In a nutshell


You know in that movie Wonder Boys, when Rip Torn’s character gets up to the podium and opens his sure-to-be-gaggingly-pretentious oratory with “I am a Writer” and is met with blustering applause? In my head, it’s my “I am a Maker” that gets the gushing response.

What do I make? Anything, really. I spend more time than I care to enumerate, culling the internet and less digital sources for makeable things. Sewn things and knitted things and printed things and glued things and cooked things and generally-crafted things and picked-up-off-the-ground-and-put-in-a-jar things. Bonus points for anything requiring a specialized gadget.

Oh sure. I’m also a mother to two of the sweetest, funniest, most frustratingly stubborn kids ever, who shall be known here as The Girlie Bear (she’s just a toddler, man) and The Boy (pre-schooler; hell on two feet). And wife to Mr. New Media Something-or-Other, who, like all good makers’ spouses, finds endless opportunity to point out that the things I make have perhaps less expensive and time-consuming counterparts to be found at places like Target and the back of our closet.

Professionally, I make things, too. I’m a some-time writer and graphic designer. A print designer, for newspapers and magazines, mostly. What’s a print designer, you ask? Doesn’t matter -- there’s no professional demand for one of those these days. There was this thing called the internet, but I paid no mind, leaving it to my husband to work with things like that. After the birth of my son, I left full-time employment to do the stay-at-home thing. When I was ready to go back to paying work, I landed what I knew to be The Last Design Job On The Planet That Did Not Require An Internet-Based Skill Set. When my daughter was born, I left that job, too. I'm at work again, now part-time, which leaves just a little bit of time for blog-type things. But I'm still at it. 

I enjoyed designing things to be released to the world. I imagined lives and well-beings hinging on a well executed clipping path or expertly kerned font. OK, not really, but hell, I really enjoyed the work. But you know what might be even better? Making something for my family that ends up being so well-used and loved that it’s actually taken for granted. And now for my thesis: Making things makes me a better person, a better parent. Hyperbole, maybe. But I don’t mean that makers are better people than the rest.

Time for another movie reference: Remember in 40 First Dates how Drew Barrymore’s character only sings on the days she meets Adam Sandler’s? Well, on the days I can’t sit down to some creative tinkery, I’m downright cranky. I’m impatient with the children. I’m in no mood to make meals. I’m much more prone to fits of blind, throw-things-at-the-walls-until-they-shatter-into-itty-bitty-pieces-that-I-now-have-to-explain-to-the-husband rage. The lesson? I make things for the common good of all.

Lovelihood is where I get to share this process with you.

Tags: family


Holy Wow--GREAT SITE!! I

Holy Wow--GREAT SITE!! I completely understand your need to make and do--should we make or do something while you're up here in a few weeks?

I am so looking forward to

I am so looking forward to seeing what creative things you're up to and exchanging some ideas. Here's what I've learned so far:

- you have undeniably adorable children.
- you make phenomenal costumes.
- you and your husband have kicked ass in the Halloween Participation Iron Man.
- we share design idealism.
- you sometimes want to throw things.

That's a damn good start. Here's my last knitting project:

You are too funny! (If you

You are too funny! (If you haven't yet, you have got to start reading Janet Evanovich. You'll LOVE her!)

I totaly understand where you are coming from. I am a native Houstonian who would LOVE to move to the Northwest. In fact, my husband interviewed for a job in Washington state a few years ago, but alas, here we are - sucking on the nebulizer because of allergies and pollution and the inevitable respiratory infections that follow here in our beautiful metropolis.

I too must create. My house is a mess with sewing machines and thread and piles and piles of crafty things. I sometimes put it all away, admire the beauty, then drag it all back out because I need to do something creative. My sister in law calls it A.D.D. I told her I call it ARTistic, not to be confused with the very similar AUTistic.

Can't wait to hear more about your adventures.

Thanks to everyone for

Thanks to everyone for visiting and reading. It feels very good to be writing on a regular basis again, and somehow I have more energy and passion for this than the on-again, off-again column(s) I wrote on race in my Seattle days.

delighted to have found your

delighted to have found your site.

so truly very lovely.

though it is quite possible

though it is quite possible you have already considered the idea- but thought to pass it on just in case.

your picture posted of papier mache eggs floating from the clothesline reminded me of a maraca making spell i had some years ago. or even the simple egg shaker.

filled with rice and beans. finished with mod podge to give a good thick shell for sound quality.

happy spring.
and music.

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for reading. I do love the idea of making these things into maracas, but my kids have sadly moved from the age of enjoying things that shake and rattle to the age of enjoying things that get destroyed in their callous little hands. I'll be thrilled if the eggs last long enough for me to string them up into some kind of garland once the kids are through with them.

Great blog, lovely pictures,

Great blog, lovely pictures, nice ideas.
Good luck!