Friday, September 13, 2013

Fun for Woodwork

Whilst looking for something else entirely, as often seems to happen, my eye was caught by something woodwork related. (You can take the woman out of the w'shop, but you can't make her think not notice woodwork, and so forth). 'Tis, I believe, in Chinese - but oddly enough my grasp of Oriental languages is right up there with my grasp of every other language. i.e. Il est absent.

Naturally I Googled for further enlightenment. Brace yourself - the result is best quality Chinglish, as beloved by many a machinery "manual".

"Considerate of the ability of girls to play the natural beauty of women, home carpentry, garden carpentry, so to make furniture for the doll pet doll's house, there had never seen a perfect rendering of a unique thirty new pieces of woodworking. The first book of the girls entry carpentry, less masculine and more the soft, capacity and budget constraints, and teach you a completion of a beautiful carpentry work."

I further translated that to "It's beginner's woodwork for girls."

Excellent. Except, well, inevitably it follows the well-trodden path of designating something "for girls" by the inclusion of hearts and flowers. Many, many heart cut-outs, and plenty of flowers. Chuck in a few cutesy animals and yeah, definitely "for girls".

But there we are, that how us girls and out natural beauty gotta roll, it seems. What can ya do? The actual projects, though of the nail-it-together variety aren't actually too bad at all. Most of them - with the substitution of cars and footballs, naturally - could even be made by boys. Despite their lack of natural beauty.

I loved this painting technique; makes it look so easy, but I just know I'd have those colours mixed up into a hideous brown sludge before you could say "chicken chow mein".

My absolute favourite aspect of this book though, is the author's (I assume) cameo roles. Periodically she pops up to wag an admonishing finger or generally glower with folded arms to make sure you Jolly Well Do Things Correctly. She's big on wearing aprons, sensible shoes, and keeping the workspace tidy too. At least as far as I can tell.

I've mentally dubbed her Asian Mary Poppins, because I can totally imagine her taking one look at my usual working conditions and exclaiming "Spit Spot" (and then probably fainting away in horror.) In fact I may be moved to adopt her as my voice of conscience; "What would Asian Mary Poppins do?" sorta thing.

Incidentally, it strikes me that a woodworking Mary Poppins would be rather cool - that carpet bag would be really handy for carrying around tools. Eight foot sash clamps. Planks. Entire workbenches...

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