Craft-Along Book Club Featured Author: Blair Stocker of Wise Craft

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Welcome to our first Featured Author post for the Seattle Handmade Craft-Along Book Club! WooHoo!

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We are thrilled to introduce Blair Stocker, blogger at WiseCraftHandmade.com and author of Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love as our very first featured author!

Blair will be present at our meeting in the Stadler Room at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park, WA May 6, 2014 starting at 7pm.

To reserve your spot, please fill out our online registration form: http://bit.ly/SHCABCRegistration

We had a chance to catch up with Blair and asked her a few fun questions to get to know her a little better…enjoy!

Seattle Handmade: What is your first crafting memory?
Blair Stocker:
My maternal grandmother teaching me to knit and create garter stitch slippers with a big pom pom on top at age 4.

SH: Where did the idea for your book come from?
BS:
I love to make things, and I love having a home full of handmade things. I also love limiting myself to what I can either find here on hand, or at the thrift shop. My best ideas come from these self-imposed limitations.

SH: What is your favorite project in the book?
BS:
That’s hard. I love each of the quilts in the book, because quilting is my first love. I adore the leather covered rocks in the Spring chapter, because everyone seems to like them, they aren’t too masculine or feminine. And I love the dipdyed dishes in the Fall chapter, because they turned out exactly as I’d hoped they would.

SH: Where do you find inspiration?
BS:
Often it comes from what I see us using every day here at the house. I want those things to be handmade (placemats, for example). Other times I find inspiration from a bit of household problem solving. Like the time I made a huge beanbag for the family room because there wasn’t enough room on the couch for all of us. Then there are the times that I am inspired by a color combination, a crafty technique, a beautiful shop window.

SH: How do you deal with creative blocks?
BS:
It’s best for me to change up what I’m doing. If I spend too much time looking and comparing myself to what others are doing online, I always feel creatively stifled. When that happens, I try to think about a new technique or do something I never have time to do and make time to do it. I think so often when you have a creative business, you feel guilty making things just for fun or just because you want to. But I’ve found that not only is a fun way to get me out of my block, taking this time has actually helped me be more productive and expand my creativity. For instance, after my book was finished, I tried dyeing fabric for the first time. I’ve always wanted to try it, and finally had the time and materials at hand to give it a go. It was incredibly fun and, as a result, I would like to try and incorporate dye techniques in my work.

SH: Do you have a favorite local supply shop?
BS:
I love all of our local craft and fabric stores, and I go to all of them for different things. Fusion Beads for beads (of course) and, believe it or not, crochet cotton. Weaving Works for wool roving for felting projects, crochet cotton, and beautiful yarn, Michaels and Hobby Lobby for general supplies, Drygoods Design for beautiful fabric and Pacific Fabrics for general quilting/sewing supplies and solid cotton fabric. For thrift store shopping, I love the large Goodwill in the Central District (take a latte with you, you’ll need the fuel).

SH: If you were on a deserted island, what three crafty items would you want with you?
BS:

  • A crochet hook, so I could crochet vines or my hair, cause it would grow long.

  • English Paper Piece Hexagon template

  • Needle and thread (can that count as one?)

SH: If you were a crafty tool, what would you be and why?
BS:
I would be a pair of the most beautiful thread snips. Sewers have been known to wear theirs around their neck strung on a beautiful ribbon, and they are so indispensable, definitely worth fighting over.

Thanks so much for playing along Blair! We are looking forward to hanging out with you on May 6th!

Don’t forget to sign up for this and any of our upcoming Craft-Along Book Club nights!
http://bit.ly/SHCABCRegistration

Blair Stocker is a modern hand maker and prolific creative. In 2005, she left a career in apparel and textile design to stay at home with her small children, and began her blog, Wise Craft, as a way to stay connected to her own creative passions. Putting her skills to work creating inventive DIY projects for her home, quilts, and clever crafts with her children, Blair formed a loyal online following. She and her readers connected through handmade things. Eventually, all this writing lead to a book that was published in March of 2014, Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love. It contains over 60 projects divided by seasons, and spanning crochet, knitting, quilt making, painting, and sewing. Blair designs and sells original quilt patterns as well as original work , teaches handmade crafts, and speaks to groups about running a creative business. Blair lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

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Seattle Handmade Craft-Along Book Club featured books:
  • May 6, 2014                       Wise Craft by Blair Stocker*

  • June 3, 2014                      Doodle Stitching: Fresh and Fun Embroidery for Beginners by Aimee R. Ray

  • July 1, 2014                       I Felt Awesome by Moxie*

  • August 5, 2014                 Quilting Happiness by Diane Gilleland

  • September 2, 2014          Button and Stitch by Kristen Rask

  • October 7, 2014                Soap Crafting by Ann-Marie Faiola*

*Meet the Author Night: The author is scheduled to be in attendance for this meeting!

Purchases via our affiliate links below will help Seattle Handmade continue great programs like this one!

Announcing the Seattle Handmade Craft-along Book Club!

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Update June 22, 2014: Due to low attendance, we have decided to put the Craft-Along Book Club on hiatus for the Summer. We will return in the Fall with more craft book goodness! Sign up for our newsletter to receive all the updates!

As a part of our ongoing commitment to offer new and exciting ways for our creative community to connect, we are thrilled to announce our new monthly event: the Seattle Handmade Craft-Along Book Club!

What is a Craft-Along Book Club?
Our Craft-Along Book Club will feature a craft project/technique book at the beginning of each month. Participating members and guests will have one month to acquire the book (purchase, check out at the library, borrow from a friend), read it, and then create a project either from or based on the book!

Then we’ll meet together every First Tuesday from 7:00pm – 9:00pm in the Stadler Room at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park to talk about the book, discuss our projects (finished or in-process), and discuss the next book on our list! We are planning to have some of the book authors present at some of our meetings so we can talk about the book with the awesome people who wrote it!

What kind of books are on the roster?
We have chosen our first six crafty books for our May – October meetings:

  • May 6, 2014                       Wise Craft by Blair Stocker*

  • June 3, 2014                      Doodle Stitching: Fresh and Fun Embroidery for Beginners by Aimee R. Ray

  • July 1, 2014                       I Felt Awesome by Moxie*

  • August 5, 2014                 Quilting Happiness by Diane Gilleland

  • September 2, 2014          Button and Stitch by Kristen Rask

  • October 7, 2014                Soap Crafting by Ann-Marie Faiola*

*Meet the Author Night: The author is scheduled to be in attendance for this meeting!

What are the meetings going to look like?
Meetings will be fun and casual, encouraging input, participation, and sharing.

In general, we’ll begin each meeting with brief participant introductions, then move on to project show-and-tell. We’ll discuss the book, the projects, and share what we have learned from the book.

Conversations will naturally emerge from our interactions – so be prepared to have a good time!

What will I be expected to bring to the meetings?

We recommend bringing:

  • Your book and any notes and/or questions about the book

  • Your completed OR in-progress project from (or based on) the book

  • OR – bring your thoughts on which project you’d like to try if you weren’t able to start one that month!

  • Most importantly, a great attitude!

How much does it cost to participate in the Craft-Along Book Club?

  • If you are a current paid member of Seattle Handmade**, there is No Charge for participation! (yay for awesome membership perks!)

  • If you are NOT a paid member of Seattle Handmade, the participation fee is just $5 per meeting.

**Annual membership to Seattle Handmade is $40 per year.

If you’d like to join us as a paid member, please visit our Membership FAQ page here:  http://seattlehandmade.com/about-us/faq/

Or, if you are ready to sign up right now, you can go directly to the membership payment page here: http://seattlehandmade.com/member/

Craft-Along Book Club sounds like fun! How do I sign up?
Fill out this form and submit it to save your spot in the meetings you want to attend:

http://bit.ly/SHCABCRegistration

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us anytime at info@seattlehandmade.com

See you at the next Craft-Along Book Club!

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Purchases via our affiliate links below will help Seattle Handmade continue great programs like this one!