Bursting the Bubble

A big part of becoming a grown up seems to be learning to tell the difference between the make believe and the real world.

According to all the pictures you find in magazines (or even worse, the shows on the house porn channels) some important things happen once you are a successful adult. You are always polished and poised and totally pulled together. You own stunning accessories and know what in the world to do with a scarf. Your hair is astonishingly smooth, and your teeth are blindingly white. Dust no longer exists in your world, and while you have pets (color coordinated to match your furniture of course), they never ever shed. You can throw together a casual dinner for 6 on five minutes notice because your house is spotless and your kitchen well stocked.

The photos in knitting books are the same way. People lounge in artfully rumpled beds or bask in the glow of a roaring fire or gaze into the foaming sea. The people are tan and slim. The knits are rich and vibrant. The light is golden and welcoming. All is right with the world.

I mention this because I spent the weekend trying to take some photos and crashing right into the giant brick wall that separates reality from that special version of prettified reality that exists only on glossy pages. Now of course we’re getting a real photographer for the book. And of course we’re going to a beautiful local rug store to take the pictures. And of course we’ll find someone with lovely small feet to be our model.  But, that’s not till later. And I have a grand plan for something I want to do now (well, Friday to be exact) that requires some pictures.  Not even proper full on sock pictures mind you, just little teaser shots.

Fine, I thought, how hard can it be?  I have rugs.  I have socks.  I have a camera.  Surely I can get some quick stand in photos, right?  And I did.  I totally did.  I also got hot and sweaty from hauling around rugs (they’re heavy).  My house got more than a bit disheveled as I shoved the dining room table to one side and hauled in rugs from all over the place and brought every lamp I own into one room.  I found dust (and cat hair…oh the cat hair) in all sorts of new and exciting places.  I spent some serious quality time with the vacuum and lint roller.  I improvised a custom sock holding stand (aka a blocker, four board games, and a large rock).  I developed new yoga moves as I tired to get the shot without blocking the light or falling over.  In short, I had a wicked good time but it was hard work.

And now?  Now I’m totally ruining the effect by showing you the ‘behind the scenes’ shots.  Why?  Well, because I always want to see them when I look at the polished perfect pictures in other places.  Because with any luck, having seen these will make the finished product seem even cooler when you consider its humble origins.  And because I’m finally starting to get over the idea that everyone else’s life is perfectly choreographed and stage managed and scripted and only I find myself having to make stuff up on the fly as I go along.  I have a suspicion everyone is improvising too, and we’d all have a better time of it if we shared that instead of hiding it.  So here you go.

Come back tomorrow for the glossy sanitized version.