Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nothng Ventured. Nothing Gained.

I have this crazy goal of wanting to be on the Martha Stewart Show and craft with Martha herself.  So, when she offered up a contest for just that chance, I knew I wanted to enter.  The idea was to come up with a 100% original never been published anywhere craft idea, send Martha and her staff a photo and write 250 words about the craft idea and also tell them why you feel you are Re-Marthable.  Five finalist are to appear on her show with their craft and one person will win a car.  Cool, right?  For over a month I rack my brain, I searched through craft books, I doubted myself and questioned if I truly am Re-Marthable.  A week before the deadline, I was struck with what I thought was a unique idea.  A cat sewing organizer with mouse wrist pincushion.  I designed and tweaked and simplified. The design was heart shapes and modified heart shapes combined to make this cool cat.  I was very proud of this idea.  I wrote my description and essay.  My heart was pounding with excitement as I hit that submit button. I got an confirmation that they received my submission.  It was now to be judged.
Yesterday, I got an email that they had chosen the five finalist.  I wasn't one of them.  Okay, they got over 5, 000 entries.  And yet, I couldn't help but say, "What the hell is wrong with you Martha and your people?" When I looked at the five finalists, I was disappointed. Not so much that I wasn't chosen, but who was chosen.  I got beat out by a person who put a seagull on a beige cake, someone who paints stripes in glitter on canvas using M.S.'s glitter, a woman who grows carrots (she owns a farm), and someone who does needle felted copies of ideas that Martha had in her magazine years ago.  I was fuming, because these ideas aren't 100% original, and they aren't even inspiring.  If I was going to be beated out, I at least wanted to be inspired. The last of the five was a slipper pattern made to look like fortune cookies.  That, I thought, was worthy of saying it was Re-Marthable.  That one didn't disappoint me.
I went through all the stages of grief in about an hour.  I could hear the legions of Martha haters beckoning me over to their side, maybe even crowning me their leader! I wanted to write an angry letter to the old girl herself. I felt a little numb and thought that the email just had to be a joke.  A very good friend of mine reminded me that I work holistically.  Meaning, I craft from my soul and heart.  She reminded me that Martha is a business woman, really not a crafter. I just might have a bit too much heart and soul for old Martha Stewart.  My friend calmed me down and pulled me back to my center.
Later that day on a walk, I was talking to Broadside about this.  His first response was, "Her loss."  He's right, it sort of is her loss.  Although, she gets to use my craft idea.  As I was processing all this, it occurred to me that, this contest stretched me in ways I have never worked before.  It connected me to my crafty self.  I designed an idea, not riffed off of something else.  That lead me to have the confidence to design my cupcake coin purse from last week, and it is helping me design my current costume project.  I really don't need validation or a free trip to NYC or even an appearance on the Martha Stewart show to prove to myself that I'm a Re-Markable person (better than being Re-Marthable).  I have my own power. My own creative life force that is being used for what I have to do in this life.  That's cool. With all the lessons I'm taking away from this, I'm feeling like I won here.
I wouldn't be totally honest if I didn't say I'm bummed about not being chosen. Yet I'm not willing to let it hold me down or back.  I got a ton of lessons out of this experience.  And who knows...there will come a day when I'm on the Martha show, by myself and not with four other finalists.
I do want to congratulate the five finalist.  I'm really hoping that there is more to the crafts and creating you do than what was shown and told about.  I'm cheering on the person who makes the fortune cookie slippers.
So, I just have to ask...where do you go when you hit disappointment?  Do you wallow and not move forward? Or do you look at the lessons and use them to move you forward?
Until next week...create to feel great!
22 projects complete! 30 to go!


  1. One of my favorite expressions is "The higher you climb, the harder you fall." Except for one thing. I firmly believe it's the other way around: the harder you fall, the higher you climb. That is to say, the greater the disappointment, the greater the lesson, and the farther you can go the next time you try. Most of the things that seem bad in life really turn out to be the better things, because the more you experience, the more you grow, and you become better, stronger, and have much broader impact and connections with the Universe because of it. Congrats for pushing yourself, and daring to take a risk and put yourself out there! And being okay with the possibility of making a fool of yourself in front of yourself ;o)

  2. You are so wise, my young friend. Thank you for your commment!

  3. You already know how I feel. You're rising in a totally special place all your own. All the time. And how very special it is.

  4. Thank you! I think we all owe to ourselves to do that. This was a reminder for me.