On Saturday, I had the pleasure of going to the SoCal Social, a meet up for bloggers in Southern CA. Most of these bloggers are crafty as they come…then there was me. As they were giving away the prizes, I had to lean over & ask what in the world one does with bias tape. I’m still not sure what a die cutter is (not at all knocking the amazing giveaways…I’m just UNcrafty!). I had a fabulous time walking around with these crafty women & hearing about projects they are doing or what they would do with a certain antique table. It really did inspire me!
Another person that inspired me was Mark Montano. He was our speaker at dinner Saturday after 4 hours of walking and shopping. Mark first told us about how he started his career as a fashion designer, then wrote a monthly column for CosmoGirl! Magazine, wrote a book and then he became as a host/co-host of 5 TV shows over the last 10 years. He has now written 11 books! In our swag bag, we got an advanced copy of his newest book “The Big-Ass Book of Bling“ (out Nov. 13th). He even signed it & I got a picture with him. Mark is so much fun to listen to and I was pleasantly surprised to see him around the shops, doing the same antique shopping all us bloggers were doing. I don’t know why I was surprised seeing as how I was surrounded by crafty geniuses!
Where do you get inspiration for the crafts you do?
“For this book, it was from my 20 year long career in fashion. It was a chance to revisit the jewelry crafts I had been making for my runway shows and boutique all those years. The inspiration for my other books came out of a necessity to keep busy and be creative. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane.”
For someone who isn’t crafty (*coughcoughMEcoughcough*), what kind of crafts are easy enough to do but still don’t look like our kids made them at summer camp?
“Simple sewing crafts come to mind. Things you can make like fabric napkins and embellished basics like t-shirts and sweaters. Furniture makeover crafts are always pretty successful, too.”
What are your favorite kind of crafts to do?
“This is a great question from which I do not have an answer. It’s easier to tell you what I am not fond of doing which is knitting and pottery. Those two are definitely off of my list of accomplishments. That said, I’ve been sewing and beading my entire life and I find those two the most relaxing.”
Have you even made something & then looked at it years later (or heck, even the next morning!) and thought, “WTF was I thinking?” What was it?
“Um, at least once a week. I think it’s important to have (craft) failures. They help you arrive at a better place every time! Although, I do have to say, sometimes the uglier the craft, the more people like it. I have no idea why! There were times we made a dog dress (when I was a fashion designer) and we would put it in the window and it would almost always sell within 2 days! Go figure.”
How hard is it writing a craft book? How long does it usually take from conception to publish date? It seems like it would be a really hard type of book to write since you have to write it out step by step & photograph every step as well!
“This is a HUGE question and one that will be answered in my upcoming book HOW TO WRITE A BESTSELLING CRAFT BOOK TIPS FROM THE #1 SELLING CRAFT BOOK AUTHOR OF ALL TIME. It takes a while depending on the size. It’s like climbing a mountain. You just keep at it until it’s done and then you have to get back down from the mountain which takes a while, too. The Big Ass Books take at least a year from top to bottom.”
I just want to thank Mark so much for spending the day with all of us bloggers on Saturday, for taking the time to answer my questions & for writing a great book! I am having a lot of fun reading through each page and all the little stories that he has added in there. If you’re in the L.A. area, Mark’s book launch for “The Big-Ass Book of Bling” is November 1st, 7 P.M. at The Craft and Folk Art Museum. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.