Doing it DIY

Over the past couple of days I have indulged in some meandering through the wide world of the wed and discovered some inspiring blogs and sites all about making things yourself at home. I think I should follow my nose on the net more often… it usually feels like a waste of my time but now I think maybe I’ve been missing out!

It started when I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to make some clothes for my new little niece. She suggested that I check out Tiny Happy a blog by an NZ mother about things she likes to make and do. This led me to a blog called Elsie Marley and then one called Indie Tutes. I found these blogs really inspiring because I like to make things and it’s wonderful to hear about other people who make things too. Most people don’t make stuff, most people just use stuff. I am a puppeteer and both make and perform with puppets of all kinds. In general I try and make them in the cheapest way possible. Mostly because I can’t afford to spend money on the craft yet (puppetry isn’t a profession know for its high salaries) but also because I like to let the materials that I make puppets from speak to me about the character that will come into being.

Reading these blogs, in particular the Indie tutes one, got me thinking about recycling and creativity. The woman who writes this blog has many kids clothing designs that are all about reusing old adults clothes. Like a pair or trousers made from the sleeves of a mens shirt. Really cool idea and makes me realise how lazy most of us are with our approach to recycling the things we no longer need. Sewing ones own clothes is no longer a cheap thing to do, it’s definately cheaper to head down and buy a t-shirt from Bonds that was made in china that to make one yourself. But when you are creative about the way you do it, and if you can use it as an opportunity to reduce waste, then it’s a fantastic thing to do.

My sister is going with using cloth nappies for her baby and we are about to embark on making some inserts and parts of nappy systems ourselves. I have been surprised to find some websites that teach you how to make your own nappies! Considering the cost of fancy cloth nappies and of disposables, not to mention the amount of waste they generate, we are going to give it a go.

I have been watching my flatmate here in Wellington build a compost system, and a set of shelves and gardening beds all out of waste wood. Mostly pallets from out the back of the supermarket. I don’t know if he would rather use new wood or not, we can’t afford it anyway. But it’s good to know that the veges we are eating didn’t use any more trees.

So, I would encourage you all to be a little creative in your lives this month. It is May after all. Maybe you will cook some new dish from all those weird left over veges in the fridge, or make a monkey from a pair or socks… it’s up to you! And thanks to all the generous sharing of ideas from so many creative people on their blogs.