Arts and crafts are my joie de vivre. As a kid, I used to sit with my grandmother while she knit or needlepointed in front of her soaps. When I was a teenager, and my grandmother's health was deteriorating, I sought out knitting lessons at the historical Myers house in Florissant. Needlecrafts and yarn projects thus became my way of being close to her after she was gone. Meanwhile, I thrived as an art student from junior high all the way to Loyola University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts for drawing and painting in 2005. In college I also took up jewelry making, studying metalwork and learning beadwork techniques independently with a friend. What they say about beads is true, they age well and even on the worst day, you can look at your beads and feel good. Bookmaking is more of an interest for me, while scrapbooking is my mother's passion; well, scrapbooking and Michael's 40% off coupons. Papercrafts have become an activity we can bond over. Even if we are at odds otherwise, we can always collaborate on a scrapbooking endeavor. Arts & crafts are something I enjoy, have a talent for, and serve a deep-seeded social function in my life as a way of coming together with family members & friends. Because they are my happy place, it's easy for me to spread my enthusiasm to other people.