Back in May I was adjusting to being newly 42. I was gobsmacked that I’d just had my first exhibition and was reeling slightly that the youngest Pebble, whose birth I wrote about on the former incarnation of this blog, was about to turn six. I was also trying to adjust to the horrifying possibility of chin hair.
Youngest daughter, aged 11 months
In that same month I received an email asking me to write for a new online magazine for women. I was astonished and thrilled. Apart from craft and interior titles I had abandoned all newsstand publications aimed at women long ago. I wasn’t interested in celebrity beach bodies or the latest diet fad. I didn’t care much for this season’s must-have trouser or who had dumped who for who(m) and was now stepping out with such-and-such and wearing a particular boot whilst she did so.
Two or three times a year I would buy this kind of magazine. Afterwards I felt a little like I did when I ate pickled onion Monster Munch or doughnuts. For a little while it was delicious, but eventually I felt queasy and in need of a satsuma or a carrot. There was little or no intelligent, incisive content. They seemed to be about frocks, mostly.
Fimo pendants including doughnut, made by eldest daughter
On the 30th of September Standard Issue Magazine came into existence. It’s an online publication by women for women. In its short life Jenni Murray has written about the ways in which we think and speak about cancer and Phillipa Perry has given tips on overcoming anxiety and Sian Harries writes in praise of Malala Yousafzai.
There have been articles about parenthood, reality TV and arachnophobia and the writers include Clare Balding and Sarah Millican.
Pippa Evans is documenting her experiences of being make-up free for 100 days and Helen Linehan is sharing her car boot sale finds (including a covetable wooden puffin).
Pudding the frog made by me in 1981 and stuffed with pudding rice.
I will be writing about craft and creativity for Standard Issue and my first piece was published yesterday. My article is about the handmade revival that we are all part of, about my earliest experiences of craft and about knitted beards and crocheted turnips.
I’m incredibly honoured to be writing alongside this group of women and to be part of this launch. I believe Standard Issue magazine is something new and is an excellent destination for those who crave thought-provoking as well as cackle-inducing articles.
Crochet turnip pattern by Little Conkers
Do pop over and have a read if you have a moment to spare, and if you have a few maybe stay awhile.
Marigold Jam says
Off to have a look at the magazine – sounds promising and makes a change from all that fluffy stuff or the other extreme too. Congratulations on being asked to write and am looking forward to seeing what you have to say.
Sounds great. I will read it too. We need (a lot) less shallow reporting and representation for women as a whole.
Penny Miller says
Congratulations on your writing commission, will check out the magazine. 42 is Young!! I turned 50 in May and am loving it! X
I agree with all you say about magazines and why you don't like them. Me neither. Sadly the articles you mention (going without makeup. anxiety issues. how we think about cancer, reality tv),seem to be going down all the well worn paths yet again I'm afraid. I wish it were different.
I feel the same about blogs too at the moment. I really am beginning to doubt womankind and wonder if we have forgotten how to use our brain cells! It's hugely frustrating. Todays women just do not seem to speak to me and seem to have such a limited range of topics and barely scrape the surface of them. It is as if the world around them does not exist. The word selfish comes to mind. Women are actually pretty amazing. Seeing it reflected in our reading material would be such a good thing.
When it comes to those blogs, well words fail me at the moment. Many have stopped writing theirs and I think I am missing them, as what is left seems to be largely writing for a selection of women who rather like being infantilised – readers and writers of blog alike. (Not your blog as I am a new visitor here, so no such judgement to make). Do all people who make things have to include 'cosy makes'. Do they all need to give twee names to their children? The adoration that goes on to worrying levels on some blogs, the herd instinct in evidence. (That is a whole phenomenon in itself.)It used to be better. Didn't it?
I was so excited at the start of the post. I enjoyed reading what you said and then boom. Same old stuff rehashed in the mag. absolutely not for me I'm afraid. What a shame that an opportunity seems to be lost.
What an exciting looking magazine, I enjoyed your article Emma and some of the others -Pippa Evans' no makeup piece particularly. I do agree with you about the rest of the magazines aimed at women but Standard Issue looks like a refreshing change and I don't agree with the previous commenter's assessment of it at all although I do think she has a very valid point about some blogs and their 'dumbing down' tone. I think, yes,it did used to be better.
I'm still passing on a crocheted beard though!
It sounds like a rally exciting publication Emma. Congratulations… I'll be popping right over.
Well done you, I shall pop over immediately and have a look. I absolutely love the crocheted turnip, it's brilliant. CJ xx
Cottage Garden says
Congratulations Emma on your new writing commission. Will check out the link and your piece.
The youngest pebble is 6! Never! Where did those years go?
Celia Hart says
Well done Em! I've been eagerly waiting for Standard Issue to appear (I even signed up for the email alerts but they haven't emailed me) but luckily I spotted the tweets and popped over. I've enjoyed most of the articles… some seem a little too short, they get interesting then stop abruptly. But I suppose this is an editorial decision to keep them to a length that can be dipped into in a spare 5 minutes. The colonic irrigation article was eye-wateringly cackle inducing!
The illustrations are brilliant too.
Looking forward to your next article.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article Emma, did make me smile 🙂 You have a gift for humour in your writing which I really like! Standard Issue is a brilliant read, long may it continue, Safxxx
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love that turnip x
It's always a good idea to give a publication a chance to settle down, but it's a good start.
Good luck with your new adventure!
Congratulations on being asked to contribute to the magazine. I will have a look at it even though I don't usually read magazines nowadays.
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Congratulations! I will check the magazine!
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