Thursday, March 29, 2012

High Fives & Kudos for Craftcation 2012

Big Props to EVERYONE who made Craftcation this past weekend possible! Thanks to Delilah Snell & Nicole Stevenson the conference organizers for their blood, sweat, and tears putting it together! Thanks to all the AH-Mazing sponsors! Thanks to all the amazing presenters who had so much wonderful knowledge that was truly a gift to give us creative professionals!! Speaking of Creative Professionals, thanks to all the new friends who traveled out to Ventura, CA to share and learn with everyone!!! It was mind-blowing and refreshing all wrapped into amazing-ness.
Look at all this great stuff!!! I either got in the swag bag, purchased from the artists after a session, The Urban Craft Center had a pop-up shop inside the hotel, PLUS items found at Super Buzzy one of the most amazing stores I have had the pleasure of checking out! Now if only I can wrap-up this post so I can play with everything!!!

THURSDAY- was such a whirlwind!  We had 13 sessions to choose from and only 3 spots to fill! It was a super tough choice and I sat in on: When To Seek Professional Help: Building Your Indie Business (Steph Calvert) Wordpress 1.0 (Se Reed) and Making the Most of Craftcation Through Social Media (Radmegan See Below for More on Radmegan)  

(FYI, I really only have pictures of the workshops- I felt like taking pictures & interrupting as people did their presentation would be icky... I will let you know if some surface from other attendees)

Thursday night there was an AMAZING BBQ & Opening Celebration at the WAV- (Working Artists Lofts) where there was a sweet photo booth (Fun Pictures from the Photo booth here!) Make N Takes w/ Lisa Engelbrecht, awesome food (FYI- sweet craft brews from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. The Davy Brown Ale is my FAVE!)

After driving back to LA (Culver City to be exact) to go see The Hunger Games at Midnight on Thursday, getting back for my 9AM Mini-Book session with Amy Tan (Better known as Amy Tangerine) seemed daunting. I skipped the 405 and took the PCH the whole way and that alone made a big impact on the trip. It was my first time going that far north along the coast and it was super beautiful!

Next up there was a panel discussion Start-Up Stories led by Rena Tom with Karyn Cantor of Classic Hardware, Melanie & Dana Harvey founders and owners of Harvey's The Original Seatbelt Bags, and Christine Haynes author of Chic and Simple Sewing. It was super reassuring hearing everyone's growing pains and how they made it to the other side! I was super Jazzed to hear Melanie & Dana Harvey's story. They are a company I have always been interested in hearing their origin story PLUS as a larger brand success story it was rad to find out all their production in the USA and what that was like growing into larger production.

DIY Business: Pricing for Products and Services led by Lauren Venell was so enlightening! She was a gem and put her presentation on-line here. I HIGHLY suggest checking it out! During her presentation I realized how badly I was undervaluing my services and I finally figured out what my freelance rate should be. SOOOOO Helpful! Thanks Lauren!

Don't think I forgot about our Friday- What I wore section!
On "What I Wore" Friday 3/23/12: A Fun Apron!
Friday was the second day of the conference and I lucked out by scoring a spot in the Jam Making session with Delilah :) a Master Food Preserver!!!

She provided a sweet instruction and recipe guide which had worksheets with recipes for Citrus Jam as well as Strawberry Jam. We broke into teams and lucky me, I got paired up with my new friend Vennice!
We made our batch- Strawberry Chipotle Jam!!! It was a huge hit + we got to all share it over breakfast the next morning! Yay!

For our Strawberry Chipotle Jam we washed & cut a ton of strawberries into quarters (without the hull). We put roughly 5 cups of cut strawberries with 1/4 cups lemons/lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of diced chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce) into a pot. Stirring and crushing the fruit as it heats. Do this process breaking down the fruit and slowly bringing the mixture to a boil.  Once you get the mixture boiling- it is time to add pectin! You'll want the powder kind- you'll use a box of pectin. You can use more or less- Less= more runny, More= thicker. Not too much though, because too much and it will end up like a gummy candy.

Now it is time to add sugar! We wanted to go light on our sugar- A) so it is healthier and B) so the heat shines in the jelly. We put in 5 cups sugar to the mix and stirred it constantly until there was a hard boil for a good minute. Delilah told us a great trick that at this point it is helpful to spread a thin clump on a plate and put it in the freezer for a few minutes to see if it the right consistency. If it has "skin" and squishes like it is thickening you don't need extra pectin and/or sugar.

Once this is all taken car of it is time to ladle your jam into jars and can it. Here is a link to a video on canning to know the details on preserving your preserves ;)

We all made big jars of our own jams and some small jars to swap & share! It was so awesome to come home and open up our Strawberry Chipotle Jam as pictured above with some Gorgonzola and Water Crackers- YUMMY!!!! #Major Kudos to my teammate Vennice for us making an amazing jam for our first try :)

While we were in the session Aida Mollenkamp had leftovers from her Chickpea Socca with Balsamic Mushrooms and Wilted Chard- SOOOOO TASTY! Plus, Gluten free!!! Check out my pin here on Pinterest to see how to make it yourself!

Saturday- WAS FANTASTIC!!!
The whole day was held in Ventura's City Hall- which was fabulous! Alison Marik-Zeno  of CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles did an AH-Mazing Branding You session in City Hall Chambers. It was so serendipitous to go to this session before the Art World session because it was the first time in a long time that I felt like I was getting an honest critique for what people are up to artistically. Alison did a terrific job on her case studies in her presentation (I really wish she would post the presentation so you can benefit from it too! I will let you know if it becomes available.) We all critiqued the case studies in a positive and helpful nature that I feel like was truly noteworthy and memorable. Kudos Alison for finally making branding your space at a craft fair or pop-up shop finally tangible!

Breaking into Art World (Morgan Culture) Blew my mind! It has been a while since I have had my work in an exhibition and her session really got me yearning for some Fine Art shows! I would love to go into more details- but I have mostly notes and am going to just state that it has re sparked my passion for doing some fine art shows and move on-

Mozzarella in Under an Hour (Heather Westenhofer)
Check out the OC Cheesemaker site here for the recipe and picture instructions to make your own mozzarella. It is super fun and rewarding to at least try it once! The recipe we tried is super good for a caprese salad- I will definitely try this and let you know how it goes :)

Then I just turned around for the next session with Radmegan (who I secretly want to have an invite to see her collection of carnivorous plants! I will let you know the day that the invite comes ;) I sat in on her session for Social Media (Making the Most of Craftcation Through Social Media) and she gave us a sweet "stalker list" of everyone at the conference and what was online for them- super helpful take-away!!!

Even better take-a-way was the end result of the Crafting a Lightbox session! It was filled up so quickly they opened a second session for it! Thank goodness because I think it was the most needed session for most of us selling goods online and the easiest to do for yourself at home!  One of the amazing attendees who was in my class Stefanie Japel (of Stephanie Japel Knits) posted this on the results of her light box- check it out here. Radmegan says she is posting her lightbox info soon, so I will do an update with before & after product shoots using the box as well as info on how to make it next Tuesday.

Then another session that I could stay put for (It was nice having all my sessions in the same atrium on Saturday! It made it less stressful so I could take my time with my lightbox) was Building Your Wholesale Craft Business with Karyn Cantor of Classic Hardware. It was super great hearing how Karyn has built her wholesale business and what she has to do with her reps + trade shows. It was however probably the least helpful session for me because it made me realize I was way more into the Breaking into Art World (Morgan Culture) session and making our business all about wholesaling our crafts might not be for us.  I wish there could have been an emphasis on printed materials or line sheets verses more of the business elements needed  in the session.  Overall it was great to here Karyn's experience to know it isn't really a mixed bag I am interested in trying out.

Then I was super stoked that I was able to get in on the Teach Your Craft session with Nicole Vasbinder of Stitch Craft! It was originally all sold out and I was super bummed to miss it- THEN, YAY! she opened it up to more people!!! It was really helpful to hear how she goes about leading group sewing lessons and the things she has learned about setting up private lessons too as a way to grow you & your business. I feel super blessed that a spot opened up and I made this session!!!

After staying in the hotel and having breakfast on site (It was crazy raining when we woke up!) We had a wonderful Closing Ceremony & Mentoring Roundtables:
We could chose 4 Tables with different topics to discuss with the experts. We had a timed amount to talk and discuss then we would float to the next topic.  I sat in on Aida Mollenkamp discussing TV ?'s,  Linsi Brownson from Redefine Home talking about your Core Company Message ?'s, The Coco Gallery for Photo and Video ?'s, and Rhea T. from The Urban Craft Center and Zine ?'s. I really liked breaking down to smaller sized groups and meeting attendees with similar interest. Overall I think this was the most helpful place to network!

Then from there I hit up How Pinteresting (Steph Calvert) which I really enjoyed because I have been a secret stalker of Steph and I could really see her personality shine in the presentation.  Steph was a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design like my husband and I are and I have been following Hearts and Laserbeams from afar all these years. It was super great hearing about the things she likes and seeing all the hilarious names and titles to her boards!


I was off to Embroidery 101 with Jenny Hart!!! Finally I met + learned from Jenny Hart one of the top influences & Handmade Goddesses on my must meet list!  Let me tell you, she is even more fantastic than I could have imagined!! I was in another session so I missed her Copyright session :( But, seriously more sessions might have made me grow a craft-stalker crush and fallen way to in love with her creatively, so it may have been to our advantage that I was only in her embroidery lesson. One thing that she did that totally made me love and respect her even more is she took the time to go around and learn all of our names! With 4 banquet tables full of names to learn- it really impressed me that not only did she master it, but that she took the time to get to make it more personal with each of us!!! OMG I <3 HER!
In the Embroidery 101 Class we each received a kit with a tea towel in either sewing items (Which is the one I picked shown above) retro kitchen, flowers, or meat. It had a range of floss, some needles, and a printed instruction list for some basic techniques.

I got this super tight Henna Tattoo while on the trip by Tamara Brown of Opal Moon Henna! She took inspiration from my amazing necklace my Grandma gave me-

There were even more photos of the fun! Find more pictures and details here.

People I met that are FANTASTIC!!!  Shout Outs & Credits to :

Hope you enjoy the recap! Next year I hope to see you at the conference ;) XOXO, KC


  1. Great recap! Thanks for the shout-out too!
    Marlo M @ (currently blogging at :)

  2. Thanks Marlo! I love your cute stuff ;) Such a wonderful time meeting you + celebrating & learning such helpful tips at Craftcation!!! I feel so jazzed to have meet everyone at the conference.
    So invigorating!!
    XO, KC


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