Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Expanding Craft Community

I’m beat.

I’ve been in California since Sunday working the CHA trade show on behalf of Craftstylish. I was hoping that this show and being surrounded by crafters, craft tools, and cool materials would recharge me, provide an antidote to the sickly few weeks I’ve had.

Yeah, not so much.

No matter where I go, I’m still there lugging around all my baggage. But I made the most of it. I loved, loved, loved meeting my fellow Craftstylish bloggers and other various craft authors. I have craft crushes on them all. So I thought I’d take some space to write them a virtual thank-you note for what they gave me this weekend.

I feel I could be lifelong friends with Diane Gilleland. A fellow Northwesterner, Diane exudes intelligence and quiet confidence from every pore. A thoughtful speaker, I hang on every word, as I know it’s said with consideration and deliberation. I can’t wait to roadtrip to Portland with Michaela to hang out with Diane and Susan Beal.

Erika Kern is downright wackalicious, which makes her downright delicious. Wildly talented, I found her to be a partner in crime for my snarkiness and irreverent chatter.

I want to move to New York in the hopes that I can rub elbows with Jeff Rudell upon occasion. He doesn’t know it but he’s my new gay boyfriend. Okay, I just got so excited that I spilled cold water down my shirt (I’m on the plane as I write this). He’s a genius, sure, but he’s got miles of personality and a huge heart to match his height (dude is tall).

Kayte Terry is so talented and style just exudes from her, so it's no wonder that she's a stylist as well as crafty gal. After hanging out with her, I want to start tucking my jeans into knee boots and growing my hair out.

Deana Tierney is so self-possessed. Her poise and calm will serve her well as she takes over the reins at Threads magazine and continues to post for Craftstylish. I'm glad I got to spend some quality time with her at Buca di Beppo (I wish I could also say I enjoyed their Celebration Cake, which is definitely NOT a red velvet cake. Yuck!).

Jessica Aframe did an exceptional job with show logistics and keeping everyone on schedule. While she works behind the scenes much of the time, she worked the booth like the rent was due and learned to crochet in her "spare" time.

Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo was working tirelessly at the Duncan booth for much of the show but she still managed to pop over to the Craftstylish booth and chat with us. I'm going to bring a lot more glitter into my life, both literally and figuratively.

Creative Juice hosts Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza were also working hard at the show, doing "make and take" projects with show-goers. But they were sweet as pie (mmm, pie) and are a great example of why the craft world is so generous and supportive.

Speaking of generous spirits, Sarah Hodsdon of sarah*n*dipitous delighted us all with her giving, giddy personality. She works a lot with teens in Michigan and they all helped to build her amazing cardboard booth, a showstopper and show winner for best booth. She helped to remind me that whatever you put out into the world will come back to you tenfold. While crafting is serious business, it's also about passion and joy.

And then there's the driving force behind Craftstylish. In less than a year, storyteller, writer, editor, and crafter Michaela Murphy has become one of my closest friends and mentors. Her indomitable spirit makes her a formidable, larger-than-life woman who doesn't see the limitations, only the opportunity. She makes life big, and I can't help but be inspired and energized whenever I'm lucky enough to spend time with her.

I'll post more on the sights and sounds of the show in the next few days.


Michaela said...

Wow Jen, thank you, thank you. Your kind words mean much coming from the Malcolm Gladwell of the crafty set. Thanks for all you did to get the CraftStylish word out at CHA.
XO, Michaela

SisterDG said...

Girl, I so agree - we're buds for good. Meeting you was one of my favorite parts of the show. And I don't think anyone felt you as sad - you were delightful. I'm sending you all kinds of good energies for this new year. XO

deana said...

Thanks so much Jen! It was such a pleasure meeting you as well. You are just awesome. Thanks for all your hard work at CHA and I hope we get to see you again soon!
All best, Deana

jessica aframe said...

Thanks Jen!

A sampling of my books