Articles from June 2014



Low Hanging Fruit

Feel like helping out your local food bank but never quite get around to it? Is your thumb a little too green? How about gathering up some of your bounty and hauling it off to the local food bank?

If you have a significant amount of fruit trees and live in southern California you can contact one of two volunteer-run organizations to pick your fruit and donate it for you: SoCal Harvest or Fast Forward. Because of our incredible good fortune when it comes to local produce, you have to contact them months in advance for an appointment.

Toss it? No Way! — Take it to Repair Cafe!

fixing_toaster_croppedIf you live on the west side of L.A. and you have a bike, household appliances, jewelry, or other items in need of repair, I urge you to attend a Repair Cafe, which is sponsored locally by Our Time Bank in west L.A.. If you live anywhere else, don’t despair; there are 400 locations worldwide! The one I attended on Saturday in the Camera Obscura building in Santa Monica at 1450 Ocean Avenue featured a jewelry repair station, a bike repair area, six people operating sewing machines, and someone fixing household appliances, computers, and smartphones. You simply fill out a form a week before the cafe with your repair needs, show up with the damaged item, and staff is on hand to fix it if they can in return for a donation. (You can also show up with a random item and take your chances.) Some volunteers were taking parts of unusable appliances and computers and creating kinetic art. IMG_20140531_133730578

I have often lamented how frustrating it is to have an inexpensive household item break and not have a cost-effective means of repairing it, so I am very pleased about this incredible resource. If are a handy person and want to pitch in, I urge you to offer your services at the next event. Hope to see you there — I’ll be the one with the busted hairdryer. 

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Repairing Vintage Jewelry

If you know me, you know I am a fan of vintage jewelry. And when you are a fan of rapidly aging jewelry, it behooves you to learn how to do some basic repair in this arena. While the majority of my collection doesn’t have enough monetary value to merit professional attention, I really enjoy it, and find great satisfaction in saving old necklaces and earrings from the trash. Just recently I ran across a youtube video explaining clearly and simply how to tighten loose clip-on earrings, a subject which has eluded me for many years.

While I realize this may not be of interest to a wide variety of readers, I hope it also serves as a reminder that just because something doesn’t have much monetary value doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time.