Maker Spotlight: Molly Carroll


Editor’s Note: Thank you so much, Molly Carroll, for being our first victim Maker Spotlight! We’ll be featuring other makers here as often as possible. Have you made something you’re particularly proud of? Figured out a way to keep your screens in their corral? Inspired your kids to happily go analog for a few hours? Please send us a note and tell us all about it. We can’t wait to focus the spotlight on you!

A couple of months ago when I didn’t have a charger at work, I plugged my dead iPhone into a co-worker’s charger, a few cubes down from me. I went to work back at my desk and consistently interrupted myself with my knee-jerk habit of checking my phone. I’d reach to my left to grab it, remember it was charging a few cubes away, and go back to work.

After the fourth time of unconsciously checking my phone and remembering it wasn’t there, I started to feel ashamed. I was so addicted to my screen that I was conditioned — like Pavlov’s dogs — to check it regularly.

I sat at my desk and inventoried all the things that were adversely affected by my attachment to my phone. Productivity (both at work and home), potentially missed laughs with family, and conversations with my husband that never happened because I was scrolling through Facebook in bed at night instead of talking or laughing with him about, well, anything at all.

I think that’s why Step Away from the Screen and Make Something resonates with me. It’s a reminder to recondition myself to use my hands (and brain) for more than scrolling. I walked away from work that day with a goal to break the constant phone-checking and step away from my phone screen and create.

If you know Laurie, you know she’s insanely creative. She and the Step Away from the Screen community make some amazing things. Initially, it felt as though there was no way I could keep up with this awesome group of makers and artists and craftspeople. And then it hit me. It’s not about what they’re making, it’s about what I’m doing to meet my goal of putting down my damn phone. Making a fantastic gazpacho? Yep. That’s stepping away from the screen and making something. Creating a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the farmers market? You guessed it: Making something. Using my very best handwriting to ink justin timberlake is my patronus on my new favorite coffee mug? Um, that’s the coolest thing I’ve made in a long, long time. And I use it every day. And he is indeed my patronus, but that’s another blog post altogether.

So now, I just try to make. Something. Anything. Every day. Whether it’s a tangible craft or piece or art or just dinner. Making. For me, it’s just about the doing and the making. What will it be about for you?

PS: I only checked my phone twice while writing this. That’s progress, people. Real progress.