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!