Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Welcome to Inside Storey!

If you are here to read our very first blog posting, you’re probably already a reader of Storey books—and we’re so glad to have you. Where do you spend your time? In the barn? Garden? Kitchen? Workshop? Craft room? Out in nature? Or lying in the hammock harboring homesteading dreams? Wherever you are, knowing that you are out there, using our books, is what spurs us on to continue to explore and expand the Storey line.

Authors are at the core of our publishing program. It’s their hands-on know-how and lifelong passion for what they’re writing about that makes our books shine. We feel so lucky to have them as our partners. You’ll be hearing from many of them on this blog, as well as from us “9-to-5ers” in the office, who also try to keep our hands in the dirt, on the hammer, sorting the yarn stash, and holding the reins, as often as possible.
We’re gratified that so many people are finding our books useful and relevant these days. Planting a garden; preparing wholesome home-cooked meals; making your own clothing, furnishings, or playthings; and enjoying simple pleasures at home are things we can do to create a sense of abundance in our lives, even as money or other resources may be scarce.

I’ve been thinking a lot about abundance lately. Funny the things that can make you feel like you have a lot. A bunch of
old wool sweaters, for instance. I’ve been working with Crispina ffrench on her book The Sweater Chop Shop, that will be coming out in August. She a truly creative recycler—felting then chopping up old sweaters to create new, one-of-a-kind wearables and her adorable Ragamuffins. Her enthusiasm for creating things from piles of wool scraps is contagious. 

Photo by Kevin Kennefick; Illustration by Marguerite Sauvage, from The Sweater Chop Shop

Crispina’s creations remind me of my maternal grandfather, Ashley Alexander Brown (I love that name!). He worked for years as a bookkeeper at the Stanley Woolen mill in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. He brought home the mill's wool scraps and made them into colorful braided rugs that I loved to sack out on when I was a kid. Today, Stanley Woolen has been transformed into Berroco yarns—still owned by the Wheelock family, who Grandpa worked for. So, whenever I cast on my knit stitches with Berroco yarn, I think of Grandpa and those soft, cozy braided rugs. 

My grandfather, Ashley Brown (at left) in front of Stanley Woolen mill.

Once I start ruminating on all the ways we can create abundance from "leftovers"—just getting ideas from Storey books—it's totally mind-expanding. From turning kitchen scraps into compost, to knitting a one-skein wonder from a leftover ball of yarn, putting up preserves from the bounty of the August garden for eating throughout the winter, making paper from backyard weeds, creating a richly illustrated nature journal with paper and pencil, or sewing a quilt from leftover fabric scraps--the list just keeps on growing! I’d love to hear about the ways you bring abundance into your life through recycling, re-using, and creatively re-purposing things you already have at home or right in your own backyard.

— Deborah Balmuth, Editorial Director  

1 comment:

Karen Salva said...

Welcome to blogland! What a great name and banner too! I am thrilled to be able see the "Inside Storey" unfold. (and books I did not know I needed yet being introduced) It seems as though you have a book for every one of my many interests, and as far as my spare time...all of the above you mentioned! I am excited about this new book from Crispina Ffrench and have even experimented with an "Crispina" inspired blanket.

I wish you much success with this blog, I think it is a fantastic idea!