Today we're rolling up our sleeves with Jourdan Fairchild, the author of a fun new e-book called Fly DIY: Crafts for the Modern Traveler. I met Jourdan a few months ago when she took over as the Chicago editor of DailyCandy and was sorry to hear she lost her job when the publication shut down. But seeing what she's accomplished with this book, I can tell Jourdan is a creative, entrepreneurial force who's sure to be a repeated source of inspiration. Fly DIY has only been out a few weeks, but it's already garnered attention from some impressive sources, including Design*Sponge, Redbook and Country Living. Jourdan, can you help me whip up a better-looking neck pillow? I guess that might be impossible.
Read on to get to know Jourdan!
What is your all-time favorite book?
I can’t pick just one! But three favorites are Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America (for the brilliant analogies), Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love (for all that talk about feelings) and my childhood go-to, Roald Dahl’s The BFG (for childish potty humor and wordplay).
What meal do you love to cook?
Depends on the season. In the summer, I get lazy and tend to just throw a bunch of fresh stuff together, i.e. grilled veggies from the farmer’s market into a big bowl of couscous or atop pizza dough. I’m also currently into this recipe for turkey-spinach sliders, which I top with Sriracha mayo.
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
I’m pretty fascinated by the way Herman Koch was able to write an entire novel, The Dinner, based on a single dinner setting. The descriptions of the meal — and the secrets slowly revealed between courses — were satisfying.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, plus a healthy dose of milk (almond) and sugar (agave)
What is the last book you abandoned?
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. It’s not that it wasn’t interesting, but it just went on a little too long for my liking. I tend to abandon books a lot, but sometimes I’ll pick them back up if I’m feeling guilty.
Author you'd most like to meet for dinner, and your order?
One of my first, and most monumental, interviews as a journalist was with Maya Angelou for a piece that ran in Oprah’s home magazine. I was incredibly nervous and naïve at the time, and we only had 5 or so minutes to chat on the phone. She couldn’t have been more graceful, but it’d be a dream to be in her presence for an entire meal. She’s a Southern gal like me, so I’d imagine we’d share pimento cheese sandwiches and sweet tea.
Where do you go to find new recipes?
Given my magazine background, I’ll never tire of ripping out recipes from my favorite food magazines (Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food & Wine). I’m also inspired by foodies I follow on Instagram, as well as the dishes my friends make for group potlucks.
Where do you go to find new reads?
I used to rely on coworker recommendations, but now that I work as a freelancer, I depend on Goodreads and The New York Times Sunday Book Review.
Tell us about your book — the inspiration for it, why you wrote it and your favorite aspects.
I never intended to write an e-book. But in late March, just six months after I’d started working at DailyCandy, the site suddenly closed and I lost my job. So I did the natural thing: Book a trip to Africa.
Inspired by that life-changing trip as well as my experience as a former crafts editor, I created/styled/designed/wrote Fly DIY: Crafts for the Modern Traveler. The 59-page-book features 12 super easy, affordable, and original projects, as well as successful female business owners as models and a travel playlist by Chicago's top female DJ. Of utmost importance, 10 percent of the book’s proceeds will be donated to the non-profit that I traveled to Africa with, Watering Malawi. I love that anyone can create the crafts in Fly DIY, no matter their age or experience with a glue gun. I mean, I turned a $1 fly swatter into a luggage tag for God’s sakes! These projects may be homemade but they don’t look it.
What are your favorite blogs, and why?
The blog world is so overwhelming that I often take breaks from it to maintain my sanity. But when I have a personal connection to a blogger, I feel fully invested and inspired. I love the ladies of Dinner was Delicious who churn out some of the web’s most drool-worthy recipes, stunning photos, and raw prose. I turn to Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant to educate me about plant-based cooking in the most heartfelt, authentic, and hilarious way. And everything that Claire Thomas of Kitchy Kitchen puts out in the world (hello S'meaches pie) makes my mouth water.
JOURDAN IS GIVING AWAY A FREE COPY OF HER CRAFT-FILLED E-BOOK, FLY DIY: CRAFTS FOR THE MODERN TRAVELER, TO ONE LUCKY PAPER/PLATES READER. SWOON!
Inside Fly DIY you'll find 59 pages devoted to 12 crafts, modeled by Chicago boss ladies (AKA business owners and shot by a local photographer. You'll learn to make:
- Drawer liner passport cover
- Fly swatter luggage tag
- Marbled glass bottle
- Mini suitcases, and more!
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win the book. Entries are open to anyone. The more ways you enter, the better your chances of winning! Winner will be selected at random and contacted by email.
Cover photo and portrait of Jourdan by Carolina Mariana