December 8, 2009

Spinning around

Ferris Wheel

The above picture has nothing to do with today's post. Or maybe it has.

I shot it last weekend while I was heading back to the metro to pick-up little H. from a play date. I had walked all afternoon, from Boulevard Saint-Germain all the way down to Place de la Concorde, which is quite a stretch, since I made a detour to the Bon Marché as well, thinking I could do some Christmas shopping in between the play date's drop-off and pick-up. What was I thinking?! Christmas shopping on an early December Saturday afternoon!? Unless you really have to, you stay out of the shops on an early December Saturday afternoon. It didn't take me too long to figure that out. And the Bon Marché is not exactly my store either, if you get what I mean. So, I decided to walk instead. And to take some pictures, maybe. But the camera nor me were in the mood for pictures. Too crowded.

I ended up at a bookstore on rue de Rivoli - Galignani - instead. W.H. Smith is our regular store when we want to buy English books, but I wanted to pick up a book K. mentioned he'd like to have, one in French. The sales clerk helped me finding it and then I made my way to the English section, where my eye caught Julie Powell's book Julie and Julia. Since I didn't see the movie (and it's not very likely I will see it any time soon unless I get it on DVD, as it's no longer playing here) but I heard so many of you raving about it, I decided to go with the book instead. And also: isn't the book usually better than the movie? Anyway, for the last couple of days I've been reading. No late night computer and blogging sessions, but reading. And I so much enjoy the book - to the extent I start feeling sad already now the end is nearing.

The thing is that, besides it being a fun and relaxing read, I recognize myself to a certain extent in what Julie writes. I'm not a particular good cook (not too bad either, if I may say so), I don't even have the MtAoFC, I don't drink alcohol at all, I don't use the F-word in my writing, nor do I write about sex. But I do recognize myself in what she writes about blogging. The (sometimes almost) obsessive-compulsive behavior. The search for recognition. The happiness when seeing the comment counter no longer is at zero. The feeling of letting the readers down when not posting. Blogging has given my life a different turn too. It's an outlet, a way to share my creativity (or the lack thereof). It's given a boost to my creativity, also.

I used to be an economist, who once considered writing a PhD, and eventually decided not to, and went working for a telecom operator, a furniture giant and a financial institution consecutively, instead. I liked every single one of my jobs. I was committed. Next, I became a working mom. And yet again, I was committed. At some point, K. got a very nice job offer in California. We decided to move and I quit my job. I became a stay-at-home mom and I really enjoyed it. I was happy to be able to be with my little girl. Next, came another baby and I had my hands full with the two of them. No way I was considering of taking a job at that time. But as the girls grew older, and started going to school, I all of a sudden got more time, no green card and hence no job. I decided to use that time to do the things that I always liked but for which I so far had lacked time. Being crafty. I went through phases of (compulsive) bread baking, jewelry making, painting on fabric and dying silk, sewing, knitting... I also got involved in community life, being on the playground designing team of our local community and volunteering at both my girls' schools. Next, we moved to France. Another great opportunity which we grabbed with both hands. Again, I decided to stay at home as I wanted to be there to help the kids transition, help make them feel comfortable at their new home. And they did wonderfully. I discovered new hobbies and I bought a camera. I literally dived into photography. Then, one day, I started a blog. At first it was intended as a way to stay in touch with friends and family abroad. But things took a different turn. I started to post my "creations", the little things I made. I used to take photographs of my little crafts before and I would typically send these to my mom (who also happens to be my very first reader). Now, I did the same but posted them on my blog. I wrote my first tutorial and it got featured at One Pretty Thing. Quite a few tutorials have followed since and made it to Whip Up, Craft Gossip, Sew, Mama, Sew! as well, not to mention the links on many other blogs. And that's what has been making me feel happy, what keeps me going. It may sound ridiculous or even pathetic and I do realize that what I do is tiny, really tiny, but it's been giving me the feeling that I'm out there, somewhere. That I belong. I'm in one of those tiny buckets on the Ferris wheel, spinning around, you see?
And this is what I came to realize through reading Julie Powell's book...

So, thank you, dear "bleaders", for visiting and participating to my little project...

12 comments:

Crafty Cripple said...

It is wonderful when you get a comment, and feel that you have made a connection with someone else. You feel that for a brief few moments you have touched the life of someone far away. I get comments from friends and family and they are lovely but they are the same as getting emails. It is the comments from strangers that make me really really smile and feel that what I have written matters enough to someone for them to tell me.

Pascale said...

That's exactly what it is! Thanks for stopping by and dropping a line!! =)

nicole/brussels said...

je doet het zéér goed, telkens opnieuw en opnieuw hou ik van je teksten, je foto's, je "crafts and the design", beautiful,not overdone, just like you are,sober but always tasteful!so please go on,I would enormously be missing your post everyday! I'm proud of what you have done until now Pascale!

love mom
love

Andrea, the collector said...

I think that the combination of expression and connection is my favorite part of blogging.

virginia said...

i sensed there was a story like this behind the felting and knitting, when you blogged about a closetful of perfectly ironed shirts. i thought: there's an intellect and focus behind those perfectly placed sleeve creases, and this is just a form of rhythmic meditation.

i have one son, and worked full time, plus. when my husband complained about not being able to pursue his dream of painting, i remarked: you need a different approach. my creativity is poured into super-hero costumes and ninja-turtle cakes.

if only there had been blogging in the 1950's.

cindy said...

i really enjoyed reading about your journey and your perspective about blogging, pascale. i agree with you. i don't know too many crafty types in the offline world, so it's nice to connect through our blogs and flickr. i would have never met so many talented and inspiring people like you, especially since you live in paris!

there are people i've known for years who didn't send us a sympathy card for scott's mom, but our blogging friends left comments, sent emails and sent cards not just to us, but to charlie. the kindness and encouragement we receive through our blog amazes me.

xo, c

Gina said...

In so much blogging there is a striving for a sense of identity and influence. I think you've expressed that so well, and it's good to acknowledge its importance to you.

You blog is inspiring and beautiful. Thanks.

Jacqui said...

I love this post :)

They had a bit on the resurgence of craft on the radio the other night which was great, but they didn't mention blogging and the online component at all which I thought was missing half the story!

Your imagery of the ferris wheel going around also made me think about the way we're coming around full circle to the crafts and skills our grandmothers had and used, but the sense of community has been, in large part, transposed to the online world. I think I'm like lots of people - I don't know many crafty types in real life and most of my inspiration and sense of connection comes from online. I'm so grateful to other bloggers such as yourself for providing the fabulous tutorials and photos of your work and general thoughts and sense of community. In the old days that would have happened over cups of tea, now it happens through a computer. Though oddly enough, I'm slowly discovering that many of my friends are crafty, it's just that we're so used to be secretive about it that it doesn't come into regular conversation very often. Hopefully this regaining of skills and interest in handmade won't skip our children's generation like it did our parents'.

blue moss said...

Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous journey. I love visiting your blog so much ....seeing the new things you create and hearing about your adventures in Paris. ( I haven't read the book or seen the movie....I may have to pick up a copy)
Michelle

Pascale said...

My dear blogging companions, thank you so much!

I can only agree with what some of you wrote: I've met some very interesting and crafty people over the past year, not in person, but through the net.
I don't like to "bother" the people around me with what I'm doing and what's keeping me busy. The nice thing about blogging is that there's no obligation... People either like it and will come back or don't like it and skip...

nicole/brussels said...

be sure, we like it and will come back, everyday, sometimes more than once aday, to see if there's not a new post!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Wow, I was reading along (playing blog catch-up!) really enjoying your story and then so, so happy to see my site mentioned! I love that my little site has any part at all in your story, the mention has totally made my day!

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