D.I.Y. and Retro

I find it interesting that in our massively digitized world many in the younger generations have re-discovered (or perhaps, DIScovered) things like pencils, paper, books, and even stuff like colored pencils, crayons, booklet and paper-making.
All kinds of art and crafting, 30-somethings or older sitting with large boxes of crayons and colored papers are not unusual scenes at present.

Funny because like at least a minority of my age (61 as I type) my writing is 99.9 percent typing on my mobile phone, netbook, tablet or on occasion, old pcs with full-size keyboards. I use paper as little as possible and rarely read an article or even look at photos that aren’t on a web-connectable device.

Between aging eyes and loving the various positives of computing (environmental, ease of copying, backing up in several places, cloud computing, the blessing of record-keeping, passing words, photos and sounds most places on earth in seconds and the fact all these machines are backlit:) I deeply enjoy daily use of various versions of the Linux operating system. So I do have an affinity for alternative approaches in some areas.

The younger gens have not rejected tech, they’ve simply also embraced older, I’d say more “natural” artful ways of prose, poetry, even recording and listening to music (the resurgence of vinyl “records”) and analog music gear, etc..

There is of course, often a hybrid thing in both recording and live shows, a mix of computers as well as older amps or newer ones that work hard to look and sound retro, ancient mics, guitars and even 60’s-style recording techniques along with an overlap of modern gear and approaches as well. Most of you know my love for cigarbox guitars and the d.i.y. ethic of building them, playing them and even teaching music concepts on them.

Then again, you may not have seen this yet so have a look/listen to a REALLY basic approach to 3 string guitar building: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnOYpG98z4E

I’ve never taken the time and effort to create and use pinhole cameras but that sort of thing fascinates me. They are cheap or even free to make, black and white and various clever elements in picture-making intrigue me.

Typewriters have also come back into vogue- recent weddings where the young set helped decorate with really hip bottles, flower and field grass designs from paper, etc., hand-made table settings of all sorts and where the reception guests were invited to type (!) their advice and wishes to the bride and groom on an ancient Corona.

Then among a number of younger musician friends, we’ve witnessed an increasing love and use of things like accordions, hand-made tambourines or boxes one beats on with hands (ersatz drum), banjos and even washtub basses and the like.

Do-it-youself has always been for crafty people, but there are several values such as community, art, thrift and of course the sheer pleasure of designing something or using something nearly or actually discarded to the extent one makes something truly cool and fun out of it! Useful is also good of course, but utilitarian isn’t so much where I’m going with this blog.

Make Magazine online, Instructables.Com, the venerable Mother Earth News and plenty of other websites offer “how-to’s” galore. I check Distrowatch.Com (Linux, BSD and alternative computing, an army of free downloads, tips, etc.) and CigarboxNation.Com (guitar, bass and other sorts of self-made instruments, photos and more chat and building info. than most will ever need) several times each day to learn more about these things which interest me.

There is a certain satisfaction but I’d also posit, therapy in d.i.y. that just can’t be found in tossing money via and online store or on the counter at a brick-and-mortar that more and more young peeps have tapped into.

Plenty of older folks have appreciated hand-made arts and crafts. It’s interesting what can be done with creativity, imagination, a bit of will, looking around for free or nearly free materials.

Learning old (but new to you) skills and crafts, expressing yourself and eventually teaching others is very satisfying and often even a way of making a living, at least to supplement a day job.

Even if all you discover is a hobby that encourages you in life, stretch out you might find real pleasure via a do-it-yourself creations.

Our Creator has surely embedded creativity in each of us. Give it a go!


As always- thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


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