Craft & Design Workshop
Maura Madden Q & A and CRAFTERNOON Book Giveaway

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CRAFTERNOON: A Guide to Getting Artsy and Crafty With Your Friends All Year Long by Maura Madden
Buy the Book ($16.95)
CRAFTERNOON: The Web site
CRAFTERNOON: The Blog
CRAFTERNOON is a book that speaks directly to the heart and soul of what I love about crafting: connecting with other people while engaged in the creative process. Maura Madden’s new book, CRAFTERNOON: A Guide to Getting Artsy and Crafty With Your Friends All Year Long, lays out the tools, projects, tips and even snack recipes so readers can easily put together their own Crafternoon groups and get to makin’ stuff with friends and family in a relaxed, fun setting.
Initially, I just loved the idea of an actual guide that motivates people to craft together for the simple pleasure of having fun and connecting with one another. Creating community through crafting is one of my mantras. But as I started reading the book, I fell in love with Madden’s wit, her glowing stories of crafting with her mom, and – mostly – with her preaching of pressure-free crafting and an embrace of imperfection.

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Crafternoon is all about being around friends who support your work, who encourage your growing craftiness, and who inspire and get inspired by you. Crafternoon is about getting back to the roots of crafting. It’s about getting pleasure out of the process as much as the product. It’s about making room for the input of other crafter and allowing yourself to be open to new ideas. It’s about the contentment you feel when you are surrounded by happily crafting friends, friends who can see the beauty in imperfection, the pleasure of happy mistakes.

A philosophy on crafting and community doesn’t get much better than that.
Each month in the CRAFTERNOON book outlines everything from project supplies, tips and resources, to recipes for snacks and even provides a sample email you can send to friends to get them to come to your Crafternoon gathering. It’s a great source of inspiration (not to mention humor – Madden’s writing is easy to read and hilarious) and a nice departure from typical project-only craft books.
Another important presence in the book is Madden’s mother – whose warm personality and gentle guidance is what brought heart to the initial Crafternoon gathering. Reading Madden’s account of crafting with her mom, and the influence her mother had on Madden’s work and perspective is sweet without being corny and leaves me wishing I could sit in on a Crafternoon with Madden and her mom.

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So often, I hear friends saying they want to get together and get crafty, but never seem to pull it off. CRAFTERNOON is the perfect remedy to all that. It takes the guesswork out of planning the event and serves as a fantastic catalyst to get your craft on, community style. And for that, it’s one of my all-time favorite craft books.

And Craftzine readers are in luck! We’ve got a copy of CRAFTERNOON to giveaway to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment to this post and tell us why you need this book. (Please make sure your email address is in your profile so we can contact you if you win.) All comments will be closed at 9PM PST on Friday, October 31. The lucky winner will be announced on the Craftzine blog on Monday, November 3. Good luck, have fun, and tell your friends!
Here’s a little more background on author, Maura Madden, and why she wrote the book.
What made you decide to take your Crafternoons and translate them into a book?  
My dear friend Emilie thought that it would be a good idea for a book. It was really all her idea! But once I started thinking about it, I really got excited. The goal of the book is to inspire people everywhere to host their own Crafternoons. If I can do that, I will be so happy. 
How does hosting/attending Crafternoons make you feel?   
Crafternoons are mentally refreshing. But if you’re the host, they take a lot of energy, too. Being a good host of a Crafternoon is the same as being a good host at any party – you run around a lot, you make sure that everyone has something to craft, someone to talk to and something to drink. And that can be a little bit tiring, but so very worth it, ’cause you get love and good times in return.  
What’s the most common excuse you hear people make on why they can’t come to a Crafternoon, and how do you overcome those excuses?  
It’s usually some form of “I’m not really a crafty person” or “I’m just not creative.” It can be really hard to convince certain people that everyone has the potential to be creative and crafty. I just try to be encouraging, and I explain that Crafternoon is not about competitive, perfectionist crafting – it’s about having fun and letting your imagination take the spotlight for a few hours. I also let them know that Crafternoon is more about the process of communal crafting than about some perfectly crafted end product. If all else fails, I just tell them there will be lots of cool folks there. And if they’re single, I like to remind them that there will be lots of cool single folks there. That often seals the deal.
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How do guests usually respond to their time at Crafternoons?  
People have an overwhelmingly positive response to Crafternoon. They leave happy and inspired. The experience is really gratifying. And I know they’re not just saying so, because they come back, and they bring friends.  
Describe your favorite Crafternoon experience you’ve had:  
It’s impossible for me to pick just one experience, because each Crafternoon is so unique and cool, and there are so many great moments every time. But watching any self-described “uncreative” person try their hand at a craft project and really get into it – that’s satisfying every time.  
What tips do you have for folks who are interested in starting a Crafternoon group, but aren’t sure if they are quite ready to commit to it?
You certainly don’t have to do a Crafternoon every month. You can start out by throwing one to see how it goes, and even then you can just throw them whenever you feel like throwing them. And if you do want to make it a monthly gathering, but you don’t want to have all the responsibility of choosing the date, hosting the afternoon and being the point person, you can recruit a group of friends to be rotating Crafternoon hosts. And that way you get to experience new craft environments each time!  
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How do you maintain playful crafting time in your busy work schedule? 
You just have to make time. It can be very hard, and believe me, there have been periods when I thought I would never have time to host another Crafternoon. But important things like crafting and spending time with those you love – you just have to set aside time for that.  
How would you describe your philosophy on living a creative, independent life vs. working for “The Man?”  
It’s funny, because technically I work for “The Man.” I have a full time job in an office, and it’s a very creative company and a great place to work, but it definitely qualifies as working for “The Man”. But I’d like to think that I can inspire other “Employees of The Man” that you can find time in your life to be creative, and, in fact, it’s imperative to find that time. Because humans are creative creatures – isn’t that what distinguishes us from the other animals that roam the earth? It’s not just our creation of governments and currency – it’s our creation of ritual, of art, of writing, of performance. It’s our desire to express something. I firmly believe that we humans must express ourselves to feel whole and happy. So my philosophy is just lead an independent, creative life in your own independent way, which may include working for “The Man” to put food on the table, or may mean living off the grid, growing your own food. As long as you prioritize your creativity and community, you can live a creative life.  
How does your relationship with your mom affect how/why you craft?  My mom is the reason why I craft. She is an incredibly creative person, and, obviously, an incredibly crafty person. It’s kind of astonishing how many types of crafts she is good at, but she is an especially phenomenal knitter and seamstress. And we really get along, so it’s fun for us to hang out together and craft. I wouldn’t have begun hosting these parties if it wasn’t for my mom. She inspired them!  
As for how the relationship affects how I craft? Well, it’s funny, because my mom is actually a very precise and patient crafter, the polar opposite of my crafting style. But maybe that’s where the rebel in me comes out. I like to do things my way, and maybe I don’t always want to do what my mom tells me. Besides, I know she’ll love whatever I make, so I can’t go wrong when I’m crafting with my mom. I also try to impart that feeling to my Crafternooners – nothing is wrong at Crafternoon.  
What’s the one crafting supply you can’t live without and why? 
My imagination. Oh, and glue sticks. I love a good glue stick. Liquid glue is great, but paper collages, which I love to make, require a glue stick. And every craft requires your imagination. I cannot live without that.

55 thoughts on “Maura Madden Q & A and CRAFTERNOON Book Giveaway

  1. i’m definitely in need of this book… i have a few friends who definitely have imagination and are good with making things, but don’t have the confidence to start. they insist they have nothing to offer — which i KNOW is not true. maybe with a book like this they’ll be motivated enough to try! :)

  2. Why is it that as soon as all us girlfriends went off and got married that we don’t do anything together anymore — without the husbands. No offense to them of course. But sometimes we just need some girl time. And since most of us are pretty crafty, a Crafternoon would be perfect! Add some appetizers and maybe some wine and you’re talking a great time — reminiscent of those giggly single girl days. Sigh! This book would come in handy. Thanks! larf8@yahoo.com

  3. This looks like a great book. I live in a different city than my friends and I’d love to entice them to visit me by hosting a crafting afternoon. No kids, just the girls and some glue, beads, yarn and needles. I’m always looking for new ideas that all skill levels of crafters can do.

  4. This book looks great. If I win (thank you for offering a copy to us) I promise to gather some friends and craft.

  5. I need this book because I am so crafty but I forget! Or I let myself have no time for craft because of grad school and homework. This book is just what I need to get myself, and my friends, back into crafting where we belong!

  6. I so need this book. I have just started hosting Crafternoons with some friends. Our group is growing all the time! Its so great to spend the days chatting, gossiping and making with your good friends. Most of us are crochters or knitters – however some are not and feel left out, so I think this book would help us all craft together! I love Crafternoons..

  7. My friends and I have been trying to start up a crafty club, and everyone’s always really excited about it, but when we actually hold it only the diehards show up. I want to get the people involved who wouldn’t be knitting/sewing/etc anyway on their own. Surely a book with snack recipes can do that…

  8. I need this book so bad! I have every craft item known to woman, and I want to do this and make that, and can’t get it together. I was going to have some friends over, but didn’t know where to start, what to make, etc. I sit in my little craft room and feel bad because I have so many things to use to craft with, but haven’t made a thing. This could be the start of a new beginning! Me – the book – and friends. If our crafts failed, it wouldn’t be my fault, because after all, we would be using the expertise of a wonderful crafter – Maura! PLEASE PICK ME, PICK ME!
    cmcmc7@yahoo.com

  9. i need this book to help coerce my somewhat crafty friends to get together more often! we get together once a month or less- with all intentions to knit/embroider/make and we usually end up eating and calling it an early night! more craftiness please!!!

  10. I love to craft! I’m always looking for new ideas and as soon as I saw this book I thought it was adorable. I was in luck to see that there’s a chance I might be able to have it for myself!

  11. This sounds really cool (and like something to hide from the boss, because she’ll make the guys crazy trying to do this)! A lot of my friends craft, but we no longer do the same crafts so there really hasn’t been any hanging out and stitching, knitting, beading, etc. in ages. Maybe this would help!

  12. I’ve been wanting to share my passion for crafts with my friends but haven’t been able to nail down exactly how. This book sounds like just what I need to finally do it.

  13. you just might choose me.
    I am a high school teacher as are a few of my very close friends and we have been talking about getting together for crafting forever but between grading, lesson planing, and just generally working more hours than a person should, we haven’t been able to get it together. Having a guide which we could share and use as a lesson plan for ourselves would help take the stress out of planning our craftiness and make it the amazing, relaxing experience we could all use.

  14. Thanks for your creativity in writing this book and giving it away. I need this book because every time I host a craft afternoon, there’s always the “oddballs.” The friends who aren’t in the middle of a project who can’t be convinced that knitting a few squares for my knit quilt is a great idea. I think your book would help us have shared projects so every one comes away from my parties craft satisfied (craftisfied?).

  15. I’m a newlywed and in a new place. Not only am I trying to make new friends, but I’m also trying to become domestic and crafty. Help!!!!

  16. I’ve been wanting to share my passion for crafts with my friends but haven’t been able to nail down exactly how. This book sounds like just what I need to finally do it.

  17. I have always dreamed of doing something like this! Maybe this book would push me to actually do it.

  18. I’d love the book because our Crafternight is looking for ideas. We’d get such a kick out of this sort of inspiration.

  19. Please please? I’m always looking for ideas for things I can make with my friends and family!

  20. My friends and i have been having crafternoons for ages! Nothing beats getting a bunch of lovely folks together to share their creativity! We’d love some new ideas.

  21. I’ve been wanting to share my passion for crafts with my friends but haven’t been able to nail down exactly how. This book sounds like just what I need to finally do it.

  22. I have only recently discovered my love for crafting and would love to be apart of a community of fellow crafters. I think the book would be such a great resource in helping me to make it a reality!

  23. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to start crafting parties with my friends. I think this book will have some great tips and ideas for me to give another try.

  24. Just seeing the possibility of a new craft book piqued my excitement today. Recently I moved across the country and had to leave most of my craft supplies (and ideas and planned projects for them) at home.
    Then, after reading your post about the book and how much of an important role Maura’s Mom plays in the process, I knew I had to have this book. While I was growing up, all of my friends would always want to come over to my house since my Mom would always have super rad crafts planned for us after school. My love of crafting has continued my whole life and my Mom was always a great inspiration for ideas or help with tricky projects. She recently passed away and crafting has been a soothing part of the grieving process for me.

  25. I would love to have a copy of Crafternoon so that I could find some new ideas for crafting with my kids, just like Maura did with her Mom!

  26. I’ve met up with friends a couple of times to do crafty things together, However, we’re all knitters, and could use some inspiration to turn our knit-togethers into craft-togethers!

  27. Oh, this is just what I need. First, my daughter has gone off to college, but I still have drawers full of craft supplies from Girl Scouts and school projects that I haven’t been able to bear to part with. Second, I’m undergoing medical treatments this fall and winter, which means having to stay home a lot (avoid crowds, exposure to germs, etc.) Having friends over to craft on weekends would be a great excuse to have people over to hang out, and good art therapy for all of us!

  28. I’ve tried organizing craft gatherings with friends, but it always seem to fizzle out. Maybe this book will inspire us to get crafting for real.

  29. i love crafts, they let me get creative and try something new..and sometimes a great stress reliever. however, my none of my friends are really into them, and try as i might- we say we’re going to have a get together to do them, we never do…i’m hoping ths book will inspire me to really throw a crafty afternoon or evening together and show all my friends why crafting is so great!

  30. I want this book because I’ve always wanted to throw a craftacular party and this book can show me how!

  31. My friends and I have been having Crafternoons (even calling them that!) on and off for a year or so now. We’ve finished and started new individual projects, but we’ve been looking for more ideas to do together. This book looks like it would work for us!

  32. I desperately need this book! I host crafting for my three sister-in-laws (all older) and my 3 adult nieces. I admit, I am intimidated by my older S-I-Ls knowledge of crafting and now here comes along my 3 hip nieces and yet I have to be the one who comes up with something fun that everyone likes. That is a tall order!! I need help! I trust your judgement and this book is exactly the type of thing that can make our craft afternoons enjoyable for everyone!

  33. I would love to have this book because I am intimidated by my neighbor with her art degree – but I would really love to get together with her – and potentially other moms/dads/people in the neighborhood – and craft. It really sounds like my kind of party. :)

  34. I have been trying to get something like this started with my friends. Maybe this book would be our motivation to totally get going and make a monthly thing of it. I hope I win it :)

  35. I really need this book. I’m a craftbookaholic and I never have enough. I want it! This book look great and I bet it has some wonderful projects.
    I really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really want this book…
    can I have it??? please???

  36. My crafty gal friend and I were talking about the need to organize a group to get together and craft our hearts out. I’d love to be inspired by this book!

  37. Thanks for the great book review! I love reading a review that let’s me know what it is that makes the book so craveable, or not. It’s clear from this review that if I’ve been wanting to plan crafty afternoons with friends but have been unable to get my act together, this book will provide more than sufficient motivation and direction. And I do! I do! My friends and I bemoan the lack of time we spend doing fun stuff just for us. I have more of a propensity towards craft then my group of friends and they often ask me to indoctrinate them into the world of hand made, but I never know where to begin. This book would be a fantastic start. And if I don’t win it, I’ll buy it anyway.

  38. I’ve hosted many craft sessions for children but would love to be able to host them for parents instead, then the children can learn naturally along with us and from us later as we have chance to reconnect with our own crafting capabilities and imaginations.

  39. This book is AWESOME, love the idea! My friends are so crafty! I am ready to get them together with the help of this book!

  40. I would love to have this book as a tool to get craft togetherness time going with my sister, sisters-in-law, and mothers. We are all interested in craftiness of one sort or another, and this book would be a great meeting point for all of us to work together!

  41. My friends and I tried a crafty get together. we made it one month. Jan07. We need help and inspiration.

  42. Oooh!! This would be sooo perfect! My friends and I just started a craft club. we meet once a month. I would absolutely LOVE to win this book!!

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