changing times, Christmas on the brain, life goes on, live and learn, memories, simple things

The way it is…

If you are my age, and female, then when you were young you also may have been excited to read the latest Women’s Day or Family Circle magazine as soon as they came out.  They were cheap, and if I remember correctly they had short stories, and recipes, many things of interest to me at the time.  But they also had craft projects, and I’m not sure which magazine this one came from but the feature photo is my version of just one of the projects presented one year.  It must have been at Christmas time, and once completed I pinned each piece to a length of ribbon and hung it like a clothesline from a shelf in my dining room.  The only reason it still exists is because it got put away with the Christmas decorations, and though I have purged and purged again I still have this silly thing.

But it strikes me just how involved this project was, and yet it was presented to the masses as just a nice little craft project their readers might enjoy.  You see, how you began this project was to get yourself some graph paper, or rule a one inch grid for yourself.  Then you carefully copied the pattern by hand, coping the drawing in each little square onto your grid, thereby enlarging it.  Then tracing it onto fabric. Then you used fabric crayons to color each element of the project according to the pattern.  But you weren’t done.  No, there is embroidery on each piece.  Tiny French knots and cross stitch, again, following the pattern.  Plus buttons, and bows, and pom moms.  Then you added batting and stitched around the outside of each piece, turned them, and then, finally, you were done.  I think this was intended to be something a granddaughter might play with at Christmas.  A paper doll of sorts, hanging on the tree.  Except I couldn’t bring myself to add velcro to the front of the doll so that her various outfits would stick to her.  And after all the time and effort I put into it I loved it too much to let it go the way of most toys.  So no, this little girl and her teddy bear have only seen the light of day for a few weeks at Christmas for many, many years now.

But my point, if there is a point, is to imagine this project being presented for someone to do in this day and age.  We are force fed by the media.  We demand instant gratification.  When the older bakers at work used to make their special rolls and pastries I’d ask why all the bakers didn’t make them, and the answer would be that ‘you can’t teach them.’   Is it that young people don’t approach a job like that as a skill, a career?  Or is it not worth it to the company to spend time teaching those skills when mass production is available?  I’m tempted to complain about young people today, but would I see this project in a magazine and attempt it today?  I thought that was terrible, even when I was seeing it as only a baking issue, but now I see that it applies across the board.  And that it applies to me too.  And no, I can’t see myself attempting this project if I saw it presented today.  It makes me sad to recognize and admit that to myself.  It’s just the way it is…12-18Christmasdoll12-18Christmasdoll212-18Christmasdoll3