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A peek inside the craft barn

  • A row handmade paper houses and variety of knickknacks fill some of the shelves in Cathe Holden's craft barn in Petaluma, on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Cathe Holden calls her blog "Just Something I Made," a name that suggests something ordinary and easy, whipped up in her spare time.

Don't believe for a minute that it's that simple.

Holden is a master at concocting craft projects. It takes a certain mind to think of creating old-fashioned shelf edging out of book pages, wreaths from vintage recipe cards and magnetic refrigerator organizers out of old tins.

Cathe Holden's Petaluma Craft Barn

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<em>For instructions on a few of Cathe Holden's crafts, go <a href="http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140418/lifestyle/140419522" target="_blank">here</a>.</em>

Like a master chef, she can pull together weirdly disparate ingredients and turn them into something clever, charming, useful and utterly unexpected and then devise a recipe — or instructions — that can be easily followed by home crafters.

"It might take two weeks to get an idea figured in my mind before I start buying supplies," she explains, likening a finished project to a well-mannered child. "People have no idea what you went through."

Her most fruitful time of day is the quiet of the early morning. Before arising she can lie in bed with a clear head and let the ideas flow.

The SC Johnson Company, manufacturer of household cleaning supplies, found Holden's popular blog and recruited her for their "Family Economics" blogging panel. Chronicle Books publishing company commissioned her to do a book, "Rosette Art," about the craft of folding paper and ribbons into decorative medallions. And Country Living Magazine invited her to be a contributing editor. Their April issue features her new "Inspired Barn," a fanciful space of long tables and thousands of found objects, materials and tools artfully arranged in antique cabinets and shelves. Here she holds crafts classes for people who want to reconnect with the old joy of making something with their own hands.


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