Thursday, December 4, 2008
Meet Maura Madden
Author of Crafternoon. UCU- Can you tell our readers more about you book in case they don’t already know? MM- Crafternoon is a month-by-month guide to throwing your very own arts and crafts parties. At its core, it’s a craft book – there are instructions for all kinds of simple, cool craft projects, as well as crafting tips and recipes. But it’s also a manifesto for a new type of socializing. Crafternoons are a way to gather friends and family together for a creative experience, which is very different from your average social gathering. The simple pleasure of crafting with a group is hard to beat, and the goal of the book is to get people out and crafting with their loved ones. Additionally, I’ve kept the projects basic so that the beginning crafter can have as much fun as the experienced crafter. And I’ve tried to write with a dash of humor, ‘cause it’s more fun for me to write on the lighter side of things, and I hope that makes the book more fun to read. I want to inspire people everywhere to start throwing their own Crafternoons! UCU- What advice do you have for crafters that are trying to survive these economic times? MM- I’m not a full time crafter, so I have a different perspective on surviving these hard times. I keep my crafting frugal by throwing Crafternoons! The great thing about these parties is that they are crafty potlucks, with people bringing everything from crudités to craft supplies to share with their fellow crafters. When I first started hosting these parties I was super broke, so I decided I wouldn’t spend more than $25 per Crafternoon. I would purchase what I could with that money, and ask folks to bring something to share. And it always works out well, because you’ll find that most folks are pretty generous when it comes to sharing. More often that not, I come out ahead after a Crafternoon! I usually end up with lots of leftover hummus and cool fabric scraps and whatever else people brought along but didn’t want to bring home with them. When I was broke, I ate many a Hummus-Left-Over-From-a-Crafternoon Sandwich. And I held on to all the donated supplies, so I’ve got a get stash of cool stuff that I can bring to each Crafternoon to share with the next group of crafters, so it all keeps going back into my little crafting community. UCU- What are you looking forward to the most at Urban Craft Uprising? MM- I cannot wait to walk around and meet all the crafters! I love craft fairs. There is always such a fun vibe, and you get to meet tons of interesting people. And I love seeing the cool new crafts. It’s totally inspiring to be in the midst of tons of creative folks. Of course, I’m also excited to finish most of my holiday shopping in two days flat. I’m going to pack an extra bag to transport all my crafty purchases back to Brooklyn! UCU- Do you have any advice for someone that wants to publish a book? MM- For starters, do some research! Go to your local libraries or bookstores (and the internet, of course) to figure out what publishers might be interested in your book and whether or not they accept unsolicited manuscripts. If there is already a book out there that covers a lot of your ideas, think about how your book is different and why the world needs your book. With those answers in mind, write a proposal that includes an introduction, a sample chapter, and a chapter breakdown. Work on it until it is as perfect as you can make it. And then send it out! Of course, if you are concerned about copyright issues, your research should include finding out how to protect your writing before you send it out into the world. And above all, enjoy the process and believe in yourself. Just the process of writing the proposal will be rewarding, even if that is as far as it goes. UCU- Got any new years resolutions you would want to share with us? MM- I want to craft something for every new baby that has come into my life since 2008. It’s been such a busy year for me, and I’ve got a long list of adorable babies that are owed a handmade treat. I intend to make that a priority for the bleak midwinter. And I also plan to start posting on my blog every day. I’m going to blog it up big time in 2009, so be sure to keep up with me online!