Thoughts

Why I DIY

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Last weekend we had some friends and relatives over and in mid conversation, one of the friends asked me out of genuine curiosity, "Why do you choose to make so many things by yourself?  Why don’t you just buy these things, or pay someone else to do it for you?”  The best short answer I could come up with at the time was “I just like it.” 

The longer answer, and what I wish I’d explained much better, is that DIY projects give me a sense of accomplishment. It makes me feel good to design and create all kinds of things, whether I’m crafting or cooking, styling or decorating. Frankly I’m just one of those people who likes to dream up things in my mind and then make them with my own hands.

I’m not a fine artist or an especially skilled carpenter, but I love working with paint and building things and that makes me a creative. It took me over 30 years to finally acknowledge that fact, but then I realized I possess many of the attitudes of creative people. I believe in reinvention, perseverance, and I have an ongoing curiosity about how things are made. 

There’s always a calculation I make before undertaking any DIY project. Do I have the time?  Do I possess the skill?  Will taking on this project teach me something new?  How much money will I save?  Will it look good in the end?  If you’d asked me ten years ago whether I’d tackle a staircase remodel or install a new stone patio, my answer would have been “Do what?  Heck no.”  How did I end up taking on those projects?  Because I’d read how others had gone before me, I was inspired, and had the desire to learn how.

As a creative, it’s important to surround yourself with people who share your passion so I feed off of the inspiration and knowledge that comes from others in the DIY community. When I read about other creatives using their hands to build something amazing, I can’t help but feel admiration for their skills and DIY savvy, which is why I began the ‘Best of the Blogsophere’ series so many months ago. Not everyone has the time, inclination, or skill to take on major DIY projects, and that’s fine. But I believe those skills can be learned if the ‘can do’ attitude is there.

It frustrates me when I hear people say “I’m not creative.” I don’t agree with that. Every person possesses the innate ability to be creative. The naysayers simply have yet to tap into their creativity. Perhaps they lack confidence. Perhaps they’re afraid they won’t be any good. Mostly I think they just haven’t tried. We’re all creative to one degree or another, it just has to be discovered deep within. Life hasn’t been the same since I tapped into mine. 

That’s my long answer.  What’s the short answer to the question, “Why do I DIY?”

just want to create

via

Do you see yourself as a creative person?

Why do you or don’t you DIY? 

 

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Holiday Housekeeping

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

“Happy Holidays!”

Doesn’t that sound weird? And a little premature? It does to me, but I was reminded yesterday that Thanksgiving is four weeks away, and Christmas is eight weeks away, which is just a little frightening. 

Isn’t it crazy how the time between Halloween and New Years Eve goes by in the blink of an eye. Cah-ray-zee! I love this season more than any other but it always seems so rushed unless I make serious efforts to plan ahead. I wrote an article on holiday housekeeping last year as a reminder that I need to start pacing myself in October and get to planning.  I revisited the topic again over coffee this morning and thought I’d share.  Here is a condensed version of last year’s article with a few tips for holiday housekeeping:  

I was at Michaels today and noticed already Halloween is on clearance and the flashy Christmas decorations are all on display. And it’s still October. This is no surprise, it happens earlier every year, but there’s still that moment of “O.M.GEE, it’s almost Christmas!" that makes my head spin. I’ll look on the bright side and interpret all those sparkly ornaments as a nudging reminder that the holiday season is about to descend with all of its magic and mayhem.   

In the last few years, I’ve learned (the hard way) that this season is far more joyous the better prepared I am, so I’m taking some steps in the next two weeks to brace prepare myself for the frenzy:  

1. Swap out the Wardrobe.  I still need to put all the summer attire away in baskets and clear out the shelves of any summer footwear (me thinks it’s this weekend’s project…)  I find having a closet consisting of only cold weather clothing helps me keep it cleaner and more organized.  As the temperatures drop, the entire family will be needing to keep their toes warm.  Matching up all the lonely socks is a laborious task that I would gladly trade with anyone who needs something painted.  Any takers?  :Dwinter sweaters country living

 

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