by the Oyster and embroidered by me. (A recent commenter describes it as “the perfect combination of the Flag of Wales and Trogdor the Burninator” – thanks, Phil, I’m honoured!)

November began badly: the Feaster and I both came down with swine flu, and the Oyster soon followed. (I got diagnosed on my birthday. Boo.) I managed a plucky little Sunday Stash post the following weekend, trying to pretend to be a lot betterer than I was. My next post, a work-in-progress shot of my Birch shawl (thanks to the readers who identified it for me!), was rather more realistic, and it doesn’t surprise me much that it was followed by a ten-day lull. I came back fighting, with my single most popular post yet, in which I rant about children’s clothes. I finished the month with a Sunday Stash post about my antique Singer sewing machine accessories. Hardware love!

Life: it’s what you make of it

I haven’t been making much lately. My time seems to be more than usually soaked up by all the stuff I can’t put off – including paid work (which I do whenever I can get it), trying to regain some kind of grip on our household systems (ahahaha), and preparing for the forthcoming festivities.

With my redoubtable mother-in-law I did score one huge triumph in mid-November, when we finally planted the spring bulbs (in the dark of a late drizzly afternoon, with one of us planting while the other danced around to keep the motion-sensitive floodlight active). I adore bulbs – they’re like gifts to my future self, and I can’t wait to see them poking their little green noses up through the bark mulch.

I do have several craft projects on the go, including some that I haven’t mentioned here yet. We’ll see how I get on with trying to make headway on those in the coming weeks. We have a lot to do, as the Feaster turns 2 tomorrow, and we have agreed to host Christmas for the first time this year. (Meep.)


For the record, this is my 39th post here. String Revolution is five months old, and at the moment it’s visited by about 400 people a month, who look at around 1000 pages. That children’s clothes rant is by far the most frequently read post to date, with over 200 views so far.

Nine people subscribe through Google Reader, and eleven through the Livejournal feed. I’ve no idea about other RSS readers, because I am essentially clueless about such things.

Posting causes a slight spike in site visits. Announcing my posts on Twitter and Facebook causes a dramatic spike. I need to remember this.

Almost 15% of my site visitors come directly, from people typing the URL into their browser. Just over 11% come through search engines. The rest – almost three-quarters – come through links on other sites. These include Twitter and Facebook (my updates and yours), blogs where I comment, and mentions by other bloggers. I am – quite honestly, cheese and all – humbled and grateful every time you take a moment to spread the word about String Revolution. Thank you.

My top traffic source, overall, is through my comments over at The Fluent Self. (I’m failing to describe adequately what that is. It’s kind of … business yoga. Best to visit, if you’re curious.) I don’t know if this is because Havi’s readers are some kind of “good fit” for me, or if it’s just that her blog gets vastly more visitors than any other one I comment on. Possibly both.

The mountains in my mind

I wonder how evident it is, post by post, that I’m stone terrified to be doing this. I notice that every time I write a “successful” post (i.e. I’m particularly happy with it, or you leave loads of great comments), I run away – because clearly, everyone now expects me to produce morebettermorenow!!! And I don’t know if I can.

So I pack my bags and go off to start a new life in South America.

In my head.

I am making progress, mind you. When I started, I used to get a full-on panic attack every time I clicked Publish. Nowadays, this happens only if I’ve really put my heart into the post, and it’s usually fairly mild. I’m coming around to the opinion that the trick is not to let the fear stop me.

Meanwhile, your comments are the best thing evah. Do, please, keep them coming (or e-mail me if you prefer).

Finally, if there’s anything I can do for you, just ask. You never know – I might say yes.

4 comments to October and November Got Away

  • Rachael

    For what it’s worth, I would have never guessed that you were anxious about posting, and I am very grateful that you do.

  • leannich

    @Rachael: Thank you so much! It really means a lot to me that you’re enjoying this stuff. I’ll get into the anxious part in later posts, perhaps, because it’s kind of central.

  • I also suffer from panic attacks and i can manage it by deep and slow breathing. i also practice meditation.. ‘

  • How can I add music to my blog? a playlist and create a custom player that will play it. It’s incredibly easy to do and when you’re done, it provides the code that you can copy and paste right into your blog, wherever you want it.

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