As illuminated earlier this year by the fascinating book and subsequent documentary, Handmade Nation, the world of DIY crafting is undergoing a timely revolution. It's a movement that's thrived in meccas like Brooklyn, San Francisco, Portland, OR and elsewhere for many years, but with thrift going mainstream, it's well worth it to jump on the bandwagon of the craft movement's current generation.
Under the umbrella of not belonging to your grandmother, home economics came back with a vengeance with the late, great Domino magazine's young and resourceful decorating guides and the popular, multi-city tour of the Renegade Craft Fair, as well as under luminaries like Diana Rupp, founder and hands-on owner of New York's make workshop and author of Sew Everything Workshop. Combining her skilled hand at the sewing machine with a network of creative craftspeople in fields ranging from soap-making to letterpress and an approachable hipster air, she's bringing in newbies to make things for themselves. This once uncommon yearning to live off one's own handiwork could become a tradition as durable as the handmade goods themselves, and happening during the information age, there is a world of resources out there to make cool, crazy or conventional crafts.
The project-based how-to guidebook recently brought their entire enterprise online for a loyal following of resourceful crafters who go above and beyond the requisite popsicle-stick birdhouse to share readers' crafts likeCrafsquatch"s RSS Pillow and the Crocheted Groom's Bow-tie as part of craft's DIY Wedding Month.
It's fresh, funky and down-home for modernity.
Offering "instructions for everyday life," ReadyMade is another example of a newer, slightly sweeter version of This Old House. If Martha Stewart were Barbie, ReadyMade would be her Skipper, offering resources and step-by-step projects on crafting, building, cooking, organizing, entertaining and more. It's a cool thing.
The blogosphere could be credited with constructing the snowball of today's stylishly simple home economics. Behind benchmarks like Design*Sponge, decor8, swissmiss, Black*Eiffel, A Cup of Jo and the haystack needle, a charming parade of design, entertaining and general eye candy-offering daily musings have built up a close-knit community of beautifully home-spun lives. Wedding blogs like snippet & ink and Once Wed have certainly styled the everyday bride in a way that's inspiring for anyone trying to curate her day, whether it's the Big One or not.
I'll be interested to follow this powerful community as it pulls in people to go back to basics, in a way that's really anything but.