The Power of DIY

DIY is going strong, between Pinterest, Etsy, the launch of Etsy Studio and the hundreds if not thousands of blogs out there telling you how to be a DIY champ. And I have to say I’ve been hooked for a long time. Growing up the running family joke was ‘I can make that’. My parents instilled in me the idea that it was possible for me to make what I wanted, all I had to do was learn. As a kid that meant piles of books on whatever I was looking to make next. Now I just get online. Chances are someone has done something similar before.

My handmade quilt rack.

Over the years and after some definite Pinterest fails, I think I’ve learned better what projects to take on and what to save up for and purchase from a pro. What I’ve discovered is that while being able to do something myself can save me money, often it doesn’t really save that much. Saving is not the only reason I’m drawn to it. As I’ve been working on another project for the blog that I hope to have out later this summer I thought more about what drives me to DIY. I realized the feeling of power what motivates a lot of my decisions to learn new crafts. The more things I learn how to do and the more things I can make myself the more powerful I feel. Whats more, the less precious those ‘things’ become. Got mud on the chair? No problem, I can reupholster that. The pillow got torn? No problem, I can mend that. Things lose their power over me as I gain power.

The first chair I reupholstered next to the most ambitious chair I've done.

That’s the feeling I chase. I don’t like being dependent on something. Especially when I feel that something or someone is actively trying to manipulate me or take advantage. For instance upon learning more about the diamond industry and their ad campaigns I decided I would rather have a moissanite stone in my ring. I don’t drink coffee, partly because I don’t like the taste but partly because I don’t want to HAVE TO HAVE coffee. Please don’t feel like I’m picking on you for drinking coffee or having diamond jewelry because of my very odd line of thinking. I have my own things that I am dependent on. These are just the ones I decided I could live without. Now you might think, what does this have to do with DIY?

Tile. The most recent skill in my arsenal.

For me the crux of consumerism is a loss of power. I am dependent on others to make my basic necessities. I don’t want to live like that. I want people to drive my life, not things.

There is also a good chance that my inner rebel feminist has motivated me to embrace learning woodworking, taking on big projects and working in the yard. I don’t believe my gender stops me from doing anything and these types of projects are physical proof of my indomitability.

The before and after of our side yard.

I’ll end by encouraging you to do things that make you feel powerful and that chances are you can do it yourself, it might not be perfect but the pride of accomplishment usually out weighs the imperfections. And for the things you realize bring you no joy to make, there’s always Etsy.

I have a really exciting blog in the works for you. I thought it would be ready this month but there were a few hiccups. Hopefully next month it’ll be ready for you and I think it ties in well to the idea of making things yourself, as well as up-cycling. You’ll get to hear me talk more about the power I feel in taking on projects.

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