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inspiration catching butterflies

My editor asked us to write about “Summer Inspiration Across the Internet.” Who do we think is inspiring? Who gives us great ideas? Who deserves a big thumbs up and a “Keep on keepin’ on!”?

This is where I’m supposed to pretend I read a ton of blogs and I know stuff about stuff and who’s whatting with which, but honestly, I don’t know the blogs.

Instead, I’m inspired by all the really awesome people I see in my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages every day. I see all the crazy things they’re accomplishing and it makes me wish I could get my groove on so I’m rocking in all the ways they are. It’s people around me who give me all these ideas I write about here.

Little tasks, big inspiration

Like all those friends of mine already scoring the first local berries of the season and firing up their canning factories so they can stock up their cupboards. I’m still shocked the cherry blossoms are gone off the trees, never mind planning a batch of strawberry jam! But, geez, jam… I gotta get on that.

Or how about my friends who’ve already created some masterful backyard herb garden, but I haven’t even gone to the garden center yet this year?

What about my friend Jonny posting snapshots of the deck he framed out and banged the floorboards onto in less than four hours? That’s inspiring. I watched five episodes of Friday Night Lights since last evening, and that’s four hours. He wins the productivity game there.

Leading by example

How about people like my friend Chris who took over the management of a century-plus-old Grist Mill that’s a protected heritage site, who’s now growing heritage barley, milling grains grown on property, and raising his kid in an old-school agricultural world, while making the rest of us friends envious of his day-to-day-life?

Or a friend like my pal Marc who said hasta la vista to the urban life, bought a ranch in a town with a couple hundred people, who’s buying his first tractor, looking into animals to tend, and living the City Slickers dream?

People who inspire me on the internet are the ones who quietly go about making, doing, creating, and using things all around them in a way that enriches their lives without taxing the planet. It’s the people who’ve held on to old-world skills in a new world, whether it’s doing woodworking, preserving foods, growing their own food supply, or just living in a way that makes sense. They’re resourceful and purposeful in their day-to-day lives. It keeps my faith in humanity primed and strong.

Simple things add up

It’s inspiring to see someone doing something as simple as making a pizza from scratch. In a fast-food, overnight-delivery kind of world, it’s mind-blowing when people don’t take the easy way out. They’re growing, building, crafting, designing, preserving, and conserving in ways that are akin to leading by example for the rest of us who are just happy to get the laundry done.

Even in day-to-day life, my mind’s getting blown by people like my masseuse who tells me about his 80% edible landscape that keeps his family’s food bill cut to half with a zero-mile diet. Or my neighbor with next-to-nothing for a postage-stamp yard who’s still managing to grow some of her own food.

Then there are other folks like my friend John Biehler, who’s one of the folks at the forefront of the 3-D printing revolution, making everything from large-format film-canister solutions for photography-nerd friends through to Christmas decorations.

Ideas are everywhere

There are DIY heroes all around us. They’re there in your Facebook updates, on your Pinterest board, in your Twitter stream. Their projects, their successes, their failures — it’s all right there for us to vicariously learn from or get inspired by.

The greatest gift of the internet is in giving each of us a voice to share what it is we’re great at. Whether you’re a painter, writer, photographer, food-preserver, woodworker, barbecue-master, knitter, or more, there have never before been so many simple methods available for sharing with the world what it is you’re doing.

Some people may think you’re oversharing, but I say you’re over-inspiring in the best possible way.

You, the average person, are who inspires my DIY dreams on a day-to-day basis. Stay awesome, humans.

Your inspirations

Which person in your life has taken on a project that inspires you?

Which project have you taken on yourself that breaks the rules and stretches you as a person?

Tell us about it in the comments section.

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Steffani Cameron

Steffani Cameron is a Victoria BC-based writer on a variety of topics. Here on the BuildDirect blog, she specializes in writing about smaller, urban spaces. How do you make the most of your smaller space? How do you decorate it to suit you? And how do you wage the war against clutter and win? This is Steff’s specialty.