I’m more than a little skeptical of broad generation-based generalizations, but this explanation of the increasing importance of handmade craft in our lives is pretty interesting:
It’s part of the American way to get a lot of self-worth from your job. Meanwhile, one of the reasons there aren’t enough of those jobs out there is that America no longer makes enough stuff. Young people feel that void, intrinsically. Making stuff is what got us smiles from our parents and top billing in refrigerator art galleries. And since we are, as a generation, more addicted to positive reinforcement than any before us, and because we have learned firsthand the futility of finding that affirmation through our employers, we have returned to our stuff-making ways, via pursuits easily mocked: the modern-day pickling, the obsessive Etsying, the flower-arranging classes, the knitting resurgence, the Kickstarter funds for art projects of no potential commercial value. The millions upon millions who upload footage of themselves singing or dancing or talking about the news to YouTube. Of course, funny videos and adorable hand-sewn ikat pillows aren’t the only kind of stuff that people are making as a way of coping with harsh economic realities—meth, for instance, comes to mind. But putting aside those darker enterprises, this is a golden age for creativity and knowledge for their own sakes. Our pastimes have become our expressions of mastery, a substitute for the all-consuming career.
Read the full article from New York.
So…. I’m in grad school. I’m working towards a degree in arts management, hoping one day to put some business skills to use in the American crafts industry. I like crafts! Big surprise. Here’s why I’m telling you this: I need to do some market research for an assignment, and I’ve chosen to study consumers of handmade goods. Natch. I want to gain a better understanding of the average crafts consumer, to understand their motivations and interests in the handmade movement. And what better way to do that than to gather data on buyers from, perhaps, the largest and most popular handmade marketplace, Etsy? Answer: there is not better way. So, I wanna hear from you! Let’s talk about how much you love (or don’t love) Etsy’s offerings!
Please take a few minutes to complete my survey , answering 12 questions about your Etsy shopping experiences and, in turn, making my life a little bit better. Thank you!
Friends and family, welcome to The Man Lodge. After a year and a half of planning, collecting, arranging, and finally painting, we’ve turned our tiny office into a dark, cozy nest that’s perfect for such manly activities as smoking a pipe, reading the morning paper in slippers and a red, velvet robe, and polishing a collection of hunting knives. JK! We don’t do any of those things. We DO use our office for surfing the interwebs, recording a sweet tune or two, and oh-so-exciting homeworks!
Despite the theme, I’ve actually become quite attached to this supposed den of masculinity. I’m certainly in there more than Brian! But I don’t think he envies all the homework I have to do…
We just finished painting this past weekend, and we decided to take a risk with the color. I’ve never been a real fan of dark colors, but we wanted to truly embrace the “richness” of the Man Lodge decor and chose this dark, grayish-blue. While the official paint color name is Mt. Etna, we’re calling it Sea Serpeant. Who’s to stop us?
What we love most about the space are all the tiny surprises–the heirlooms and pieces of decor that have personal and historical significance. See that giant map of Missouri? That belonged to Brian’s grandfather. It’s covered in a grimy layer of soot and smoke from Grandpa Ken’s pipe. You can’t buy that kind of character!
A vintage metal wastepaper basket, a raggedy chair from Goodwill, a leather keepsake box from Spain, a coaster from our favorite British buddies. These things are beautiful to us.
The pictures on the wall (third photo from the top) include a card from our wedding invitations, a photo of Brian’s great grandfather, grandfather, and uncle (a little cowboy at the time) standing with their prize winning bull, Brian’s beloved lumberjack print, and a picture of his family’s old farm. We also turned the room’s tiny closet into a book-nook of sorts, with a giant wooden bookshelf filled with more treasures.
And every time we leave the Man Lodge, we’re reminded of Poor Lucy (Brian’s great great aunt who died from a sudden chill) and the rest of his Italian immigrant ancestors. It is a rich history we get to behold! A rich and interesting history, perfect for a mysterious, masculine (not really) office.
Most of the time, easier is better. These fish tacos are faster and easier than our previous recipe, plus they are battered with cornmeal, which is my favorite way to fry fish. I have this incredible memory of going to some out-of-the-way fish fry when I was pretty little and having fresh fish battered with cornmeal and fried. I just love the texture and flavor of cornmeal fish, plus the nostalgia that comes with it!
Fish Taco No. 2
White fish – we used frozen tilapia, but you could use whatever fish you’d like
2 egg whites, beaten
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Slice the fish into nugget-sized pieces. Put a cup or so of flour in a bowl and mix in some salt, pepper, and some smoked paprika.
Next you’ll dredge the fish nuggets in the flour, then dip them in the egg whites, and finally coat with the cornmeal.
Meanwhile, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan. When you have your nuggets coated and the oil heated, drop them in the pan, turning after a few minutes until browned on all sides. Remove them the pan and place them on a paper towel lined plate to wick away excess oil.
While the fish is frying you can mix up some spicy chipotle mayo. Just take however much mayo you think you’ll want and add some adobo sauce to taste along with lime and smoked paprika.
Now comes the fun part–assembling your tacos! You can obviously use whatever taco topping you’d like. We kept it simple this time with some shredded cabbage, spicy mayo, cilantro and lots of lime.