Making a List

Cover of "Made by Hand: Searching for Mea...
Cover via Amazon

In Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World, author Mark Frauenfelder of Make magazine and Boing Boing discusses the resurgence of the Maker culture in modern American society and why it’s important. Early in the book he talks about how he was introduced to this culture via the contributors to Make’s early issues. One of his first steps was to make a list of all the things he wanted to do, no matter how difficult they sounded or how likely he thought he was to fail.

I like this idea. I like it a lot.

I highly recommend the book, by the way. It’s extremely readable and down-to-earth, and discusses how society ended up where it is and how we can take things back for ourselves.

Here’s my list:

  • Build a propane forge
  • Build a spinning wheel for Amber
  • Build a solar heater out of aluminum cans
  • Raise chickens
  • Plant a vegetable garden
  • Build a birdfeeder
  • Make candles
  • Make soap
  • Sew a leather bag
  • Can fruit
  • Make jam
  • Make paper
  • Build a leatherbound journal
  • Make a punch-rug tapestry

Now, this isn’t a list of things I want to do soon, necessarily. I live in an apartment; I’m not going to be raising chickens in the near future (as funny as that would be).

What it is, however, is a map of where I want to go. Some of these I can do now, and I’ll start looking into those. Soap shouldn’t be too hard, nor candles, nor metal clay or paper. I’ve already looked into rug-punching.

It does sound like a lot, but I’m tired of trying to dream managable dreams. I want the big ones, and I want not to be afraid to go for them.

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