Although I love what I do at work every day, I also have an array of (largely-neglected) hobbies. Keeping my two young boys happy and active doesn’t leave me much time for much of anything else! But I do try to find time for reading, cooking, mommy blogging, photography, and glass beadmaking when I can. If you’re interested, you can learn more about some of my personal interests and hobbies, below.
When I have the time, I do like to make beautiful things that aren’t edible, including photographs and jewelry.
My first love was seed beading, the tiny glass beads that are used by Native Americans to adorn their traditional garments. I have been smitten since I was first exposed to them through the YMCA Indian Princesses program that I attended with my father during elementary school. In college I learned to weave bracelets and larger pieces, and then began exploring a variety of other stitches like flat and circular peyote. I also learned how to crochet with beads, so that I could recreate a beautiful necklace that belonged to my paternal grandmother.
Before my partner and I had kids, I splurged on a vacation week at the Bead & Button show, and one of the introductory classes I took gave me the glass bead-making bug. I absolutely love it, and I have spent many hours mesmerized by the intensity of the torch and the meditation that molten glass provides.
I also went through a period when I was a little obsessed about collecting beautiful images and great ideas with Pinterest. You can learn more about that in my blog post on Digital Hoarding, and visit my pinboards if you like.
My mom is French and my dad is American, so I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by the smells and tastes of home cooking from the Provence region in France. In my application to graduate school in Anthropology, I wrote about the ways in which my bi-cultural upbringing shaped my understanding of cultural differences. Before I finished high school, my mother had received formal training at the Cordon Bleu, and had started a small cooking school called Chez Monique. Although I wouldn’t describe myself as a foodie, with that kind of background you can imagine that I do love to cook and to eat good food.
During my childhood, I spent many summers in the south of France with my mother’s family. I think it gave me a permanent travel bug. I have travelled across the United States by car twice. I’ve lived in some wonderful places, including Seattle, Northern California, Philadelphia, and now outside of Chicago. I’ve also vacationed in some wonderful spots including Turks & Caicos, Cancun, and Maui, as well as Taos and Sante Fe New Mexico, New Orleans, and Portland Oregon.
Work travels have taken me to Europe (mostly Germany) and India, and of course around the United States.
During my first Masters’ degree I had the opportunity to travel to mainland China and Bali Indonesia. More recently I had the opportunity to travel to Japan. I have curated a subset of the pictures from those experiences, and they are available for viewing in the travel archives of this site.