The idea for this blog has been percolating in my mind for about six months, and I am so excited to launch it. Here is the backstory of Postmodern Craft:
My name is Jane. I work a corporate job and sit in front of a computer all day. I admittedly love technology; my iPhone is rarely out of my hand, and I can happily spend hours on blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, and, yes, Facebook. I love how technology can bridge the distance between far-flung friends and relatives, how I can see a picture of a baby cousin born just minutes earlier across the country. I love how I can browse millions of books on Amazon.com, whip out a credit card, and have my new selections on my doorstep two days later. I have enough disposable income to buy (most of) the clothes and home furnishings I want, and to eat out in restaurants and buy overpriced coffee drinks at cute, hipster-worthy cafes that feature chocolate bacon cupcakes. I am able to enjoy these conveniences of modern life because I was fortunate enough to be born into a solidly middle class American family in the late 20th century, and because I’ve worked hard to turn my English literature degree into something marketable in “the real world.”
Like many people in my generation, my relationship with technology, and consumerism in general, is conflicted. I want to stay connected to the people that I love. I want the instant gratification of Netflix. I want things. (There, I said it.) But I can’t help but feel that something is being lost, in this on-demand world. Some of these modern conveniences feel more like burdens than blessings; some virtual relationships come at the cost of “real life” acquaintances. Some of the things I covet are in direct conflict with my political and environmental beliefs (e.g., manufactured in bad labor conditions and shipped halfway across the world to me). Sometimes I throw money at problems that could have been solved with a bit of ingenuity or elbow grease. I struggle with these things.
My biggest fear in life is that I haven’t made enough deliberate choices, that I’ve let forces beyond my control shape my path too much. From the smallest decision (what should I buy for dinner tonight?) to the biggest (should I stay in my job another year?), I have often defaulted to the safest, most conventional choice. Yet the lives I admire most often feature a habitual disregard for conventional choices. I am starting this blog to chronicle my efforts to craft a more deliberate life. I’m not going to forsake all modern conveniences and worldly belongings and go live on a mountaintop in Tibet, but I am starting to explore new hobbies, new foods, new authors, new styles, and potentially new careers, and maybe I will go live on a mountaintop in Colorado and spend my days gardening and doing yoga. For the first time in many years, I am actively contemplating a life that looks very different than the one I’m leading right now.
I realize the irony of blogging as a platform to explore an increasingly ambivalent relationship with technology and modern life. I am definitely not trying to be another anti-technology, anti-consumerism voice. I will always be a consumer, but I want to produce something, too. Over the past few years, I’ve grown to appreciate the quiet satisfaction of making something with my own two hands. Whether it’s a quilt or a bowl of chili, it just feels better to make it myself. I don’t want to just repin hundreds of recipes and craft ideas and inspiring quotes on Pinterest; I want to craft a more inspired life. Postmodern Craft is a personal blog focused on making more deliberate choices about the life I lead.
The name? I chose the adjective Postmodern for several reasons: first, it’s one of those terms that is thrown around by a lot of people who want to sound really smart but don’t really know what it means, and that makes me giggle, and second, it signals a return to some of the old ways of doing things and honoring the past without being bound by all the old rules. The slow food movement and the so-called “modern” quilting movement are both very postmodern, by my definition. Craft is a word I love because of its deliberateness as a verb. Whether I’m crafting a sentence or a mojito, the end result is going to be better than something that’s been hastily thrown together. And that is how Postmodern Craft was born.