I sometimes enjoy reading other blogs and often get inspired by them. There are only so many ways certain tasks or projects can be done, so there will often be some overlap between the creative projects of different crafty bloggers. There is a difference between inspiration, intentional knock-offs, and flat out copycatting, right? Last winter I bought yellow paint to makeover my family room, the exact same color I’ve used in my living spaces in my last two houses. I tried to think of ways to make a user-friendly entryway spot to keep my family’s accoutrements tidy near our main (side) entrance. I purchased a row of hooks, a little step stool from IKEA, and a big basket to keep everyone’s shoes in. I decided to blog about it after I painted the wall behind them. The very next week Soule Mama blogged about a very similar project and I had to laugh–maybe great minds think alike? Then I realized she actually did it a bit better than me because she included a row of hooks for the children, not requiring them to use the step stool like I was. So, inspired by her execution of a project that exists in many homes’ entryways, I added a row of bottom hooks myself after our recent paint job. The space now functions better. Isn’t sharing ideas great?
I’d like to make the point that while taking inspiration from the beautiful marketplace of the mama blogosphere is acceptable and even lovely, actually taking someone’s intellectual property and passing it off as your own is not okay. It is hurtful, wrong, and fundamentally uncreative to take something that belongs to someone else and present it to the world as if you own it. Inspiration is lovely. Following tutorials, giving credit and back-linking is grand. Passing another person’s intellectual property off as your own, especially in a way that diverts search engine traffic from the blog for which it is intended, is stealing. (Um, yeah, sorry I had to get all preachy, right? But I wouldn’t say it unless I felt like I needed to…)
Moving on, Dorothy has been asking me every day for a week how many days are left until we start school. Although homeschooling kindergarten at my house is actually going to be a pretty informal and fluid event, I have decided to follow the school schedule of our local public schools so that Dorothy and her public-schooling BFF next door will always have their days off together. It seemed high time for me to finish the perpetual calendar we will be referencing every morning and to let her see for herself how many days we have until we officially begin. I sewed rows of clear vinyl pockets over fabric that matches my new kitchen curtains. I printed off little cards with the days and numbers on them and inserted them into the pockets. I will task Dorothy will decorating/labeling the special days on our calendar (like the first day of school!) and she’ll add a sticker indicating the morning’s weather to each card as we go. Who knows, maybe the whole family will be better organized now that we have a pretty, easy-to-update calendar right there in the kitchen. (Yeah, right.)