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Behind Curtain No. 1

Editor's Note from the November/December 2013 Hobby Farm Home

By Stephanie Staton , Hobby Farm Home Editor

Sr. Web Editor Rachael Brugger behind the scenes at Hobby Farm Home magazine. Photo by Stephanie Staton (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Stephanie Staton

Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain! Or do … the choice is yours.

My friends often ask what my job as an editor entails and are surprised to find that all of the editors in this office, myself included, wear multiple hats, so to speak: photographer, crafter, chef/cook and recipe tester/taster—I never said the hats were bad! Of course, we take our roles as grammar police very seriously, fact check until our eyes fall out, and do our best to deliver the homesteading content you crave. With that in mind, I thought it was high time for a behind-the-scenes look at Hobby Farm Home.

Photographing projects ourselves means that we’ve tested them ourselves. To this end, I ventured down the yellow-brick road to the land of felting for this month's Hands On column about how to make sweater mittens.. As you might have guessed by now, we work well in advance of the season and do our best to stay true to it in both voice and images. That doesn’t come without its challenges: Wool sweaters in the middle of August? Not so easy to come by. After several trips to thrift stores and even some mainstream retailers (I was getting desperate!), I found a second-hand clothing store with a rack full of these gems. Whew!

I usually try to stick to the pattern, noting any variances or challenges along the way should you encounter them, too. On this project, I found that the sweater I was using had a really long bottom hem. I didn’t want to lose that perfect hem, so I placed the pattern higher and cut straight down from the corners. I followed the same steps with longer strands of worsted-wool yarn, folding the cuffs for visual effect. I love being able to tuck them under my jacket sleeve to prevent cold air from nipping at my wrists—plus, it shows off the blanket stitch that took some practice to master.

Almost all HFH projects require us to wear multiple hats at the same time. For example, we recreated one of Lori Rice’s delicious recipes in Dinner Bell to offer you a visual of the actual frying process. While I fried up doughnut delicacies, senior associate web editor Rachael Brugger perched on a ladder to snap pics of the process. (And yes, that is my unfinished range hood in the background—don’t worry, it works. It just isn’t all that pretty to look at … yet.) Much like the millions of distractions in our everyday lives, focusing on taking photos makes cooking a little more challenging, especially if you need to maintain a steady oil temperature. In other words, we burned a few doughnuts along the way. When we wrapped up the shoot, we carted doughnuts back to the office for all to enjoy—even the slightly over-cooked ones were gobbled up with zeal. (I know, it’s a tough job sometimes, but somebody’s got to do it!)

I hope this inside peek brings a little chuckle to your day, as well as comfort knowing that no homestead project goes exactly as planned—even for the editors who help you plan it. Take joy in the time spent with family and friends, and take heart that we have your best interest in ours.


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Behind Curtain No. 1

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