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Monday Inspiration #1 – June 24th, 2019

Welcome to Monday Inspiration, where I’ll look back at what I’ve seen recently that’s inspired me.  Maybe it’s something that’s sparked an idea for a new project.  Or it might just be a neat thing, or an awesome accomplishment by a fellow human.  It won’t always be related to making, but if it inspires me enough to take the time to write about it here, I hope it’ll help spark something for you as well.

Start with This episode 1 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor


I heard this accidentally.  I was driving over to Vondriska Works for the Meet the Makers event hosted there this past Saturday, and was enjoying getting caught up on Welcome to Night Vale (which is an enjoyable podcast by the same fellas in its own right, but not the topic here).  In that playlist, they had snuck in the debut of Start with This, and I didn’t bother skipping it because I was driving and didn’t want to die in a horrible car accident, and I trust Fink and Cranor enough to give their new project a chance.

Hearing that episode is the reason I’m starting this Monday Inspiration. I’ve had the thought of doing a weekly wrap-up type post for a bit now, but couldn’t iron out all the details of it’s execution (also, instead of a wrap-up, it’s a jump-start to the week, because Monday needs all the help it can get).  But  I listened to their discussion and decided it best to just start doing, and let each week be a chance to refine and shape this into whatever it becomes over the weeks.

They explain it much better than I can, but my main two takeaways from their discussion are:

  • “Successful” creators didn’t hit success on the first attempt.  Every craft needs practice.  In the world of Making, if you look at someone like Jimmy Diresta, he’s had years of practice makin’ stuff.  The stuff he makes today is awesome, sure, but if you’re just getting started, you have to put in the practice, don’t expect your scissor-lift grill is gonna come out as great as his without the years of experience, and failure, that preceded it.
  • Don’t let your ideas intimidate you.  Say you have this idea, it’s a good idea, but you aren’t sure of all the details yet, and you don’t want to ruin it by working on it before you know those details.  So you let it rattle around in your noggin, keeping it tucked away, perpetually putting it off as your “someday” idea.  Someday isn’t guaranteed to come.  It’s better to “fail” with that idea, learn something from it, and try again, than just let the idea sit there, staring at you, never seeing the light of day.

I highly recommend checking it out for yourself.  The main focus for them is writing and podcasting, but I was surprised with how applicable this first episode was for any type of creator.

Dartboard Clock by Carl Jacobsen

I’ve never been disappointed by one of Carl Jacobsen’s projects.  Not only do his projects look beautiful, he’s sure to include tips to help you get great results on your own projects (like wood burning to prevent stain bleeding).  I’ve also thought in the past that it’d be fun to make a clock, and seeing him do it gave me the inspirational push I needed.  I’ve already picked up a clock movement kit to use, and have a few thoughts on the design of my timepiece.

That’s all for this week!  I’d love to hear about what’s inspired you lately.  Leave a comment down below, or reach out to me on social media and share.  Until next time, Happy Making!

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Inevitable Change.

I’ve neglected this website.  Maybe once a month I get around to putting up something new.  The past few updates have been treats I’ve concocted in the kitchen.  While I did want to include those in the catalog of things I make, they weren’t supposed to be the majority of the content up here.

You may think the inevitable change to which this post’s title refers, with the ominous tone of the preceding paragraph, is leading up to me saying “Welp, I can’t keep the site updated, so it’s going away.”  You’d be wrong, dear reader!

2019 is going to be a terrifyingly exciting year.  You may be thinking that’s an odd description.  Correct!  But I quit my day job.  I’ve worked for Verizon Wireless since November of 2010.  This past September, they announced a voluntary separation program for select employees, for which my wife and I were both eligible.  Essentially, we chose to be laid off, for a handsome severance pay out.  We had started talking earlier this year about, in a couple years, moving back to Minnesota, near our families again.  So when this came up in September, it really accelerated that timeline.

What does all this mean, really?  Well, we’ve got a busy couple months ahead of us as we pack up to head north.  And in that time, I’m also going to be researching and preparing to make an attempt at making things full time.  In 2018, I made my first things for commission, I opened an Etsy store (though it also suffers from lack of updates), and I made more things than I’ve made in any other year.  I enjoyed it immensely, and I want to use the opportunity presented here to take a chance on myself.  Thus the “terrifying” portion of the description above.

Others in the Maker Community have far more experience than I at building things and creating content for the internet, and even they don’t do this full time.  For most of us, it’s a fun hobby, that typically can be used to pay for itself, but not a source of actual income.  Chalk up another reason for this being terrifyingly exciting.

I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job getting across how scary this is for me.  I know very little about starting a business, or the best way to do so in my chosen field.  Do not think though, for one moment, that my excitement doesn’t overcome that.  If there’s one thing I know about me, I can learn something damn quick when I need to.  And if this ends up not working out, that’ll suck, but I will be able to say with certainty that it wasn’t for lack of trying on my part.  I have faith in myself, and I know the people I care about support me.  That’s all I need.