Household sewing project #5
Inspiring me today

How baking became making

This morning

This morning, after the kids were at school and I had walked the dog, I started bread dough.

There was a time not so long ago, but also not in the recent past, when Fatty declared that I needed to bake more bread. Mind you, this was not a declaration of his love of freshly baked bread, although I think he does enjoy it. Nor was it a testament to my baking skills - he doesn't like a lot of sweets.  He said that I am happier when I am baking bread.

Truth be told, I was taken aback. It's not that I don't like to bake - I do find it very enjoyable, although my waistline does not. I just didn't see it. I didn't see the happier when baking scenario. But his words weighed on my mind, and still sometimes do. Bread? Really? After awhile of pondering how baking bread could possibly be making me happier, I had the revelation. The bread baking was just another way of making. It was the making that was producing happiness.

I need to make.

So today because I had things that I had to do while the kids were at school and I knew that after they were home, I would not have time, I did my making early. I mixed the water with the yeast and the salt and slowly stirred in the flour. I let rise on the counter for 3 hours before baking a loaf for dinner. We ate it with soup and it was delicious.

The making does not happen everyday. I don't want you to think that my life is perfect and each day goes swimmingly. This is not the case. Life happens here, too. But when those little pockets of time appear, I grab them. I might sew, I might crochet, I might simply make dinner. My making doesn't need to be a huge project, although sometimes that is really nice. A few stitches in fabric does wonders for my outlook and puts a smile on my face. What I require is some ingredients or materials, a little time and my hands. With just those things, I can make.

And it's knowing that I need the making that is making all the difference.






i am SO with you. last year, i made a resolution to do something creative for 15 minutes everyday. i figured that almost without exception, i have fifteen minutes to spare everyday. sometimes, i have two hours to be creative, and sometimes, it's literally taking 15 minutes before bed (or after breakfast, before leaving for work) and knitting two rows. it really does make all the difference.


I've come to this realization about myself. I've been cooking more than ever since having the baby, but these days it's the only making I get to do. And it makes me feel productive by satisfying both my family and myself!


nice post, Erin. :)


I wanted to add-- tonight I was cleaning out magazines and I came across a recipe in Martha Stewart for Apple Oat Scones, so instead of cutting it out and throwing it in the drawer, I got up and made it (well, an almond flour version) right then. Twenty minutes later they were in the oven, and that was my dinner. My kids are sick and I hadn't gotten much done today, but that was enough.

Sometimes it feels good (GREAT!) to create soemething, rather than reading about creating something.


I totally get it! I feel the same way. I used to want whatever I was making to be practical or be able to sell it or gift it in some way. Now I don't even care about that anymore, and I just make - just to make. Thanks for sharing!


From your heart to mine. I get it.


Hear, hear! Making is sometimes what makes me feel best, too. And Cheers to your hubby for noticing it in you as well.

Bettina Groh

sometimes combining a family comfort food with the making... makes it even better.


your words here are so good.

Sarah Markos

That is exactly the same for me. Making is my sanity. That is why my sewing machine sits out ..ready for the little moments where I get to make something. The more I get to, the happier I am.


My husband says I am happier when I knit more. So now when he says with the sweetest voice he can muster (considering the situation) " why don't you go sit down and knit for a bit", it is his way of saying I'm not being my best and need a time out. Isn't it funny how husbands know these things that never would have crossed our mind. Love husbands!!!


You have a good one there Erin! I tend to put my making on my to-do list, so that I carve out time for myself.

Anne E

That looks SO good!!!


This true for me as well. It is amazing how such a revelation can turn things around in your mind.

rachel | buttons magee

I was just talking about this last night with I think I've kept depression at bay the past few years because I know I need to be creative. That Fatty is a pretty terrific man to know you so well, even sometimes better than yourself.


I adore this, Erin, every word. I am always trying to justify the making, which can seem so frivolous in light of more pressing "needs". But it's about making peace, isn't it, ultimately?

Did you see this piece on knitting in post-tsunami Japan? ( Captured it all in a nutshell, for me.

BTW, got a kick out of your ironing board cover. I made Zoe some PJ's out of that very same fabric, and now when she wears them, all I see is a walking, talking ironing board cover with pigtails :)

heather smith jones

This is really great Erin, not just the post, or the fact that Fatty understands you so well, but also the fact that you understand you, and are making.


this past year i have realized that is why i love baking so much. it is MAKING. i bake almost daily. while it is hard to not eat it all, it makes me so happy.

Sarah H.

I am much happier when making too! Baking, knitting, crafting, anything really! Funny how our souls crave that.
P.S. - Your bread looks fabulous. :)


Oh so true! Oddly enough I'm finding "making" a baby fills that need quite nicely sometimes. But sometimes I still need to get my hands into something. = )


I don't always comment here, but I completely identify with this post, so I thought I'd stop by and tell you so. Keep making! Making is happy.


I read this one aloud to my husband. You're SO right!

Kathleen Marie

You are so right Erin! I'm the same way and become bored and restless when I don't have some kind of project going that I can work on at will. :) Work just doesn't cover all the bases for me!


I totally agree but the phrase I always use is "sewing for sanity!"


So sweetly stated. I totally understand. :)

April Moore Skelton

Ah, thanks for the reminder. Busy hands, happy heart.


i had never thought of it this way but - YES! i feel the same way. thanks for the revelation!


I totally feel the same way! Your words hit home to me! Thanks for the reminder!


Erin, Not sure if you're familiar with the Tassajara bread book or William Espe Brown (monk with a temper). But I think you need to see the movie about the process of baking Tassajara bread, it's called "How to Cook Your Life" and it may be available for instant viewing on netflix. It drives home the importance of being in the moment, of each task worth doing is more than worthy your full attention. When you're making the bread... make.the.bread. I got into a groove a while back and was baking a pair of loaves a week. It's the best bread ever, for me anyway. It's good to enjoy your passions - no matter how they manifest.

Erin | house on hill road

Thanks for the recommendation, Laura. I have a quilt to bind so I'll check Netflix tomorrow!


love the conclusion that the product is happiness! ahhh bliss. I've been finding mine in making pizza lately, we're addicted. Used the simple no knead crust from the latest Bon Appetit, so easy!!


love this! here's to wise and gentle husbands (who do the dishes!)

Rachel Cook

I love this post. And so impressed that your husband got it...


words for sure has power, I woke up in the same situation and decided i will bake cookies and guess what i made it happen... n my kids were soo very happy and trilled by the making. Now they always talk of cookies every weekend.

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