Tagged: book

pyrex book project: do you collect pyrex?

pyrex horizon blue box

I’ve been thinking a long time about writing a book about Pyrex — and becoming a full-time freelance writer and editor last year has given me a lot more time to work on passion projects like this one. I’ve got an agent interested in the project, but I’m still in the early stages of putting together a proposal.

Ever since Jess got me hooked on collecting Pyrex five years ago, I’ve just loved the vintage kitchenware, midcentury colors and gorgeous patterns. I’ve got a pretty decent collection, but I know mine is tiny in comparison to some Pyrexaholics out there!

My book is envisioned as a beautiful, photography-heavy project, with history, patterns, stories of collectors and TONS pictures of Pyrex in action. (Would the title Pyrex Porn be off-putting? Because it’s kind of perfect.) I’m hoping to photograph the best and biggest collections in North America, and if you’d like to possibly take part, please take this short survey! There’s no obligation — it’s a fact-finding mission for now. I will keep y’all updated here on my blog!

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.

notable recent reads

Long time no blog, right? But I’m back with three recently read, utterly awesome books, all written by women with three names:

Adrian Nicole Leblanc, “Random Family”
Leblanc spent a decade hanging out with a random family from the Bronx, then she wrote this book. I’d read an interview with her in New New Journalism but just now read this book, which is just an amazing piece of creative nonfiction. It’s something like 500 pages, but I couldn’t put it down. I read some criticism of the book that took her nonjudgmental approach to reporting the story as her supporting the decisions the protagonists made, which weren’t always the hottest decisions. But I thought the dispassionate approach to writing the story kept it the protagonists’ story — would you let somebody judging you follow you around for 10 years? Probably not.

Ellen Ruppel Shell, “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture”
If you have any interest in sustainability, business ethics or human rights, you have to read this book. It opened my eyes to a lot of the assumptions we make about things we buy, why we react the way we do to low prices, and why handmade is more important than ever.

Esther Pearl Watson, “Unlovable, Vol. 2”
Possibly even better than the first Unlovable comic collection!

Lotsa good books getting read in 2010… with the way I’m hitting the nonfiction so hard, I might not make it to 50, but I’ll keep trying.

thank you!

Just about two months after its release, Crafty Superstar is sold out! I got word this week that it’s going into a second printing very soon to meet demand.

I am absolutely blown away and so overjoyed that my book has found a place in so many people’s homes. Thank YOU for supporting me and my book! (If you still haven’t gotten a copy, I still have some signed copies left that you can order here!)

Hurtling towards my book deadline

Current word count: 27,818 (out of 30,000)

Trying not to freak out too much about the fact that my book is due in less than a MONTH. I’m starting to break down the remaining stuff to do into manageable chunks. I made up a calendar with weekly goals written on it, for example, my goal for this weekend is to polish up the introduction and first chapter and get the appendix done.

I’m taking a few days off of work in the next month to give myself more time to work on the book. I’m also trying not to completely get cut off from the rest of the world. (Sorry, friends!)

One big problem in getting done with the book is that I keep finding more people I want to talk to! Gotta stop that… After next week, promise.

PS: I’m not writing recaps of books I read for now, but I am still updating my list.