Welcome to my virtual office! Wipe the sleep out of your eyes, grab my hand, (no don't do that) and come with me to the virtual Craft Trends Department at HandMadeNews.org!
I'd like to introduce you to the four other columnists who work shoulder to shoulder with me, keeping their ears to the ground, their noses to the grindstone and their eyes on the tiger in order to bring you breaking news of the craft trend world. (Wait, that tiger one doesn't sound quite right....)
To my left, in the green, is Tara! Wave hello, Tara! Tara Gentile is a blogger, freelance writer, and social media strategist - as well as a full-time mom. She holds a B.A. in Religion from Lebanon Valley College with a concentration in writing & composition and a minor in Music. After college, she worked as a bookstore manager, gaining experience in human resources, marketing, and events planning. She is the editor of Handmade in PA.net, the premiere site for networking artists, crafters, and shoppers in the Keystone State. Handmade in PA.net has been featured on Handmade Marketing.org, Craft Zine, and the Pittsburgh Craft Collective blog. She is a guest blogger on the Try Handmade blog. Tara also provides social media consulting to non-profit & community organizations through good start marketing.!
Right next to Tara, the lady with the sewing machine, a mélange of collage materials, assorted books and a laptop, is Karen Schmidt! Her homeschooling family on Camano Island, Washington, is constantly creating - from woodworking to gardens, to multimedia computer programs, to every sort of handmade gift, card, gift wrap and decoration. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Karen lived in Ecuador (South America) before settling with her family in the Pacific Northwest!
Besides crafting and teaching, she works with teens, foster parents kittens for the animal shelter and advocates for the tiny local library, where craft books get decent shelf time! In addition to beloved paper crafts, she had the blessing of a skillful mom who taught her sewing, knitting and crocheting as a child. Now she's getting the hang of quilting and looking ahead to the next frontier: beading. Karen, word to the wise. Stay away from beading. I bead. I know.
The next columnist that I'd like you to meet is our Lady of the Darker Crafts But Not in a Bad Way, Xane Dravor! Xane, tell my Blog Readers something about yourself!
"Id love to Wendy! I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. From the first Cheerio necklace I strung on simple cotton thread, to my latest piece, a skull flower fascinator made with polymers and acrylic that took me half a day to make. I love the world of handmade arts. Every item holds a story and every piece is often a mini work of art. While crafting is a wonderful world and a place I very much enjoy, I have many other things that are just as beautiful, and in the case of my son, even more important. I am a mother and a crafter. I am also trying my hand at illustration for graphic novels, as well as becoming a professional writer of fiction. *whew* That's a lot! I never have a dull moment or a second when I don't have something to do. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
My interests are primarily with the darker side of crafting. I love skulls and bats and things that are not strictly alive anymore. I love reclaimed objects and found mixed media arts. If you have something constructed from a skull, a set of bat wings and some vintage lace, you've got my attention. Just take a look at the wild and weird things on my own shop and you'll get the idea."
Thank you Xane! I like your perspective! *turns on all the lights*
Not least among us, though last, is Shell Auker. This columnist rarely goes anywhere without some sort of craft with her! It may be the extra spindle and roving tucked in her glove compartment in the van, or the socks on needles in her purse. Crafting and fiber are never far away. Her husband swears that there is not a room in the house without fibre; he is probably right, but how would I know! lol!
She resides in Central Pennsylvania with 2 angora rabbits, 3 dogs, her husband and 3 children. Crafting is to her as normal as breathing. Being involved with the Bedford Chapter of Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and the Knitaholic's Unanimous group, along with teaching spinning and knitting, keeps her busy! Love the KU group name, Shell!
Look who else is here! It's our esteemed editor, Amanda Rosen! She shines and fine tunes our columns so that it's nothing but gold for you, and you, and of course, you!
Amanda is an entrepreneur, with a finger in event planning, gift basket creation, transcribing and, of course, HandmadeNews.org. Amanda is very happy to be a part of this great venture in the handmade/craft world, especially on the trend side! You look happy!
In non-work related areas of her life, Amanda often finds herself reading too many books at once, flipping through a too large collection of magazines, and playing with her tiny Pomeranian and black cat, Aslan and Caspian, respectively.
Her favorite handmade items all center in the paper world, but she's a big fan of re-purposed fashion as well. Amanda, your pets may be small and your collections large, but your editing skills are enormous!
Well, here we are, cherished Blog Readers! The Craft Trends News Team! Thanks for coming to work with me to meet the gang! They're nice aren't they? Such nice outfits!
Hey! You can actually subscribe to our RSS feeds and get us with your morning coffee! I know! Mindboggling! And if you want, after you read our articles, you can give us a virtual pat on the back without the yucky cooties! Just click on the green thumbs up thingy at the end of each of our articles! The GREEN one! Make our day with a little comment and spread the crafty trendiness around the blogisphere, because its nice to share! And remember to use exclamation points, like I do! Alot!
Before you go, let me just give a shout out to Marjorie Dawson, of the HandMadeNews.org Inspiration Department for inspiring me to bring you all to work! Please say hello to Marjorie next time you see her and tell her I sent you! She makes Jewellery, Pins, Brooches and Art Dolls, that I like very much!