General DIY

Detroit Urban Craft Fair Applications Due September 25


If you’re a crafter in the Midwest, and specifically here at home in Detroit, there is a lot of news to be aware of! As I mentioned earlier this week, the Midwest Craft Con is seeking proposals for speaking topics, selling conference tickets and seeking sponsors for their February 2016 event; this weekend brings the annual DIY Street Fair back to the streets of downtown Ferndale; and tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 25, applications are due to Handmade Detroit by midnight for consideration to vend at the 10th (!) annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair. The craft fair was born from a longing from some of us like-minded craft folks to have a place to sell handmade goods to fellow craft lovers in our community. That first DUCF planning meeting took place nine years ago and it’s so exciting to see the fair celebrating its 10th birthday in just a few months.

If you’ve participated before, you know the drill on how to apply. If you’ve never applied, now’s the time! Head over to the fair’s website to learn more about the event and read through their FAQs to see if you might be a fit for this year’s offering. The 2015 DUCF runs Dec. 4 through Dec. 6 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Coming Back for 2016: Midwest Craft Con


I’m beyond excited – the Midwest Craft Con is returning to Ohio after a five-year absence! I had the pleasure of not only attending the conference in 2011 but serving as a speaker as well. The conference came a few years after the one and only Craft Congress held in Pittsburgh in 2007. The first conference took place right at the explosion of indie craft fairs and indie-minded crafting and shopping. It was such an exciting time and the conference was a reflection of that, as was the Midwest edition a few years later.

Some of Ohio’s greatest crafters are putting their heads together to offer the 2016 Midwest Craft Con next February in Columbus and they’re looking for crafty folks to get involved. You can still submit a proposal to speak at the conference, buy a ticket to attend or even sponsor. Check out their website to learn more.

If you haven’t attended a craft conference before, the Midwest Craft Con is a perfect way to try them out! While I’ll be in California for the 2016 QuiltCon, you need to get yourself to Ohio and meet other crafty makers and immerse yourself in the DIY spirit.

Nick Cave’s “Here Hear” at Cranbrook Art Museum


With summer winding down, my best pal and I found ourselves acting as tourists in our own hometown as we headed to Cranbrook Art Museum to see their current, much-talked about, exhibit, “Here Hear.” An installation by Crabrook alum Nick Cave, the exhibit is a collection of his soundsuits and other design works and interpretations. Take a look at this exhibit below to read more about the inspiration behind his work.


Hanging Out at the Bracelet Bar




Once again, Willys Detroit knocked it out of the park with their workshop offerings. Last summer I found myself enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon in the store making minimalist bracelets and necklaces with artist Debbie Carlos and her Bracelet Bar. Debbie provided everything we needed to make these striking, simple pieces. The workshop was perfect for both beginners and experienced jewelry makers as it was a great refresher in the fundamentals of construction. Debbie’s approach is to focus on just a few beads rather than a large, chunky accessory. The pieces I made that day tended to focus on one standout bead paired with 1-2 other smaller findings.

If you’re not following Willys on Instagram, make sure to add this to-do to your task list. They share workshop and store news there each week.

Take a Coloring Break with Wendy Piersall’s “Coloring Flower Mandalas”


Grown-ups, when was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a brand new coloring book? Apparently not that long ago as sales of “adult” coloring books have been skyrocketing this year. Coloring books are showing up on The New York Times‘ Best Sellers’ lists as well as remaining in the top 10 for Amazon sales. In a given day when most of us spend more time staring at a screen than we do at the great outdoors, it’s not that surprising to see so many of us reaching for a pack of colored pencils and a coloring page as a way to relax. (more…)

A Summer Dedicated to Peonies

No matter where I went this summer, there was a gorgeous peony to look at, even at work.

No matter where I went this summer, there was a gorgeous peony to look at, even at work.

This summer my flower of choice was the peony. The fascination all started with a Pot & Box workshop, held in conjunction with Parsonage Events, at Willys Detroit. I’ve loved taking workshops at Willys this year and they always have a lot of interesting options to choose from every few months. When this particular workshop was offered as a way to look at arranging flowers with a focus on the peony, I was hooked. (more…)