5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About Arwen O’Reilly Griffith

Craft & Design

Today’s 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, comes from our very own Arwen O’Reilly Griffith. My favorite thing about Arwen is her energy. Whenever I need support from the Craft team, Arwen always sends lovely notes that are positive and encouraging. And when I have the chance to see her IRL, I am struck by how sweet and calm her vibe is. Now, I know she might not feel cool and collected all the time, but it’s so inspiring to know people who project such wonderful qualities. Of course, it’s not all about personality- Arwen is also talented at a multitude of things, including gardening, sewing, and baking. She has a back-to-the-earth sensibility, with a modern aesthetic. It’s a perfect combination.


One Project You Are Particularly Proud Of

1. I am famous, to myself at least, for starting projects and not finishing them, so it’s really quite incredible that I finished this Hawaiian applique quilt for a friend’s baby (though he was a toddler by the time I was done)! It was a ton of work, and it’s clearly the work of a first-time quilter, but I think it’s beautiful.

Two Mistakes You’ve Made in the Past

1. Trying to multitask too much.

2. Thinking I can finish things more quickly than I actually can. (Oh wait, I still do that!)


Three Things that Make Your Work Unique

1. My background (in photography, history and literature, and editing).

2. My eclectic sensibility (I’m equally drawn to modernist design and Victorian kitsch).

3. My obsession with plants.

Four Tools You Love to Use

1. My vintage Singer sewing machine. It’s beautiful, a work horse, and simple enough that even I can fix it when it breaks.

2. My Garden Works angle weeder. It is perfect for getting out those stubborn weeds with tap roots, like dandelions and small thistles, and is useful when planting seedlings or transplanting, too.

3. My iPhone. It takes surprisingly good photos and video (and entertains my toddler when I’m desperate).

4. The Internet. While I sometimes curse its magnetic pull, it is full of inspiration, information, and ideas.


Five Inspirations:

1. My godmother, Rosemary. She taught me that a beautiful home is a work of art (and always in progress).

2. My son and husband, who are both incredibly creative in their own ways (which are totally different from mine).

3. My garden. It’s always there for me and always needs work!

4. Textiles. I am constantly astonished and delighted by centuries of creative design that I see around me in the most ordinary places and objects.

5. Vintage craft and DIY books. I love seeing both how timeless and dated they can be!

Arwen’s tintype portrait was created by photoboothsf.

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