Hi soon-to-be-faithful readers! We’re Anna S and Anna E, super awesome friends since 2003. We first met when Anna S was in The Vagina Monologues and Anna E was the stage manager, which of course is a recipe for a fantastic friendship. Anna E even officiated Anna S’s wedding (to another Anna– Anna V., who will sometimes join us in our endeavor to make things). We’re both graduates of the HCI/d master’s program at Indiana University, and we’re now both User Experience Designers in Indianapolis. In fact, we live 6 blocks away from each other. Basically, we’re morphing into one person. One perfect Anna.
Anyway, we decided to embark on an endeavor to learn and make stuff so we could have some fun and fulfilling stuff to do outside of work. Here’s a little more about us and why we’re doing this:
Why did you want to start the Annas Make Stuff initiative? I love making things. That’s why I enjoy being a designer, but I really get a lot of happiness by seeing the result of what I’ve done. I started doing basic woodworking about seven years ago when I got out of college. I had so much free time, and I felt like I was wasting it.
What are some of your favorite things that you’ve ever made/designed?
I made a patio table that has build in coolers for drinks! The plans are here
It was a hugely ambitious project for me because I’ve never made anything that big or complex. I also learned how to use a Kreg Jig, which has totally changed the way I make things (for the better!). And I love having it, and that I didn’t buy it at a store. With woodworking, even the simplest projects look really impressive – I also do it for the compliments.
Who/what gives you inspiration for learning and making new stuff? I’m constantly inspired by Pinterest, and Instructables. I love that people take the time to document and take pictures of their process so someone else can do the same. I wish I was a better contributor.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I was little I wanted to be an actress, but the reason I wanted that was so I could hang out with the people on my favorite TV shows. Really, I just wanted to live in fantasy worlds and be really important.
If you could choose one of the things you’ve pinned on Pinterest to make, what would it be? My goal for this year was get better at understand electronics and arduino. I haven’t found the specific project that I wanted to make, but I’d like to be able to do something electrical and not kill myself. I believe that making/fixing/do projects is all about confidence. There are enough resources available to us now that we really can tackle any project. I once installed a toilet with help from Youtube.
Why did you want to start the Annas Make Stuff initiative? I always see cool things that people on the intarwebz are making and designing, and I thought it would be good for my general happiness to start learning and making things outside of work. Basically, I wanted to go from “Aw man, I wish I could make stuff like that” to “Dude! Check out what I made!”
What are some of your favorite things that you’ve ever made/designed? Three things stand out:
- When I was about 6, I made a fake lunch box for my dad out of popsicle sticks and construction paper. I remember being super proud of it. I thought it was super cool that it had a flap you could lift to reveal the contents of the lunch box (an apple and coffee– lunch of champions).
- I also felt super awesome when I designed and coded my online portfolio, since I’d never done so before. I felt like the tone and visual design really reflected who I was as a designer, and with all of the coding skills I taught myself, I no longer felt confined to what I could do in web design programs and WYSIWYG editors.
- My dad and I built a wooden wine rack (similar plan is here). I definitely couldn’t have done it on my own, but it was awesome to use different tools and see it all come together.
Who/what gives you inspiration for learning and making new stuff?
My brother and father are both super handy and have made (and fixed!) some impressive stuff. My go-to design sites are Smashing Magazine
, Yanko Design
, and Bokardo
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? I was pretty fickle from year to year, but the ones that stick out are fashion designer and broadcast journalist. That may be similar to young Anna E’s desire to live in fantasy worlds and be really important!
If you could choose one of the things you’ve pinned on Pinterest to make, what would it be?
I’m dying to do this project to make letters out of wood pallets
. But Anna E really needs to buy me a table saw for that to happen.
And that’s it for intros! Stay tuned as we go forth into the world of making things, and don’t be surprised if we end up on Pinterest Fail