D.I.-Why?: Emily Matchar on the Allure of the “New Domesticity”

I first stumbled across Emily Matchar’s website in the aftermath of my December 2011 wedding. Planning the wedding had unleashed in me a seemingly endless energy for DIY projects, and for six months I crafted, thrifted, embossed and antiqued everything in sight. I had recently acquired a PhD in English, but found myself weighing the possibility of starting a crafting business rather than pursuing an academic job—a cheerless task in the middle of the worst academic hiring slump in recent memory. Compared with the prospect of slaving away in adjunct positions, dragging my husband from town to town for visiting professorships in Idaho or Nebraska, and risking delayed or denied tenure when I decided to procreate, the idea of painting vases to look like antique mercury glass for a living was... appealing. And I was good at it! Everyone loved those repurposed vintage postcards! The matchbox favors were a big success! Someone would pay me to do that for a living—right? READ MORE