When the pandemic first hit, we collectively went through the various stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—then finally bread making. But one can only eat so many carbs, and so after two years, we’re looking for new ways to spend our days while we wait for the curtain to lift.
Enter Lee Valley, that Canadian-born mecca to the thinking person’s woodworker and gardener—or just the thinking person (the company limits their “pay slope,” or what their executives get paid based on what the lowest paid employees earn).
I first discovered Lee Valley in my early 20s when I bought a tray of their (still-available!) aluminum watchmaker cases to cleverly store all my jewellery (but they work for spices too, and just about anything else). The delightful charm and allure of all things Lee Valley still holds to this day: the all-season Convertible wagon a la rosebud, elegant Kolsch beer glasses, umbrellas fit for an Avenger, square shade sails to craft your own modern outdoor awning, Murano glass knobs and the sleek long Osaka handles, a modern dish soap dispenser, and a wood egg because who doesn’t want to hold a smooth, ergonomic wood egg in the palm of their hand?
During the pandemic, the good folks at Lee Valley noticed an uptick in all of us baking bread along with wannabe plant parents and knitters, but they also noticed that many of us just didn’t know how or where to get started. Their newly launched Make It Yourself (MIY) program aims to bridge that gap, with a monthly project designed for both experienced and first-time hobbyists. Which is good news to those of us who knit ourselves to our chair when we first (and last) tried to knit (speaking for a friend).
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The first MIY kit—the Live-Edge Charcuterie Board Kit— drops today and it nods to all the entertaining we’ll be doing soon. Inside the cardboard box, a rough-hewn piece of Eastern black walnut awaits along with the requisite tools (like a bevel-edged chisel, sanding sponges and a plant-based walrus oil) to transform the board into something you could proudly sell on Etsy.
But you’ll also have access to a step-by-step video and instruction manual, as well as a link to a private livestream Q&A session on February 12 with Andrew Strome, veteran woodworker and decades-long employee at Lee Valley. To boot, Lee Valley also charmingly provides an email to reach Strome directly at MIYprojects@leevalley.com.
Kits available until March 2, and the next MIY project drops on March 3.