Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hello ... I’m just a crafter and a stitcher and a person that makes stuff with her hands, like all the time. I jump around a lot and explore and create with all different types of mediums just because I can. I have a handful of books that I have authored and when I’m not writing a craft book I’m photographing a craft book! I also teach beginning photography, which seems to be my greatest passion right now. When I’m not crafting, stitching, making stuff or snapping photos I can be found at the gym with my boxing friends, lifting weights, running or training for an up coming run! I live with a very creative husband, 2 kids in college, and few dogs that are my studio assistants!
Tell us a bit about the book?
Coastal Crafts is a multi craft book with projects that range from very simple to a bit more complex. There are projects that require a little bit of sewing, painting, embroidery, gluing and baking! I love this book! I love that it’s not just a sewing book, or just a painted gift book; there is really something for everyone in here. The projects range from wearable’s, to home decorations to hostess gifty type crafts. The really cool thing about this book is that all the materials to make the crafts can be purchased at your local craft store. I did that on purpose so that even if you live far, far away from a coast, you can still find these materials and supplies locally!
What was the inspiration behind it?
To be honest, the idea for this book came from one of the editors at Sterling/Lark Crafts. I was working with this particular editor on a different book and he approached me and asked if it was something that I would be interested in exploring. I said YES right away … I love all things coastal and always have! I was even born in Newport Beach California and as a child would spend every summer at the beach!
Which is your favourite project?
Oh, man, I don’t think I can pick just one favorite, but if I have to I would say that the Driftwood and Drill sailboats are my favorite! But then I think about the Stitched Fish Garland and then the stenciled pillows and on and on!
What is your craft space like?
My craft space or studio is a room or spare bedroom that is just off of our dining room. It’s actually very central to almost everything going on in the house. It’s lined with bookshelves and then there is a large white table in the middle that has lots of storage underneath. I have another tabletop that sits on two sawhorses and next to it are my big soft boxes that I use for tabletop photography. All of this is super close to my computer so that I can shoot projects while tethered to my computer and I can see immediately what the photo looks like! This really cuts down on time! Oh, and also … the walls of my studio are turquoise!
Have you always been creative?
I have always been creative. I was the youngest of 3 girls and my parents let me just sort of do my thing. My thing was making stuff with my hands. They recognized early on that I had pretty good fine motor skills and a lot of patience for detail work so oil painting and sewing was what I did as a kid!
When did you first start crafting?
My crafting adventure all began at around the age of 6. That Christmas I received my first sewing machine and in no time I was whipping up clothes for my dolls and my pup. When I was 7 I started taking oil painting lessons and learned a lot about color theory and composition and how to use the oil paints, of course. The first ‘real’ thing I made and wore was a bold colored striped tunic and shorts. I remember I modeled it at a fashion show at our church for a mother daughter tea. And … YES I still have the tunic packed away in my dresser drawer! I also still have the first oil painting I finished and it’s currently hanging in my kitchen … of course it was the expected single tomato composition with a water drop sliding down the side!
Who are your crafty heroes?
Ok, I’m going to be honest here again … I don’t really follow or look at any one authors work or have a craft hero. I think I like different artist at different times and for different reasons. I do appreciate all types of art and have a background in costuming and theatre and am married to one of the most amazing artists I know, so maybe my husband … Scott Shaffer!
Where do you find inspiration?
Oh goodness … Inspiration … I get it from everything around me. From my kids, to my pups, to the ocean, sky, flowers, nature in general and just life! Sometimes I don’t even know where ideas come from, they just flow out of me.
What's next for you?
Ah, well, just a couple of weeks ago I had another book hit the stands … Simply Stitched Gifts. I’m super excited about this book … it’s all about free motion stitching gifts which I LOVE to do! I’m also teaching a few photography 101 workshops and starting to put together an online photography 101 workshop, which I’m super excited about. And then there is always the making of more crafts for different magazines and I contribute lots of art to other authors books as well and just yesterday I finished photographing Aimee Ray’s next book. So, yeah … I always have a ‘To Do’ list that never seems to end and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way!