I meant to write this post yesterday but had one of the strangest days I've had in a very long time, filled with all kinds of distractions and consequently managed to get very little work done! Luckily today was a bit more normal :)
Anyway... You might have noticed that there is a bit of a media buzz happening around crafting these days. It started with the sudden popularity of knitting, and then the increasing visibility of the UK craft scene and the arrival of the "credit crunch" has kicked it into overdrive. The papers are full of articles about the joys of cheap do-it-yourself hobbies, ideas for homemade gifts, pieces on how your crafty hobby can become a vital second income, and columnists like India Knight singing the praises of sites like Etsy.
Very much in tune with all this "craft-chic", is Channel 4's new show Kirstie's Homemade Home. It follows presenter Kirstie Allsopp (previously better known for helping people buy houses on telly during the property boom) as she renovates a holiday cottage, focusing on a different type of room each week.
The program is trying to sell that whole "make your house a home" thing, advertising handmade things as a way of adding character and a truly personal touch, which is aesthetically very refreshing after so many years of being sold clean, white, modern, chic and also a welcome change after a decade of "quick fix" DIY shows packed with MDF and stapleguns.
Each episode is a mix of visits to inspirational spaces, meetings with creative types like Cath Kidston and Kaffe Fassett, a bit of junkshop / reclamation yard / antique shop rummaging plus - oh so importantly - segments where Kirstie visits craftspeople (potters, glassblowers, knitters, etc) who teach her how to make an item for her home.
These bits are completely amazing. Craftspeople! On the telly! Making things! You get to see how much work and real skill goes into making handmade things, and their value and specialness is prized. This isn't a show that says "and you can make one at home for 50p!" but recommends serious workshops and craft courses and suggests commissioning pieces from craftspeople in your area.
I've heard the word "smug" used about this show and it kind of is - in a middle-class "I've got the time and money to make floral arrangements for my giant kitchen table while my children scamper about in Boden and snacking on organic focaccia bread" sort of a way - but I for one am delighted to see this sort of thing on the telly!