Crafty Mama

August 11, 2008 8:52:35 AM PDT
In addition to sleep and a nice hot shower, most new moms acutely feel the need to connect and tap into a community of other moms for support, says Abby Pecoriello. So she married the new mother's desire for camaraderie and the community spirit of crafting -- think book clubs, stitch 'n bitch knitting circles and playgroups -- to create a new do-it-yourself book: CRAFTY MAMA MAKES 49 FAST, FABULOUS, FOOLPROOF (BABY & TODDLER) PROJECTS (Workman; July 2008; $15.95). This how-to guide is filled with baby-inspired projects for your little one. "Crafting is good, but crafting with other sleep-deprived, overwhelmed yet overjoyed moms is even better!" Abby says.

Abby Pecoriello first shows women how to form their own Crafty Mama gathering and then provides all the steps to make any of the 49 easy-to-make projects. Who can resist the You-tencils (page 91) perfectly personalized baby spoons to make mealtimes a little sassier? Or try "My Bragamuffin Brag Book" (page 209), a portable showcase to inspire you to print out all those darling pictures of the little one. Or the "No-Sew Swanky Blanky" (page 41)?so cuddly soft for baby, made in no time by mom.

Abby began bedazzling her daughter's T-shirts and personalizing her baby-wipes boxes as a way to divert her mind from the stresses of being a new mother. When other moms in her playgroup took notice of her personalized pieces and offered her cash to spiff up and add sparkle to their own baby goods, Abby proposed instead to teach her new friends how to Do-It-Yourself! Once a week (while the babies snoozed nearby), the moms got together, shared their fears and joys, and created easy mama-made tie-dyed onesies and "Bragnets"?photo magnets that looked like they came straight out of a store catalog?no-sew fleece hats and "Insta-bibs". The get-togethers proved so popular that she moved operations out of her living room to the local community center and launched the first-ever Crafty Mama class.

This brand-new way for moms to mingle and share information about their new motherhood experiences proved to be such a hit that in the four years since, Abby has led hundreds of sold-out classes throughout New York City. In the book, CRAFTY MAMA, Abby's voice reassures you that you're not the only one with a picky eater, while she's also coaching you through your first fleece fabric adventure.

Not sure how to use a glue gun? A little intimidated by editing your child's photos with your computer? Does the word "decoupage" sound a little too precious (even for a new mom)?

No problem. In addition to walking each potential crafty mama through each craft with creativity and wit, Abby includes a Craftypedia glossary, covering every item, tool and material a crafty mama needs for each project as well as where to buy them and how much they should cost. (In every case, not very much!) It's no secret that being a mom costs a lot of money?from diapers, to formula, to new baby shoes every three months. In CRAFTY MAMA, Abby Pecoriello gives moms the chance to make something inexpensive yet fabulous, and experience the incomparable pride of hearing the excited awe "You made that?!"

Visit www.craftymamas.com to see finished projects and happy crafty mamas at work. For more information, visit: amazon.com/.

About the Author:

Abby Pecoriello has worked as a writer and producer at Disney, Scholastic and Nickelodeon. During her maternity leave after the birth of her first child in 2003, Abby turned to crafting (as she had at many life-altering times in her life) to find that a little hot glue, rhinestones, beads and fabric were just the thing to diffuse the overwhelming feelings of new motherhood. Inspired by her new muse, the results were adorable?one-of-a-kind projects for the nursery, diaper bag and wardrobe. Abby hosted her first Crafty Mamas get-together during her playgroup so that she and her new mommy friends could navigate the crazy and exciting world of parenthood together as they cut up fleece, tie-dyed onesies and decorated diaper-wipe boxes. Abby continues to write and produce and lead Crafty Mama groups in New York City, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

Meet Crafty Mama
Wednesday at 3 pm
Anderson's Books
5112 Main St.
Downers Grove
(630) 963-2665

Price Comparison

In the current economy, a mom has to get creative in order to make sure that there's still some cash in the wallet after buying that must-have tee, onesie or accessory for the little darlin'. Crafty Mama makes it easy to save money, while making your kid the most stylish on the block. Here's a price comparison for hot baby gear that you can buy, and what it costs to make it yourself -- or with a Crafty Mama group!

Store Bought vs. Crafty Mama Made!

Store: Decoupage Bucket, $29
Made: "Decou-Pail" $2 -- $5 (page 59)

Store: Nightlight/Lampshade $24.
Made: "Lite the Nite Lampshade" $5 -- $8 (page 81)

Store: Personalized Baby Spoon $30
Made: "You-Tencils" $3 (page 91)

Store: Tutu $24 -- $75
Made "The 10 Minute Tutu" $5 -- $7 (page 179)

Store: Barrette $9
Made: "Ribbon Wrappucino Barrette" $1 -- $2 (page 163)

Store: Ponchos $44
Made: "The Poncherello" $5 -- $7 (page 173)

Store: Personalized Necklaces $40
Made: "Album a la Neck" $2 -- $5 (page 221)

Store: Diaper Wipe Box $30
Made: "Wipey Clutch" $4 -- $5 (page 115)


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