Everyone dancing at the awesome 80's party

Everyone dancing at the awesome 80's party

So I meant to blog Craftcation every day, but last night after the awesome 80s party, I was incredibly exhausted. I got home and all I could do was sleep. But that’s okay, I just have more to write about today. Overall, Craftcation was an absolutely amazing experience. I feel like my life has been changed forever. I met so many amazing and supportive people and learned so much about starting a business. I feel so completely and utterly inspired by the new crafting techniques I’ve learned, and I finally feel like I know where to start when it comes to starting a business. And I have so many amazing ideas for things to create and for ways to connect and network.

Needle-felted cupcakeSo Day 3, I started with yoga again. That was the last time I did yoga all weekend, because I unfortunately twisted my ankle Friday night and after yoga on Saturday, I was in too much pain to do it again. But I’m glad I went to the Saturday morning class, because it was amazing. Then I took a needle felting class with the Urban Craft Center. I made a cupcake! I had never needle-felted before, but I completely and totally love it. I bought several colors of roving, needles, a book, and foam from the UCC and I am all about adding that to my crafting repertoire! All of that stabbing is so therapeutic. And it’s such an easy and yet versatile craft, so I can make so many different kinds of things.

I then took a class on Financial Basics with J. Boomer Butler, a CPA. He had a lot of good perspective on the financial aspects of business and it was a good overview of the necessary financial steps. It was incredibly helpful preparation for the Accounting and Bookkeeping Class that Lauren Venell taught. I had no idea at all that accounting was so complicated for a business. I definitely will need to hire an accountant to file my taxes when I start my business. I attended two other non-crafty classes on Friday. I went to a panel on copyright protecting your ideas (and not stealing other people’s ideas) with Jenny Hart, Steph Calvert, and Nicole Stevenson. It was really important to me, because I really want to make sure that I’m doing individual and unique work and I want to make sure that what I do is protected and this panel gave me perspective on both. I also went to a class on creating a wardrobe that will reflect me, hosted by Nicole Longstreath. I have my own style and everything, but this had some good pointers on increasing my wardrobe options in a meaningful way. I think my clothes-buying will be a little more focused from now. My last Friday class was a Garment Construction Bootcamp with Christine Haynes. I finally learned how to sew darts properly and how to put in an invisible zipper. I taught myself to sew and I’m very unskilled at it, so it’s really nice to have a skilled seamstress show me how to do things. I think this means I need to take an actual sewing class. I’ve tried to learn from books before, but just having a demonstration made all the difference in my ability to actually know what to do.

Saturday night was the aforementioned awesome 80’s dance party. Good music, silly costumes (although I was apparently the only one for whom 80’s means Siouxsie and the Banshees more than Madonna), and just all around fun.

And today was the last day. I actually got teary about the whole thing being over, because I had felt so welcome and comfortable all weekend. I felt like these were people who understood me. There were mentoring roundtables–where I got some good SEO advice (and then I took an SEO class with Se Reed where I basically learned that I need to learn a lot more about SEO), advice on pitching and media interviews from Gustavo Arellano and Evan Kleiman, and some really good advice on networking and partnerships from Susan Coss of the Eat Real Festival. My last class was an embroidery class with Jenny Hart. It was amazing. She actually taught me how to do a French knot, something I have never been able to successfully do before. So that was amazing, in and of itself.

Before I left Ventura, I also stopped to do some shopping at SuperBuzzy, where I bought more needle-felting supplies, and Anacapa Yarns for some delicious Misti Alpaca lace and Tosh Merino Light. So now I’m back home, my head brimming with ideas and feeling so inspired and creative and like I have direction. It was an amazing weekend. I can’t wait for next year.