DIY Disclaimer

by flowers on March 8, 2010 · 11 comments

I’ve realized that I talk a lot about our do-it-yourself enthusiasm more than I show any tangible results.

Why?

Well, I’m a bit self-conscious about our learning curve as homeowners and our self-proclaimed notion of diy sustainability. I read a few super crafty diy home blogs and when our projects get put together it can feel so… er… anti-climatic. I’ve decided to give a bit of our back story and offer a disclaimer which will hopefully allow me to feel more comfortable sharing our journey as diy, sustainably-minded homeowners.

Disclaimer

Neither Stone or I grew up in a DIY atmosphere. There are of course a few hazy memories of wall paper being hung and I think I remember my Dad changing the oil in his car once.

(And actually as I’m writing this I’m realizing Stone’s father provided all his family’s heat by collecting and splitting his own firewood and his mother is quite crafty.)

But tools and house projects–ooof. They scare the crap out of us.

We don’t want to feel this way which is why we’ve adopted a new attitude. We want our kids to have the confidence to figure out home projects and understand how to maintain their home. Even if they don’t know how to do something we want to model a certain, “Hey, I can learn and try!” type of attitude. We think it’s incredibly important to feel comfortable and familiar using simple tools. This of course comes from our own experience of NOT feeling comfortable around tools.

Measure Up

We’ve come a long way. It’s our learning curve and I try my best to be okay with it. I envision us more like the couple from Young House Love but in the meantime our reality is more like breaking down walls to expose the chimney only to realize we have no idea how to finish the project. Or we ripped up old wall-to-wall carpet without checking to see what kind of condition the old- school wooden floors are in (and without the planned funds to replace or deal with them once we realize they are in horrible shape covered with an ancient, eco-scary varnish).

Ugly Floors

I try to be gentle with us. It’s an area of our life we are trying to stretch and grow through, even though it can be frustrating and uncomfortable and I’d like to share more of our journey, but I had to get this out first.

In short, we are DIY wanna-be’s with a few projects under our belts, a half-dozen half-cooked projects and big, crazy visions of how we want to live and what we want our life to look like as a result.

And that, my friends, feels okay.

Front Yard
A successful outdoor project from last summer.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

exhale. return to center. March 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

oh hillary!! THANK YOU!!!!! what a beautifully written, honest, totally real post.

i can relate on so many levels.

i grew up in a super-DIY house. my dad does not pay anyone to do ANYTHING. (much to my mom’s frustration at times.) and i just assumed any man i married would be like my dad…every tool we need and the willingness to build and renovate everything i could dream up.

my husband however grew up with a very hard-working, hardly-ever-home, physician father, who barely knew how to swing a hammer and so many projects i’ve presented to my husband leave us both scratching our heads and not knowing where on earth to begin.

so we too have had a steep learning curve in our “fixer-uper” house…one of the biggest is learning to be gentle with ourselves and our limitations. and to meet each other where we are at and walk forward together as a team.
.-= exhale. return to center.´s last blog ..sponsor giveaway :: hip mountain mama =-.

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Nicki March 8, 2010 at 10:30 am

I am not very DIY but live in an old farmhouse that wishes I were. You are so brave for putting this all out there honestly.
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..The Kitschen Sink and Dee Sprague’s Opening =-.

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miranda March 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I did grow up in a DIY household and am glad for that, because I can still feel intimidated by some of the bigger projects. It is great to have family around to help though. Yesterday a new floor was laid in my dining room in less than three hours, thanks to my dad and brother helping! I thought I knew what I was doing, but they breezed in and put me to shame. Not complaining, that is for sure! Anyway, just wanted to say that I can relate to the “my dreams are bigger than my confidence” vibe. ;-)

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flowers March 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Miranda you are one my diy heroines!

I’m really impressed with your whole urban homesteading projects and would like to think I’ll be in a similar type situation when the kids are a little older.

Part of the challenge is having such young kids.

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Amber March 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Learning new things, especially with children in tow, is not easy. I try to take on small projects and build. It won’t all be perfect, or live up to my vision, but that’s life. In the end, it’s more about the journey than the result, right?
.-= Amber´s last blog ..Play Dough Disaster and Redemption =-.

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flowers March 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm

You are absolutely right Amber. Thanks for that perspective.

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Kate March 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Wow! This post makes me feel so much better! ;)
We’re building our own trelises and raised beds this year….and yeah, have NO clue! But we’re a’gonna do it!

Thanks, Hill!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..My Everyday MUSIC Magic! 3/8/2010 =-.

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Leah March 9, 2010 at 7:19 pm

You’re right about at our speed :D We aspire to DIY everything, but the reality is so much more overwhelming. I love that YHL blog though, they make it seem so easy!

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Leah March 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm

PS. love the guest post about tools. nice work! it makes me think of occassional photos i see on soulemama’s blog of her kids using real kitchen knives and other real tools to help with stuff. my initial reaction is one of fear, but with supervision, i think it’s a great learning experience. :)

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renee @ FIMBY March 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I love that last photo Hillary.

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