Julie Finn's Profile

About

A stay-at-home, homeschooling momma to two little blonde daddy clones, I’m also a writer, a teacher, a crafter, and an academic. I like to keep myself busy, you know?

I’ve worked hard to integrate my children into the work that I must do at home (when I taught, my students enjoyed checking their returned papers for Willow’s “grades,” as well as my own), and as a mom with a busy mind, I’ve worked hard to integrate myself into my children’s activities in ways that won’t make me reel from boredom (Have you ever dozed off while reading a picture book to a child for the fourteenth time in a row? It’s certainly a possibility). To that end, you'll find that my daughters and I work collaboratively in much of the crafting that we do--that play dough? One daughter or the other helped mix it. The rainbow and dinosaur stuff? Inspired by the loves of the littles. The educational materials?…

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  • Female
  • Born on August 3
  • Joined June 7, 2007

Favorite materials

Tshirts, denim, picture books, wool sweaters, kitschy records, game pieces, anything I can recycle

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About

A stay-at-home, homeschooling momma to two little blonde daddy clones, I’m also a writer, a teacher, a crafter, and an academic. I like to keep myself busy, you know?

I’ve worked hard to integrate my children into the work that I must do at home (when I taught, my students enjoyed checking their returned papers for Willow’s “grades,” as well as my own), and as a mom with a busy mind, I’ve worked hard to integrate myself into my children’s activities in ways that won’t make me reel from boredom (Have you ever dozed off while reading a picture book to a child for the fourteenth time in a row? It’s certainly a possibility). To that end, you'll find that my daughters and I work collaboratively in much of the crafting that we do--that play dough? One daughter or the other helped mix it. The rainbow and dinosaur stuff? Inspired by the loves of the littles. The educational materials? We're homeschoolers--everything is educational!

I love to share what I do, what I love, and why I love it. I love to share my life with my family, our failures and our successes, how we learn and how we grow. I love to learn, and I love to teach. I love to parent my children, and I love to be with my partner. My goal is for everyone to find these activities as meaningful as I do.

I write and photograph daily for a variety of outlets, both paid and unpaid. In print, my writing has most recently been published in Make (volume 19) and the Indiana University Alumni Magazine, while my photographs most recently appear in Adventure Indiana. I have articles in the works on other crafting and parenting topics for other national magazines. Online, I write regularly for the paid outlet Crafting a Green World (http://craftingagreenworld.com/), and formerly wrote for the paid outlet Eco Child’s Play (http://ecochildsplay.com/); this work is often picked up by blogs like Craftzine (http://blog.craftzine.com/), Whip Up (http://whipup.net/), and TreeHugger (http://www.treehugger.com/), among others. I also write and photograph on a freelance basis, most recently for The Green Nursery (http://thegreennursery.com/). My most meaningful online writing, however, is seen on my personal blog, Craft Knife (http://craftknife.blogspot.com/), where I blog nearly daily. Craft Knife has ad revenue, regular followers, and lively commentary, and has turned into a welcoming community and a valuable resource. Although I have written professionally about topics as wide-ranging as Margery Kempe’s usage of affective piety, the controversy of aftermarket airbags, and the disparity between collection development policies in public libraries within a similar demographic, the majority of my writing these days focuses on natural parenting and the DIY lifestyle.

I also teach. Although I have taught in public school classrooms K-12, for several years I have been an associate instructor of English at Indiana University-Bloomington, where I teach several sections of freshman composition each academic year. In the community, however, I am known as the Cloth Diaper Guru, in reference to the sold-out cloth diapering workshops that I teach at local eco-friendly baby store, Barefoot Kids. I teach babywearing at the same location, and offer private consultations and workshops, as well.

Crafting is where I have spent much of my focus in the past decade, both personally and professionally. The majority of my crafting products are created from recycled materials and informed by pop culture fandom--for instance, infant baby gowns sewn from rock band T-shirts that I sell at Barefoot Kids, or one-inch pinback buttons with images punched from comic books, which I sell at craft fairs. Recently, however, with the advent of homeschooling my children, I have taken the construction of early childhood educational materials, primarily Montessori-based, as another emphasis. The tutorials that I often write for projects like stenciled bean bags or play dough made from the unusual ingredient of laundry lint are extremely popular, although I also sell my completed work at other local venues, such as the Waldron Arts Center, and at craft fairs both local--A Fair of the Arts in Bloomington, Indiana--and national--Strange Folk outside of St. Louis, Missouri. I sell my crafted products online in my pumpkinbear etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/pumpkinbear) and my photographs online in my pumpkinbear Imagekind shop (http://Pumpkinbear.imagekind.com/).

As an academic with two Master’s degrees (one in English, and one in library science), I’ve found an analytical outlet in studying the history and contemporary culture of handwork, and coming to my own conclusions about the meaning and premise of handwork in our culture both currently and throughout time. I’ve done professional-level research in parenting, crafting, homeschooling, and the green movement.

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