Monday April 2nd, 2012 Category: The Man's View
Working with your hands
I read a book recently called the “The Case for Working With Your Hands” by Matthew Crawford. Now, not all of it was great, I particularly didn’t like the almost Luddite approach he seemed to be taking, such as the arbitrary line he was drawing about where we should, and shouldn’t, understand new technology (I’ll leave it to you to read it, if you want, to make up your own mind). What I did get out of it, though, was a renewed interest in the satisfaction you get from doing something for yourself. It is a deep and powerful feeling.
In my family, my brother is the one who likes to get his hands dirty, and will try to fix things whenever he can. Or he was, until my growing army of little nephews put paid to it – he doesn’t have time for sleep, let alone rummaging around underneath a car! I’ve always been more of a ‘throw-money-at-the-problem’ type. It’s interesting how things change…
And I’ve seen it a lot recently – whether it’s the inexorable rise of small producers on sites like Etsy, Folksy or even Not On The High Street, or the plethora of do-it-yourself craft sites out there (and how can I forget good old Bugs and Fishes, and my own creation!) Of course, there’s downsides to this explosion as well – have a look at the brilliant Regretsy (“Where DIY meets WTF”) if it’s all getting a bit too much for you.
Anyway, what’s this post about? Well, what I wanted to do is bring together some of the great ideas we’ve seen at AskHerFriends whilst doing our research on those ‘perfect gifts for her’. *Warning* these haven’t been tested for ease or quality of instruction!
First up we have something that looks pretty easy. Glass Jar photo frames. A nice little gift for a memento of a special occasion.
Secondly, here’s a great collection of art projects, nine in one post. I’ve aggregated an aggregation! I really like the look of the map and the Alisa Burke shoe polish ones – shame I’ve no more wall space left to do anything with!
Sticking with the art theme, Zedpea mentioned the other day that she wants to give this melted crayon art a go. Part art, part melting-fun-with-a-hairdryer, I remain to be convinced about the long term merits of this, but it looks like something fun to do of an afternoon regardless!
Next up is the ideal gift for her if she likes entertaining – a homemade chalkboard serving platter. Apart from the baking and 24 hour drying, this looks like a doddle!
The last item I wanted to show in this first instalment of homemade gift ideas is not a gift as such, but the wrapping. We’ve been saying for a while that the wrapping can be almost as important as the gift itself. These look hugely complex, but they’re really easy, really adaptable to whatever you have around, and if you wrapped her gift like this then I’m sure she should would a) not believe it’s from you and b) definitely not believe it’s from you. So maybe keep the tutorial to hand as well to prove it…
There we go. Some perfect gift ideas, all homemade, and all with the satisfaction of a job well done. Even if it isn’t that well done – it’s the thought that counts!