I flew out to Berne, Indiana on Tuesday morning to film an online class with Annie’s. This class sorta fell into my lap. In September of last year I wrote a blog post showing a fresh sample I’d sewn of my topsy turvy doll and a book editor left a comment asking if I might get in touch with her. I wrote her an email and it turned out that she worked for Annie’s and was searching for a designer to create a sewing book of animal puzzle balls, much like their very successful crochet title, Amanami Puzzle Balls by Dedri Uys. After talking with Dedri and with several other designer who’ve worked with Annie’s I decided to accept her offer.
I designed and wrote the book, Sew and Play Puzzle Ball Animals, in three weeks. It was a fun, and rather intense challenge. The book is just about to be released and is available for pre-order on Amazon now.
A month or so after I turned in the manuscript I got an email from the video producer at Annie’s asking if I might like to do an online class on plush puzzle balls. First I contacted to two designers I know who’ve made video classes with Annie’s to ask about their experience. Both were really positive and are returning to film more classes. I truly believe that video instruction is going to be a vital part of the future of craft publishing and I want to be a part of that, so again I said yes.
I developed two more patterns and wrote a script. They lent me a $4,000 Bernina to practice on at home (sadly, I have to return it now, but man is it a beautiful machine). On Wednesday and Thursday of this week we filmed the class.
I came to the studio the night before to set up all the step outs and then I came back at 7:30 am the next morning to get started. First, hair and makeup. I found out that there’s makeup with antiperspirant in it. How brilliant is that!
There’s a staff of seven who coordinate this whole thing. Three cameras, two teleprompters, three monitors, and pieces of a set that are on wheels and can be moved around. I was so nervous at the start, but then I realized that each person has their own role to play and every role is equally important. The camera angles have to be right and the audio has to be crisp. It really isn’t just about me performing. Once I figured that out, I felt so much better.
We also shot a promo for the book (the puppy and kitty at the front are the class samples and the other six animals are patterns in the book). The whole experience was fascinating. The class will be out in September, but the book promo will be ready really soon.
After filming each day I went on long runs through Berne. There’s a huge Amish community in Berne and there are horse and buggies everywhere.
I looked down and noticed that the tar on the street has horseshoe prints.
It’s a very beautiful, serene farming community which was a lovely place unwind after being in a windowless studio all day.
I’m so glad I embraced this experience. Annie’s was platform I’d never heard of before, but they take great pride in what they create and they treated me so well. It was thoroughly enjoyable.