Monday, July 23, 2007

Writing About Making Stuff & Doing Things

Last week I received a copy of Making Stuff Doing Things, in my mailbox from Kyle Bravo. It's a massive compilation of how-to zine outtakes mixed with some words of wisdom from Kyle, and even some fruit fly combatant tips from his wife Jenny LeBlanc.
This New Orleans-based duo is also known as the brains and sweat behind Hot Iron Press, and I believe they help organize the New Orleans Book Fair.

This book contains homegrown tips on wheatpasting, silkscreening, gardening, composting, surviving, dumpster-diving, book-binding, toilet-fixing, and near about any "ing" that could be done without paying someone else, waiting for someone else, or letting someone else do it for you. The subtitle, A Collection Of DIY Guides To Doing Just About Everything, is not shitting you! DIY Soymilk (check), DIY Turntable (A microphone with a knife taped to it…check), DIY Butt-plugs (check…not kidding).

When I rescued a striped mud turtle from a busy street, a few days ago, I was actually shocked to not find a useful tip on captive turtle maintenance. Maybe I should add that as an addendum: Release the turtle into a creek or pond. As I eventually had to do when my earthworm hunt didn’t turn out to be very productive. I did give him a slug, which ended up sitting on top of Ludwig's shell. Ludwig and Slugwig.

Anywho, if more people generated their own foods, and materials, and started taking care of themselves, we would gradually begin to reel back some of the waste and cyclical materialism that we are currently drowning in. Making Stuff Doing Things is in that spirit, and not, as Kyle says, a "DIY found in, on, or near any Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Home and Garden Channel, or DIY Network."

-Jerstin Crosby

To get your hands on a copy of this book, go to, or

Microcosm Publishing
PO Box 14332
Portland, OR 97293
Tel. (503) 249-3826