Efficiency vs. Passion

Having an experience, even if it is not entirely how you envisioned it, to me, is better than waiting for some day.

For us, gathering up the bits and pieces also means gathering up the literal bits and pieces. We are Makers. It is in our DNA. Something in us is fulfilled when we make things. If we waited until we had the money or all the “perfect” materials many, many things would never  have gotten done/made. In this article, Efficiency vs. Passion, we’ll discuss this conundrum.

I have strong thoughts on not going in debt, but that is for another blog.

Efficiency vs. Passion conundrum

Sometimes I am torn between being efficient and fulfilling a passion.

For example, if you look at a quilt as a covering for a bed and a means to keep you warm, then making a quilt seems quite crazy.  To make a quilt you have to acquire fabric, then you cut that perfectly good fabric up into little strips, squares, shapes, and then you sew those little pieces back together to make a big piece of fabric to put on your bed.

A practical or efficient view would be to just buy a quilt and be done with it.

This is where the passion kicks in for Makers. Very often when we see some sort of scrap, a little voice in our heads asks, what can I make out of that? How could I repurpose that? How can I make this beautiful/functional again?

There is also a little voice in the head of a DIYer or Maker that asks, Can I make something like that and put my personal touch on it? Deane is especially good at this, in my opinion.

One day I came home from work and see a 13 inch diameter chunk of aluminum tube on the dining room floor. I asked Deane, “What are you going to make out of that?” He says, “I don’t know yet.” Suddenly the Maker ideas start flowing. Some options were – make a porthole window out of it, make a mirror frame, make some sort of container out of it….. Then things moved more towards a sculpture project. Finally it was decided that we should make a lamp out of it, so he did.

Efficiency vs. Passion conundrum
Lamp art

This is bricolage magic. Taking a literal piece of scrap and turning it into a beautiful, functional piece of art. Nobody else has a lamp quite like this, and Deane has the satisfaction of looking at it and knowing that he made it.

Now, would it have been more efficient and possibly more cost effective to just buy a lamp? Perhaps, but a Maker doesn’t see it that way.

Deane really likes lighting. This translates into > we have pretty cool lighting, translates into > we’re pretty happy about that.

We also ended up owning a big piece of burl that we got from an old woodworking guy in Wisconsin. Deane turned it into a lamp.

Another time we had been talking about having better lighting in the kitchen. We weren’t sure what we were going to do. I like those industrial “wire basket” looking fixtures. I like the Edison bulb look too. I didn’t like the price tags very much. We were in our local lumber store, buying things for a different project when we spotted these chicken brooder lamps! Viola! They just jumped in the cart, and the icing on the cake was that they were something like $7 a piece! A little rewiring and add a mounting bracket…. Score! We got lucky and found this at a big box store. Local thrift stores are full of great ideas too!


Kitchen lamp

Sometimes we have to make things to break a fear, to get over the idea that something is intimidating. For me, that was making yeast bread. I can tell you, I have made a few bricks in my day, then I wouldn’t try again for a few years. I don’t like being wasteful, but I don’t really enjoy eating brick bread either. Then, one day, Deane mentioned how much he enjoys seedy-grainy bread. An inspiration and challenge presented itself. I have a friend who is a great bread maker and she had been making all sorts of versions of Dakota bread and said it was “easy.”

Dakota Bread

I looked up a bunch of Dakota bread recipes and decided on one. I was very happy with the end result and I finally got over my intimidation of yeast breads. I can’t say that I have branched out to other sorts of yeast bread yet, but I am no longer afraid to try.

Yummy Bread!

Makers make. All the stars and planets do not have to be in alignment to take action. Doing something is better than being on the sidelines. Making something out of nothing floats my boat. Having an experience, even if it is not entirely how you envisioned it, to me, is better than waiting for some day.

Grab whatcha got and let’s go!