Tuesday, June 17, 2014

She's Crafty | Fixing Stuff

When you craft and DIY, you inevitably do a bit of fixing too. Then, others will catch on that you are willing to mend broken things and you'll find yourself the recipient of various things that need a little tender loving care. Eventually, you  find yourself the owner of a few fix-it boxes as well.

In my craft room sits a broken jewelry box that I like to take out every once and a while and sift through the contents. Usually I grab the box to find a quick project to knock out and feel productive. Other times, a guilt that I've let these broken items sit so long compels me to open the lid. Either way, when I grab that box something is gonna get fixed.

These items in my broken jewelry box need varying levels of care but none of it gets technically complicated--a new clasp, a spot of glue to attach a pin back to a brooch, or beads that need restringing is about the most complicated of procedures.

Poor broken glasses. They look so sad :(
Right now I'm contemplating the appropriate course of care for a pair of eyeglasses that broke in the most cliched place ever, right in the middle of the nose piece. Easy part? I know it needs glue. Hard part? How do I stabilize it while the glue cures? Time to tinker, the best part of fixing! Get in there, take it apart (if needed), observe the bits and coerce with care all the relevant pieces to get along.

Fixing gets complicated when the item calls for care that exceeds my technical expertise. My tenacious DIY spirit encourages me to try to fix anything that will not threaten bodily harm if I mess about with its innards. I've learned how to do simple fixes on clocks, watches, small fans, clothing, pens, furniture, and vacuum cleaners. However, there are many things I do not have the faintest clue how to fix. When that happens I search for help.

A few weeks back I stumbled across an article and video about a group of volunteer fixers known as the Fixer's Collective who meet in Brooklyn, NY and help people fix their items. The key word is help, the fixers don't fix it for you, they help you help yourself, help your, uh, item not be broken anymore. The master fixers of this collective want people to gain a better understanding of their items and a better relationship with their stuff.

What a brilliant idea! Instead of just paying someone else to fix it for you, or tossing out the item, or holding onto it indefinitely because you just can't handle the thought of tossing out a hand-knitted sweater with an unraveling hem, you could learn a bit more about your item and, hopefully, fix it!

I've done a few searches online for a local group of fixers in Northern California and found mention of the Fixit Clinic in the Bay Area, but it looks like I have more searching to do. So far I can't find a group any closer than one that meets occasionally in San Francisco and other points in the Bay Area.

Maybe I need to look into getting a fixing group started out here. Find a group of master fixers, crafters, and tinkerers to fix our lack of a fixer's group. A meta-fix, if you will. Anyone up to the challenge?

Until next time we meet, stay crafty!
Malia & Kaye

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