My Job According to Grace

Kiersten: "So Grace, ya know how you were talking about what moms and dads do at work the other day....what is it that Dad does for work? Do you remember?"

Grace (age 5) : "He has meetings about TV."

Kiersten: "Yep, he does. He works for a TV channel. What do I do for work?"

Grace: "You talk on the phone and clean the kitchen."

Kiersten: "Anything else I do for work?"

Grace: Pause....Pause...."And sometimes you make stuff for other kids."

There you have it folks. I better get back to talking on the phone WHILE cleaning the kitchen or my "pay" will get docked. :)


The Almost-Cut-Off-My-Finger Story

So I mentioned earlier that I almost cut off my finger. I'm keeping a tally of mishaps in the workshop in hopes to not do them again, if I can help it.

I was building a bookshelf for my kids and was using the biscuit joiner (for anyone not knowing what this is, it's a power tool used to hollow out wood.) I STUPIDLY decided to brace the wood myself, holding the 3/4 inch ply with one hand and the joiner with the other, I drove the joiner (and it's really sharp spinning blade) into the wood but instead, the blade skipped across the wood. It then cut my wood-holding finger (ring finger) at the tip when I tried to get that hand out of the way.

Next up, I look down at all the blood and then start yelling for my husband who, thankfully, was home at the time. All the while he's helping me he's giving me that mixed emotion part mad/part worried look that says, "why the hell don't you do something like paint or knit." We bandaged it up knowing I really probably needed stitches. I then took some Tylenol and made a gin and tonic.

The story ends well because I (a.) had a gin and tonic, and( b.) the finger healed just fine with a nice scar little scar. Although two days later, I finally dragged the kids to urgent care with me and received a slap on the hand for not coming in earlier and a tetanus shot.

Naturally, after the tetanus shot, I went and poured a gin and tonic. That shot hurt for TWO DAYS!!! Damn Tetanus.


My Garage Life

My husband took this of me tonight in the garage. This is standard attire although I've been known to use the table saw while donning a skirt. (No heels, though.) I just go out when I have a minute between kid things and work away until I'm pulled away - no matter what I'm wearing. Cuz frankly, changing clothes would waste time. Guess how many pants have glue stains on them???

My one constant when I work is listening to country radio. I love all kinds of music but when I'm building/designing, it's almost like a drug. I have to it on in the background. I think I'm a better builder with a little Dixie Chicks or Johnny Cash playing just loud enough to not disturb the neighbors. My almost 5-yr-old daughter even knows all the words to just about every country song out there because she's always "helping" me when I'm working. I won't even go into how or why she also knows most of the words to Amy Winehouse's Rehab.

I'm finishing up a few new pieces -- a table, a chair with a back and stool/backless chair you see me working on to the left. They will hopefully be going in a store in Beverly Hills and (and on my site). I'll let you know if/when they land in the store.

Anyhow, for the two of you out there who are reading this blog, here are some new photos of new stuff coming out. These are by no means professional shots but you get the idea. Below is a kids' table made from birch and baltic birch ply with lazy suzan on top. Two chair choices: stool with leaves or mod chair with back.



You're staring at the high tech workshop of Mod Mom Furniture. In between miter cuts, I can even do laundry. Ok, I avoid laundry like the plague but you get the idea.

If you've found this very hidden, tucked-away blog, it's because you've seen my furniture. I'm the mod mom of Mod Mom Furniture. It's great to be able to document life as a mom, carpenter, and small business owner. This thing will probably be my therapy in many ways.

Mod Mom Furniture came about out of necessity for the additional income and an old woodworking hobby that I developed back in my high school days with my Dad. I left an integrated marketing job with A&E and The History Channel back in 2003 to spend more time with my kids, then 4 and 5 months. In 2004, we moved out to LA for my husband's job. LA is well, LA, so our somewhat cushy one-income lifestyle of the midwest died when we set up home in The Valley. I contemplated going back to work full-time in my old profession to help make ends meet but I knew I didn't want the hours I used to keep. I had just gotten adjusted to being a stay-at-home mom and I didn't want to miss out if I could help it. So I committed to doing whatever I could do to contribute but still stay at home. For two years, I took random marketing freelance jobs and babysat other's kids to bring in extra income.
The kids grew and before I knew it, were 3 and 7. This was about the time started really missing the creative part of my old life. I knew I had a problem when I'd design garage sale signs that looked like an ad agency cranked them out for The Gap. I was clearly missing a creative outlet.

I "retired" from babysitting and realized, after throwing a luau party for my husband complete with handmade stage, tiki bar, and tiki tables, that I really missed working with wood. I started slowly by building toy bins for our kids. We couldn't afford anything other than the cost of materials, so it was a perfect fit. As long as I didn't cut anything off with the saw.

As for the mod part of the mod mom, it's been an evolutionary thing. My husband has always been a big Rat Pack fan and a modern design addict. I, however, had to be eased into it. I've always loved the organic, natural look but wasn't so keen on the coldness that sometimes comes with modern decor. I truly do love the mod look now but I can definitely say I'm not a modern design junkie. I'm also a little bit embarrassed to say that i don't know most of the modern design icons names but I'm learning! While I love the design aspect, I really love the building equally.

The business has been such a great thing for me and my family... and at times, a really humbling, swallow-your-pride kind of thing. I'll share the ride with you -- the ups and downs.

So now you know a little bit of how it all started. Next up, some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of starting a business on the net...oh, and nearly cutting off my finger.