As the title of this page might lead you to believe, I do indeed make stuff. It usually involves words, though sometimes it also involves music, pictures, crafting materials, comestibles, potables, and other forms raw matter.
I spend a lot of time running my fingers instead of my mouth, all in an effort to figure out what exactly is going on upstairs. Sometimes, I collect the results of those investigations and send them to people who put them in books, which I still have trouble believing is a thing which actually happens.
At present, all of my published works have been written under my nom de plume Misha Magdalene.
That’s right, I make music! I mean, I used to do it a lot more, but the mood does still take me from time to time. At various points in my dubious career as a purveyor of noise, I’ve played acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, keyboards, and various forms of hand percussion (bodhrán, doumbek, tambourine). I’ve even sung, if you can believe that. (No, really! There are recordings!)
From 2004-2008, I was the rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, synth sequencer, occasional backing vocalist, sometime songwriter, and live trampolinist for a geeky, bouncy guitar-based pop-rock band called The Kimberly Trip. We played shows all over the place: the Crest Theatre, Caesar’s Tahoe, the Hard Rock Hollywood, the storage warehouse of a comic book shop, and a plywood platform on a snowy mountainside in the midst of a snowstorm during a skiing competition. We sang, we played, we told jokes from within clouds of dry-ice fog, we had Guitar Hero levels made of our songs.
For a brief, shining moment—a few years, really—we were the geek-pop darlings of the central California indie-rock circuit. It was honestly kind of awesome.
Sadly, the band has gone the way of all flesh, but you can still hear us on Spotify if you’re so moved.
Intellectual and intangible artistic pursuits are all well and good, but sometimes the things I make are tangible objects.
Yup, actual, physical books, with paper pages and everything! I’m a neophyte at best, but I love the process. I’ve made zines before, using everything from staples to glue to embroidery thread to bind them, but the first hardcover book I ever bound—sewn signatures, glued spine, the whole nine yards—was the capstone project for my degree program at the University of Washington. It was an educational process, which seems appropriate.
My book press and punching cradle were made by Jim Poelstra of Affordable Binding Equipment, whose work I recommend without reservation. The business name is entirely accurate, and the equipment he makes is solid.
During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown (March 2020-present), my sweetie taught me how to sew… and so, of course, my first sewing projects were masks (pictured right). Now that we all know cloth masks are ineffective for the purpose of slowing the transmission of COVID (please wear masks rated N95 or higher!), I’m out of the mask-making business, but I really enjoyed learning how to do it! I’m looking forward to other sewing projects down the road, including clothing and costumes.
I haven’t done much knitting lately (thanks, chronic tendonitis!), but when I do, I try to post about it on Ravelry.
That’s right, drawing with fire! Well, okay, it’s more like “drawing on wood with a soldering iron,” but you get the idea.
Okay, this one’s a bit silly, but I’ve always had a fondness for pinback buttons, especially the little ones bands sell (or give away). After admiring them from afar for years, we finally acquired a 1.25″ button maker from American Button Machines, and I absolutely love it. I can now fulfill my dream of having. a piece of flair that says exactly what I’m thinking!
My partner and I are exploring new and exciting ways to make stuff: woodworking, fabric dyeing, possibly even metalworking! Who knows?