C:\> Hello World!

At Mono Lake with the boys.
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elcome to Pinch of Geek—a place where we share bits of our family’s life, DIY education ideas inspired by our homeschooling experiences, and photography/memory keeping tips.

So, Who Am I?

I’m Liz, a technical writer-turned-engineer-turned-artist-turned-homeschooling mom and math tutor living in the Northern Silicon Forest with my husband and son. But, I think of myself as a pinch of geek and a pound of artist. That’s because I’m obsessed with learning (and learning about learning), enjoy great sci-fi (like, Battlestar Galactica and 2001: A Space Odessy), read lots of non-fiction, too, dabble at coding, and crack up every time I hear a Wilhelm Scream. Likewise, I am uber-passionate about creating. I love making everything from written compositions to technical processes and tools, short musical pieces, and visual works (like, photographs, videos, mixed media pieces, and digital art). Creating is a challenge I can’t resist!

And, What about this Homeschooling Thing?

While serving as an engineer for Hewlett Packard (HP), I had the opportunity to train technicians and other engineers. At that point, I discovered just how much I loved sharing what I knew with others. Likewise, HP is where I discovered that while what you know is important, how you interact with learners has a greater impact on learning. It’s where I fell head over heels in love with teaching.

In 2012, my teaching story took another swift turn as my husband and I decided to homeschool our son. Though we had conviction and felt up for the challenge, uncertainty—about Duncan’s future, where to start, and how we’d explain our choice to others—made us uneasy. Thank goodness for our amazing family and friends who let us know we weren’t alone on this trip. Their support bolstered our courage. And, as time went on, I found I loved teaching my son as much as I’d loved training engineers. Then in 2014, I began tutoring some of my friends’ children in math and writing.

And, I’ve Seen Things

…Like the day I set my oatmeal on fire in the microwave. Apparently, I forgot the water because I was distracted by the oh-so-cool science lesson I was planning (which had nothing to do with oatmeal or water). So, before I give off the impression that I have this gig nailed down tight, let me assure you that I don’t. I’m no stranger to messes, ideas gone wrong, meals made of self-doubt, and choice moments where I’m getting schooled. Turns out, I’m completely human—even though my pointy ears might suggest otherwise!

And, I’m okay with that. What I try to do is this:

  • Show up every day as me (I’m not perfect, I’m me.)
  • Do/be my best
  • Figure out ways to improve  (the process, my understanding, my skills, etc.)
  • Collaborate (with my son, husband, friends, etc.)

Which brings me back to Pinch of Geek, the place where I share:

  • My best DIY education ideas to help you and your kids
  • Tips for capturing life and learning via photography, writing, and memory keeping
  • Stories about how we live and learn

Thank you for taking the time to visit. I look forward to learning your story, too, as we connect and become friends.

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Professional Bio

SerpentMoon2013-10-02-Y2k13-Poster-LizNess-SMALL

Since leaving HP and becoming a mom, this is what I’ve been up to (among other things):

Y2K12 – Y2K16 International Live Looping Festival Posters | Designed the posters for these fascinating and inspired musical events.

Graphics and Logo Design for NorStar USA and World Class Martial Arts | Designed business logos and marketing materials (2013 – 2016).

Web Design/Support | Designed, customized, administered, and trained others to administer a variety of websites (2012 – 2016).

Digital Scrapbooking HQ | Wrote and created a five-part video series about post-processing your photographs, from start to finish: 20 Questions: Post-Processing, Start to Finish (March 2014).

In Unintentional Unison by Wireless Lovebird (2012)| Designed/painted album CD covers (front & back).

Out of the Box: A Collection of Photography Challenges | My book encouraging photographers to have fun with their cameras while exploring a variety of genres. (Download for free!)

Photoshop Elements Techniques Magazine | Contributed dozens of articles to the magazine as a freelance writer (2010 – 2012) and as an Associate Editor, Online (2010 – 2011).

Riverstone Marketplace Starbucks | Paintings/mixed media on display October 2011 – January 2012.

The New Day Center for the Arts | Paintings/mixed media art show – August 2011.

Meeting In the Ladies Room | Contributed to this amazing book by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino.

Paperclipping Roundtable Pod Casts #33 and #51 | Joined in the on-air conversation with “Real-life scrapbookers that work within the industry.”

Sixth Street Gallery (Now Gallery 360) | Exhibited art (as a participant) in the Drawn and Self Portraits Shows.

Creating Keepsakes Magazine | Contributed digital scrapbook layouts to this magazine for scrapbooking enthusiasts.

Memory Makers Magazine| Contributed digital scrapbook layouts to this magazine for scrapbooking enthusiasts.

Illustrating Stories | Co-created and co-owned this online business (and store), encouraging others to create and enjoy the journey.