How to Sew a Button
How to Sew a Button

Archive for December, 2009

Radio Ga Ga

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

This week, I appeared on three radio shows:  WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, Martha Stewart’s Living Today and The Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio. In case you missed them, you can tune into the public radio shows right here.


19390_logoHere I am on The Brian Lehrer Show. I met him in his studio for a live interview. Can you tell I was wearing big headphones and grinning at him the entire time?

WPRClick here to listen to me on The Joy Cardin Show. (It’ll open up a ram file, so don’t be alarmed when a new window pops up. Just click ok.) I wasn’t able to travel to Wisconsin for this interview, so we did it over the phone, and I was on for an entire hour! Talk about a hot ear! So many listeners called in to share personal stories. One of the great things about doing interviews for my book is hearing how it inspires people to remember their own grandmothers.

radio_microphone_sUnfortunately, the Martha Stewart show isn’t online, but Mario Bosquez was a great host. I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table with him, just chatting like old friends. Only, his kitchen table has lots of buttons and lights, and it comes with big fuzzy microphones, and head phones, and a sound engineer, and a producer.

Ok, I’m finished talking for the week. Good too, since I have a million presents to wrap. Hope you’re enjoying the run up to the holidays and are steering clear of the mall madness. If you’re at home stitching or knitting or baking or just wrapping those last minute gifts,  I recommend a nice red with stitching, a white with knitting, a cocoa with baking and a martini with wrapping. Or, at least, something. Cheers!

A funny thing happened on the way to the bookstore

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Last Wednesday, the day after a wonderful book release party in Brooklyn, we headed out to my hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania, for my first ever reading at a Borders books. I knew my entire family would be on hand, and thanks to a nice little write-up in the local paper titled, “Parkland Grad Signs Her Book,” I knew some old friends might come out, too.

And of course, we were running late.

Just as we were about to get on the highway, I saw that traffic was at a standstill. So, I veered off the exit ramp to take “the back way” to the mall, but as we were winding around, we noticed a police car (with the lights on) blocking the exit.


So, I did what any self-respecting New-Yorker-in-a-rush would do: I tried to drive around him.

As we start to nose past him on the shoulder of the road, the officer jumps out of his car and waves us down. Having just gotten a speeding ticket a few weeks ago, I slammed on the brakes, threw it in reverse, and then sheepishly rolled down the window.

“I’m not here for decoration, sweetheart,” he says, which set us into fits of laughter. Then, he peeks at our license plate and says, “I know there are cops in New York. I’ve seen shows about them.”

So, I start to explain. “I’m so sorry, Officer. We’re late to meet my family for dinner, and then I have my first-ever book reading at Borders tonight, and I’m just a little anxious.”

He steps back, takes a good look at me, and says, “Oh, so you’re The Parkland Grad? I saw you in the paper!”

“Are you coming to the reading then?” I asked. Nope, he said. He had to work until 11. Then, he walked back to his car, and returned with further instructions. “Here’s what’s going to happen next: They’re going to tow that truck away. Then I’m going to go. Then, you’re going to go. Ok?”

“Got it,” I said, and then to make peace, I handed him a copy of my book.

“Is it signed?” he asked. “You’ve got to sign it!”

So I grabbed a pen and wrote, “Thanks for all of your hard work. xo, Erin” And off we went!

There is a lesson in this: Keep a copy of How to Sew a Button in your car. It may just come in handy one day.

Big Week!

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Today How to Sew a Button officially hits stores, and I’m so excited! While I’d really like to stalk all the bookstores in my neighborhood to make sure they have copies front and center, I’m going to focus my attention elsewhere. Like, I dunno, here.

So here’s what’s doing.

Tonight is the book release party in Brooklyn, for which I made, oh, about a gazillion button-shaped cookies. (I used Martha Stewarts’ buttery recipe.) I’m so excited to see everyone! And be warned: No one is leaving without a pocketful of these babies. A nice bookseller will be on hand to sell books, and everyone who buys a book will get a very special free gift, while supplies last. *Cue the up and down eyebrows.*


Tomorrow, we’ll take this Button show on the road!

First stop, Borders in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, which is pretty much my hometown. I’ll be doing my first-ever reading on Wednesday, the 16th, at 7PM. Please stop by if you’re in the area! I promise I will try not to faint on you. Key word: Try.

Then, Thursday night, December 17th, I’ll be doing my second-ever reading at the Erie Bookstore at 7PM. They’ve already got about two feet of powder, so after this great event, I’m hoping to sneak in a few hours of snowboarding before we head back to Brooklyn.


Let’s see…what else? what else? Oh, I know!

I’d like to give a shoutout to my fabulous namesake at, who says Button reads “…as if your best friend suddenly morphed into a Donna Reed-Tina Fey hybrid.” *Blushing* Follow her blog, not because she’s hosting a giveaway of How to Sew a Button, but because she’s just plain great!

Ok, hope to see many of you tonight!



What’s on Your List?

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

I was just reading a story in the New York Times called, “Fewer Gifts and Frills are Expected in a Rough Economy.” I’m definitely feeling the same way this year. Loved ones keep asking me, “What do you want for Christmas?” Beyond a new pair of slippers, I can’t really think of a single thing I want or need. So, instead of exchanging presents, My Better Half and I have agreed that we’ll take ourselves on a snowboarding trip to Powder Mountain in Utah in January. We went last year and had an amazing time! See these tracks? Those were from us!8522_100522816636056_100000350135524_12142_1348849_n

If you’re looking for some other gift ideas, I’ve got a few for you. Well, first, maybe some people might like a book in their stocking? Ummmm, I know a pretty good one.

Or, you could make everyone aprons out of cute vintage pillowcases, like I did the other day. (Instructions are in da’ book. No sewing machine–or sewing skills–required.)

Or, you could bake everyone on your list a pie. Everybody loves pie!

You could make beer for your friends. I just made a 15-gallon batch, which I’ve named Button Brew, to give out at my book release party on Tuesday. (Thanks to The Beer In Me for posting this, too!)

Hmmm, what else? My pal, Alicia Kachmar, is crocheting ribbon candy. My friend, Jean at Renovation Therapy, is making berets. Kim at The Doe and The Mouse is making super cute coffee sleeves. (You can buy them for $10 a pop at her etsy shop.)


You could even commission a pet portrait by the one and only Nicole J Georges. She’s so cool.


Or, pick up a shirt, designed by my pal, Lucy Knisley, featuring illustrations of 25 different kinds of cheese! She’s also selling signed copies of her awesome book French Milk, which is the next best thing to being in Paris.


Or, and if there’s a baby on your list, here’s a video on how to make a Cinchy Inchy Catepillar, using stuff you already have around the house. Even if you don’t have a baby, watch this video for a laugh. For some reason, at the one-minute mark, I get really serious when I say, “Like a balloon.” It cracks me up every time.

If you have any other great gift ideas, leave them in the comments below. (Comments may take a few hours to post, but don’t worry. They’ll show up soon enough.) I’m off to make myself a cup of hot chocolate with LOTS of whipped cream. Stay warm and have a great day!

8 days and counting

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Next Tuesday, December 15th, How to Sew a Button, officially hits stores.

photoBut yesterday, we took a few boxes of hot-off-the-presses books to the Bust Craftacular to sign and sell. All I can say is: Whoa. By 11AM, the line was already two blocks long!

Inside, it was a amazing.

I saw Ayun Halliday, who was handing out tush tattoos. She just wrote a cheeky children’s book called, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo. It’s my 4-year-old niece’s favorite, and if you watch Ayun’s one-minute book trailer (below), you’ll see why.

Also, I was stationed across the aisle from the nice chicks of First World Trash. They make really cool vinyl bags out of recycled pieces of old billboards.

Once I got settled, I demo’d a few tips from the book, including how to make a Manhattan and how to make a cool apron out of an old pillowcase. (I made this one the night before the Craftacular, while watching The Godfather. Can you believe I’ve never seen that movie before?)


Anyway, I had a great time signing books and meeting people!


Elissa Stein, who is a Twitter friend, was my very first customer. She wrote a great book called Flow, which you should definitely check out! Here’s her trailer:

I also think I maybe had a star-spotting. A very nice man walked by my table and waved, “Congrats on publishing the book!” It wasn’t until later that I’d heard everyone buzzing about Michael Pollan. (Was it him? That’s this author’s dilemma.)

By the end of the day, I was exhausted but so happy. After, the Craftacular, we wandered over to a tiny bistro in the East Village to hear Kim Brittingham read from her forthcoming memoir, Read My Hips. She is an amazing writer, and she’s already even been on The Today Show.

Now, I’m off to do my first–gulp–LIVE radio interview. At 1PM, I’ll be on Let’s Eat In, hosted by Cathy Erway, who writes a great blog called Not Eating Out in New York. Her book, The Art of Eating In, hits shelves in February. Click here to listen to the show!

An Apple Pie Bakes in Brooklyn

Friday, December 4th, 2009

I made an apple pie with the super-cool folks of Overflow magazine, and they actually wrote about it! (They also managed to get the phrase, big-breasted, in the story at least twice, but they weren’t referring to me.)

Meet me at the Bust Holiday Craftacular

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

If you’re in NYC this Sunday, please swing by the Bust Holiday Craftacular at the Metropolitan Pavilion! I’ll be there signing books and demoing some pretty nifty things from 11AM to 2PM.

And I’ll be in amazing company with over 200 cool and crafty vendors, selling handmade jewelry, clothes, artwork and handbags. Just think how happy you’ll feel when you get all of your holiday shopping done in one swell foop!


P.S. Also, please go say hi to my new blog friends: the fabulous and funny Rachael at Yarnagogo, to the fierce and frugal Miss Manifesto, and to the frothy folks at The Beer How To Guide. You guys made my day!

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