Sometimes you learn the same thing from a bunch of different places all at once… this week my lesson was what it means to be crafty or Do It Yourself (DIY).
A guy from Comcast was just here to install my cable. The modem is in my spare room, which is where I keep my not insubstantial array of craft supplies. As he was leaving the technician said, “You sure are a crafty little thing!” Usually I’m a bit on the touchy side about comments that can be interpreted as sexist, but he truly didn’t mean it like that. Also, although it’s all neatly arranged and for the most part hidden, when you go mucking about with wires and plugs you end up having to move at least three under-bed containers of yarn, one tub of fabric, a sewing machine, one very bad painting, a largeish container of various kinds of paper, and my printer. I looked up from re-stringing the poles of my backpacking tent. “Yes,” I said. “Yes, I guess I am.”
I heard a radio show last weekend on OPB called Destination DIY. It is, not shockingly, about DIY in Portland, and the fact that for something to be DIY does not mean it has to involve a hot glue gun. (Though I do love me some hot glue.) For example, this show included a segment about people who represent themselves in court. This isn’t necessarily what springs to your mind first when you hear the term DIY, but goshdarnit, if you think about it it totally makes sense.
And last week we had a meeting with our accountant where I was feeling down right crafty. We were running reports right and left and trying to solve a small mystery and getting all creative with our problem solving integrating the two different software programs we use to track inventory and expenses. I felt excited in the same way as when I’m learning something new when I’m knitting, or making a lot of progress in a pattern I like. I mean, what’s more DIY than teaching yourself accounting and web design and new software programs and starting up a business? Whether your selling yarn or widgets – that’s pretty crafty.
So here’s my little new nugget of knowledge. The part of me that likes to knit and sew (and hot glue things to other things) is the same part that revels in keeping our bookkeeping super tidy and knowing that all the little columns balance out perfectly. And making the web site look pretty. And designing ads. It’s all about problem solving and creating order out of chaos and something useful out of raw materials, whether it’s data or a ball of yarn.