Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recycled Arts Festival

This weekend is the Recycled Arts Festival at Ester Short Park in Vancouver, Washington. The festival runs June 26th and 27th from 9am-4pm. This is one of my favorite events of the year. Each of the artists uses recycled materials to make wonderful arts and crafts.
One of my favorite booths is the "Tossed and Found" booth. For the past 3 months, Waste Connections Inc. has been rescuing items that were heading to the landfill and collecting them for the Recycled Festival. The items are on display on Saturday for the public to see and be amazed at the perfectly good items some people threw away. Everyone is welcome to get a ticket and on Sunday there is a lottery. Tickets are drawn and if your number is called, you can go and find an item to take home. I walked away with a nice camping chair last year, but I have my eye on a comfy office chair this year.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My DIY Light Box

At the Summit of Awesome one class I was especially interested in was how to improve my photographs using my own camera. I have a Nikon Coolpix P60 with 8.1 megapixels amd 5v Zoom, not that I know what any of that means. I am not someone who usually reads the instruction manual when I get something new, so it is no surprise that I didn't really know how to use my camera. After my class, I feel that I am a little better versed at taking pictures, but there is a whole ocean of knowledge to learn to really be a good photographer.

One helpful thing I learned was how to make my own light box. My kids were intrigued, but didn't understand what it was used for. To the best of my limited knowledge, it helps create better light and a seamless background for the items I am trying to photograph. My first attempt at a light box is a bit tipsy, but it will do for now.

To make your own light box and get some tips on photographing your own work, check out found on Etsy's Blog, the Storque.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summit of Awesome

The names says it all. Summit of Awesome! I have spent the past two days at the Summit of Awesome in Portland learning all about the business of craft. It is being held at McMenamin's Kennedy School, an awesome place in itself. Along with a couple hundred other crafters, I am learning how to be a better craft business person. I have attended classes such as "Craft Show Set-up", "Craft Show Applications" and "Photographing Your Work with Your Own Camera". We started the show with a walking tour of Alberta Street. Then came back to the Kennedy School to make a couple of crafts while we waited for your first sessions to begin. Imagine a room with tables of craft supplies at your disposal for the times you just need to make something... and it is open all day long! We ended the day with a White Elephant Gift Exchange where many of us brought in our handmade items to exchange. I walked away with a cute needle felted coin purse.

Today was Day two of this three day event. I joined up with my new friends and spent a jam packed day attending sessions and being torn between wanting to learn more and wanting to get started everything I learned. We were entertained by our craftnote speakers, Pat and Aaron, the owners on and the new shop "Land" on Mississippi Ave in NE Portland. They were the pioneers of handmade craft shops on the internet, blazing a path for other crafts to sell online. They started before there was even an online shopping cart! After more sessions, (I sadly missed the Craft Throwdown where crafters competed to make crafts from given materials within a certain amount of time), we ended the day at "Land" where we took a tour of the shop and warehouse.

Tomorrow promises to be another wonderful day at the Summit of Awesome!! ... don't you just love that name?!