Monday, October 31, 2011

the recycled owly craft activism party

I'm trying something new: Photo Heavy Monday. Yeah, I know it's not alliterative and cute. I'll work on that. Meanwhile, let's kick it with the Craft Activism booksigning & craft party at Brooklyn General Store.
Craft Activism book event
Craft Activism party owls 
Caitlin is our email pal and editor's assistant and most importantly, a crafter extraordinaire.
  Craft Activism book vetns

In which author Joan Tapper realizes the Sharrow sweater is just her size, but can't bear to remove her Hot Stuff apron- both of which are conveniently Craft Activism projects. If you want them, too.
 Heather, far right, came up with the owly project, inspired by the section on recycled crafting.
 Craft Activism book vetns 
Joan shows the Ocelot scarf, a pattern in Craft Activism.
Craft Activism book event 
Our Tech Editor Dorothy Orzel, with one of her former fashion design students.
Craft Activism book event
Craft Activism book event 
Above, what happens when a professional accessories designer gets crafting.
Craft Activism recycling 
This one's by Arline, my Imperial Cookies baker friend. She brought us ginger snaps.
Craft Activism book event
Kay Gardiner 's owly. We expected mitered wings. 

Craft Activism owls 
Mother daughter owls from my sister Marla McLean & niece, Ariana. 
Craft Activism owls 
It turns out sisters craft alike, too.
There are a few more photos of owly crafting over on my Flickr stream. The owly project was dreamt up by Brooklyn General, inspired by Crispina ffrench's work in the book. More about Brooklyn General over on the Craft Activism blog.

Friday, October 14, 2011

rhinebeck, ny s&w, and other signs o' the season

There are reasons to embrace deep autumn. Start with the obvious: Rhinebeck aka NY Sheep & Wool Festival.
I'll head there at dawn tomorrow with  sister Lulu, and the trunk show for Craft Activism. I'll be booksigning & showing & telling with a passel* of contributing designer/craft activists from the book, although not with Joan, as listed (she is in Cali) in Building B at:
Craft Activism book signing Saturday Oct 15 2:30-4  &  Sunday Oct 16 11-12:30
*passel = Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne of Mason Dixon Knitting, Ann Weaver of WeaverKnits, Kirsten Karpur of Through the Loops, Maryse Roudier & Rebecca Hatcher (actually I am not 100% clear on Rebecca )
 Not sure what I will do with this,  fr Enchanted Knoll Farms, at Fiber College. I call it my one skein wonder. Pretty, yes?
How about a Q&A for this year's visit? Sure..why not? Wait , is that a question or an answer? And, that, is that a question? um, I'd better start.
Q: so, aside form the booksigning, are you doing anything special?
A: I'm a SQUARE! I am oddly excited about this.
Q: How will you be recognized, like, watcha wearing?
A: I'm not good about planning outfits but this'll clue you in: I got a really bad haircut this week, it somehow rendered my hair curly, poufy and frizzy all at once. I can't do anything except chop it all off. Or cover it. I'm thinking Calorimetry. Plus my amazing intense turquoise sneakers with Edison soles.
Q: Any big shopping plans?
A: Nah. Most years I go with an idea  to scope out yarn for a specific project or two and then I get overwhelmed. Its just so much of a good thing, y'know? This year, I'm open to all outcomes. Kind of a Buddhist approach, no attachments.  Buttons, books, accessories, consumables...yarn. Probably won't come home with livestock though. It's good to have limits.
Q: Ummm, not to be pushy but..what about the photo thing from last year? Doing it again? and..will we ever see those 1817 images?
A: Not  this year--see booksigning/trunk show above--but maybe next? It was fun. I'd loooove to get more people involved, maybe with  animals too. I feel so GUILTY about putting this big edit aside. It's been a very busy year..I will get to them. I WILL!
----for details about other places I will be booksigning--with the real live visiting Joan Tappper- see the sidebar on our CRAFT ACTIVISM BLOG-----
Another sign o'the season- Monday was the last day of 2011 for the lobster shack in town. The shack is in the one of the marinas by a closed down factory, near the harbor  in the center of our town, I kind of love the old industrial mixed with the shiny nautical.
ps. It was delicious.As always.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

join me at Webs Th Oct 6 6-7:30

pssst---stop by for a visit on the new blog for our book, Craft Activism
Booksigning & trunk show at Webs in Northampton MA ! Play dress up in the Craft Activism samples. Stacey did * !
and so did Julia, below, one of the Knit New Haven triumvirate. She totally rocked the Bella Brooklyn modern housedress. This quickie hipstamatic doesn't do her justice. Most of the samples are knit or crochet, so you'll have plenty of inspiration. More photos here, photo credits & art direction by Stacey (thanks! I tell you, she is always super talented but whew, talk about multi-tasking the other night). I do believe we launched a couple of new Fussy Cuts  blankets on the spot .

Hope to see you there! There's no charge , though they ask you to call ahead and say you are coming, info on the link to Webs up top.... but if you show up last minute, you'll be welcome anyway. 
(and if you show up early, like me, you'll be yarn & knitting book shopping. Oh, c'mon, its Webs,for crying out loud.  It's almost criminal to leave empty handed, have you seen the back room??!!)
• • • •

* Stacey did an impromptu fashion show of several pieces,  here she is in the Tongue-in-Chic skirt bu Austin artist Virgina Fleck, who works in recycled plastic bags, saving them from the landfill while making mandalas, art and fashion statements.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

red scarf win-win-win

No secret: I'm a big fan & cheerleader for the Red Scarf project, run by Foster Care for Success (formerly known as Orphan Foundation of America).
Before I go any further, go enter Norma's contest to support the Red Scarf Scholarship fund and win a copy of Craft Activism. In which there's a chapter on same. 

At this point my connections to the Red Scarf Project are so  intermingled I can't untangle them. Seriously I just tried.  What began as a personal connection (knitter, adoptive parent, photojournalist covering the foster care system) connected  to work, new friends, inspiration......holy crap there's so much, if I had the teeniest bit of fiction writing talent I could turn it into a fabulous chicklit book. But, it would not be fiction. If you know what I am saying.
How about some behind the scenes look at the Red Scarf project in the new book?
You can't write about Craft Activism without crafting for a cause. Red Scarf is a perfect example. You can read the chapter excerpted  to learn why. Anyhoo, when I called Norma to say we wanted to feature her,  she was cleaning the guest room before we got off the phone.
I'd had a chat about my photographic approach with a design director at my publisher, and promised her I'd play around with a lighting source & setup she said Martha Stewart favors (Martha & I share this publisher). It's very flattering & gentle lighting, it shows textiles and women-of-a-certain-age in a beautiful glow.
Ahem, NOT that Norma is anywhere near Martha's certain age.
However , it almost killed me, with tons of shlepping & setup and does not lend itself at all well to my kinetic style.Those who took my advanced lighting class at Fiber College got to give it a whirl, though. I'd use it again only for a very staged shot, or still life work.
A lot of crafting in support of causes involves knitting community, so we were at Norma's LYS, the quite wonderful Kaleidoscope Yarn in Essex Junction VT.  Jill, the owner, is a big supporter of Red Scarf, and so are her daughters.
This is Norma, shop worker Shawn, and Joan red scarfing it up.
If you're wondering about the sweaters shown on the subjects, it's not a staged thing. It was February, and let me put it this way. If you a take a right hand turn out of Norma's driveway, you  cross into Canada in about 15 minutes. Very north. Very wool country.  Knitters paradise. Go visit! Or at least go knit a Red Scarf, deadline December 15.