Sunday, December 14, 2008
A Merry Wreath
I seem to be a serial monogamist when it comes to books, and my latest love affair is with Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know; Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic," by Derek Fagerstrom, Lauren Smith, and the Show Me Team.
You may recognize the lead authors as derek & lauren of the "diy wednesday" feature on design*sponge. If it weren't an oxymoron, "professional DIYers" would be the term I'd use to describe this couple. They live in San Francisco and run the beautifully curated online store, The Curiosity Shoppe. They are frequent contributors to a host of design and living magazines, and Derek is an editor for ReadyMade Magazine.
(For more information about Derek and Lauren, check out this podcast interview from Make:Grow:Gather.)
Show Me How is brilliantly conceived, designed, and illustrated. Simple graphic tutorials with a minimum of words show you how to do a truly mind-numbing range of things from the mundane to the quirky. Always wanted to know how to open a wine bottle with a saber? It's in the book. Turn your boring head of hair into a Rastafarian 'do? Check. Roll sushi, knit and purl, make a lamp from anything (my nine-year-old's favorite so far), build a treehouse, dance like a robot--you've been shown how, so there's no need to be intimidated about trying something new.
I would tell you more details about the book, such as how it's divided into sections for the home, playing, cooking, etc., but the book is now in use, as it has been since we got it on Thursday. You can find at least one of us bent over the book and laughing or calling out comments about a specific tutorial.
There's still time to use some of the holiday projects in the book. There's a simple tutorial for a snow globe that I'm going to make with my kids (check out the images on the Amazon link above for the holiday tutorials).
Yesterday I made the holiday wreath shown above from the "Make a Merry Wreath" tutorial. It was dead simple. I cut a few branches from our own evergreens and used floral wire (purchased for 75 cents from the grocery store's floral department) to wrap them around a clothes hanger bent into a circle. Using the hanger--an item everyone has--is the inspired part of the tutorial, and you'll find this practical approach to just about every project in the book. I added a ribbon I had left over from another project and some vintage pressed-cotton mushrooms from smallstump to disguise the wonk.
I don't often tell people to rush out and buy something I like, but I think you should in this case. It's a great reference to have on hand, and a book that I'll definitely pass on to my kids when they go off on their own (a long time away, I hope). I've already bought the book for my brother-in-law, who is a DIYer, and I think I'll send out the book as a gift for those folks on my Christmas list that I haven't been able to make handmade items for.
Happy handmade holiday! I'm off to "Dread My "do--pictures later!
Local chatter from ZenCrafter at 11:13 AM