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Athena Preston

Athena Preston

Name: Athena Preston
Job Title: Senior Associate Craft Editor
Date started at company: in the craft department, November 2005, but I first worked here on the Kmart Holiday line way back in 2001
First story: Ribbon lettering for the December 2005 well openers
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Education: BFA Rhode Island School of Design, MA in the History of Decorative Arts and Design, Cooper-Hewitt Museum and Parsons School of Design
First Job: I worked at an ice-cream parlor called Thomas Sweet. I gave a lot away for free.
Astrological sign: Gemini
Personal crafting/artwork: various silkscreen, stenciling, and block-printing projects.
First craft memory: tea-dyeing white tights with my mother so they’d match the crocheted lace collar of a very special brown velvet dress. Also, around the same time- wallpapering my dollhouse
Things you collect: manufacturer’s samples of ceramic plates with handwritten notations and pattern swatches, Tove Jansson picture books, old rulers painted bright colors, paper ephemera, my co-workers’ discarded craft efforts

Color (Pantone): Pantone # 178
Holiday: Valentine’s day, I never tire of the palette
Pizza topping: fresh ricotta
Kind of Fabric: Prints of all sorts. Scandinavian linen and cotton, certain crazy chintzes (but certainly not others!), mill-engravings and other tiny patterns, lately nearly any fabric that combines pink and blue
Dessert: Yakimochi from Café Zaiya
Source: the library at the Cooper-Hewitt Lace Eggs

Editor's Archive

Lace Tiles

Make It : Lace Tiles

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We’ve been meaning to post about the tiles shown in the header above, which were a featured project in our September issue. I was doing some experimenting with lace (which I have to admit I am pretty obsessed with for many reasons!) and I was so excited when I figured out this technique. It’s kind …

Inspiration Board : Digital Collections

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In February we worked with the amazing Jessica Pigza of the New York Public Library to produce our story about our valentine-making Crafternoon. Many of the antique valentines that inspired us can be viewed online as part of the NYPL’s vast (and growing!) digital collections. I love looking through these online archives and wanted to share …

Painted Vessels

Make It : Painted Vessels

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About five years ago I developed this project, which I still really love. It’s very simple. Water-based enamel paint is poured into glass vessels and swirled around to coat the inside. The magic part is that the white sets off the various blue and green tints in the glass (a surprisingly common characteristic, check your …

Behind the Scenes : Summer Postcards

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For our August issue we created these summer postcards, inspired by die-cut “object” postcards that were popular about a century ago in England, and featured in The World of Interiors a while back. We thought it would be cool to update the idea with photographs rather than illustrations—and develop something that people could make and …

Make It : Flower Drinking Straws

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Just when I thought I’d had quite enough, thank you, of cupcake and candy papers, I was working on a story for our June issue and came up with these straws. And I must say, they are so cute! I love them. The very week we shot this story with photographer Sang An, I made …

Ask the Crafts Dept. : Milk Paint

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Marilyn writes: On Martha’s show last week, she showed how to decorate a clay pot. I found all but one of the materials necessary to do it. I am having trouble finding Milk Paint. Do you have any suggestions as to where I can locate this? I have tried all the paint stores, craft stores, …

Baby Shower Decorations

Celebrate : Baby Shower Decorations

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For the May issue, I worked with stylist (and friend) Sarah Smart on a story about a baby shower thrown for another coworker of ours, Elizabeth Colling, a former food editor here at Living. Neither of us had really done this kind of thing before…but we really went for it. The shower had a library …

Make It : Pop-Up Card!

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Shown above is a Mother’s Day pop-up card from our May issue. I had a lot of fun figuring out how to make it—it’s actually really pretty simple, you just make seven versions of the same simple folded flower, and you can use just about any kind of paper as long as it’s all the …