Friday, April 2, 2010

Fix-It Friday

I'm excited to introduce a new feature to maya*made: Fix-It Friday. Each week I will repair or mend something around my home and will showcase the process here. It may be sewing the ripped section of my old couch's slipcover or something a little more complicated with power tools... a little venture out of my comfort zone is always a good thing. The goal is to bring attention to the lost art of fixing, rather than discarding.  Repair is a creative form in its own right, but has been forgotten by our throw-away society. When I first read Platform 21's Repair Manifesto, I cheered!
Isn't that wonderful!? I was raised with this philosophy, but had never seen it written down.  You can download your own copy right here. I urge you to read it in its entirety, but this sentence moved me the most:
"Every time we repair something, we add to its potential, its history, its soul, and its inherent beauty."


Well, fixing that broken toaster just became a bit of poetry. Darning an old sock turned the mender into an artist! Project 21 ended in August of last year, but their site is filled with wonderful ideas and so worth visiting. I found them last fall through The Improvised Life, one of my favorite blogs.
 
So, let's try out this plan together. I'll tell you about my weekly project: success or not and maybe a little about the process each Friday. I encourage you to join me and share your "fixes" (big or small) in Friday's comment section. If you have a blog, maybe you'd like to post the details about your own repair there. Please link to it so that throughout the weekend we can all visit with one another.  I'm certain we'll learn a thing or two, let alone find inspiration for living a more resourceful and meaningful life. There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction in doing something yourself.  Repairs can be figured out with how-to manuals, Google searches, YouTube videos, or maybe a handy friend. Don't forget to include your children, they are always ready to jump in and be helpers.What a wonderful message we'll be teaching our friends and family.
  
Some items do need a specialist. An entire generation of tradespeople have lost their livelihood because of our disposable society. Please include supporting your local cobbler, tailor, scissor sharpener (you get the idea!) as one of your F.I.F contributions. Let's celebrate the art of fixing together!  Can you feel my excitement?! I'm off to the hardware store with the kids... we're ready to begin! Pin It

37 comments:

  1. I think this is great. We all need to repair more rather than just buying new. Looking forward to seeing what you are repairing each Friday. I may come up with something similiar on my blog. (maybe only once a month though)
    Blessings,
    Nancy

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  2. love this manifesto. although i have to admit I do less repairing than i do repurposing, but i like it a lot.

    i mean, i do not darn socks, i just get new ones, and maybe make a sock puppet out of the old.

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  3. Nancy-I'd love to see what you fix also... it need not be complicated, nor glamorous.

    Rowena-I hear you about focusing on repurposing... I tend to do more of that also and believe wholeheartedly in its worthiness. Repair is a sister of repurposing... and too often overlooked.

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  4. my home is always in repair mode . this will be fun

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  5. I love this idea! My husband is always grousing about how many products are made so that you can't even open them up to fix them because of the way they are put together. Then there is the matter of finding parts! This is a good thing to keep in mind at the very beginning when we are actually making the purchase, like point #2 in the manifesto. Down with "planned obsolescense"!

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  6. Cheers to you! Love this. I can't air to print out this repair manifesto. I love the repair. I have a hard time throwing things away, often can't believe that there is no way to fix or repurpose something. I am getting a little concerned that I will end up on the hoarding show.
    Well I think this is perfect to share and encourage. I would love to do posts on this too. Thanks for the invitation.
    Happy weekend.

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  7. this looks to be a most interesting feature, can't wait to see what you salvage! gotta love a gal who can use tools :)

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  8. What a great idea! There is always something in need of repair in these parts...life is maintenance, right? I look forward to following this!

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  9. How great to see repairing and fixing coming into the spotlight! It's something we grew up learning to do, but somehow got lost in our throwaway society.
    The other night my husband wanted to learn how to help me mend socks-so we sat there side by side with our vintage wooden sock darners and repaired at least a dozen pairs of socks while we watched tv. Not very romantic, but certainly funny!

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  10. i absolutely love this idea. planned obsolescence...ridiculous. i'm always so happy to meet others who share my passion for repairing and repurposing...and their slight fear of being featured on that hoarders show. (maybe we can share how we deal with that as well...our abodes can only, and should only, hold so much.)

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  11. Great idea for a feature! My husband and I are heavily into fixing instead of throwing out. On my blog I cover things like how to replace backpack zippers, fix crocs, toys etc. http://catsongstitchery.blogspot.com search: "how to"

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  12. What a great & wonderful idea. Can't wait to follow your repair tour.

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  13. Thanks for this —it is so timely!...we've all of a sudden gotten to the place where we've lived in this old house long enough for everything to start breaking...honestly, every week a different doorknob will fall off or something or other. I am a real maker of things and a fixer of anything textile, but I have to admit that I grew up in a house where housey things were magically repaired before you even noticed that they were broken. I have real respect for those kinds of fixers and even though I aspire to be one, I approach these tasks with some trepidation and fear that I will "make it worse."
    I am feeling encouraged and motivated by this post. Maybe one little project at a time and with such good company, I can finally become a fixer of all sorts things. Deep breath and fingers crossed...I'm ready to give it a go!...but where to start?!...hmmmm...

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  14. I think this is a fantastic idea - I love it! It definitely sits so well with my own feelings about use, value and consumption. I often find I am telling myself ...look after what you've got first before getting something new. Personally I'd often much rather have an old item with repairs and a life to it than a cheap new item. It this why people love thrifting so much? I definitely think it is more than getting a good deal...there is a story and a character and a life to many of those things. And a commitment to the health of the earth! Looking forward to seeing what you get up to!

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  15. Wonderful idea! I'm on board. :0)
    I'm the "Handy Woman" in this house and have done tons of repairs. If I would wait for my hubby to fix something it would never happen.
    I will try to fix pretty much everything as long as it is not electric. :0)
    We will not replace anything as long as it can be fixed .
    I'm just about to go to the hardware store to get some items to fix our ping pong table.
    I let you know how it goes and will post it on my blog too. :0)
    Have a wonderful creative day!
    Sue

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  16. I love this idea!! I am looking in repairing my kitchen scale NOW!

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  17. How funny you mentioned repairing a slipcover! I just replaced both arm insets on my daughters sofa were the cat scratched it. I didn't even think of blogging it, my husband asked if I did. I still am not used to my blog! The slipcover looks brand new by the way. What a project that was! I really like this subject, I am a repair QUEEN!! thanks!

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  18. While not a complicated repair, I recently decided to fix a hole in one of my everyday kitchen table cloths and a stain (ink) on another.

    I used contrasting fabrics (different from the tablecloths) and sewed two 2" squares together and turned them inside out. Then I used these nicely finished patches to sew over the hole and stain.

    These patches really make me smile because they give character to too much perfection! I try to put them on the table by my place - everyone else is a little puzzled at my joy in a funny little thing...

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  19. Yesterday my husband and I managed to fix the invisible fence that keeps our dogs safe (we live on a busy road and this gives them almost an acre in which to run free safely). We were ridiculously pleased with ourselves.

    Never mind the fact that we'd broken it to start with!

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  20. I can totally get behind everything you said! When our toaster gave out (just past warranty) I could only find one place in the entire county that advertised small appliance repair. Ten years and three repairs later, that toaster is still going strong! This new feature will be great, and I know we'll all get inspired by it and each other!

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  21. My parents are fix it people. In fact, my kids grew up calling my mother Grammie Fit It! Unfortunately my parents failed to teach me to fix things. (This is an issue where my mother has admitted to making a mistake.)

    I value everything you are saying here.

    My husband and I have our own computer repair business and we almost always recommend the fixing of a computer rather than getting a new one. Sadly it is not a viable option half the time simply because the quality of components are so shoddy. We do sell used computers in our shop and as a very affordable price.

    Maya, I am SO looking forward to your Friday Fit It posts!

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  22. Very cool idea. Interesting for us and productive for you! Good luck :)

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  23. Great idea! You should check out Cathe Holden's latest post at www.justsomethingimade.blogspot.com where she repairs a leather suitcase handle and adds great graphics making it a work of art.

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  24. What a great idea. I love it!

    Here is one of my "fixes" -- one of many adventures in plumbing:

    http://peculiarmomma.blogspot.com/2008/05/toilets-and-terrific-kids.html

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  25. This is a great series to have... thanks. It should really help me in my commitment to have less 'disposable' mentality... I do find it hard not to just chuck things out though, particularly badly-made cheap electronic things (so the plan is to avoid buying such things in the future!).

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  26. This is such a great idea! Something is always in need of repair, mending, or re-purposing at my house. I can't wait to see what sort of creative repairs you have to show us.

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  27. I really like this...it's so fun and practical, and really gets you thinking about the next thing you can salvage from certain death!

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  28. Oh I like this! I mended some of my middle one's schooltrousers this week - and added some pockets while I was at it (no wonder he keeps falling holes in them; I suspect he runs around with his hands in his pockets all the time).

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  29. very cool! looking forward to following this!

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  30. Well, it's not Friday but yesterday (Saturday) I 'repaired' the hose on my Dyson vacuum with duct tape. Okay, actually I asked my husband to help me do it and he ended up taping the hose while I stood there holding it in place. Still, I didn't order the $39.99 replacement hose from Dyson. I thought about it, but I need the vacuum in the meantime anyway. I thought, 'I'll just see how well the duct tape works first and order a replacement hose IF I actually need one'.

    Repairing our dining room chairs has been on my to-do list for a couple of years. I am SO ready to get it done now.

    My vehicle broke down yesterday, and mechanic wannabe DH is working on it. While it does require the replacement of some parts due to necessity, the old parts are returned to the auto parts store so that THEY can have them repaired and resale them to someone else in need of the same part later. I think that's pretty nifty.

    Anyway, I love your blog and I think FIF is a great idea.
    Jenn

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  31. there was a great article *years* ago in country living magazine showing antiques that had been mended - a wooden batter bowl with a piece of metal screwed in on the bottom to mend a crack, a wooden handle replacing a missing one on a pottery jug, and etc.

    we need to encourage our children away from a throw-away culture.

    looking forward to reading your F.I.F. adventures!

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  32. I love this idea! I grew up with a Dad who could fix just about anything. I think he learned his skillz from a childhood of taking things apart to see how they worked and putting them back together again :)

    Now I'm even more upset with not taking step by step photos of replacing a broken socket in a desk lamp. I gave it to my husband as a gift and he was upset that he couldn't fix it. I tried my hand and thanks to making a pop can lamp in 8th grade shop class - knew how to replace the broken socket and saved the lamp from the landfill. Yay me!

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  33. Great post Maya!
    I was inspired by your post and have blogged about one of my fix-it as well:
    http://polarbearcreations.blogspot.com/2010/04/fix-it-reparieren.html

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