Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Tell us a bit about the book?
I set all aspects of this book up to be just like I craft. I tend to be inspired to make things for our home with the change of the seasons, so there are four chapters- Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. I am inspired by color, so each of the seasonal chapters has a strong seasonal color palette. Within each season, there are projects that cover all kinds of mediums… crochet, knitting, quilting, general sewing, painting, etc. I tend to dabble in a little of everything in my creative life, and wanted the book to feel like that as well.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I hear often that “I could never do that” or “I should pay more attention to the decor of our house…” or “I wish I had the time to make…” and the projects in the book range from quick and easy, to a larger time investment (like a quilt) because everyone CAN make handmade things for their home if they want. They can incorporate their kids, family, friends, and create objects that tell their own stories. Handmaking can be relaxing, and I wanted the book to show that.
Which is your favourite project?
Oooo, that’s hard! Let’s see, I really loved the way the Woven Chair Back project spruced up a cheap chair I found. The Dip-Dyed Toile Dishes turned out exactly the way I’d hoped they would. And the Giant Cross-Stitched Tree is a family favorite.
What is your craft space like?
I have a full studio in our basement, so my “work days” will find me down there, usually with music or This American Life playing. I have room for quilting, painting, and any kind of crafting I want to do. It’s a blessing for me to be able to keep everything contained in one room, because my messes are big and it would be a major task to clean up every single day, instead of between projects. The one drawback is limited natural light, so we have built in lots can lighting and I use full spectrum light bulbs. For some weird reason, I don’t like to write in my studio, so I will often go to the library to do that.
Have you always been creative?
Yes. I created as a kid, and was always changing my room around, making things for it. I graduated college with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design and immediately started working in the Apparel Design industry, so for several years, all my creativity happened at work. When my daughter was born back in 1998, I left my job and rekindled my love affair with making things for our home.
When did you first start crafting?
My maternal grandmother, “Mom” we all called her, taught me all sorts of hand crafting and homemaking when I was at her house. I was probably 4 when I learned to knit (I know it was before Kindergarten). I don’t remember the first thing I ever made, but I do get a kick out of the fact that my mom still pulls out Easter baskets and crafty things I made for her when I was young.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Denyse Schmidt is a big hero of mine. She developed her quilt making aesthetic and style long before it was hip to quilt again. I admire those creative folks who have created a successful business doing what they love, like artists Alisa Burke, Betz White, and Anna Maria Horner. I also love David Sedaris (it’s so important to look at life with humor).
Where do you find inspiration?
Vintage crafting and quilting books, the museum, window shopping around town, Living ETC magazine, movies like Moonrise Kingdom. I have a list of movies from the 1970’s that I love to watch again and again. Sometimes inspiration for new projects come from a problem that arises around our house. "We need a small table there. How about finishing a tree stump?”- and a project is born.
What's next for you?
I am excited to start teaching classes this year. My first class will be in Seattle, covering a project adapted from the book. And there are many more to come! I’m making up new versions of many of the projects in the book in different color ways, which is really fun! (I’ll be posting more images and details about them soon on my blog.) I’d love to expand my quilt pattern line this year, as well as do more original quilts (I have hundreds of sketches in my sketchbook). I’d also love to find the time to paint more (See why my studio is a mess?) Those projects are so fun to do and have been put on the back burner while completing the book. I’ll also be doing some appearances in the Seattle/Tacoma area to discussing the book.
Wise Craft is a guide to the homemade life, turning old things into special new objects that enhance the home. Based on the popular blog of the same name, this guide focuses on creating a homemade atmosphere that reflects your family, without spending a fortune. Instead of throwing away old shirts and boring dishes, or passing up thrift store finds that aren't quite right, author Blair Stocker teaches how to remake, adding special touches to make them work for her home?and yours . The book is divided into four seasonal chapters, with designs that reflect different holidays and the changing seasons, allowing you to update your home according to the weather outside. Many projects are portable or perfect to do during a family movie night, making the Wise Craft lifestyle an easy one to attain.
Sixty projects include May Day cones and recycled floral mirror frames?perfect for a teenager’s room?plus throw pillow updates, a picnic blanket made from a pile of men’s shirts, spooky Halloween dishes, advent calendars, and recycled gift jars. Beautiful photography and illustrations make each project a snap, no matter your crafting background.