31 Days of Crafting: Creating Tradition


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

This is a guest post from AFCI Staff, Keri Cunningham.

Every month is craft month in our house!  Crafting with my three year old daughter, Mae, is one of my favorite things to do.   We started crafting as soon as she could sit up straight in her highchair.  I’ve always had an interest in creative activities and was excited to be able to pass that along to my daughter.

She has quickly grown into a spunky toddler full of curiosity which still makes crafting a perfect activity.   Currently she loves to paint and make things out of Play-doh.

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We will be celebrating National Craft Month by using the craft kits she received for her birthday. We are also excited to try some DIY slime making.  Wish us luck!

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Keri coloring with Mae when she was a baby!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Neighborly Inspiration


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

This is a guest post from AFCI Staff, Alison Muldoon.

Well…it’s that crafting time of year again…and time again for me to check in with the crafting Kolveks of Ridgewood!

I wondered what my neighbors were up to in 2017. I made a quick phone call and was greeted by my neighbor at her door. Leslie had that crafting twinkle in her eye… I realized immediately   she was in the middle of another epic crafting project and I couldn’t wait for the big reveal!

With much anticipation, we walked downstairs to her crafting studio…aka…the “craft haven”, and there they were…fairy houses made out of bark and other recycled ecologic materials. Leslie had created these adorable crafted condos using $1 bird houses, recycled bark, moss, pine cones and a glue gun. The structures’ destinies are kid inspired planters, along with live plants such as lemon cypress, maiden hair ferns, pink polka dot plants, and maybe even a fondant crafted garden gnome or two! The finished product is a most unique and whimsical Fairy Garden! This is a craft idea that is truly worthy of recognition!

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Leslie is a member of the Woman Gardeners of Ridgewood, a dedicated nature lovers group that sponsors a children’s craft program in Ridgewood, NJ called Green Kids. This program is offered by the town’s community education and introduces children to the topics of science, ecology and nature through guided craft projects each year. Green Kids touches the lives of children in many ways, one of which is to introduce the beauty and wonder of nature through these original and one of a kind crafting projects.

And it’s my neighbor who is the very heart and soul of this program. Leslie conceptualizes these projects by channeling her inner crafter. With unmatched enthusiasm and passion, she shares her talent and love of crafting year round with so many in the community.

I truly believe Ridgewood NJ is one lucky community…and, Leslie Kolvek…you are my crafting inspiration!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Tech-Crafting at AFCI!

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

We were fortunate enough to have AFCI Professional Maker/DIYer Member, Natasha Dzurny of TechnoChic, come by today and craft with us for #NationalCraftMonth!

We made flashing bow ties and flowers using her tech-craft kits.

Have a look at some of the pictures taken today!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Scrapbooking for a Cause

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

March is a busy month for AFCI Affiliate Member, Crops of Luv. Crops of Luv is a nonprofit organization that makes scrapbooks for families with critically ill children.

They are hosting one of the largest crops they’ve had during the year where they will complete over 20 scrapbook albums for families who have critically ill children that have been granted a wish.

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As one can imagine, it is a huge undertaking! It requires tons of hours of prep time in order to get all of the album’s and embellishments ready for transport to their event venue in Tucson from their studio in Phoenix.

It is a great event with an amazing scrapbooking group called the Pantano Christian Scrapbook Chicks – a group of over 120 scrapbookers that get together monthly. Once a year they host a crop in Crops of Luv’s honor.

Crops of Luv has been able to not only make scrapbooks but raised over $2,500 each time they had one of these crops. This is their sixth year having this event.

Jody McNeilis, Cofounder of Crops of Luv, states “We are very grateful for the opportunity we have to not only complete our albums for these deserving families but to raise much-needed funds to continue our mission.”

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: “It Runs In the Family”

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This is a guest post by AFCI Staff Member, Kristen Farrell.

Most of you have probably heard and/or used the idiom, “It runs in the family.”

My great aunt, Kathleen Sullivan was a fine artist. Art was not her full-time job; yet, she painted whenever she had the time and inspiration, and even sold some of her pieces. Two generations have come and grown, and I’m sorry to say her talents have not been inherited. However, she instilled an appreciation for art in my family that will never be lost.

Almost one year ago to the day, my husband and I closed on our first home. About two weeks ago, we finally got around to hanging pictures and several of my great aunt’s paintings (or as my husband would say, “we finally gave in to putting holes in the walls”).

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For National Craft Month, I’m celebrating my aunt’s artwork. I’m proud to share her creativity and have it serve as a daily reminder for me to make time to do what I love.screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-6-42-27-pm

I’m also hopeful for another family artist. Over the past few years, many of my cousins have had children. Who know, maybe there will be another artist among us sooner than we think.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Suminagashi and DIY Tech-Crafts!

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

To kick off National Craft Month, we are featuring two extremely creative and kid-friendly projects recently done by AFCI Designer Member, Carol Heppner.

Suminagashi Candle Holder

Carol’s first project is a candle holder… but not just any ordinary candle holder. Carol used Suminagashi marbling, an ancient Japanese marbling technique where ink floats atop the water and then transfers to plain paper, to create vibrant designs. Instead of using marbling inks, Carol use enamel paints from Testor Corporation for her project. The enamel paints also float on water and are able to dry quicker than inks. She then hand washed the finished marble glass with a soft cloth.

The finishing touch to the design is by Kool Tak’s Shiny Foils.

Let’s get started!

When creating this candle holder:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s precautions listed on the bottle of paint.
  • Cover your work surface with a plastic tablecloth.
  • Use craft gloves to keep your fingers clean.
  • Have long hair?  Use a hair tie to keep hair from falling into the marbling mixture.
  • Protect your clothes when working with paints.

 

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Tools

  • Craft gloves
  • Plastic tablecloths
  • Low-tack masking tape
  • Disposable aluminum pan filled with water
  • Toothpicks
  • Glass candleholder, jar or vase

 

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Supplies

  • Testors Paints  #1127 GL Orange and #1169 FL Yellow
  • KoolTak.com Ultra Clear Tape, 1/8”
  • KoolTak.com Sea-Tones Shiny Foils

Instructions

  • Place the masking tape onto areas of the glass that will remain unpainted.
  • Put on the craft gloves.
  • Add about an inch or so of room temperature water into the disposable aluminum pan.

 

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  • Place a tiny drop of paint onto a toothpick and then touch it to the surface of the water.
  • Use another toothpick to place the second color of paint onto the surface of the water.
  • Continue to add the paints a few more times.
  • Leave some of the paint as drops.
  • Drag some of the paint in different directions with a new toothpick.

 

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  • Dip and then roll the glass into the paint on top of the water.  Make sure to cover all exposed areas of the glass.
  • Remove the glass from the water.
  • Let the paint dry on the glass.
  • Remove the low-tack masking tape.
  • Wrap the Kool Tak Ultra Clear Tape, double-stick tape, around the glass.
  • Apply the dull side of the Shiny Foils onto the Kool Tak Ultra Clear Tape.

Note:  Do not discard this paint/water in sinks because the paint can stick to the sink. Use a piece of paper to scoop all remaining paint from the water.
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TechnoChic DIY Tech-Craft Kits

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During the Creativation Show in January, Carol met with AFCI Professional Maker/DIYer Natasha Dzurny, creator of TechnoChic DIY.  One of her goals is to inspire more women and girls (age 8 and up) to use electronics in their creative endeavors.  Natasha gave Carol a DIY light-up paper flower to make with her ten-year-old niece.

The TechnoChic DIY paper flower kit is a great entry-level project for young girls.  The kit comes with paper flowers, an LED light, a battery and a brooch pin.

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The DIY light-up paper flower kit also make an awesome party activity.  Each kit makes ten LED flowers.   The kit’s step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and the finished flower will bring a sense of pride for the maker.

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

Time to Start Being the Change

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By Laura Kelly-Walters

My creative life is a never ending journey and one that causes great joy for me and many others.  I started on this path when I was first pregnant and that baby is now TWENTY.  After 20 years of doing the same things (all things that I love like doodling, painting and making), I decided it was time to keep doing these things but also make a big change.

I love licensing my art and am proud of my relationships and partnerships in the craft industry, including with Sizzix, AdornIt, Tombow, Sculpey and Kunin Group.  With so much growth, I decided that it was time to start sharing my designs in a bigger way and to change the way I thought about social marketing myself and my works.  I have been doing everything on my own for 20 years.  I decided that I was ready to change and be the leader of a team, a design team that is all about me and my mission.  I wanted to create a team that would support these manufacturers through the sharing of my doodles and designs because when it all comes down to it, we are in this together.

I put an application out there and was floored at the crazy huge number of responses.  More than the shock and excitement, I was empowered and honored.  I thought this change would be challenging, but truth is, it has been a blast.  I struggled to choose who to put on the team and wish I could have chosen them all.  It is like I created a big creative party with a team of amazing and talented colleagues who not only support me 100% but also each other.  We are a winning team filled with love, passion and creativity.

I am convinced that my journey starts with me. If I want change, I get to cause it. I guess that is why I love Gandhi’s quote so much…”BE the change you wish to see in the world.”  I accessed my courage and caused change for me and the members of my team.  I am now BEING change and it is awesome sauce.

Meet the inaugural Laura Kelly Design Team and learn how they will be sharing different ways to make Laura Kelly products, designs and doodles part of your life.

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Laura Kelly-Walters
Licensed Doodle Artist/Designer/Project Maker/Mom/Tombow Senior Ambassador
www.laurakellydesigns.com

 

31 Days of Crafting: Challenging Your Crafting

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

“Isabella is seven years old and enjoys crafting on a daily basis. She learns how to make various things using Youtube Rainbow Loom tutorials. Most recently, she took on creating a Star Wars C-3PO character using Rainbow Loom elastics.

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This year for National Craft Month Isabella is going to spend her crafting time challenging herself to see what else she can create using her Rainbow Loom.”

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Listen to Isabella share with us how she is celebrating!

That concludes our 31 Days of Crafting series for National Craft Month!

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

 

 

31 Days of Crafting: A Unique Craft Coming Soon to Ridgewood, New Jersey

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

CHA staff member, Alison Muldoon, found her creative inspiration when she least expected it:

“I wish I had the crafting spirit and talent of my neighbors, Leslie and Stephen Kolvek! One recent Saturday, Stephen showed up on our door step and asked if we had any extra wire hangers; my mind was immediately racing. What for? A closet project? A problematic clog? What could the Kolvek’s be up to now?

I made it my business to visit them later that afternoon to discover the most heartfelt and inspirational crafting project just beyond my own front door.

Leslie Kolvek serves on the Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands and is helping to organize the third annual Daffodil Festival in Ridgewood, to be held on April 17. This festival celebrates so much within the community. It’s an arts festival and spring celebration all rolled into one event. And the planting initiative of daffodils around the Village of Ridgewood is just one small part of this special day.

And it is here where my moment of craft awe and inspiration happened…

My neighbor and her husband are creating giant daffodils by repurposing wire dry cleaning hangers and covering them with crepe paper. After searching the Internet for a picture and crafting inspiration, Leslie created her own larger than life wire framed daffodil.

Below are pictures of the frame in process, and of course the finished product! These daffodils on my suggestion could even be a fundraising vehicle of sorts. They are so photo worthy, what parent wouldn’t think twice to pay to have their munchkin peeking out from that crepe paper craftiness?

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Leslie and Stephen are crafters who immerse themselves 100% into their crafting moment. They give their projects their all, absolutely love crafting, and in this case are giving back ten-fold to the community!

The Kolvek’s are my crafting inspiration. I hope to one day watch my crafting ideas flower like theirs!”

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Prepping for the Paper Trail

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

To celebrate National Craft Month, CHA Designer Eileen Hull is getting Scotty and Big Daddy ready for Paper Trail 9!

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In 2013, Eileen bought a vintage trailer and outfitted it as a mobile studio. Since then she has been touring the country in Scotty and teaching classes in independent stores, art galleries and at events, retreats and trade shows. You may have spotted the pair on the Show floor at the CHA MEGA Show in January doing #Cre8time make and takes! The projects were designed and taught by many well-known CHA Designers using products generously donated by the Paper Trail sponsors: SizzixCrescent CardboardThermOWebCrafter’s HomeGraphic 45ClearsnapSakuraBeacon AdhesivesLittle BDecoArt, and M-D Hobby and Craft.

One of the highlights of the Paper Trail 9 is the Quartermain House Creative Retreat. CHA Designer members Lorine Mason, Cheryl Boglioli, Marie Browning and Laura Kelly are headed north to Fredericton, Canada for an art retreat at fellow designer friend Debra Quartermain’s B & B. The cost of $350 includes a Friday night reception, two full days of workshops (all supplies included), and lunch both on Saturday and Sunday. All are invited to attend!

Read more about Eileen’s journey on her blog.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media and we will share it!