Checkin’ In: Vintage Crafter Cathy Callahan

Checkin’ In: Vintage Crafter Cathy Callahan

The fabulously retro Cathy Callahan is no stranger to the pages of CRAFT, having projects published in six out of ten issues. She filled the Old School column in style, each installation featuring a different, neat craft from the past. Where does she come up with all of her old school crafty ideas? From crafts she and her super crafty mom would make together back in the day as well as from her collection of vintage publications and ephemera.
Here are some of my favorites. Back in CRAFT Volume 05, Cathy showed us how to take old magazines headed for the recycling bin, add a few crafty bits, and make this Folded Magazine Cat:
Then, in Volume 08, she showed us how to take our favorite flowers and preserve them with silica gel and a microwave:
We checked in with Cathy recently to see what she’s been crafting lately, and here’s what she wrote:
“My big news, of course, is my Martha appearance in March. Here are my blog posts about it: how it all came to be, how it went down, and the video itself.
Susan Beal took photos of her TV while I was on:”
“One of my favorite things that I have been doing lately is teaching craft classes. I absolutely love working with the students and am thrilled to see what they do. So far, I’ve been focusing on the basics of how to use a flower loom and papier-mâché (jewelry and accessories), but hope to develop more classes in the future.”

callahan_papiermache.jpg callahan_flowers.jpg

“My next papier-mâché class is at Reform School/Home Ec in Silver Lake, Calif., on May 14 and 21.
And I’m so excited to be doing a papier-mâché workshop at Maker Faire on Sunday, May 31st at 2:00 p.m. in the CRAFT area in Expo Hall.
I have also been taking classes. While I was in New York, I took Denyse Schmidt‘s “Improvisational Patchwork” workshop. It was amazing experience! Denyse is so talented and I am so inspired by her work.
And when I am in the Bay Area later this month for Maker Faire, I’m going to head over to Berkeley to take the Natalie Chanin workshop. You choose a project from her book to do in the class. I’ll be doing an appliqued scarf. I have been a huge fan of her work for many years and am really looking forward to the class.
I am a contributor (covered button necklace photo below) to the recently released Button It Up by Susan Beal
(available here).”
callahan_ susan's book project.jpg
“I am also a contributor to a couple of upcoming books to be released this fall. For Kayte Terry’s latest book Applique Your Way, I made an Enid Collins-inspired clutch bag. Also, Meg Mateo Ilasco interviewed me about craft fairs for her upcoming Craft Inc. Business Planner.
In addition to my Etsy shop, some of my favorite stores are now selling my flower loom kits:
Tinsel Trading in New York
Reform School/Home Ec in Los Angeles
The Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco (where I will be doing a workshop/demo in July).”
“I have just applied to both of the upcoming west coast Renegade Craft Fairs, LA and SF. Keeping my fingers crossed that I am accepted.
And of course I’ve been picking up more vintage craft books and other stuff that I will be blogging about soon.”
Thanks, Cathy! You can keep up with Cathy Callahan by reading her blog:
And make sure to pick up any back issues of CRAFT you may not already have in the Maker Shed.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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