I’m fueled by audio

I am a bit at loose ends creatively and my love of audiobooks and podcasts is something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while.

First though, a photo-

I had a little job to do that involved revisiting the Purl Girl pattern and making 3, similar to the ones on the original post. They’ve been sent off and we’ll see where they go. It made me wonder if I should revisit and expand this pattern- you know, a whole wardrobe, different hair-dos and some accessories. What do you think?

I work best when the talk-y part of my brain is engaged with narrative. I talked about it here. I used to listen to NPR talk shows, many many years ago, but at some point discovered audio books at my library.  The selection of audiobooks was limited and they were all on the same shelf so I was discovering all kinds of topics that I’d never have picked up in book form. Then, some time around 2007, I discovered podcasts. There seemed to be a bloom of them in the art/craft field. I loved listening to the interviews of other artists, doing essentially the same thing as me. I can remember feeling (and maybe even saying out loud to my IPod!)- that is just like me, that is how I do it too, that is what I think too! Then, sometime a year or two ago, the shows just dried up. I can’t complain- people were making them because they enjoyed it and then they moved on to other things. Or they needed to make some money. I miss the interviews so much. Last summer I actually went back to the beginning of CraftyPod and re-listened to all the shows. It was like visiting old friends and it made me wonder what many of those people are doing now.

CraftyPod is trying out paid subscriptions for her new shows. Diane is still working out the kinks in the system but let me say, I am thrilled that the podcasts are back. I jumped at the chance to subscribe and I hope lots of other people will too- for purely selfish reasons. I want my Podcasts!!! There are lots of fantastic interviews still available for free. It is like a history of the internet craft movement. And yes, she interviewed me way back in 2007!

There are other podcasts I listen to and enjoy, most somehow affiliated with public radio. Here is my list of favorites, all of which are available through ITunes-

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn- this used to be Sound of Young America, which I loved. He has changed the name and the format slightly and I’m not 100% convinced that I’m liking it. This is an interview artists show- the fun thing for me is that most of the artists are people I have never heard of- comedians, musicians, film directors. Jesse Thorn does very intelligent interviews and it is fantastic hearing smart people talk about their creative work.

Cast On- this is a knitting show. I don’t knit anymore. I know, weird. But I like listening to Brenda’s take on things, life in Wales and the music she chooses.

Craft Sanity- this is one of the podcasts that used to be very active with lots of great interviews but has slowed down to a trickle. If you haven’t heard them, there is many hours of great listening here.

Radio Lab- I have learned some amazing things from this show- the kind of information that I spend months thinking about. Things that change the way I view the world. I love it when I see there is a new show.

Science Friday- what can I say. I love it. And the videos on the website are always amazing!

Story Corps- short bits of people lives.

The Memory Palace- these are short and not posted very often but are gems when they appear.

This American Life- of course.

Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me- um, yeah and I follow them on Twitter too.

Are there more that you’d recommend? I’d love to hear about some new ones!

I still spend most of my studio time listening to audiobooks. I am lucky to have access to a very large library network and can get all kinds of great books. I just finished Bill Bryson’s At Home (13 cds!) which I really enjoyed. I am way too cheap to buy from a place like Audible.com. I just don’t get the whole idea that you spend $15 and you have nothing you can pass along to someone else. Also, at the rate I go through the books, I’d be broke in no time. So thank goodness for the library!

29 thoughts on “I’m fueled by audio

  1. I would love to have an expanded pattern for the dolls! That pattern was how I discovered you! Thanks for the podcast list- some things there I will certainly be checking out. I,too, am a big fan of Radio Lab-really gives you a lot to think about, doesn’t it?!

  2. Are you familiar with LibriVox? It is a library of recorded books in the public domain, read by professionals, semi-professionals and just book-lovers. I think I might have even learned of it through Brenda Dayne. Oh, and all the downloads are FREE!

  3. Hello!
    I’m Sofia, from Portugal. Just started my own blog where I intend to post photos of my new work: http://mons-trengos.blogspot.com/

    I found your blog on a google search yesterday and I couldn’t stop seeing it until I got to the 2004 entries. All your dolls are so beautiful, I’m amazed!
    I even showed some of them to my mother, she loved them too.
    Hope you continue sharing your talent with the world. I wish I was in US to do an ‘internship’ with you :) or just to see the way you work even for once. It’s sooo beautiful, so inspiring! All I do is from pictures and ideas I have but I never learned to sew…only by myself so it’s always a big change ahah

    You’re already on my favourites, hope you don’t mind.

  4. I am so in love with the existing Purl girl pattern – it’s just phenomenal! Of course, I wouldn’t pass up new clothes and hair. I would happily pay for it, too!

  5. What a great list, like you I listen to podcasts and talking books and most of these are new to me. There are others I really enjoy from BBC radio 4, most notably Friday night Comedy podcast and Book at bedtime.

  6. Thank you for the list, especially the craft ones.

    I enjoy “Studio 360″ -with Kurt Anderson and “The Moth” recorded stories told live. I love “The Naked Scientist” http://www.thenakedscientists.com/ there is also a less frequently published but always great sibling podcast “Naked Archeology”. They are from the UK and can help you brush up on the alternate pronunciations of algae and aluminum.

    I binge listen as I work in the studio on the weekends. When I become a full time maker I will need a system to limit my intake. I can imagine my brain all bloated with stories and facts swimming together. I think having the language center of my brain occupied shushes my bad brain’s paralyzing critical rants, (let that wait until the object is built.)

  7. Yes to more Purl Girl patterns. would love to see and have some clothing patterns and accessories!!
    I made one when they first came out and have another one cut out waiting for the right time to put her together.
    Yes to podcasts….have you listened to the Moth series? or american life? or new yorker fiction all favorites.
    I have to tell you I now look at sweaters as future owls…

  8. Mimi, I appreciated reading that you work with the verbal part of your brain engaged. I am the same way. I have listened to literally hundreds of books on tape.

    Yes, keep with the purl girls. I especially admire the embroidered felt dresses, being a fan of your embroidery style. Be well.

  9. Yes, please do a Purl Girl update, wardrobe and all! I love my Purl Girl and imagine she would love a companion, and perhaps some new duds.

  10. I would absolutely love for you to expand on the Purl Girl Pattern. I also would appreciate further detail on the embroidery of the face…details, why do you do the embroidery after the face is stuffed, what kind of ending knot do you suggest…How many strands of floss?
    Purl Girl was my introduction to you and your work -THANK YOU
    How about a Purl Girl workshop here is NYC?

  11. Mimi — have you ever listened to the podcast, “book artists and poets?” http://www.bookarts.ua.edu/podcast/podcasts.html Though neither book artist nor poet myself, I find the interviews fascinating and engaging — always worth listening to as, indeed, are passionate makers everywhere, no matter the medium.
    Case in point — your work and words have been endlessly satisfying and thought provoking for me. Thank you.

  12. Mimi, these are great resources. I’m looking forward to checking them out. Since I don’t see anyone mentioned the TED talks, I give it a shoutout. That’s one of my favorite sites. http://www.ted.com

    They’ve got remarkable speakers about every field, but their main focus is Technology, Education, and Design. I particularly like Sir Ken Robinson, Brene Brown, and Jill Bolte Taylor. They are exceptional. Natalie Merchant sings old songs to life, Salman Khan talks about Math mastery, and Ursus Wehrli tidies up art.

    I will say that Aimee Mullins and her 12 pairs of legs is a *riveting* talk.

    Enjoy, and thank you for the heads up on the other audio links.

  13. Hi Mimi, I love your blog I follow you from more than tow years ago. For me the best dollmaker blog!
    I love you expand this beautiful pattern! Thanks Mimi.

  14. Hi Mimi, I do think a lot of people would be interested in expanding the doll pattern. I made one (you saw on facebook with a big sister!) and not only does it let people know about you, but it also (if they make one) makes it clear how much time and work you put into the other dolls you make.

  15. I’m wildly curious to know why you only showed us the backs of the three girls. My mind of racing with the possibilities of what could be going on with the fronts…

    We listened to Bryson’s ‘A Walk in the Woods’ during a very long road trip and enjoyed every minute of it. If you haven’t gotten to that one yet, I’d highly recommend it.

  16. The way you describe “engaging the talk-y side of your brain” made me realize that this is the flip side of doodling! Right? When the talk-y side of my brain is engaged (listening to and processing verbal information), I doodle designs on my paper, which helps me to concentrate.

    I also think this is why I can have some really good thinking time in the car, because part of my brain is engaged in driving, so it can’t distract the pondering part of my brain . . . Interesting!

  17. I think the doodle analogy is excellent! I’ll be thinking of that next time I’m in a meeting.

  18. There isn’t anything especially interesting about the fronts- it is just that I didn’t know if it was okay to share this commissioned work.

  19. Yes, I thought the first step would be to start over with the directions. I’ve learned a lot since that doll! And of course if someone organized for me to come to teach in NY I would absolutely love it!

  20. My husband has discovered the BBC archives- I should go explore them too. Thanks for the reminder!

  21. I also like to listen to fun interesting things while I’m working. Podcasts are such a blessing and convenience ! When I think of what I used to go thru, taping my favorite shows when I couldn’t be by the radio to listen !!
    The Splendid Table is wonderful food listening. The Dinner Party is one of my favorites. I’ve just started listening to the Story Collider, a Moth-like podcast but all the stories are about science. For the gardener in you A Way To Garden, with Margaret Roach is a homey, informative podcast.

  22. love, love, love your work. Discovered you through Purlbee and used the pattern (head) to make an angle tree topper this Christmas. I would love more patterns and yes I would gladly pay for the patterns. If I lived on the east coast I’d surely take one of your workshops

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

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