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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

On The Web : Upon a Fold

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I recently came a across this online shop, Upon a Fold and was so taken with it I had to share it… Based in Sydney, Australia, this business is the vision of Justine Fahd, a graphic designer and lifelong lover of paper crafts. The shop sells a beautifully curated collection of things; books, stationery and …

Celebrate : Summer parties!

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Several months ago, we shot “All Set for Summer” a story that appears in our June issue. This is a sort of unusual one for us because it combines quite a few simple, doable crafts with other strategy ideas for easy summer entertaining, all of it relaxed and fun. I loved working on it in …

Clip Art resources

Our Library : Clip Art resources

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One of our most useful resources here in the Crafts Dept. is an enormous collection of clip art books. For those that don’t know, clip-art is basically copyright free imagery, and takes many many forms. I think of our clip art collection as a vast library of visual material and use it constantly as reference …

Our New Friend, Lorna Ellis

Inspiration Board : Our New Friend, Lorna Ellis

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The book launch party held in our offices last week was pretty cool for us because we got to meet so many of our readers in person and hear all about thier own interests and projects. As described in earlier posts, I spent quite a while demonstrating a fabric stenciling technique, which gave me time …

Pressed Plants

Around Town : Pressed Plants

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Now that easter has come and gone, I’m posting about one more crafts story in the April issue, The Art of pressing Plants. This was such a fascinating story to develop. The idea we started with was simple: explore the traditional technique of botanical pressing, but on a much larger scale, then come up with …

Egg Dyeing

Behind the Scenes : Egg Dyeing

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This month’s issue of Living features new easter egg dyeing projects in the story Design by the Dozen, which I worked on with Nick and Jeffrey Kurtz, an Art Director here at the magazine. ( in fact, the eggs featured above in this month’s blog header were made for this story.) Our idea was to …

Contests & Prizes : New Sewing Book Giveaway!

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As Silke and Blake have explained, we are all looking forward to the launch of Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts on April 1st. Yesterday I finally had the chance to look through a copy of the book, which I know is the result of so much hard work on the part of …

Around Town : great sources

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I thought this post would be a nice follow-up to Silke’s recent post on care packages. I’ve been putting together a package myself, to send to a best friend and her family who moved far far away a year ago.  Taking inspiration from Silke’s advent calendar,  I’m sending lots of small gifts to be unwrapped one …