Friday, March 23, 2012

Blog Awards: Like Zombie Bites, But Sweeter (Infographic)

Night of the Living Blog Awards

A few weeks ago, I began to notice signs of an outbreak in the sewing blogosphere. One after another, my favorite blogs were being taken over by blog award memes of mysterious origin, and answering questions about their favorite colors, numbers--and even, oddly, days of the week.

And I noticed something even odder about the rules for these awards--which required they be passed on to not one, not two, but as many as 5, 7, or even 15 other bloggers.

Please indulge me in a little amateur epidemiology here, as I say: gals (and guys), that math just DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. So I pulled out my handy calculator (er, spreadsheet), confirmed my suspicions and put together a little infographic to illustrate it.

Diary of a Sewing Blog Outbreak

It reminded me of nothing so much as a zombie outbreak. Your average slow zombie can maybe infect five bloggers, but one of those fancy fast ones could probably take down at least 15, especially in the early stages of decomposition.

I'm fairly certain there aren't actually 38.4 billion sewing blogs out there, but we haven't been quite this overrun because many sewing bloggers (like me, er, sorry!) take a bit of time to acknowledge these awards, or don't pass them on. It's basically a digital chain letter.

Now before you accuse me of being a cranky killjoy (you might have a point, it's been a rough week!), I have actually really enjoyed reading everyone's awards posts, because they've led me to a lot of awesome new-to-me sewing blogs to add to my overloaded Google Reader. And silly as some of the questions and rules for these things are, they are a nice way of spreading the sewing blog love and learning random facts about my favorite bloggers beyond their taste in sewing patterns and fabric.

And I really did feel super-special and happy to recently receive a number of sweet awards from some of my favorite bloggers recently, so I WILL play along and answer some of the accompanying questions. Just for fun!

The Versatile Blogger Award:

Elizabeth (from E Made This), Laura Mae (from Lilacs & Lace) and Tina from Down the Retro Rabbit Holeeach sent me a Versatile Blogger Award.

First, big hugs to the awesome Elizabeth, whose been a (digital) friend of mine for two years, since we both were pregnant with our youngest (or in my case, only) little ones. This woman can sew beautifully fitted clothes like nobody's business--coats, pants, jeans, blouses, you name it, mostly while the little ones are napping. She's currently soliciting participants in a really cool sewalong called "The T-Shirt Project", making knit tops with awesome details (like PEPLUMS)--I am too limited in my sewing time to join but YOU all should!

And wow, if you have even the slightest interest in vintage sewing, I really hope you are reading Lilacs & Lace. Laura Mae is a fellow polka-dot and peplum devotee, and she makes the most amazing and inspiring beautifully fitted vintage-inspired garments, documented in lovely photoshoots. And she wears awesome shoes. Seriously, check out the back detail on this suit dress.

I didn't even know about Tina's blog before, but I'm so excited to become a regular reader and follow her fabulous vintage sewing adventures. I completely agree with her assessment that "if we knew each other in real life, we'd be friends. The sipping tea (or maybe martinis) whilst sewing kinda of friends." Tina reads a ridiculous amount of books, and maybe at an even slightly faster pace than me (I sure as heck didn't read the first three Game of Thrones books in two days, though it was close).

And as per the rules of this meme, here are seven non-sewing facts you probably don't know about me:

  1. My first job in high school was working for minimum wage as an ice cream waitress. (Note: I am lactose intolerant, so this was torture.)
  2. When I was 17, I tattooed myself with a (sewing) needle and ink. I had this really complex artistic concept in mind involving spirals and circles, but I got indecisive halfway through and stopped, so I have just have this weird squiggle thing on my ankle.
  3. My first job out of college was designing financial information graphics for The Wall Street Journal.
  4. My fondest childhood ambition was to be a science fiction writer.
  5. My favorite music in high school was punk rock--and still is, because I can't be bothered to pay attention to new bands. The bands most often in rotation on my iTouch or Pandora are: Billy Bragg, the Buzzcocks, Le Tigre, Bikini Kill, The Dead Kennedys, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith.
  6. I am really passionate about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights--especially transgender rights. For nine years I drew angry political cartoons for Bay Windows, Boston's LGBT newspaper (old cartooning blog here, old gallery here, even older gallery here).
  7. I work in marketing for Doctors Without Borders/Médècins Sans Frontières USA. Every day I feel grateful for the amazing opportunity I have to raise money to help save the lives of people trapped in crises where few other organizations will go. Recently when I interviewed a midwife who had just come back from Chad, she told me some stories of women and babies she had cared for who would otherwise have died--for the lack of really basic medicines that cost like, 75 cents per new mother--and I cried. Trust me, you would have too. (By the way, my husband is riding for Doctors Without Borders in the 5 Boro Bike Tour, and even a small donation can make a huge impact).

I'm not going to bite 15 other bloggers though--it would just be too hard to choose my favorites like that. Instead I plan to more regularly feature my favorite blog crushes by category.

The Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award gets the award for most inane questions. BUT it brings me lots of sunshine and happiness because it comes from the fabulous Liza Jane of liza jane sews, who should get the award for best awards acceptance post for her lovely photos of a day in her life as an elementary school art teacher.

My parents are both (retired) public school teachers, and I pretty much spent all the time I possibly could in art class, so to me Liza Jane is a rock star. Everything she sews is artistically-designed, bright, fun and inspiring like this dress influenced by her students' artwork. I also love her experiments in drafting and in sewing for kids.

Oh, and those inane questions. Rather than answer them myself, I'll tell you how my 21-month-old daughter would answer them:

  • Favorite Colour: Green. In fact, EVERYTHING is green according to her.
  • Favorite Animal: Cats. With sheep a close second. (The apple doesn't fall far, etc.)
  • Favorite Number: 1 (or "uno!" as she prefers it).
  • Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Breastmilk.
  • Facebook or Twitter: Google Plus. Seriously, she hijacked my mom's iPad and was posting all over the place before my mom realized.
  • Her Passion: Music and dancing.
  • Getting or Giving Presents: Getting.
  • Favorite Pattern: The Ottobre Pupu Overalls I just made for her.
  • Favorite Day of the Week: Saturday and Sunday, because Mommy's home all day.
  • Favorite Flower: All flowers are equally exciting to her. "Flower!"
  • Favorite celebrity role model: Elmo. Or possibly Béyonce. She loves them both.

The Liebster Blog Award

And finally, big thanks to the awesome Neeno from Sew Me Love for passing on the Liebster Love. This awesome seamstress is PROLIFIC and makes the most adorable dresses in eye-blinding vivid colors--my kind of girl! Again, I'm new to her blog but already obsessed.

Phew! I'm all awarded out. If anyone else has bitten me with given me an award I somehow missed, I apologize!

P.S. In case you were wondering my opinion on zombie-related media:

  • Books: Love love love adoringly love Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Really enjoyed Colson Whitehead's Zone One. The Zombie Survival Guide is OK. I read all the Walking Dead comics and wish I hadn't, because they gave me nightmares, the outlook in them is too bleak, and I don't like the way most of the women characters are portrayed.
  • Films and TV: Love Shaun of the Dead, Fido (really odd film set in a retro 50s-esque suburbia where zombies are ill-treated servants), both 28 XXX Later movies. Was able to watch most Romero movies once but couldn't do so again, and certainly can't watch their remakes again (too scary/upsetting). As for the Walking Dead: NO. I can NOT watch that terrifying thing.

P.P.S. Oh, and about that photo at the way tippy-top of this post--that's me and my friend Mary (the fastest woman in Brooklyn in the recent NYC Marathon, go Mary!) dressed as zombies for a Zombie Purim party some years back. You can't tell in the photo, but I'm wearing a gorgeous vintage black cutout velvet dress with a bow and a PEPLUM. More on that dress soon as I'm trying to add straps to it...


  1. that is without doubt the BEST post I have ever read about getting a blog award. good thing those awards DON'T come with the zombie virus, right?

    My favorite zombie film is probably Return of the Living Dead which never fails to crack me up. The remake of the Night of the Living Dead is great too -- the new improved Barbara is awesome. Didn't like the modern remakes though...Resident Evil is still my favorite zombie universe anyway.

    Loved all the answers, btw!!

  2. Thanks for the shout out Mikhaela.
    I love Shaun of the Dead too. I love when Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are weighing their options of weaponry in the record collection. So funny.

    I'm not sure why I'm so late to the peplum party. They really are awesome.

  3. Your Diary of a Sewing Blog Outbreak is hilarious!!! and so true!!! I agree, it was hard to pick 15 blogs.. and having to create links for 15 blogs and visit 15 blogs to comment... I went to bed with a sore wrist that night! It took me 2 days to finalise my list of 15 blogs. Having said tht, I was very happy to get the nom, and was happy that I participated :) but the rule should be changed... maybe we should only nom 4 blogs... or we could run out of blogs like ur research shows!!

    Congrats on your 3 blog awards, and Keep up the good work, :P

  4. Freaking hilarious. Why are the blog award posts so hard to write? I spent way too much time on my post the other day. But of course I'm totally flattered someone took the time to give me an award. Love this post! We'll all be staggering around looking for brains soon...

  5. Zombie Purim sounds awesome.

    Thank you for crunching these numbers... The blog awards are really really nice but I always get all heart-attacky about them like I'm going to break some rules and upset people or something if I don't return them... And they're hard posts to write for some reason...


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