Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Anything But Average. A few minutes with Rachel Barry Hobson.

Okay, can I just tell you how much I love Rachel! I know I say this about every person I interview and I know I say how sweet people are, yadda, yadda, yadda-but let me tell you-Rachel rocks so hard! I have always been a fan of her work and thought she was the cat's meow but when she came up to me at Maker Faire and gave me a hug, well, it was like seeing an old friend again. She is warm, funny, silly and smart. Yep, she's uber cool.

Just who is the real Rachel Barry Hobson?

A very dorky, goofy, crafty gal. No really. Very. Dorky.

I'm someone who has a deep appreciation for execution of creative ideas and sharing those projects with other people. I'm a huge community person - connection with other folks keeps me going.

I'm also a huge Space geek - like spectacularly so. Space exploration makes me giddy. Not little green men and ray guns, but spacesuits and control panels. Absolutely giddy.

In high school, I was kind of a mix between Andrea Zuckerman (I was editor of my high school newspaper) and Angela Chase . I was a little offbeat, but I was also one of those kids who didn't really do crazy teen stuff, and actually really liked my teachers at school.

In college, I studied anthropology, Russian and journalism. I geeked out on environmental causes and was, again, the editor of the newspaper. I also wore overalls and a brown velour shirt a little too often.

After college, I traveled in Europe, got married and taught high school journalism and web design for three years before having kids.

Then I had kids and kinda lost my mind for a while.

Then I fell into crafting, and things are all better now. :)

Through all my random life phases, I've always been someone who loves people, loves science, loves random stuff, and truly cherishes my friends and family.

You are an AMAZING embroiderer. When and where did you learn? How long have you been stitching?

Hehehehe! Thanks! And right backactcha! I took my first hand embroidery class a few years ago from my good friend and mentor, Leslie Bonnell. A few months after that class, I took a class from Jenny Hart. It's been pretty much non-stop stitching ever since. I like to think I have some embroidery genes from my mom. Even though she didn't teach me, she was really in to embroidery when I was a kid .

Okay, so I think you have the best job in the world-can you tell our wonderful readers a little bit about it.

Thanks! I think I do, too! I literally thank my lucky stars every day for this most awesome job, and wonder how in the heck I landed it!

I have been writing for for a little more than a year now. Craft has always been my favorite craft magazine and web site. I have a degree in journalism, and have always loved writing about cool people and what they are doing. I love hearing people's stories and sharing them with others. So as I followed Craft, I just fell in love and kind of fantasized about writing for them. Honestly, I wasn't doing anything with the express goal of working for them. It was a very random series of events and very natural connections that landed me in the place I am now.

I have never loved a job so much, or loved the people with whom I work so much. It's the most natural fit I've ever experienced and the most fun I've ever had. Seriously - still pinching myself.

I read literally hundreds of craft blogs every day (Oh dear Google Reader, I love you so.) and find some of my favorite, most inspirational projects, tutorials and people to feature on Craftzine. I love it because I love to see all the fun things people are doing, and I really love helping show off their skills and work. I also get to write how-to projects and profiles of crafters, which is insanely fun. I could honestly sit and talk to people and listen to their stories and get to know them all day long. That I get to do that "for work" and then share their stories with the fabulous crafting community .... did I mention I pinch myself daily?

Who and what inspires you?

Everything and everyone! I know that sounds like a copout, but it's true! I can't turn my brain off, so everything I see is being filed away for some kind of inspiration. It's one of the benefits and hardships of having that creative switch flipped to full throttle in your brain. It's a really fun way to view the world, but it's also really mentally exhausting. Sometimes I want to point my finger and my own brain and say, "DUDE! Shut the hell up for a minute!"

I have some really amazing friends who constantly inspire me. Some of my best teachers and mentors are Leslie Bonnell , Kat McTee and Jenny Hart . I'd be lost in the craft world with out one of my best friends, Diane Gilleland . I also draw a lot of inspiration from Space and Space travel. I love all the control panels and gadgetry of Space travel, and I find the chatter of Mission Control to be very soothing. Half the time, I have NASA tv running in the background on my computer just to listen. (and, yes, I understand this outs me as an even bigger Space geek than people thought possible) I also draw a lot of inspiration from random vintage things. Millie Motts and Dinosaurs & Robots feed my soul.

What does the future hold for you?

More writing! More stitching! More fun! And hopefully a lot of travel. (especially to Portland)

Make sure you check out Rachel's blog Average Jane Crafter  . It's filled with great stories and wonderful crafty tidbits. You can also find her hitting the craft fair circuit spreading the joys of embroidery. If you do get a chance to meet her, I swear you will have a friend for life!


AverageJaneCrafter said...

Awww! thanks so much, Pam! It's such a treat and an honor to be featured here!

You do have a friend for life, lady! Drinks next time I'm in Portland! :)

Model Citizen aka Bonnie Rue said...

Fantastic interview! Yay for space geeks getting what they want!

Nicole Follow the White Bunny said...

Great interview, love the Space outfit photo! :)

Denise Felton said...

LOVE this interview! Rachel rocks so hard. Thank you for featuring her.


Paul Overton said...

Sweet interview. It's nice to know more about the entirely un-average Rachel. Kudos!

p.s. I love dorks!

mimi k said...

Great interview!

Alli (One Pearl Button) said...

Awesome inteview! The subversive Halloween candy stitching makes me giggle every time I look at it.

Becky said...

Awwwwww, We love Rachel too! Thanks for featuring her! And now we've met you too. Love your embroidery too.