On being a maker

I think I started making friendship bracelets when I was 6 or 7 years old. Before that it was paper mache-ing Halloween costumes, writing and illustrating paper books, and drawing murals. Since then I’ve dabbled in beading; crocheted my way through skein after skein of yarn; built computers; joined set crew and learned how to use various power tools; learned how to bake bread and grow my own sourdough starters; taught myself to knit; canned produce (some of which I grew myself); started taking apart a motorcycle engine (I’m coming for you, Triumph!); and built compost bins and garden beds.

multicolored yarn

My joy comes from figuring out how to do something with my hands and then growing that skill. I am a maker. This is what ultimately led me from studying physics to practicing engineering. And what drives me to look for what’s next.

homemade canned rhubarb jam

I mentioned recently my desire to own property, partially to indulge my house decorating dreams. But it’s more than decorating. I’m clamoring to learn the skills necessary to do the up-dating as well.  I’ll probably bite off way more than I can chew and have to call in experts more times than I like. But it’s all worth the feeling of finishing a project I’m proud of, and being able to point to something and say “I made that.”

newly built raised garden bed

And hey, practice makes perfect, right?

In the mean time, here are a couple blogs and books that have inspired me to keep making, and to keep learning new skills to add to my making arsenal.

Enjoy it – A personal blog by Elise Blaha Cripe.  Elise loves projects, and has been making and crafting and sharing for years.  I discovered her about a year ago, and find her to be simply lovely.

SouleMama - Amanda Blake-Soule sews, knits, and farms in Maine with her family.  I discovered her just in the past month or so, and am smitten with her ability to knit sweaters so quickly while managing so many other roles.

Amory Lovins – Mr. Lovins is the Chairman and Chief Scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute.  This is a short talk on integrative design that I find to be so inspirational.

Wikihouse – a project combining 3D printing and structure building, harkening back to the days of Sears-Roebuck prefab houses.

Design Like You Give A DamnDesign Like You Give A Damn 2, and Beyond Shelter are 3 books I’ve been reading about the role of architects and designers in the design and building of housing in humanitarian and disaster zone settings.

Note: Amazon links are part of the amazon affiliates program. 

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