Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Buying craftiness at John Lewis

No Work In Progress this week, I’m afraid (although to see people who have managed to do things, go and have a look at Tami’s blog), because our major work in progress is the new bathroom. It is all very exciting. At the moment we are managing with a toilet without a cistern; you would be surprised how much space it adds to the room; although, it isn’t wonderfully practical, because you do have to flush it with a bucket. Having your bathroom refitted seems to me a bit like having a baby (which I have not done): when you are thinking of doing it, everybody says, oh go on, it is no trouble, it is dead easy you will hardly notice etc etc and then when you start doing it and ring people up for sympathy, hoarse with the horror of it all, they say God yes isn’t it appalling we had to strip down and wash in the sink in full view of the neighbours for a solid fortnight. But it is no use my thinking, well I wish you had told me that before, because our bathroom had essentially imploded and we had no option. I did say to Partner the other night, why didn’t we buy a house whose bathroom had been refitted since 1960, and then not by a monkey, and he set off on a long tirade: ‘because this was the only house in Cambridge we could afford! It was the only one! We didn’t have any choice! You’ve forgotten how awful everything was!’ etc etc. And this is quite untrue anyway, as we could have afforded the one in the area with all the police raids which didn’t have a kitchen, if one of us had exaggerated our annual income to bump up the mortgage. Anyway I am spending more time than normal out of the house this week, wandering glassy-eyed through department stores looking for Zone 2 lights which are not Hideous, and thus can bring you the news that Craft is very fashionable this year. Craft-inspired cushions from John Lewis:
Note to non-UK readers: John Lewis is the retail equivalent of the Church of England
Now, I did nearly set off on a rant about the cynicism of Big Business appropriating crafty stuff and possibly being a little bit too ‘inspired’ by individual crafters, but look, I am having to flush the toilet with a bucket, I do not have the energy. So I will show you these other crafty-inspired bedding things from Debenhams (I take these photographs quickly and secretly, like a ninja)
I don't like things with words on. When cushions with Latin phrases on were fashionable I would lose Partner in M&S and find him translating them & correcting the grammar
and just say, look, crafty things are really fashionable, aren’t we lucky that we can either make our own or buy handmade ones from etsy, because ours will look better because they are authentic and do not have to cater to the mass market. Hooray! Go crafters and friends of crafters! I will have a bit of a rant about this though, which I saw outside Body Shop:
Make it yourself! Impress your loved ones! Put a bottle in a bag!
In what sense is putting a few bottles in a bag handmade? At least John Lewis is cynically appropriating craft by giving us an actually rather cute chicken cushion (note to self: there is no more money, especially after today’s Great Vinyl Flooring Debacle. What were you thinking, Self? Seriously?), the Body Shop’s attempt is just dim. Does that mean if I go in Asda and put a bottle of wine in a carrier bag, that makes it handmade? Especially if I choose the wine myself? Hooray! That was easy! I didn’t even need a vineyard! This handmade stuff, it’s much simpler than it looks. Handmade Quality Street and Mateus Rosé all round this Christmas, and I promise you I’ll slip them in the carriers with loving care.


Marushka C. said...

Can you hear me laughing? I loved this post: the prose, the photos, the photo captions. I will send you positive energy toward the bathroom remodeling being quickly & successfully finished!

I recently learned this tip for blog photos: get a kid to take the pictures. Not only does it look less creepy than an adult photographing store displays or other not-usually-photographed items, people will actually encourage and assist the child to take the photos. I'm sure borrowed kids would be effective for this, too.

Mrs Bent said...

I love 'John Lewis is the retail equivalent of the Church of England' it is a religion in it's own right. Although the owl cushion looks very simular to the one's Bunny Mummy made

Susie said...

Aww, thank you Marushka, you made my day, and that is an excellent tip about kids and photos. Also your positive bathroom energy is working, the plumber has almost finished, I have never known a plumber so quick. Mrs Bent, you are quite right, there is essentially a Church of John Lewis. I'm not familiar with Bunny Mummy, but I wouldn't be at all surprised :-(.

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