Design Mom » contributor interview http://www.designmom.com The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Tue, 13 May 2014 16:00:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Meet Carter Higgins http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-carter-higgins/ http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-carter-higgins/#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:30:53 +0000 Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/?p=26749

By Gabrielle.

I’m always up for a good interview, aren’t you? So I’ve really been enjoying meeting my contributors a little more closely and getting to know them better than I already did! Haven’t they all been charming? Now, for one of my final introductions. Carter Higgins loves children’s books. And that is an understatement. She lives in them, eats them up morning, noon, and night, and seems to need them like the rest of us need air. She is also writing one of her own. It’s not a bad obsession, is it? Friends, I’d love for you to meet Carter. I consider us lucky to have her curating the best of the best books for Design Mom.

Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?

A: I love, love, love picture books and can attribute both of my careers and lots of my interests to The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairly Stupid Tales. I can yodel. Learned one in German class in middle school and it hasn’t gotten out of my head since. I’ve broken my ankle ten times (eight on one, two on the other). I have a banjo, and maybe one of these days I’ll learn how to play it.

Q: How did you get here? 

A: I’m in southern California now, but I’m a Virginia girl at heart. I grew up in a neighborhood of girls, had a gaggle of gal cousins, and a sparkling sister of my own. It was just one of those magical childhoods you read about in books. After college, I lived in Nashville for a year and worked at a Starbucks. I’m sure my parents were proud. But then I figured, yeah, that thing I avoided trying to become? A teacher? I had to do it. It was just a part of me. I stumbled on the greatest job in the whole school, and was a library media specialist for a number of years.

Remember Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon? I shared it with kids and fell in love over and over and over. These kids were so visual, even before the dawn of the iThings, and I loved figuring out pictures and storytelling that way. Because that made me reflect on my own reactions to images, I drove across the country to become a student myself. Now, I do motion graphic design and I get to tell stories visually through animation. Being creative on the clock (or on a deadline!) is thrilling some days and gut-wrenching on others. And I still get to teach, but this time to adults (even though I sometimes say cutesy-I-used-to-teach-small-ones things and they stare at me like I am a complete wacko).

Q: Tell us about your life today, right this very minute.

A: I spend my mornings trying to remember to put the coffee filter in before I turn the pot on, and then doing crazy complicated math in my head to figure out the optimal time to leave the house and avoid LA rush hour gridlock. Even though that sounds dramatic, I actually don’t mind the white noise that comes with sitting in traffic. Most days. I’m writing a middle grade novel and I spend that time getting to know the characters and letting them tell me their story. Or I’ll have bursts of picture book ideas and I’ll tumble the rhythms around out loud. I’m sure my traffic-jam-mates just think I am singing along to the radio, but no, I’m just talking to myself.

When I get to the studio, I greet the boys and hunker down with my art. There are so many boys in this industry! Sometimes I feel like I should call up the P.E. teacher from my school days, cause now I know what it must have been like for him! But I’m learning a lot about NERF guns, video games, and fantasy football, so there’s that.

When I’m not working in the studio or teaching or sitting in traffic, I am at a very, very beginning ballet class. I’ve totally mastered first position. Or I’m writing…causing chaos for a hippo or revisiting the heart of a twelve year old girl.

Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!

A: I love five dollar wine, the word eyeball, and my Granny. I do not love the dentist, flip flops, or stickers on produce. (They end up stuck to all kinds of places or things or you forget to remove them and cut them and eat them and just…no thanks.)

Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?

A: When I started writing my blog, I thought the smooshing of graphic design and picture books might be a bizarre wheelhouse, but it turns out that people like books and pictures just as much as I do! I love a good cup of coffee in the morning (assuming I remembered that darn filter!) and connecting with people who call my little slice of the web home, too. By the end of the day though, I love a good pair of sweatpants, SportsCenter on in the background, and comfortable quiet with my main squeeze.

Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…

A: Have you heard of Caine’s Arcade? Caine’s dad runs a used auto parts store in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, and Caine created an elaborate cardboard arcade in a corner of the store. I mean, this thing is a feat of engineering. Caine’s vision? Unmatched. But the store is in a sleepy area, and though Caine dreamed of paying customers, got none. And then a man named Nirvan Mullack just needed a door handle for an old Toyota Corolla. Instead, he became Caine’s first customer. He made a friend, and he made a movie. And if you can watch this and not shed tears of sheer joy, please ask someone to pinch you.

Celebrate imagination, and look for moments where you just slow down, stop, and buy the Fun Pass.

Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?

A: I wouldn’t purposely misspell ‘aisle’ as ‘isle’ in the third grade spelling bee. Spelling is cool.

Q: Please fill in the blanks: If I wasn’t a (blank), I’d probably be a (blank).

A: If I wasn’t a designer, I’d probably be a librarian. Although once upon a time, I could have said if I wasn’t a librarian, I’d probably be a designer. Hmm. What a fun circular puzzle!

—-

Carter, this was a joy. Someday, I hope to see your own book gracing a post here on Design Mom! And I can’t wait to read it!

P.S. — You can meet all the Design Mom Contributors here.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon
]]>
http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-carter-higgins/feed/ 16
Meet Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-lindsey-johnson/ http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-lindsey-johnson/#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 15:30:07 +0000 Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/?p=26740

By Gabrielle.

Would you like to meet another Design Mom contributor? I hope you’re nodding your head right now because she’s a good one. Actually, much better than good! Lindsey Johnson is that friend who always elicits a sigh. Her pantry is stocked perfectly, no matter what recipe you’re dreaming of making. Even at midnight. Sigh. And have you tasted or tested her turkey and pie crusts? Two sighs. Wondered how to store asparagus? How to properly iron a dress shirt? How to mend your favorite favorite favorite pants that have an unfortunate hole in an unfortunate spot? Sigh. Of course Lindsey knows how to help! And I’m so grateful that she helps all of us on Design Mom. Friends, meet Lindsey.

Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?

A: I love to learn about anything and everything. I like to read and am a sucker for memoirs, particularly if they are written by chefs or food bloggers. This is my favorite one at the moment. Everything in my life centers around food and cooking and the people I love. They are intertwined. I am very passionate, but not many people get to see that side of me. A lot of times people think I’m a snob, but really I’m just sort of shy and reserved and I prefer to quietly observe the world. But if you get me talking about something I love, good luck trying to shut me up!

Q: How did you get here?

A: I wish I could say I’ve lived all over the world or had an interesting upbringing, but it was really rather ordinary. Things did get interesting when I turned 20 and on an impulse, moved to New York to work for a year. I was a pre-med student and was buckling under the self-imposed pressure of my upper-level science classes. Organic chemistry had me breaking out in a sweat in the middle of the night.

I didn’t love New York right away. Right after I moved there 9/11 happened and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Eight months later, I finally decided I was in love with New York. It helped that my husband and I spent a lot of our courtship wandering through Manhattan shopping, going to museums and movies, eating at every Indian restaurant we could find, and going to see They Might Be Giants perform. I admit I’m a much bigger fan now than I was then, though I did a great job pretending.

My husband started grad school and I started having babies. Staying home with babies and toddlers was really good for my cooking and baking habits, and blogging was a natural outlet for that. I also revived my love for photography and scored my first DSLR for Mother’s Day in 2006 thanks to my persistence and our generous tax refund. I had always loved photography and had taken a few classes here and there, but I had never taken pictures of food before. My best friend Liz suggested I start taking pictures to go along with the recipes I was posting on my blog and I was hooked. Food doesn’t move, you see. And if it does, then I’m not eating it or blogging about it!

We moved back to Utah four years ago with our three kids who were three-and-a-half, two, and two weeks old at the time. I don’t recommend moving across the country with a newborn, by the way. Total craziness!

Little by little, and now that I’m in my thirties, I feel like I’m finally discovering what it is that I would like to be, or what I’m meant to do in this world. My interests are so varied and it’s been kind of difficult to decide just what I want to be when I grow up. Last week I’d have said an organic farmer who raises goats and makes Chèvre. This week I think I want to go back to school to become an Occupational Therapist. Next week I might decide to become a full-fledged food photographer. And after that, who knows? A novel maybe?

One more thing about me: I’m incredibly indecisive.

Q: Tell us about your life today, this very minute.

A: It’s been a really quiet day. That’s unusual. Most days are pretty busy. My husband and I both work from home; he has changed careers from being a librarian to doing special effects and art direction for TV and film. I write, develop recipes, style and photograph those recipes, and try to keep my laundry and dishes under control. Whenever I can, I help him with his projects, and he reciprocates. Prop hunting is our favorite thing to do. Every day is different and I never really know what to plan for when I get up every day. That’s unnerving and incredibly fun at the same time. Quiet days are always welcome.

Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!

I love seeing new places and meeting new people, good food, and my collection of Havaianas flip-flops. I hate Winter, sauerkraut, and earwigs.

Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?

A: It changes from day to day. Some days I will wake up really early and be alone for a bit as the sun rises over the mountains and that will be my favorite. Other days it will be the nights that my kids are in bed too late and I’m snuggling them and listening to the five happy and five sad things about their day. Another day it might be that moment of satisfaction when I finally tackled the sink full of dishes that had been sitting there for a week. Or two.

Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…

A: I recently learned about Malala Yousafzai and I was incredibly moved by her story. I cried. Malala is a Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban and left for dead because she spoke out about wanting to go to school. I love the “I am Malala” campaign.

Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?

A: If I have to choose just one, I would definitely go back in time and stand up to the boys who bullied me on a daily basis in junior high and high school. Actually, could I just go back and redo all of my teenage years now that I’m so much older, smarter, and braver?

Q: Please fill in the blanks: If I wasn’t a (blank), I’d probably be a (blank).

A: If I wasn’t an Anglophile, I’d probably be a Francophile!

—-

I feel much better now: she leaves dishes in her sink sometimes for a week. Or two. Sigh. Perhaps there could be an upcoming post on how to tackle washing dishes, Lindsey? If anyone could make that chore look stylish and simple, it’s you!

P.S. — You’ll be meeting another one of my lovely and smart contributors soon!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon
]]>
http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-lindsey-johnson/feed/ 16
Meet Amy Hackworth http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-amy-hackworth/ http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-amy-hackworth/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 18:08:24 +0000 Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/?p=25901

By Gabrielle.

There’s another new contributor I can’t wait for you to get to know better! Her name is Amy Hackworth, and she is a writer. More than that, she is a writer with heart. And no matter what she writes, her easy graciousness and innate compassion come shining through. Whenever there’s a topic that touches me deeply, I wonder how Amy would phrase her own response. She never disappoints, whether she’s discussing if picture books are still relevant (they are!) or those sweet loveys I hope have been an integral part of your own lives (they were!). And luckily for me and for you, her kind words have found a new home on Design Mom. I can’t wait for you to welcome her in warmly!

Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?

A: I am mother to two darling boys, married to one remarkable husband. I believe whole-heartedly in good manners. I am bookish through and through; one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received is that I look like an English teacher. I am friendly; if we sit next to each other on an airplane, I desperately want to ask you all about your life, but will probably refrain (see note about manners). That’s more than four things, depending on how you count. So here’s another thing: I’m not very good at counting.

Q: How did you get here?

A: I grew up in the small town of Rexburg, Idaho, with my parents and older sister. Rexburg was home to a small college and a big farming community, which made for an interesting mix of ideas, culture, people, and news stories (small towns have the best news!). I love the way Rexburg shaped my thinking, taught me the peace of open space, and introduced me to the best people on earth.

Some of my best friends growing up were the characters of books; given the chance, I’d have traded my life for Anne Shirley’s in a heartbeat. Being an English major was an obvious choice, but one I stumbled into when I came across a class I desperately wanted to take — Intro to Literary Criticism— for English majors only. Decision made. I became an English major, and also studied education.

I worked for a few years after college coordinating a mentoring program for at-risk youth, but haven’t worked full-time since we started having kids. Reading and writing have continued to play a huge role in my life, and I’m so thankful to be working part-time as a writer now. It’s absolutely a dream come true.

Q: Tell us about your life today.

A: Right this very minute, our two boys are asleep in the room next door and Justin and I are sitting in bed, both typing away on our laptops. We’ve been married for 12 happy years, and Justin continues to teach me the true definition of love. He is patient, forgiving, and adoring, among a host of other great qualities. Our two boys are eight and six, and some of the cutest kids you’ll ever meet. I mean, really.

I am a behind-the-scenes force in Justin’s photography business. I like to call myself his muse. I am joking when I say that. Kind of. I also work as a writer here and there — more projects than I have time for right now — and spend most of my time at home with our boys.

I’m in the process of discovering the truth in some adages that have previously made me cringe a little. Things like “you can’t do it all” and “happiness is about the journey, not the destination.” I’m learning to make more careful, conscious choices about how I spend my time and how I love my family. I’m working on savoring small moments, enjoying the now. All that stuff.

Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!

A: I love yoga, chocolate (treat yourself here — you totally deserve it), autumn. I don’t love snakes, being shushed, or injustice (even small wrongs get under my skin).

Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?

A: So many moments come to mind, but I think my favorite is just after dinner, when our family is gathered in the kitchen. We’re working on homework or drawing or cleaning up, the boys are joking with each other or telling us about school, Justin might be playing the guitar, and we’re just together. These are moments when time slows down and I feel so thankful for our little family’s life. Moments like this remind me that this is what I’ve always wanted.

Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…

A: Right here at Design Mom, the video about Cecile Pelous, the French fashion designer who built an orphanage in Nepal. Honestly, I was a little nervous to watch it, afraid of that helpless feeling of being so small in a world of such great need, and afraid, too, of an incriminating sense that I’m not doing enough. But the video was beautiful, and my appreciation for Cecile overcame my feelings of inadequacy. I was heartened that something as big as building an orphanage started with a simple desire. This is a message I will continue to think and think about. I also felt encouraged to do more in my own little sphere of the world. I can do better here, too.

Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?

A: Whatever moment it was that I learned to procrastinate. That’s the moment I’d love to change!

Q: Please replace the blanks: If I weren’t a (blank), I’d probably be a (blank).

A: If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a jazz musician. I’d be a terrible one, but wouldn’t that be a cool job?

—-

That’s brilliant, Amy! I can think of a few traits I’ve learned along the way that I’d love to go back in time and unlearn! Thank you for a highly joyful read, sprinkled with a few very tasty reminders: the chocolate and how you’re living your life right now, to name just two. I can’t wait to read more of you. Friends, you can find all of Amy’s work right here. Enjoy it, please.

P.S. — You’ll be meeting the rest of my lovely and smart contributors soon!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon
]]>
http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/meet-amy-hackworth/feed/ 25
Meet Koseli http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-koseli/ http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-koseli/#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 14:30:42 +0000 Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/?p=25219

By Gabrielle.

Please tell me you’re loving meeting my new contributors as much as I’m enjoying introducing them to you! Up next is Koseli, who finds the coolest things for us daily in addition to having one of the coolest names ever. (I just discovered that I’ve been saying it all wrong in my head!) A New York transplant, she also gives me a lovely dose of East Coast edge that I crave all the way from La Cressonnière. Among other things, Koseli has shown us beautiful subway art, changed the way we see clouds in the sky, and took us along when she met Maira Kalman. And now, I’d love for you to meet her. Friends, this is Koseli!

Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?

A: I love young adult fiction and crave good solid teen angst every couple of months. Keeps me grounded. I love to cook, collect Japanese stickers and stationery, and I also have serious wanderlust. I want to move to Copenhagen, or really anywhere in Scandinavia, for a year and see everything. My name is Norwegian, actually, and pronounced Kos-lee. There isn’t an exact English translation but it’s an adjective that means warm and cozy. Like Christmas morning. (I couldn’t stop at four!)

Q: How did you get here?

A: I come from a big, happy family, and what I’ve learned within that framework defines much of who I am. My husband’s name is Keenan. He’s my better half and I still feel like I’m crushing on him even after five years. I don’t feel like my professional pursuits can be unraveled from my personal ambitions; they work in tandem. Unlikely mentors along the way have guided me towards copywriting, but blogging was always there, keeping me writing and aspiring — though I was scared to death and only published privately until I started Inadvertent Haiku last year. I’ve since retired IH and just launched Original Archiving Company. It’s blog as catalog.

Reading is so important to me. The first year I lived in New York City I worked at a huge publishing house and had unprecedented access to a multitude of bookshelves labeled Free Books. I read more than 300 books that year. My mind was already buzzing with the newness and oddities of the city; unearthing previously undiscovered authors was the cherry on top. It was a transformative time for me. I spent almost every lunch break sitting in a park off Hudson Street, reading. It makes me super nostalgic just thinking about it.

I also think that kindness and curiosity are two of the most important qualities a person can pursue.

Q: Tell us about your life today, right this very minute.

A: I often feel like a child playing an adult, but I’ve always been an old soul. I say I love this or I love that at least twenty times a day. But I really mean it! I have a one year old little boy named Silas. He has mullet-like blonde hair that I just can’t bear to trim! I take mental snapshots of him constantly. I feel I’ve become more me and more creative since his birth, which has been a wonderful surprise.

We’ve called Brooklyn home for four years but are both transplants from the West. In simplified terms, we love the take-out but hate the winter blues. If you’re ever in New York City, get in touch! I would love to recommend our favorite restaurants and to-dos in the city, and will also cleverly convince you to cross the bridge and explore the best borough of them all. Oh, my Brooklyn. Please do not miss Brooklyn Bridge Park at night!

Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!

A: I love tiny things, stickers, brunch, tacos, a good zinger, my son’s rosy cheeks, and Freaks and Geeks. (I could not keep it to three for the life of me.) I do not like unhelpful customer service representatives, lousy fitting t-shirts, and Thai food. I’ve tried liking Thai for so long but I threw in the towel this summer. All I ever want to eat is a variation of a burrito bowl so I keep canned black beans, fresh mozzarella, spinach, green chiles, and brown rice on hand, always.

Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?

A: Almost every morning before my husband and son wake up, I walk or run in Prospect Park. Some say Frederick Olmstead saw it as his personal masterpiece. I run by splashing natural waterfalls, dense green woods, and a shimmering lake en route to home. The park has kept me a happy Brooklyn resident while I miss the pined and wild mountains of my home state. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Prospect Park to get away from the city and felt like I was transported somewhere far away. It’s important to feel transported every once in awhile. It’s a magical place.

Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…

A: I feel like I should say something serious, but Pusheen. I am just another person who loves funny, fluffy, fat cat pictures. If they’re animated, all the better. Truthfully, there are so many things I see online that move me but sometimes I just need a laugh.

Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?

A: The second I threw in a ‘d’ in H-E-G-E-M-O-N-Y in my elementary school’s spelling bee. I was meant to be a District contender!

Q: Please fill in the blanks: If I weren’t a (blank), I’d probably be (blank).

A: If I weren’t a mediocre cook, I’d be a food critic. I love good food so much but my palate is nothing close to educated. Maybe joy school standard!

—-

Thank you, Koseli! I love that your name means warm and cozy…like Christmas morning! And when you wrote that “I feel like I’ve become more me and more creative since his birth,” I smiled at your luck. It’s a wonderful thing when our babies bring us closer to our truest selves, isn’t it?

P.S. — You’ll be meeting more of my lovely and smart contributors soon!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon
]]>
http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-koseli/feed/ 27
Meet Amy Christie http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-amy-christie/ http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-amy-christie/#comments Mon, 22 Oct 2012 16:00:46 +0000 Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/?p=24952

By Gabrielle.

I’m so excited to introduce you to another wonderful contributor to Design Mom! Amy Christie is the editor of The Perfect Gift column. You’ll hear from Amy once each week as she features projects she’s created herself, and projects sent in from readers too. (Watch for a new project in just a few minutes!)

Amy is one of those friends who always seems to be making something wonderful. They’re the kind of projects that make you Ooh! and Ahh! and ask where she bought such a perfect thing, always shocked when she answers, “I made it.” The only thing Amy likes more than making, is gifting the creations to friends and loved ones. Because giving something away is the perfect excuse to make more! Friends, I’d love for you to meet Amy. If you’re very nice, she might make you something, too.

Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?

A: I love laughing. The love I feel for my children goes beyond what I ever thought I would or could feel. I love homemade food. And chocolate is a necessary food group.

Q: How did you get here?

A: I was born and raised in small-town Iowa in a family of five. I’m the middle child with an older brother and younger sister. I grew up in a creative home with a mom who worked at making us well-rounded individuals, introduced us to a lot of different things, and always encouraged us to create. Creating is a real part of me…a need almost. I’ve tried to ignore it a few times in my life but I am hardwired for it.

For college, I attended a small liberal arts college, again in small-town Iowa. I went in with a plan for a practical major in biology, but then took a pottery class and changed my path to art! The book arts class I took was my very favorite. Book arts led to learning about paper art which led to working with polymer clay, which is a medium I work with a lot in my art work today. It was a fabulous four years. I met my husband there and married soon after graduating, and moved to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. He’s from Wisconsin, I’m from Iowa — we couldn’t agree on whose state was better so we met in the middle!

After college, I had a naive understanding about the art world and how everything worked, so I worked unrelated jobs to help finance our new life while still working on the art dream. More of a free spirit, I disliked the fixed schedule of those ‘real’ jobs. At one point, I worked for a large, well-known retail company in their corporate offices and it was a very difficult 15 months for me. After making a change to doing temp work, we found out we were going to be parents for the first time. Since my daughter arrived (and three years later, my son), I’ve been at home with them.

Creating is still a need for me and I’m thankful my life allows for it. I started blogging about the things I do, and it’s been a learning experience and way to stretch my brain in a completely different dimension.

Q: Tell us about your life today, at this very moment.

A: I am tired a lot of the time! But once the morning comes, there is no grace period to slowly rise, so we hit the ground running. The day is a give and take between doing things with the children and begging for a few moments of quiet so I can think straight and write without mistakenly typing ‘bananas are funny’ instead of ‘the next step is…’

There are a lot of things to manage: the food prep, picking up after children (I’m one who thrives off of order. Mess and disorganization hurts my brain!), the running to and fro. I am blessed that my children are able to sometimes play without me and that I am able to work. They just play around me, using all my work space and supplies as play things even though they have a full play room dedicated to actual toys. It’s frustrating sometimes and crazy, but I’m glad I get to be with them. My daughter attends everyday afternoon preschool which coincides with my son’s naptime so, for the first time in two and half years, I have a small window of alone time during the day. Some days I’m more productive than others.

When my husband gets home from work, it’s dinnertime together followed by the bathtime/bedtime rush. When the little ones are tucked in, I spend time resetting the house for the next day and enjoying the quiet. I work on projects, write posts, and dream and scheme. My want-to-do list is never ending. Then, too often, I stay up too late working and fall into bed only to be woken up too soon for another day.

Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!

A: I love playing the piano and singing. I love freshly cleaned sheets that smell like sunshine. I love running. Alone. It’s something I don’t get to do very often.

I do not love seafood, all varieties. I do not love unkindness and when people use ‘always’ and ‘never’ statements. They are almost always never true. And I do not love clothing containing wool. They might look fabulous but they make me itch!

Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?

A: My favorite part of the day happens when I am reminded again what a blessed life I have. Sometimes it’s noticing the dense curls on the nape of my daughter’s neck and sometimes it’s being sucked into the depths of my son’s soulful dark brown eyes. Other times it’s having a tea party with them both using the plastic set we have, making sure our pinkies are raised so it’s extra fancy. Sometimes it’s being reminded that their noise and mess and craziness is the better evil than being without them. There are the times when the evening light makes everything look so dreamy and I really love it when when I get to have a good laugh with my hilarious husband.

It’s never at the same time and it comes in so many way. But there are many opportunities. Those moments are my favorite part of the day.

Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…

A: It was actually a video you posted of the Som Sabadell flashmob. The joy in the performers’ faces, the enthusiasm of the director, and seeing how the crowd stopped and tuned in was powerful. And I cried. (I just watched it again to see if it still moved me. It does.)

Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?

A: Let’s see, this one is a hard one. While I have made my fair share of questionable choices and wish 20/20 vision came before making big decisions instead of after, they have, in the end, gotten me to this place in my life and I like where I am. So, to save myself the embarrassment, I’m thinking I would choose to recheck my dress after a bathroom break before heading out on stage and showing the crowd I had tucked my skirt into my undergarments.

Q: Please fill in the blanks: If I weren’t a (blank), I’d probably be (blank).

A: If I weren’t an artist/DIY-er/creative spirit, I’d probably be something in the medical field. Still dreaming and creating in my free time.

—-

Oh, Amy! I love your favorite parts of your everyday. “Sometimes it’s being reminded that their noise and mess and craziness is the better evil than being without them.” This line should pop up on our phones and computers every day about an hour before dinner, right? Friends, you can find all of Amy’s projects here. Enjoy!

P.S. — You’ll be meeting more of my lovely and smart contributors soon!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon
]]>
http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-amy-christie/feed/ 17
Meet Raleigh-Elizabeth http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-raleigh-elizabeth/ http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-raleigh-elizabeth/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 12:30:12 +0000 Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/?p=24693

By Gabrielle.

As you may have noticed, we have some fantastic new writers here at Design Mom. I want you to get to know them better, so I’ve asked each one a few questions, starting with Raleigh-Elizabeth. No matter what she writes, I find myself smiling all the way through her words. No surprise: I smiled all the way through to the end of this little interview. (Didn’t we all have a Drew Baldwin?!) I hope you enjoy her even half as much as I do!

Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?

A: I believe cooking for you is tantamount to magic and homemade chicken soup will cure nearly everything. I love to write letters. I always have a book with me. And I love anything with sparkle.

Q: How did you get here?

A: I grew up listening to public radio the way most people breathe. My parents — who were divorced — had it on in their cars, in every room in their houses, and both played it from morning until night. I’m not sure it ever got turned off, actually. It became the soundtrack of my young life, and I dreamed of being able to tell stories the way those reporters did. While my friends fell in love with Disney princesses, I fell in love with foreign correspondent Ann Garrels. I considered Harriet the Spy a how-to manual, and I read everything I could get my hands on, hoping that one day, I’d be able to tell a story as well as she did, too.

It took two masters, a Ph.D., 12 years in New York, and countless interviews (even one in which Chuck Norris called me cute!) before I realized that the stories I wanted to tell had nothing to do with hard news. I want to write about the wonderful things we see in everyday life, the things that make us smile, the things that make us happy to be exactly who we are. And thanks to some people who are great at doing just that, it’s what I get to do every single day. I pinch myself all the time.

Q: Tell us about your life today, right this very minute!

A: After trying to convince myself I do not need a cup of coffee and then being fuzzy for two hours before falling victim to my foamy cappuccino addiction, I manage to start my day with an intense love affair with Google Reader. (I don’t remember what I did before Google Reader.) Every day, I write a letter to my husband (who is an intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps and, as such, isn’t here all the time.) and then get to work for the day. Sometimes it means spending a lot of time reading, other days it means spending a lot of time writing. Some days it’s even done in sweatpants. It’s always wonderful. Managing the house (and all the military stuff that comes with it) is a full-time job in and of itself, but I try to do one thing for myself every week day: taking time to read, baking a loaf of bread, drawing. I have found that if I take some time for me, it makes the me others get a lot more worth being around.

Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!

A: I love Prismacolor markers, everything sparkly, and snooping at people’s coffee mug collections. I’m convinced they tell you everything you need to know about a person. I do not love the color mauve, Jack Kerouac, and professional wrestling.

Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?

A: Before the sun goes down, I take my two wildebeests (okay, dogs!) for a walk on the beach. We live about five minutes from Topsail Island, and to be this close and not go often strikes me as nearly criminal. There are always lots of families out there playing before dinner, people winding down their day with a fishing pole, and locals out for an evening stroll. My dogs chase after the birds (they’re still confused about how wings work, so they chase the birds straight into the water and proceed to look absolutely baffled that the they got away!), and we all enjoy the walk. I love the pretty pale colors the end of the afternoon brings to the shore and how happy everyone is who’s there. It’s the perfect end to a day.

Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…

A: Julia Reed wrote a “Guide to the Holy City” for Fetch, and it took all my willpower not to get in the car and drive down Highway 17 to Charleston that minute. I should back up: While Ann Garrels may be my reporting hero, Julia Reed is Queen of Anything Ever in Print. (This kept me in stitches for weeks.) The way she writes makes you feel like you’re sitting with her sipping sweet tea at Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi, like it’s the only place you’ve ever been meant to be. She also makes acquiring taxidermy for a party seem like a completely normal thing to do.

But Julia Reed talking about Charleston? Swoon. If you haven’t been, go. It’s America’s gem. Pat Conroy describes it as a place where everyone is ‘peacock proud of a city so pretty it makes your eyes ache with pleasure,’ and that’s just a statement of fact. It’s everything else — the way you can smell the climbing jasmine that covers the city, the way the light is just different there — and to have one of my favorite writers pen an absolutely accurate guide to my favorite place in America? Well, you can see how the highway is calling.

Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?

A: I would not have tripped in front of the super-hot Drew Baldwin on my way into 11th grade English on the very first day of school.

Q: Please fill in the blanks: If I weren’t a (blank), I’d probably be (blank).

A: If I weren’t a writer, I would be bored. But maybe a bored Egyptologist.

—-

She’s charming, isn’t she? I’m still smiling, and I imagine I will be for as long as Raleigh-Elizabeth keeps adding her wit and words to Design Mom! You can see all of Raleigh-Elizabeth’s stories here. Enjoy!

P.S. — You’ll be meeting more of my lovely and smart contributors soon!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon
]]>
http://www.designmom.com/2012/10/meet-raleigh-elizabeth/feed/ 48