Thursday, June 19, 2014

Craft for craft's sake

This week, I'm participating in the Happy Homemade Sew-along with elsiemarley and you and mie.  We're making the hoodie (pattern s) from Happy Homemade Vol 2, a Japanese pattern book I have used before and enjoy.  While I suspect neither of my girls is particularly interested in wearing a hoodie, I'm sewing them up anyway.  I can tell there is a fiddly bit to this pattern, so why not sew along with others who know what they are doing and can give some pointers?  I already followed their lead on lining the hood with a contrast fabric and adding a kangaroo pocket on the front.  I'm enjoying developing my sewing skills, and, whether they want a hoodie or not, both girls seem eager for me to finish their new tops.  Win.

I've been reflecting on craft lately, how much and when to do and why.  The other night, I read a scathing review of a publication I truly enjoy, a cause for more reflection.  The criticism attacked the publication as elitist and anti-feminist (racist, hetero-centric…the list was long and unhappy), which made me feel more than a bit uncomfortable because I could see the point.  If I still enjoy the publication, indeed I hope to successfully submit work there, what does that say about me and the values I promote?  This morning, it seems clearer.  It says simply that I don't see it that way.  While one can read in those criticisms, one also cannot.  Taken at face value, I find enjoyment and relaxation there, plain and simple.

I see the same attacks focused on particular blogs, on certain bloggers, criticisms for portraying their lives in a way others find threatening or showy or elitist or wholier-than-thou (yes, misspelling intended).  At times, I have felt that way myself.  During those times, I simply tune out.  Honestly, those moments are more about my own insecurities than anything those bloggers portray.  I don't think any of them intend to show how morally-, environmentally-, socially-, what-have-you-superior they are to the rest of us.  They are sharing what they do because they enjoy it.

Which brings me back to craft.  Strangely enough, craft for craft's sake can easily be seen as an elitist endeavour.  In an age when buying ready-made clothing can be so cheap, when even high-quality goods can be less expensive than a similar handmade item, there may no reason left than the joy found in doing.  At the end of the day, haters gonna hate, but I can find enjoyment where I may (seems more appealing than the alternative).

Where are you finding joy these days?  In a good read, in craft, in downtime or uptime or out-time or in-time…I hope you are finding some moments for yourself that make you smile.

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