Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I'm an enthusiastic amateur crafter and parent. On the side I lecture, write, curate and consult: usually about a combination of art, creativity, business and psychology.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon is a glimpse into a crafty year I spent with my little girl, Lotte. There are 52 lovely, but easy, projects that I hope will inspire other parents to have creative adventures with their own little ones. Most of the projects were made from things that we had around the house, often from second-hand stores and garage sales. We've really enjoyed finding new ways to use old things. The best part of our Sunday Crafternoons was the process of making things though, Lotte and I now have a wonderful creative connection.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I was lecturing at an arts college, and in one class I asked students what they think turned them into arts lovers. Many of them said it was their childhood craft-making. This insight inspired the start of our Sunday crafternoons: dedicating time each week to making something... anything. The idea of turning it into a book didn't emerge until six months later, after a lot of fellow parents commented that they would love to have similar craft days but they how to go about it or what to make.
Which is your favourite project?
I don't think I can choose a favourite! From where I'm sitting right now I can see the 'embroidered self-portrait with duck', the 'beautiful bunch of buttons', a couple of 'picture pegs' and a new version of the 'nice and nifty notebook'. I've actually just realised how many of the projects have become a much-loved part of our lives and home. I think those that tell story are my favourites though. For example, the 'embroidered self-portrait with duck'. This was based on Lotte's first picture that she drew of herself, which oddly included a duck. I accidentally screwed it up though, and so I decided to embroider it onto some linen. It sits alongside my desk and makes me smile daily.
What is your craft space like?
I really, really love my craft desk. It's a timber table, hand-made from a demolished house (not by me!). It used to be our kitchen table, but it's too big for our current kitchen. There is one pile of beautiful, vintage paper finds and another of old national geographic magazines. Along the back of the desk, on the wall, are rows of small, framed sentimental artworks, mostly by friend's and family. Next to my desk is a beautiful vintage suitcase turned into a stereo by fellow Melbournians, 'jukecase'. Music is a must when I craft or write.
Have you always been creative?
I was a compulsively creative child. I stopped making things when I started lecturing at the arts school though, I think I became really self-conscious about my comparative lack of talent. It was only through starting our crafternoons that I started making things again. I'm now back to joyfully and regularly crafting imperfect things.
When did you first start crafting?
The first thing I remember making is little wooden boats out of timber off cuts. My dad was a builder and he would bring home offcuts for me and I would make them into 'boats that don't float'. This was before I started school so I must have been four years old. I remember the incredible pride and delight I felt when my dad gave me my own 2 litre bottle of PVA glue- it was bigger than my head!
Who are your crafty heroes?
Most of my reading material is psychology, business and creativity based. I often find myself talking about writers like Teresa Amabile, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Martin Seligman. I see many of their principles in action in the 'Conversations With Creative Women' books, produced and published by Tess McCabe of the Creative Women's Circle (I'm a big fan). I also have an inspiring pile of art, craft, interiors and design books, mostly by Australians like Megan Morton, Sibella Court, Kelly Doust and Shannon Fricke. At the moment I'm desperately coveting the new Spaces book by Frankie Magazine and the latest issue of Flow magazine and World of Interiors.
Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of projects are inspired by things that I made during my childhood. Lotte's brain is filled with incredible ideas too- the older she gets, the more I can follow her lead. I wasn't a Pinterest user when I wrote Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon, but I certainly am now! I have a rather large board called 'Sunday Crafternoons' that I love adding to and occasionally drawing ideas from. I still love magazines too, I reward myself at the end of a project by buying a new magazine and reading it in a cafe with a strong, long-black coffee.
What's next for you?
I've always been lucky to be able to juggle a range of projects and activities simultaneously. At the moment, I'm doing some creativity consulting work, studying an Executive Master of Arts, developing workshops, writing a book with a fellow creative parent (slowly) and creating a festival with educational outcomes: since writing Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon I've been eager to spend more time working creative wellbeing projects. Lotte and I are also continuing our creative adventures!
Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon is a collection of 52 blissfully simple craft ideas to make with a child helper. This beautiful book will have you creating delightful things out of everyday household items using nothing more than your own time and ingenuity. You and your child can while away hours of crafting fun with Eliza Muldoon as she helps you make these easy projects - from a child's head band or aprons, to peg dolls, to skirts and shoe adornments, to practical bags and tool belts, felt toys and unique artworks to adorn your home.