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We’ve loved Yellow Owl Workshop for a long time, but when we heard about Christine’s #getwise2013 project to combat new mom brain loss, and to teach herself something new everyday, we became even bigger fans.

Give us a little background on yourself/what you do/how you came to it. How much did becoming a parent shape what your business is?

My art career began in primary school when I won a bike at the local grocer’s coloring contest. This bike was red and had ten whole speeds! After a youth spent on the plains of Kansas City and art school in Washington D.C., me and my loverboy, Evan, moved west to a little place perched atop windy Bernal Hill in San Francisco. Fueled by too much black tea and public radio shows, I spent nights creating hand-printed cards and gifts. Seeking out local suppliers and working with fine, momma-earth loving materials, I began honing my line of wares. In 2007, after steeling my nerves, I took a box of her goods to some local stores, they placed orders and Yellow Owl Workshop was born.

Do you work in a home office, and if you do, how do you deal with working from home?

I have a studio in the Mission District of San Francisco but most often do design work from my home in Noe Valley. My kitchen table is my new office.

Do you cook much–if you don’t, what are your ways around not cooking, and if you do, what are your go-tos–both for yourself, and for your child?

I love to cook and I am a bit spoiled because my husband Evan always does the dishes.  One of my favorite recipes is this Saturday morning waffles for two.  With the birth of our daughter Emmy, our late nights on the town have turned in to late night feedings, but the tradition of Saturday morning waffles has stuck.  On Saturdays, the three of us hit the Alemany farmers market to pick up some seasonal fruit toppings and return for an easy warm breakfast.

Saturday Waffles for Two

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

big pinch salt

1 egg

1 1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter

dash of vanilla

Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Pour into preheated waffle iron. Cook until waffles are golden and crisp.  Top with seasonal fruit, yoghurt, and the best maple syrup you can find.

How do you celebrate your daughter’s birthdays?

We just celebrated Emmy’s first birthday, which she shared with the Super Bowl. We had an Emmy Bowl party with a giant yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and I made hand stamped party favor bags.

Here’s what Christine had to say about what made her start the #getwise2013 project on her blog:

“A few days before Christmas and almost a year after my daughter Emmy was born, I was talking to my friend Angie.  Maybe it wasn’t so much talking as spilling a pool of sounds that somehow, with a patient ear, communicate thoughts. With jaw agape in “uhhhh’s” and a screeching kid on my hip, I was struggling to pull every word out of my fuzzy brain. My pal Angie, a doctor and a mom, understood what was happening and then informed me that “mom brain” is real: those chubby miracles are actually tiny burglars that loot 7 percent of your brain.  Maybe forever!

I did not question this because, like the belly rolls still tucked into maternity leggings, it is the truth and motherhood’s indignities, which are legion, are weak in comparison to rewards.  The sentence that followed this realization was: “And, anyway, when did I last nurse because my shirt is unbuttoned and I  just had a whole conversation with the UPS guy and don’t even pretend to have the willpower for a juice cleanse and the catalog had a wrong SKU and I just can’t get into “Justified” but the juice place is just next door and she just ate a ball of dog fur and why is everybody obsessed with washi tape and how many seconds to heat 3 Super Pretzels?”

On the first day of this year, I decided I would combat this brain loss by teaching or re-teaching myself something new every day.  Because I remember things better when I write them down, I will record these lessons with sketches or photos or collages or whatever.  Due to my compulsion to overthink-to-the-point-of-paralyzation any pursuit, I will throw something up every day (no matter how lame or typo-plagued) without my critical eye tearing it down first.  Just something to do for myself that lays bare –see UPS incident above– the state of this cloud housed above my neck.  Here is the first month, January, posted in its entirety.  So please follow along here or here or here and if you know a new mom give her a damn hug and tell her the fridge is a fine place for house keys.”


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