Meet the Author: Wise Craft by Blair Stocker
Can you give our readers a little background about who you are and how you got started crafting?
I’ve been creative my entire life. My grandmother taught me to knit and sew when I was 4 years old and, although I didn’t pick it back up again until I was older, I caught on quickly to the idea that I enjoyed making things with my hands. From there, I went through the usual trendy crafts during my school years… cross stitching, friendship bracelets, etc. I studied Apparel Design and Costume History in college, and for about 10 years after graduation, worked as a clothing merchandiser and fabric designer. During that period of time, my creativity happened at work. When I had my daughter in 1998, I left the work force to be at home with her, and I felt a huge creative void in my life. I started creating projects here and there for our home and our family, first during quiet moments when my daughter napped, then later on with her and her brother. These days, everyone in our family has their own creative pursuits, it’s fun to see. I’d like to think I had a little something to do with giving them the urge to create.
What is your favorite thing about making things by hand?
Because of the time, energy, and thought going into hand making something, it makes the end product more special. I’m less likely to throw out something that is hand made, and usually the process of making it creates a nice or funny story (at least in our house). It makes me think about what I want to be surrounded by. I enjoy pulling out potholders I’ve made from scrap fabric in an afternoon just as much as a handmade quilt.
What inspired you to share your passion for crafting with the world through this book?
I did not see a lot of craft books that included a variety of mediums. I found this curious because I know many people like myself, who like to do all sorts of creative things… sewing, crocheting, knitting, painting. Most books I was seeing on the market tended to go deep in one type of skill, like sewing, or quilting, etc. While I love my share of those, I wanted to create a book that I myself would pull off the shelf when the seasons change and I want to get inspiration to wake up our house, give it a new look. Wise Craft is meant to inspire the reader with it’s strong seasonal color palettes as well as with the projects themselves. I wanted this book to be the one you sit with when you’re feeling crafty and aren’t sure where to start.
How did you choose which projects would make the cut for your book?
That was hard. I always wanted 60 projects/15 per season, but I had many more! Through discussions with the publishers, we honed in on the strongest grouping of crafts for each season, but it was tough to pull some of those.
Do you have any tips for how to thrift shop for craft purposes?
I am very inspired by off beat color combinations, and sometimes the strangest colors can appear at the thrift store. I would say don’t rule these out, often they can be combined with another color- off-beat fabric color combinations can become a beautiful quilt, or a not-so-pretty painting can be “repainted” with brighter colors and 3D ephemera to create a whole new piece. Because you never know what you might find, it’s important to have an “anything goes”, open mind when you walk through the doors.
Your book emphasizes family. Can you tell us a little about your family and how they inspire your crafts?
I have a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. They made little projects with me when they were younger, and now, on their own. My daughter is obsessed with cos-playing and is learning how to make her own costumes and accessories. My husband is always coming up with crazy ideas for me to make. Our house is filled with art from extended family. Being creative is a way of life for us.
This first book seems to be gaining a lot of traction already! Any ideas about a second?
I would love to do another book! Stay tuned!