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Happenings List: Spring 2018 (Mar/Apr/May)

Posted by on Feb 24, 2018 in Happenings List | 0 comments

London Craft Week ceramics

Did you know that March is Hong Kong Art Month? May 9-13 is London Craft Week. In New Zealand, where March is autumn, there’s a street festival called “CupaDupa” in Wellington’s Cuban Quarter. (Did you know Wellington had a Cuban Quarter?!)

In Washington D.C., they’re currently installing this amazing-sounding Burning Man exhibition (“No Spectators”) that’s set to open at the end of March. It will take up the entire Renwick Gallery and spill out into the surrounding neighborhood. (Also, the Renwick is a Smithsonian museum, so admission is free.)

Pompeii AZ exhibition

If you’re in Phoenix, you have until May 28 to catch the Pompeii exhibition at Arizona Science Center. I highly recommend it. They brought all this 2000-year old stuff over from the museum that houses Pompeii’s artifacts in Southern Italy. (Can you imagine being in charge of that packing job?? Yikes.)

The last weekend in April, the Arizona International Film Festival and Agave Heritage Festival – both in Tucson – overlap, so you could catch a couple films in between agave roasts and tequila tastings.

There’s lots to explore and enjoy this season. Read on to find out more!


Gems from the Burton Barr Library Art Collection

Now – May 25, 2018
The Gallery @ City Hall (ground floor), Phoenix
Artwork from the Burton Barr Central Library Art Collection by artists including Ed Mell, Joan Miró, and Fritz Scholder.

  • Free and open to the public from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Light rail: Washington/Central
  • Parking: Street parking (metered) or 305 parking garage at 305 W. Washington St. ($4/hour)


Irish Cultural Events

Downtown Phoenix


Spring Out to Lunch Concert Series

Now – Mar 22, Thursdays at 12:30pm.
Wells Fargo Garden performance area at Mesa Arts Center
Free outdoor concerts at lunchtime. Pack a picnic or purchase food on-site.


Raptor Free Flight!

Now – Apr 15
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson
Watch hawks, falcons, and owls fly completely untethered in the open desert, while a narrator explains the characteristics of each species. Included with admission.


Autumn into Spring Art Show

Now – May 11
Cornerstone Hospital, Tucson

Art on display (and for sale) by 25 local artists throughout the facility. Sponsorsed by Southern Arizona Arts Guild.

Pompeii: The Exhibition

Now — May 28
Arizona Science Center, Phoenix
Exhibition of artifacts from the ancient city of Pompeii, destroyed by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Over 200 items are on loan from the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy, including wall-sized frescoes, mosaics, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, statues, Roman coins, and body casts of the volcano victims. Timed-entry ticket required. Tickets $12 (adults) / $10 (ages 3-17) + science center admission.


24th Annual Sedona International Film Festival

February 24 – March 4, 2018

Festival with over 160 independent films from around the world, including features, shorts, documentaries, animation, foreign films, and student films. 10-ticket pack $130.


Field to Feast Tour

March 1, 7
Visitor Information Center, Yuma
(201 N. 4th Ave.)
Half-day farm tour. Hands-on harvesting instruction from a local grower followed by lunch made from the produce you picked. Includes transportation, some veggies to take home, and the field-fresh lunch. Tickets $55.


Phoenix Scottish Games

Mar 3-4
Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix
Games and entertainment presented by The Caledonian Society of Arizona, including competitive highland dancing, pipe bands, heavy athletics, country dancing, and historical re-enactments. Tickets $20/adults, $5/kids (6-12).


Savor Yuma

Mar 7
Old City Hall, Yuma

Progressive dining experience with a tour bus that takes you to sample food at several Yuma eateries. Tickets $55.


Art Detour 30

Mar 15-20
Downtown Phoenix

  • March 15. Art D’Core Gala.
  • March 16, 6-10pm. Pre-Detour Third Friday.
  • March 17-18. Art Detour! Studio and art space tours.


18th Annual Spring Heritage Pecan & Wine Festival

Mar 17-18
Community Field, Camp Verde
Wine tasting and all-ages festival with live music, an archaelogy fair, canoe and kayak racing, 40 vendors, and activities for kids.

Red Mountain in Mesa

El Tour de Mesa

Apr 7, 9am-2pm
Downtown Mesa
Rides from 5 to 61 miles, starting in Downtown Mesa and going as far as Red Mountain. Entry fee varies and goes to local charities.

  • CycloMesa: Unchained Bicycle Festival has a view of the El Tour start/finish line and Grand Cycling Awards Ceremony, as well as activities (zip line, rock walls, bungee trampolines, inflatables, etc.), BMX stunt shows, food trucks, and live music. Free.


Garden Project

Apr 8, 7pm
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Pianist-composer Michael Brown, clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, violinist Elena Urioste, and cellist Nicholas Canellakis perform a new work inspired by Desert Botanical Garden, Wave Hill in New York and Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Tickets $40.


Museum Day in the Garden

27th Arizona International Film Festival

April 18-29
Exhibition venues throughout Tucson
Film festival with a focus on independent cinema and diverse cultures.


ARTbeat 11

Apr 22, 4-9pm
Historic Downtown Yuma
Award-winning juried fine arts festival with local and regional artists and live music.

  • Application Deadline: March 2, 2018


The Opening Of The Fire Pit


Agave Heritage Festival

Apr 27 – May 6
Downtown Tucson
A weeklong celebration of the agave plant that includes culinary events, art, music, garden tours, and seminars.




Verde Valley Birding + Nature Festival

Apr 26-29
4-day event with guided walks (and canoeing!), workshops, vendors, and exhibitors focused on the Verde Valley habitat. Register online by April 18 or on-site starting April 25. Registration fee $15/person or $30/family. Additional fee for some events, including field trips and seminars.

  • Apr 26, 5pm: Welcome Social at Main Tent – River Day Use Area (Owl Rd) of Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Mixer with snacks and wine. Exhibitor booths will be open.
  • Apr 27, 6:30pm: Keynote Reception with Decadent Desserts at Cottonwood Rec Center, featuring Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America author Nathan Pieplow, who will share audio and stories from over a decade of recording birds in the field.
  • 2018 Featured Artist Gary Binder.
  • Camping available at Dead Horse Ranch State Park.


Eroica – An Evening at The Garden

May 15 – June 2 (Tuesdays through Saturdays), 8pm
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
World premiere ballet by Ballet Arizona’s Ib Andersen, performed to Beethoven’s Third Symphony with a desert garden backdrop.


Phoenix Comic Fest (Comicon)

May 24-27
Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix
Pop culture convention (formerly Phoenix Comicon) featuring actors, comic book writers and artists, programming, and vendors. Full event passes $100+.


The Golden Gate Bridge over the San Francisco Bay



Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985

Now – Apr 1
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Exhibition about how four design movements — Spanish Colonial Inspiration, Pre-Hispanic Revivals, Folk Art and Craft Traditions, and Modernism — defined California and Mexico throughout the twentieth century.


Handcraft Studio School Spring Workshops

El Cerrito

San Francisco is for makers


Spring at San Francisco Botanical Garden

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

  • Mar 3, Apr 1, May 6 at 8amBirding at the Garden. The first Sunday of each month, beginning birders are welcome to join this docent-led slow-paced walk. Meet at Main Gate. Free (donations accepted).
  • Mar 25, 10am: Painting from the Garden: An introduction to botanical watercolors. $95
  • Apr 21, 12pm: The Secrets of the Cosmos: Paper Flower Making Workshop. $95


Jewish Meditation

Mar 20 at 2pm
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
Instruction and exercises on meditation techniques that draw from Jewish contemplative practice, texts, and traditions. Lead by meditation teacher Alison Laichter, founder of the Jewish Meditation Center in New York City. Free.



Quilt, Craft + Sewing Festival

Mar 22-24
Denver Mart, Denver
Expo with sewing, quilting, needlework, and craft supply vendors (both local and national), as well as workshops and presentations. Admission $10. Free parking.

3 Denver sites not to overlook



Surprise! Art Journaling

​Apr 7, 10am
Sacred Space Studio, Statesboro
Learn how to add pop-ups, hidden pockets, and sneaky details to your journal! Materials provided. Fee $25. ​​



Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Exhibitions

  • Now – Sep 3. Mark Rothko: Reflection: Exhibition of 11 Rothko pieces on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. that show the continuity of the artist’s work within western artistic tradition.
  • Now – Jun 3. Black and White Japanese Modern Art: Display of a newly acquired, large-scale calligraphy by Inoue Yūichi, along with a selection of other monochrome avant-garde works from postwar Japan.


Embroidery Workshop

Mar 17, 6pm
Jamaica Plain
4-hour hands-on contemporary embroidery workshop with Sarah K. Benning. Learn to prep your hoop and fabric, transfer a design from paper to cloth, and embrace freestyle stitching and non-traditional embroidery techniques. Materials included. Fee $140.

New York airport

+New York

World Amigurumi Exhibition vol. 4: Dolls for Daily Life!

Now – Mar 31
RESOBOX LIC, Long Island City
Exhibition of innovative uses of the Japanese crochet art amigurumi. Free.



SE Area ARTWalk

Mar 3-4, 10am-5pm
Southeast Portland
Self-guided walking tour of artist studios, home workspaces, galleries, and businesses within the boundaries of SE 9th Ave, SE 41st, SE Powell and SE Hawthorne Blvd. Free.


Annamieka Artist Retreats

  • May 4-6: Painting in the Ancient Forest: Opal Creek. Stay in a cabin in Jawbone Flats and learn about painting with acrylics in the Opal Creek Wilderness. Food, lodging, and art supplies provided. Fee $455.
  • Jun 29 – Jul 1: Painting on the Oregon Coast: Sitka Center for Art + Ecology. Annual “Layers of the Forest” mixed media painting workshop at the confluence of the Pacific Ocean, the Salmon River, and the Cascade Head Nature preserve. Ages 16+. Lodging is not provided. Tuition + materials $310.



Seattle Art Museum


Washington monument

+Washington D.C.

Hung Liu In Print

Now – Jul 8
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Best known as a painter whose work explores themes such as movement and migration, artist Hung Liu also creates pieces using an array of printing and collage techniques. She describes printmaking as “poetry,” layering images with highly textured surfaces and  screens of drip marks. Museum admission $10.


Women in the Arts and a Pop-up Makerspace


National Cherry Blossom Festival

Mar 20 – Apr 15

  • Mar 24, 5pm: Opening Ceremony at Warner Theatre. Advance tickets required. $5 fee.
  • Mar 24 – Apr 8, 12-6pm: ANA Performance Stage. Free.
  • Mar 31, 10am-4:30pm: Blossom Kite Festival at Washington Monument Grounds. Kite competitions and demonstrations, public field for flying your own kite, kids’ kite-making activity station, and kite vendors. Free.
  • Apr 14, 10am-12pm: Parade along Constitution Avenue with floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and entertainment. Standing along the route is free, Grandstand Seating $20.


No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

Mar 30 – Jan 21, 2019
Renwick Gallery

Large-scale, participatory artwork from Burning Man will take over the entire Renwick Gallery building, as well as extending into the surrounding neighborhood. The in-gallery exhibiton will include immersive room-sized installations, costumes, jewelry, and ephemera, along with photographs and archival materials from the Nevada Museum of Art. Free.


Shenson Chamber Music Concerts

May 2, 9, 23 at 7:30pm
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Annual concert series of women musicians. Free, subject to availability. Registration required.



Expo Orchidées de Colombie (Colombian Orchid Expo)

Now – March 5
Galerie de Botanique, Jardin des Plantes, MNHN, Paris

Project to highlight the historical collections at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, as well as the biodiversity of Colombian flora. There will also be light and sound installations by Claudia Isabel Navas.


Chinese new year in hong kong

+Hong Kong

Hong Kong Arts Month

Mar 1-31

  • Feb 23 – Mar 24: 46th Hong Kong Arts Festival. Traditional and contemporary music, opera, drama and dance performances.
  • Mar 29-31: Art Basel at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Work by Emerging and established artists from 32 countries and territories, especially the Asia/Asia-Pacific region. 3-day tickets HKD 750 in advance or HKD 850 on-site.


Spring Lantern Festival

Mar 2
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
The last day of Chinese New Year (a.k.a. “Chinese Valentine’s Day”) is focused on couples with colorful lanterns hung in parks, flower markets, and restaurants.



Carnival of Venice

Now – Mar 13
St. Mark’s Square, Venice
Pre-Lenten celebrations with revelers in elaborate masks and costumes.

Teatro La Fenice in Venezia (Venice)



Contemporary Embroidery with Sarah K. Benning

1. Hibiscus in San Miguel de Allende

Hands-on Contemporary Embroidery workshop at Hibiscus creative retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Learn about free-style working methods, embroidery stitches, tools and materials. Supplies and lunch included. Fee $125.

  • Apr 10, 10am-2pm
  • Apr 12, 10am-2pm

2. Mexico City Workshop

  • Apr 14

3-hour hands-on contemporary embroidery workshop. Learn to prep your hoop and fabric, transfer a design from paper to cloth, and embrace freestyle stitching and non-traditional embroidery techniques. Pre-registration required. Materials included. Fee $100.


Cuba Dupa festival



Mar 24-25
Cuba Quarter, Wellington
Festival with a wide range of street performances, including theater, bands, and opera, as well as a parade and interactive art installations. Free.


Petersham Nurseries


London Craft Week

May 9-13
Across London
Curated program showcasing international creativity and craftsmanship.

  • May 12, 10:30am: Stenciling with Nature at Petersham Nurseries. Learn about natural dying techniques including silk screen-printing, hand-painting and stencil printing to create unique soft furnishings for the home. £70


So much great stuff, right?!!

I kind of wish I could do it all. Obviously, I can’t. But if you go anywhere I mentioned, let me know how it goes!

Finally, while I do handpick events that seem rad, I’m not in charge of them and don’t always know the organizers. So consider this your informational starting point and know that there could be errors, changes, etc.

Hopefully, though, everything will be fabulous, and you’ll enjoy yourself immensely!


Top photo via London Craft Week.

Hong Kong photo via Discover Hong Kong.

Massachusetts photo via Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Paris photo via Orchidées de Colombie. 

New Zealand photo via Amandala Photography.

UK photo via Petersham Nurseries.


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Presidential Portraits

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Craft, Travel | 4 comments

A new portrait of President Obama was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery last week. It was met with mixed reviews.

Obama portrait unveiled

Critics compared the unconventional painting by Kehinde Wiley to portraits from the White House collection, implying that the new work – and, by extension, Obama himself – was less dignified or presidential than those that came before.

Washington portrait by Stuart

But it’s a flawed comparison. This is not his White House portrait. (Also? Judge presidents by their actions, not by artwork created of them.)

Nixon by Rockwell

There are two collections of portraits that include all (except the most recent) former U.S. Presidents: the 43 paintings in the White House and the more varied collection in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG), which also includes sculptures and photographs.

Gerald Ford by Oliphant

The portraits in the White House are often more formal and official-looking than their NPG counterparts, especially in recent decades, when artwork has been veering away from tradition, widening the gap between the two collections.

Truman, Kennedy, Bush portraits from White House and NPG

Wiley’s painting has been installed in the National Portrait Gallery, where I’m sure it stands out as unique, but not out of place.

President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley

PS Obama’s portrait has been re-created on a cookie.  

Photos via the White House and National Portrait Gallery.


Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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Black + White Love #ColorStory

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

Red isn’t the only color of love.

The classic combination of black and white can also have a romantic feel.

You can see it in this month’s color story with elegant DIYs, destinations, art, interiors, and objects in black and white.

Mailboxes Venice



1. Venice mailboxes 2. L’amour print 3. Printable geometric heart gift wrap 4. Boyce Thompson Arboretum 5. Black steps


Sandnes Norway Tote Bag

Black sesame cappuccino

inger sodergren ceramics

Bridge of Sighs Venice

Stay true

6. Sandnes, Norway manhole cover tote 7. Black sesame cappuccino 8. Ceramics by Inger Södergren 9. Bridge of Sighs, Venice 10. Stay True poster


Black Cloud by Carlos Amorales

DIY heart card


DIY wardrobe

Bee mine

11. Black Cloud (Nube Negra) detail by Carlos Amorales at Phoenix Art Museum 12. DIY eraser heart stamp 13. Windmill Winery, Florence, Arizona 14. Traditional bookbinding patterns 15. Minimal open wardrobe DIY 16. Bee Mine card


Peggy Guggenheim museum cafe in Venice Italy

Hand carved stamp


Thank you

17. Peggy Guggenheim Museum Café, Venice 18. Hand carved block printing stamp 19. Farmhouse in Woodend, Victoria (Australia) + rental cottage  20. Punkpost thank you card


Bear hugs to all of you! (Illustration by Daryl Hochi)

Amor bear hugs


Images via respective sites.

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Getting a Taxi in Rome

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Travel | 0 comments

Groggily standing outside Rome Ciampino Airport our very first hour in Italy, I suddenly felt unsure how to get into a cab. Even though I had read up on the do’s and dont’s of taking Italian taxis. Even though I was actually at the taxi stand and staring at a couple dozen of them.

I guess I had expected to see available taxis all lined up or at least a designated spot to wait for one.

Vatican taxi

Instead, cabs were parked haphazardly around different curbs and corners of the parking lot. Some were idling with their green (available) lights on, others had drivers (without passengers) just sitting there with their lights off, and still others were just empty with no driver in sight.

They were all mixed together, and I couldn’t make any sense of it. Ambiguity is rough when you’re sleep deprived.

Rome street corner

After deliberating way too long, I just picked one with a green light and a good vibe. We walked over to it, and I leaned towards the passenger window.

While I intended to say buona sera (“good evening” in Italian), I may have actually said buena suerte (“good luck” in Spanish).

The driver, understandably, looked confused.

Rome hotel Address

So I gave up on attempting any non-essential Italian and cut to the chase, saying the name of square we were headed to as if it were a question.

“Piazza Salerno?”



“No problem!”

I still am not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to be done, but it worked for us!

Rome Taxi

– More Italy Taxi info –

Our Tips:

Write it down! I stuck a post-it note in my wallet before we left with the name of the first hotel we’d be going to, the address, and the piazza it was in. I had practiced saying the address, but the driver didn’t understand me, so it was good I could just hand him a piece of paper with the information.

MyTaxi – One of our Airbnb hosts told us about this app, and it worked great for our trip back to the airport! We scheduled a pick up the night before and paid via the app.

Florence taxi in traffic

Taking a taxi…

Throughout Italy.

  • Only use registered taxis.
  • Don’t trust a driver who approaches you or wants to haggle.

In Rome.

  • Official taxis are white with a green light on the top.
  • Prices are fixed by the city. Certain destinations (airport to the city center, for example) have a set price. Otherwise, they go by the meter.
  • Uber has been basically shut out of Rome. (Good for Rome!)

From Ciampino airport – There’s a taxi stand right outside the airport, and you shouldn’t go elsewhere to get a cab.

From Fiumicino airport – Terminals 1 and 3 have taxi service.

Taxi app

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December’s Last Sunset and 2017 Photos

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in Life, Travel | 2 comments

The sunset the last evening of 2017 was gorgeous – nature’s fireworks to celebrate the New Year.

A couple of the year’s other beautiful sunsets showed up on my Instagram Best Nine, fitting neatly into its unintentional bright pink/purple/royal blue color scheme. All of my most-liked photos were taken in Arizona, so, of course, they include some desert scenery.

Only a few coincided with my monthly photo picks.

1. #LOVE sign at airport protest 2. Star Wars Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) 3. Sunset behind palms 4. Tovrea Castle, Phoenix 5. Buildings in Old Town Peoria 6. Hotel Congress sign, Tucson – July 7. High Desert Trail, Black Canyon City – August 8. “Let’s Be Better Humans” campaign bus – March 9. View from Picacho Peak – en route from Tucson

I thought the photos I’d picked for 2017 were more varied than the automatically-generated Best Nine list. But, looking back, almost all are plant- or architecture-related. I guess it was a good year for both those categories.

I wonder what 2018 will bring.

Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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Make a Difference with Things You Make

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Craft | 2 comments

Heart cards

There are lots of ways to get crafty to do some good – regardless of your skill level!

Here are some DIY projects to make a difference.



Build a Little Free Library.

Make a place for a neighborhood book exchange! You can build it or repurpose a phone booth, mailbox, vintage bread warmer or other weatherproof container to house books in.

Little Free Library

Good to know:



Crochet/knit a chemo cap.

Help someone with hair loss due to cancer treatment feel more comfortable.


Good to know:
Before making a cap to donate, check the charity’s guidelines on best yarns and patterns to use. Many of them offer free patterns on their sites!


Make a composting unit.

You can reduce trash by composting food waste and turning it into something that’s good for your garden.

Good to know:



Make a card…

…for a child in the hospital.

Caitlin’s Smiles distributes handmade cards and “bags of smiles” with arts and craft supplies to kids in hospitals. You can make cards, tote bags, or donate art supplies.

Caitlin’s Smiles

…for a cancer patient.

Make blank cards that will be personalized and sent to people with a cancer diagnosis.

Card Care Connection

…for a housebound senior citizen.

While there won’t be an official Meals on Wheels campaign like last year’s “Love Letters,” you can contact your local Meals on Wheels program to find out about creating cards.

Meals on Wheels

…for your congressional representatives.

Postcards may currently be the most effective way to let Congress know what issues matter to you.

Good to know:


Make a blanket…

…for animal shelters (knit, crochet, sew, or tie).

You can knit, crochet, sew, or tie blankets for dogs and cats in shelters.

Comfort for Critters

Good to know:

  • 20-inch square is the preferred size.
  • They have free patterns and blanket ideas!
  • You can drop blankets off at a local animal shelter or ship them to their Illinois headquarters.


…for NICU babies.

Knit or crochet neonatal baby blankets.

Knots of Love

…for veterans.


  • Operation Gratitude gives care packages to veterans, as well as currently deployed U.S. Troops, first responders, and military families. You can make blankets, cards, caps, cool ties, drawstring bags, and/or scarves.
  • Quilts of Valor awards patriotic quilts to thank veterans.


Hummingbird Feeder

For pollinators, make…

…a mason bee nesting spot.

Help save the bees! Solitary bees are great pollinators and don’t have painful stings.

Good to know:


…a bat house.

Bats not only help pollinate plants, they eat mosquitos and other pests. As forests are cut down, they have fewer safe places to raise their young.

Bat Conservation International

…a hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbirds need a lot of calories every day! They can fuel up on nectar at feeders or flowers like honeysuckle.

Good to know:


Craft for a Fundraiser

If you sell items you’ve made, you can give the proceeds to whichever charity is meaningful to you. Cash is the most versatile donation.

Stamp metal bracelets.

One fundraiser craft idea is hand stamped bracelets. MyIntent (who I received a necklace from) now sells a Maker Kit, so you can make your own custom jewelry. One fundraiser selling hand-stamped bracelets brought in over $4,000 in 3 weeks!

UPDATE: Found a discount code, so I wanted to share! VDAY25 will get you 25% off a MyIntent Maker Kit.



What else can we make to make a difference?


PS While some of these projects are U.S.-specific, hopefully, they’ll spark ideas for anywhere you are!

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