DIY is a life theme for me, but it really has nothing to do with arts and crafts. When my kids were little, I did a lot of “creating” with them. We would create art by drawing, coloring, painting; we created yummy treats in the Easy Bake Oven; we collected shells and deceased sand dollars to bleach to make holiday ornaments; we made fall leaf crowns and winter snow forts. But those years marked the beginning and the end of my crafty DIY years on this planet. Now that my kids are grown and on their own, I feel a little silly when I get the urge to make popsicle stick Christmas ornaments. Instead, I turned my DIY talents to cooking and discovering new ways to prepare healthy food (and not-so-healthy cocktails to go with it).
I don’t often think of myself as a DIY kind of person, but as I read through this issue of Maine Women Magazine, I am feeling like there are many things I would like to do. Take, for example, making my own dog treats (see recipe on page 40). I have four dogs at home, and they each get a couple of treats a day. I probably could save money (though not time) if I made my own—and I’m guessing the dogs would love them. I could also “stage” my living room and make it the perfect place for cuddling those four dogs (see story on page 37). I completely agree with Tyler Karu’s advice about the rug and about letting the light in. I am known to not even put a curtain up (for years) until I can find something that is a simple accent and does not block one ray of sunshine.
I do throw a lot of dinner parties. Most are very informal and focused on the company and the menu. In my family, I’ve got gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free and anti-vegetable folks to please. No bother, I see it as a challenge. Last Thanksgiving, I created a beautiful meal that everyone at the table could enjoy. We had all of the traditional “fixings”—just made a little differently. The holiday pie was a dark chocolate/coconut cream/date-crusted work of art. The stuffing was made with farm-raised sausage, local butternut squash, onions, cranberries and sage. The turkey was locally grown, slow roasted and accompanied by both traditional white mashed potatoes and yummy, maple-glazed sweet potatoes. It was a fun task for me and also very gratifying to have a little something for everyone. Candace Karu has some great suggestions for hosting your perfect holiday gathering on page 48.
We also have great ideas for creating your own resin bracelet (page 34), painting your furniture (page 46), crafting a hand-painted sign (page 30) or making your own kombucha (page 42). So, the challenge is on: Find something that speaks to you in these pages and go at it!
I also want to take a minute to personally invite you to our Maine Women’s Expo on Nov. 5th at Thompson’s Point in Portland from noon to 5 p.m. You’ll find lots of DIY ideas, fun food and shopping. Learn all the details at www.mainewomenexpo.com. See you there!