This Is What It Shall Be

I'm in need of a good mantra. I'm about to combine two rather disparate passions in my life into one crazy project and a good mantra will keep me from abandoning ship. Because it's really nuts.

So I've had this Tom Cruise crush since he first appeared on screen as Steve Randle in "The Outsiders." While most 12 year old girls were swooning over C. Thomas Howell or Ralph Macchio, I had the hots for the wild greaser that acrobatically flipped over the chain link fence before the big rumble scene. He was loud and crazy and had me at "Beer for breakfast there, Two-Bit?" And almost 30 years later I'm still inwardly smoldering for the guy. He is and will always be my first true celebrity crush, but I usually keep it private. I won't wear a Stacee Jaxx t-shirt or a pair of Maverick style aviator shades. But then again I won't bother hiding my collection of magazines with him on the front cover, either. And if you ask me if I like him, I will quickly and loudly say YES.

My other passion is working with my hands and making all manners of "stuff," from silly sock monkeys to duct tape purses, from cheese babka to smoked baby-back pork ribs, from an oatmeal can pendant light to a cork map of the United States. Creating something with my hands gives me great pleasure. And sometimes I get the opportunity to teach children or adults how to make "stuff" through actual classroom instruction or by writing about it. My latest book TAPE IT & MAKE IT is a duct tape craft book with 101 projects and it will be available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstore on September 15.

Okay, now on to the big reveal: my crazy project that combines my movie star crush and crafting obsession is a Tom Cruise duct tape messenger bag. I made a NYC subway duct tape messenger bag a few months ago, but a TC bag is more my style. I know that it sounds like a craft-fail in the making, but repeat my mantra with me:

This is what it shall be!
This is what it shall be!

I'm borrowing my mantra from my Italian friend Umberto, who has the propensity to says things in English with great authority. He usually says this particular phrase before announcing our plans for the evening which can be an elaborate 8-course meal of raw seafood plus wine pairings. But no matter. I'm taking it and running very, very fast. Like Tom Cruise in many of his "Mission Impossible" movies. I'm going to make this work, so stay tuned.