Technology + handmade: Listen to grandma!

Print from handz

I had an interesting conversation with Chéri (aka my husband) the other day. We are both working in fields related to hi-tech-programming-computer-stuff and we were musing on how our son (who is 2 years old) will not know about technology we used 10 years ago. Floppy disk anyone? Even a CD player, or a Walkman (the sporty yellow one, you remember those?) is a vintage piece for him.

Seems like new technologies and gadgets are launching every month. Your new Ipad is now the old one 6 months later. Google +, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, How can you possibly keep up with everything that happens?!

Well, don’t! 🙂

I have a handmade heritage of my own, one of my grand-mothers was a stay at home mom of 6, the other was a chapellière, a hat maker. They would knit, have a garden, hand stitch, cook, do what you had to do to live, actually. Their handmade world was an everyday thing. Their heritage is sown into my personality, and even though I choose to have a «techie» life and career, I live and approach my life with a handmade perspective. Here are some of my grand-mothers teachings and things they used to say to me:

1- All you need is butter and garlic.
A fast paced full tech life won’t necessarily make you more effective, you only need the minimum of gadgets to function properly. An overkill of management tools will ironically make you waste time.

2- Talk slow, listen quietly.
In our super communicative world, we often speak rapidly (or text, email, etc) and we don’t listen to the other (already we are deciding our counter speech). Be present. Take your time to email back, and once in a while, meet up with your client or online world buddies. An actual one-on-one conversation is so much more meaningful than a 140 character tweet!

3- Go play outside and don’t come back before lunch time.
Seriously, when did you have a whole day out? Try working outside (if you have wireless, yay!) or taking your breaks outside. Summer sun tan and internet goes along nicely!

4- Take your time, it’s not like you are going anywhere!
Take your time in choosing your online managing tools, your website tools, your gadgets, even your web designer (tehee!). The «tool» shouldn’t get prioritized over your actual need. Focus on why you were buying this in the first place, google the product for customer’s reviews and once you buy, keep your receipts!

5- Why are you throwing away something that works?
Don’t waste your money and time on new things just for the sake of it being new. This also goes for habits, ways of doing things, websites and trade skills. If making a written list is your thing, then by all means don’t switch to a digital way because some online blog swears by it.

6- I’ll throw in the garbage anything that’s on the floor!
Be gentle and mindful of your technology-computer-things. Dust bunnies are not their friends!

-and, my favorite-

7- I am not a robot!
Obvious thing, I know, but stop treating yourself like you can manage a gazillion things at the same time. You might bust your CPU and I’m sure you didn’t back-up your hard drive in a long time!

My grandmothers also gave me their stubbornness and taste for a simple way of life: I must be the only web designer in the world that decided that she didn’t need a cell phone or an Ipad in her life.

How about you: has your handmade heritage impacted the way you see technology, our fast paced word and all of the online world?


  1. Marie Noelle says:

    I love #7: I’m not a robot… I forget all the time about that one… I feel a lot of pressure about answering emails, tweets and comments really fast because that’s what people do online, right? But since I’m not a robot, I guess it’s okay to take a day off from time to time!

  2. Isa says:

    What an insightful post! A great reminder to not get sucked up into the newness of technology and to remember the simple things in life even for work. Your grandma’s were very wise!

  3. Valerie says:

    thank you!

    @ Marie Noelle: My mother and grandma used to say that to me when I was asking for anything while they were busy 🙂 I should make a desk wallpaper out of it I think, lol!

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