Feeling Humbled

Handmade Jane's Card

Today is Valentine’s Day. Or, as I like to call it, my birthday. I’d drafted a celebratory Yay! Forget Valentine’s, let’s celebrate my birthday! blog post, but at the last moment I decided it was horribly self-indulgent and deleted it. People care less about your birthday, Karen, I told myself. They come here for pattern reviews, sewing tips and a bit of a laugh. Get over yourself.

So I hit the delete button and got on with my day. This wasn’t the best birthday I’ve had in ages, but something interesting started to happen. I received unexpected and lovely texts from friends I’ve made via this blog. People had actually remembered – unprompted! – that today was my birthday. A reader left a comment saying, ‘Isn’t today your birthday?’ Yes, it is! How on earth did you remember?

Finally, after a long walk with Ella, I collapsed on the sofa. My main birthday celebration was to happen at the weekend, but I’d promised myself an on-the-day treat of an Indian take away. No such luck. The restaurant had their phone on permanent engaged tone, too busy with romantic couples. Doh! In need of distraction, I turned to some of the cards that had arrived.

The above is a bespoke birthday card made by Handmade Jane. She’d printed out a photo of Ella – Ella! – and added her very own little tweed cape and hat, sewn on by Jane’s hands and put in the post to arrive on the very day I’d need a virtual hug.

So, here’s what I think. Blogging isn’t about unique visitors and it’s not about rankings. It’s not about freebies or giveaways. It’s about friends. Anyone who doesn’t understand that, doesn’t understand blogging. Thank you all so much, readers who comment and those who don’t. Thank you for indulging me, and Happy Valentine’s Day. Or, as I like to call it, my birthday!

Now, where’s that Indian takeaway menu? There’s an onion bhaji out there with my name on it…

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113 Responses to Feeling Humbled

  1. Melizza says:

    Happy birthday! Hope your take-away is super tasty and your weekend festivities are super.

    Also, stellar card. Totally worth framing.

  2. Karen says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope it was a good one! (Let’s see, 3pm here, 6 hours later there, must be 9 ish. If you are still awake: Hope it is still a good one!)

  3. Nicola C says:

    Hi Karen, happy birthday.
    I have recently started sewing and love your blog. My 12 year old son Oliver, loves the photos you post of Ella and now frequently tries to persuade me that we need to have a dog just like her. I have to agree she is the cutest thing ever, however the commitment is too big for us to take on at this moment in time. Enjoy the rest of your day and have a great birthday weekend.

  4. carmencitabs says:

    We thank YOU! Happy B

  5. Amie M says:

    Happy Birthday! And I would have loved a funny Forget VDay, It’s My BDay post. Non-sewing related posts are fun, too. It’s great to know the woman behind the keyboard, and sewing machine, and knitting needles.

  6. JacqC says:

    Very Happy Birthday – enjoy your onion bhaji, have 2! The card is fab, I love that the background is Jane’s trademark polka dots! Definitely worthy of framing :)

  7. Tania says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! x

  8. LLADYBIRD says:

    Your birthday is WAY more important than Valentine’s Day! What other day of the year do you get to be 100% self-indulgent and make the whole 24 hours about you you you? ;) Happy birthday, Karen! Hope it was wonderful ♥

  9. Leann says:

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your life with us. I have gotten so much enjoyment and inspiration from your blog. I am an introverted person and I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog, I guess it is time today. Thank you again.

  10. My birthday is Christmas Eve, so I totally understand… who needs to celebrate Christmas? Celebrate me!!! Indian take-away or not, I hope the day has been happy!

  11. Alice says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I spent Valentine’s evening with my knitting group and we all agreed it was the best we’ve had in years :)

    I don’t comment often, but thank you so much for all the inspiration you bring me. You are fabulous! x

  12. christina says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY1!!!!!!!

  13. Clio says:

    I think it’s immensely modest to only celebrate your bday for one day – I make mine last all month. So, go toot your horn, put on your party shoes and have your take out! Happy Bday and thank you for letting us share in your creative life!

  14. puu says:

    really well-said. enjoy what’s left of your b-day! :-)

  15. Adrienne says:

    This post made my day, Karen. So true that blogging is about friendships above all else.
    Happy birthday!! And enjoy the Indian food. :-)

  16. grtescp says:

    happy birthday – I hope you managed to get through to the Indian eventually – and what a wonderful card!

  17. Karen Shaw-Jones says:

    Hope you’ve had a lovely day. happy Birthday. card is fab!

  18. Gail says:

    Adding in one more happy birthday wish!

  19. Jo says:

    Oh how lovely – your post and that card. Happy Birthday Karen!

  20. Flossie Jamieson says:

    Happy birthday clever sewing lady! First time comment, and what better way to pop that cherry than with birthday wishes! Been reading your blog obsessively for two days now, and enjoying it too much. Just about to set up my own crafty blog and stumbled upon yours in the name of research, but now fear that if I keep on reading I will simply end up subconsciously mimicking you – on the writing front that it, certainly not with the sewing. I’m just about to make some bunting for my baby’s room and that seems adventurous. Hope you got your indulgent meal in the end, and congrats on an excellent blog – you can be sure I will be referencing you plenty in the future!

  21. Tamsinwp says:

    how fab is that card?! happy birthday to you!

  22. Charlotte says:

    Forget Valentine’s, let’s celebrate your birthday! Seriously. Enjoy the onion bhaji, weekend plans and all.

  23. liza jane says:

    Aww, happy birthday! Hope it was a good one.

  24. teresa sara says:

    Happy birthday, love the card cute clothes lol x

  25. gmariesews says:

    Happy Happy Birthday. I do hope you got your Indian Take Away and a nice snuggle with Ella! g

  26. lloubb says:

    that Jane is too much!! so cute :) Happy Birthday!

  27. Alice says:

    Happy HAPPY birthday!

    Your card is absolutely brilliant! A stroke of genius by handmade Jane, indeed.

    I hope you have had a lovely evening.

    PS your dog, Ella, is so cute. So is mine, hehe! And I agree about the blogfriends thing.

  28. Jennifer says:

    Agreed, absolutely! I hope the rest of your day was relaxing and wonderful. Happy birthday! (And next year, feel free to share that self-indulgent post ;)

  29. Here’s a story you’ll maybe appreciate, having a birthday on a (manufactured) holiday such as it is. My grandmother’s birthday was on St. Patrick’s Day. Apparently one year, my grandfather gave her her birthday present on Valentine’s Day on accident, getting his holidays confused. My dad was under the impression this was still not a suitable subject to bring up with my grandmother, some 40+ years later. ;)

    Happy Birthday Karen, and many happy returns to you!! That card (and Jane) is the best! xo

  30. 5currantbuns says:

    Happy Birthday, hope you have a truly celebratory weekend…mentioning your birthday is not self indulgent, you’re allowed, this is your blog !

  31. Happy Birthday!
    That is so lovely of Jane :)

  32. PDX Gretchen says:

    Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, today and on the weekend celebration! I hope you got your onion bhaji. :)

  33. Houseofpinheiro says:

    Happy birthday and now I won’t forget.. Be ready for more surprise cards. Jane is awesome x

  34. Happy birthday, dear Karen! You are loved around the world! Hugs, Katherine P.S. That card is a GEM!!!

  35. rdejam says:

    Hope you had a fabulous birthday, Karen! I had some lovely pumpkin curry at my local place in your honor.

  36. Debbie B says:

    Many Happy Returns Karen from a long time follower and (very) occasional commenter. Hope you enjoyed your day, you deserve to, you bring a smile to others so often with your fabulous, humorous writing.

  37. Gorgeous post with gorgeous sentiments. Glad your day perked up. And here’s hoping it finished off with a bit of spice x

  38. Shivani says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen! Hope it was lovely x

  39. Happy happy happy birthday! I’ve followed your blog for ages but don’t comment often as I have nothing of use to say other than lots of squealing of admiration and I noted you get most pleasure from helpful comments and tips. I enjoy your writing very much, long may it continue! Enjoy your onion bhaji!

  40. skipseagirl says:

    Happy Birthday and here’s to virtual hugs when physical ones are in short supply!
    x

  41. Marie says:

    Happy Birthday fabulous Karen!!! Valentine’s Day is overrated, but your special day isn’t and you deserve to be spoilt and indulged! I hope you have an absolutely smashing weekend of celebrations! I love Jane’s card to you, that woman is so thoughtful!xxx

  42. Philippa says:

    Happy birthday Karen! I agree with your comment about friendship being the best bit about blogging and the number of times a funny or interesting post has lightened my day, is countless!

  43. alice says:

    Happy birthday karen! Hope you got through on the phone to your takeaway and enjoyed it thoroughly ;-) x

  44. Sunni says:

    Happy Happy Birthday! I admittedly never know what to post about on my birthday and I always forget that its “my blog and I can cry/do what I want” with it. Same goes for you! I hope you can get your Indian take away (soooooo yummy) and treat yourself to something nice (like fabric!!!).
    xoxo, Sunni

  45. Kerry says:

    Aw, how thoughtful. Blogging friends are great. Happy birthday Karen x

    P.s. If you happen to have any spare tweed, Ella looks great in that outfit….

  46. Rachel says:

    Happy Birthday! What a sweet card. I agree, it is about making friends. How lucky I feel to have made such lovely ones!

  47. joanfrankham says:

    Hope your birthday was great, and that you enjoyed everything about it, including not having to cook on your special day.

  48. susan says:

    Happy Birthday Karen. Hop you had a great day.

  49. redsilvia says:

    Happy birthday Karen! I hope you had a good day and a lovely dinner. Indian food is awesome and especially awesome in London, so I shall hope you got your malai kofta (my fave).

  50. ElleMcQ says:

    Happy Birthday! And thank you for all you do with your blog. As a sewing newbie I’ve learned a lot from you. I’m thinking I’ll be having a romantic night with some Indian food as well. Cheers!

  51. Debbie Cook says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! Love your post today!

  52. Trisha says:

    Awwww! What a sweet story, and what a sweet card. Happy Birthday!

  53. Lisette says:

    Happy birthday! Blogging, especially for sewists, is totally about friendship! I’m glad that you pointed that out :) because we all feel it but we really don’t say it very often.

  54. Kay says:

    Forget Valentines day! Happy birthday, Karen!!

  55. To bloggy friends. Happy Birthday for Thursday.

  56. Happy birthday, Karen! And amen to what you just said.

    Since you’re talking about friendship, thanks again for organizing the San Francisco meet up with Beth a few months ago – not only was it a pleasure to meet you both, but I also made a friend that night that I’ve been seeing on a regular basis since.

    Oh, and you’re not the only one to celebrate something else than Valentine Day today: we’re celebrating the second anniversary of our arrival in the USA :).

  57. Meigan says:

    Have a lovely Birthday!

  58. Kathleen Soares says:

    Karen, Thank you for this blog. Happy Birthday from Nova Scotia!

  59. Jenny says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! I enjoy reading your blog very much :) So thank you for being you!

  60. velosewer says:

    Karen. Celebrating your birthday instead of Valentine’s Day seems a better option.
    Happy birthday!!

  61. trainlady says:

    Happy Birthday!

  62. you’re absolutely right. Blogging is about making friends. It’s an unbelievably supportive group of people in the sewing/blogging world and I am happy you and I are a part of it.

  63. oonaballoona says:

    humble?! HUMBLE?! IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO HOLLER YOUR HEAD OFF WELL IN ADVANCE, WOMAN!

    excuse me. you may have noticed i’m not quite as humble in that area. also i have a head like a sieve, and like reminders.

    dear friend, happiest of birthdays, only to be one upped by the next day and the next day and the next!!!

  64. Jen (NY) says:

    A day late by now, but here’s another Happy Birthday!
    ~Jen

  65. gingermakes says:

    Oh, girl, happy birthday!! I love the card– how great!

  66. Brenda says:

    Happy Birthday! It is my dad’s birthday too! Celebration tomorrow!

  67. Darlene says:

    Happy Biarthday!

  68. sewbusylizzy says:

    Happy Birthday!
    You are so absolutely right, I feel like I know so many bloggers and followers, it’s opened up a whole new (and happy world for me). The other day I was feel down and I thought to myself… “think I’ll write a blog post, that always cheers me up”.
    Happy happy birthday. We don’t really celebrate Valentines Day in our house – more fun for it to be your birthday xox

  69. Happy Birthday to you! I am not sure how it is to have a “holiday” birthday – but at least it is memorable. Shown by all the good wishes from your many blog friends (and local friends too I am sure) That card is adorable. PS, my wonderful Nana was a Valentine birthday baby as well, she of the amazing knitting and crocheting…just like you :)

  70. Far says:

    Happy happy birthday, Karen! Hope that you have a great week and weekend celebrating :)

  71. Helen says:

    Happy Birthday Karen, please indulge yourself, you’re worth it. Love your blog.

  72. Angela says:

    Happy Birthday! Now I will never forget it… especially since you have the same birthday as my Mom!!

  73. Thea says:

    Happy birthday for yesterday! Valentine’s is overrated – birthdays are way better! Hope you have a fabulous weekend :-)

  74. dottiedoodle says:

    Happy Birthday! LOVE the card.

  75. petra says:

    Happy birthday, Karen! Your birthday Ian very important, as it means you were born. I can’t tell you how much joy your blogging has given me!

    • Petra says:

      (Can someone explain to me WHY auto-correct chose a male name instead of the much more common word “is”???. Mobile nearly went out the bus window when I saw my typo).

  76. Happy birthday, Karen!! Hope you got to eat some Indian in the end!

  77. Sam says:

    A slightly belated happy birthday from me! I hope you got the onion bhaji (and other yummy food) in the end. That card is adorable.

  78. Heather says:

    Hi Karen
    I’m a day late reading this post, and also quite new to your blog, but in the short time I’ve been reading your posts i’ve been inspired not only to sew more, but to feel more confident about it. Some of the latter has come from your approach to life that bubbles up so nicely in each post, so thanks you for that, for being you. I hope ‘your’ day was all you wished for, that your onion bhaji’s arrived, and that you have many more to come – bhajis and birthdays.

  79. Katy says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! Birthdays certainly trump Valentine’s day (or Valoween as my husband and I have named it!). I hope you had a lovely day, and that perhaps you can get enjoy a lovely curry tonight. I love the fact that you’ve developed such caring friendships through this blog. I am new to sewing and have just set up my own blog to chart my progress, partly because I could see from reading everyone’s blogs how supportive and friendly the sewing community is. I hope I’m lucky enough to make such wonderful friends! I was lucky enough to meet Handmade Jane this week, and she is soo lovely! I’d also like to say what an inspiration you are, I love looking at what you’ve made and thinking ‘in the future, I could do that!’. Fingers crossed!
    xx

  80. Miriana says:

    Hi Karen,
    Happy birthday! I know how it feels not to have a ‘good brithday’ I’ve had many ‘blah’ birthdays in recent years but this year I had the opposite experience – I just felt like celebrating and I did, and I hope that you got your celebratory mood back as well! I don’t comment often but I read your blog every day and love it, not only for what you write which is always interesting but for your personality that shines through your words. Thank you and have a lovely week-end!!

  81. Bold Sewist says:

    Belated happy birthday! Sorry to hear it wasn’t the greatest but what a fantastic card – Jane is so so creative. Hope you got your curry and it perked you up together with all the online love! x

  82. Shelly says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!! I hope you enjoy your onion bahji and your weekend celebrations.

  83. Katie says:

    Happy birthday!! Today (the 15th) is my birthday so I kinda know how you feel. The older we get, birthdays feel less and less special anyway, but I agree it is so nice to have people coming out of the wood work to wish you a special day. Cheers!

  84. France Parijs (alias) says:

    Happy belated brithday! Thank YOU to bring about, to catalyse, to instigate (I’m running out of verbs to express what I think!) such positive feelings in the lovely sewing/knitting/crochetting (do not want to leave anyone outside!) communities.

    And here’s to many happy returns!

  85. lisa g says:

    happy birthday, what lovely blog folk there are… such a great card!

  86. Roobeedoo says:

    Happy Birthday!
    And LOVE that card – amazing!

  87. happy belated birthday! and isn’t jane so lovely – how cute is that card?

  88. Tee says:

    Happy belated Birthday!!!!

  89. Happy birthday! I wholeheartedly agree on blogging being about friendship. The only bad thing is now you’ve got me craving Indian…

  90. Karen S says:

    Karen,
    Hoping you had a fabulous birthday! And the handmade Ella card is adorable!

  91. amutha says:

    HI Karen, I think I am the last person to comment on this post. Anyway I am following your blog for long time maybe 6 months or 1 year I don’t have the idea..but I am the regular reader of your blog. The day I visited your blog I fell in love with you.You were simply amazing and down to earth. If I were your neighbour I would have invited you to my house for lunch. A typical south indian menu…A treat for your Birthday. Anyway have a great weekend.

  92. Debi says:

    I’m so happy to have you as a friend!! Happy belated birthday m’dear!

  93. Gjeometry says:

    Happy Birthday!!!!! And what a lovely card made by Handmade Jane. Caught my eye right away!

  94. terrimm says:

    Happy birthday to you! And what a lovely post, and an absolutely gorgeous card :D

  95. B. says:

    Belated Happy Birthday! Enjoy the week-end celebration!

  96. Amy says:

    A very belated happy birthday to you! You are a very well loved lady who deserves hand made cards and dog cuddles and a million blog comments. Have a glorious weekend!

  97. Belated Happy Birthday gorgeous, a sweetheart like you deserves all the friends and onion bhaji you can get!

  98. Liara says:

    Happy belated birthday!! I hope you had a fantastic celebration over the weekend.

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