Have you ever spent hours on Pinterest? Wandered through quaint little shops in a seaside village or a charming midwestern town?
I’ve spent some time in local shops and and in large home decor stores. I’ve browsed online and been to craft shows and art shows.
And I’m discouraged.
I am missing originality and I am as much a consumer as everyone else. Where are all the original thinkers? Where are the creatives out there doing what’s never been done? Am I just missing it? How can I go from an exurb of Chicago to a small town in Wisconsin, and find basically the exact same products?
I loved the inspirational script messages at one time, but to be honest, aren’t they getting old? If one more piece of wood or vinyl sticky for my wall tells me to “choose joy” I’m going to scream. (What does that mean anyway? Choose joy. Instead of eating chocolate? Instead of crying? Instead of reading the newspaper? Instead of choosing to make a change? Instead of choosing to work out?)
I even have a little houseplant pot that bears the message “grow.” The plant is suffering. And I think it’s because the pressure is too great and the obvious command on its outer shell is intimidating and off-putting.
I might also be watering it too much.
Nevertheless, it serves as a reminder that these constant, script-y, positive messages are numbing us to the reality around us.
If you are INSPIRED to paint the face of a cow in purples, oranges and teals, bless your heart and the artwork will be beautiful. But if you are purchasing the same one that’s shown in a chain of stores across the country, because…umm…”farmhouse”, well, what’s the point?
And I say this with love in my heart for all things farm. I’m descended from farmers.
But anyone who thinks that farmhouse style begins and ends with anything but manure and straw and hay is kidding themselves. And the farmhouse I knew was cramped. We didn’t have a whole lot of decorative items. Most of them were practical. You needed a broom nearby to chase the bats that flew in at night. You needed a vacuum cleaner to get at the flies that swarmed the window sills in the summertime. You needed plenty of logs in the basement to keep the house heated all winter. You needed hooks and pegs for jackets and boots and fishing poles. When I was out in the barn no one ever had to tell me to “choose joy.”
Joy showed up uninvited. So did laughter and tears and hugs.
This week, let’s all go out and find something original to do. Something one-of-a-kind.
That’s the beauty of sewing. We can make things that no one else has made, and make memories that no one else has experienced.
Let’s be more authentic. And let’s ditch the mass market.