Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Made It Myself!


By Kate

I’m probably the least “crafty” person I know. I can’t paint. I can’t knit. I can’t scrapbook. (I’m not even sure what that means!)

I tried to throw pots once but all I did was…well, threw pots. Like, across the room. Wet clay went everywhere. What a mess.

I used to sew but I don’t do that anymore. I can’t even bake a pie.

So when I sat down and tried to come up with a hook for a new mystery series, I knew it couldn’t be anything to do with crafts.

I was a craft-free zone.

Or so I thought. But then I remembered that I was actually good at making something crafty. Just one thing.

I used to make books. Yes, make books. Anyone can write a book, but make a book? Ha!

When I was a little girl, I used to make books all the time. I’d collect the cardboard inserts from my father’s laundered shirts, then cut them up, line them up with paper and punch holes, and tie it up with a pretty ribbon. I’d draw a picture on the outside cover, then give it to my mom or my grandmother or a girlfriend. I’m sure they rolled their eyes as I walked away. They were probably wondering where the story was, but my work was done. I just made the book. Someone else could write the story!

Years later, I’d recall those rustic bookbinding skills and used them as a basis for selling my mystery series based on a bookbinder as the protagonist. Coincidence or destiny? You be the judge!

These are photos of some of the books I've made and a bit of the process involved.

Each of these books represents a different bookbinding technique.

This flowery cloth is unusual, and the threads used to sew the paper to the cover are braided to create a natural bookmark.




These linen strips are sewn to the pages and keep them all together. Then the strips are stuck under the endpapers and glued to the book itself.



So that's my craft. What's yours? I know there are lots of other amazingly crafty people here in the Lair, so tell me about the arts and crafts you love. Any knitters out there? How about that scrapbooking thing? Or crochet? Photography? Painting? Tell us what gets you crafty. I’ve got a $15 Amazon gift certificate to give away to one random commenter today!

109 comments:

jo robertson said...

Wow, Kate, what an unusal craft, one I've never heard of!! I can imagine your little self proudly putting that book together and charging someone ELSE with the writing part. How ironic!

I used to quilt, embroider, and sew, but not so much any more. I still enjoy my scrapbooking from time to time, but writing is both my vocation and my avocation.

jo robertson said...

And wahoooooo, the rooster is mine. Hmmm, I made some blueberry cobbler today; maybe I'll ply him with that and keep him fat and happy.

Minna said...

I knit and crochet. And make scrapbooks. Although probably not the way you are "supposed" to make them. I don't have any theme in my scrapbooks or fancy books where to put the scraps. I just have booklets where I put stickers, pictures and comics and other stuff that look nice or fun. And I was doing this before I had even heard the term scrapbooking.

Minna said...

I actually got this idea when I saw a folder one of my class mates had decorated with texts she had cut from a news paper.

Helen said...

Well done Jo

Kate they are really lovely I am sorry to say I am not a crafty person either although I can knit and crochet although I haven't done any for a long while I have done some embroidery in my younger days as well and really enjoyed it but alas with working 40 hours a week and keeping up with my reading I just don't have the time anymore I do love those books Kate.

Have Fun
Helen

Natalie Hatch said...

I love to quilt but so do my 18month old twins, they love to help me, so I've put that hobby up for the moment, perhaps in two years when they're busy with their own things I can get the sewing machine out again. I love photography and have had to teach it to year 12s.

Margay said...

I love crafts! My favorite thing to do is knit because there's such a sense of accomplishment at the end. Last year, I made my older daughter a Harry Potter scarf (like the one Harry wears) and then all of her friends had to have one in their favorite house colors - I think I ended up doing about seven besides the one for my daughter! This year, my mother and I are getting stuff ready for craft fairs and Etsy - aprons, bibs, appliqued hangings and tablerunners, etc. And sometime or the other, I am going to learn to watercolor. I have all the supplies, just not the time. Yet.

ArkieRN said...

I just started knitting. Have knitted about a foot and a half of an afghan. Also, I like to cross-stitch and do plastic canvas crafts.

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Wow, that is so cool. I wish I could do that.

Crafts? I can crochet. Can't sew. But I don't like getting things messy. (My Poor Kids) But, my sometimes nanny loves crafts of all sorts and makes up for my lack of. lol

I'm not a crafty person. I rarely crochet these days. Takes too much time away from writing. When my kids were babies, I used to do it and rock their bouncy chairs with my free foot so they would sleep. Those days are gone :)

Joan said...

You really make books? Even now?

HOw utterly cool!

I actually was out shopping for a 4 year old's birthday party this weekend and found a "Create your own Storybook" kit for her! I thought that was different.

Yes, I know how to do a lot of crafts and have devoted myself to them at various times of my life. Right now back into the knitting. I have ONE more baby afghan and then pending more impregnation that will be it for a while!

Marisa O'Neill said...

Kate, you've hit a spot so near and dear to my heart. I LOVE to craft!! I have an entire room devoted to my crafts. I make altered books and ATC's(artist trading cards). I have every conceivable gadget,a room full of all kinds of paper, every color of paint, pencil, marker and ink. Stamps, scissors of every variety, clay, paint brushes,sponges and the list goes on. I can spend hours in my room just making stuff.

What you do not know is that I'm not very good at it, but I love to do it and I give away my finished 'masterpieces' to friends and family. They all indulge me and put these 'works of art' around their homes when ever I come over. What can I say, they love me.

For me crafting is a time when I can relax and express myself with no rules - just do what ever I feel,no inner critique, just let it fly!

I love the books you've made and have taken a book binding course, it was so much fun.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

That is so cool!! I have never seen anyone make a book before. When you were older did you take a class in how to do all that or just figure it out on your own?
I used to be crafty but haven't done a whole lot of anything in some years. I used to sew, embroidery, cross stitch, crochet, pretty much anything to do with needles and thread or yarn except knitting. I never did get the hang of that.
Congrats on the wooster Jo, keep your eye on him though, I think he has been up to mischief again at Anna's house.

Caren Crane said...

Kate, what gorgeous books! I was about to declare myself a craft-free zone as well...then someone mentioned embroidery and needlepoint.

Let me hasten to say, I do NONE of these things now, but as a teenager I did needlepoint and embroidery. My mother has HUGE framed samplers I did and I have a bag of stuff I worked on back in the day and never framed. I even have a gorgeous pillow I simply never finished.

When the kids were young, I painted cast resin Santas for the mantle and painted wooden ornaments for the tree. As soon as I started writing, I gleefully abandoned all other creative endeavors except clever digital photo montages that sometimes appear on the envelopes of birthday cards and gifts.

I noticed no one mentioned baking or cooking as a craft and that's about as crafty as I get these days. *g*

Christie Kelley said...

Kate, that's a great craft.

I used to cross-stitch but I just don't have the patience or the eyes for it. I think I'd need huge magnifying glasses to be able to see where the little Xs go. I also used to make wreaths and at one time I knew how to crochet.
After the kids were born my crafting went down hill.

In fact, once this house is truly done, I think I need to pick up a craft again. Thanks for the push!

Carol said...

Jo, that blueberry cobbler sounds wonderful, I'm not surprised the GR is visiting your house!

I am slowly crocheting a lovely rug, I have been sidetracked by family matters and blooming Facebook!!!

Kate your books are beautiful! and original!

When my kids were in primary
school we parents used to have a Mothers day stall with craft items to sell to the classes...after 9 years of craft making...
I was so happy I would never see or make another decorated coathanger,soap holder, lacy trinket box, granny doorstopper or a lavender sachet ever again!

However, we made a lot of money for the Parents Club.

Cheers Carol

Amy Andrews said...

I'm in the don't-have-a-crafty-bone-in-my-body corner. Really. Seriously. Ask anyteahcer who's been unfortunate enough to receive a homemade Xmas gift from me.

I mean I love looking at the end result of other peoples endeavours, I admire that so much and I love going to the show every year and looking at all those amazing quilts and beautiful iced cakes and handstitched dresses.

But honestly - if I'm doing anything with my hands it'd better involve a book. And not making one (OMG - totally in awe of that!!!) but reading it.

NOw my daughter on the other hand...that girl has an instaitable apetite for craft.

Of course, I can cook but that's not craft, that's just nutrition.

And, completely apart from everything, in a few hours time I will be the mother of a teenager!!!

Terry Odell said...

Used to knit. Moved to Florida. Too hot.

Did photography. Black & white, darkroom, the whole bit. Digital happened.

Then needlepoint. Ran out of wallspace. So, now I write. I consider it my craft, because it's a creative outlet for me.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Jo! Congrats on nabbing the GR!!

Quilting is another craft I admire. I have a friend whose quilts are works of art. And scrapbooking? Still wondering about that!

Nancy said...

Kate, your books are gorgeous!

I used to sew. The most challenging thing I ever made was a bridesmaid dress that had 8 yds. of fabric in the skirt (with a sheer overskirt and sheer, fitted overbodice), and the last thing I made was a Halloween costume for the boy.

Once upon a time, I dabbled with paint, but I wasn't very good. I can occasionally produce a decent pencil sketch. The kitchen and I have never become buddies.

Jo, congrats on the rooster and the scrapbooking. I'm doing well just to get the photos in an album!

I used to do needlepoint, but I never took that last step of blocking and framing the finished product.

So I think we have to conclude that crafts and I rarely intersect. My main hobby these days is reading.

Kate Carlisle said...

Minna, hello! It sounds like you were "scrapbooking" before it was a verb! It sounds a little like collage, with lots of pretty scraps of lace and paper and magazine print collected to present a particular theme. I think I'm getting the idea. :-)

Maria Lokken said...

I just knew Marisa would be answering this post. She is absolutely the crafting queen, or maybe princess - my older sister and mother are the Queens. I've never seen anything like it. I am so NOT a craft person. Really. My sisters and mother go to craft fairs and consider a day at JoAnn's or Micheals shopping for craft things a pleasure trip. They've ceased inviting me anymore, because they just know I'll roll my eyes.

I admire the art that is produced... but I can't even cut a straight line.

Kate - the books are beautiful.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Helen! You sound like me with the 40-hour work week. Who has time to do anything but enjoy the family and read a good book, right? That sounds pretty great, really! :-)

CrystalGB said...

I crochet, embroider and scrapbook.

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Natalie! I'm sure your twins are very crafty indeed!

I admire anyone who can take a decent photograph. And teaching is an art in and of itself. I'm in awe that you do both!

Kate Carlisle said...

Okay Margay, sounds like you are a true craft maven. I'm impressed that you sell your things at fairs and on Etsy! I've seen some handmade books on Etsy and they're beautiful. They put my little darling books to shame! LOL

When I was in college I started knitting my boyfriend a wool scarf. I didn't know how to finish it off so i just kept knitting. I went through three boyfriends before someone showed me how to finish it. It was ten feet long and I kept it for myself. :-)

Margay said...

Kate, that is so funny! I am so fortunate that I have my mother to help me when I get stuck on something. I am an amateur compared to her - that woman is amazing. And I'm not just saying that because she's my mother.

Kate Carlisle said...

arkiern, I tried crocheting an afghan once, the kind with all the little squares that you sew together? I lost interest after about six squares, so I admire you for getting a foot and a half done!

Louisa Cornell said...

I'D come to your house for blueberry cobbler, Jo!

Kate, what a really neat craft. I love it. Wish I could do that. There is just something about a book, about the way it feels in your hands.

Most of my "free" time (yeah, right I have lots of that) is devoted to my writing at the present. However, when I want to relax completely I do cross-stitch or I tat. I also make at least one quilt each year. I have one room that is set up for my crafts.

I keep thinking if I ever get to the point that I am writing for a living I will have a bit more time for my crafts.

I have several scrapbooks started, but not finished. One from my very first RWA conference in San Francisco!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Tiffani! Yes, writing takes up most of my free time, too, and that's okay. I have a nice picture of you crocheting while you rocked your babies to sleep in their bouncy chairs. I'm sure they forgive you for not being so crafty! :-)

Minna said...

Kate, I just don't have any particular theme, not throughout the entire booklet anyway. I might fill one opening with language stuff, like with comics with word games and with an article about how living a long time in a foreign country affects your mother tongue. Some pages are filled with short story by Terry Bisson. On another opening I have a dragon story and on another page I have for instance put pictures of a knight, fairy, Moomin and the picture of that mutant with angel wings from X-men, on one page I have a picture by M.C. Escher, instructios of how to make your cactus bloom and so on. Well, you get the picture what kind my scrapbooks are. These days I use pretty big booklets, too.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Joanie!! I was thinking of you when I mentioned that I can't even bake a pie! Never mind winning awards for them...

I love that idea for creating a storybook! I found a bookbinding kit at the art supply store awhile ago. It came with enough supplies to make three little books. When I finally get around to making them, I'll show pictures! Hmm...that might be a perfect Christmas gift for a certain kid I know...thanks!

I have a girlfriend at work and we always know when someone's pregnant because there she is, knitting away. I hope you get a break from the baby boom soon!

Minna said...

Oh yeah, and I decorate the covers of my scrapbooks, too.

Kate Carlisle said...

Marisa, I'm so envious of your craft room! Not that I could make anything particularly fabulous, but the fact that you have a room in which you can do whatever you want, sounds like heaven!

And you took a bookbinding course? How fun! There's a local book artist in my area who gives classes every month and I've taken a few. I'll be seeing her next month, too. I really enjoy the classes and especially like seeing some of the same friendly people each time. And after just a few hours, I've made a book that's all mine. It's a nice feeling of accomplishment!

Rebekah E. said...

I love to knit. Right know I am learning how to make gloves. They so much fun. At first it was pretty confusing, using more than two needles had me pulling my hair out, but I finally am getting it. I also cross stitch, stetch, and make clothing. I love arts and crafts they can be so much fun.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Dianna! Yes, I took some classes after a bookbinder friend restored an old damaged book of mine. He's a master and I was so impressed, I wanted to learn something about it.

LOL, I feel your pain with the knitting needles! I never could work them with any coordination.

terrio said...

If we don't count the knitting Aunty taught me in San Fran, I'm a total non-crafty person. I don't cook well, almost never bake, don't paint, sew, scrapbook, draw, iron, paste, cut, create, or apply. The craft section in the stores makes me antsy and uncomfortable. I'll either buy something finished by someone else, or I don't need it.

Those books are amazing. There's a little shop in Colonial Williamsburg where you can watch them bind books. The man tells you how they did it back in the 1700s and those books still hold up today!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Caren! Yes, the big bag of unfinished crafts. I carried it with me for many years before giving up on the notion that I'd actually finish those projects. :-)

And baking and cooking are crafts I truly envy! Sigh. If only I could bake a pie crust that doesn't look like a mangled frisbee ... even my husband does a better job at pie crusts, and that's just humiliating.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Christie! I'd say you've got your hands full with your house and everything else going on in your life! But if my little cautionary tale brings you back into the crafty world, I'm happy I could help. :-)

Just don't blame me when you get ten feet of wool scarf and can't stop!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Carol said, "I was so happy I would never see or make another decorated coathanger,soap holder, lacy trinket box, granny doorstopper or a lavender sachet ever again!"

ROTFL, Carol! I imagine lots of teachers were the recipients of those goodies, too. Um, I'm sure they loved them all! :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

{{{Amy!}}} Just a few more hours, you say?? Good grief, shouldn't you be in church or something? LOL

Good luck with this new phase of your life! Maybe she'll pick up a new hobby. Knitting or quilting or something. Teenagers love to sit around quietly knitting and quilting. Snork!

Donna MacMeans said...

I used to do crafts - heck, I've been a cub scout den mother and a girl scout leader - I know my way around a glue gun. LOL I have, at one time, hooked a rug, crocheted an aghan, knitted a sweater, cross-sticthed a couple beautiful hangings (and ruined my eyesight in the process - I think), made paperweights from molten glass, sewed small quilts on my machine, made many Christmas ornaments out of everyday things, made cute dolls out of raffia.
I also paint. I love to paint. But, like Natalie, the demanding interest of the kids in oils and acrylics (hard to remove) led me to pack my paintbrushes away. Then, I discovered writing.
Kate, I love your books. Especially the braided thread one. It looks to be an effort of love.
Oh - and I have thrown pots, but I've been told my thumbs are just too strong. I'd be raising the thin sides to a whirling lump of clay and my thumbs would crash through the delicate work, returning it to it's lump status. Some things were not meant to be.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Terry! LOL, you've found all the best ways to get out of doing crafts. I admire that. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Nancy, I can see you creating a lovely pencil sketch. That suits you, I think. But as far as everything else goes, looks like we're in the same boat. Not good for much in the way of arts and crafts--except reading. Oh, and writing! Let's not forget writing!

jo robertson said...

Reporting in to say that blueberry cobbler is now gone. Man, that rooster sure has an appetite (burp).

Honestly, the bird did it!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Maria! I'm so with you on the trips to Michael's and Joann's! I walk inside those places and get hives! LOL. But I have friends who can stay there all day. I must've missed out on a gene or something. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi crystalgb, thanks for stopping by! I envy you and your talents. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Louisa, that blueberry cobbler is sounding better and better, isn't it? :-)

You have your own craft room, too? That's so cool. And a quilt every year is quite an accomplishment, especially with everything else going on in your life. Do you give them away as gifts or hang them as art? I'm so impressed!

Kate Carlisle said...

Wow Minna, your scrapbooks sound really intricate and intriguing. And you decorate the covers, too? I can just imagine how beautiful they are!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Rebekah! Wow, making gloves sounds really complicated. I'm so impressed. And what a feeling of accomplishment you must have when you go through all that -- and end up with a beautiful pair of gloves to wear!

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Terrio - you definitely qualify as a craft-free zone!!

Thanks for mentioning that little shop in Colonial Williamsburg. It sounds fascinating. I might plan a little side trip next year when RWA's in DC, just to see it.

terrio said...

You know, Kate, if you come to our chapter conference in Williamsburg in November, you could see it then. (Hint hint... conference plug > http://www.virginiaromancewriters.com/Conferences/conference.html *g*)

flchen1 said...

Kate, those books are gorgeous! I love papercrafting, although the little books I made were nowhere near as beautifully done! As for crafts, I've tried a bunch of them, especially as a teen--the paint-by-numbers kits, latchhooking, sewing, embroidery, cross-stitch, even macrame--for years, my parents kept this little "hanging" I'd done even though it looked as if blind monkeys had knotted it ;) The ones that stuck a little bit were calligraphy and crochet. And I consider myself a novice knitter and scrapbooker. I think I work best with a specific goal in mind, so I've got a bunch of unfinished projects lying around, and the finished ones are with their recipients--a bunch of afghans and some memory books.

I'm feeling a little wistful at the moment--haven't made time to be crafty in a while, and I miss having a finished product in one's hands...

Congrats on the cobbler AND the GR, Jo!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Wow, Donna - you've done it all! Among all your other talents, the fact that you worked with molten glass is amazing to me!

Interesting that your strong thumbs were the problem when it came to throwing pots. I don't know if my thumbs were the problem but I was continually turning large lumps of clay into, well, slightly smoother large lumps of clay. LOL

Kate Carlisle said...

What do you mean, the blueberry cobbler's gone????????

Kate Carlisle said...

Terrio, you're killing me!! How cool would it be to go to Virginia in November? Very cool! It's got to be so beautiful that time of year. ::sigh:: (Kate counts her money, checks her schedule) ::another heavy sigh::

MsHellion said...

That is an awesome talent! I would love to try that sometime, at least once! :)

Occasionally I scrapbook cards. Very occasionally. I have to be in the mood.

Mostly, my "craft talent" is sewing. But only with Halloween costumes. Boy, do I get into Halloween costumes. Strangely, I didn't get this "gene" until two months after my mom died and I decided, after all those years of NOT SEWING, that I could create a Halloween costume, the one I wanted, and it wouldn't be any sort of problem.

Now I had had an 8 week stint in 8th grade where I sewed a duffle bag. (It was poorly done.) No worries. I went and found a pattern that looked mostly what I wanted to be and then proceeded to create accordingly. (Scottish Wench was the goal.) Only there was no corset patterns; and this was before the influx of all those lovely patterns for Ren Faire wear--you had to just make it up in the old days.

So I did it. I was quite the wench that Halloween season. And I've pretty much sewn costumes every year since.

My favorite: My Harry Potter costume. I was popular with the kiddies that year.

Beth said...

Wow, Kate, the books you made are gorgeous! What a wonderful and unique idea *g*

I don't craft as much I as used to but I still enjoy sewing, making bead jewelry and I just started scrabooking. I've also done counted cross-stich since I was a teenager but haven't worked on a project lately.

Back to the book! Hope everyone has a great day :-)

MsHellion said...

Kate, do you have any websites or books to recommend in how to make your own books?

Jennifer said...

Wow, Kate, what an awesome hobby! I am not crafty...not in the productive sense. About the only thing I can think of is cake decorating--does that count? I took a class and loved it.

My thighs, however, did not.

I also love to bake, but sigh, see above.

Am I boring or what????

traveler said...

I enjoy creating and for me it is either a delectable meal, or a lovely dessert. I get a great deal of pleasure from this and when visitors are here they appreciate all the hard work and the end result is delish.

Jane said...

I'm still trying to get into scrapbooking. I've bought a lot of pretty paper at Michael's and Joann's, but I don't know where to start. I do want to take up knitting someday. Knitting became very popular with younger women several years back. I saw a lot of yarn shops open up in the city. I'm not a crafty person. Maybe I should stick to collecting stamps and coins.

Michele said...

WOW! Kate, I'm sooo impressed. I just have absolutely no craft gene in my body... wish I did. That is so cool! Those books are gorgeous!

Joan said...

Does paint by number count as a craft?

I used to LOVE to do those when I was little. Don't know if they even make those kits anymore. I'd buy one just to do it :-)

And, um I'm almost afraid to ask but Jennifer, how do you use your THIGHS to decorate cakes?

Virginia said...

I am pretty good a sewing. I love to piece quilts. The Lone Star is my favorite to do I guess because it is a little more difficult and I like a challenge. Thats about the only crafty thing I do.

Cheri2628 said...

I guess my crafts right now are photography and scrapbooking.

When I was still teaching, I did a lot of art projects with the kiddies. I had to be pretty crafty then...of course, it was at a kindergarten/first grade ability level. ;-)

Cheryl "Cheri"

Kate Carlisle said...

Oh Fedora, the paint-by-numbers kits I've gone through! Very sad, LOL. But I agree, it's nice to have a specific goal because that feeling of accomplishment is so nice, once you reach it.

Hope you find something fun to get crafty with!

Kate Carlisle said...

MsHellion, I'm so impressed! I always made my Halloween costumes, but they were bits and pieces thrown together, never actually SEWN. And a Scottish wench, homemade corset and all? Extremely impressive!

LOL on the duffle bag!! That would be me, too!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Beth! Ooh, I didn't think about jewelry making. That's a good one--and yet another craft I wouldn't have a clue how to do! LOL. But it would be great fun to have lots of jewelry to choose from, whenever I wanted something fancy or whimsical to wear.

Okay, get back to the cave now! We need another book from you!!

catslady said...

I think you are extremely crafty and I'm sure you could do other crafts if you had the desire and time but I have to say, it's hard to find the time any more and computers and blogging have taken over my life. Things I use to do all the time: christmas ornaments, crochet, knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, sketching, and painting. (all self taught). Oh and I spent a ton of money expecting to scrapbook but couldn't get past organizing years of photographs. I use to do crossword and jigsaw puzzles too. The one thing I haven't given up is reading!!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Just popping in to say hi and then popping out again! Kate, great post. Jo, congrats on the chook! Kate, I'm HOPELESS at anything crafty. I can't even cut giftwrap in a straight line. Yeah, I know it's pathetic. I'm a reasonably good baker, though - not in JT's fabulous class but people seem to like what I make. I can't wait for your books to come out - I think the concept is great!

terrio said...

Kate - it was worth a try. *g*

Anna - I can't cut wrapping paper straight either. In fact, I can't wrap a present without having to do that patch bit on one end or the other. IMO, gift bags are the greatest invention ever.

Cassondra said...

Oh, Kate those books are BEAUTIFUL!

That's a craft I haven't learned and now I want to.

I tried knitting once, but I'm never still enough to knit or crochet. I crocheted most of an afghan when I was in the 8th grade, but never finished it. It was the ugliest combination of colors. But I was pretty good at the actual crocheting. My mom crocheted lace doilies--the ruffled kind that you starch til they stand up all stiff--complete with crocheted roses and all that--and yes, she taught me, also taught me to embroider. But can I do it now? Well, the knowledge is there, but the skill is not--the hours of practice that make you actually good--cuz like I said, I'm never still.

Everybody says, "oh, you do it when you're watching tv." But I don't watch tv. :0/

I have a closet full of scrapbooking stuff, another closet full of art stuff (paints, canvas, paper, etc) a closet full of camera equipment (in my defense, that WAS my undergrad major--photojournalism)A closet full of musical instruments and road gear for same.....

Yeah, I've done crafts. Now? Not. Have trouble finding time to write.

But see....you show me those books and I want to know how to do it. I'm hopeless.

Kate Carlisle said...

Mshellion - As far as researching for my books, I've seen books out there on bookbinding but I haven't bought any because I'm an internet girl. :-) There are so many cool bookbindery sites who show the restoration process, plus lots of blogs and individuals who write about their own work.

And I've taken classes at some very cool places, like San Francisco Center for the Book ... http://www.sfcb.org/ ... and one of the local independent bookstores near me has monthly classes. I know there are "centers for the book" in many different cities, NYC, Seattle, others. The classes I've taken are amazing!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Jen!! I would love to take a cake decorating class!! And yeah, my thighs would love it, too. Ugh!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi traveler - I see you're one of those clever people who can make a dessert that doesn't resemble a mangled frisbee. I'm so in awe of you! And I envy your lucky guests!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Jane! I've done what you're talking about, buying supplies in hopes that my craft gene will sparkle to life! LOL. And I've bought balls of beautiful yarns, hoping it'll happen, too. But no, they just become part of my "decor." I stick them all in a basket so they look pretty. But do I knit? Uh, no. LOL

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Michele! What a pleasure to "see" you here! So you're missing the craft gene, too? Isn't it sad? But that means more time for writing, I guess. :-)

See you at OCC in October! (You too, Jen!)

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Joanie!! Cake decorating thighs? Now I've gotta replace my keyboard, dang it!

Cassondra said...

Oh and I forgot to say...all those closets full of stuff--I have no closets. So it's all stacked around in boxes in the garage and in the corners.

So I need another craft like I need a hole in the head. But those books...Oooooh....I want to know how to do that.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Virginia! I admire you quilters because not only are you doing all that intricate sewing, but then you've actually got to put a puzzle together, making all those little pieces fit in a beautiful pattern. You're probably using lots of different parts of your brain. Just thinking about it, makes me a little dizzy. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Cheri, your kindergarten craft level is waaaay far above my nonexistent skills!

limecello said...

Wow, Kate - that's an awesome craft!! I for one am definitely impressed.

As for crafting now... nothing :( no time. Any free moments I crash and/or read a book. I used to do some (very simple) beading, or knitting (scarves), water colors, silk painting, oil pastels, bad photography, decoupage ... and yes, I've even done scrap booking. It's quite an interesting project, especially when done for an organization and with a group of people. :)

Kate Carlisle said...

catslady, hi! It's true, who has time to do anything when there's blogging and surfing to do? :-)

And you do crossword puzzles? I'm in awe once again! Seriously, I hate crossword puzzles because they make me feel so dumb! Even the TV guide crossword mocks me! LOL

Kate Carlisle said...

Look, everyone! It's an Anna Campbell sighting!!

I'm honored to see you here, Ms. Campbell, thank you so much! Now get back in that cave and write more books!!! LOL

Kate Carlisle said...

Terrio (and Anna), I love the wrapping paper with the lines and measurements on the back side. That's the only way I can cut it straight. And I agree, gift bags are brilliant!!

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Cassondra! I have no closets either, so everything is in bins stacked in the garage. Crazy, since I'll never go through those things and sort them out. They just sit there, year after year, taunting me...

Isn't it amazing that people --like your mom --used to embroider and crochet those tiny lace doilies that were so delicate and perfect? I think my hands would cramp up and shrivel if I tried to make one of those now. I agree, we've got the knowledge, but the skill? Not so much. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi limecello! Good to see you. :-)

I was trying to think of decoupage earlier. See, not only can I not DO this stuff, I can't even remember what it's called! But it looks like you've done your share of crafts in the past, including bad photography, LOL! I can relate.

annie said...

I do water color scenes and then frame them and give them as gifts for family members for their birthdays. I enjoy this as it is relaxing and soothing.

Minna said...

Phew. Just got one knitting project done. The little bits of yarn that I always have left from other projects I'm using for an afghan quilt.

diane said...

When I am home relaxing after a tough day at work I make a journal with an ornate denim cover covered with lovely designs. I discovered a fondness for this type of hobby lately and give them to friends.

ruth said...

I started to make jewelry this fall. It is a new type of creativity for me as I usually decorate chairs or small tables. I decided through the fall and winter I would tackle this. It is going well and I have been learning as I make bracelets and necklaces.

Anna Campbell said...

We seek her here.
We seek her there.
Is she in her cave...

Well, yes, she is from now on! Thanks for the push, Kate. It's much more fun to play with you gals than write a book ;-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Annie, it's great that you make time to paint, and it must be such a joy for your friends and family to receive one of your paintings. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Minna, you're so industrious! That sounds like a nice day's work. :-)

Diane, that is quite an amazing way to unwind after work. Your denim journals sound like fabulous gifts!

Ruth, I admire your jewelry making ability. My girlfriend designs jewelry and would make a nice income if she could bear to part with the pieces! Lucky me, I've been able to coax her out of one or two beauties. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Ms. Anna, I hate to see you go!! Oh, but I'm going to be slipping back into the cave myself tomorrow, so maybe I'll see you there.

Save me some margaritas, will ya?? :-)

Joan said...

You know we MISS you cave dwellers something fierce.....

Kate Carlisle said...

The cave dwellers miss y'all, too, Joanie!!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

(Aunty stumbles in huffing and puffing from her virtual blog tour)

Late for the party as usual!

Kate, your books are GORGEOUS! You can NOT claim no craft zone after making those!

Once upon a time (in college) I took a class on wheel built pots. I think I managed to finish a wind chime and one very crooked flower pot. :-P I've done mold ceramics too, but those are in the no-brainer paint-by-numbers category of craft.

I know how to embroider but haven't done it in YEARS! I can knit (right-handed, as Terrio can attest) and crochet (left-handed) but I'm basically a lazy needleworker. I like things in one big piece, two at the most. If I have to sew a bunch of little pieces together FERGITABOUTIT!

AC
snapping her crop at Fo to scare her back into the writing cave

Louisa Cornell said...

Kate, my quilt each year is a gift for a member of my family. They take turns picking a pattern and that person gets the quilt. I used to make quilted stuff for everyone, but that got WAY too time consuming. Especially as I pieced and quilted them completely by hand until three years ago when my brother bought me a sewing machine. I piece them on the machine, but I still quilt them by hand. Very therapeutic.

Does cake decorating count as a craft. I mean that is part of what I do for a living so I just don't think about it as a craft. For instance we have TWO wedding cakes on Saturday so I will be giving the girls a hand. I generally only decorate now if we get in a tight or they need help with a wedding cake. I trained them so I wouldn't have to do it anymore. It is HELL on my hands!

Joan said...

Louisa,

I decorated cakes for years but haven't now for about 10. I'd say YES it is a craft and I got pretty darn good at it.

I loved the artistic expression involved and have scads of pictures of my "masterpieces".

But it is time consumming and yes, carpal tunnel is a job hazard.

But I wish I worked for Charm City Cakes :-)

ikkinlala said...

I knit and am learning to spin, and I do a few paper crafts when I have a chance.

kim h said...

i dont have one now. but i use t o make friendship braclets with yarn with my cuousin. that was fun

Kate Carlisle said...

Aunty!!! Sorry I had to go to a "thing" last night so I'm just stumbling back in here myself....

Hope things are going great on your blog tour! Can't wait for THE WILD SIGHT to show up in my little mailbox!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Louisa, I agree with Joanie, cake decorating definitely qualifies! I have a friend who does it and I've watched her. It's so scary while she's doing it, but so beautiful once she's finished!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi ikkinlala, thanks for coming by! I'm guessing you mean spinning wool into yarn? So you then have your own yarn to knit? Wow, I'm completely fascinated by that!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Kim!! I made one of those friendship braceletes once. It was pretty gnarly, and not in a good way, LOL. After that, my brothers used to buy them for me at the Grateful Dead shows. :-)

Thanks everyone for commenting today and yesterday! I'll announce the random winner over the weekend!!

Nathalie said...

I have once made a beaded necklace... that I never wore, it was crooked!

Lily said...

I never did anything in my life... I am not a very hangy person.

kim h said...

any winner