On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about discovering the life you’re meant to live as a maker with my guest Melanie Falick.

Melanie Falick is an independent writer, editor, and creative director—and a lifelong maker. She is the author, mostly recently, of Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live, as well as several other titles, including the seminal Knitting in America and bestsellers Kids Knitting and Weekend Knitting.

She is the former publishing director of STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books, an imprint of Abrams, where she spearheaded books by many of the DIY world’s most esteemed authors, including Natalie Chanin, Lena Corwin, Kaffe Fassett, Lotta Jansdotter, Clara Parkes, Heather Ross, and Denyse Schmidt. She is also the creative director and editor of Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guides. Find her on Instagram @melaniefalick and at melaniefalick.com.

This episode is sponsored by Hello Bargello.

Hello Bargello is dedicated to bringing back the vintage needlecraft of bargello!

Working from vintage patterns, we modernize classic bargello techniques for today’s makers, with fresh color palettes and fun projects from fashion accessories to home decor. Visit hellobargello.com for free how-to videos, kits, digital patterns, and everything you need to discover your new favorite needlecraft! Use code ALLIANCE for 15% off orders just for Craft Industry Alliance podcast listeners!

In this converastion we talk about why “craft and hobby” as a book category bothers Melanie. She also reveals how she came to the realization it was time to leave her job at Abrams even though she was working with authors she loved and making books she was proud of. Melanie talks about her journey to find out what was next for her, including time spent wandering and just making things.

After a relatively short period she came to the realization that she needed to seek more connection between herself and her own survival and that this could come through the work of her own hands. That idea led Melanie to want to write this new book, Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You are Meant to Live, a book she says she could enjoyably write for the rest of her life.

We talk about how she went about the process of writing this book, including choosing people to visit and interview, the nuts and bolts of organizing, recording, transcribing, and photographing those interviews, and what she learned about herself along the way.

We mention:

As part of the celebration of the book’s release Melanie is asking makers to answer the question Why is making by hand important to you? in an Instagram post using the hashtag #MakingALife. She says, “I’d really like people to join the conversation.” So please create a post and use the hashtag!

Melanie is currently on tour for the book visiting select cities and hosting events with some of the makers featured in the book. Check out the list to see if she’s coming to a venue near you!

And, of course, I ask Melanie to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Melanie recommends:

Keep up with Melanie on Instagram and on her website.

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