Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The return of the domestic goddess

While waiting for new tyres to be fitted to the Mum-mobile, I happened to pick up the March edition of The Australian Women's Weekly. On the cover, a sub heading read "The return of the domestic goddess: Learn how to sew, cook and bake all over again."
Given the title of this blog, I thought it was worth a read...and this is what AWW had to say:

"The rise of the domestic goddess is returning to Australian households as women are getting back to basics and rediscovering traditional activities like painting, knitting, sewing, cooking and gardening.

An increasingly difficult economic climate, concern for health and wellbeing and environmental issues are inspiring the click-click of those knitting needles, the mending of old clothes rather than buying new ones, cooking classes and other assorted domestic activities.

According to social forecaster AustraliaSCAN, as many as one in three Australians now knits and makes his or her own clothes. David Chalke, social analyst, says that while economic and social factors are primarily to blame for this shift back towards home and family, that people are "discovering there is virtue in not going to the mall and buying a new one, but mending the old one or pulling it apart and remodelling it."

I must admit that my foray into domesticity wasn't prompted by any of those factors: rather, a desire to channel my creativity somewhere accessible to a stay-at-home mum. But, I'm curious...if you're a modern domestic goddess, what was your motivation for rediscovering these traditional activities?


Mel said...

In an increasingly complex and stressful society we crave the simple things that make us happy, like baking, drawing, gardening and sewing. I think secretly we all wish we could return to the simpler times of the old days. I don't think it has so much to do with being domesticated as it does with simplifying our lives.

Aneets said...

I think I just love to eat and after kids I can't go out to nice restaurants all the time, hence doing lots of cooking at home instead.

I have a dream of learning how to sew though, would love to be able to do it and am so impressed by people who can.

belinda said...

Oh my fave topic for some reason at the moment! Some would say it's because of the world financial crisis. I think partly it's because the world suddenly got faster - there is information overload and trends are moving too quickly to keep up, we're meant to be working and relationshipping and mothering and socialising and we want everything now now now because we can get it now now now. It's exhausting! And so what do we do for metime? I'd like to think I get creative. And creativity comes in many forms, but I like it best when it's kind of old school. Annoyingly, though, it's stuff I have to learn because as generations move with the new times, older times - and older skills - are forgotten. I long for somewhere inbetween two eras and I actually blogged about it recently here: http://thehappyhomeblog.com/?p=197

Kirsten said...

My reason for crafting/making is I have more time now than I did before. Also - not many people have the skills to knit/craft/cook anymore. So I feel special and clever - pretty base motivations but there you go.

Also, I like people who have those skills - I find them very interesting...but this could just be a sense of 'like-mindedness'. There's a special language for crafters...and it's kind of funny how non-crafters view you...almost with suspicion: "why would you make that when you can buy it?" or just plain "why?"

As for other motivations: I wasn't 'achieving' in a career sense (I was at home after having a baby) so I chanelled my energy/creativity into making something tangible.

However re: the study's point about GFC and 'back to basics' - I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheaper to make/craft. eg: I bought wool and some needles this week and the lot came to $60 - $30 for the bamboo needles alone - plus the time to make the items! However, I will get a sense of achievement from having created a scarf out of wool - and no-one else will have one just like it! So I'm getting exclusivity without the 'brand name'/luxury goods expense.