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Podcast archive

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About CraftSanity

Introducing CraftSanity

If it weren’t for art where would you be right now? If you didn’t know how to knit, crochet, weave, spin, paint, sew, write, sing, dance, or express yourself creatively some other way, what would you do? How would you blow off steam and cope with the stresses of life? I don’t know about you, but I shudder at the thought of a world without soft yarn, lovely fabric, shiny black tap shoes and good music. This site is dedicated to all you creative spirits out there. This is where I’m going to put some of my reporting skills to craftabulous use and host an online discussion about art, craft and all things creative.

Who Is This Crafty Lady?
My name is Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood and I’m a 33-year-old, married, working mother of two sweet girls. I was born in Detroit (Rock City) and now live in West Michigan with my husband, Jeff, and our daughters, ages 4 and 6. I make a living teaching craft work shops, working as a freelance feature writer and art & craft columnist and selling wooden weaving looms in my Etsy shop. I hope to realize my childhood dream to write a book very soon. I like to quilt, knit, weave, sew and do just about every craft under the sun. I’m almost always armed with a portable project just in case I get 30 seconds of down time or I just plain need a moment of Zen.

I run, swim, box (but only with the heavy bag) and craft to relieve stress and love it when I can successfully turn a negative into a positive. I believe everyone has a story and value great conversation, especially unexpectedly wonderful conversations with strangers.

When I record CraftSanity interviews, I imagine that I’m sitting in a booth at a diner with my guest and we’re just chatting away and our conversation is so fascinating that other people seated nearby are leaning in. In my head, I have five listeners, but the stat counter tells me there are plenty more of you out there — a notion I still can’t quite believe. I’m not a polished broadcaster, I’m just a curious woman with a microphone who loves to help people share their stories — especially when they involve art and craft.

CraftSanity History
This podcast was conceived in late 2005 when I was on my second maternity leave from my newspaper gig. My husband had become a big fan of tech podcasts and suggested that I do one about crafts. I told him he was nuts, then I started planning my first show.

And though I cringe at how awkward I was during the earliest CraftSanity episodes, the experience of fumbling my way through with the support of my husband to create this show from scratch has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. It’s been a wonderful joy to get to chat with all the creative people who have shared their stories with me and to get amazingly sweet feedback from the folks at home makes it all seem like some kind of crazy, happy dream. Producing this show has been a labor of love and really has enriched my life in ways I never imagined. I really feel blessed to get to have this experience. Thank you, dear listeners, for making it possible.

CraftSanity With Me
I want to continue to interview artists and crafters from around the globe, review the latest books and products and share fun project ideas you can try out in your home studios or with a group of artist friends and kids. So, if there’s someone in the creative world you’d like to hear from, let me know. Write me at

Let’s get to it, folks… it’s time to CraftSanity!




Comment from Gabriela Delworth
Time: March 19, 2008, 11:37 am

Hello from Toronto, Jennifer

I would love to show you my paper crowns. I design them for Dress Up Parties, Bachelorette Parties and other occasions.

Visit my website!

Warm regards,

Gabriela Delworth
Graphic Designer – Instructor – Crafts Designer

Comment from rachel
Time: May 16, 2008, 10:29 pm

I just wanted to let you know I discovered craftsanity a couple of months ago and I love it!! I’m a dilettante crafter and don’t spend too much time doing it these days with my work as an acupuncturist and editor, but with the young ones especially, inspired crafting makes life more fun.

Thanks for your show! Of course I link it on my blog and I love the interesting, personal stories…so fun!

Comment from Nancy McCarroll
Time: June 20, 2008, 8:55 am

Don’t know how often you catch up on posts like this, so will email you a question. I absolutely love your podcasts. Nancy

Pingback from You know you want to listen to me blah, blah, blah for an hour! « Bead One, Pray Too
Time: July 8, 2008, 12:43 pm

[…] 8, 2008 by kjwinston I cannot imagine why anyone would want to hear me talk for an hour, but Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood sure did. This firecracker interviewed me about a month ago, I think, on the subject of Bead One, […]

Comment from Lynn Mercurio
Time: August 29, 2008, 1:06 pm

Thank you Jennifer for all that you do to bring us such a wide variety of interview subjects. I enjoy the interviews, even if it’s not a subject that I’m particularly interested in. Your questions are very insightful and you have a wonderful way of putting people at ease and they seem to respond and open up because of that.

I have been a listener for years, but only recently got my IPOD and love the fact that I can listen to you while I’m at work, or waiting in traffic. :) Keep up the great work.

Lynn in St. Louis

Comment from Leslie
Time: September 21, 2008, 6:31 am

Hi Jennifer!
So, you’ve been part of my google reader for a while and I love your posts. Then you posted on the Fulton craft market and come to find out we’re from the same town.

I look forward to all your posts!

Comment from Shari
Time: February 8, 2009, 8:45 am

Hi Jennifer! I have just discovered your podcasts. I got a mp3 player for Christmas and really enjoy your interviews. Your voice and way you interview are so interesting. I especially like how you add some of your life and humor to the interview. I am a somewhat frustrated artist that has less time to create these days, working and helping to support my daughter in school. So your podcasts helps with that void. Keep going girl.

Comment from Jafabrit
Time: March 27, 2009, 12:58 pm

I enjoy passing by your blog now and again and just wanted to let you know. As to the question where would I be without art, eeeeeeeeek! I create therefore I am :) so I realte to what you mean.
all the best
Corrine aka jafabrit

Comment from Corey J
Time: April 16, 2009, 11:34 am

Jennifer–I’ve just started downloading your podcasts on iTunes, and I have to say they’re incredible. I’ve only listened to two, but so far I can tell I’m hooked!

I may be jumping the gun here (considering I have not listened to all of your interviews), but I would encourage you to explore interviewing professional craft artisans from theatrical costume shops. Talk about needing a general understanding of a variety of different crafting methods! Their endeavors are usually one-of-a-kind, and demand that the craft technician have a broad base of knowledge they can draw upon to implement designs. It might be a very interesting perspective on using crafting skills in a different way, and open up some intriguing perspectives on methodology, materials, workshop space, tools, and time management.

Just a thought!

Love your show! : )

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Time: July 9, 2009, 1:43 pm

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Comment from Andrea Porter
Time: July 22, 2009, 6:02 pm

I just listened to my first podcast today and really enjoyed it and know I will be listening to many more! I would like to suggest a podcast with Kristen Rask. She is a crafter and owner of a plush store here in Seattle called Schmancy. She also organizes an annual show called Plush You and she is coming out with her new book soon about how to make craft projects with buttons. Oh and she is an organizer of Urban Craft Uprising and a small business group in Seattle. She is one busy lady…

All the best and thanks again for such an inspiring and great resource.

I’m going to post about you on my blog too –

I own an art, craft and design gallery in Seattle called Bluebottle. I just started listening as I found you through Abby’s blog – we showcase a selection of Abby’s work here.

Sincerely, Andrea

Pingback from more than you ever wanted to know « hodge podge farm
Time: November 6, 2009, 7:36 pm

[…] interview with yours truly, and i pretty much tell my entire life story! multi-crafty reporter jennifer ackerman-haywood is the force behind this very inspiring show which (unbeknownst to her) i have listened to for […]

Comment from Lynn Kelly
Time: December 10, 2009, 10:03 am

Hello Jennifer…I just found out about your site, one of my apron customers told me to check out your web site, that you always wear an apron… Now that my 4 Children have grown up and gone (for now), I have been sewing and selling “Designer Aprons” to make extra cash to pay my bills, visa etc. I like aprons because it makes me feel close to motherhood, cooking at home, and all crafty stuff. I like to create new apron designs, plus love to reproduce vintage aprons!!
God bless you!
Lynn Kelly,
Lynn’s Designer Aprons

Comment from Trena Russell
Time: May 19, 2010, 4:20 pm

I was just reading about your site in a book I purchased by Kari Chapin. The Handmade Marketplace and I thought it was great someone from the same state as I who loves handmade craft as I do so I thought I would say Hello!

Comment from Kellyi
Time: August 28, 2010, 7:39 pm


Just wanted you to know that I have recently “found” Craftsanity and I love love LOVE it!

So inspiring – I’m thrilled to have such a huge archive to work my way through…so far you’ve helped me make a couple of fabric dolls, a teddy and a whole lot of mending.

Thank you so much for this wonderfully rich resource and keep up the good work x

Pingback from shameless plug | CraftMoto
Time: November 1, 2010, 1:42 pm

[…] ago when Hardwear, Jewelry From A Toolbox was published, I met a woman named Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood.  She is a pioneer in the craft-reporting world with a podcast and blog called  […]

Comment from Chantal Kaveney
Time: December 17, 2010, 8:29 am

I have been checking your blog for a whilst now, looks like every day I discover some thing new Thanks

Comment from societemonstres
Time: February 27, 2011, 5:37 pm

We would really love to hear about the folks at Aranzi Aronzo! They make cute plush, but they also build and design habitations for them and create stories about each. Might be a great fit for an interview!

Our favorite book, which we’ve only seen in Japanese is the Life Style Book that shows the individual interior decoration and accessories of each of the creatures like the sheep, the pig, the “bad boy” etc.

Comment from Lei Fay
Time: August 31, 2011, 7:47 pm

Hi Jennifer,
Thank you so much for the pod casts! I listen to them wile I am cleaning houses and they are a real treat. Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration to me.

If you are ever in New England look me up.

I hope to have some type of blog up this winter, I’ll let you know when I do.

Thanks again.

Comment from linda ortman
Time: December 12, 2011, 12:00 pm

I thought I saw in your column or maybe on a craft show how to make pot holder loops out of old t-shirts for those old fashion little looms that we had when I was a child. Some how they cut a strip and turn it inside out??or something? Do you have any ideas?
I was going to give a niece one of those looms but wanted to make sure she could make her own weavers…..Thanks so much and I love your column. Linda

Comment from Cathryn Peters
Time: April 12, 2012, 9:10 am

Hi Jennifer,

I just discovered your wonderful blog from the bloglist on Beaver Country Ramblings in Oregon! I’m here in northern Minnesota and have been blogging since 2004 and online with my website since 1999.

My craft medium is creating antler basket sculptures and also am a specialist with the repair and restoration of wicker furniture and chair caning.

Would love an interview and will for sure place your link on my blogroll. Watched several of your TV spots and enjoyed them. I’m also interested in doing a magazine and have just recently heard about this new process, timing couldn’t be better for me to have discovered your site! Thanks!

The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters

Pingback from CraftSanity Podcast Interview | Laurie Sharp
Time: March 17, 2013, 10:46 pm

[…] this year, I had the honor of being interviewed for an episode of CraftSanity; a podcast by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood about art, craft and creativity. The podcast was posted […]

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Comment from Anette
Time: November 16, 2013, 2:33 pm

This weekend is the grand opening of Pinky’s Place, a new antique and artisan market at 4790 Alpine Avenue; It is a fantastic place for all things creative and donates money to fight dementia. My friend and I have a booth called, “Time for Tea” where I make one-of-a-kind gift baskets for tea parties for children and adults. Carol, is the real star with her knitted, reversible animals and will be singing tomorrow at Pinky’s from 2:00-4:00!

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