On Sunday, after guild, Sheila and I went out for coffee and got to talking about the seemingly high level of "pretty" and "perfect" we've been seeing in the crafty world on blogs and social media. There has always been some level of perfectionism but it seems to have hit an all-time high and I've noticed (especially on Instagram) a proliferation of perfectly placed and filtered photos. I have definitely been guilty of this myself on a few occasions, and I can't help but think that by portraying our lives as shiny and pretty all of the time that we may be doing a disservice to our community.
I know, from talking to numerous bloggers and crafty peeps, that these not-quite-true glimpses into our lives lead to feelings of inferiority and to people feeling that they don't quite measure up to what they see online - this is not a good thing. Of course, every person's blog and social media space is, just that, their own space and nobody should feel that they can't show their lives the way they want to - heck, I'm not going to start photographing the dust that accumulates on the TV for y'all. But it's not really about not showing the bad, it's about over-gilding the rest to make it prettier than it actually is. My life is incredibly un-pretty most of the time.
To honour that, I am going to share some of the not-so-pretty, but very real, in my own life.
This is my kitchen and this is where I sew. I don't have a studio or even a corner - the sewing machine and ironing board get packed away as I finish each project. There is food on the counter from Alex's mum, a mop in the corner, a phone book under the cabinet, and I use an extension cord in order to plug my machine and iron into the one outlet our kitchen has. This is just the way it is.
I cut fabric on the living room floor. I'm sure this is very bad for my back, but it's a good space. Usually I watch TV shows or movies on the TV or laptop while cutting - yesterday, while prepping a new tutorial, it was Supernatural. That there is my scrap box and it lives under the couch along with many of my tools. The giant cutting board slides in behind the couch when not being used.
The stash...yep, it ain't pretty! And yes, this is it. There's some fabric in the little wire shelf unit and in the purple canvas boxes on the floor (solids and packaging materials in one and voile, lawn, and some other miscellaneous bits in the other). And yes, that's my "design wall" curling over in the picture - I haven't used it in an age because it obviously doesn't work and should really just take that batting down (oh, and can I just mention that that's not actually batting either - it's Insul-Bright. Yep. Oy).
Yarn stash. All stashed in the den on the back of the door in an organizer designed for hanging shoes. Well, hey now, I thought this was pretty ingenious when I came up with it. There's got to be other people out there who thought of this before me though, right?
My poor ugly, ugly feet! This is why there has only been one time (that I can think of) that my feet have shown up on this blog without socks on... everybody is always taking pictures of blocks and things that have little peeks of their feet in them and I always think "cute!" but then I look at my own feet and I think "ugh". I even have a half tan across each foot right now from wearing moccasins... oh ya, that's a good look. My nail polish is kinda fun but that's about it - actually, to be utterly truthful, I still can't decide if I like that polish or not and I've been wearing it for close to a week.
I miss the community that was actually a community where people talked
and became friends, where it wasn't about outdoing your neighbour, and
where sharing was more than just pretty pictures. And maybe that loss of
community has been what has made the "perfect" stand out even more to
me now, and maybe the "perfect" is a product of our fast paced lives where we aren't necessarily reading blogs so much anymore, but are rather just looking at the pictures (and of course, this is the whole premise that Instagram is based on).
I know that there are many people who won't necessarily agree with me, people who do, and people who half-agree (I think I covered you all, haha!) but even now, having only just finished writing, I feel better for having said what was on my mind. I would really like to hear what you think whether you agree, whether your sorta-kinda-agree, or whether you think I am flat out crazy.