Monday, June 17, 2013

Personal Project: Simple Wood Shelf

Moving reminds me how much stuff I have.

I go back and forth believing I’m the type of person that needs only the amount of things I can fit in a backpack, to insisting that I keep all of my high school notebooks and collection of tiny trinkets.  Believing one day, my future child will want to read through each one. I have to save them, for my future child’s sake.

My attitude on the subject has been a constant back and fourth, but recently I’ve been accepting more than rejecting. Especially when it comes to clothes. I make the excuse that I’m a costume designer and I need to keep things for stock. What if I need it for a show, right? And even more recently, when it comes to household items, because I am moving into a place alone, I need things.

Even though this push and pull hasn’t gotten any easier, I’ve found a happy medium of sorts. Making things myself.

Handmade things are like school notebooks because they tell a specific story about your life when you made it. So sentimentality, check. Also, if I plan it right, I can also make something useful that I do need in my apartment.

Happily, this was the result of the beautiful, simple, shelf Ben and I made last weekend. On the sentimentality side: we designed it together, we did it together and he taught me how to use a table saw and a miter saw.  A fast spinning blade right next to my hand is not something I’ll forget! On the practical side: where I once had no shelving in my kitchen, I now have a one-of-a-kind shelf to store my dry ingredients, unused syrup containers and various other kitchen necessities. Win-win, I do believe.

In the time when you can buy anything for your apartment from Ikea and anything you need to dress yourself from Forever 21, making something handmade gives me meaning in a world of meaningless, inexpensive things. That’s why people are making craft beer for their friends and table runners fro their wedding. Because of the story. Because you can say, I made that and when I made that, this crazy thing happened. Stories are the currency of life, right? But when you make things you have the thing and the story. Another win-win.

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