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Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
By day I’m a corporate writer for an event production company and by night I’m chasing after a toddler and doing all that family life entails (there is also a pair of cats and a husband and a baby on the way). I’m the kind of person who always has to have some sort of project going on apart from anything (and everything) else—even if it means very late nights and very little sleep.
I was born and raised and live in the northern/midwest United States and I really like the sort of wry and pragmatic adaptability of the area. There is a lot of practical crafting (quilting, crochet, knitwear) that is ingrained in the culture here. I love to read and garden and travel—or just run around outside to burn off steam.
I also have the etsy shop: The Craft Subversive https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftSubversive that I run as a hobby.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Feminist Felties is about channeling a fighting feminist spirit into elements of everyday life—from fanciful to functional. There’s a very broad range of projects—all in easy-to-craft-with felt. You’ll find things that are very practical—like a phone case, a coffee cozy, and a coin purse—to things that are more whimsical and decorative—like a finger puppet, an ornament, a bookmark or a pin cushion. Everything is designed with a feminist bent—featuring inspiring figures and iconic women, ancient and modern feminist symbols, and current-day trends.
You can make projects with girlfriends and display (or give) them to your grandmother. There is something for everyone.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I started stress-crafting heavily in 2016 (in response to the political climate in the US and abroad) and found it to be calming and invigorating. I expanded from a few very political pieces; wondering what else I could make out of felt that was a bit more subversive than a standard crafting project.
I started making felt ornaments of women I personally admired for friends and family and putting the patterns up in my etsy shop. Friends started requesting specific women or ideas (and I found it really inspiring to figure out how to execute the ideas via felt) and the book grew from there.
Which is your favourite project?
I love the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony badge. I really enjoy seeing how “close” to a likeness you can get to people using felt and embroidery techniques, and those two awesome, inspiring women on a badge make me happy.
What is your craft space like?
I travel for work quite a bit, so writing often takes place on planes or in hotel rooms—wherever a laptop can fit.
My crafting space itself is the back corner of the (finished) basement. I mostly work on a spare couch and I’ll often watch various programs while finishing things up late at night—nothing that takes too much visual attention or requires focus to follow, though. I have a to-go box ready to go for when friends have crafting nights; I can easily bring projects with me and get a bit of work done while socializing as well.
Have you always been creative?
To some extent, in some medium, in some way, yes.
I go through craft phases where I’ll fixate on a particular medium or material or technique and spend several months exhausting my creativity on those particular genres… then I’ll move on to something else. It feels half like madness (because when I do a thing…I really cover all bases for that particular thing).
I went through a stencil phase in middle school, and there have been periods of various other crafts; quilting, jewelry-making, etc. I like to try my hand at a lot of different projects, because half the fun for me is figuring out –how- to do something or how to do it even better.
When did you first start crafting?
My earliest craft memories start at about age 4 or 5, sitting in on my grandmother’s “Stitch-and-Chatter” club with “the ladies” from the neighborhood. I was given watered-down coffee and a flour-sack towel of my very own to embroider (I think it was a mouse-and-strawberries pattern). It was very warm and cozy and tribal-feeling.
Who are your crafty heroes?
There are a group of local women crafters and artists called The Creative Badasses out of Minneapolis, Minnesota—their projects are always unique and inspiring.
I follow several embroidery artists on Instagram who do amazing and inspiring work. Emmie McMackin (Emerald & Fig embroidery) does beautiful work.
Oh, and Knitteapolis. Last year she organized a project to make “scarf-bombs” around the city in the winter for homeless and visiting individuals stuck out in the cold. I love turning art and craft into something with a wonderful purpose like that.
Where do you find inspiration?
I like pulling something tongue-in-cheek or subversive out of the ordinary. I find a lot of inspiration from strong women—particularly those who are outspoken trailblazers. I also get inspiration from fandoms and personal interests—be they pop culture or art or geeky niches. Whatever it is I'm working on, it will skew irreverent, subversive, flippant, geeky and/or just be something I find amusing.
What's next for you?
Personally: I’m finishing up a bunch of very geeky felt busy-book projects inspired by fandoms I love (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Firefly, Monty Python, etc.), sewing some doll clothes for my daughter’s ever-naked baby dolls, and figuring out how to bind a quilt I made from my grandfather’s old flannel shirts.
Craft-wise: I’m working on project ideas for a companion book of feminist felt crafts for a slightly younger audience (with simplified detail and more fun teen/tween projects).