Make It Mine

The call has gone out -- and not to the writers and TV execs to settle the strike. Thanks to their intransigence, studio wrestling will probably win the first-ever Emmy for Live Action in a Ring. Like all entertainment-starved Americans, I'm prowling for alternatives. "Dexter," the Showtime masterpiece, ends its second season this week. Who knew serial killers could be role models? So I'm turning to perennial favorites: TCM and Netflix. Also, I predict DVD sales will skyrocket. May I recommend all 12 episodes of "Fawlty Towers"? In my opinion, it's among the best sitcoms ever produced. The British may fail at dentistry, central heating and triple-IQ royals, but they are whizzes at clever comedies. If, however, you're focused on creative can-do, look to Make It Mine.

The latest craft magazine is from the people who brought you BeadStyle and Bead & Button. The Make It Mine moniker is a bit wordy, but the cover lines compensate. Be it spicing up your skirts or creating funky jewelry, the content delivers.

Make It Mine is geared to women in their 30s, 40s and 50s. If this pub is to be believed, they are the MacGyver of hobbyists. With a Swiss Army knife, duct tape and a paper clip, the action hero could escape an erupting volcano, defuse the time bomb strapped to his ankle and whip up a gourmet meal for five.

See, you can learn things from TV. MacGyver taught me a respect for engineering feats. Jack Bauer, by contrast, just raises my blood pressure. His co-workers can't take a break or eat lunch -- or L.A. will be engulfed in bioterrorism. Why doesn't Depends advertise on "24"? It's the perfect sponsor.

The Make It Mine reader isn't expected to Jack Bauer the night light, but it shows how to revamp one. I quote: "By using the image transfer technique on translucent polymer clay, it's easy to make personalized night lights." I don't know what most of those words mean, but I am sold on the result. For those who count the day wasted if they don't embellish or transform clothes, sandals or pillows, Make It Mine is made for you.

Lovers of glue guns unite! Quilters, rejoice! There is something life-affirming here. Crafts have long been a domestic art -- and historically, quilting bees, et al., have doubled as early consciousness-raising. Women bond in many ways -- here they do it with fabric, glitter and embroidery.

There are step-by-step instructions with photos and easy-to-follow illustrations that guide readers through each project. Sidebars tally the materials needed. In an increasingly digital world, there is something comforting about homemade goods. When my 6-year-old nephew put a photo of himself in a popsicle-stick frame, my mother treated it like a Dadaist delight. Duchamp's "readymades" were just as ordinary, though not nearly as pleasurable.

MIM would agree. Whether stenciling designs on jeans or recycling T-shirts, those who embrace do-it-yourself artistry, which doubles as occupational therapy, will celebrate. The work is calming and the results attractive. Sadly, print may be in a death spiral, but enthusiast publications endure. It's easy to see why: Election '08 is interminable, the market is tumbling. Who trusts Washington? Or Wall Street? Instead, sew on a sequin. At least you'll have fun.


Published By: Kalmbach Publishing Co.

Frequency: Quarterly

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