What’s the First Thing You Ever Made, Raleigh Briggs?

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in churches. I’m what they call a PK (Priest’s Kid), but before that, I was a PAK (Parish Administrator’s Kid). My mom folded and stapled service programs and bought bulk coffee and butter cookies at Costco. Among her many thankless tasks was one that absolutely thrilled me. Each week, she stocked the Sunday School rooms with art supplies: big jars of cheap, roughly cut glitter and tempera paint, and bushels of popsicle sticks. Before, during, and after church services, I would sit in a dim meeting room and use these supplies as if they were my own–something my mom probably disapproved of, but never mentioned. My favorite things to create were jewelry boxes. I would arrange popsicle sticks log-cabin style, tack them together with white glue, and douse the whole thing in rubber cement and sequins. Sometimes there would be feathers. If you tried to keep an actual necklace in it, your hand would be spackled with glitter when you retrieved it. Nevertheless, my mom accepted no fewer than 10 of my creations, and never made me give up my habit to actually attend Sunday School. Thanks, Mom!

-Raleigh is the author of Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills and host of DIY sustainability workshops in Seattle and Portland.