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Martha's Daughters
May 12, 2008 5:59 PM   Subscribe

A supportive blogging community of mainly women cross-linked on each other's blogrolls and leading an increasingly compelling marketplace of small-scale goods and handmade lives , green-living ideas , product promotion , and lifestyle-making suggest that the internet may be able to foster a localized economy model of living on an international scale--or at least gain the attention of that other idyllic-life icon.

These artists, crafters, makers, photographers, and writers are promoting each other , and what they promote gets attention (check out the number of comments). There have been recent discussions about "mommy blogging" and craft/design blogs before, but these blogs also reveal the discussions these women are having with each other. These are great "curl up with the laptop and a cup of tea" blogs, and I've not linked to the half of them, so please investigate these bloggers' blogrolls. (first fpp! phew!)
posted by rumposinc (20 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
dang, the black apple on Martha's website! I've purchased a few prints from her and was not very impressed by the color-copy-quality of them. They were tremendously cute, though.

I wish I had taken that sewing home ec class rather than study hall. Maybe then I might have actually learned a useful skill while my brain was still young and flexible :-)

excellent first fpp!
posted by pinky at 6:17 PM on May 12, 2008


I'd say that it's not just women and not just about crafts and mommying - it's part of the broader tipping point of the sustainability and quality-of-life movements.
posted by Miko at 6:19 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


p.s. that brown-rice cooking method in the first link is indeed the solution to all your brown rice troubles, and must be streaking through blogosphere, since I discovered it on another blog last week and saw it once again just afterward.
posted by Miko at 6:21 PM on May 12, 2008


A loosely knit Etsy?
posted by furtive at 6:28 PM on May 12, 2008


Oh wow, I love this stuff and I haven't seen any of these before! I love how there's always amazing pockets of the web like this that I haven't yet discovered. I'm really enjoying this post, thanks!

I'd say that it's not just women and not just about crafts and mommying - it's part of the broader tipping point of the sustainability and quality-of-life movements.

Yes, I've definitely seen a lot of blogs lately that are focused on taking time to savour the process of cooking, gardening, home and office decor, photography, raising children, etc. I've been appreciating the way the web lets me peek in on people being creative and learning to make and do things themselves rather than purchasing them pre-made, whether it's clothing or furniture or food or jewelry or soap. It's inspiring, and it's teaching me a lot of skills that weren't passed down to me because it was cheaper or easier to just buy things.
posted by heatherann at 6:39 PM on May 12, 2008


LJCFYI
I fell in love with her old blog a few years ago, it was just so much fun. I haven't been that enamored with what she's doing lately, but still some of her work is awesome.
posted by Science! at 7:13 PM on May 12, 2008


Also her site has come up on MeFi a few times.
posted by Science! at 7:14 PM on May 12, 2008


Awesome. Most of the above-linked blogs are in my wife's favorites and I peek over her shoulder when soulemama talks about the cats and the chickens and the assorted crafts and projects; her kids seem to be the awesome, quirky kids that grow up into unique and self-confident adults.
posted by verb at 7:50 PM on May 12, 2008


ooooh design-y!
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:50 PM on May 12, 2008


pinky said "dang, the black apple on Martha's website! I've purchased a few prints from her and was not very impressed by the color-copy-quality of them. They were tremendously cute, though.

Ha, she has a print up of a girl drummer with a broken heart on her kick, which I have on mine, almost identical except my kit is black. Weird.
posted by loiseau at 8:00 PM on May 12, 2008


Miko said "I'd say that it's not just women and not just about crafts and mommying - it's part of the broader tipping point of the sustainability and quality-of-life movements."

Yeah, I agree about this. No offense, but it's kind of a stretch to pull together a bunch of mommyblogs and suggest they're creating their own economic model.

Plus there are enough baby/craft/cooking/home-ec blogs out there to choke a... something really big. It's just sorta like not newsworthy to me, at least.
posted by loiseau at 8:05 PM on May 12, 2008


I disagree that it's a stretch to see "a bunch of mommyblogs" as a sign of the times. Several of these women, Amy "Angry Chicken" Karol and Amanda "Soulemama" Soule for two, have parlayed this interest in craft and simple, creative living into book deals.

Claire Loobylu has been at it forever and is like the grande dame of the whole shebang.

This is a movement (note the success of companies like Alabama Chanin, who have also tapped into the craft zeitgeist with a DIY instruction book), and if the blogosphere seems to lean a bit toward the stay-at-home mom and the younger childless woman, that may be more of a function of the spare time and/or the exhibitionist streak necessary to make stuff and blog it.

I wish "mommyblog" didn't sound like such a pejorative, such a way of dismissing the writing of women who are mothers and who blog and who sometimes blog about motherhood.
posted by padraigin at 8:34 PM on May 12, 2008


I guess it just doesn't turn my crank. It may well be revolutionary for those involved, and that's great, but it's not for me. Besides, bloggers getting book deals isn't unique to this genre.
posted by loiseau at 8:49 PM on May 12, 2008


These kinds of blogs actually creep me out. I dig mommyblogs - real ones - because I like reading about women's lives.... and I dig indie crafts and I think that it's cool that people can turn their hobbies into small (or big!) home businesses and share their work with interested customers with very little overhead. Buuuuuut I think that *these* kinds of sites which purport to be a chronicle of their sun dappled family life but in fact are advertising for their own and others businesses are kind of gross. My mom was a SAHM and she read to me and we made crafts together... but she didn't put glamour shots of us on the internet to sell things or get free stuff. (no, there wasn't an internet then, but thank goodness!) I hate it when I get into following some lady's blog about life and motherhood with all of its joys and trials... and then slooooowly it changes until it's all pretty pictures of the kids she used to be frank about wearing the free outfits she got in exchange for "look at how adorable product x is! and it's available *here*!"
posted by moxiedoll at 9:15 PM on May 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


I hate it when I get into following some lady's blog about life and motherhood with all of its joys and trials... and then slooooowly it changes until it's all pretty pictures of the kids she used to be frank about wearing the free outfits she got in exchange for "look at how adorable product x is! and it's available *here*!"

can you give an example of this?
posted by pinky at 9:38 PM on May 12, 2008




Several of these women, Amy "Angry Chicken" Karol and Amanda "Soulemama" Soule for two, have parlayed this interest in craft and simple, creative living into book deals.

Me, too! After all, I got my first book deal as a result of another author (Kathy "Crafty Chica" Murillo) introducing me to her editor since she liked my knitblog.

I'd say that it's not just women and not just about crafts and mommying - it's part of the broader tipping point of the sustainability and quality-of-life movements.

This I can agree with -- that women tend to, perhaps, do more crafting than men, and that many of them are mothers, does not make a 100% reliable connection between the two. I'm sure that if he could make the same amount of money, my boyfriend would quit his job and do his comic full-time tomorrow. No, TODAY. Hell, he'd travel back in time and quit yesterday.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:52 AM on May 13, 2008


My mom did double duty as a stay at home and owning the family business with my father. She taught us crafts and we learned how to make things by hand and all those good things. These are things I do with the kidlets now.

... but she didn't put glamour shots of us on the internet to sell things or get free stuff. (no, there wasn't an internet then, but thank goodness!) I hate it when I get into following some lady's blog about life and motherhood with all of its joys and trials... and then slooooowly it changes until it's all pretty pictures of the kids she used to be frank about wearing the free outfits she got in exchange for "look at how adorable product x is! and it's available *here*!"

Well, before the internet there were ladies' magazines - Ladies' Home Journal, McCalls, etc. There were articles, interviews, etc. And in the back were hundreds of ads from subscribers to subscribers about services and things for sale.

One time my mom came up with little pillow creatures that could be slipped on to a seatbelt to give a small kid something to play with while in the car, and to keep a hot buckle from burning them, and to keep them from unbuckling themselves (in the bad old days before mandatory carseats). "Belt Buddies", I think they were called. She decided to sell the patterns to other ladies.

She spent about 70 dollars (in the early 80's) to get an itty bitty ad, something like three lines, into one of those magazines. I remember doubting that she'd get any nibbles, but by golly she did. Inquiries came in via snail mail, and she sent off a good number of patterns. She never made a lot of money from it, and I don't remember her putting in any more ads after that, but I remember it making an impression on me.

My sister was also influenced by that, and she does stuff on Etsy now.
posted by lysdexic at 9:05 AM on May 13, 2008


Must be nice to have a husband who makes enough money for you to stay home and knit toilet cozies and slow cook oatmeal for your "sustainable" passle of kids.

My mom probably would have liked to do that but she was too busy catching up on her sleep after working the night shift opposite my dad.

Sorry for being so bitter and snotty, but I do feel a little better now after getting that out.
posted by Jess the Mess at 6:45 PM on May 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I know of only a single 'mommyblog' that has actually gotten better since its author obtained a child: Mimi Smartypants — the otherwise inevitable slide into egotistical child-focused DSLR-wielding douchebaggery has led me to unsubscribe from perhaps a dozen other blogs.

I just realized that her blog posts are well sorted by PageRank

Obtaining a DSLR is often the first step on the road to ruin
posted by blasdelf at 9:59 PM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


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