Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making Do

I opened my email yesterday and was delighted to find a quick message from a friend. She had been reading my blog, and it reminded her of an old Depression-era saying: use it up, wear it out, make do or do without. (This friend, by the way, also writes “Scratch That!”--a blog about making things from scratch.)

It is true that I spend a lot of time talking up the benefits of repurposing, recycling, upcycling, and cutting back.
And of course I laud these practices because they are friendly to the community, the environment, and my pocketbook. But they also help me in my quest for originality--and that is what I want to talk about today.

Now many of you already know that I’m a magazine junkie.
I love the glossies--love them. Consequently I’m regularly exposed to a vast array of tantalizing images, from fashion to home design to shoes (oh the many shoes...). And though I would happily skip to the stores to snatch up armfuls of merchandize, a) I don’t have the cash, and b) I’m burdened by a well-developed consumer conscience that persistently reminds me of the houseful of stuff I already own.

Furthermore, to pursue the acquisition of a glossy spread is essentially to be a drone.
Or a clone. Or a scone. (okay...not that last one. I got carried away with the rhyming.) In other words, it isn’t very original.

What is original, however, is lifting ideas from my surroundings, and trying to envision them reborn from my belongings.
Not only does limiting myself to “making do” and “using up” energize my creativity, but more often than not, I end up with designs and innovations that are better than a perfectly staged magazine page. Better because they are a) unique, and b) fashioned by my own hand.

Of course it’s very selfish of me to have all the upcycling fun,
so I am happy to announce that I will be launching a new venture shortly that will bring my DIY upcycling ideas to you--right in time for the holidays. I can’t wait to share more, so stay tuned!

Until then--happy making do!

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