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photo by Bettie Newell
The third and final day of the Hello Craft Summit of Awesome started off with breakfast bright and early at 8:30 am, and then workshops and events began an hour later. This was another packed day with many, many cool things going on at each time slot, so choosing which sessions to attend was really tough!
Jolie Griffin of Handmade in Portland said, “I was really looking forward to Lee Meredith‘s Photographing Your Work. I’m always striving to improve the pictures that I post. I learned some great things that I know will make my pictures stand out.” Lee also gave her students a great two-page handout with tons of tips for better photography — you can see lots of her own photos here.
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photo by Hello Craft


Kim Werker attended Bettie Newell‘s learning session on time management for crafters, and commented, “We all know about time management, but Bettie laid out ten outstanding tips that were very useful to hear all together. The discussion was great, and I left with a few pages of notes I very much intend to implement. Now!”
Kim led her When Ugly is Mighty workshop afterwards, which she described as “all about taking the pressure off, and how looking at the ugly (or dark or scary) side of things can help us stay rooted in our creativity and happy in general.” Jolie Griffin attended and said, “Wow! I needed to hear this talk. Kim is so energetic and she has the idea that giving oneself the power to make something ugly can really change your life.”
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photo by Kim Werker
Diane Gilleland added, “The When Ugly is Mighty session was an interesting philosophy of embracing the imperfect, and how liberating that can be. I watched a bit of Kim’s earlier workshop, where she had people deliberately make something ugly. We crafters spend so much of our time reaching for perfection, but there’s a lot of creative growth to be had in letting go of all that.” Kim summed the session up: “We did a lot of talking about experiences we had as children and as adults that lead us to hold ourselves back, and we discussed ways we can stop doing that. I loved everyone in that room. A lot.”
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Cathy Pitters and Torie Nguyen of Crafty Wonderland and Jamie Marie Chan of Bazaar Bizarre led a session on Craft Fair Organizing. Christy Petterson of ICE Atlanta commented, “I learned a lot — I love to talk shop with other organizers and to hear their challenges and successes!”
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photo by Hello Craft
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Meanwhile, Christine Bailey Claringbold of Eye Pop Art taught a very cool workshop on Record Mandalas. I was amazed at how much intricate design work and painting each person got done in just an hour and a half!
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photo by Christine Bailey Claringbold
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Becky Striepe of Glue and Glitter taught a great workshop on making a coffee-cup glove out of recycled materials. I especially loved the blue-and-red one Lee made.
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photo by Lee Meredith
Jena Coray of Modish said, “I totally fell in love with Mark Montano, the Craftnote speaker that entertained us at lunchtime. He was sweet and honest and hilarious. He talked about how he made his big, BIG dreams come true and how he keeps motivated day by day to continue building upon that success. He was really inspiring.”
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photo by Jen Neitzel
Jen Neitzel of DIY Lounge added, “I was so impressed with Mark Montano’s Craftnote address. His words were so encouraging and really embodied the idea that if you really want something and you are creative enough it’s possible to change your world! His story: from wanting to be a clothing designer, to transitioning into home make-over shows, to where he is now was so real and was very helpful. It made me feel really good about what I am doing and where I am going too, which is a sign of a great public speaker! I heart Mark Montano!”
And Christine Bailey Claringbold wrote up Mark Montano’s list of the ten things that he does to be successful for everyone to read.
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After lunch, Lee Meredith taught a session on publishing patterns. Diane Gilleland attended and said, “Lee presented a comprehensive guide to self-publishing patterns in digital form. She had a stellar handout, filled with resources, that should get any crafter started. Which is awesome, since it’s never been easier for crafters to publish!”
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photo by Christy Petterson
Jolie Griffin went to Willo O’Brien and Caitlin Phillips‘ Mobile Credit Card Options workshop, and said, “Everyone was so excited to hear that Willo had Squares for everyone. I was completely giddy myself.”
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photo by Kim Werker
The Summit ended at 3:30 and everyone gathered on the front steps of the Kennedy School for the class photo. I I love this one Kim snapped right before the official shot!
That Friday, June 18th, was the worldwide Etsy fifth birthday party and Portland’s get-together, The Progressive Day of Crafty, was on a grand scale: 17 shops all over the city and metro area hosted a special shop hop, with a printable passport you could bring into each store for crafty deals and giveaways. It was such a cool end to a fantastic day.
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photo by Hello Craft
Saturday morning kicked off the fabulous 40-vendor Show of Awesome! The first shoppers were rewarded with Voodoo doughnuts and Stumptown coffee. (Note: The Doug Fir is a great place to hang out, but a tough place to take decent pictures, as you’ll see through the rest of the post!)
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photo by Hello Craft
Hello Craft hosted the Make Something Awesome table — one-inch button-making!
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photo by Hello Craft
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And Etsy was there, represented by Rebecca Kerr. I loved the fun giveaways they offered — adorable buttons with buttons on them, and a crafty fortune-teller.
Some of my favorite handmade vendors were selling at the Show — Lucy and Ryan of Berkley Illustration,
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Christy Petterson of a bardis and Becky Striepe of Glue and Glitter,
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photo by Hello Craft
and Rebecca Pearcy of Queen Bee Creations.
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Kari Chapin was also there signing her book, The Handmade Marketplace
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She said, “I had the most fun at the Show of Awesome. I sold out of all of my books so fast that I had to start a new business – I decided to tell fortunes for a buck. I had such a good time with it and I’ve even had people send me emails asking me to tell their fortunes over email!” Kari ended up making an extra $27 on fortunes! I told her that should definitely go into her sequel.
So how do you sum up three days (and then some!) of crafty awesomeness? I heard several people affectionately describe the Summit as “summer camp for crafters,” and I thought that was so true. From encaustic painting to record mandalas, everyone had the chance to try making new and super cool projects, or learn new skills in everything from the nuts and bolts of handmade business to unlocking and nurturing your creativity. I had such an amazing time as a participant and a teacher, and it was so much fun to get to know so many people from Portland and beyond.
Kari Chapin said, “I had the best time at the Summit of Awesome. The people, the learning, the Show of Awesome… all of it was incredible. I’ve been to a few of these kinds of gatherings, and I must say that everyone I met at this event was warm, friendly, interesting and talented! It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to go back next year – wherever it is!”
Kim Werker agreed: “I had an absolute blast at the Summit. I think the women at Hello Craft did an exemplary job putting on such a well-crafted event, and I didn’t encounter one person who wasn’t glowing with joy. The venue was perfect, the food was delicious, and the activities they lined up in addition to the sessions were fabulous. The Make Something Awesome table was, well, awesome, and so was screen-printing our own conference t-shirts. Oh, and the altered books Ex Libris Anonymous made for conference programs? GENIUS.”
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So, what next? Diana Day wrote, “We take our magnificent Ex Libris Anonymous program/journal that double as an arm-against-your-side-don’t-I-look-smart accessory and make: stuff, friends, ugly, pretty, art, craft, community. I am so appreciative of all of the hard work that went into this summit and the generosity of time and spirit of all the people who made this event happen. It not only inspires me, but obligates me (in the best of ways) to make use of the energy and information and tips. Thank you for letting me help out (even if only a little). It absolutely, truly was Awesome.”
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For more information on the Summit (including next year’s events!), be sure to check out the Hello Craft site. They’ve also linked to tons more coverage of the event.
Thank you so much to everyone who gave me interviews or shared their photos — the Summit was truly amazing and I tried to capture as much of it as I could!

Susan

Susan Beal is a West Coast freelance writer and lover of all things crafty who lives in Portland, Oregon. She writes for Stitch, CRAFT, ReadyMade, BUST, Venus, BurdaStyle, and CraftStylish. She’s the author of Bead Simple, Button It Up, Modern Log Cabin Quilting, and World of Geekcraft.


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