The pendulum has swung back

I think that generations experience cycles. For example: my mom didn’t change her name when she got married, but all of my friends are changing their names. Seventies clothes were THE WORST when I was thirteen, and now they’re all the rage. The fifties are back on television.

I feel like we have come full circle, in a way, this past Cinco de Mayo.

3 pinata cookies made out of multicolored cookies filled with mini m&m's.
From She Knows

It was the pinata cookies.

The pinata cookies appeared on my Pinterest early last week. Oh, how cute, I thought. But I can’t believe someone would go through the trouble of making them. I mean, just look at those multi-colored stripes.

Then, I went to a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday, where I had been promised a “surprise dessert.” Surprise! It was the pinata cookies!

Holy smokes, I thought, I know some SERIOUSLY crafty people!

Then I went on Facebook this morning and found another photo of the homemade–from a friend of mine. That’s right, I have two, count ’em, TWO friends who made pinata cookies. From scratch. Starting with the insane steps of making and dying cookie dough, baking and cutting out cookies, gluing them together and magically getting the M&M’s inside. You bake 40 cookies–you read right, 40 cookies–and you get 7 or 8 pinata cookies. That’s what it says in the recipe. I can’t believe one person did this who wasn’t Martha Stewart, and yet I know two.

I see this incredibly anecdotal evidence as a sign that we have swung away from Martha Stewart when we rebelled with our punky grrl crafts, and have now swung back. We are totally willing to spend hours in the kitchen making (let’s admit it) awesome cookies.

I don’t think this is a bad thing–I think the pendulum kind of swings in a spiral. So we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but only because it’s cool and fun. Part of it may have to do with the economy–making cookies is a pretty cheap pastime. Kitchen craftiness is a pretty awesome phenomenon, especially if you’re friends with someone who’s hopped on the bandwagon. Because the cookies, they are amazing. They are a feat of pastry engineering majesty. I can’t stop looking at them. They’re so CUTE. Also, they were delicious.

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Fun activities

As a writer, I often work alone. As a crafter, I often find myself alone, too. Especially when doing sewing projects, because none of my friends really sew, and also, a sewing machine isn’t really a group bonding machine. My first card-making party was a great success, if I say so myself, but lately I’ve been on the prowl for other

cowgirl from Stitch 'n Bitch's Debbie Stoller
Lady S & B, courtesy of Stitch 'n Bitch

crafty group activities.

For example, I wish Dismount Creative were in my town, and not just because it would mean doubling the Alicia population. I wish there were non-stitching Stitch & Bitches. I like to knit as much as the next gal, but there are other crafts that could benefit from a circle. Quilt ‘n Bitch? Cupcake decorating?

Maybe I’m just in need of a party. It’s entirely possible; at school, we’ve reached the section of the semester where everyone’s pretty wiped and we’re already forsummer vacation.

At any rate, I noticed a posters for Dover Paint Along, which is along the lines of what I’m looking for. You can bring friends and wine and leave with a painted canvas. I’m not super into painting, but I might just try it. Or maybe I’ll rekindle my painting pottery obsession–it can be pricey, but once in a while, it’s perfetto.

How do you connect with other crafters off-line?

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I love Pinterest. I, like the rest of you, can spend hours upon hours there. One of my favorite Saturday morning activities, in fact, is doing just that: coffee, Pinterest, couch. I could sit there for hours. It’s better than re-runs of Friends (ok, maybe not quite).

Just before I got on (you can follow me there if you like, @likesoatmeal) I read Diane of Craftypod’s post about Pinterest and copyright/credit-giving. It sat in the back of my mind as I clicked through uncredited after uncredited photo. I decided I would always put the title of the blog I got my inspiration from in each pin, and I have. I try not to repin, which isn’t very social of me, because I want to know where everything comes from.

screenshot of Pinterest boards
Who doesn’t love this?

But I also felt a fair bit of sympathy for non-credit-givers. It doesn’t say anywhere on Pinterest “CREDIT YOUR SOURCES!” And as an English composition TA, I have experienced firsthand how difficult the concept of giving proper credit is (the terror of plagiarism haunts students more than anything else).

Yesterday, I read this article about how Pinterest violates copyright, or allows people to violate it, while getting off scot-free. The guilt was official: guys, you should really credit your pins! It’s not hard, and besides, then you’ll see what blog your awesome tutorial for Calvin and Hobbes snowman truffles came from and when you’re trolling the internet for new tutorials, you can hop back over there and see what’s new!

Maybe it’s just the composition teacher in me, but I don’t give anyone a fail for not doing this. Just like plagiarism in college, there’s no course in internet source-crediting. But, it seems as though going forward, mentioning where you got your pin is a good thing to do. Maybe it will discourage¬†websites from putting “nopin” code into their sites and allow us to keep creating awesome pinboards for cake.

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5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About…


Craft did a series of awesome interviews (that link is with one of my faves, Diane of Craftypod) with crafty folks. Thought I’d re-introduce myself and update you-all on my crafty endeavors. Here goes!

One project I am particularly proud of…

Well, I’d have to say this survey. I’ve never contacted so many people before, or tweeted so often, or internet-met so many awesome folks! It was a lot of work, but I learned how to make a website and how to organize a LOT of info.

Two mistakes I’ve made in the past…

Oh, there are so many to choose from.

1. Getting my nose pierced twice and letting it go twice. I kind of want to get my nose pierced again, but given my track record, I don’t think it’s wise.

2. Worrying about every cookie I ever ate in college. There were so many cookies, and I felt guilty about every single one. Life improved immeasurably when I learned to let the cookies go.

Three things that make my work unique…

1. I try hard to write about things that show something interesting about our era, often related to women and girls. I think these things aren’t talked about as much, but have a huge impact on what’s going on in our country.

2. I like to be straightforward. No jargon, please.

3. I used to be a math major! So, I like to explain things and I try to make numbers readable.

Four tools you love to use…

1. Clipboard, like April in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

2. Thin markers.

3. My Gingher scissors.

4. A tiny voice recorder with a USB port.

Cover of a classic craft book, Retro Revamp! Holographic blue with an orange flower and a purse made out of woven ribbons

Five inspirations…

1. Craft books. I’m addicted like you wouldn’t believe and have been since I could open books. (Retro Revamp is one of my faves)

2. My fellow teachers. I steal lesson plans from them literally every day. Ok, maybe not literally, but seriously, every day.
4. The Crafty Chica! The first craft blog I ever read : )3. Craft bloggers’ buttons. I still can’t believe how beautiful you guys can make a Facebook button look.

5. The Grownup Noise, a band from Boston. They are awesome, they have such a good time playing their music, and they’re really really nice, too!

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