Joan Dorsey
Contributing Columnist
Well that time of year has come when it is too hot to go outside and just meander around. My rule of thumb is if you are sweating as the door closes, it is too hot to just be puttering around outside.
That means that before long the Johnson County Fair will be upon us again. 4-Hers will be putting the finishing touches on projects. Animals will be fattened and groomed. I am not sure if it is new this year or not, but some of the projects will be auctioned off on Friday night. That would be an auction worth going too. Those kids work hard on their projects and the end results really show.
Hot outside means more time in front of the old computer screen. One of my favorite spots to browse is the DIY or do it yourself. My generation was great at this. From the time we were young we made macaroni necklaces. Glued pasta on to tin cans for pencil holders. Learned how to braid vinyl laces into lanyards, make Sweedish embroidery tea towels and candles.
I am all in for a great do it yourself project. However I have my limitations, and if I know an inexpensive premade item is just as good, well, I will buy it.
Today’s generation of DIY’s is more complex than past ones. Elaborate cakes are made that when you cut them they are psycadelic masterpieces inside. Old wooden pallets are turned into spaces for growing plants and outdoor furniture. We thought heating marbles in a pan and cooling them so they crackled was the wave of the future.
I do, however, have to sit and chuckle at some of these idea’s.
Last week’s browsing I came upon a lovely idea for festival attendees. Now to those of us who don’t attend festivals, think Grateful Dead, road show folks. The DIY was how to swirl paint on to your arms and legs to give it a marbled effect. I was snickering at this one.
Scrolling on down the page was how to turn a t shirt into a shopping bag or was it a shopping bag into a t shirt. I can’t remember…
Taking pieces of cardboard and using them for drawer dividers, what a great idea, until they tear or come apart. Making picture frames from jig saw puzzles. Cute, but kind of a waste of time.
I think the best idea is to ask yourself, will I like this when I am done? Is this item actually intended for a purpose like this? And of course, if I make this will my kids laugh and trash it when I proudly hand it to them?
Some do it yourself items are just made to last forever. Hand stitched pillow cases and tea towels. Those darn woven pot holders. Anything knitted or crocheted. Other things are best used a little while and quietly buried or trashed.
I am sure as the heat wears on into August I will keep on looking for great do it yourself projects. I will let you know if I find any really good ones. Until then if you discover a homemade treasure on your porch, be kind and trash it quietly or pass it on to someone else.