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Craft Camp

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Craft | 4 comments

Here are a few glimpses into this weekend’s Craft Camp!

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Morning Sessions

The day started out at TechShop with coffee and pastries from GRAZ Kitchen Fresh and a keynote from Derek Neighbors of Gangplank.

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The there were talks on selling your work via ecommerce and retail, product photography, and crafting for good (to benefit charity, etc.).

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Kelli, Kitty, and I did our panel on blogging for crafters, and I’ll be posting links and resources from that later this week soon.

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In between the morning and afternoon sessions, a bunch of us went over to ChopShop for lunch.

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Afternoon Session

The afternoon was open crafting and networking time at Gangplank with a supply swap and wine and cheese hummus reception.

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Eileen showed past CraftHack projects, Anne knitted, Lisa spun yarn on her portable spinning wheel (!), and Jennifer demonstrated how to use Japanese water brush for watercolor.

Everyone else just hung out and chatted, so it was a nice way to wrap up the day.

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Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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DIY Quilling Tool

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Craft | 6 comments

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Sometimes you have to get creative to get creative. Like with our monthly CraftHack meetups – they’re free, so that pushes us to be resourceful when it comes to providing materials and supplies.

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Robin Corey volunteered to do last month’s demo on paper quilling, a technique that involves winding strips of paper around a tool to get spiral shapes.

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While you can buy a quilling tool for around 8 bucks, ordering 20 for a free class would get pretty pricey.

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She found a super solution buried in her Pinterest boards: make your own from a cork and a tapestry needle. Basically, stick the needle in the center of the cork and glue it, cut off the top with wire cutters, file any sharp edges, and you have a super inexpensive tool that makes winding strips of paper for quilling easy.

She made about 20 of them for less than the cost of buying just one, and we all got to take one home for future projects.

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PS If you live in Phoenix and like to make stuff, make sure you’re planning to come to Craft Camp this Saturday!

Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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Craft Camp is coming!

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Craft | 0 comments

The awesomeness of our monthly CraftHack meetups could not be contained. One of the organizers, Anne Watson Barber, has planned an entire day for the same kind of learning, crafting, and connecting that happens there. And you’re definitely invited!

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Craft Camp is happening Saturday, August 8 at TechShop Chandler. The morning will be filled with talks and workshops to help artists, makers, and crafters learn how to turn their craft into a passion project or business.

I will be part of a blogging panel at 11:15, along with Kitty Carlisle of the Grammatical Activist and Kelli Donley of AfricanKelli. We’ll be sharing strategies and tools to help you get the word out about your craft blog and build your community.

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There will also be panels on photographing your creations, crafting for charity, and how to sell via ecommerce and retail.

The afternoon will be a time to craft and meet other crafters.

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Registration is $20. Proceeds go to Refugee Focus, an organization that helps refugees in Arizona. Several of our CraftHack-ers volunteer with them, teaching refugee women sewing and other job skills.

I think it’s going to be a really great day! Please tell your artsy-crafty friends and register via the CraftHack Facebook page.

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– More info –

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Shrinking

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Craft | 9 comments

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We had a great turnout for our Shrinky Dinks project at CraftHack!

CraftHack Shrinky Dinks

I think that has a lot to do with the nostalgia that goes along with these.

CraftHack Shrinky Dinks

CraftHack Shrinky Dinks

We started out with clear and frosted sheets of shrinkable plastic and then used sharpies to draw or trace our designs. We cut them out and maybe punched a hole in the top for making jewelry later.

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A couple at a time went into Eileen’s toaster oven. We found ourselves gathering around to watch them transform, the plastic curling up before thickening and setting. It still seems kinda magical.

More photos on the CraftHack Facebook page.

Microblog Mondays

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A Plotter and a Dreamer

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Craft | 0 comments

In case you ever want to print some really big stuff, there’s now a plotter at Gangplank that prints on 3-foot wide rolls of paper. Not like photos, more like black-and-white line drawings. It would be great for patterns, maps, large schematics, and probably lots of things we haven’t thought of yet.

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I was looking for ideas of something we could make with it during the May CraftHack meetup. I’m not sure I found anything that would work for that, but I did come across some interesting stuff.

Modified Plotter Art

XY LED Plotter (University of Illinois) – Stephen Cartwright creates abstract long-exposure photographs with an LED plotter.

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Coal Drawing Machine (Belgium) – Carlos Amorales created an art installation in a former coal mine that features a modified plotter printing with charcoal.

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Cardboard computer and plotter (School of Art and Design Offenbach, Germany) – In an electronic media class, students were able to use cardboard to construct a tiny working computer and plotter.

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Print and fold

I wondered if we could use the plotter for printing larger versions of foldable projects like this Paris city scene or these VW buses.

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Then I fell asleep and dreamed of looking for plotter crafts.

Really. In the mall, there was a store that still had a Christmas display in their window with 3 paper figures that were as tall as I was: an angel with beautiful paper cut wings, a boxy snowman, and maybe a Nutcracker. They had been printed with a plotter, cut out, and folded up (Folidify craft style). So I went to ask the store owners if they would let us have the files for our CraftHack project. They showed me this adorable little papercraft camper that was a cross between a paper VW bus I’d seen and the Fisher-Price camper I had as a kid. (Remember those?) Of course, I still don’t have the files. Because it was a dream.

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But if you have any fabulous real-life ideas for projects that start with a plotter printer, let me know!

Photos via sites as noted, except for the top one, which I took of the actual HP DesignJet 600 at Gangplank.

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