A STORY*
When I was a teenager, I use to make my own clothes. I taught myself to sew on my mother's 1970-something Kenmore home sewing machine.  I made up my own patterns by taking apart clothes and re making them. I sewed shirts and skirts that were a little crude but I wore them with pride. I made my school backpack from a butterick pattern I found at JoAnne Fabrics. I liked taking something flat and making it into something 3 dimensional and useful. I use to think someday I will make my kids clothes. I seriously thought that when I was a teenager. Who thinks things like that when they are 15?

I use to say, I want to live in a tiny house in the woods. If I lived in a tiny house in the woods I would spend my days weaving, fishing, gardening. I'd have a dog and chickens and sheep. I would knit sweaters and sew my own pants and bake bread. I always pictured myself there in this tiny house making things and living like a little hobbit. Essentially I have always been a grandma. Fishing? Maybe I am a grandpa too?



When I was 22 my roommate Jamin said, "I heard a song and the singer sings I wanna live in a little wooden house. It reminds me of you because that is what you always say." That was around the time I started weaving. It is also around the time I started to teach myself to bake bread and pies from scratch. I made pasta from scratch, salad dressings, all kinds of things from as scratch as posible without milling the flour or sheering the sheep. I read Fast Food Nation which began a crusade for authenticity in food an in life. Cooking, weaving, sewing-a homespun'er to the core.

Yesterday Emmett came over and we talked about the pros and cons of e-books.
"I like 'em" I said "but I collect books so my unborn children will have interesting things to read. My own parents were not big readers and we didn't really have books in our house, I want the opposite of that." And then I added secretly in my head, when I live in a tiny house in the woods. Me-always thinking about my unborn children and living in a tiny house in the woods. That sums it up. Does anyone else spend so much time thinking about their unborn children? I can pretty much attribute everything I have ever done to making myself a better-more well rounded person for my unborn children.


This morning I was looking at cabins on this website this was the first post:


Below that note was this blurb and photo:
We encourage you to read Christopher Alexander’s Timeless Way of Building. It will give you the confidence and wisdom to approach creating your own home, and it’s a beautiful ode to the capacity we have for creativity.


Christopher Alexander's books on woven rugs and architecture have been a profound inspiration to me (Especially during my brief time at Penland School of Crafts.) I have images and ideas of his pinned to my studio wall and scrawled in my sketchbooks. I am a city dweller but I can relate to that person's note. As our economy declines, self reliance becomes even more appealing.

Little houses in the woods, weaving, baking bread. They go hand in hand, don't they? 'Timeless ways of Building' so to speak.  This year marks my quindecennial (Thank you Donny and Shelly for introducing me to that word.) year as a Chicagoan. Mike, my-sweetheart-forever, and I have been discussing the idea of homesteading, like these folks. We get stuck on a few things; jobs--where will we work if we live in the woods? How will we make money? We're city people, we know nothing about building a wooden house and growing our food. It sounds dreamy but there will be a lot of sweat and muscle involved. How would we even know where to start? We have to balance our idealism with reality.  Mike is the balance in this duo, the one who keeps me from drifting like a balloon into space.

In school my weaving teacher said to me about art-- as long as you keep it honest it will be successful. I carry that with me, because it is relevant to more than just the process of making art. I keep coming back to weaving. Weaving is idealism and reality for me. I can do it anywhere in the world, even in the woods. Herron Clothier. Cloth, clothes, made honestly, from scratch. (What a tag line-eh?) I plan on weaving my way to a house in the woods and a garden bounty for my unborn children. It wont make Mike and I rich hobbits but we would be happy ones, working hard and living in an honest way.

*Note, I originally unpublished this post because I thought it might be far too personal, so apologies if it shows up again in your inbox. I decided to put it back up.