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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Birthday ideas for 23rd on: July 25, 2008 11:27:25 PM
I'm turning 23 in September. I haven't had a party since I was 11, and I'd like to do something special.

I'm not a big fan of alcohol, so the typical 20-something party idea of going to a club and drinking the night away is out. I'd rather that the party be close to what I enjoy, be meaningful, and also be fun in different ways.

One of the best birthday events I was a part of was for a nature-loving Japanese friend. She brought us to her boss's house in the mountains (a self-built lodge where he grows his own food) and went hiking. After the hike we had a homemade Japanese dinner. It was AWESOME, and completely reflected her personality while allowing her closest friends to spend time together.

Some ideas:

* It's one of my biggest fantasies to spend a night at a bookstore. I asked the city council libraries if I could borrow their space for a night but no dice. I've emailed Borders and some other bookstore/cafe places to see if they're good with it.

* Something creative - a craftanoon? (Not all my friends are crafty though and I don't want to alienate people) A zine workshop?

* Volunteering somewhere? I'm not sure where we could go that could use a big mass of volunteers at once but just for a day.

* I was originally going to have a Paper Plane Party as a fundraiser, but the original point of the fundraiser has fizzled. I could still do it for a birthday though.

What other cool birthday ideas can I explore? For reference, I am in Brisbane, Australia.

B*B, Tiara
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Reselling your crafts - your opinions? on: February 20, 2008 01:40:28 AM
I recently caused massive drama amongst zinesters when I suggested selling my zines for cost price. Turns out some zinesters have a BIG taboo against their zines being resold, ever. I was called a "tool of the Man" and "f*ed up" just for suggesting it (I'm trying to raise money for education).

I have not seen such vitrol against reselling work you've bought, and I'd like to know how people in other crafts/arts think about it. If someone buys your knitting/jewelry/painting/T-shirt/etc, and then resold it, would that matter to you? Would it depend on how much they sold it for - below cost, at cost, small markup, big markup?

I asked about used books and CDs and the zinesters retorted that zines aren't like books and CDs because they were "made with love and passion". But books and CDs were made with love and passion too! So what exactly makes zines stand out in this regard?

How is it like with your craft? What do you feel about things being resold?
3  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / DIY/Crafty/Zine fundraising ideas (trying to be a KaosPilot) on: February 18, 2008 04:31:10 AM
I'm applying to the KaosPilot social enterprise school in Denmark, and I'm looking for creative fundraising ideas to cover my costs (mainly tuition and travel). Im a fan of zines and crafts, and while I'm not actually very crafty - Ive made a few things (fashion, zines, mail art, the odd trinket) but Im more of a amateur hobbyist than a professional - I would like to incorporate the zine/craft worlds into my fundraising though.

Some ideas:


  • Making and selling a zine - though Im not yet in the school, so I dont know what to make a zine of. The application process?
  • Distroing and selling zines - I could try to sell some Australian/Asian zines to overseas buyers, though Im not sure where to get people to contribute. How much should I charge and how much goes back to the zinester?
  • Selling my zine collection - I know this is particularly controversial amongst zinesters, though I think I could get a little bit out of it. Perhaps the bigger book-zines would work better. Any way to do this ethically, or am I better off donating this to the local youth center (which has a great zine library)?
  • Holding a zine workshop - a little more process-intensive, but doable, perhaps with a gold coin (AUD1 and AUD2) donation

  • Craft fair, with proceeds and portion of profits going to my cause
  • Making something to sell, though Im at a loss for what I could make that people are willing to buy. Im thinking of making a few bat plushies, but Ive never made them before so I dont know if theyre any good. Felt badges/pins/etc are easy but itd be a ripoff of other peoples ideas (I learnt how to make them from another craftster). Am playing around with custom Do Not Disturb door hangars, but need a good printer. I also got some custom badges made for uni which were really cool - time to work out collaborations with a badgemaker to make & sell them on my behalf!
  • Craft workshops, like the zine workshop above
  • A Craft-a-noon, with gold cold donation for entry. Ive been to a Craft-a-noon in Brisbane (are they still on??) and it was great fun, and it would be a great way to meet people. Need an incentive for people to pay, though
  • Distroing crafts, just like the zine idea

As far as distroing - I wonder if its possible to sell things on commission, or something like commission. I scout out for crafty things I like (Ive bought plenty on Etsy so I have a list) and promote them on this blog. Any proceeds/profits from sales (say a small percentage) goes back to me. Itd be like the Amazon Associates program, because I choose what goes in the shop based on my preferences, not based on who would give me tons of money. Is this workable? Ethical? Has anyone done this?

Selling localized versions of Samplers would be good as Im supporting local crafts, though sourcing them would take some time and Ive already caused some drama about ownership of business ideas so may have to steer away from this one

What else could I do?
4  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Amateurs Challenge: A Craft You've Never Done on: January 10, 2008 01:36:51 AM
Challenge: Make something in a craft you've never done before. If you've never crocheted, crochet something. If you've never sewed, sew something. If you've never made a hat...you get the drill.

Of course, the real challenge is to prove that you've never actually done it before, but I suppose we have enough trust in each other Wink
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Engagement gifts for a artsy/design/crafty duo? on: December 31, 2007 10:08:30 PM
Hi all,

Happy New Year  Grin

My sister just got engaged - yay!! I want to get the couple a cool engagement gift that's not flowers (I think they'd be well taken care of on that end) and doesn't scream "WEDDING!!". They live in Bristol and I live across the world so making something is a bit difficult (though possible, given more time).

My sister's really artsy - she's doing a degree in illustration (here's her art blog) and she used to dance. She's REALLY good. Her fiance is teaching product design but his true love (besides my sis!) is contact juggling.

I was thinking of getting them subscriptions to Make & Craft but that's rather pricey and I have to clear it with parents first. I tried looking on Etsy but nothing looks suitable. They recently moved to a new house so I would like to get them something that would be good decor (and perhaps be functional).

any ideas? Smiley

B*B, Tiara
the soon to be bridesmaid, hehehehhe
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Ideas for creative kits/activity books on: December 19, 2007 04:55:36 PM
I used to make activity books as gifts, which went over quite well. I also made a care package for my best friend that brought her to tears (in a good way!). I used to LOVE kits as a kid, still do actually, and am thinking of starting a small business to make and sell kits and activity packs.

(to have an idea of what I'm talking about - go to Etsy.com and search for "kit" or "tutorial".)

A lot of people are selling random "creativity" kits with bits and bobs of stuff, which are nice, but I want to make something more focused. Like a Beginner's Kit to something, or kits relating to a subset of creativity. What sort of kits can I make, and what can I put in them?

Some ideas i have:

Writer's Block - book of words/prompts, Magnetic poetry, word confetti?
Social Activist Artist - bios of art & social activism, info on different issues, stickers and clip art, mini protest signs
Geek Artist - CDs? mini chips?
Magic Artist - wands, cards, sparkly stuff
Beginner's Guide to [Insert Art/Craft Here]
Mad Scientist Art - test tubes, "chemicals" (colourful liquids and gels), experiment guides

what else? i'm particularly interested in out-of-the-box stuff, not so much obvious stuff like yarn/cloth/journals/stationery/etc (though that's important too)

As far as activity books - I'm thinking of making them for kids as well as older artists that want a little creative break. Some pages I have in mind:

Colouring pages
Paint by numbers
Puzzles - wordsearch, crossword, rebus, etc
Bios of artists
Doodle pages
Connect the dots
Learning different writing scripts
Template for One Page Zine

I asked on Facebook and got Pop Art by Numbers (could be cool if I can clear copyright!!), rubber stamps, and origami.

what else?? what would you like in a Creative Activity Book?
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Creative ideas for lecture responses? on: October 22, 2007 07:13:59 PM
Hi all,

As part of an assignment for Cultures and Creativity, we are required to make 6 creative responses to our lectures and readings. I had some ideas, but not all of them have been successful, so I need a few more. They can't all be the same thing, and I can't make 6 responses to the same lecture Tongue

I made a poster about Asian Arts so I'm pretty happy about that, and I'm in the midst of making something else. But I'm still short! I have a lot of ideas for posters, but as I can't have repeats, I need to think of something else.

Here's the lectures and response ideas:

* What is Culture - wanted to do a short docu of voxpops but am running out of time. Something else?

* Frameworks for working with cultures - not sure how to approach this, so might not choose this lecture.

* Global perspectives of cultures - I'm making a zine about being a Bangladeshi/Malaysian girl and how I view culture and how my culture's viewed

* Fashion and culture - T-shirts with interesting "anti-fashion" (you don't need fashion to be beautiful sorta things) slogans???

* Youth subculture - Originally I tried to do a DIY t-shirt, but my sewing skills sucked so I need to get something else. I'm thinking of making badges but am not too sure of the timeframe (I have about a week). Any other ideas?

* Politics and culture - fancy picket sign (haha), one of those Oxfam Christmas Shopping type dealies but with info about youth (problem here is my issue is kinda vague), plans for a hypothetical festival (this can also be a Youth Subculture thing), flyers/brochures, postcards - I'm not short of ideas here but I need a topic

* The body and culture - am thinking of doing some photo portraits, or writing words on myself and getting a photo of that. Other ideas?

* Islam and culture - originally was going to cook something, but wasn't sure how to hand it in. Photo essay and recipe?

* Music and indigenous cultures - was going to sing a song, but my tutor told me that I can't do covers, bummer. Probably won't bother with this one either.

any suggestions?
8  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / AUSTRALIA / Badge makers - small amounts - Brisbane on: October 22, 2007 06:16:58 PM
Hi all,

Where in Brisbane can I get small amounts of button badges made, or buy a cheap machine? I don't need all that much, maybe even 5 at the most (this is for a uni project).

I need to get them done very quickly too. I can do the art myself, I just need it buttonized.

Thanks! Cheesy

B*B, Tiara
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / First completed t-shirt recon!! :D on: September 12, 2007 04:29:35 AM
I'm volunteering at the Brisbane Writers Festival and we just got our official festival t-shirt. I thought I'd snazz it up so I don't look like every other volunteer there. Also, I keep dreaming up t-shirt surgery ideas but never make them, so I figured I should start.

Of course, being one of my first attempts, it's not exactly perfect, but it's not too bad either.

Apparently I can't post pictures here yet, so click on the links to take a look at them...

The front of the t-shirt. This was originally the back but I liked this design better so I turned it around. (It can be worn backwards too, in case someone yells at me for wearing it "the wrong way".

The collar was expanding with every wear so I had to work out some way to stop it from falling off my chest. I sewed on elastic in the inner collar, then sewed on some satin ribbon to cover up everything. PAIN IN THE ARSE. Sewing, resewing, adjusting...gwargh! It's not as neat or perfect as I wanted it to be, but it's ok regardless.

Side detail! I cut the sides into strips and tied double knots. It made the t-shirt a bit tighter than expected (it snugly fit me earlier) but still works fine. Perhaps would work better on a t-shirt that's juuuuuuuuust too big though.

I was thinking of sewing on sleeves from another t-shirt that went really well with this. However, after the headache that was the collar, I think I shouldn't risk it.

Me trying to fit my head, the collar, and the side knots into the frame of the laptop webcam.

The back (formerly the front) of the t-shirt. If you're in Brisbane, come along and find me and say hi! You can see more of the side details from here.

so how is it for a first try? I'm a complete n00b at sewing.
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / I wanna craft...but I'm too scared :| on: July 08, 2007 01:25:10 AM
Hello all,

I love creativity and want to explore all sorts of creative arts, crafts being one of them. However, I'm too scared to begin most of the time.

I see a lot of really good crafts being made out there, and my attempts don't ever come close. I get intimidated. My work doesn't have the "ooo, amazing" factor to it. My sister is really artsy (you can check out her work on http://planetmithi.blogspot.com) and I want to do stuff like she does, but she seems to have inherited the Crafty Gene (which my mum has) and I haven't!

I have a lot of IDEAS for things. Coming up with ideas isn't the problem. The problem is that I'm never quite sure how to implement the idea. For instance, I've got quite a few fashion design ideas sketched out. However, my sewing skills are very rudimentary (I only started a few months ago) and I know nothing about fashion, so I wouldn't know what fabric to attach where to acheive my effect. Or I would have an idea for a drawing, but when I try drawing it, it looks all wonky. Like I'm missing brain-hand coordination or something.

I write a fair bit - I have a pretty successful blog, and I can write just about anything, though I'm a bit bummed out right now because I just got my uni results back and my creative writing grades were mediocre. :| I also love performing - singing, dancing, acting, speech, stage management. I'm trying to extend my creativeness into other zones though. Here's what I've tried:

* Web design (I used to do this freelance...now my skills are rusty but I should be able to pick up some things again)
* T-shirt surgery (am learning how to use a sewing machine!! My first attempt wasn't too bad but could use work)
* Zine making (fun!)
* Jewelry making (kid's stuff...not too bad, but not great)
* Sketching/drawing (meh Tongue)
* Binder making (I made one for a friend...she liked it Cheesy)
* Knitting (learnt a bit...not too interested though)
* Carpentry (for school! Not bad actually, though not something I'd make an effort for again)
* Papercraft (hmm, ok, some things turned out better than others)
* ATCs and mail art (some turned out better than others)

I used to make activity books as a kid. I would create puzzles and games and fun stuff, and bind it together and give it as a gift. Hmm maybe I can continue on that...
I'm also pretty good at care packages, though that's not exactly crafty because I don't actually make anything for it. I did make a set of T-shirts for my first care package, I'm not sure what the reaction is though (my friend kept gushing about the soap instead XD).

I think my main issue is the intimidation though. I'll start on some craft venture, then I see someone whose work is 932840932x better, and I go "OMG I suck why should I bother." Or I see something that looks interesting, and then I see the instructions and I get confused.

I would eventually like to make something that's of good enough quality to swap and maybe sell (not to make a living, just some spare change). But I don't know what I'm good at that would be marketable.

How do I not get so intimidated or scared off? What other crafts could I try? How do I not get so scared of crafting? How do I get started?

Thanks people Smiley

B*B, Tiara
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