Tuesday, December 12, 2006

BLAME MARTHA...


It was all very well going down the hand made route, visiting artists in their ateliers to buy Christmas presents; but when it came to actually making things and festive decorating chez Lola, I was unable to locate any cute Christmas tree light boutiques or young up and coming artisan purveyors of fleece, felt, pom poms and pipe cleaners. So Homebase and John Lewis it was. The HELL of pre-Christmas John Lewis where they don't have any white felt, their selection of rick rack is pitiful and Entree des Fournisseurs seems like a sweet and distant dream I once had and might as well be. And I'm blaming Martha for the John Lewis bit. Martha Stewart Holiday Handmade Gifts - AMAZING.

I never buy Martha Stewart Living, though I do like Martha's Blueprint magazine (not to be confused with long running U.K architecture mag Blueprint. Only Martha is so powerful (feared?) that she can get away with starting a magazine with the same name as another.)

ANYWAY this holiday handmade gift thingy basically shows you how to make all the Christmassy things you want to make but don't know how to, and some you didn't even know you wanted to make until you picked up the Holiday Gift doo dah. (Can I just ask any American readers what the deal is with saying "holiday" and "the holidays"? I quite like it actually, being agnostic, but is it absolutely not done to mention the C word (as in Christmas!) in the states now?)

ANYHOO there are so many gorgeous things to make: what do you think about the ankle strap felt baby booties? In an adult size of course - perfect for lounging! Oh, but they make it all look so beautiful. They could photograph a piece of tinsel draped over a plastic snowman and it would look simple, chic and timeless for goodness sake. How do they do it? I know my efforts will come out looking a bit wonky and grubby compared to the pristine, "I said do it four thousand more times until you get it perfect" projects shown in the magazine, but they do give good template. And for that I am thankful.

They even give you basic knitting and crochet tutorials which are perfect if, like me, your sweet Granny taught you to knit twenty years ago and your recent attempts have only led you to realise it's not quite like riding a bike; however you have no sweet Granny left to ask.

I have the best of intentions towards my crafty endeavours. I'm brimming with ideas but my fabric and trims still stay stuffed in the carrier bag so I can dream of how beautiful it will turn out a while longer. I just love it at the beginning of a project when my vision of what I'm going to make is unsullied by the reality of my slapdash corner cutting and short attention span.

But too many of my ideas have fallen by the wayside because I think they won't turn out absolutely perfect enough. I have never had a business card for this very reason. I have to remind myself of that old chestnut: If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly.

9 comments:

Annie said...

My mother was a charter subscriber to "Martha Stewart Living" - and that is why I grew up in a household with perfectly-matching paper-wrapped photo albums, and dish soap decanted into artistic olive oil bottles. Too many "Good Things" in that house. But anyways...I know what you mean!
Since my impoverished existence this Christmas is all about homespun gifts, I've been thinking I'm going with quilts, since a lot of my close friends (and family) have new homes, so I thought I'd whip together a few small throws. Right, I'll get on that just after I decant all my dish soap into artistic olive oil bottles...
FYI - We say "holidays" because it's supposedly more politically correct. I always like to say Merry Christmas because I celebrate Christmas, and my jewish/buddist/aetheist friends don't seem to mind...but I suppose professionally we're taught that it's polite to respect all religions. I tend to say "have a great holiday" - leaving it up to the person to decide which one they're celebrating. But that's just me.

Bombay Beauty said...

Indeed, it's the holidays or even more vaguely the holiday season in these parts. Reason, as annie above elaborates, is political correctness. You see not everyone realizes that Christmas is 95% a secular festival, that it's a relatively minor festivity on the church calendar, and that by wishing someone merry Christmas you're not assuming they are Christian but merely that they either live in the same highly commercialized country as you do or alternatively that you have imbibed some generalized Christmas, New Year's spirit into a holiday amalgam. But if I could press this delicate point, I've often wondered why it is always and exactly Merry Christmas in the US (as in Ho, ho, ho!) and Happy Christmas in the UK?

Would someone give you a funny look in the UK if you wished them a merry Christmas?

To wit: happy Christmas Lolas...

Cheers,

BB

jennifer | creatingfromscratch said...

Where do you find Blueprint in the UK? I pick it up when I'm back in NYC but have never seen it here in London. Curious...

Lola is Beauty said...

Annie-Ah yes, I guess the U.S has a far larger jewish population for one - here with all the p.c insanity (ie schools not being allowed to have nativity plays) the newsreaders have started referring to it as "the festive season" but it hasn't really caught on..I say bring back yuletide!

BB-People started saying Happy instead of Merry quite recently, I still say merry but maybe when you say it to a friend happy sounds more personal since they're bound to be merry/drunk anyway! No one would give you a funny look unless of course you added the ho ho ho...

Jennifer-they sell Blueprint at Borders in Oxford Street but it's probably out about a month later than in the U.S.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Oh no...I like Martha Stewart's magazine Living!

jennifer | creatingfromscratch said...

Ah, I've looked at Borders but have never seen it. I write for MSL so I should prob just ask my editor to put me on the comp list! :)

paola said...

Am I the only person who absolutely HATES the Blueprint font?

Lola is Beauty said...

Interesting to see the distinct feelings about Martha! I like what she does cos I'm kind of a freaky perfectionist myself but I can see how her influence can make people feel they have to achieve superhuman domestic standards. I like MSL but I prefer Blueprint and I LOVE the font!
Jennifer - So jealous you write for MSL, what a great job...And you should definitely be on that comp list!

Anonymous said...

Have definitely been a Blueprint fan. Have eyed the handmade gifts issue...hmmm.