Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's not your right to have a perfect life

Over the last week I feel like there's been a common theme in a lot of conversations I've had and things I've read. And it's this:

It's not your right to have a perfect life.

It's not your right to have the perfect home. It's not your right to have the perfect job (one that satisfies you completely and is free of conflict with your workmates or boss). It's not your right to have the most fantastic holidays, adventures & experiences. It's not your right to have a life that's completely free of hardship, health woes, unexpected hurdles or relationship ups and downs.

The internet will tell you this is what you deserve (and what everyone else has) but it's bullshit.

In fact it is a privilege to have what you do have. A decent roof over your head, the ability to sit down at the dinner table with your partner or family or friends and eat a decent, healthy meal. A job that pays the bills, that keeps you satisfied and interested (but doesn't have to be your whole world and identity). If you're a creative, it's a privilege that you have the facilities to create your art, to any degree, whether it pays the bills or is just a hobby. Making money from your creativity is extremely challenging and rarely what you imagine it to be. If you want to make an income (even an modest one) there's always a sacrifice. That's why I come to work and push the squeegee back and forth, wash screens, send emails, cut and pack fabric every day. NOT design fabric (that's a rare and special moment when it does happen!).

The internet is great for fostering a false sense of community and closeness, but it's shit at fostering real closeness. Real closeness comes from sharing the shit stuff. Sitting down with a friend and talking about your tough relationship situations or the health of a loved one. Having coffee with a fellow business owner and talking about those behind-the-scenes challenges of managing staff, expectations and cash-flow that nobody ever sees.

How can I espouse all this when often I'm one of the perpetrators in this situation? Showing photos of pretty homes (mine and others) adorned with our textiles, hopefully inspiring you to do the same? I guess my justification is this - I still want my friends and customers to be conscious consumers. People who will buy one or two nice things that are meaningful and have ethical standards, rather than a tonne of mass produced bullshit that will fall apart or fall out of trend in less than a year. It is a privilege to be able to buy ethical, locally made fabric for curtains/upholstery/cushions and I feel privileged every time someone chooses one of our textiles for that purpose.

The tricky thing about the internet is that it's a great place for sharing. I love sharing things that move me, excite me, that I think others will find interesting/valuable/inspiring. But I'm not going to share all the shit things that go down because (and maybe this is just my hang up) I feel like it comes across as sympathy-soliciting whinging that reeks of unappreciation for all the good I do have. I'm sure many others feel the same, which is why we really need to take everything we see (especially on Facebook and design blogs) with a pinch of salt.

I find I keep chewing over this topic in various ways (like here, here and here) because each year it seems to get more and more relevant and intriguing. It's not cut and dry. But if I was to summarise my thoughts right now into a single sentence it's this:

Take everything you see with a pinch of salt, be a conscious consumer, take enjoyment from the small things in life.

And on that topic, here are some special things from the last week that I very much appreciate:

VERY locally grown eggplants - a visit to the new Pope Joan food store saw us leaving with a bag full of produce for one of Matt Wilkinson's recipes plus these eggplants picked straight from the garden on our behalf! How special did we feel! Plus they were delicious.

Since the start of the year I've felt about as creatively as a rock. Now that life is returning to normal I'm starting to feel a little inspired again. Over the weekend I started working on a new print (like I said, a rare occurrence!). Hopefully it'll make it's way onto textiles if I can turn the idea in my head into reality!

New (and much needed) curtains for the bedroom - one of the perks of our job which I feel very grateful for! I'd like curtains to make a comeback. They are about a gazillion times more energy efficient than their fashionable cousin the roman blind. But curtains can be sexy too!

Some good reads:

Stop Instagramming your perfect life

- Forget fast foods, slow down for better well-being

- The importance of teaching kids about food in schools

xx Lara.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Returning to normal programming

What a tough couple of weeks! Dave's surgery went really well, thank god, and we're both so glad to be finally out the other side. In the last week in particular it feels like a fog has been lifted. Life feels like it's slowly returning to "normal" and we're able to do and think about things we haven't been able to for months. Simple, little things that previously I would have taken for granted; being able to go for walks, being able to cook and sit together eating the same food, being able to go out for dinner, being able to socialise. I feel so so so appreciative of each day that starts to resemble something more like regular life.

It's also been nice to be able to feel a little inspired and creative again, see the world through a different lens. Here's a little snapshot via Instagram...

Pincushion Hakea in bloom - we spent Easter down at Fairhaven with my folks and my brother's little family, which was really, really lovely. This Hakea grows just outside the front door.

The path down to Fairhaven beach is always littered with interesting things; dry bracken, acacia & bottlebrush pods ... I love all the textures.

Little bok choy! My planted seeds have all of a sudden started to sprout! I had a few false starts (mostly thanks to that crazy heat wave) but now I've got lots of little veggie seedlings on the way. I just need to figure out how to fend off whatever has been munching them; sometimes little holes, sometimes entire leaves will be missing. Hmmm...

It's also been great to get back into the routine of visiting the Ceres organic market on Saturday mornings. This weekend we treated ourselves to some of the best gluten free bread I've ever tasted and some amazing raw honey.

Thank you everyone who left really lovely comments and suggestions on my previous post - every one was very much appreciated! xx