Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Tania McCartney to my blog. Gorgeous Tania is launching a blog tour for Handmade Canberra’s glorious book . . .
handmade living: a designer collective. Yippee, all aboard, the tour starts here!!
I’m a lucky contributor in this awesome publication & I’m honoured to present . . . a little chat between Tania & myself, spilling the beans on What is Handmade Living.??
Posie: Do I ever!! I’ve been in my Posie handmade business for 10 years, once considered a niche!! Being able to sell online allows you to work the hours which suit your work & family. Ordering stock & materials from websites all over the world can really enhance your unique handmade angle too!! I love that phrase ‘handmade living is the new black’, handmade really is a lifestyle now too, don’t you think??
Tania: Absolutely. ‘Handmade living’ is about incorporating handmade objects and projects into your lifestyle. People want to make their homes and lives personal, eclectic, ‘different’ – it’s über cool to DIY – people are realising that not only does handmade bring a unique flavour and beauty to our lives, it give us longevity, whimsy and collectible history that can be handed down and enjoyed for decades to come – not only in terms of quality and style, but also in terms of posterity.
Posie: Totally agree. This is how my passion for patchwork started - I wanted one for my first daughter & didn’t like the tired & boring ones available (in 1998) so taught myself to make one – traditional craft with a fresh twist & modern style. A handmade home ware is no longer associated with a crocheted purple toilet roll cover your grandmother made . . . it’s something beautiful, high end; made with love & artful detail - you simply can’t get from chain store mass production.
Tania: I’m so over mass-produced products. I don’t buy much any more, but when I do – I want to invest in special. And thanks to this book, I’ve met even more amazing talent to spend my money on!
Posie: Ditto!! Try working in Shop Handmade & not bringing every single item home. Supporting small Australian handmade businesses - people like to know their dollar counts. Speaking of which, Shop will stock handmade living too. The preorder hype has been palpable. Tania, what is the book is about, in a nutshell?
Tania: handmade living: a designer collective is a collection of incredible projects, ideas and inspiration from handmade designers all over Australia. The line-up of talent is just stunning – some of it pure cottage industry, some really established businesses, ALL combining handmade philosophies and construction in their work. Essentially, the book is a showcase of these designers – it’s been a real pleasure to support their individual journeys.
Posie: It’s amazing to see everyone together in one place, all those different styles, mediums, experience levels in ONE book. The common thread, pun intended, is that all these designers share a love for handmade ways, indeed handmade living.
Tania: I know – it’s so exciting. We have artists, foodies, seamstresses, crafters, paper artists, photographers, event organisers, fashion designers, jewellers, sculptors, ceramicists, chocolatiers, screen printers… the list goes on.
Posie: It’s not just for the ladies, my husband can’t wait to trial the chocolate recipes, flicking straight to the foodie section, of course. The images & styling are so delicious & inviting. The variety makes handmade living. so much more than just a craft book!!
Tania: It’s so wonderful to hear you say that – working on this book was a total labour of love for all of us – and I’m so so excited to see people’s reaction. There are so many amazing elements to it and as you said when you first saw it – incredible value for money ... over 70 projects and inspirational ideas in this book for under $40! We feel so proud we can offer such a book to the Australian market.
Posie: My reaction - speechless, eyes bulging, in awe - going over each & every page in slow motion!!
Tania: I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen you speechless! LOL!
Posie: I love how the book is cleverly divided into chapters, brilliant for speedy inspiration. The whimsy of the children’s section, creating things for my children . . . they can pick a project + a fabric from my stash, voila, a new generation truly appreciating the personal touch of handmade. If you’re experienced, just add more detail & your own little spin.
Posie: I was so excited when you first approached me about contributing to the book. I signed up without hesitation of course, my mind spinning with ideas outside of what I sew for my own business. Where did the idea come from, to do a Handmade book??
Tania: We couldn’t have done it without you! As for the origins of the book, it was a natural extension of the Handmade Canberra brand – first the Market, then the Shop, now the Book. I was having dinner with Handmade founder Julie Nichols and some other clever women, when I mentioned writing a book, Julie said ‘let’s make it happen’. So we did.
Posie: As simple as that, a brilliant idea over dinner & you went with your heart & made it happen!! Love that tenacity & drive.
Tania: When we say we’re going to do something, we don’t muck around – I mean, why wait? If you say something, do it! The dinner was late February of this year. By April, we had designers applying to be part of the book and June we were in production. Files were sent in August and our book has just been delivered for the 4th December launch.
Posie: Did it take a lot of people to put this book together; the production side I mean?
Tania: It took a small team a lot of hours. Julie Nichols ran production, Tina Snerling created illustrations, graphics and templates, Louise Hall managed admin, plus we had some amazing contributors – along with your sweet self, we had Shop Handmade’s Rachel Evagelou, photographer Hilary Wardaugh, Rosalind Grace for proofreading, some beautiful adult and child models. I took care of writing, editing, photography and the layout, design and typesetting. Phew!
Posie: I can only imagine the long hours, meetings, emails, proofing - with everyone putting the pieces together. I was thrilled to contribute my projects, collaborations & props for styling. I have been collecting vintage craft supplies & toys forever; knew they’d come in handy one day!! It’s all in the detail.
Tania: I agree – and this book is full of detail. Honestly, it’s like nothing ever seen on the market before. Not only is it packed with original and revamped handmade project ideas, it’s also a glorious peek into the creative minds of some really talented people – and I know those in the crafting world love to meet and learn about talent. It’s such a networking thing… the handmade community is so supportive and generous – I love it.
Posie: A customer at Shop Handmade was preordering a copy & said it sounds like “the perfect coffee table book”. It’s a beautiful book filled with photographs brimming with ideas for how to display your handmade product after you’ve made it or bought it. I do this for a living & I’m inspired from the quirky styling details in handmade living.
Tania: It’s also really exciting that the book has sections that would attract everyone… kids can get busy embellishing a plain white tank top or foodies can create an exclusive recipe from a master chocolatier… Homelovers can choose from divine decorating ideas, amateur photographers can receive tips from the best in the biz, and fashionistas can learn how to create a wedding dress using three different embellishment ideas. And that’s only a handful of what’s on offer. It’s creative nirvana!
Posie: Tania, it’s been such fun chatting about the this incredible book, congratulations. I’m so excited about the imminent launch & know more people are inspired to be ‘handmade living’ with a copy of the book in their hot little hands. What do you hope handmade living will give its readers?
Tania: I hope handmade living not only showcases the amazing handmade talent we have in this country, but that it will inspire readers to slow down, appreciate and enjoy the process of making something by hand . . . I hope it inspires them to do some handmade living.
Handmade products carry such a whimsical, loving spirit within them and creating something from scratch is truly heart-fulfilling, ecologically sound and so appreciated by the recipient. I hope this book encourages people to pass on handmade ways to their children before these time-honoured techniques are lost in a barrage of soul-less technology.
& now for the official word . . . handmade living: a designer collective will be launched at Canberra’s magical Handmade Christmas Market at the Kamberra Wine Company in Lyneham on 4 December (11am to 7pm). See www.handmadecanberra.com.au for more details. The book will also be available at Shop Handmade on 4 December and Australia-wide from Monday 6 December . . . you can order one from Posie too!!
A callout for designers will be made mid-January 2011 for the spectacular Christmas-themed handmade living book. Keep an eye on Handmade Canberra for more.
Thanks everyone, have gorgeous weekends, love Posie
EDIT: if we get over 100 comment entries i'll make up the g i v e a w a y to over $150 worth of fabric, prize total over $200!! So go get your friends to enter too!!
Winner announced Friday 3rd December, just so you know if you need to buy one from the Handmade Market, Shop Handmade or me after it's released!! Good luck everyone!!