Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The last week or so has been tough. Bad news, psychic baggage, pressure. I have always gone to craft stores when I need some solace. Wandering amongst the fake flowers and scrap booking kits rests my mind.

That said, I really dislike the brand of craft that might be best described as "Country". You know the stuff. Teddy bears, those weird rag dolls with raffia hair, over embellishment and lots and lots of gingham hearts. I would have sold my soul to have this kind of stuff when I was eleven, but now it makes my teeth hurt.

When I was a kid, my tastes definitely ran to "giftshop", the more it smelled of cinnamon and eucalyptus the better. I made a couple of dolls out of pantyhose, and I am sure sparkles were present (Ah, the early 80's). Like many childhood passions and preferences, I find this sort of thing oddly comforting. It must be, because something needs to explain my recent purchase of "Australian Country Craft and Decorating" and another one that has something to do with country quiltin'. As expected, the vast vast majority of projects are things I would not dream of making; but there is a bit of treasure. There are a few patterns that could be translated into a different context; there embroidery things that are useful to current endeavors; and as usual, many of the ads are full of promise. Always good to have more options for places to spend my money. Best of all, they took my mind off of some of the harsher realities (What is up with all the teddies?!?! Argh! Ooooo. Nice fabric.) and gave me a bit of comfort with all the homey junk and neo-Victoriana. I wonder, why won't that look die? It just keeps going and going, the Energizer bunny of craft and decorating.

The current issues came with extra publications which were really bloody painful re: Christmas in July. Despite the horrors within, they are brilliant for Isaacs passion for flipping pages, and sometimes ripping them. Better that then my latest Martha Stewart gardening issue.

Absurd purchases maybe, for a gal with a Denyse Schmidt, Veronik Avery, slightly eco minimalist Midwestern aesthetic, but they did their job.

From the Book of Hints and Wrinkles, a tip for shopping by telephone:

Personally, however, I feel this method is apt to lead those of us who are not strong minded into extravagance; it is difficult to resist that polite, encouraging voice at the end of the line, insinuating suggestions about "an unusually nice line in cauliflowers, madam"-just when one has decided to make do with the boiled onions from yesterday.

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