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Meet the Author

Hey there, can you introduce yourself?

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I’m a mixed media artist, working with a combination of printmaking, painting, collage, and sometimes stitching. I also like to make greeting cards with my sewing machine.

Tell us a bit about the book?

Uncommon Cards is a book that has 52 sewn designs made from easy-to-follow, straightforward instructions. There is no sewing experience necessary to make a card, and the instructions are adaptable if you don’t sew.

This DIY guide also contains eight sheets of cardstock so you can get started right away.

What was the inspiration behind it?

I’ve been sewing since I was 12 years old. Instead of drawing with pen or pencil, I prefer to draw with my sewing machine. The idea for making sewn cards, and writing the book, came from wanting to make collaged cards quickly and not being patient enough for glue to dry. If you’re sewing a card, there’s no need to use glue, so when you’re finished sewing, your card done.

Which is your favourite project?

The Flower in the Grass card is my favourite card to make. It takes three steps:

1. Cut a flower from paper or fabric, and sew it on the card
2. Sew sushi grass (the paper-like grass you get when you order sushi), on to the card.
3. Sew the stem and petals to connect the flower to the grass.

What is your craft space like?

I write in a small room in my house that has my computer and most of my art supplies. For making art, I have a very small space in my house with a 5’ x 5’ table where I can sew and paint. When I work larger, I work in a studio I rent that has 300 square feet of space, that’s in a building that was once a school and now has 60 artist’s studios. When I’m there, I can work on a table that’s 4’ by 16’.

Have you always been creative?

Yes, I have been making things for as long as I can remember.

When did you first start crafting?

I have fond memories of sewing skirts when I was 12, and I also have memories from around the same age, of making a pink paper mâché mosquito that had pipe cleaner wings covered with pink tissue paper. It was pretty cute.

Who are your crafty heroes?

I have art heroes, Canadian fiber artist Dorothy Caldwell who dyes her own fabric and does an incredible amount of hand stitching on it, and artist Chuck Close, who paints, and prints, portraits. He works with grids, and he creates work in a series, both of which I do.

My favourite author is Wally Lamb. I’m really looking forward to reading his new book, We Are Water, as soon as I can.

Where do you find inspiration?

I look for inspiration in architecture, as well as nature. In architecture, I look for grids and pattern. In nature, texture and color.

What's next for you?

Up next I’ll be making a number of series of paintings that incorporate printmaking, painting and stitching, and I’m looking forward to being an Artist-in-Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, in March 2014.

Publisher's Description

The right greeting card is hard to find, but with the most basic sewing machine and a few recycled materials, you’ll have cards for every occasion in a snap. With 52 sewn designs made from easy-to-follow, straightforward instructions, you can show just how much you care with a beautiful, handmade creation: no sewing experience necessary! This DIY guide contains eight sheets of cardstock and basic stitch patterns that can be completed with nothing more than a needle and thread, either by hand or machine, transforming a blank card into a whimsical, inspired, one-of-a-kind design. The perfect expression for birthdays, graduations, or a simple thinking- of-you note, each design incorporates inexpensive and easy to find household items such as strips of fabric, brightly colored plastics, handmade stamps, and more. Even recycled items such as mesh produce bags and seed packets are put to new use to create truly one-of-a-kind cards!