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My own DIY…

Hi, loyal Craftbook Fans!

I wanted to let you know that I launched another project–an ebook! The Chick Lit Cookbook: A Guide to Writing Your Novel in 30 Minutes a Day is officially on sale at Smashwords and Amazon. It’s only $4.99, and through midnight tonight you can get a copy for $2.99 at Amazon. You can also get it for $.99 on Smashwords using the coupon code ER26U. After that, it’s still only $4.99!

I love reading chick lit, and I confessed my love for it over on my author page. I talk a lot about chick lit and feminism, literature, and storylines over at And WHEW, I think that’s enough webpages for one gal.

Anyway, would love to hear what you think. Do you read chick lit? Do you write? Drop by and leave me a comment!

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Last summer I set out to take a survey. A lot of you took that survey, and I am SO GRATEFUL to you all. Thank you! I also started this blog, started tweeting, and started reading about crafters. Make that continued reading about crafters; I have been addicted to craft blogs since the beginning of craft blog time.

At the end of the summer, I had found out many things. I put a lot of them in this post. I had been planning to write a book about the craft blogosphere. I’m in an MFA program for nonfiction; I thought I would make this my thesis.

As it happened, I got sidetracked late this past fall by a local church that started renting a local landmark. I interviewed the pastor and ended up spending three months writing about it. Those three months have turned into a year of serious research into this particular church.

Long story short, I’m not writing a nonfiction book about crafters, at least not right now. There are a slew of awesome crafter-observer blogs (for example, Craftypod) that are writing that book in their posts. However, I wanted to write something about crafters–because you guys are awesome, and because I love writing about crafts.

Luckily, I ran into a fellow crafter and we decided to collaborate. It is with great pride that I share with you: A Typical Craft Blog. To be updated biweekly over the next six weeks, as I finish up interviewing and writing. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who’s agreed to even more questions, and to everyone who read and encouraged me last summer! I hope you will visit, read, comment, and enjoy!

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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?