Tuesday, December 23, 2008

*FREE* CRAFT Subscriptions for current subscriber renewals

Earlier today, I posted about fun ways to give the gift of a subscription to CRAFT magazine over on the Craftzine blog. I used ink jet shrink plastic to create a fun, glittery version of the downloadable gift cards you can give when you order a subscription for someone. It was really fun to make and would be even more fun to give!

I just got word from the CRAFT Subscription team that they are offering an awesome deal for current subscribers: renew your subscription now (for just $34.95) and you can get a gift subscription for F-R-E-E.

I'll give you a second to process that. (free, people! freeeeee)

OK - so go grab your latest issue of CRAFT and skedattle on over to the CRAFT web site where you'll put in your account number (found on the address portion of your magazine) and you can then renew your subscription and order another subscription - FOR FREE - for someone else. The CRAFT folks will even send the recipient an email about the gift if you aren't going to see them in person to give them one of the printable gift cards.

That's an a-m-a-z-i-n-g deal, and if you have a current sub to CRAFT, you are nutso cuckoo not to take advantage. Make your crafty friends and family all kinds of giddy! Go! Now! Do it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Little Stitchy (geeky) Gift For Myself

Here's a little indulgence I allowed myself as an early Christmas gift. I spotted this Stitchopoly game at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago. When it first caught my eye, I kinda thought, "Oh, ha! Lookie there - it's Monopoly but for stitchers. Cute."

Then I picked it up.

And I started noticing things like ... Lazy Daisy real estate and ....

the details on the packaging and ....

the unbelievably awesome game pieces that are teeny DMC goodies.

I immediately stashed it in my cart. It was the only one on the shelf, I'd never seen it before, and I figured I could at least walk around with it for a while before I decided if I would splurge and get it for myself. I thought about putting it back and dropping hints to my husband, but then I realized that a) he probably wouldn't get the hints or b) if he did get the hints, the game might not be there when he went back. I decided not to risk it and went ahead and brought it home.

Isn't it beyond rad? Now to just find some equally geek-a-liscious friends to play with me .... anyone? (more pictures over on Flickr)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stitch me happy!

One of my best creative pals here in Austin is an amazing artist named Curlin Reed Sullivan. I first met Curlin several years ago through a mom-entrepreneur group here in Austin, and was instantly smitten. You know when you meet those folks who just spark your insides and you know in a second that you connect and you hope to find anyway you can to work together? That's how it was with Curlin. She just makes me smile.

After semi-stalking Curlin from a distance, I finally got to spend time with her back in Septemeber during Kat's Surface Design Crash Course. It was one of those random twists of events that landed us both in the class together, and it was a fabulous week of fun times that left us inspired and ready to make fun stuff.

Curlin's work is whimsical and fresh ... literally. Most of her work consists of using gorgeous botanicals combined with her simple illustrations. I've always loved her style, and top that with her hilarious, witty writing and you've got some seriously good stuff going on.

So when Curlin pulled her first screen print back in September of one of her illustrated ladies with a hat exploding with flowers, the first thing that came to mind was "I MUST EMBROIDER THAT!" We started talking about how great her designs would be for incorporating embroidery, and as you can imagine - with a room full of creative minds - a new collaborative project was born.

Laurie Wisbrun of Scarlet Fig, Leslie Bonnell of the Stich Lab, Kat McTee of Studio 1408 and myslef all contributed in some small way to Curlin's latest project: Hand Embroidery Kits! You can imagine how giddy this makes me. Of course, anything relating to embroidery makes me happy, but seeing so many great creative women sharing ideas to bring the project to fruition was the best part of all of it.

Curlin was the supreme force behind making all this happen. She was kind enough to let the rest of us join along in the fun. She created the images and lovingly hand screen printed them on to yummy linen blend fabric (in a gorgeous chartreuse color) and packaged them up with all the things someone would need to be able to sit down and get to stitchin'. She's got a glorious lady whose hat literally explodes with flowers, and a dapper gentleman whose flower hat is under a wee bit more control. They make a divine pair.

That's a 10" hoop there, folks!

The greatest thing about the prints is that they stitch beautifully, and there is room for all kinds of variation. You can stitch solid directly on all the designs, leave some unstitched, leave just the leaves/vines showing, or stitch extra bits in between the printed designs. The options are endless. Once you're done stitching, you can frame the piece or make it in to something gorgeous like a pillow or center piece to a quilt.

Curlin's pair, stitched by Laurie of Scarlet Fig and sewn into pillows!

I couldn't be more proud to have had just a teeny part in all this, and I hope that Curlin's work inspires you as much as it has inspired me. She's the kinda lady who just makes you happy hearing her name. :) Spread the love!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bouldin Creek Studio Tour

One of Austin's most eclectic and beloved neighborhoods, Bouldin Creek, is home to an incredible group of artists, designers, jewelry makers and crafters. This weekend, Austinites have the opportunity to visit the artists' studios during the Bouldin Creek Studio Tour.

I'll be with Leslie Bonnell of Glitzkrieg at the Stitch Lab Sewing Studio on Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 PM doing free embroidery demos. Leslie will have all her awesome jewelry and sewing class information on hand. Also at the Stitch Lab will be designer, Jody Haller, of One-Eared Cat, showcasing her adorable appliqued kids clothes. The tour also includes studios ranging from letterpress art to photography to found object jewelry design. The Bouldin Creek neighborhood is a super-friendly, fun neighborhood, and well worth the visit.

And while you're there, be sure to stop by Thai Fresh - amazing, amazing, amazing Thai food and grocery. Y-U-M.

Check out the web site for more information and a handy map of all the artists' studios!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fab Crafty Books & Awesome Sale

The lovely folks over at Chronicle Books have sent several craft book selections for me to review, and I thought this would be the perfect week to catch up on some of those reviews so you can take advantage of the Chronicle Friends and Family sale that is going on through Friday. All titles are a rockin' 35% off with FREE shipping. Huzzah!

I'm doing some quickie reviews of several of my favorites below, and I have an additional list of top picks (some that I've previously reviewed, so they are linked below) of ones to definitely check out.

Postcard - By FL@33
6-1/2 x 8-1/2 in; 224 pp ;
800 illustrations, pockets holding 20 postcards

This is a fantastic book for anyone with an appreciation for good design - especially in small spaces. Postcard showcases dozens of designers work in the small format of postcards, and the range of art is unbelievable. I've had this book on my nightstand and luxuriate in a few pages every night before bed. I'm blown away by the clever, brilliant, fun, beautiful, simple, complex designs. The bonus: it comes with 20 postcards that you can collect or mail to friends! If there is a design lover on your list, this is the book for them. The type geek in me especially loved the Helvetica postcard ...

Handmade Hellos
Fresh Greeting Card Projects from First-Rate Crafters By Eunice Moyle
and Sabrina Moyle
Photographs by Sheri Giblin
Illustrations by Sarah LaBieniec

8-3/4 x 8 in; 144 pp ; 30 color photographs, 100+ color illustrations, 5 pattern pages for 25 projects in an attached envelope

Handmade Hellos is a seriously dreamy book that evokes oohs and aahs with every page turn. There are correspondence projects from super easy to more complicated, and each one would be well-received. I love the simple silk screen technique they use (embroidery hoop/screen fabric/mod podge) on the Wood You Be Mine project, and I especially love the Sucker For You octopus valentine. Like several Chronicle books, Handmade Hellos comes complete with a fat stack of templates and patterns tucked into a handy back pocket in the (fabulously spiral-bound) book. It's a perfect catalyst for hopping off the computer and creating some truly memorable pieces of mail.

Stencil 101
Make Your Mark with 25 Reusable Stencils and Step-by-Step Instructions
By Ed Roth
8-3/4 x 8 in; 48 pp ; 25 reusable card-stock laminated stencils

Several months ago, my cousin sent an email asking if I knew of any "cool stencils" that she could use for decorating her new office furniture. She was frustrated, because everything she'd found in craft stores was along the lines of grape vines and curly letters. I started digging around on the Internet and found Ed Roth's Stencil 1 web site and instantly sent her the link. Shortly after that, I stumbled on his videos from the Martha Stewart show. And shortly after that, the Stencil 101 book arrived on my doorstep. Since then, I've been fully enthralled with all the cool applications of Ed Roth's stencils.

Stencil 101 is a great way to get started with stenciling. There are a handful of basic, but cool projects, and the bulk of the book is full of beautifully cut, cool stencil motifs. What I like about stenciling is how quick and easy it is. I took one of my son's t-shirts* and grabbed a stencil from the book and - using some Tulip fabric dye spray - transformed the tee in under 5 minutes! (the smudge in the bottom right corner was my fault, not the stencil's ;)

Here are some of my other top Chronicle Picks:

Sublime Stitching - Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To
Sublime Stitching Craft Pad - you can read my review here
Lotta Prints - you can read my review here
Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Wooly Embroidery
Craft, Inc. - Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business
Softies - Instructions for 15 Plush Pals
The Guerrilla Art Kit

So get over to the Chronicle site TODAY or by tomorrow so you can take advantage of the super Friends and Family deal of $35% off and FREE shipping. Knock off all the gifts for your crafty friends, or go ahead and gift yourself all the titles you've been wanting.

*Of course, when I showed the t-shirt to my son, he asked, "What is that?" and I said, "A cassette tape!" and he said, "Uh ... what's a cassette tape?" Niiiice.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Count Down Calendar Craziness

Hoorah for count-down calendars! I don't know why I love them so much, and I don't know why I don't find a way to use them in every month of the year (or for any special occasion). Since we celebrate Christmas in our house, we do advent calendars, and I have to admit it's just about my favorite part of the holiday festivities.

(Diane's advent calendar, made by her mom. Pic from CraftyPod.com)

Last year, I was fully inspired by and in awe of Diane's post about the advent calendar her mother made for her when she was two years old. It's amazing - I mean, check out that giant gold ric-rac. Doesn't get much better than that, folks. Her mom has posted about the calendar on her own blog (yeah, Diane's mom has a blog. How cool is that!?) and it's so cool to see the original magazine clipping that inspired her calendar.

I was dead set to make our own advent calendar this year. We have several advent calendars in the house, but not one was handmade by me. Horrifying, I know. I wrote about my advent calendar class with the Future Craft Collective gals a few weeks ago, and I'm happy to report that I've just about finished up the project! Just in the nick of time!

I'm pretty happy with the results. It's not exactly what I had in mind, but given the fact that I had no real "plans" for the project and just dove in willy nilly, grabbing fabrics, sewing with whatever thread was on the machine I happened to sit down in front of, not really measuring or marking as I went, I don't think it turned out half bad! It was a very freeform project, and that's one of my very favorite kind.

In retrospect, I wish I'd paid attention to alignment just a little bit more, and I wish I'd factored in a little more time so I could make two rows of true pockets. What I ended up doing what just folding the length of felt, stitching all the pockets and then ripped the openings for the bottom row of pockets with some wee scissors. It was an idea we came up with in the class to save time (which it did) but I'm not sure I'm just in love with the results.

I was thinking I wouldn't add numbers to the pockets. The examples in the class didn't have numbers, and I actually liked that - so the kids can pick from any pocket and be surprised. Design-wise, though, I think it needs the numbers to balance out that biiiiiiiig space of green there at the bottom.

As for trinkets for the pockets, for this year, at least, we are going with buttons. most in white (for snowflakes) and some in yellow (for stars). I let my daughter pick those out from my giant bag o' buttons, and she had fun doing that.

All in all, it was a great project. But it has left me with even more ideas for future advent calendars. I have an idea for next year's that I think I'll need to start right now if I want to finish it....

There are also LOADS of crazy cool advent calendars making the rounds on the craft blogs right now. I recently featured this Recycle Bin Advent Calendar from Craftastica over on the Craftzine blog, and I've seen dozens more featured on other blogs. Be sure to check 'em out. And if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying to put together an advent calendar for this season, go - right now - and make a note on your calendar for October of 2009 to remind you to start thinking of making one. As you read blogs/magazines/books and see ideas you want to use, find a way to tag them or make note of them so you can revisit them next year. It will be here before you know it. (uh ... yikes.)

UPDATED to add - Kami (fellow classmate and all-around Austin parenting guru ;) posted her calendar on her blog, Get Your Mess On. She's the one with the He-Man bits! Go check it out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

At Studio 1408

For the E.A.S.T. - fun times with a demo from Kat!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kickin' it on the East Side this weekend

Over the next several weeks, there are some awesome events happening in Austin: East Austin Studio Tour, Bouldin Creek Studio Tour, Cherrywood Art Fair, and Blue Genie Art Bazaar (and more, I'm sure - leave 'em in the comments if you want)

First up is the East Austin Studio Tour this weekend. I love studio tours, because you get the chance to visit several artists in one day and get a taste of what they do. This Saturday, I'll be volunteering for a few hours at Studio 1408 (I'd ramble on about how much I love this place, but I think I'm bordering on stalker with them) and reading the schedule of stuff the gals are going to be doing at the studio makes me wish I could stay there all day ... both days. I'm posting the Studio 1408 schedule below (including a repeat of their crazy popular Obamarama screen printing...) , but first I want to mention some other hot spots you'll want to hit - or check out virtually if you aren't in Austin.

Jenifer Nakatsu Arntson - Jen's vinyl bags and wallets are uber cool and crazy kinds of sturdy. I treated myself to one of her wristlets several months ago and freaking love it.

Amy Barber | Sweettooth Bags with special guests Vanessa Crook, Felice House, Hope Perkins and Jennifer Perkins - That's a whole buncha cool for one stop on the tour. Dang!

Arthur Simone - Adrienne clued me in to this artist's work, and it's very cool - layered and all kinds of abstract - interesting stuff.

Adaptive Reuse | Christine Terrell - Christine's stuff is awesome, and she is super sweet. She'll be at Studio 1408 and will have a jewlery demo/project for visitors.

Aly Winningham - Terra Firma Studios - Wow - these mosaics/stain glass are making my mouth water ....

The Amazing Hancock Brothers - I raved about these guys during Maker Faire. I have *got* to find a way to go by their studio this weekend .....

And a few others that look cool (I haven't even been able to go through the whole list yet!)
Bleep Labs
Catherine Hart
Co-Lab A New Media Project Space
Domy Gallery / Bookstore
East End Craft Gallery
Vertallee Letterpress - Mmmm .... letterpress ....

OK - way too many. I've just spent an hour browsing the E.A.S.T. website and I'm only down to the Es .... ack! Be sure to head out this weekend, and if you aren't here in Austin, browse the list of participants and their web sites - there's some amazing stuff in there. Makes me very happy to live in Austin.

Studio 1408 Schedule and Information: (read it all, there is an abundance of rad stuff going on all weekend at Studio 1408)

STUDIO 1408 (#143 on the EAST map) is excited to be part of this year's East Austin Studio Tour.

Kathleen McTee is an artist working with textiles. Her current series incorporates upcycled cloth patterned with screenprinting, dye and obsessive hand stitching, with imagery inspired by the lost roadside landscapes of the American West. During E.A.S.T., she'll demonstrate some of the techniques she teaches in classes at Studio 1408, including screenprinting, stitching and dyeing.

Theresa Noyes is a mixed media artist currently experimenting in 3D. She employs unrefined, raw materials such as seeds, hand-dyed jute, and buckwheat for small sculptures and installation. She will have several example of works in progress at Studio 1408, and an installation at Fisterra Studios (Stop 16).

Christine Terrell makes jewelry and accessories using upcycled decorative tins. www.adaptivereuser.com

In addition to showcasing our work, we have several dye, print and stitch demos scheduled (see below), as well as D.I.Y. opportunities ongoing throughout the weekend.

To top it all off, OBAMARAMA is BARACK on! Bring a shirt (or skirt, pillowcase, sheet, whatever) to the studio any time before 2pm on Sunday, and have our future president's face printed on it. The screening rodeo starts at 2 sharp, so no stragglers. Pick up your Obama'ed item at the studio by 5 on Sunday. Cost is just $10.

Of course we'll have food and wine so please plan to stop by. Linger if you can, but we understand the desire to see as many studios as possible. (We all decided this morning that the huge downside to being in the show is that you can't go to the other studios. Bummer.)



11:00 am Stamp Making: Learn how to make stamps out of found objects and unusual materials, then create patterns on paper and fabric. Simple techniques, complex results!

2:00 pm Low Water Immersion Dyeing: Fiber-reactive procion dyes are vibrant, colorfast and safe to use. We'll demonstrate how to conserve water while creating brilliant (and subtle) multicolored effects on natural fibers.

3:00 pm Dye Printing: Silkscreens are fabulous for printing with paint on fabric and paper, but even more versatile when used with thickened dyes. Learn how to build layers of transparent color to create complex, sensuous surface designs.


11:00 am Artistic Embroidery: Go beyond the pattern by combining simple image transfer techniques and hand stitching. Easy methods, intricate original works of art.

2:00 pm OBAMARAMA: Change has come to your wardrobe. Bring your own shirt (or pillowcase, banner, tuxedo jacket, onesie, tea cosy) and have it printed with a cool image of the 44th president! Drop off items by Sunday at 2pm, pick them up after 4pm. Watch the printathon in action at 2pm! $10 donation.


Stitch Niche: Pour some wine, sit on a comfy couch and try your hand at embroidery. We'll have fabric, some instructions, design ideas and plenty of needles loaded up and ready to go.

Stamp Making: One time-honored design device is the humble stamp. This hands-on demo will allow you to not only make your own stamps using various materials and techniques, but will get you thinking about mark-making and the nature of pattern and texture.
Design Your Own Earrings: Or just play around with hundreds (thousands?) of punched metal circles that will be spread out on a table. All the circles are 1" or smaller and have been punched from decorative containers, so there will be lots of color and even some recognizable images. Design your own earrings (to be assembled and mailed to you later) or just sit and be awed by the sheer craziness of it all.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Such a lovely way to spend a Saturday

I've been busy lately (what, the lack of blog posts hadn't clued you in already?) so I was very happy to have the opportunity to take a break this weekend and get my craft on with the lovely Future Craft Collective gals. I signed up for their Advent Calendar class as soon as I saw the new schedule, and was very excited to join in. I have a wee obsession with Advent calendars. We have several, and I'm always on the look out for more. I've also always wanted to make one, but have never taken the plunge. That's right, among all the Advent calendars we have, not a single one was made by me. Insanity!

I had to leave the class a little early on Saturday, so my calendar isn't complete yet. I'll share pictures when it is, but until then, check out these pics from the class (perhaps if I hadn't been so chatty and snappy with my camera I would have gotten closer to finishing the project .... )

Bernadette and Kathie were awesome teachers - just the right amount of guidance and room for a free-for-all.
The students were fantastic. I couldn't believe so many of us could fit in the space and make stuff so easily. It was supremely harmonious! I also got to spend some much-needed time with my pal, Jamie, whom I hadn't seen in waaaay too long.

It was great to see the different forms each person's calendar took. Some were beautifully traditional, and others were perfectly unique (complete with a He-Man Father Christmas!) It was so much fun to watch us all start with piles of scraps and pieces of burlap and transform them into special family heirlooms.

Aside from the crafting, there was also loads of fabulous conversation. Bernadette and Kathie asked all kinds of thoughtful questions about making the holidays a time of family togetherness and of simple pleasures. There was discussion on how - if at all - we discuss things like Santa Clause with our kids. Having these great conversations made working on the projects so much more enjoyable and meaningful.

If you're in Austin, you *must* get yourself over to the Future Craft Collective headquarters and get in on one of their classes. I can't recommend them enough!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Free Embroidery Pattern from Nini Makes

I am really loving this sweet Christmas Tree Family pattern from Nini Makes. I don't have any Christmas tea towels, and I think I'll be stitching this one up so I can use it this year. I commented on her post and just received the PDF by email and it is *adorable*. She's also got a great giveaway with this post so be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Get yer stitch on!

You know how much I love embroidery. Quite honestly, learning hand embroidery was the thing that kicked me into crafty high gear and - as geeky as it sounds - really changed my life. Getting to teach embroidery is one of my greatest pleasures. I've had some awesome students, and we always have a blast in class. If you'd like to get your stitch on with me, I'm teaching a class next Tuesday night (November 11) from 6:30 - 10:00 PM. You can enroll through the Stitch Lab web site. I'll be adding more classes soon, so be sure to sign up for the Stitch Lab newsletter, too.

Here's some other stuff to tempt you:

Up! Up! Upcycle - and WIN!

Want this snazzy Singer "Curvy" sewing machine? Would you like to have a project of yours featured in CRAFT:10 magazine?

All you have to do is snap some pix of party decorations you've made from "upcycled" materials (or things you already have in your house) and upload them to the Flickr group called 'The Upcyclist Party Contest.'

Three runners up will get a Singer rolling machine case and a 1-year subscription to CRAFT magazine!

Read more over on the CRAFT blog!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Unyielding Hope

So. Very. Happy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A fabulous four-letter word: VOTE!

Oy! You are sick of election news, huh? I don't blame you - it can get to be rather mind-numbing. But we're so close. Soooooooo close!

This weekend, I received a package from some of my rad Portland pals, Sarah and Josh. They recently held an Obama screen printing party, inspired by the on the Studio 1408 gals had a couple of months ago. I was over-the-top excited to receive some Sarah/Josh printed Obama goodies this weekend. They sent t-shirts and a gorgeous print on paper, and I was even lucky enough to score a fantastic Obama gocco postcard from Susan. Happy day! Happy day! Thank you, Sarah and Josh. I'll be wearing my shirt as I make "get out the vote" calls from election HQ here in Austin tomrrow!

Also, regardless of who you're voting for .... another Portland pal of mine, Lee, has an awesome giveaway over on her blog today. She's put together a great little zine of sorts with a fun knitting pattern, a RAD apalaca applique pattern, a stencil and some mac-n-cheese tips (does this sound like the perfect zine, or what, folks?). You can snag a free copy if you leave a comment on her post and show you've voted. Spread the word!

And - if you haven't already - be sure to vote tomorrow. Don't wake up Wednesday morning wishing things were different.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Before you eat your Halloween candy ....

Snopes take on Pins and Needles in Halloween Candy
The Razor Blade in the Apple ....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

CRAFTERNOON book review/profile/giveaway

Hey guys! I just posted a review and profile of CRAFTERNOON over on Craftzine. This is one of my all-time favorite craft books. Go read why, and read some fun questions and answers from author, Maura Madden. And then - Enter to Win your own copy of CRAFTERNOON on the Craftzine blog (not here - there!). You have until 9PM PST on Friday, October 31 to enter. Go do it! And tell your friends about it! This is a craft book you *want* in your collection. Trust me.

Enjoy! :)

Tomorrow: My almost-late-but-not-too-late Halloween sick/twisted embroidery for this year. Until then, take a sec to remember our dear pal, Zombie Jitterbug Girl.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Knitting machines from the past, toys for today

While I was at Maker Faire, I was able to watch a fantastic antique circular sock knitting machine in action. I'm not a knitter (being insanely hot-natured, I have an aversion to yarn, sadly) but this thing sparked my fancy. First off, it was a beautiful piece of machinery - big and sturdy, but with tons of tiny working parts that were so fun to watch in action. Next, it was just really cool to see the knitting process happen so quickly, right before our eyes. I was intrigued!

I haven't had much time to think about those knitting machines since Maker Faire, but when I popped into a Tuesday Morning shop to kill sometime while I waited for my take out dinner to be prepared, I was stunned to find a kid version of the machines right in the front window!

I snapped a couple of pictures with my iPhone, and didn't have time to really take down any info, but sure enough, it appears to be the same concept but in plastic and for kids. Very interesting ....

I still, of course, prefer the antique version of the machines, but I just thought it was funny that something I didn't even know existed 12 days ago has now popped into my surroundings twice!

I didn't pick up the knitting machine for my daughter, but I was tempted to. I'm a little weary of big plastic toys like that - we've been burned by looks-cool-but-is-really-junk toys before, so I'm trying to show restraint in what I 'grab' for her for Christmas. Regardless, it was just an interesting find so soon after I'd first learned about these machines.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CRAFT:09 Is out! Woooo!

Yay! CRAFT: 09 is out on the newsstands. Can you believe, I still don't have a hard copy!? I'm starting to fear that I let my subscription lapse, but that's beside the point. I've *seen* a copy (at Maker Faire) and friends have started getting their issues, so I feel like it's time to go ahead and get excited about it. I actually had this fear for ages that it wouldn't happen.

(and, on a side note, everyone who has their copy already says it's one of the best CRAFTs they've read, so I highly recommend snagging a copy, or - better yet - subscribing right now)

I wrote this article with one of my crafty BFFs, Diane of Crafty Pod. Diane has been an incredible source of support, inspiration and is just darn fun. She's, without a doubt, one of the most generous people I've ever met. Diane, I adore you.

I'm emailed Diane on New Year's Day this year with a version of the story idea that we ended up writing. I toyed with pitching it on my own, but when we realized that we'd both been thinking abou the subject (we've learned that we pretty much share a brain over the last year and a half or so) we decided to pitch it together.

It was the most fun project I've ever worked on, and by far the most effortless collaboration in which I have ever participated. I'd write pages and pages and pages and pages with this gal. (hmmm .... note to Diane and self ... a book someday? ;)

I also loved working on this story because I got to interview to women I love. First up, Opal Cocke whom I met through the Creative Mom Podcast group. I've been drooling over Opal's journal quilts for more than a year, and it makes me so happy to see her featured on the pages of CRAFT:. I'm also excited because Opal and Creative Mom Podcast creator, Amy, have started a new joint effort called Here2There. Their work is *amazing* - you must check it out.

I also got to interview Fredda Perkins, mom to the coolest crafty gal around: Jennifer Perkins! I was so excited to interview her. I've always felt a fondness for Jen and her mom (and family) because they seem to have a similar family dynamic that my family has. She was as fun and warm as I imagined she'd be. And darn cute to boot.

So there ya go. Yeah, it's just one article, but ya know, I've been itchin' to get back in to writing for a decade now, and it feels nice. And getting to do it with one of my best crafty friends makes it even better. Thanks, Diane and Opal and Fredda and Tina and everyone for making it such a fun experience. Hopefully this is just the beginning!