Amber Moreno and Angelica Norton have known each other for nearly 20 years after having met on the stage of “Bye Bye Birdie” in high school. In addition to their shared love of performance, they are both extremely crafty and appreciate outdoor haircuts, clean sheet day and setting aside time for art.
Angelica Norton is the host of the Chatty Crafties podcast. By day she runs a landscape design/build studio with her husband, but in the evenings she carves away time between parenting and catching her breath to sew and alter clothing, write, embroider, crochet, paint, garden, read, and every so often, tell stories on stage. She loves to talk about making things and finds she’s in the best headspace when she keeps busy with projects instead of getting sucked into the tempting black mirror that is her smartphone.
Hobbies, specifically artistic pursuits at both an amateur or professional level, take work. She was inspired by a conversation about sewing with a friend that included art as therapy and realized this kind of discussion energized her, which in turn made her want to keep making things. She knew she was surrounded by extremely talented and creative friends and family that approached life with an artistic eye and wanted to explore why they play music, cook, paint, write, etc. What makes them try something new? When is a piece finished? What are they intimidated by? Do they make things for themselves or for other people? What makes them set aside their precious downtime to work? When it is monetized, is it still fun, or does work change the tone of the art?
Amber Moreno is the producer of Chatty Crafties. Her first love was constructing dioramas out of paper and tape for her elementary book reports, eschewing synopses and literary criticism in favor of breathing life into shoeboxes. By high school, she was more interested in making mixtapes than friends, and when the chance came to produce a radio show in college, she started churning out compilations of her greatest hits.
These days she’s crafting a musical education for her toddler, and takes curious pride in whimsically addressing envelopes, creating homes within homes for people’s worldly possessions, and planning parties. A classically trained actor, she takes little joy in theatre but greedily savors occasionally bringing the house down on karaoke nights. A master procrastinator, her halls are haunted by many unfinished projects but she’s considered writing, proofreading, hanging decorations, plating a dish, refurbishing furniture, packing for a trip or mowing the lawn to be as satisfying an artistic pursuit as any. If she’s not cooking or cleaning spilled milk she’s probably on the couch watching Chef’s Table or surrendering to sleep.
Questions for other creatives include: What gets you off the couch? What’s your favorite way to be creative without leaving the couch?