Friday, May 25, 2007

Hecho a mano

It's no secret among my friends that I am one of the most frugal people they know. It's not so much that I don't like to spend money, as it is that I hate to spend money on things that I could so clearly make myself. This trait is both a blessing and a curse. I've attempted to make various items that would be obvious purchases to less financially neurotic folks, with mixed results: a wedding cake, my son's entire nursery linens, wool sweaters, board games, jewerly chests, built-in shelving. A few weekends ago we were invited to the our first BBQ of the season (sadly, our first BBQ in years) and I literally was sewing up a shirt to wear as we walked out the door, a necessity since my closet looked like a store of ugly clothing which had just gone out of business, leaving on the racks the garments that were just too awful to sell. It looked like a place where clothes go to die.

So no one was surprised when I launched my baby cloth business that I would need a website, and that, of course, I would design and build it myself. I realize that in this day and age building a website is really no big deal for a lot of people. But, kind reader, please keep in mind that I have an MA in midwifery. Web design is seriously out of my scope of practice. I'd always prefer the work of IUDs to CSS.

Although the site isn't totally complete and I'm sure has code that would make web developers die a slow death, I'm really tickled with how it turned out. Like with so many of my projects it's about the aesthetics - don't look too closely at the details. But I think it's a sweet-looking site, very friendly, which manages to capture the spirit of Petite Toile. It really wasn't that hard - I just spent countless hours on trying to maneuver my way through Dreamweaver, and it also doesn't hurt to have a live-in art director who is willing to trade Photoshop work for sexual favors.

Most importantly, building this website just reinforces what I've always believed and what I hope to teach to my children: even if you can buy something, there is a unique satisfaction in diving in, getting your hands dirty, and making things yourself - just as you like them.

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