Meet a MAMA: Melanie Jones

Melanie and Kids
Name/Name of kids
Melanie, mom to Henry (almost 4-years-old) and Abram (20 months)
How long have you lived in Atlanta?
I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, but I’ve been in the city for the past nine years
What neighborhood do you live in?
East Atlanta
What made you decide to try MAMA?
I have always been an artsy/crafty person.  My kids have been such a source of inspiration to me, but having small children means I don’t get much time to work on projects.  My “free” time at home usually leads to me cleaning, prepping dinner or just sitting down for a few minutes!  I needed a time and place that allowed me to get away from my house, socialize and work on some projects with my kids in tow!
Favorite art/crafting activity?
Photography–I have so much to learn, but I love how much I’ve grown with it in the past four years, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Favorite place in Atlanta with kids? Without kids?
With kids: the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  I am happiest outdoors, and I love that we all can be outside and there is always something new to see.  Plus, the kids can safely run off a little ways without me worrying about traffic or losing them in a crowd.

Without kids: Exploring the local shops and boutiques like the Beehive.
Best piece of parenting advice you received?

Just when you think you have reached a place of understanding, routine and “normalcy,” your kid will change!

Your idea of a perfect day?
Since I spend so much time with my kids, my perfect day would be one in which I have more time to myself!  Sleeping late, going for a run, reading a good book, taking a nap and having a long, relaxing dinner sound just right.
The handmade project you are most proud of?
The baby quilt I made for Abram.
Your inspiration in life? In craft?
In life (this sounds so cheesy), running inspires me.  I’ve been a runner for the past eleven years, and going for a morning run gives me peace, clarity and focus for the day ahead.  When I run, I take in my neighborhood and the city itself–I love to see the sun rise over my streets, I love noticing which trees are blooming, which house is in which state of renovation and who has roosters crowing in their backyards.  I feel connected to the changing seasons and to my place on this earth.  For just a little while, the city feels like it’s mine.  While running, I’ve planned my day and the weekend ahead, I’ve planned projects, thought through difficult situations and learned about my neighborhood.In craft, my family, past and present, is my biggest source of inspiration.  My grandmother was raised on a working farm, as a kid I dragged around quilts and afghans made by her and my great grandmother.  I love the family heirlooms I’ve inherited, and I am part of the homesteading movement–I raise chickens, make my own bread, have a big vegetable garden and love learning the old crafts, it makes me feel connected to my heritage (but there are things about the city and modern conveniences I couldn’t give up, like my new DSLR camera!).  My children are so part of this picture, though, because they inspired me to take my camera more seriously as the way to document our life together.  And the chickens, gardening, sewing etc. are things I want them to respect and value as adults.

Anything else you think might be interesting, or that you want to share!!
My children have really shown me how to look at the world with new eyes.  Henry, my oldest, helped me plant my garden this year, and seeing HIS delight over the sprouts has increased my own level of enjoyment for what I do.  That pretty much translates across the board–my husband and I can probably count the number of relaxing dinners we’ve had on two hands over the past few years, but now we ENJOY them so much more, and recognize what a treat they are.  At the same time, sometimes during chaotic dinners of spills, rejected food, and babies climbing on the table, I have a moment where I pause and think, “THIS is the moment I want to remember.”

4 thoughts on “Meet a MAMA: Melanie Jones

  1. Pingback: MAMA Art Collective Launches in Newport, Virginia! | mama art collective

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