angel food cake, applique, beading, cafe press, charley, childhood, comic books, crazy quilting, crocheting, drawing, embroidery, grandma, graphic novels, interview, jewelry, joan robinson, library, loom, marionette, painting, quilting, reeva dubois, ribbon embroidery, strawberries, the art of shen ku, typewriter, vacation, weaving, whipped cream, zeek
1. I know you like to be crafty: what’s your favorite crafty/artistic pursuit and why?
I have several favorites and they vary depending upon my mood. I have drawn, painted, and engaged in various fiber arts since I was a kid. I prefer drawing over painting, particularly in pencil, because drawing is not as messy as painting and doesn’t take a ton of expensive supplies. No brushes to clean, either.
As for fiber arts, the earliest one I remember learning was crocheting when I was about 1o or 11. I got a sewing machine from my grandma and taught myself how to use it. The project I remember fussing over was a marionette, the pattern for which I found in a library book. I still have this marionette. I used oil paint to create her face. Not the best idea, but it turned out okay.
When I was in middle school, I also tried to teach myself embroidery, but I couldn’t understand the stitch book (pamphlet, really), so I got frustrated and ripped it up.
In college, I majored in Studio Arts with a concentration in weaving, which is no longer available through the college I attended. Weaving came very naturally to me, even though I had never done it before college. I haven’t woven anything in years, even though I have a nice floor loom. Mostly it’s because we have three cats who tend to want to mess with my warp and my loom is in a room that can’t be shut off from the rest of the house.
After I had my children, I took up embroidery again, this time becoming much more successful at it. I’ve also learned how to hand applique and do some quilting. Crazy quilting is my favorite form because it includes embroidery and I can work up intricate designs. I’ve also done ribbon embroidery, bead applique, beaded jewelry, and I’ve learned how to knit. I continue to sew when the occasion warrants.
The beauty of fiber arts is that there are so many of them that when I get bored with one, I can move on to another.
2. You’re a writer and a reader, so I’m curious: how do you feel about comic books and graphic novels? Are you into them?
Being an artist, along with a writer and reader, I certainly admire the form of comic books and graphic novels. I have to say, though, that the typical dark super-hero fare doesn’t appeal to me. A book that does include the sort of graphics one would find in a comic book that does appeal to me as far as subject is concerned is The Art of Shen Ku: The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide: The First Intergalactic Artform of the Entire Universe by Zeek. You can see some of the pages of this book here. I dig the boldness of the title, the information presented, and the drawings are so complex that I can look at them over and over and not get bored. Delightful.
3. Childhood fave time: book, toy, subject in school, food. GO!
Favorite childhood book: Charley by Joan Robinson
Favorite childhood toy: Play cash register (pink, metal, swallowed my sister’s money) and my typewriter
Favorite subject in school: Art classes
Favorite childhood food: Angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream – this was my birthday cake year after year. Mmmmm!
4. Describe how you felt when you finished writing your book (some writers talk about a feeling of loss, others say it’s like having a load taken off).
A mix of emotions, really. When I finally finished the writing, last May or June, that was a relief because I had been working on it since the end of 2004. Then I had to turn my attention to editing, layout, and cover design, along with the particulars of self-publishing. Every time I turned around, I swear there was some new glitch I had to figure out in the process. I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be able to self-publish, but everything worked in the end. When I got the first copy in the mail and opened it up, then I felt this huge sense of pride. As Daughter said, “Mom, you did the whole thing by yourself.” That’s a powerful accomplishment. Now that I’ve lived with the book for a week, I’m back to the practicalities – upgrading my Cafe Press store so that I can upload the other two editions and then figuring out distribution and marketing. I’ll readily admit that I’m not the best self-promoter, so these last two are going to be hard. Also, now that this book is done, I’m ready to start writing fiction again. I’ve had too much of a break.
5. This one is complicated, but we tossed it around on a staff retreat a few weeks ago, and I’m interested in your thoughts. Part A: You win a vacation on a gameshow to anywhere in the world! Where would you go? But wait, there’s a Part B: the show will only pay for your lodging and one meal a day, and you are otherwise completely broke. Where to now?
If I only get one meal a day, it either has to be a humongous meal that I can eat throughout the day, or I wouldn’t be able to go. If I’m late for a meal, I get light-headed and weak. Not a good situation.
If I can go to a place where I know someone and could mooch off their kindness, I’d choose Oregon, northern France, Argentinia, South Dakota, or where you live, Reeva. 🙂