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Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hello Cut Out + Keep readers! I'm Mark Montano the author of the number 1 selling craft books of all time.....THE BIG ASS BOOKS. On November 13th I have my 4th installment in this QUADRILOGY (made up word) hitting shelves. It's called THE BIG ASS BOOK OF BLING and it's filled with projects from my 20 years as a fashion designer in NYC.
Tell us a bit about the book?
This book is packed with 150 projects ranging from melted glass gems made in my microwave with a Fuseworks kiln to creating mixed media pieces from things we already have around the house. Some of the pieces are punk, some are pop, some are couture and some are very classy. Truly there is something for everyone in this book.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Well, I have been messing with beads and making jewelry my whole life. First it was for my dance troupe which was called the Koshare Indian Dancers and we would make traditional American Indian costumes from scratch. I started learning that when I was 12 years old. When I became a fashion designer and boutique owner in NYC I would make jewelry to sell in the store and for my runway shows. I took all of those projects and recreated them in different ways for this book.
Which is your favourite project?
Ooh, I cut out (and kept) wood bangles, stained them with Minwax Express Color stain and then mounted molded birds on them. They are so out of this world and amazing! Like something you would see in a museum.
What is your craft space like?
I have a craft house which is very tiny but magical on the back of my property. It's a replica of my main house which is a Craftsman that was built in 1914.
Have you always been creative?
Let's face it, I wrote a book about jewelry which should let you know that I was kind of a momma's boy. I used to hang out with my gram and learn to sew when I was a tot. Craft projects were always more fun than getting dirty and fighting with the kids on my block!
When did you first start crafting?
I remember sewing on buttons as soon as I could hold a needle. My gram would put fabric in an embroidery hoop and let me sew. After that I remember making macrame with my aunt Lu who is still very creative. We made HUGE plant holders and owls. They really did epitomize the time period. Everyone had a macrame something in their home back then.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Gosh, so many! I love Margot Potter because she's hilarious and has a potty mouth like me when we're not in public. Perhaps I shouldn't have said that?! I'm a big fan of The Crafty Chica, too. She's such an amazing spirit.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is EVERYWHERE! You just have to pay attention to the beauty that is all around us. I love colors in nature and going to museums and studying how people dress. All of that stuff. My mind is constantly taking note!
What's next for you?
Right now I'm working on a craft show for PBS called MAKE YOUR MARK! which is based on my Youtube DIY channel and I'm editing my 12th book and wrapping my head around my 13th book which I think, if all goes well, I will be writing with a friend. So much more fun than writing alone.
BLINGY, BLINGIER, BLINGIEST! DO YOU WANT A DESIGNER LOOK THAT IS ALL YOURS— AND TO EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY AND HAVE SOME FUN?
All that glitters doesn’t have to be gold . . . and diamonds (even the fake ones!) can be a girl’s— or a boy’s—best friend. With Mark Montano’s step-by-step guidance you, too, can let loose your inner fashionista and make fabulous, unique accessories to complement your entire wardrobe!
Think outside the box when it comes to materials, and check through your recycling to find treasures In the Bin. Show people your New Mexico style, and make a papier-mâché Zigzag Turquoise Cuff out of newspaper. When the plastic store bags start crawling out from under the sink, tame them with a Fused Plastic Flower Cuff. Make the tree-mendous Nature’s Bling Bag decorated with branches sliced thin. Or Twine Not try the hardware store for some colored twine—and pick up some aluminum flashing to find out why Tin Is “In”? From punk to retro, from bobby pins to safety pins, with more than 150 projects there’s something for everyone, whether you want to glam it up Hollywood-style or go ultra-sophisticated like a newly crowned princess.