Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Books!

I usually don't purchase craft books because I like to make my own stuff uninfluenced by others. I don't even like to follow store-bought patterns because I want to figure things out on my own. I'm stubborn like that when it comes to crafts. But when I know the person, it's different. I like to see the projects that I've seen in person all nicely photographed, read their instructions and hear them speaking to me, and admire how they brought all their hard work together into book form.

Saturday night I made a special trip to Reform School in Silverlake to attend Christine Haynes book party (and I won a raffle too, Yay!). She wrote Chic and Simple Sewing:

And it's awesome. The photography, the helpful hints, the pocket-o-patterns - they all make for a beautiful book. Her clothes are simple yet classy, sleek, and flattering. Plus, she's got a great sense of style. I'm honored to say I weathered many a craft show with Christine, and am happy to see her hit the big time.

I really need to remember to bring a decent camera to these events.

It seems a lot of people I know have recently published books. Jenny Ryan from Felt Club and Home Ec. published Sew Darn Cute, full of projects based on items from her Sew Darn Cute line. I went to her book party at Reform School a few months back and got her Jenny Hancock on my copy.

The perfectness of her stitches amazes me and she chooses the best fabric for her projects. It has a nice conversational style too so it seems like she's right there with you talking you through each project.

Another book party I went to last month at Handmade Galleries was for Kathy Cano-Murillo (see my last outing with her here). Her book, Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing:

is practically a polar opposite of Jenny and Christine's books, but is awesome in it's own right. Her work is bright and wild and bold with a Latina flava, and her projects serve as inspiration for the reader to find his or her own funky style. Kathy also has a novel (set in the craft world) coming out next spring entitled Waking Up in the Land of Glitter. Oh, and she has a line of glitter and other craft products - the woman is a crafty powerhouse!

Stephanie Calvert, Stacy McQueen, Kathy Cano-Murillo, Cathy Calahan, Jenny Ryan,
and me (sporting some Crafty Chica earrings I won.)

The next craft book I'm going to buy is Button It Up by Susan Beal,

http://ny-image2.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.63007594.jpg

but I'm waiting to get it when she comes back for an L.A. visit and has a book party. You should get it though, because it looks lovely. I loooves me some buttons.

Other Crafty Books you will want on your bookshelf:

Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design by Faythe Levine.
The Naughty Secretary Club Working Girls Guide to Handmade Jewelry by Jennifer Perkins.
Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy by Tamie Snow.
(more to come.)

All of these ladies are inspiring. For years I kept thinking that one-of-a-kinds were where it's at. I'm learning though, that while a one-of-a-kind is special and precious, showing someone how to make their own one-of-a-kind is empowering. I've been writing more tutorials and leading some crafty workshops for this reason, and have recently gotten a couple small publishing opportunities (which I won't discuss until I actually see them in print). Seeing your words printed for the masses is exciting! I've learned though, that the first rule of writing a book is don't tell anyone about the book you're writing, at least not until it's almost done. Therefore, I won't be discussing my book, but look for it on bookshelves in 10-20 years!

I've discovered through Facebook (am I talking about Facebook too much?) that I have other friends who've recently published books also. I haven't had the chance to pick them up yet so I can't give a proper review, but if they're anything like the people who wrote them, then I'm sure they're awesome.

My former Appalachian studies professor and friend, Dr. Tate, wrote Power in the Blood: A Family Narrative:

Power in the Blood: A Family Narrative

Which "traces Linda Tate’s journey to rediscover the Cherokee-Appalachian branch of her family and provides an unflinching examination of the poverty, discrimination, and family violence that marked their lives." It looks pretty fascinating. I hope that hundreds of years from now my great great grandchildren write a book about me.

And another Shepherdstown friend and Martinsburg Journal alum Seth Muller recently published a book for young adults entitled Keepers of the Windclaw Chronicles.

Keepers of the Windclaw Chronicles

It's about a Navajo girl's experiences in the Animal World. I can't wait to get it and read it with Sage. Sage isn't all that interested in things like sports and video games, but he loves to read and lately has been flying through novels. Sometimes, as soon as he finishes a book, he goes back to the beginning and reads it again.

My friend Karen writes books too. She's a celebrity among Canadian teenagers and her books are even taught in schools. I especially love her Haley Andromeda series (I'm even included in the thank you section of one of them). Check out all the books she's written on her website karenrivers.com.

What about you? What book is inspiring you right now? Do you have a book? If so, leave a comment and tell me about it and I'll add a link to it in this post. If you took the time to read my lil ole blog then I'll gladly promote your literary labor of love.

22 comments:

Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica said...

Thank you for the shout out. i adore your web site and style!!

Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club said...

Looks like you and I have a lot of the same books in the reading que. I just wrote reviews of Crafty Chica, Button It Up and Sew Darn Cute for my blog. Loved all 3. I have the sewing book in my pile and need to give it a gander. So many craft books, so little time.

KB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KB said...

No problem Kathy. Thanks!

Jennifer - I just added your book to my post. It looks awesome!

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