I have just spent the most entertaining half hour or so perusing the Craftster.org website. If you are at all interested in “alternative crafting,” you owe yourself a visit to this terrific online community. It’s a “forum for people who love to make things but who are not inspired by cross-stitched home sweet home plaques and wooden boxes with ducks in bonnets painted on,” in the words of Craftster founder Leah Kramer. Instead, you’ll find amazing things like this knitted afghan:
Or funky things like the “chicken chapel,” a genuine chicken coop:
Not all of the projects are so ambitious; Craftster features lots of jewelry, yard decorations, soft toys, handbags, and other small objects designed by enthusiastic amateur crafters. It’s a wonderful spot on the ‘net to settle in and get inspired.
All of which leads me to a very cool event Vroman’s is hosting this coming Sunday at 3 p.m. Leah Kramer, founder of Craftster.org and owner of the ultra-cool shop Magpie (“Hip Crafts, Local Art, Vintage Collectibles”) in Somerville, MA, will be here to discuss and sign her new book The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, & Kitschy Crafts: Fifty Fabulous Projects from the 50s & 60s. Among the projects in the book are a cigar-box makeup kit, a macaroni glamour tissue box, and lightbulb Christmas ornaments — silly, kitschy, funny! We’ve known since we booked the event that Leah had some kind of group craft project planned for those who show up on Sunday. A few days ago a box arrived at the store with her return address and we couldn’t resist taking a peek — I don’t think I’ll ruin any surprises (and I hope I pique a few interests) by telling you the box contains some as-yet unadorned canvas tote bags and the blanks for making your own buttons/badges. What a great way to spend a summer afternoon! I’ll be here myself, carefully concealing the fact that I’m one of those people who has cross-stitched a home sweet home sampler. Don’t tell anyone.