The past few months have been a little wild for me and CRAFT.
In October, we hosted a crafting tent at the Austin City Limits music festival. This is by far the largest scale event we’ve ever done. The festival is two weekends, three days each, from 11am to 10pm each day. We ostensibly had 5 projects going at the same time, but in reality only 4 of them worked out. I was there the whole time, with 2-6 other people helping out at a time. Being outside of the studio isn’t our usual mode, and managing a 60 square foot tent, with 4 simultaneous crafting projects — well, I’ll put it this way: out of more than 72 hours at the festival over 6 days, I used the port-a-potty only once.
Each Monday after the festival, I went to Chipotle because they were doing a buy one-get one burrito with your wristband. And each Monday, I ate BOTH burritos right away. [emoji laughing so hard it’s crying]
When the first weekend ended, the second weekend felt so far away, since I had days instead of hours until I had to be back at Zilker Park. But then that second weekend was there before I knew it. And after that second weekend, I slept for days. (And one of those days, while I was taking a nap, my mom fed me a cookie, IN MY SLEEP. That’s how tired and hungry I was.)
And then I was totally ready to do it again. Like, that first time was rough, and even though we didn’t have any major issues and it was all really smooth, it probably was not worth it — but if I could take what I learned and do it again right away, I would do it a million times better and it would be so worth it. Yet, the next ACL was 11 months away.
But suddenly the East Austin Studio Tour was only a few weeks ago! So I quickly shifted to that event, which is also two weekends of nonstop action. And after, I had the same thought: “Okay, I’ll be ready to do this again in a few weeks and then I’ll get it right!”
And then suddenly the holidays. And honestly, after ACL and EAST, I didn’t prepare for the holidays at all. I’v been playing catch up for months now, and today, I finally feel like I can sit down and think about all of it. And I’m ready to do it all again right away. I invested a lot in these events (okay, not really the holidays) and it feels like the return on that investment only comes after the next time, since the first time is all about learning. It’s rough waiting, and with that wait, since it’s not urgent, it’s rough trying to get myself to take what I learned and package it up for my future self to utilize months from now when it will actually be valuable.
So this is my confession and goal for 2018: Do more prep ahead of time, and take the time to thoroughly debrief after everything.
(obligatory ACL + energy drink selfie)
This year, instead of buying a whole buncha crap that no one really needs, we challenge you to give handmade gifts and the gift of experiences! Don’t worry; we have lots of ideas for you.
idea number one: take a workshop to make a finished gift
In our workshops, you’ll leave with a beautiful project that would make a great gift. How about a screenprinted tote bag or tshirt, custom soap, chocolate bars, a ceramic dish*, a macrame wall hanging or plant hanger? Wanna really go crazy? Screenprint a design and then use it to sew a tote bag! What about chocolate, in a tote bag that you sewed, that features a design you printed. Whoa.
idea number two: come to our Handmake Your Holidays Pop-up on December 17th, 11am-2pm
If you need to knock out a bunch of gifts at once, take advantage of our holiday pop-up (info below)! Our vendors will have wares ready to go, or work with them on quick projects to make your own.
idea number three: give a gift certificate
idea number four: do whatever you want in open crafting
Come on in during our regular hours to make your own cards, wrapping paper, or whatever you can imagine.
*Ceramic pieces do require two weeks for firing in the kiln.
a make / take art and gifts market
Ready-to-go gifts will be available, or work with our artisans to make your own soap, chocolate truffles, bath salts, shibori dyed towels, ceramic ornaments, holiday and thank you cards, and more.
Stroll in and out, enjoy coffee and morning drinks 😉 , and take care of all your gifts!
P.S. What’s your favorite handmade/homemade gift you’ve ever received or made/given?