I’m not going to lie to you guys, I was SO excited to share this one with you! I made this months ago for Remodelaholic. That’s the way their schedule works, way in advance. I lettered it while chatting with my kiddos and was darn proud of how it turned out considering. I didn’t have to erase any of the chalkboard to start over! It was my first time lettering with a chisel tip marker instead of a brush tip, so I really concentrated each letter on which way I had to hold the marker to get the thin or thick stroke. I had Shane and my dad look it over to make sure I didn’t write Apple instead of Alpha or Roger instead of Romeo. Then I put it up on my wall, took a bunch of photos, invited friends over- some of them commented on it too. It’s been up for 3 months in my home, you guys (and we have people over somewhat regularly).
Then I went out of town camping, and was driving back into service when it finally went live at Remodelaholic, to a bunch of emails and comments that went something like this, “It’s nice but it’s too bad you can’t spell- what a shame”.
UGH! Since Windsor was born in December, I feel like every project that I put out… spelling or grammatical errors are my ‘thing’. And that pains me! I actually love to edit papers, resumes, and tests- did you guys know that I’m an academic at heart? I have even taught at the University here a semester between the twins and my second pregnancy and have had academic work published. I really do care about these things… when I’m caring about them.
But when I’m lettering (a hobby), I’m so focused on making it look pretty… learning the different ways to illustrate a letter to make it look just so. Lettering is something I really LOVE to do, but it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I’m working hard to train my hand and my eye and I’m so enjoying that process. So when I’m making an alphabet to look pretty on my kid’s walls? Or writing out 26 random words in a phonetic wall hanging for my basement? You guys, I just can’t be bothered to change it. And you know what? It’s CHALK. So it’s really easy to change should I want to.
I’m embarrassed in some ways, but I’m also damn proud that I’m still making time to create with three kids under three years old underfoot. And these spelling errors add a little humor to our home. My hubby and I have laughed about how we managed to have SO many sets of eyes on that alphabet artwork without realizing that I mixed up where the W goes… until it had been published for 3 days! And to be honest, at first I laughed when I noticed India was spelled wrong. But the comments and emails have gotten a little nasty, you guys. It’s not like I’m selling this piece. If I were, I’d totally send you out a new one (of course). I’m showing you how to make a pennant chalkboard (and suggesting you write the phonetic alphabet on it).
Maybe I’m just in a bummed out mood because life after vacation is always a tough adjustment, but I wanted to take this post to give a reminder. Blogs are people. We are people with real lives (and often very real screaming children interrupting us halfway through our passion projects) and real feelings. I’m all for having my errors pointed out to me- how else would I know to fix it if I wanted to? But let’s try be a little friendly, can we please?
I do want to say that SO many of you are incredibly wonderful. You make this totally worth doing, so I’m not even sure if anyone reading this far (thank you!) would ever send an email with such snark. BUT I’ve heard a lot of bloggers I love speaking about this lately. Why all the negativity around the things we share with you? I’m not just talking spelling mistakes here- those are real and totally worth pointing out. I’m talking personal preference.
I’ll use my own posts as example, but emailing me to tell me that it’s, ‘a complete waste of money to put cabinets above your fridge- no one can reach it up there anyways and it just looks dumb’ or, ‘I can’t believe you’d make ANYTHING for your house out of a pallet, you’re deliberately putting your children’s life at risk’, that’s not necessary! And guys, these aren’t even the worst. And it’s not like I post controversial things, they’re crafts (seriously!). I’ve got a pretty thick skin, I understand that by sharing what I’m creating- not everyone is going to love it. And by putting it online, there are people that will share their opinions more openly than if I had invited them in person over to my home.
But please, please- just like you’re asking me to proofread my alphabets- proofread your comments and remember that you’re talking to a real person (probably sitting at their computer at midnight to get you a post they’ve poured a bit of theirselves into).
Anyways- check out my DIY supersized wall pennant if you like. And if you’re a blogger that’s been experiencing a bit of the nasty, feel free to share. And if you’re on my email list, you’ll see these pieces coming your way in an 8×10 shortly.
Yes to everything! The internet brings so much anonymity to it that I think people often forget that there is always a real person sitting at the end of every word published. This is a great reminder to be more conscious of what we put out there – as bloggers, as readers and honestly, just in our everyday lives. Why not spread kindness?
Yes! To all three, Lord knows we could use it :)
Beautifully written! I’m so happy and grateful for all the things that you and other bloggers take the time to create and share with us [less creative] folk. From one real person behind a screen to another – you’re doing a killer job.
Thanks so much love, you’re always such an encouragement to me!
Ugh, some people just lick their lips in anticipation of the chance to rain on another’s parade. I’d love to chalk it all up to envy or jealousy at seeing your awesome work proudly displayed but sadly I’m beginning to see more and more examples of how horrible some people can be when they think they’re anonymous. If you wouldn’t say it to a person’s face don’t type it. Hopefully the next generations, growing up in a world of immense social media, will learn better! Also love your work, mistakes and all!
Anonymity is such a double edged sword, isn’t it? It’s empowering but it can bring out the worst in people as well. I so appreciate you taking the time to comment Calli!
It’s so, SO hard to put yourself out there, especially with the internet being such a public forum these days. Everyone always seems to have to give their $0.02, even if it’s over the smallest little thing like a typo.
Once upon a time when I worked at a small, indy newspaper, I wrote a column once a week about whatever my heart desired. One day a reader phoned in and proceeded to tell me how boring my writing was and that I shouldn’t write about my life so much. It stung – a lot – but I learned that you can’t please everyone. Plus, I realized that for every single person who didn’t like my column, there were a dozen who did, so it didn’t matter. “Don’t let the bastards get you down” is what I try to remember when I’m writing.
All that being said – I love the phonetic alphabet! I’m awful at lettering but would totally buy a print version.
I can’t believe someone would go so out of their way to call in, Kara! I seem to remember you writing for a certain paper as well and I thought you were great ;)
One day maybe I’ll sell some of these things! I just need enough time/patience to make something twice…
Love your banner even with it’s mistake…just proofs that we are all human and even when we are trying to focus on one thing at a time the reality is, there’s a million other things going on…thanks for keeping it real!….Love the lettering, it’s beautiful….
Thank you so much Jeanette! My focus isn’t the best even without the million other things ;) I so appreciate your comment.
Unfortunately, I got my thick skin from people in my life saying stuff right to my face. Whomp, whomp. It used to ruin everything, and make me afraid to do anything. Lately, I’ve realized it’s about them, not me. Haters are gonna hate. No matter what. Because they’re douches. You’re great. Your blog is great. Mistakes are human, and we ALL make them!
SO true! It’s not about you. I so appreciate your comment Terianne :)
It’s true; the Internet gives people a mask to hide behind and lets rudeness reign. It’s like driving a car, we [collectively, not necessarily you and I] yell at other drivers and curse them behind closed windows, but we’d never say those things to their faces!
In the wise words of Kevin Gnapoor, aka K.G., from ‘Mean Girls’: “Don’t let the haters stop you from doin’ your thang.” Your blog is fantastic.
PS- As a self-proclaimed editrix and grammarian, I’ve found that it helps to edit reading backwards as your eyes are not as anticipatory of the next word, punctuation mark, etc., as much. Also, if you’d ever like a second (or third or fourth) set of eyes to proofread/edit something, I’d be more than happy to help.
Best comment ever, quoting KG like that!
I love that tip reading it backwards! By the time I’m done with a piece I’ve been staring at it so long it would be helpful to switch up the way I’m looking at it. Thanks for that gem :)
mother of nine
I am so sorry you have had to endure such hurtful comments. I have only just recently discovered your blog but I really like what I have seen so far and what impresses me most is that you manage it while mothering three little ones as well!! I think you are simply jaw-dropping amazing!
Aw, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I’m blown away with how sweet everyone is being about this post :)
I’ve been a silent subscriber/follower of your blog for a while (you make me laugh and your crafts are seriously so gorgeous…), and this really struck a chord with me. I feel the same way about comments and opinions, and not just on blogs, on but social media too. Maybe it’s because people these days are separated by a screen, but I see what you’re saying about comments and email replies. Kindness in words are lost in the midst of expressing an opinion, no matter how hurtful it may be.
I agree with you. Everyone in the blogging world, no matter what niche–crafting, writing, parenting–should remember that blogs are people. Not only that, but they are gracious people (you included), because they share something to the rest of the world. They don’t have to…they do it because they want to. We should be thankful that there’s so many resources, creativity, or just musings to comfort us flowing on the web; that so many people are willing to share…
So, my rule of thumb, when reading or commenting, has always been this: keep an open-mind, and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but there’s a manner to voice it without being hurtful or malicious. Because in the end, the words you use follow you…so you might as well write something worthy of fond remembrance, right?
Thanks for sharing this with us. As always, your work is gorgeous! (I’d happily take that pennant sign, spelling mistakes and all… ;))
Thank you SO much for such a thoughtful comment, Maria. Your rule of thumb is wonderful- I wish more would choose to act online in such a thoughtful way. I really appreciate you taking the time be so encouraging :)
I really appreciate your blog post. You have genuinely shared a blog post that is both educational.