Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Vera Vandenbosch. I was born and raised just outside of Antwerp, Belgium. I'm a graduate from the fashion department of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts. While I never actually worked as a fashion designer (maybe one day), I did work for a long time in the world of trend forecasting, both in Paris and New York. Then the world of home furnishings and interior design beckoned. I have always loved being part of a creative work environment. Once I had children, I realized I very much wanted that creativity around them at home as well. So whenever and wherever I was able to do so, I have always had some sort of craft project going on.
Tell us a bit about the book?
The way most people feel about throwing out perfectly good food is how I feel about throwing out textiles. ANY textile: stained shirts, ripped jeans, stray socks, cuttings from a sewing project or ribbons that wrapped a present. I can't tell you how many times I've picked textile items out of the trash – and thrown them straight into the washing machine :).
There are so many great things you can make with all these scraps and bits which don't require stocking up on expensive craft supplies. Plus, you're reusing what you already have, rather than adding to the world's growing garbage problem. So for Scraps I came up with a collection of DIY projects – jewelry, gifts and home goods - that call for the humblest of materials, yet yield fun and stylish results. They are all quite easy, and a good number don't even require a sewing machine. Crafting in a resourceful fashion is also a wonderful skill to pass onto children: it stimulates imagination, creativity, and community.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Which is your favourite project?
Oh.... that is like asking me to pick my favorite child! I will say I have a soft spot for tassels, they are a recurring element in all of my work so I love the Striped T-shirt tassel in the book (see attached pics). They are among the easiest and quickest crafts to make in this book and have so many fun uses: keychains, curtain tie-backs, pull cords, necklaces...
What is your craft space like?
I live and work in a relatively small apartment in Brooklyn, which I share with my husband, two kids, two cats and two birds. I am a bit of a textile hoarder, so storage is challenging... but such is the life the crafter. And I love to work while I am surrounded by all my favorite bits and pieces.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, I think I have. I credit my mom (who used to make clothes for my sisters and me) for teaching me how to use her sewing machine. Not all my crafting attempts have been successful though. There is on particular patchwork blanket I attempted to knit when I was a teenager, which is still unfinished as my family keeps reminding me :).
When did you first start crafting?
Yes! I made a clay nativity set when I was 5 or 6 years old? My mom still puts it on display during the holidays...
Who are your crafty heroes?
I love anything written by Mary Randolph Carter as she has really inspired my love for flea markets, yard sales and antique stores. I'm particularly comforted and inspired by her books A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of A Misspent Life: How to live creatively with collections, clutter, work, kids, pets, art, etc... and stop worrying about everything being perfectly in its place and Never Stop to Think... Do I have a Place for This?.
Where do you find inspiration?
Flea markets, yard sales and antique stores always get my creative juices going. The highlight being the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show in Massachusetts.
What's next for you?
In addition to Scraps, I have also created a few smaller booklets for the Taunton Press: Bungee Band Bracelets & More and Mini-Macramé. The next booklet Friendship Bracelets will be published in April 2015. A really fun project is the ongoing blog Vera's Journal, which I write for Calico, the American chain of decorating stores. That's in addition to my own blog Style-Diaries. And of course I am already brainstorming a follow-up to Scraps...:)
From stash to treasure. Scraps: Stylish Stash Fabric Crafts to Stitch! is bursting with fashionable, fantastic and unique projects to make, share or keep from fabric scraps–30 in all–for jewelry, accessories and home décor. Create gorgeous projects from your heaping troves of fabric scraps like:
- Old T-shirts
- Outgrown jeans
- Cuttings from sewing projects
- Leftover gift ribbons
Style on the cheap. 30 budget-friendly stash projects with fun options and ideas for variations include:
- Jewelry–Stacked Bangles, Braided Necklaces, Rings, Shoe Clips
- Home Décor–Lampshades, Wallpaper Paste Bowls, a Pet Bed
- Fabulous Gifts–Rag Hangers, Princess Crown, Drawstring Bags, and so much more.
For ages 7 to 77+. No formal sewing experience is required; in fact many projects don't even use a sewing machine so you and your children or grandchildren can easily recycle and rekindle your creativity. Success is ensured with:
- Step-by-step instructions
- Materials, tools and basic techniques section
- 75 attractive photographs
- 10 illustrated templates