Friday, 7 August 2009

I need double sided journalling tags:

(Image from Shimelle, part of the Everyone Has A Story course I'm apparently doing!)
You know I read a lot of blogs. A lot. You probably might also know dear interweb that a lot of those blogs belong to 'celebrity' crafters. On some of these I have noticed (well, you can't fail to, really) that real life never, ever interferes with the creative process. Photographs that may include their personal spaces never, ever show wrinkled upholstery, disarranged cushions, half dead flower arrangements, bad lighting, cable frenzy under a table or any of the things that I often live with. They never, ever show a picture of a child that isn't happy and isn't dressed in clean, beautifully ironed clothes (unless it's to illustrate a FUN point or activity). This is like the American dream - every picture is a potential commercial. Which I guess it is really, because they want you to revisit their blogs and be inspired huh? And why not; they are for the most part, very inspiring. The use of white with a teeny tiny accent of a colour in a home, in clothing or on a LO is utterly aspirational for me - and how do their houses stay so damn clean and tidy? Really - glittering wooden floors, smooth glazed surfaces - all spotless. Really I think it's heeeelarious and I wanted to give you my take on this; so imagine a LO of a bedroom, empty but for a bed covered in dust sheets:
The non-blogger way to tell it:
Well, Miss Dunnit and I have spent the last two days prepping her room for a total redecoration. It's taken me 4 weeks of frustration and some shouting to get the room actually cleared and some badly needed sorting out done. We've washed, scraped, filled and sanded down. Yesterday we re-glossed the paintwork. It took ages, I was bored rigid by the job, but quite enjoyed singing along to Lady Gaga at the top of my lungs with my daughter, who thought we were incognito in the bedroom with both windows wide open! We had a spirited conversation about the radio phone-in show which we would not otherwise have had, which I must say put my mind at rest about certain teenage behaviour that I don't even want to think about, let alone deal with! Today, after Miss Dunnit got up at 12.30 (!), we finished the woodwork, cut in with undercoat and then rolled undercoat onto the walls. There's only a bed left in the room, but we've had to work out a way to share a paint tray or pot without stepping over one another or leaning on some portion of wall or wood that has been freshly painted while your back was turned. There is no doubt that Miss Dunnit has had enough of me saying 're-load your brush, you're working it to death', 'don't let it drip' and other such advice! Having called it a day, we both immediately ended up in different parts of the house, looking, no doubt, for some space! Man, it was much harder work than I thought it would be! I'm typing with painty fingers and my ribcage is barely holding me up in the seat! I just know that tomorrow my arms will be dead. I'm glad that I'm helping out in the LSS tomorrow, it might get me out of doing another coat!

The celebrity scrapbook journalling:
Miss Dunnit and I have had the best two days. We've sorted through her bedroom and set aside that which she does not want to keep from her younger years and will be delivering to charity shops and recycling as much as possible in the coming week. Meanwhile, we've started to redecorate her bedroom; it's coming on really well and for me, the benefit has been the quality time that we've spent together. We've had conversations prompted by radio shows that we wouldn't otherwise have had, and we really work as a team. It's coming together and I'm really looking forward to celebrating the achievement of a new look bedroom with her. It will certainly compliment the next new stage of her life.

It's all true....I mean every word in both paragraphs, I just think the erm, glossed up (geddit) version is so much more often what we see or at least read. Life isn't perfect, and with 5 children under 10 you can't go through life without exhaustion and shrieking. You can't. Where you get the time to do anything other than maintain sanity is beyond me, I'm full of admiration. But I laugh my socks off every time I read of an 'achievement' and of how Blessed the author is to be so enabled. Believe me, I have one child and in her early days, it was an achievement to put washing on the line and get it back in on the same day. Now is that under achievement or reality? You decide....I think I'm too busy reading the glossy blogs of the over achievers!

12 comments:

Angie said...

REALITY ... I had the two and all I ever managed was the cooking and the washing and often iy was out for two days lol. I did do a bit of crafting back then but only for short spells after kiddies bed time and when hubby fell a sleep in his chair or went out to do his thing. Sometimes I had to get the hoover out... and a duster... but then there was no time to craft. I think I just had no system.
I do hate everyone appearing to be so good at household things ...and everything else ... and having amazingly gifted and well behaved children because it makes people like me ...when I was young, especially ... feel so inadequate. Yes one could aspire to be like them ...but if you fail, as many do, it makes things even worse.
OK ....I'll get off my box lol
Great food for thought Julia ...I like the real world.

Lyn said...

Absolutely hilarious and absolutely spot on, I love the 2 versions and definitely prefer the "reality" one - much better reading. Thoughtful too, especially after the aaah-ping I had this week. Having been That Woman (achieving kids, one now graduated and working full time, other just finished 2nd year at uni with full time job for the summer, career, always worked full time, tidy house, whilst being a school governor of 2 schools for years and finding time to learn Spanish, craft, yada, yada, yada) (Yes, it scares ME when I look back) I can only say that without the ongoing love and absolute practical support of my DH and beloved parents I couldn't have managed any of it. But equally I wouldn't gloss over it and make it sound perfect - it wasn't. As major wage earner, it was our decision. Even so, at one point, when the mortgage rates were over 12% with son and daughter both at nursery, we were so broke that, whilst we both worked full time, me studying 18 months for work exams for a technical promotion, I was also doing 3 Avon rounds and husband cleaning a factory at weekends. Having passed the exams it at least allowed us both to give up our part time jobs! So, would I have done it again? Don't know. I certainly am not the perfect wife, mother, daughter with the perfect house of glossy blogs and magazines and can scream at the kids like the proverbial fishwife. Son reckons we have scarred both of them for life, but instantly took it back after I beat the cr*p out of all 6 foot plus of him! I don't believe anyone is inadequate, we all do what we have to do - needs must at any particular point in time and the life choices we make. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - I have a memory and home full of it!

Anyhoo, regardless of "how you tell it" I am sure that you and your DD will have the happy memories (2 diff versions, of course!) of the re-furb to laugh about for many years to come and she will love her new room. Apparently kids come to REALLY appreciate their parents at some point - I'll let you know!

allyf said...

ROTFLMAO! Given me reality over the nauseating sugar coated perfect-isms anytime.

You have to wonder if those celebs with their broods of perfect kids actually have a proper family life or if its just one long search for the ultimate photo opportunity? I'd rather have my kids (well ok my sisters) be natural and if its less than pearly white, thats just fine.
:-)

Carmen said...

Oh Julia, thank you for this post! After having a day of playing taxi driver to everyone including Craig, the 2 eldest, my sister AND my Dad... all at different times I might add, doing a Tesco shop, making coffee for the landlord who's been plastering our outside wall after it got hit by a lorry AGAIN (long story, I wont rant) I look round my shambles of a home and do often wonder how people do it. I even got the ironing all out today - did 3 items and got called away so put it all back again! I don't even have a job as such just the role of Mum and driver to Craig when he needs it. How people with jobs keep everything sparkly and neat and perfect I don't know. Well I didn't... I do now thanks to your post ;)

I adore Angies comment. Do you know I put 2 loads of washing out yesterday, left it out overnight and lay there in bed when all that rain came down in the night and just sighed. Like hell was I getting up to get it all in again.

Give me ordinary life anyday - especially when other people own up to being ordinary too. Your first version sounded like so much fun!

my5bratz said...

this is why I love coming to your place cyber-sis...for a good dose of reality....

Avril Ann said...

Fab Julia, anyone who can make, working, raising kids and keeping house look easy, must have lots of PAID help. I have 6 kids and worked full time, looked after my dad when he has a few strokes and never, ever had time for myself, not even to go to the hairdressers....but I will say that being a Mum has been the best thing I have ever done, WARTS and ALL, and there have been many, many WARTS, I am bringing up my grandson now and bed of rosses it is not....I only started crafting when I became disabled, so my house, sometimes sees a hoover, a dust, but hey it has a "lived in" feel to it LOL. Hugs Avril xxx

Claireliz said...

LOL! love it so very true! So I confess... I'm an underachiever & proud of it.

lisa said...

Sooo true. Give me reality everytime in all it's glory, it's so much more interesting.

Lisax

Emilie said...

Love reading your blog! It is always so entertaining! I can't really say much as I haven't got any kids myself but I can say that even without them, I struggle! I suppose, like you say, those celebs bloggers are kind of an aspiration! And as well, those celebs are mostly americans and the culture difference is huge! They come from a country where perfection is the norm...
BTW I have a little something for you on my blog!

Anne said...

Brilliant. I love your blog! You have managed to put into words what I never could but always felt - that often those celebrity scrappers are like watching a very slick, beautifully presented and rather appealing lifestyle show. The sun always shines, and even if it doesnt, it's just an opportunity to do some Martha inspired activities together. There are never pants on the floor, or days when you think 'stuff it, I'm leaving the house to look like a pigstye today', or people who are tired and a bit tetchy with each other.

I've never been able to verbalise why, but from the very beginning I decided that I was going to write as if I was me - it's the only way I know how and I want my scrapbooks to be reflections of me - and that sometimes means slightly odd journaling and telling it like it is!

I hope you are going to use your first version - it's brilliant.

Ann said...

I know I'm late commenting but have just found this post. Hilarious! You write so well and say it as it is. The real life version is the one for me - it's like the out-takes on TV - you only get to see the real celebs when they choose to show you and what they show you!

helen miles said...

lol, brilliant! i prefer the un-glossy version, much much more interesting and realistic, love it!