The Farmer and I are very different people. I think that's why we get along so well. Besides the sheep farming and all the other farming things he does, he has run his own small business (somewhat connected to the construction trade) for the past twenty years. Things have been rather tough over the past three years. The economic down-turn that everyone is seeing now isn't a surprise for our household. We've been experiencing it for some time.
So it wasn't a complete surprise to me when I heard about Domino Magazine closing (read here about it in the NY Times) with the March issue. I was never a complete fan of Domino like so many people were - but I subscribed to it because there is barely a shelter magazine I don't subscribe to. Like many shelter magazines, I thought that almost every issue looked the same -- pretty young thing on the cover standing amongst some furniture. (I think I was a little too old for the demographic they were targeting anyway....) The last few issues have been a little more colorful and different, I must say. That said, I will really miss spending an evening looking at it the day it arrived.
Domino is only one of the magazines that are disappearing in this economic downturn. First it was House and Garden last year, then just recently Country Home, O at Home, Home, Cottage Living, and Mary Englebreit's Home Companion. The publishers are blaming the advertisers which I completely understand. It doesn't matter how many subscribers they have, if the ad revenue isn't there, it's trouble. They say it is because of the housing market but I'm not so sure I agree. There were probably just too many magazines and advertisers can only spend so much money. And tell me, how do the editors get away with stuffing Pottery Barn and Anthropologie in every issue when they never, ever advertise? If I was an advertiser, that would turn me off. Part of advertising is pay-off with editorial. At least that's how I think of it.
The sad thing is, no matter what, good times or bad, women look for inspiration for keeping their homes. I think that in bad times, they look even harder for creative, inexpensive ideas to refresh their spaces - especially in the winter. Living here in the country, I have to find my inspiration in pages of magazines. With dial-up, I barely look around the internet - if a site is image heavy, I don't bother because it takes too long to load. Losing these magazines, no matter how fickle it may sound, really does leave a bit of an empty spot in my mailbox.
I'm positive the internet and how it has changed how people get their news is another big reason publishing is changing. I think there are many more changes coming down the pike and it has me worried and concerned. Personally, I like to hold things in my hand - newspapers, magazines, books. I have don't like to be sitting at a screen all the time.
I really have to re-think things - about how I get the word out about my work out there. Our home was featured in Country Home in 2004 and it really did alot to increase my profile with book buyers (you can down-load that article here). Last September, our sunflower field was also featured in Country Home (see that here). I had an inkling that CH wasn't long for the world because I saw it changing and not in a good and creative way. I saw it becoming more corporate and losing lots of the spirit that former editors Carol Sheehan and Mary Emmerling put into it. But times change. It still makes me sad. I'm just hoping the rest of the magazines can hold on.
I always find it odd how men at publishing houses think they know what women want best. Please don't get me going.... If you read the masthead pages of many women's shelter magazines, it is mostly men pulling the strings. I think that is one reason Martha Stewart and her company has continued to succeed despite some infamous hiccups.
All that said, this post began as a thought of what The Farmer often says, "just show up." So I'm continuing to show up at the sheep barn and here are some new lamb photos for you to enjoy before you start the weekend. It was brutally, bone-chillingly cold this morning - so cold that my camera stopped working. I'm hoping it is the cold and not something else.
I like this photo with the two lambs in the front. In front of them is the feed bunker which The Farmer feeds grain in. Behind you can see a mama with a newborn in a pen built out of a thick wire hog panel. Behind them is the snow that is piled up along side the greenhouse barn.
I call these guys the "push me - pull you" lambs.
Here's one of the bottle lambs with a little drip of milk on the bridge of her nose. She is a real sweetie.
Oh, and back to yesterday's post about Disney... My friend Bob sent me this link.... Oh my goodness, it there anything they don't put their mark on to entice little children. Insanity!
BOOK PARTY - MAY 5-6
to celebrate the publication of my new book
CRAFTING A PATTERNED HOME.
Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.
This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.
The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.