Category: News

East Coast Crafty Book Tour!

So, as you know, I recently gave notice at my day job. And my new craft business book just came out! One of the things I’m most excited about as I enter the wild world of full-time freelancing is a DIY book tour/road trip I’m doing in September!

Basically, I’m packing up the old Prius and going on the road, talking about craft biz, hanging out with friends and seeing much of the eastern half of the country. I’ve got a lot of gigs lined up, but I’d love to add more! Specifically, I don’t have anything lined up yet for New York City/Brooklyn, upstate New York or Boston yet. (And I’d also love to go to Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, the Southeast, the Northwest — basically everywhere.) Want me to speak at your craft store or event? Email me!

Here’s my in-progress schedule of craft workshops and appearances:

  • Saturday, Sept. 8 — Washington, DC — Summit of Awesome
    I’ll be doing a bookbinding workshop and talking about getting published at this one-day craft business conference!
  • Wednesday, Sept. 12 — Brooklyn, NY — t.b.d. Brooklyn
    I’m putting together a totally informal Creative Business Drinkup! Anyone who’s into creative entrepreneurship is welcome.
  • Saturday, Sept. 15 — Providence, RI — Craftland
    Never been to the smallest state before, so I’m stoked to do my getting published workshop at Craftland. 3 to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 23 — Pittsburgh, PA — WildCard
    Meet-the-author crafty brunch! 12 to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 25 — Cleveland, OH — Salty Not Sweet
    Tentative topic: Everything you need to know about craft shows. Details are still being finalized!
  • Saturday, Sept. 29 — Indianapolis, IN — Homespun
    This is going to be a two-hour mega-workshop about using social media and how to get published. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 6 — Columbus, OH — Wholly Craft
    Details are still being finalized!
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OMG I quit my job

quitting your job for fun and profitI totally quit my job last week.

It wasn’t some kind of take-this-job-and-shove-it table-flipping experience. It was totally civilized and without raised voices or tears. I gave five weeks’ notice, and my last day is going to be Sept. 4.

So what’s my deal? I remained employed for the entirety of the great recession—no small feat. I’ve worked on some awesome magazines and went to sweet conferences. I learned a ton and grew a lot.

But after five years at my company, I felt myself getting burned out. I had little energy for all the side projects I have going on. And with my new book coming out this month and the big holiday craft show coming shortly, I was feeling way more tired than inspired. And that’s no way to live.

So, as of Sept. 5, I’ll be a self-employed person, and I am so excited. I’ve got a few gigs lined up as a freelance writer and editor, and I’ll be looking for more. Do you need someone who knows how to hustle? Here’s what I’m good at:

  • writing about design, art, craft, entrepreneurship, web culture and nerds
  • editing basically anything
  • proofreading and copy editing
  • writing and editing email newsletters
  • polishing resumes and writing kickass cover letters
  • social media strategy and execution
  • speaking about creative business and entrepreneurship
  • organizing and putting on events
  • personal assistant kinds of stuff, like booking travel and dealing with surly post office ladies
  • bookbinding, printmaking and other crafty things
  • writing song parodies
  • finding awesome flea markets and vintage shops wherever I go

If you need someone to help you with any of these things, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m very available as of Oct. 1.

My first order of business as a full-time freelancer is an epic road trip/book tour to promote The Crafty Superstar Ultimate Craft Business Guide in September—details on appearances to come. And I’ve got an idea for my third book that I’m just dying to get started on. Let’s do this!

get crafty at SXSW interactive!

sxsw interactive 2012 craft maker campI am so stoked to be involved with the CraftCamp at SXSW Interactive next week! I was going to be there for my job anyway, but then I found out that Willo was organizing a craft-centric event, and I just had to be part of it. The schedule is still being finalized, but here’s an overview of the things that’ll be going on:

  • Etsy shop tuneups
  • Sessions on how to design and print fabric, be more productive, price your work and get more publicity
  • Advice on getting capital for your business and dealing with taxes
  • A panel discussion on what discount sites mean for the handmade community
  • And happy hours with free beer each day!

We’ll be getting crafty on Sunday, March 11, and Monday, March 12 in the Presentation Tent of Palm Park. You can add it to your Facebook calendar here. I hope if you’re already coming to SXSW you’ll stop by and check out CraftCamp! (FYI: If you haven’t already registered, badges are still available, but hotels in Austin are totally sold out.)

new year’s roundup

You’d think, since I wasn’t working on a new book, I would’ve had tons of time to read in 2010, right? Well, I kept plenty busy with a promotion at my day job, organizing two local craft show events and travelling a ton. I kept on making handmade journals and cards, and I also joined a collective and started blogging about my Pyrex addiction. I did still manage to read a respectable 41 books in 2010. Here are some highlights from the last year:

My favorite fiction of 2010*

  1. Siobhan Vivian, “Same Difference”
    I don’t usually read teen fiction, but I met Siobhan in Pittsburgh this summer, and she’s a totally lovely person. I read this book just before going to my 10-year high school reunion, and it made me so grateful for my BFFs back in school.
  2. William Gibson, “Virtual Light”
    Published in 1993, this book is the first in a series of books that includes one of my very favorite novels of Gibson’s — “Idoru.” Even though the internet barely was a blip on the cultural radar in 1993, this book is barely dated. I chalk that up to the fact that Gibson must be able to see the future.
  3. Elna Baker, “The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance”
    I read this book at the very beginning of 2010, but its charm has still stuck with me. (And I have to admit I didn’t read a ton of fiction this year.)

My favorite nonfiction of 2010*

  1. Jaron Lanier, “You Are Not A Gadget
    I just finished this book before Christmas, and I’ve been telling everyone I know about it. I don’t think I can do it justice in a three-sentence review. Please, just go get it from your local library or bookstore.
  2. Adrian Nicole Leblanc, “Random Family”
    Another book that I was telling everybody I knew about when I read it.  Read this and watch “The Wire” and you’ve got yourself an education.
  3. Ellen Ruppel Shell, “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture”
    This book combines big-picture thinking with detailed historical examples—Walmart gets mentioned, sure, but they’re just a recent incarnation of an age-old American phenomenon. Even though it’s not about crafters per se, “Cheap” was totally relevant to discussions I’ve had about Etsy and craft pricing.

Favorite places I visited in 2010

  1. Montreal
    I’m in love with this city, and one of my goals for 2011 is to go back. I have no pictures of myself in Montreal — I only have pictures of the food I ate.
  2. Seattle
    I visited Seattle a few years ago and didn’t like it that much (too grungy, no pun intended), but this year I spent two days in Capitol Hill for the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs and LOVED it.
  3. South Bend, IN
    Weird, I know, but spending a summer evening at the Pulaski field watching Yo La Tengo and Wilco was heavenly. Also, there’s AMAZING thrifting in north central Indiana**.

I’ve started off 2011 with good friends and good food, and I started digging into my 2010 finances for tax time and installed Quickbooks on my Mac. I get so into tax time. Every year, I wait anxiously for my W2 to arrive so I can file and get my refund as early as possible. This year I’ve finally got an accountant. Wahey!

All in all, 2010 was a pretty kickass year. I have no doubt that 2011 will be equally awesome (if not moreso). We’ve already set the date for the next Crafty Supermarket—May 7!—and there are a bunch of other craft events I want to go to as well. (San Francisco, Pittsburgh and DC, I am looking at you.) I’ll turn 29 this year, and with 30 edging ever nearer***, I started creating a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30. (I don’t know that I’ll make it public; it’s more for my personal recordkeeping and gratification.)

I would like to blog more often this year—this blog will likely shift from book reviews to more craft stuff, and lord knows there will be plenty of that this year. Craft on!

* These books weren’t necessarily published in 2010 — I just read them last year.
** I spent an inordinate amount of time in Indiana in 2010.
*** Holy crap.