Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My first hate mail

Yesterday I got a rather unkind comment on one of the pieces we recently finished. And to some extent that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you don't have to love or even like everything we create. 

(And honestly I was a little excited for this to happen. I felt like it would mean I had officially entered the blogging world.)

I'm choosing not to remove that unkind comment, or any others that may follow. If the language in them is offensive then I'll take it off, but if you are simply rude it will remain on here for everyone to see how ungracious you were. I'm choosing to do this because I want to remain real, honest and I understand that not everything in life is kind or pleasant. 

I would like to say this though. You did hurt my feelings with your choice of words. I'm fine with the fact that you did not like that piece and advice is always appreciated, but what you said was unladylike and uncalled for.  I hope that you will not continue to spread your meanness to others who work hard to create and cultivate things of beauty.  I would hate to see another nasty comment from you on a friends blog and I hope you will think twice before leaving such a comment again.  

This thought summarizes what I am saying- 

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
                                                                                                                             - Leo Buscaglia

On the flip side, I want to sincerely thank each of you who leaves kind, thoughtful and uplifting comments.
 They make my day. :) 
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  1. I love the way you responded to the post! Your grace and willingness to accept kind criticism is inspiring.

    Your posts always inspire me and I look forward to seeing what is coming up next!


  2. People can be so rude and inconsiderate, I'm sorry you had to deal with someone like that. I think mean thoughts a lot, I'm snarky and cynical, but I don't say them out loud, that's the difference between being classy and being a heathen. Personally, I think everything you've refinished has looked incredible and I thought the rope handles were inspired. Hopefully your response to her comment will teach her a lesson in grace and class. Probably not though, some people just "don't get it" and never will.

  3. This infuriates me that people even say anything! Keep it to yourself people!
    That said, the piece she was talking about is amazing, unique and fabulous! She's the "trashy" one. Maybe she needs to find a hobby other than blog reading. Keep up your great work!

  4. Julia, you are one classy lady. I had to search for the comment, and for you to leave it just shows how much character you have. Her, not so much.

  5. Well, I had the exact same experience a week or so ago. If you blog long enough, you expect it to happen eventually. I also chose to let the comment stand and I did not address the issue. But to be honest, it was still hurtful. I guess what really bothered me is that when someone visits your blog, it's the same as visiting your home. It's fine to have a different opinion, but it never appropriate to be rude or disrespectful. The quote you shared is the perfect response!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had been thinking all day about the fact that I don't tell my loved ones and my peers what I admire about them and the things they do nearly enough. We've all encountered "ugly" and it hurts. But, the "pretty" helps. And I think you are FABULOUS!!!

  7. I agree with Sharon. Criticism hurts but I think that at least in a creative profession, criticism will help us more in the long run than just nice comments. I think it is refreshing to hear somebody sometimes admit that they don't like something I do, because the feedback feels more honest.
    It is always hard to digest rude comments, but in a positive light, it seems like she felt that that particular piece fell short of what she knows you are capable of. And if you have a harder time selling it, then she just gave you a tip on what to do to change it :)
    Keep up the good work!

  8. You did an excellent job in sharing how you felt about the comment!

  9. Julia, you are one of the most gracious people I know. It takes a lot of class to respond with kindness the way you did. There's a difference between helpful criticism and hurtful. If I see a piece or a craft that I don't like on someone's blog or website I just plain don't say anything about it. But I honestly love your pieces. They are all unique and I love that you try to do something different with each one. Way to be bold and use rope!!

  10. Some people are jerks and bullies. I'm sorry you had someone say something mean...some people need to learn to keep their mouths shut. I understand constructive criticism but not shear rudeness. You are very classy in how you handled this. I probably would have cried a little and deleted it..I'm too soft...but if it does ever happen to me, you've definitely given me a great example to follow and also some courage. I think you're fantastic!

  11. You are so amazing to have taken a comment like that and turned a negative into a positive. I read the comment and I think you handled it perfectly.

    And for the record, i thought it turned out soo cute!

  12. What I don't get about the comment is: if you don't like it, why comment? Just keep it to yourself and move along.

    Kudos to you for handling this with grace and maturity!

    Btw, the dresser turned out beautifully! It took vision. I never would have thought to do what you did with it!

  13. I was thinking earlier today about what it would be like to get a negative comment in my blog and how often it happens in the blogging world. I think I would feel the same way you do-hurt, but willing to keep it since everyone is going to have their own opinion. I think your work is fabulous. I have to say that after having attempted to refinish a piece of furniture for the first time I have a new found respect for those who do it all the time. It's hard work and takes talent to pull it off. Keep up the good work!!!!

  14. Julia, I must admit I went and looked for the comment too. I'll agree that CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is very helpful, however, there was no constructive in her comment. It was just rude.

    Now I'll also tell you that while I love 99% of everything I have seen you do, that dresser wasn't my favorite either. However, you will not find a comment from me there. I understand that everyone's tastes are different and admired you for doing something different and taking a risk.

    I KNOW that the person who ends up with your dresser is going to LOVE it, and that's great. A lot of people hate the old potting bench I have sitting in my dining room. I don't care, I love it. That is what makes us interesting - that we don't all love the exact same thing all the time.

    Keep up the amazing and creative and sometimes risky work!

  15. Oh, and I also noticed that she doesn't blog. She isn't putting herself out there. It's an easy thing to do to criticize another's endeavors when you yourself do not even try.

  16. Being an artist my whole life, I know and can understand where you are coming from in your response to your hate mail. As an art teacher, this is what I tell my students: Art appreciation is about respecting the fact that even though you may not like or even understand a piece of art, you must still realize that it is valuable to someone else, a specific culture, or artistic movement and deserves its moment in time. You keep doing what you're doing Julia! andrea @ townandprairie

  17. this doesn't really have to do with your post, but i just wanted to say i love your work and i am in love with almost everything you do. i have pinned a few of your pictures on my pinterest page, just fyi :) keep being awesome. i want to do awesome things like you one day ;)

  18. rude!! i couldnt find the comment but it's probably stupid anyways. No worries, you've obviously got lots of people that love what you're doing. which brings the question, where are you at?? Are you still in Utah? I'll shoot you an email because I might need you in the near future!

  19. Well said Julia! I enjoy your creativity and design style. I gotta go but before I do I'm grabbing your button :) Stop by for a blog visit soon.

  20. I revamp furniture myself and I'm always checking out others' work. If I don't like it, I simply don't comment on it. Constructive comments are one thing, but snarky comments, especially when shielded by a profile that has no info, are useless and hurtful. We're all sharing our passions out here in blogland, and not every thing is supposed to work for every body. You just keep on keepin' on!

  21. just found your blog through the headboard on craigslist. you have beautiful things!
    I am very impressed with how you handled a mean comment!! In fact, I think that this is one of the best ways to handle it!
    Keep doing what you are doing, and having haters, means you are doing something right! <3


I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments! They bring a smile to my face!