I haven’t stopped since Craftcation to even write about it. And I had such a great time! For those who may not know, Craftcation is a yearly business and maker’s conference that takes place in Ventura, California at the end of March, brilliantly organized and well attended. I believe this is it’s 3rd (4th?) year, and the first one I’ve been to. I couldn’t stay for the entire conference because of commitments back home, which was disappointing because there were so many amazing workshops and panel discussions happening throughout the conference, something to do almost every minute. Or, not to do- being so near the beach at that time of the year was pretty compelling for those of us who had traveled in from colder areas.
In addition to making some real, in person connections with people I truly admire, I was able to meet some long time online friends in person, which was such a thrill. It never gets old to meet someone in person after I’ve grown to know so well online, we can automatically jump right into the real details of all that we’ve been wanting to talk about, no formalities necessary (Lisa Solomon, Abby Glassenberg, I’m talking to you!). CreativeLive hosted a breakfast for it’s teachers and I was a little starstruck meeting some of those folks. CreativeLive picks smart folks who teach some valuable stuff! (Lauren Venell’s bookkeeping class was a total game changer for this numbers-wary girl.) And I already mentioned the fun podcast with Tara.
I sat on 2 different panel discussions, one on turning your creative idea into a winning book proposal with Kari Chapin (hi Kari!) and one about how a group of us run our home-based, craft businesses.
I also taught a recycled flower class, which was a highlight of the trip for me. It was such a fun, laid back group. Very conducive to my teaching style. We started the afternoon class with a tour of the area thrift stores near our hotel (there’s no shortage of great thrift shopping in Ventura). I brought examples of flowers, explained what I mean by “anything goes” when choosing materials to make these flowers, and set the schedule for the class. We spent about 90 minutes shopping and gathering supplies (I may have shopped for things other than materials for flowers), then headed back to the classroom to make our flowers.
Two ways to make the flowers were covered. One is my freeform method (which is also covered in the Wise Craft book). A second method using the Sizzix cutting machine and several flower dyes I’d picked especially for the class. Several weeks before, I’d run the Sizzix machine through test flower making, using leather (at times with seams to cut through), thick suede, layers of paper, thick felted sweaters, etc and it was unphased by all of it. I love that it’s hand crank, not electronic. I don’t endorse or discuss products on the blog that aren’t useful to me, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure the Sizzix machine would be, but I was proven wrong. I plan to use it for my next quilt, after cutting through all those thick fabrics like butter, quilting weights should be a piece of cake. (Full disclosure, I was given a Sizzix machine to prepare for the class.)
Everyone jumped right into making flowers using both methods. One student needed a little mental help cutting through a suede skirt when she realized it was actually a Gucci skirt. (Things I ask- “Would you wear it? Do you make things with suede? Can you use the silver buckles for another project? Are you not cutting it only because its Gucci?”) Some may not agree, but cutting up something up that is not being used as it is, yet in parts it becomes other, beautiful projects that make you happy, is completely ok with me. That’s reloved!
I loved the Bad Girls comic book illustrations one student chose to make her flowers from (above). Another pulled pages from an old photography book (below).
There were vintage pattern tissue flowers, flowers made from silk scarves, sweatshirts, pajama pants, you name it. I love that everyone got into the spirit of reclaiming.
Thank you Nicole and Delilah, for inviting me to Craftcation and creating such a wonderfully inspiring weekend!
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