I watch Martha Stewart like it’s going out of style. I subscribe to her magazine; I really am impressed by her skills and ideas. However, when I’m honest with myself, I know I’ll never be a diva of DIY projects. In fact, I would love to be! But I have to come clean: When I look longingly at these amazingly inspirational projects, I secretly know I’ll never see them in real life. Why? Well for a handful of reasons.
Let me start off by drawing the distinction between crafting and homemaking. Cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, all the things that are “home-ec” oriented — I get that, that’s homemaking. My mom owns a yarn store. I know how cool it can be to get something useful that’s handmade. When I say “DIY” and “crafting” I am speaking specifically about making things that are arguably pretty for the sake of being pretty. That said, onto my own shortcomings in the realms of being a DIY goddess.
1. Expectations vs. Reality. I did a post not too long ago where some aspiring DIY goddesses shared their crafting misfires inspired by Pinterest. We have the best of intentions, but that doesn’t mean paint won’t drip, ceramic won’t crack, or that the faces we put on our little craft animals won’t look shifty instead of adorable. Color me crazy, but the risks outweigh the rewards.
2. Craft supplies don’t thrill me. My sister made scrapbooks when we were teenagers. I would go with her to the scrapbook store and she’d fawn over paper and stamps for hours. Tiny little… things, everywhere. She took me to one last time she was in town where their slogan was emblazoned across the wall in huge letters, reading: DO SOMETHING CREATIVE EVERY DAY. As I sat alone in the drawing-room chair at the high desk empty-handed (while my sister was in the zone) I thought to myself, “That sounds terrible. Can I not?”
3. I went to art school. For four years the trunk of my car was filled with old suitcases of paints, pastels, thinners and medium. A layer of charcoal dust was on everything. I used to catch my cat lapping up India ink from my clay containers I made in wheel-throwing. Not only was I glad to finally throw all this stuff out and live a life free of photo-emulsion on every article of clothing I owned, but art school drives something into your brain really hard: “Fine art is the opposite of crafting. Crafting is the devil.” And while I happily divorced the creation of fine art upon graduation, the categorization of crafting stuck with me.
4. I don’t get it. Suffice it to say, the appeal of my house looking “crafty” isn’t enough for me to go out and start crafting. And furthermore, I think the real objective (if you’re looking at Pinterest or Martha Stewart anyway) is that your DIY stuff looks professional. So, people walk into your house and don’t notice you made everything because you did such a good job? Sounds pretty thankless.
5. I love to shop. I like the act of going somewhere and having something surprise me. After making things for so long in the hair industry and in art school, I just like going somewhere and having it already done for me. Better yet, I’d like to not know how something was made. Call me a typical American consumer, but I appreciate effortlessness.
It’s funny though, I do love to cook. And I guess that’s what it comes down to: It doesn’t matter how based-in-logic DIY crafting is, what matters is that you enjoy it, and I don’t. I’m not raining on anyone’s parade because, heck, I know a lot of people don’t like to cook or bake or shop like I do. And I don’t think I’ve failed as a woman. It’s just that I peruse these fantastic craft projects online and I think, “I could do that.” But the truth is… I won’t. And that’s okay.
Are you a DIY master? Or are you like me, and you know you’ll never get into it?