Monday, September 7, 2009

How Did You Do That?

Today we received a kind email praising the look of our Goodes. Its always nice to hear a kind word of approval. As it happens this email included a simple question which we have found we are asked quite frequently... How did you do that? I have to say that I never really have a good answer to questions like that. Simply because some times I just don't know the answer and some times I just don't want to tell. I am not trying to be aloof or arrogant by any means its just a simple question that need only a simple answer and here it is...

The best answer we can give to your question is to say years of trial and error. It doesn't matter if its a piece I finished or a piece Beth finished. I have known Beth for several years and we have honestly never discussed our techniques in completing projects. Kind of like grandma's pie that won a blue ribbon at the fair. You always wonder what the secret ingredient is but you never find out. And really... if you did would the pie taste like grandma's? Not hardly. There is always some flick of the wrist stirring technique or that extra pinch over 1 tsp of something that you just can't get and grandma would never think important enough to mention. LOL. I asked my memere' (french grandmother) how she made her fudge 20 years ago and knew I was in trouble when the first ingredient was 10 lbs of sugar. That was it... game over... I was done. It wasn't until she explained that having 9 children and a few farm hands did not afford her the luxury of making things in small quantities. It only meant more work when she would have to make more fudge just a few days later. So when she made it it wasn't always the same. It wasn't ever written down. It was in her head and if she was short on one thing she could compensate a bit with something else. The "MAKE-DO" theory as everyone likes to say. I look at it this way when asked... some things you just don't ask and some things you just don't tell. Techniques in finishing projects and secret ingredients in recipes are a few of them so I really don't know the answer to that question. Having said that I can also say that even if I knew I wouldn't be able to duplicate it. There is always something I find daunting about trying to mirror someone else's technique. We have ALL tried it at some point and most of us have come to the conclusion that it is best not to try. After 25 years of learning by doing I find it much easier and less frustrating. As we like to say "We can screw things up enough on our own. Who needs someone else's technique to make it worse".

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