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Archive for April 16th, 2008

The Craft Congress Was Fantastic!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Where to even begin? I went to the Craft Con in San Francisco, which is a series of conferences that are specifically geared toward professional or aspiring to be professional crafters. It was a 2 day conference, April 5th and 6th, with a little tour of San Fran’s craftiest spots and a cocktail hour sponsored by ReadMade. I went with Cathy Pitters of Crafty Wonderland. We had a great time!

The conference covered everything from theory based subjects like art-craft vs craft-craft to specific topics like how to get published and how to get sponsors. I should really mention here that THE most fun presentation was put on by Garth Johnson from Extreme Craft. I am not really sure I can clearly explain what he does, because you have to see it to believe it. I would have to say that he is a collector of some of the most unusual arts and crafts that I have ever seen. His presentation had a few general themes one of them was called, “Craft Extending It’s Middle Finger.” So funny.

It was so great to be in the company of so many other creative business people from all over the country and have an opportunity to share stories and learn new things together. We arrived on Friday, April 4th and got a tour of San Fran’s crafty spots. Here is a pic of a couple of places we visited on our tour, like Stitch Lounge, which is somewhat similar to DIY Lounge except that they do sewing classes:

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The guy in the pic is E.J. a member of the Craft Congress.

Here is another pic of a scissor mobile at a shop called Rare Device, owned by Lisa Congdon and Rena Tom:

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I spoke at the conference about Teaching Your Craft. It was little old me with Jackie from the Craft Gym and Nicole Vasbinder of Queen Puff Puff and the newly opened sewing class space called StitchCraft, both are located in California.

jen-craft-gym-and-nicole.jpgAfter the tour we went to a bar to have a drink on ReadyMade. I thought we were just getting one drink, but the drinks just flowed and flowed. I don’t have any pics from the bar, but here are some pictures that others took at the Gala event that happened Saturday, April 5th.

Here is a pic of Rachel (with the dreads) the main person who busted her butt to make sure the Congress met, she is talking with Autumn. Autumn did a presentation on crafting green, which living in Portland Oregon, I thought I already knew everything about green practices, but she raised so many interesting points and ideas that were new to me. It was fascinating!

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Here is a picture of Rev Callie from the Church of Craft NYC. Left – Callie is posing in an adorable costume at the Gala. Next to her is Katy as Pippi Long Stocking. She was one of the members of the Congress, who makes these cute aprons like the one she is wearing. I like these pictures so much I decided to put them in triplicate on the blog:

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One of the many great things about this conference was that most meals were included so we didn’t have to go around looking for food. We were able to sit, eat and discuss topic or whatever we wanted to chat about. Everyone was so cool and friendly!

If anyone would like to learn more about this conference. I heard they are planning to do podcasts of the main conferences as well as links to other member’s blogs and pics . For more info go here . To become a Craft Congress member you go to the same website .

I know this is really long, but I just can’t stop without mentioning Kelly and her FUNK BAND. While at this conference we stayed with Cathy’s long time friend Kelly, who is such a cool chick! She has many great attributes, but the thing that really knocked my socks off was her funk band. I couldn’t stop taking pics, so I will include a bunch of them. The line up is 3 girl singer, dancers who all do synchronized dance steps together, with a guest singer too. They had a horn section and a girl base player (so cool!).

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Kelly is the one with her finger in the air. While we were there she was talking about moving back to Portland and getting a funk band going here. If she does, you all have to see her. Here is more Kelly and the Funk:kelly-2.jpgkelly-3.jpgkelly-4.jpg