We're starting up the MamaViews series again and I'm so excited! After a long, busy holiday season, it's time to sit down with some of my favorite ladies and learn what makes them tick. I'm thrilled to be hearing from Amy Karol of Angry Chicken today. I totally aspire to be as cool as her some day; she's a super creative DIY-er of all sorts, an author, creator, and mama and today she's telling us a little about how she juggles it all, involves the kids in projects and about some of her favorite comfort foods. Enjoy!
Your claim to fame is being a crafter extraordinaire, but one of the reasons I love reading your blog is your rad, DIY approach to everything. Where did this come from? Raised by hippies? Life-changing lecture? Just makes sense to make stuff yourself (of course it does!)? I'd love to hear the philosophy behind the making.
I think I was raised by hippies and that I also just love making stuff. My parents, both of them, were risk takers and questioned authority so I think I came by it naturally. I see this in my brother as well. To me, DIY is about trying to make stuff one would never think to make themselves. That's what I think is the most fun and gratifying.I was thinking recently of a quote in my head that sums up why I make so much and I think it's " . . because I can." I also will admit right here to not trusting any big corporations to look after my health and this includes body products, food, medicine, and all that. I am not paranoid, but very questioning and also just love learning how to make things and I LOVE researching. So, if you add all this up, you get a a crazy lady who makes her own butter, her deodorant, and dresses. Something things are not really worth making from scratch, but often these are what I like to make most. Just because.
You involve your kids in much of your crafting and creating. What advice do you have for moms who want to make a project kid-friendly?
A sense of humor, a back up plan, and for me—saving supplies so I can make it again alone. Often I am so excited by a project that I really want to do it MYSELF. If this is the case, I just save extra supplies for myself, so I don't get all weird with the girls and controlling. I let them go for it, but I also demonstrate a respect for time and supplies. They are very thoughtful crafters. I also try to break-up a craft project into parts as much as I can, so paint or glue can dry and attention spans aren't too taxed. I think it means more if it's a process, not if it's always a one-shot project. Although quick projects are great, too.
You're always posting about the yummiest, coziest foods. What are some of your favorite food memories?
My Dad was our main cook in the house and I ate like him. Lots of
steak! Which is funny because I have not had meat since I was 15. I
think my favorite food memories are of breakfast on Sundays. My Dad
made eggs, pancakes or waffles and there was always classical music
playing and I think there was usually bacon. I loved bacon! Breakfast
is still my favorite meal.
To me you seem like a progressive pioneer; do you think so too? In what way?
Hmm. Am I? I see your definition and of couse, I shy away from any definition too much, because I always get hedgy about being defined in any way. I am a contradiction, really. I make so much from scratch you would think I am the biggest hippie in the world, and in a way, I really am and yet love make-up and black finger nail polish (of course, it's all cruelty free, ha!) and stylish clothes and high heels. I like to have fun and be silly with my friends, and especially my family—and yet I am very serious about my ethics and beliefs and what I feel is right for my family. What my family needs is always changing, but I really don't let any outside source tell me what's best for my family, so in that way I am quite the protective mama bear.
You have so many different incarnations of your creativity; sewing, knitting, cool labels, holiday decorations, cooking, kids' art projects etc. etc. How do you find/make the time? Any tips for the rest of us?
Oh, do less! That is my advice for 2010. And I am trying to follow it.
For real. I love making, but really, I need to slow down. I am trying
to look at what I really REALLY like to do and what gives me the most
satisfaction and pleasure at any given moment. And that might change.
So one year I want to make the girls their winter coats, but does that
mean I have to every year? NO, it doesn't. There are 3 babybooks that
are sorely neglected and getting a good start on those is on my to-do
list. And working in our garden more this spring. I do think most of
what drives me is the learning of new skills, but I need to let some go
to make room for new ones. It's okay to only do something one time.
Thanks so much for sharing! I loved getting a peek into more of who you are and what you love. Keep in touch!