The Joy of Making

My crafting days started early. In the first half of my first decade I was beading and whittling, activities that were soon joined by sewing and weaving. I loved and continue to love making things. That affinity for the hands-on has only grown over time. I now count cooking as one of my favorite activities, while knitting has kept me busy for the last ten years. More recently, I’ve worked on piecing together quilts and basic patterns, having finally delved into the old  turquoise-ish 1980s sewing machine I somehow inherited from a friend’s ex-boyfriend’s nun aunt.

Building things would seem to me to be very natural extension of my interest in the hand arts. The issues are that I have zero experience piecing wood and wire and brace and support together. And power tools completely intimidate me. However, I have projects that need a-doing and so I decided to end this buildingless life of mine and start a darn project–partially inspired by advice and encouragement from FullCircle Farm, Roe’s Cottage and the Aran Artisan and by Running or the Hills‘ design.

Our three meat rabbits are currently housed in large cages with wire mesh bottoms. This sounds cruel to some, but it is in fact the best way to keep a clean happy bunny. Their poop and urine falls right through the wire so they don’t have to deal with smelly wood and soiled bedding. And they get plenty of ventilation. However, I want our rabbits to help mow the grass a little, get some exercise and fertilize the area. For this I wanted to make a rabbit tractor. Rabbit tractors are movable structures with an open bottom that allow rabbits to graze freely and deposit their nutritious poops at will.

And so, over the last two weekends I (with help from M) built my first building thing! And it worked! A drill was the only power tool involved, and that was a good thing to start with–easy to use and not too intimidating. I used a combination of random scraps we found in our rental garage and little bit of cheap lumber from home depot. I believe the total cost was under $40. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it is functional. And boy was it satisfying to make. I am completely hooked and think I’ve found my next hobby, although unfortunately, constructing large things out of wood will probably get a little more expensive than knitting. But I burst the bubble and have a least gained enough confidence to pursue future projects.


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