Book Review: CraftCorps by Vickie Howell
Vickie Howell is the kind of woman who appears to have it all. She's smart, creative, industrious, driven, funny, successful and beautiful in every sense of the word. She's the kind of woman other women envy, until they get to know her and realize just how down to earth and gosh darn friendly she is. She's a mom to three lovely children, writes best selling crochet books, blogs for a variety of heavy hitters including PBS, hosts TV shows, cross promotes with other creative powerhouses and now she's spearheading a revolutionary craft movement.
Vickie recently became spokesperson for Caron yarn and I can't think of anyone better for that job. One of the founding members of the Austin Craft Mafia, a cooperative of wickedly smart creative women who figured out just how powerful we can be when we work together. Vickie has built a crafty empire by lifting up and sharing her success with other women. How she does it all with such panache and seemingly effortless style is beyond me, but she inspires countless other women on a daily basis to defy convention and do what they love. Vickie's got Super Girlie Good Power in spades.
When Vickie contacted me about an interview for a new book she was writing called CraftCorps I simply couldn't refuse. What an honor to be among so many people whom I admire so greatly. For a moment I thought to myself, "Really? I'm a craft celebrity? Wow!" Then I let that go. Because hell's yeah I'm a craft celebrity and I've done the hard work to achieve it! So have every one of the people featured in this book.
Thank you, Vickie Howell for everything you do to promote the church of craft. You're a dynamo!
There are books you peruse slowly, picking them up now and again, taking small polite bites of information. They are nice books, well mannered books, happy little books you enjoy and then promptly forget. Then there are books like CraftCorps. It's the kind of book you can't stop devouring from the moment you open the cover and when you've finished reading you're hungry for more. I got my advance copy this week and although I had a pile of other things on my plate that were screaming for attention, as soon as I cracked open the cover I was hooked. I kept saying to myself, okay put the book down and get back to work...but every time I tried it was only a moment or two before I had the book in my hands again.
Vickie Howell is a tour de force in the craft community. She's not only written a brilliant and inspiring book, she's become the pied piper of a crafty revolution. This series of interviews with a wide variety of craft and creative industry celebrities is riveting. Every person has a fascinating story to share and the threads that run through them all speak to the innately human desire to create. Each interview is a peek into the trajectory of a career of a creative person who figured out that we really can do what we love and have the money follow and when we do life becomes a celebration. Every person in the book stood in the face of the people who told them, "You can't." and said, "Oh yeah, watch me." These stories will inspire, entertain, educate and amaze you. The additional profiles of up and coming crafters scattered throughout the book make it clear that this movement is here to stay.
This book asks again and again the nebulous question, "What is the difference between 'art' and 'craft'?" and the answers given defy conventional wisdom. Ultimately this isn't merely a book about crafters or crafting, it's really a road map to creating success by defying the rules. Every person in the book has stood at the crossroads of the road less traveled and taken the wild path. Anyone who longs to break free of their pedantic existence will be inspired by this book. If you've often wondered what might happen if you ignored the naysayers and did what made you happy, you'll find out what might happen here. Anyone who crafts for fun or a living will be kicked in the ass by this book, in the best possible way.
The people featured in this book along with the author are all creating their own realities on a daily basis. They'll make you laugh and they'll make you cry and most of all they'll make you think. Deeply. This is the kind of book that changes lives. There is a power in creativity that transcends definition, but this book manages to not only define it, but to show the reader how to harness that power for good.
Author The Impatient Crafter Series, Bead and Wire Jewelry Exposed and Bead Chic