Fix it, don't nix it.

A handful of organization have been fighting for the right to repair, with modest success. It seems a strange concept that you are not able to repair everything you own, but manufacturers are reluctant to give up their monopoly on repairing their products -- or declaring them obsolete. The last thing they want to do is share codes, specifications and so on with anyone who might use that information to extend the life of their phone or other device.

Small appliances also are built so that it is easier to buy another than to repair the one not working.

The result is that it is extremely difficult to find anyone to do repairs on everyday objects - clothes, furniture, pottery, glass, lawnmowers (if you still have lawn to mow, but that's another story), toasters, not to mention record or cassette players!

As I hate to throw anything away, I have tried my hand at many repairs. Clothes are easy as I have always done that. My grandmother taught me how to darn, fix hems, resew seams and to apply patches to cover holes. I once embroidered a small flower to cover a cigarette burn in the sleeve of a beautiful shirt my mother had abandoned, and I wore it for years.

I've repaired cassette tapes by splicing snapped bits and laboriously rewinding.

Recently I have tried my hand at broken ceramics. Sticking the pieces back together is not that difficult, but hiding the repair can be quite challenging. Unless you make it a feature. Paint over the cracks in gold or some bright color. Practice your gluing techniques on terra cotta pots, then go wild with the paint brush.

And of course, I had a career repairing books and all things paper. There are still about three shelves of books worth repairing. If anyone would like to try their hand at basic book repairs, let me know and we could work on a few of these.

Phaedra, are you up for stage two?

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