New readers might not (probably won’t) know that Joli House started out as a craft blog, written by my mum, back in 2007. Yep, slightly unconventional ‘blog birth’ story for this one! She shared crafty projects, family travels, baking, and many cute/cringeworthy photos of primary school Lily and my brother Joel. Back in the real blogging olden days y’know, 11 years ago.
Various chatty topics came and went, but the crafty side of things was always the main focus. My tweenage self popped her head in every now and again with a guest post, usually chatting about something I’d made accompanied by the 12 year old equivalent of fashion blogger poses. The archives are a real treat, let me tell you. I honestly can’t imagine not being able to knit/crochet/sew (seems like basic life skills to me I’ve been doing it so long), and it’s always been my ‘thing’. For GCSE textiles I made a lace bodycon midi skirt that I still love to this day, and I absolutely worked my arse off to reach the 97.5% necessary for an A* at A-level textiles. Over the years I’ve given varying degrees of fucks about how ‘uncool’ knitting etc. makes me, but for a while now I’ve literally not cared in the slightest. KNITTER AND PROUD ALRIGHT.
It’s approaching the 5 year anniversary (!!!) of my takeover of Joli House now, and whilst it’s definitely evolved from the original incarnation, I want to bring the OG crafty stuff back. Whilst I’m reading post after post about bloggers feeling lost and unsure which direction to take, it feels like it would make sense to go back to my ‘roots’. It’s what I’m good at, it’s something that’ll endure the test of time, and most importantly, it’s something unique to me. I mean, obviously other people can knit and crochet and sew, but they can’t take designs right out of my head can they?
There is space for everyone in the blogging world, but you need to offer *something* different these days. I know I’m not alone with wondering what the hell I even write about that hasn’t been done 200 times already. It seems like in the past year or so, something has just ‘changed’ with blogging, and there’s a pressure to be relatable but innovative, interesting but easy reading, aspirational but down to Earth… you get the idea. If recent posts are anything to go by, many of us are feeling confused, uninspired, and just don’t know what we’re really aiming for at the moment. Brands’ ways of working with bloggers have changed, focus has shifted to Instagram, and with no industry guidelines to work to it’s all rather uncertain.
So. Where Joli House is concerned, a few tweaks might be a’coming. Travel, fashion, and general thoughtful ‘life’ posts won’t be going anywhere, but expect to see more crafty creative stuff, more short posts about my current inspirations, and a stronger focus on the handmade. Possibly patterns, possibly items for sale, I’m not entirely sure yet. If I can inspire a couple of people to learn the ways of the needles and hooks, then mission accomplished.
Should probably mention the handmade item I’m wearing here then shouldn’t I? Rather happy with how this one turned out, I must say. As is often the case, I start projects with grand ideas of what the finished item will be, then forget about them until I discover a half finished cropped top in a cupboard the year later. Case in point. If I remember rightly the original plan was to make a giant frill to go all around the square neck of this one, but after spotting a few cap sleeve cute tops on the high street I thought I’d give that a go instead. A day trip to the Lake District seemed like an opportune time to snap some quick photos, however I only finished sewing the ends in in the car park (wish I could say that’s the first time I’ve been so last minute), so here I present an unironed version. The lace sleeves looked far cuter once ironed, I promise. Overall though, I’m happy with the outcome! White version next maybe?
TL;DR: I made a cute cropped top and am going back to my blogging roots. Over and out.
Lily Kate x