Thursday, October 30, 2008

U-M alumni magazine interview

The publicity train steams on. After a year of plotting, LSA Magazine (which goes out to all U-M alumni who were in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts) features a three-page interview on me and The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life. The editor who interviewed me, Lara Zielin, was a delight (and my new best friend) and I'm tickled pink by the results, although I might have been a bit too forthcoming about my life. Download the entire article (scroll down to "Alumni" and click on "The Prairie Queen."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

She's crafty - she knows all the moves

I can't get enough of whacking letters into silver these days. My latest is a necklace that includes some choice Beastie Boys lyrics: "This girl is crafty like ice is cold." Sweet, huh? I attached the bar to some waxed linen and was good to go.

What lyrics would you want on a bracelet or necklace?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Putting on the "dating expert" hat

My latest contribution to the world of dating is featured in this CNN article. Read it. Love it. Go bowling.

Tutorial: Make a feather headband

My newest tutorial is up on CraftStylish. With only a few materials, you can whip up an elegant but low-budget feather headband.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines

I've been pretty much drooling over my copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines ever since I picked it up. Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne are not only hilarious in that "I want them to be my best friends" kind of way, but they have compiled some seriously gorgeous garments in the book.

Here, in the order that I want to knit them, are my favorites:
  • Baby Dotty Blanket
  • Fern Kids' Sweater (please, I want the grown-up pattern for this one!)
  • Picnic Bag
  • Cardi Cozy
  • Metropole
  • Flapotis
  • Margaret
  • Mitered Hanging Towel
Usually when I get a craft book, I sort of skim the pages looking for the one or two projects that I can actually see myself knitting up. With this book, there is no weak link. I want every single project.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

LifeDev interview up

As if I don't talk about myself enough, I just did a Q&A about the creative process with LifeDev, a website to empower to creative people. Jacqueline Wolven of Moxie did a great job on the interrogation. If you're curious, give it a read.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Teleseminar tonight: call in and join the fun!

I'll be doing an "As the Expert" teleseminar tonight with Darcey Howard of LifeStyled. We'll be chatting about how to write a book proposal, the creative process, and I don't know what else. But the great thing is that YOU can call in.

At 6pm PST, simply call 1-218-936-4700. When asked for an access code, punch in 957019. That's it. You'll be able to hear Darcey and me chatting and then we'll take your questions. I'd love to hear from you, especially if you have any burning questions for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The bird mobile is up and running

My lovely and talented and beautiful friend Melissa made me this gorgeous bird mobile for my birthday. It arrived last week and I finally managed to hang it today. How cool is this? Seriously? It makes my crib look so stylish.

Check out Melissa's other crafty pursuits on her flickr page.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Make a photo strip garland

Perhaps my favorite post to date, my photo booth photo strip garland tutorial is up on CraftStylish and the garland is hanging in my office. As many of you know, I have a slight, uh, problem: I've never met a photo booth I didn't insist on slipping into with whoever happens to be with me. It's often on the boardwalk in Rehoboth and alcohol has usually preceded it (sorry, Richard!) but I've also gotten strips at Coney Island, El Vez (or that bar near the Electric Factory) in Philly, the Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor, the Sub Pop Music Festival this summer, Laurel's wedding a few weeks back, the Tractor Tavern (that particular strip isn't suitable for public consumption, however) and other assorted and sundry locales. I took some of my B-list strips and created a cool tree garland or window banner. Cool, eh?

If you have a thing for photo booths, there's a handy website to help you locate one near you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Make your table setting "pop"

Last night, I had the girls over for lasagna and talk of Laurel's Roman honeymoon. The spicy sausage lasagna was one of my best trays ever and perfectly followed up the antipasti platter Lil put together. We usually eat around the coffee table but I actually set the Formica this time. I forgot to buy flowers and I didn't have any tapers so I was a bit at a loss as to what to use as a centerpiece.

Being Halloween, I did have a bag of Tootsie Pops.

Being in the middle of nature craft projects, I also had sand on hand.

And with my black thumb, I definitely had a bunch of empty herb pots.

Here's the result. Cute, huh?

And while the photo didn't really turn out (we had consumed a lot of wine by that point), the Obama cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes were absolutely delicious.

Monday, October 13, 2008

AfterGlow show this weekend!

AfterGlow is the answer to your holiday shopping prayers. Come out to Ola Salon in West Seattle this Sunday to get inspired by design, indulge in personal pampering, and get energized by real conversation. And of course, I'll be there signing a variety of my books, so I'd love to chat and see how I can help you cross off items on your holiday gift list (if you're organized enough to have one already).

AfterGlow will showcase handcrafted, one-of-a-kind, unique items created by women-owned businesses. Choose from local designer collections of clothing, hats and headdresses, shoes, handbags, jewelry, fashion accessories, and the latest in aromatherapy products and home d├ęcor. Fabulous finds and gift ideas for the upcoming holidays will be plentiful!

Attendees can also get fresh new ideas for skin, hair and make-up, and can indulge in full services on a first-come, first-served basis. Fall is a great time to be a bit daring!

Exclusive raffle packages will also be available, with all proceeds benefiting NorthWest Hope & Healing, a West Seattle-based charity.

Oh, and did I mention Tarot, Belly Dancing, Wine & Nibbles? AfterGlow has got you covered for a little ‘me’ time on Sunday afternoon.

October 19th, 2008
Ola Salon, 2942 SW Avalon Way

AfterGlow is a free event. Come one, come all.

For a Vendor List & Event Details, please visit:

Tutorial: Make a pair of silver hoops

My latest CraftStylish tutorial has gone live. Learn how to make a pair of gorg silver hoops in a half an hour. You can seriously turn out all your chick holiday gifts in an afternoon. The ones I made in the photo are giant and fierce so I made another smaller pair for everyday wear.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quasi-crafty weekend

It's been a delightful and full weekend. I've visited friends, laid in bed with Mac Daddy reading The Monster of Florence (which is terrific if you like historical nonfiction serial killer stories set in the hills of Tuscany, which I apparently do), cleaned up the crib, checked out a trunk show at Velouria of lovely Susan's Una designs, and got to crafting.

Inspired by my stamped bracelet tutorial of last week, I got to conceiving a two-tiered necklace with one of my favorite quotes: "By words the mind is winged" (Aristophanes). For the necklace, I decided to go meaningful rather than embrace my love of cheese: "It's my way or the highway" (Roadhouse), "I want my two dollars" (Better Off Dead), "This one goes to eleven." (This Is Spinal Tap), and "Just a small-town girl, living in a lonely world" ("Don't Stop Believin' by Journey) were all contenders that I eventually ruled out. Here's the uneven result (that's a pen hanging off the pendant). It's a work in progress and but I'm road-testing it right now.

What would you want stamped on your bracelet or necklace?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I am SO part of the zeitgeist

As I have been sitting here watching the presidential debate, knitting a project for my next Prairie Girl's book, and talking politics and crafts with my craftanista friend Michaela, I remembered that I did an AP interview that was dropping today. Check it out: it's about crafting in this crap-ass economy.

I also wrote a post on CraftStylish about crafting and the economy, which delves into many of the same issues (can you tell it's all I'm thinking about?).

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject. How do you save money (if at all) through your hobby? How are you hunkering down in this economic climate?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tutorial: Make a stamped bracelet

My latest tutorial is up on CraftStylish. This week I'm showing y'all how to make a cool stamped bracelet. Once you make one, you'll find all sorts of phrases, lyrics, and words to put on your jewelry.

Friday, October 3, 2008

AfterGlow shopping experience on October 19

Come out to the Ola Salon in West Seattle (2942 SW Avalon Way) on October 19 from 1–5 for a great show of hand-crafted and unique items run by women-owned businesses. I'll be on hand to sign a variety of my books, from The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life to Backcountry Betty to, uh, more racy titles from my past life as a saucy relationship expert.

I'd love to see you! For more information on the event, check out the AfterGlow blog my pal Sandra set up for the occasion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm speechless

Those Mason-Dixon gals are at it again

Fellow knitters, check this out. It's from my knitting idols and friends Ann Shayne (who incidentally took that photo of me on the tractor) and Kay Gardiner, the Mason-Dixon Knitting gals (who have a super-duper book out this fall: Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines). They are priceless.

A sampling of my books