For Sarah Goldschadt, crafting runs in the family. When she was growing up in St. Paul, Minn., her mother was a sewer and the leader of her Girl Scout troop for 10 years, all of which were spent “making things,” she said.
“I think it’s inspiring for a young person to see they can create something beautiful, even if it’s easy,” she said. “Then it’s no longer daunting.”
Goldschadt, now 32, is a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines and has worked as a designer for Food Network magazine and Martha Stewart Living. She often catalogues her projects on her Web site, Sah-Rah, and her first book, “Craft-a-Day” ($25, Quirk Books), hit shelves last month. We spoke with Goldschadt by phone from her New York apartment about her new book, Danish design and the future of crafts (hint: it’s full of pompoms). Here is an edited excerpt.
How did you get into crafting as an adult?
I’d say it’s easier now than ever. When Etsy started in 2006, I found all these creative friends in my area. We started having craft parties where we’d knit or host parties called “Crafts and Crumbs,” where we’d hang out and crochet. It ended up being this entry into a playful and creative world, but yes, as an adult.
What’s the advantage?
If I see something in the store that I love, the first thing I think is, “Oh, I can make that.” But not only can I make it, I can put my own spin on it. So yes, it saves me money, but it’s also fun to see something and be able to match it to my coat, for example, or to make amazing presents for my friends.
Gifts might be the best part, actually. I make a lot of hats and slippers, especially when I know there is a certain color or pattern the person will love. I’m also big into giving ornaments.
How did the book come about?
My publisher approached me with the title “Craft-a-Day” and wanted to know what I would do with it. I decided on a weekly theme because it was approachable, and I made sure all of the patterns were available within the book so that it was manageable. I didn’t like the idea of sending the reader off to different Web sites or to the store every day just to complete the craft.
What can someone who is un-crafty gain from reading it?
Simple projects that aren’t daunting. If you can cut a pattern from paper or felt, you’re golden. Crafts give you a sense of accomplishment. There is a finished product in your hands that you made, by yourself, and it’s beautiful.
Do you have any favorite craft blogs?
Growing up, we’d spent our summers in Denmark, and I’d be so inspired by the minimal colors and shapes. It’s smart, high-quality design. So now, I’m drawn to very minimal blogs. My own site is very simple. I love MiniEco, which is run by a mom crafter-blogger, and Fine Little Day, which is run by Elisabeth Dunker, a woman in Sweden.
What is the biggest misconception about crafting?
Everyone says, “Oh, I’m so not crafty.” But anyone can learn to put a thread through a needle and execute a basic stitch. You just have to become familiar with the technique. And when you do, it can be very rewarding.
Right now, everyone is obsessed with really bold patterns and really bold shapes. It’s all a bit loud. Chevron, for example, is huge, as are triangle quilts and pillows.
Looking ahead, I’d bet pom-poms are going to be big. I think they’ll show up on headbands, barrettes, shoes and so on. Keep an eye out.
2012 Holiday Crafts Contest The submission period is open in our third annual Holiday Crafts Contest, and we want to see what you’ve got. Enter your holiday-themed creation. The judges’ favorite will receive a $500 American Express gift card and be featured in Local Living. The readers’ choice, selected in online voting, will receive a $100 card. Submissions are due Dec. 3.