Hello and See You Later

CraftcationFriday-cropped.jpg

Hi, hello, and how are you? It’s been a while… we’ve been MIA from your inbox and social media for several months while we took a break for the holidays. Part of this was to leave you alone during your busiest season of the year, but there’s another reason: we needed some time to ourselves to map out shutting things down.

Yup, you read that right. We are leaving the Academy of Handmade. There are lots of reasons for this, but essentially we’ve been burned out for a bit-- for reasons related to and unrelated to AOH-- and just didn’t see going forward as sustainable.

Before we get to what happens next, we first want to take a moment to say THANK YOU-- thank you to all of our supporters and members and customers and participants and readers and podcast listeners. Truly we have loved working with you and it’s your energy and enthusiasm that has probably kept us going longer than we realized. Looking back on over five years of working with makers, we are so proud of the work we have done and the community we supported!

THANK YOUS & SHOUT OUTS

Before we wrap this up, we wanted to thank people who have really been so key in believing in us, supporting us and cheerleading us! This really has been about the friends we made along the way.

Our team: Nessa, Lisa, Sandy and Miriam-- it was such a pleasure working with you ladies!

All our former chapter leaders... you ladies really believed in us and worked hard to help other makers!

Our awards winners and nominees, including our three Master Makers: Jenny Hart, Erin Dollar and Robert Mahar... so honored and amazed by your talents!

Our super-friends and cheerleaders: Lizzie Mae, Rosalie Gale, Holly Marsh, Rebecca Saylor, Nicole Stevenson, Tina Rodas, Jenn Lamb, Katie Hunt, Annika Chaloff, Robin Soltis, Kimberly Taylor-Pestell, Tiffany Kuo... and so many more that we're for sure forgetting!

Our serial experts: Stacia Guzzo, Kirsten Pumphrey, Kylie Fattor, Adrienne Wiley, Lela Barker, Arianne Foulks, Marlo Miyashiro, Lisa Anderson Shaffer, Sarah Mandell, and Carolyn Caffelle. You all made our programming and content better!

All of these people have been incredibly kind and truly want to help the maker community become stronger.

In Our Absence...

There are a few business we heartily recommend you turning to in our absence. They are certifiable friends of makers. :) We'd never steer you wrong! Please check them out.

Dear Handmade Life
Lucky Break Consulting
Creators & Adventurers
Trade Show Boot Camp
VA for Makers
Aeolidia
Smart Creative Social

What’s Next...

Now, to what happens next.

First, we’ve been fortunate enough to find a great maker and online personality who’s going to run the Academy of Handmade - Brittany Lynch.

Brittany is the owner of multiple crochet and craft blogs, the Dollar Yarn Club and also the host of the very successful Handmade Business Summit. We hope you’ll all give Brittany a warm welcome.

Secondly, we’ve migrated almost all of our YHBTV episodes over to YouTube. Visit our channel to revisit your favorites or peruse some killer topics we covered - so pop over and check it out.

Thank you for joining us on our adventures and for supporting us, supporting you!

With a tear in our eyes and a big handmade hug,

Sharon & Isaac.

How to Prepare to Attend a Creative Live Course in Person

How to Prepare to Attend a Creative Live Course in Person

We think bettering yourself as a business owner through education is a smart move. One of our favorite places for top-notch handmade business education is CreativeLive* (friends of ours like Katie Hunt, Nicole Stevenson, Erin Dollar and Robert Mahar have done excellent ones, as well!). One of the best things about it? You're able to watch the live classes (and the re-runs!) for free. You can also totally be part of their live audience and one of our members Richelle of redscorpio has been several times. She shares what it's like and how to prepare for it.

5 Things We Learned at Craftcation 2017

5 Things We Learned at Craftcation 2017

For many makers, who often work alone, it can be an isolating experience. Attending conferences, like Craftcation or workshops can help build relationships, find answers to problems we can’t figure out in our business and connect us to a community who can offer support. After spending four days of listening to creatives and business experts, you’d expect to learn a few things, right? Read on for the top five things we took away during Craftcation!

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT CRAFTCATION 2017: PART 3

WHAT'S HAPPENING AT CRAFTCATION 2017: PART 3

We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Craftcation on their sixth annual business and makers conference happening April 27-30, 2017. Each year they gather up makers, artists, DIYers and creative business owners in the beach city of Ventura, California (just a little north of Los Angeles) to get away and learn new craft and business skills.

This year we helped them create tracks from the schedule of over 100 workshops and activities-- which was quite the feat because there are sooo many great sessions to choose from! Putting the tracks together showed me that there's something for everyone at Craftcation.

What's Happening at Craftcation 2017: Part 1

What's Happening at Craftcation 2017: Part 1

This year we are excited to partner with our friends at Craftcation on their sixth annual business and makers conference. Each year they gather up makers, artists, DIYers and creative business owners in the beach city of Ventura, California (just a little north of Los Angeles) to get away and learn new craft and business skills. This year we helped them with the creation of tracks from their many classes-- OMG it was crazy to sort through all of the amazing classes ahead! Putting the tracks together shows there's something for everyone here.

Awards Decor Tutorial: Himmelis Inspired by Robert Mahar

Awards Decor Tutorial: Himmelis Inspired by Robert Mahar

This year's Master Maker--presented by CreativeLive--is the incredibly talented Robert Mahar. Robert's career has run the maker and artist gamut and brings a WEALTH of knowledge to his online and in-person workshops. Last week, AHAS hosted a himmeli decor-making party that was generously sponsored byCreativeLive. We noshed on snacks, made 35 Himmeli octahedrons, and had an awesome, maker-schmoozing time! A BIG thank you to Sienne for being our lead instructor and demonstrating Himmeli construction for us in-person. If you weren't able to attend the party, you're still in luck! We took tons of pictures and have a super-simple tutorial so that you can make your very own, stunningly elegant, statement-piece, Himmeli mobiles! Enjoy!

Mad Men Party Outfit Planning!

Mad Men Party Outfit Planning!

Member and Academy of Handmade Award nominee Christine Haynes is a master of sewing and all things mid-century modern. So who better to help us with getting our outfits just right for the Mad Men party that we will be hosting at Craftcation this year? If you haven't bought your tickets yet, there are few more tickets left for the conference that is a must for handmade businesses! 

3 Ways to Create Truly Original Red Carpet Couture

3 Ways to Create Truly Original Red Carpet Couture

Nicole Longstreath is on a mission to save women from the dysfunctional shopping experience. She is a virtual wardrobe stylist working with women across the globe to build personal brands that command attention and influence. She believes that all women are entitled to their own, unique brand of personal style, regardless of age, size, shape or amount of disposable income. And that's why we've asked her to be our red carpet host for our upcoming awards show!

This week, she helps to get you ready for our big bash honoring the best in handmade... all on a budget.

Transitions in Your Art: A Chat with A Cute Artist and Lady

Transitions in Your Art: A Chat with A Cute Artist and Lady

 Few people we know sparkle and shine like Aurora Pringle. We met up with this bundle of girl power and creative genius at the Craftcation conference and we had to make her our friend. What's lovely about her and her work is that she is all about promoting female awesomeness. So if you've got a secret crush on Anne Hathaway or feel like you are into the movie Heathers more than you should be, she will squeal with delight with you about all things lady. During her career as an artist she's gone through a few different iterations within music, illustration and writing. She gives us her thoughts on what it's like changing as an artist and expanding into new arenas. You also won't want to miss her DIY photo shoot workshop on Saturday, November 9 at The Hub in Downtown LA!

We're In! Thanks for Helping Us Get Selected for SXSW

We're In! Thanks for Helping Us Get Selected for SXSW

We are so excited to announce that our panel was chosen to be presented at SXSW Interactive. The panel is titled Navigating the New Handmade Economy and along with co-founder Sharon will feature members Eleanor Whitney (writer of Grow) and Carol Cho (business development at Etsy)! 

Food Based Natural Dyes – Demo at Etsy Craft Party 2013

IMG_3196 copy.jpg

Did you enjoy the natural dye demo with KC at the Etsy Craft Party? Or did you miss and want to try out the fun at home for yourself? Here's her tips on the dyeing process.

Food Based Natural Dyes – Demo at Etsy Craft Party 2013

Turmeric – Yields a vibrate yellow. (Ranging from sunshine to pure gold in nature)

Recipe and Instructions:

For every 3 cups of water use ¼ cup of turmeric.

For large batches, It is safe to assume that no more than ¾ of a cup is needed for a bold color.  For the Etsy Party demonstration I used the largest capacity crock pot available (which is just over 24 cups) and used ¾ of a cup of turmeric. If you would like a subtle yellow, try a lesser amount of turmeric like 2 tablespoons to 8 cup ratio.

If using a hot pot, put in the ingredients in the crock pot and set it to cook on high for 2-3 hours before dyeing your fabric.  If you are doing this on the stove, try to have a rolling boil for 20-30min. then simmer for around an hour before adding fabric.  Stir the liquid frequently as the turmeric cooks. Because when you add your item to dye into the dye bath, the turmeric is very potent and will stain if it splashes back on you.  For dyeing in the crockpot keep your item in the liquid still on high heat for at least 30 minutes. Most results will be reviled well before 2 hours with this method. Don’t overcook! If you are cooking on the stove make sure your temperature is turned down to a simmer and that you are stirring often. This color is very colorfast and doesn’t need any additional fixatives.

Coffee (Espresso) – Yields a range of deep brown.

Recipe and Instructions:

For every 5 cups of water use ¼ cup of ground espresso.

For large batches - no more than ¾ of a cup is needed for a bold color.  For the Etsy Party demonstration I used a smaller capacity crock pot (probably around 13 cups) and used ¾ of a cup of espresso. If you would like a wash of brown so it just looks aged, try a lesser amount of turmeric like 1 tablespoons to 8 cup ratio.

If using a hot pot, put in the ingredients in the crock pot and set it to cook on high for 2-3 hours before dyeing your fabric.  If you are doing this on the stove, try to have a rolling boil for 20-30min. then simmer for around an hour before adding fabric.  Stir the liquid frequently as the coffee cooks. Be careful when you add your item to dye into the dye bath, we don’t want it to splash back on you!  For dyeing in the crockpot keep your item in the liquid still on high heat for at least 30 minutes. Most results will be reviled well before 2 hours with this method. Don’t overcook! If you are cooking on the stove make sure your temperature is turned down to a simmer and that you are stirring often. This color is very colorfast and doesn’t need any additional fixatives.

Onion Skins - A wonderful way to create a yellow to brown range.

This process really reacts to the metals in clamps and washers. The longer you cook the fabric in the onion broth or let it sit overnight the variations attained due to metal will come out with high contrast.  

A note on Foraging for Onion Skins at the Grocery store:

Whenever you are at your local grocery store, Look for the loose union skins in any of the varieties and keep the skins collected all mixed up to use as a wonderful dye

You can use cheese cloth to bundle the onion skins all together to create the dye.  I have found that the produce bags you can purchase that are white mesh works really good as a reusable net bag to hold the skins while cooking.

Red Onion and Mixed Onion Skins:

You can scavenge the red onion skins at your local grocery store…

Recipe and Instructions:

More in-depth instructions for Onion Dyeing can be found on the Make. Shop. Live. Blog. Since onion skins are hard to get a precise measurement, there are pictures and breakdowns of the process.

Here- http://makeshoplive.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-dying-with-onion-skins.html#more

Resized-0021.jpg

Some helpful items to look into if you’d like to dye more:

Dharma Trading Co. is the best place to order fabrics, pre-made items to dye, dye supplies, and all kinds of textile craft supplies! If you haven’t ordered anything with them you will be hooked in no time! http://www.dharmatrading.com/

Synthrapol is a special soap that is good for cleaning and processing fabric. http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/2127-AA.shtml

One of my favorite books to use as a reference for natural dyeing is Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes by Rebecca Burgess. http://www.amazon.com/Harvesting-Color-Find-Plants-Natural/dp/1579654258/ref=wl_mb_hu_m_2_dp

 

Time to (Etsy Craft) Party!

KC and Sharon are hosting another Etsty Craft Party... this time with the ladies of Creative Outlet Studios in Orange County. We hope you will join us on Thursday, June 20 with the night benefitting a great charity that helps families in crisis, Share Our Selves. PLUS if you are member you get in free (just another perk for being a member! Many more event discounts to come).

We're looking for some help with a few things if you are interested... free admission if you do (and we promise not to be slave drivers and make you work all night. Most likely you would work the first or last half). Here's what we need help with:

  • Registration Table and Set Up
  • Teach Screen Printing (if you have experience only please!)
  • Teach Letterpress (if you have experience only please!)
  • Dessert Bar Supervision
  • Bobby Pin Craft Supervision
  • Card Making Supervision
  • Natural Dye Station Assistance
  • Parking Direction
  • Runner to Help Where Needed
  • Tear Down/ Clean Up
  • Help Prep Decorations at Creative Outlet Studios 6/11
  • Dessert Bar Donations (for at least 50 people and you can include your shops information in the display)

If you can do ANY of this, please email academyofhandmade@gmail.com with what you're thinking. It will be a great time to interact with the larger community who might not be as familiar with crafts and handmade businesses. We look forward to partying with you!

Craftcation Reunion: OC Edition

This past Wednesday we co-hosted a Post-Craftcation get-together with Creative Outlet Studios. It was a lovely turn out. It was pot-luck style and the spread was delicious. We all gathered and had a chance to catch up with new friends we met at Craftcation. Lauren of Creative Outlet demonstrated how to make a sweet folded paper business card holder from How About Orange. Also, there was also a mini folded cover note pad craft to work on while sipping a beverage and catching up with each other. Thanks to Lauren for co-hosting this event!

Check out some of the highlights here. 

We will be hosting a Post-Craftcation get-together in the Valley soon too, so stay tuned for more details.