Hittin’ the Road

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Books I Wrote, Events | 2 comments

Tomorrow, at the ass-crack of dawn (credit to a friend from university for introducing that one into my daily vernacular lo so many years ago), Leanne and I will go to the airport to fly to San Francisco, where we’ll meet up with Betsy for our first book tour event (at The Booksmith).

After that, it’ll be an event every day but Saturday, in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. Then we’ll be home for a week before we hit the east coast for the second leg of the tour.

I’ve got my U.S. SIM card ready to go, so there will be much Instagramming and tweeting throughout the adventure. (I will, however, likely be quite slow to reply to email and to questions and comments in my Craftsy class. FYI.)

Rena Tom has already tweeted that she intends to bring up the topic of craft and gender, so tomorrow night’s event is sure to be sparkly and possibly even intense.  And Kate Bingaman-Burt may or may not bring up Joss Whedon at the panel discussion in Portland on Sunday.

If (when!) you come to an event, please don’t be shy! I’m so excited to see you.

Book-tour Workshops: The Skinny

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in Events, Mighty Ugly | 0 comments

In five days, I’ll be getting on a plane. For an honest-to-gods book tour. With two of my favourite women. To visit you. And bookstores. And crafty spaces. My head is spinning.

In addition to the signings and panel discussions we’ll be doing in every city we visit (please come!), Leanne, Betsy and I have developed a workshop we’ll be offering at three venues only – at MakeShift Society in San Francisco, at Tillamook Station in Portland (hosted by Maker’s Nation as part of Design Week Portland), and at MakeShift Society in Brooklyn.

We’ve created a 90-minute progression of exercises that build on each of our strengths and interests, combined with the goal of walking participants through a thoughtful, creative-demon-busting experience.

The workshop will begin with an abbreviated Mighty Ugly exercise, during which participants will make an ugly creature. Then Leanne will take over, focusing the next half-hour on crafting a story for/about/related to that creature. Finally, Betsy will conclude the session with a focus on mending – is there ugliness that can be smoothed over? Fixed? (Should it be?) How does mending fit into our experience as crafters, artists, humans?

Because we developed the workshop together, in such a way that weaves each of us into it, we’ll only be offering it when we’re together. Which, for now, looks to be only during the west-coast and east-coast legs of this book tour.

Which is to say, next month will likely be your only opportunity to take this workshop!

We’re all quite excited to do this together, and we’re very interested to see what we learn from our participants as we go. Please come on this adventure with us. Because we’ll be traveling very light by necessity, and also to make things more fun, we’re asking all workshop participants to gather up a bunch of scrap materials to bring with them – bits and bobs from the recycling bin, fabric scraps, yarn bits, toilet-paper rolls, pop-can tabs, whatever. Scissors and glue, etc. will be provided. Oh, and we’ll probably have some books on-hand to sell and sign, if you’re interested!

Here are the details and links to register:

On the fence about doing a workshop? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to convince you to come. Because you should definitely come. It’s going to be amazeballs.

workshop image

Craftcation Conference 2015: Registration Is Now!

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Events | 2 comments


I’m so thrilled to be presenting at Craftcation again next spring! The idea of the event is that it’s a vacation for your business. Not from it, for it. It’s one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to.

I’ll be leading a Mighty Ugly workshop, moderating a panel on seeking balance as a working parent, and doing some sort of amazeballs thing related to #yearofmaking.

The conference offers sessions related to business and also sessions related to craft. Like, this year I took a class on how to make soy candles. There’s also fabulous evening programming, from keynotes to a dance party.

And all of it is located by the beach. Mmm. The beach.

Early-bird registration is open! Come. Take your business on a holiday.

Focus, man. Watch this.

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Creativity, Failure | 3 comments

When was the last time you were as focused as this woman? Yukie Ota was playing flute at a very intense music competition when a butterfly landed on her face. On her face. This level of focus is an awe-inspiring achievement. I’d like to do more things that require a small fraction of the discipline this required:

[via NextDraft]

Huge Craftsy Sale (My Class Included)!

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Blather | 0 comments

Craftsy’s put all their classes on sale! So today is your lucky day, because not only do you get to load up on really good classes (not just crochet ones, obviously, so poke around!), you also get to see me in this ridiculous photo. Again. (Note: This photo of me is pretty much the only thing I don’t like about this sale. This sale is amazeballs. Craftsy classes are great, and I’m not saying that only because I love the class I teach there.) Go forth, dear readers, and make stuff!

Craftsy Fall Sale

Video: By All Means Create

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Creativity, Mighty Ugly, Why I Love Vancouver | 0 comments

Opus Art Supplies was the sponsor of the Creative Mornings talk I gave last month, and they asked me to be part of a video series they’re doing that’s inspired by something Van Gogh said:


“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”


Well that’s pretty much perfect, right?

Can I hear that a little louder?

I mean, come on. You want that quote tattooed on your arm, I know it.

Watch the other videos in the series here.

Book Tour Events: Facebook RSVPs

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Books I Wrote, Events | 0 comments

Please soothe my excitement/panic about how soon our book tour is by letting us know if you’ll be coming to our tour events! Leanne has spent hours and hours this week creating events on Facebook so we and our hosts can sorta kinda know how many people to expect. (I know, Facebook. Ugh. But their event feature allows for super easy RSVPs and invitations, so there you have it. Note that the Smithsonian event requires a free ticket.)

A different local artist/maker/thinker will host us at each event! It’ll be a panel-discussion format, so each event will be unique. The discussion will be followed by Q&A and a book signing. I’m so excited about it all! (The three workshops are, obviously, different. Leanne, Betsy and I developed the workshop just for this tour. There will be making and thinking and storytelling [and the option for book-signing].)

Here are the links! Please invite your friends, too!

San Francisco: The Booksmith

Oakland: Diesel Bookstore

San Francisco: Makeshift Society SF workshop (paid registration required)

Portland: Tillamook Station workshop (paid registration required) (no FB event for this one)

Portland: Powell’s Books

Seattle: Creative Arts Center

Vancouver, BC: Hot Art Wet City

Toronto: Textile Museum of Canada

Philadelphia: University of the Arts

Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art

New York: Brooklyn Craft Company

New York: Makeshift Society Brooklyn workshop (paid registration required)

Washington, DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum (free ticket required)