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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What constitutes DIY?

I just can't get away from them. A week or so after the crocheted rock picture infiltrated the interwebs, this little homage appears and people are referring to it as "DIY." But is it? Does taking a weensy brush, some white paint, and copying a photo constitute a DIY project?


Design Sponge, the craft blog that straddles the line between the sublime and the ridiculous, offers a more involved pebble painting activity complete with a linoleum cutting sub-project. With my favorite wallpaper as a backdrop.


So how does one define a DIY project? The ever helpful Apartment Therapy loves to label every glue gun how-to a "DIY" and chronicles these goofy home projects ad nauseam in their "Before and After" and "How To" features. A quick search this morning turned up these gems:

Turning your old wooden salt and pepper grinders into "Anthropologie inspired" painted table art.

Wrapping an Orla Kiely (do not get me started on that one) laundry bag around a footstool and calling it DIY upholstery. I spent two college summers as an upholsterer and that ain't upholstery.

Threading a painted twig between three bare bulbs as a wretchedly pale ode to Tord Boontje's "Blossom Chandelier" for Swarovski's Crystal Palace series.

Sigh.

While researching this post, I thought it best to go to the source of my aggravation. I found the website of the woman who is the loving crochet-er of all manner of flora. Turns out that she has an Etsy shop and likes to photograph her creations in nature.

Yes. That would be a doily-ed tree.

33 comments:

M said...

I like the twig lamp it matches my felt rocks.

JessJezzz said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds some of this stuff trite...

Raina said...

Hi ya JessJezzz and welcome!

David said...

I love linoleum printing and prints. Except that one.

erin@designcrisis said...

That is some gorgeous wallpaper! ;)

The doilied tree takes the Darwin Craft Awards cake. You can almost hear the tree screaming, "Get. it. off of meeeeee!"

abchao said...

The before and after "upholstery" jobs I see all over the place are some of the saddest things ever. Don't forget to paint the whole thing hot pink, whee!!!

I admit to buying some felt rocks once in a craft-fueled fever. Don't stone (heh) me.

Raina said...

Hello abchao and welcome! None of us can be held responsible for the actions of fever-addled brains.

griffo68 said...

Oh joy!!!...A doiley that I can hang on a tree!!!
I've been after one for years!!! ;)

Forests are gonna look hot this summer!

Sol Kawage said...

craftulence is my new favorite word. Thanks Raina.

Alicia B Designs said...

I'm at work right now and I'm doing all I can to contain my laughter. AMAZING post.

*moggit girls said...

Will wonders never cease?...

J&J

Alexis said...

DIY to me is something like fixing a toilet or putting in a new floor by yourself. Although, I can see how painting teeny things on rocks could be just as useful.

Baglady said...

Oh my giddy aunt. As if doilies aren't bad enough someone has inflicted them on a poor defenceless tree! That's just plain cruel.

Raina said...

Hola Baglady and welcome to this deliciousness!

houseenvy said...

It's easy surely; if you could - without shame - pay someone else to do it, but choose not to, it's DIY. If it involves wool, felt, twigs, sticky tape, it probably isn't.

Can't imagine I'll be calling someone in to paint my pepperpot anytime soon...

citysage said...

Some of it I love, some of it makes me roll my eyes. For example the design sponge linocut rocks look like a bird pooped on them.

but my fave takeaway from this post? TWO summers spent upholstering? hello?! I wanna hear more about that!

Camilla @ Designalogue Blog said...

oh Raina I think you would love watching the Aussie Better Homes & Gardens TV show - its FULL of useful HOW to's and MUST do's such as last weeks gem - decoupaging a chair with left over magazine cutouts. Hmm, noice! Im sure you can imagine JUST how gorgeous that was.

only a movie said...

Again, Raina. Heart you. Craftabulous.

Raina said...

Alexis and HouseEnvy, you both got it. Craft projects do not equal DIY.

3M, we get that show here in KiwiLand. I've been amazed, repulsed, and fascinated all at the same time watching that program.

CitySage, I will most definitely roll that experience into a post soon.

Raina said...

My apologies, Dear Readers, for all of the misspellings (I just corrected them). It was way early this morning when I wrote this post.

And the doily was boring into my brain.

Designers' Brew said...

did the comments i wrote you get eaten by the Intertube Monster? Anyway I was agreeing with houseenvy... working on your home renovation yourself is DI-effing-Y. Fannying about with white gouache is not.

nkp said...

Oh, it's just all too much for me...I want to live in a world where I have the time to paint intricate I-don't-know-whats on rocks. Actually, NO, I don't!

PutzFrau said...

I think "DIY" runs the gamut because some of us are "Craft challenged". So we can feel good and artistic when we paint our pepper grinders.

It's kind of like what the Lion King did to musical theater.

susieq said...

I'm still smiling over "craftulence." So funny. Doilies on trees? Crocheted rocks? Ak. But, felted rocks. That's high craft! (And I volunteer to Photoshop the googly eyes on the next felted rock photo.) ;-)

charlotte said...

actually, could you please get started on the orla kiely rant? i'd hate to think i am the only one baffled by her....

Raina said...

Hello Charlotte and welcome! Yeah, I hear ya. How can one person build an brand empire on stylized leaves and pears in unfortunate color combinations?

Baglady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baglady said...

Hello back, Raina. Love your blog - saw it on the Living Etc forum.

Houseenvy is exactly right. Tradesmen all over the world are out now practising painting on rocks and crocheting. Not.

Pigtown-Design said...

Raina... did you see the post I did on Orla Keily "wottles" which are reusable water bottles silk-screened with her ghastly leaves? cringe-worthy name, isn't it?

Raina said...

Nope, off I go to check it out...

Raina said...

Turns out I did see it and commented on it. Funny enough, it's the least obnoxious Orla thing I've run across.

Lotta said...

I cringe when people say I'm a "jewelry designer". I think of myself as a "jewelry put-togetherer". So I get what you are saying about DYI.

I think of DIY as being creative and industrious with materials you have.

Raina said...

Hello Lotta and welcome to this deliciousness!