I am a serial fanatic. 


I graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria in 2006, and have published short fiction and non-fiction (including an article about butchering and eating a roadkill raccoon, and one about trailer homesteading in the Mojave). I have worked as an editor and features editor.

Find my writing and reviews at Boing BoingCool Tools and Wink Books


For over a year I documented my creative and domestic labours at The Daily Make. Then I renovated a house and had a baby. That project has since been renamed The Occasional Make. I’ve been altering clothes since I was a teenager, and am currently exploring garment-making from scratch.

Desert Homesteading & Green Renovation

For three years, my husband and I lived in a vintage travel trailer in Joshua Tree, California. Our trailer is a 24′ long Kenskill from 1962. It took us (mostly Nathen) six months to fix up before we moved in. The plan was inspired by thriftiness and the tiny homes movement. You can spot us and our trailer in Tiny: A Story about Living Small and Lloyd Kahn’s book, Tiny Homes on the Move.

There were many things to love about living in the trailer, but summer in the Mohave was not one of them. First I super-insulated a pre-fab shed into a sleeping cabin, and then we bought a small derelict house on an acre and a half and renovated that. Both projects can be spotted on The Occasional Make.


JT kiss

In 2009, in the midst of falling in love with my future husband, I saw a strip quilt in the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft gift shop and I thought, “I could do that.” Three months later I gave him a huge quilt for Christmas, made from clothing scraps and whatever else I had in my stash; we got engaged 10 days later. Quilting and gift-giving remain intimately connected for me, and I remain passionate about reusing clothing and textile scraps.



You can reach me at reanna dot alder at gmail.

One Reply to “About”

  1. Just found your blog through The Shelter Blog 🙂 (1) I love your quilts. It’s on my “to do someday” list to learn. (2) On Food and Cooking. This book is amazing. A science textbook for food. ::thumbs up:: (3) Yeah for tiny living!

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