Day 10: No Time to DIY

image I’ve been in denial long enough. As much as I love DIY — Do It Yourself — projects, I just don’t have the time it takes to do them and enjoy them. Often I’ll come up with an idea for a project, pick up everything I need to make it happen, and then put everything in a corner until I have time to make concrete my vision.

Until I have time.

I’ve had 2 very large wooden frames without glass or backing sitting in various places in our house for 3 years. Why? Well, I’d read the book The Dot with the kids. It’s a book about a young girl, Vashti, who doesn’t believe she can draw and, in her frustration, punctuates her drawing paper with a dot at the end of art class. The next day, Vashti returns to school to see that her teacher framed the dot and hung it above her desk. “It was the little dot she had drawn — her dot — all framed in swirly gold.”

Wouldn’t it be great to put the kids’ artwork in swirly gold frames?

It would be. If I could just get someone to DIY for me. I know that’s sort of not the point, but isn’t part of having DIY projects to create unique pieces that are local and hands on in their creation?

One spring during my time at St. Andrews School in Delaware, a student (I’ll call him Steven) who was interested in building his interior design portfolio offered to complete various projects for faculty. I took Steven up on the offer and passed along a large jar of old buttons (they’d belonged to my mother and grandmother), a frame, a stool, and a remnant of fabric. I asked him to recover the stool. Then I told him I’d seen frames decorated with old buttons and I wanted something like that for Logan (she was 2 at the time). Steven came back to me after a week with a recovered stool and the cutest frame-turned-mirror for Logan. His DIY for me was better than my DIY idea.

Wouldn’t be great to have someone in the wings ready to make your DIY visions into completed projects or items you could enjoy? Or a place where you could go and barter for DIY time? It could be called DIY-FM (DIY for me). I’d gladly cook banana bread for someone if it meant getting these frames done. (I’d probably do that anyway).

This Christmas I had sketchy plans to make wands for my kids and nephews. They are all into Harry Potter. I went online and found DIY instructions (to be fair to myself, this was at the prompting of my students who said that the commercial wands break easily). At the last minute, I checked etsy on a whim and found really cool handmade wooden wands there. With options like etsy, I may ween myself from my DIY impulses yet.

Anyone else out there a reforming DIYer? Is there something you keep trying to do despite undeniable evidence that you have no time to do it?

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6 Responses to Day 10: No Time to DIY

  1. John Burk says:

    OMG I love the Dot, and all of Peter Reynolds’ other books. I’ve thought of reading it to my high school students who often can’t get started on a physics problem for fear of not being able to solve it perfectly. “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.”

  2. sedefscorner says:

    Oh I am the queen of unrealized DIY dreams. When I was living in Turkey I had a whole linen closet full of remnants or yards of fabric that I had found here and there (bought or taken from my mother, grandmother or mother-in-law’s closet) Once I had a babysitter who asked me if I was a seamstress 🙂 I don’t saw… but I did use some of those fabrics for tablecloths, for lining the old shelves of the linen closet and I even got a reclining chair reupholstered with different patches of fabrics from all kinds of different sources. I still love looking at all of these projects but I have to admit the clutter one gathers for all these projects (collecting fabrics is one of my smaller vices) can get to a point where they can take over the house.

    Now, my mother’s basement is full of antique flea market finds or simply things left over from the past 30 years and I have so many grand ideas of what I want to do with them – upholster the tall director’s chairs, make a funky lampshade for one of several lamps lying buried down there or finally start the collage I have been planning to make from all the flyers, brochures and cards I have collected from museums, galleries, stores… I have gotten better though, now I sort of know my limitations 😉

    But,I really love your DIY-FM idea…

  3. Michele says:

    Since we moved into our apartment, ohhhhhhhh, 5 years ago,I have been wanting to organized my closet and get to those last 2 boxes that needed to be unpacked. You know DIY. Well finally after gently being pushed by my husband to DIY, I hired an organizer to help me DIY for my closet AND desk! So far it is the best money I have spent this year. After my organizer and I complete these two big projects, I might actually accomplish some DIY projects that have been waiting for me in my clutter.

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