Embrace Your Inner Monster

For years I have been making monsters. I make monsters for babies, kids, adults and pets. There is something so therapeutic about bringing a small beast that springs wholly from your imagination to life. They have horns, a tutu or only one tooth, each monster is one of a kind and captures some aspect of it's maker's soul. Making monsters is an exercise in self exploration.

I love watching kids draw a creature from their imagination and then help them to realize they have the skills to bring their monster to life....without worrying about the sewing rules that bind them to a pattern.

There is a time and a place for precision and attention to detail in sewing, but monster making is all about going with your gut and bringing an idea to life.

I often encourage students at Craft Camp to embrace their "wonkiness", make eyes that are two different sizes, use orange thread while sewing on green monster eyes and above all to love the final, unexpected birth of what their efforts create when they make a monster.

You could measure two legs to be exactly the same size, or use a compass to get a perfect circular head, but where is the fun in that? Experiment, go crazy, let your inner monster out and save the precision and ruler for a quilting class.

We all have a little monster in us and this time of year, more than any other, we should let that monster out to run wild.

Macrame Madness

I am in LOVE with macrame. Not your mother's 1970's macrame, but huge installation size pieces like these large scale works by Sally England , these are the pieces that first grabbed my interest. I heard an interview with Sally on the Craft Sanity podcast while I was driving one day and I extended my trip just to hear the end of the interview. I immediately started following Sally on Instagram, ordered an old school macrame book because I couldn't even find a newly published one and started trying to track down supplies. I became obsessed.....

Photo from www.sallyengland.com

Photo from www.sallyengland.com

With Sally's interior work.....

Photo from www.sallyengland.com

Photo from www.sallyengland.com

and with the physical process of making large macrame pieces......

 and most of all with Sally's large scale, modern, installation size pieces. As my thirst for macrame grew, I became frustrated with the patterns and instructions in my outdated book. Finally, almost a year later, I had the opportunity to go to a macrame workshop with Annabel Wrigley. Annabel untied the mystery of the knots, no pattern needed, just a working knot vocabulary. I was off and running, or knotting as the case may be. Now I can look at a piece like this huge two story owl, created by Andy Harman, currently on display in the SOHO, Manhattan, J. Crew store and understand how to create it myself, if I had a huge warehouse, scaffolding and the thousands of yards of raffia needed to bring it to life that is.

I am lucky enough to be doing custom macrame work, along with filling my own home with knots-a-plenty. I get the occasional wrinkled nose, along with an "I remember my mother doing that" comment, but I know sooner rather than later macrame is going to be BIG again and 'knot' just in an Anthropolgie store display or in the window of a hip Brooklyn eatery. Macrame is coming to a living room near you! Consider yourself warned.

If you are interested in untying the mystery of macrame, or just having a drink and a giggle, join us at Craft Camp for Mimosas and Macrame on Saturday, October 3rd. You never know....you may find yourself tied to a new obsession.

Flower Power

We spent a hot humid afternoon taking shelter from the heat and making these easy tissue paper flowers for the ceiling in the Craft Camp sewing room. They are cheap and cheerful!! You can make them any size depending on the size of the tissue paper you use. Of course for my purposes bigger was better, but how cute would some small flowers be on a locker ceiling? Love it! See directions below the photo

Just take 12 sheets of tissue paper (I used solid and some ombre style) and fan fold all 12 sheets together. Trim the short ends into a semi-circle then gather in the center of the fan with floral wire and tie tightly, leaving plenty of wire to hang your flower with. Then just gently separate the layers of tissue paper and form into a flower. The best part is, they are so light they can be hung with Washi tape. Do we need any more reasons to hoard that wonderful stuff?

I Am Standing Here Beside Myself!

I am beside myself with anticipation. Craft Camp is about to launch...well the web site is. After a summer full of enjoyable trial and error, fabulous test camps, and getting sew my crafty little heart out it is finally time to make it real! Soon my new little downstairs studio will be filled with kids discovering for themselves the power of creating! They will be weaving, sewing, quilting and making enough pom poms and tassels to fill a small Airstream! The power of creating something of your very own, all by yourself is a strong one, one that I can't wait to share with my crafty compatriots!

If you are here now....

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to Craft Camp! If you are here now, I probably met you this weekend at the Maker's Summit and you are probably noticing this camp site looks a heck of a lot like the template SquareSpace provides.....Well, that's because it is! It will evolve over the next few days (let's get serious, weeks? months?) in the mean time, come find, friend, and chat with me on Instagram, Pinterest, or even good 'ol fashioned Facebook.

I look forward to getting to know all of you better. OK, drove eight hours last night to get home. Time for coffee! I LOVE Makers!