Pinterest or CNN – that is the question…

By Dosi Cotroneo

Recently, I made a disturbing realization: you know the world is going mad when a woman stencils designs all over her washer dryer and it turns out to be the envy of every woman on her block! I ask you – what is happening to our society? Greece and Italy – on the brink of bankruptcy, jobless rates at an all-time high, yet another impending war in the Middle East, and women are “ahhing” and “oooing” over a floral stenciled washer and dryer?

Perhaps I need to look at things from another angle. Could these very women be practicing some sort of survival behavior, some type of escapism that allows them to forget the troubles of the world, if only for one brief afternoon of tea, crumpets and a look at the neighbour’s freshly stenciled floral washer/dryer?

For the record, I have had my share of painting “everything that doesn’t move” episodes - stenciling on doors, walls, and cabinets, but that was decades ago, and did not involve large appliances. Now I’m not knocking the craft or hobby world, I do believe at my core, that creativity has its place, but, I take exception when it involves a washer and a dryer, a group of women who could be making real changes in this world, like leading a peace march, volunteering at their local hospitals, or hosting a fundraiser for a charitable event. Far be it from me to be judgmental, I just was shocked when I discovered this image on one undisclosed decorating blog spot, I just happened upon, I swear, as I was perusing the Italian parliamentary web site. One link lead to another, and before I knew it, there it was, and there I was, unknowingly finding my way to Pinterest.

Could it be that these very women, devote hours if not days, to scrapbooking, pinning items on Pinterest, and exchanging pastry recipes? Forgive me if I sound a bit abrasive, but women creating origami throw cushions kind of scares me.

A wise man once said, “ignorance is bliss”. Perhaps these ladies, choosing to not inform themselves of the goings on of the planet, do not subscribe to national newspapers, cable t.v. or satellite radio, and think CNN stands for Crafts Not Nukes.

Am I becoming cynical in my old age? Am I not an open-minded modern woman who feels that a woman can bake her cake and eat it too? I just had a thought – who am I to judge women who enjoy sharing in one woman’s creative efforts, that may very well make the dreaded laundry situation a pleasant, uplifting experience. Who am I to judge what kind of a contribution these women are making to society? If a woman decides to spend a day or two, or even a month, stenciling flowers and fleur-de-lis all over her washer and dryer, then invite the neighbourhood hens over to delight in her efforts, well, why not?

I know my mother has devoted a good part of her life to baking bread. To her, it is a sacred undertaking that has brought her much peace and joy over the years. Just talking about her baking brings a glimmer to her eye. Perhaps I’ve been too hard on scrapbookers, Pinners and stencillers of large appliances. Dear readers, if I have conveyed a negative undertone to this column, please forgive me.

Now if you’ll please excuse me, I will head into my kitchen to begin the annual fall pie baking, interspersed with scarf and sweater knitting, and while I’m at it, I think I’ll wallpaper the refrigerator and dishwasher, followed by a brief stint of Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room” on CNN. Perhaps the craft world and the real world can truly co-exist.