Join me at #Craftcation18!

Update: Registration is open! If you’d like to attend, I’d love it if you used my referral link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/craftcation-business-and-makers-conference-2018-tickets-36936346607?aff=cc18ambaff&afu=10760440487

 

 

It seems like just the other day I was getting home, excited to share the feelings I was feeling after the whirlwind that is Craftcation. But here we are nearly 6 months later, and its nearly time to Register for 2018!

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If you’re a maker, blogger or creative business owner then join me for four inspiring days that you’ll never forget. Craftcation has over 100 hands-on workshops and business classes, so whether you’re coming to craft, grow your business or a little bit of both, there’s lots of making, meeting and learning in store for you.

Craftcation takes place April 4-8, 2018, in the beach town of Ventura, California, (about an hour north of Los Angeles). Craftcation utilizes Ventura’s historic downtown buildings and businesses as well as the beach for special events like networking meet & greets, cocktail socials, a pop-up shop, opening celebration, yoga, as well as food and art tours.

Check back with me on 10.5.17. Registration opens then and I’ll be sharing my registration link! (And of course, the first 50 people to register get $50 off!)

If you want to hear more about my personal experience at Craftcation shoot me an email, I’m more than happy to talk anyone’s ear off about it! (Or you can read my old post: Craftcation 2017)

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Craftcation 2017

Coworker: “So where are you going on your time off next week?”

Me: “Um….craft….cation…?”

Coworker: [blank stare]

Its super hard to explain to anyone why a grown woman would need to use up her vacation days to fly across the country to go crafting with a bunch of strangers. (….because I’m a grown woman and I do what I want?)

That is, unless you’ve been to Craftcation.

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So what is Craftcation? Its a 4-day Conference that happens every year in Ventura, CA. Hundreds of crafty creatives get together and attend hands on craft workshops and classes for creative business owners. Its run by the incredible Nicole Stevens and Delilah Snell of Dear Handmade Life.

I made the decision to attend Craftcation about this time last year, as I went onto the Dear Handmade Life website/social media and saw all of their Craftcation 2016 coverage. I had never heard of anything like it, and everyone looked so…happy! Attendees gushed about the amazing experience, and I knew I had to do it. I bought my ticket in October as soon as they went on sale, booked the hotel, and hoped for the best.

I attended by myself. I’m usually quite shy but I wasn’t worried (even though I usually worry about everything.) Between the posts that Dear Handmade Life published and the insights from attendee group on Facebook, I was assured that it wouldn’t be an issue navigating the conference solo. And they were right. Even though the majority of attendees would call themselves introverts, once I was there everyone was super pumped and friendly. I also had 3 random roommates that turned out to be amazing people. (Shout out to Rachel, Robin, and Nica!)

The conference officially starts on Thursday, but on Wednesday they host a few classes and a Happy Hour event for those who arrived early. I arrived too late in the day to take advantage (train issues. Long story), but after my first In-N-Out experience (animal what?) and a walk to watch the sun set on the beach, I settled in to get ready for my first day.

The next few days were so great and went by way too quickly. I took a total of 7 classes, attended 3 business workshops, as well as the Keynote speech (Jenny Hart!) during Dinner on Friday and the Closing remarks (Tiffany Han!!!) on Sunday. I had my headshots taken and went on a Walking Photo Tour with Sarah Deragon , and met Crochet Idol Twinkie Chan!

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Was distracted by succulents at Olivas Adobe (and hey, there’s Delilah!)

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Downtown Ventura as seen from City Hall

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Blue skies at City Hall

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Watching photography master Sarah Deragon at work during the Photo Walking Tour

Other highlights of the conference:

  • My minor freak-out in my Fabric Block Printing class when they told us we would need to draw our designs. I powered through and ended up making a really cute (in the way a mother finds her children cute?) scissor pattern on my tea towels! This was my favorite class and something I want to continue doing!
  • Showing up an hour early with my roommate to the branding workshop by Lela Barker to make sure we all got seats. It was at least 40 minutes before anyone else showed up, but whatever! The workshop was great. (Lela Barker is amazing!) It made me realize I have so much thinking to do about my sewing business.
  • Finishing my Succulent Terrarium only to ask myself how am I getting this home? It made it home, but not before getting manhandled by TSA.
  • An impromptu photo shoot with my roommate at the Dance Party. Because after the Walking Photo Tour I’m obviously a pro photographer.
  • Skipping class to go fabric shopping at SuperBuzzy. Good thing I set a budget, or I would’ve needed a 2nd suitcase.
  • The Food. They provided a few lunches with registration, as well as a dinner. Not only were the venues lovely (Lunches were at City Hall. Dinner was a Olivas Adobe), but the food was DELICIOUS. I don’t remember exactly what we ate, only that I kept wishing we had a fridge in the room so we could take back leftovers every time.
  • Wanderings. I was blown away by Wanderings. To be honest, it sounded kinda…cheesy. Rooms volunteer to host a pop-up shop or activity, and we wander through the hotel from room to room. I seriously underestimated my fellow attendees. Such a fun, bizarre, and exhausting experience, but I loved it!

There were so many moments where I’d walk around and think where else could this ever happen? Like when I walked to the hotel terrace and found a group of girls huddling around a table full of fabrics and a button maker that another attendee had brought so everyone can make magnets. (I made 5.) And when I’d walk by and see a class in progress in the middle of the Marriott Lobby. I met so many lovely people, and most of all left inspired. Not only to finally do something with my business, but to create freely and without judgement from myself.

Craftcation 2018 dates have already been set for April 4-8. Maybe I’ll see you there?

 

 

Donut Divas Tasting Event

Today I’m taking a break from beer and crafting to tell you about a blogger tasting event I was invited to a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough to be one of 15 bloggers invited to Donut Divas for a dessert tasting!

I’d heard plenty of great things about this place but hadn’t yet stopped by. If you haven’t heard, they specialize in carnival foods (yes, you heard read right), and have a brick and mortar shop in Miami, as well as a catering program. I’m talking elephant ears, corn dogs, funnel cakes….and of course donuts.

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As soon as I walked into the store I felt like I’d walked into a carnival tent. They have a front seating area, where you can order off the menu or pick up some popcorn (assorted flavors!), candied apples, or ice cream.

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Stages like this are why I wish I knew how to tap dance…

If you go a little bit further in there’s an area with some carnival games, followed by a mini stage and larger seating area which is perfect for hosting a party.

We took a few minutes to play some Ski ball, bean bag toss, and had some fun with their photo booth and props!

And then….the food.

They brought out large platters of 5 different items for us to try:

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Fried Oreos – I’ve had fried Oreos a few times in my life, but these may be the best. They weren’t overly sweet or dry….or even super greasy. Biting into one of these felt like being snuggled with a nice fluffy blanket.

Red Velvet Fried Oreos – these were the crowd favorite, but….not my favorite. (oops). Don’t get me wrong, they were still good! Its just hard to compete with the perfection that the regular fried oreos were. The dough was slightly more dense than the regular dough, and of course sweeter.

Churros – the churros were nice and crisp, and just the right amount of sweet! Some drizzled condensed milk gave it the right touch. Yum…

Elephant Ears – Ok, these were my favorite!!! I was wary at first, they looked like breaded chicken cutlets on the platter, and thicker than I was used to seeing at The Fair….which meant I was expecting them to be greasier. But one bite…..and it was like biting into a cloud (I’m guessing). Light, fluffy, slightly crisped…I salivate thinking back on it!

Mini Donuts – I wasn’t expecting much from these. (Yes, I know we were at Donut Divas, but I’m just not a powdered donut type of girl!) Well, I was pleasantly surprised….these donuts were GOOD. Crispy, fluffy, not at all greasy tasting. They felt like they were melting in my mouth. Like the churros, I had these with a drizzle of condensed milk.

If you haven’t been to Donut Divas yet….GO! I plan on returning to try some of their savory offerings (corn dogs!), as well as get my hands on those Elephant Ears again!!

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The thing about eating with bloggers: you MUST get a good picture of the food! =D

Donut Divas is located at 5779 SW 8th Street, Miami FL and they’re open from 11am to 11pm daily.

This event was organized by South Florida Bloggers, a chapter of The Blogger Union