Early this year, I came across this podcast from Kate on the A Playful Day Podcast.
Kate is a maker, blogger and photographer as well as a single, stay at home mom, who lives in Dorset, England. She is young and hip and is interested in things like sustainability and cooking wholesome food. I was really excited when I came across this episode, which was relaunching her podcast after a long break.
I hadn’t listened much to her before only the odd episode, but this one stopped me in my tracks and had me trying to catch every word. This idea of hers with the Maker’s Year is a podcast year long series and blog, which is basically a home for Makers, a place for them to share what they make throughout the year. You can read about Kate on her blog here and The Maker’s Year here.
In this first episode of the series, Kate posed the following questions to listeners who might want to participate in The Maker’s Year challenge:
What does ‘making’ mean to you? What brings you joy? What are your frustrations? What do you secretly wish to achieve and what can we do as a community to help make that happen?
I tried multiple times to answer these questions in my journal. But the answers were too wordy to publish. So here I go again, I will try to answer those questions in as concise a way as possible.
What does making mean to me?
Making, is simply creating something that previously did not exist out of materials and ideas. Creating with ones’ hands and creativity, a new object. For me that object is most often a quilt.
I love to quilt, it is my passion: taking patterns, textiles, colors and inspiration from anything I want to create something that is not only beautiful but useful. But I don’t just make a quilt something that will be tossed away after it is seen to be out of fashion, I make heirlooms. Heirlooms with a story. Each piece of fabric that goes into the quilts I love and each piece has a story in it’s self. It is a reminder for me, of a special ‘trip’ I went on for travel purposes or just to buy fabric. The fabric is memories for me.
But I don’t only make quilts.
Making has become a way of life. I am a homemaker and so I make a lot of things to make my house a bit more cozier, pillows. I guess I am a maker of my garden, trying to transform it into the garden of my dreams.
I love interior design and have already redesigned one room in the house, the bathroom, together of course with my husband’s input.
Aside from making my house a home we can live in forever, I am busy making meals that bring family and friends together for special ocassions or no ocassion at all. By cooking and baking, I fullfill my goals of providing my little family, my husband and I, with fresh ingredients and delicious meals throughout the week.
Finally, I am the maker of my blog. I created it out of nothing, with the help of WordPress of course. Having studied Communications and Journalism and minored in Photo Journalism, I love creating beautiful photos and using these to tell a story of my choosing.
What brings me joy?
Beauty. Beauty brings me joy. Whether it is the scene of my childhood, standing on my beach, on the shores of Bermuda where I was born and raised, looking at the clear turquoise waters, the pink sand and dark grey and brown rocks surrounding the little bay.
Or snow in the mountains, in the country I have chosen to make my home, here in Switzerland. I take joy from the beautiful. Fiber and textiles are just one of the materials that I experience the most joy from as textiles can be used in so many ways and have patterns and colors that represent the world we live in.
Food is another thing that brings me joy, mostly through smells and flavor.
I make to capture that beauty, those smells, those flavors and to capture the memories of those things that I love so much.
What are your frustrations?
My main frustrations is having my making be accepted by my friends and family as something that is a job in it’s own right. Homemaking as a job. Quilting as a job. Sure at the moment I am not making any money from either, but I save money from my homemaking and I technically could sell my quilts. But believe it or not there are some people who do not see what I am trying to do. The life I am trying to make. A Maker’s Life. A Sustainable Life. A Creative Life.
What do you secretly wish to achieve?
I want to make a sustainable life, a beautiful life. I want to make the house and garden of my dreams. I want to travel often, hike more, be in nature more. I want to make more. More specifically I want to make more quilts. I want to design my own quilts. I want to learn how to draw well, how to illustrate. I started this last month. I want to design my own fabric. I want to learn to knit. I want to make my own candles and I want to eventually learn how to make my own pottery. So many things I know. I need to make a living though, to sustain my creative hobbies and to allow me to travel more frequently.
What can you do as a community to make that happen?
Support me. Give me feedback on my efforts. Share my work with others that you think would benefit from seeing my work or who are trying to make and do similar things with their lives.
I greatly appreciate my followers, whether they follow my blog, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Bloglovin’ or one or both of my two Pinterest accounts here or here.
I hope this post has made those of you who have never heard of the Maker’s Year, want to check it out, or even just be a passive listener and observer. I have already learnt some amazing things as a cook and creative person.
Here is to a great Maker’s Year! May you wish to create more of what you make too!
(Anyone know where this is or want to take a guess? Maybe even guess why I put it in this post?)
Wishing you a great rest of the week and weekend!
Those are great questions! For me, ‘making’ is creating and all of that gives me tremendous joy. Whether it’s cooking a delicious, vegan meal to nourish, and surprise (the meat eaters), my loved ones, designing a quilt, plotting my organic veggie garden, building a shelf from an old, weathered board or any of the other hobbies I have, using my own 2 hands to make something from “nothing” is where my heart is happiest.
I’m also really, really happy when I can do something healthy for the planet; like saving something from going to the landfill, conserving water and energy or buying locally.
And I hear you on how challenging it can be for family and friends to understand we CAN earn an income at these things and be really happy for it 🙂 If I couldn’t create the things I do, I’d be quite sad because it’s part of who I am. Creating feeds my soul, as silly as that may sound, lol.
While it would be lovely for those around us to have faith in what we do, it’s most important we have it in ourselves. Easier said than done! And I work on it daily. Good luck with being a ‘Maker’ 🙂
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Very good point Jodie. I have to remember to not get frazzled by people who do not ‘get’ quilting or the need to make. I am so glad you shared all the Making you do and what it means to you. It is also great when someone understands that I add time to my day by ‘scanning’ everything that I want to put in the trash for other recycling options!!! This year I want to join you on the veggie garden front. My Rhubarb is huge now, can’t wait to harvest it.
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Beautiful post, Jodie. I wish you every success with your hopes and dreams and trust that the on-long community will help sustain you in your journey. And remember – we love what you do! (Can we please see more of your “Red Currant Quilt”?)
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Oh that quilt is old, I will try to find the link….. Thank you so much dear Meredithe it means so much to me. I enjoy my little online community of quilting companions!
I’m so glad I came by for a catch up today Jodie! I always love getting to know people a bit better. A bit deeper. And it was so good to read your thoughts, dreams, hopes frustrations. I get so much of what you said. (though I can’t quilt for nuts!) 🙂 But I especially get the part about people not getting you being a homemaker. For me I think that is the most beautiful, rewarding and service oriented work (yes work!) there is. To make a home welcoming, nurturing that all who enter may be restored, nourished and healed. Some of us give back to the world by a bountiful garden, a warm kitchen, using every bit of talent inside to transform our world. Be glad that you’re in a place in life where you can explore all that you can be. May it always lead you to a place of joy and giving away of yourself in beautiful ways. Hugs dear friend!
p.s. I’m guessing that last picture is from Bermuda. You’ve bought a piece of land and that you want to return there to fix it up and make it into your own winter holiday home! Yes! 🙂
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Hello dear Sharon, do you know you are the only person who even attempted an answer about that little question.(It was too silly I guess for most.) My husband who arguably shouldn’t know where it is, just ignored it! You are very close with your guesses. It is on my parents property, not where they live but where the beach is, an old dairy. I used to play around there as a child and had built myself a dream house in my head. Unfortunately it is very close, too close to the shoreline to build on, sensibly. But we don’t have the money for that in the first case, nor is it really mine. I think a boat would be smarter, then I could go wherever my heart desires. Don’t know how I will get up the Rhein to the ocean or down, nor does my hubby have any interest in boats let alone crossing the Atlantic in one, but let say it is on my bucket list.
Thanks for reading my whole post, it was a real test with that pic. You passed! Heee hee! Ok got to go clean up the bomb in the kitchen, before my mother in law stops by and sees what kind of a messy wife her son really has! Hee hee!
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