28 January 2009


The other day a friend (and I use that term loosely) came over with another friend. (Okay, they were my Visiting Teachers.) After seeing something I made the first one said - I hate coming over to your house because you always make me look bad. Now I know this girl probably didn't mean exactly that. She must know that truly I don't make things to make other people look bad. And even though she doesn't read this blog I want to clarify why I make things.

I make things because I enjoy it.

I make things because I like to work. I like to see finished products. I like to see progress (I once dumped a very nice guy I was considering marrying because he had no ambitions to progress in any way whatsoever. None. )

I make things because if I'm not working with my hands I am very unhappy.

I make things because lots of times I see something I like that is way too expensive, or that is just a little different than I would like it, and I try to make it myself.

I make things because I have been given talents in that area. (I'm good at figuring things out and I have the confidence to try new things if I want to.) And I believe that I should develop my talents and share them with others. Which I really try to do without being braggy or conceited.

I kind of understand why she said it. She doesn't do the kinds of things I do and she probably wishes she sewed or made stuff or whatever. I feel that way every time I go into a clean house. Or anytime someone is a great teacher, or really patient with little kids, or really good with their money, or always looks great. There are plenty of things I still want to be better at. I hope I would never try to make someone else feel bad for having talents or skills that I don't have.

I hope none of you feel that way about what I make and I guess if you did, you probably wouldn't read my blog. And I really appreciate it when any of you (and there have been a lot) have given me wonderful compliments about what I make and do. Thank you.

p.s. Because that happened last week, I have been having a hard time with blogging. I hope you all know that when I post one of the things I've finished I'm excited and motivated and I'm not trying to say that I'm better than anyone. I'm going to try and forget all about it and keep on posting my projects.


Marianne & Clayton said...

I get this sometimes too, the "Martha Stewart" comments that are backhanded compliments. You summed up my feelings. I LOVE a new project and want to share that enthusiasm. And where I haven't seen an area that you need help in, I'll take your word for it. Mine would definitely be a cluttered (not messy?) home and the inability to juggle everything I start. (And many, many more, like the over use of parenthesis and too-long blog notes.) Blogs like yours make me excited to do, try and finish more. So please ignore the talentless hags who made you feel bad. I'm kidding of course, but I really hope they don't read your blog.

Katie said...

That's funny, I have known you my whole life and never thought you bragged about your talents. I think you have some great gifts, and I enjoy seeing them. I think it's great that you share them, and I hope you will continue to. I like seeing all you do because it's really amazing that you get so much done. I'm not that driven, so it's nice to have someone to look to who is.

josieposie said...

LOL. The grass is always greener, right? Someone is always better at something - and just because they are and talk or display such successes does not mean they are bragging. People who are constantly comparing themselves to others drive me nuts! I love seeing your creative projects - it inspires me to get off my butt and make a mess (which I don't like) once and a while.

ang said...

hmmm...i would say that you inspire me. i always see cool stuff that you do and it makes me want to try new stuff too. go leigh!!

sara said...

You're awesome Leigh. Recently I read on someone's blog where she was mocking people who always show off their fancy birthday cakes, and she posted a picture of this perfectly dreadful birthday cake she had made (in self-mockery). Although she wasn't referring to me (and my cakes) I immediately felt dumb for posting my nice cakes. But then I remembered that I like seeing other people's work on their blogs; I like getting ideas from other people, and I have long been at peace with my weaknesses and strengths... plus, blogging is usually more for yourself than for "the world" anyway, so of course you want to document your accomplishments. It's too bad when people make those types of comments; I still remember someone saying that to me in like 7th grade "Oh you got 100% on the test? I hate you." and it made me want to under-achieve in order to fit in with the person who said it. Dumb.

Anyway.. keep on making thing Bruce Leigh, and show us the pictures! I for one LOVE it.

Jan said...

Leigh, I think that your projects are inspirational! :) I've tried the recipes that you've posted. Because I see how crafty you are, when I decided I wanted to learn how to knit, I knew that you would know how and be willing to help me learn. And because of your pretty quilt (and one I saw of my mom's), I've been thinking about making one when I have a minute :) I want to make raspberry jam because yours is so good.

I think that you do really neat NEAT things, Leigh, and seeing all the neat things that you do makes me want to do neat things. It NEVER looks like you're bragging or trying to make people wish they were you. :)

You shouldn't be bashful about talents. What if Beethoven or someone didn't write because he didn't want people to think he was bragging that he was musical? What if George Washington didn't lead troops because he didn't want people to think he was being proud about his leadership abilities? Don't be embarrassed about sharing what you're good at. We all enjoy your stuff :)

Amy Jo said...

I love your talents and you inspire me to do something productive. Is sitting on the couch watching tv productive? I guess I need to start a project. I love the feeling of accomplishing something, especially when it was 1/2 the price of the one I wanted. Miss ya and we need to get together soon!

Heidi said...

My guess is that your visiting teacher meant that as a compliment. Like you said, we all have unique talents - some of yours (and I know you have many) are visible and easily quantifiable so it's easy for the rest of us to covet your talents. Really, if we're interested in what you're doing we should probably be asking you to teach us how, right?

Taylor and Jessica Malungahu said...

I think you are amazing! I am amazed at all that you can accomplish and that you are able to do it with little kids at home. You truly are very talented. I like that you share your accomplishments and ideas on your blog that is why I am always checking up on it. I hope you guys are doing well I think about you all the time especially since I started hitting the gym again.