What is it with me and not being able to wrap up amazing crafty weekends? (remember Portland?) And then - because I can't bring myself to wrap them up - I get a mental block to posting anything at all. Blerg! So here goes. It's long winded, but worth the read. These are folks you should know and follow. They inspire me and are some of the nicest, most creative folks you could ever hope to know. *
There's no way to express how much fun and how inspirational Maker Faire was. Of course, there were amazing things to see like the dress knit from surgical tubing and filled with colored liquids. I could get lost in things like modifying Barbie dolls and stitching on the Thousand Hands Quilt. I wanted to sit in a pile of glitter and never get up, and there couldn't be enough button rings to keep me satisfied. I wanted to tinker, glue, cut and create for hours on end.
I'm not a stalker, promise!
But more important than the cool things I saw, were the amazing people I spent time with over the weekend. Getting to meet Natalie for the first time, and getting to hang out with Becky and her and the whole amazing O'Reilly gang was just flat out awesome. I mean, I always knew I had the best job in the world, but spending the weekend with everyone just really sealed the deal. I really hope we can find some way to get together before the next Maker Faire so we can just hang out and play and dream up cool stuff to do. (can you believe I didn't get a good picture of the three of us together? Sigh!)
And there were loads of other amazing folks there, too! I got to see my crafty BFF, Diane, which warmed my heart bigtime! I also finally got to meet Kristin Roach of Craft Leftovers. Her blog is one of the first blogs I started reading years ago, and I was so excited to finally get to meet her! She's flippin' adorable, super sweet and makes the coolest stuff. I got to see Michaela Murphy and Jennifer Worick, whom I met in Portland but didn't get to hang out with nearly enough. I also finally got to meet Sarah Hodson, who has more energy in her little finger than I have in my entire being!
I had a similar reaction to meeting Moxie for the first time. She's somewhat of a legend in the craft world, ya know, and she's just about the most fun, hilarious person to follow on Twitter. I was walking through the CRAFT area and came around the corner and saw her standing there. I stopped dead in my tracks, squealed like a teeny bopper and shook my fists for a full 30 seconds or so before smothering her with a hug. Fortunately, she's ok with that kind of public display of affection. She and the beautiful and charming Brookelyn Morris were heading up the needle felting playground in the CRAFT area, and it was such a blast to have them nearby all weekend long. I even finally tried my hand at needle felting! Super fun!
Finally, we stopped in to the show office Friday afternoon to check out a walkie talkie, and when I turned around, who did I see but the charming John Edgar Park! John is an animation expert, tinkerer extraordinaire, cocktail & coffee connoisseur and the host of Make: TV. He also worked on the movie BOLT, which is one of my daughter's all-time favorite movies. When he heard how excited she was about the movie coming out, he sent her an awesome one-sheet for the movie and even signed it by Rhino (the character on which he worked). It was so generous for him to do when he hadn't even met us before! As soon as I saw him I .... well, you know the drill by now. Squeal. Shake Fists. Hug Way Too Hard. Like the others, he was more than courteous to not cringe and make like I was a stalker ... at least not to my face.
Back at the CRAFT booth
We were in the most happenin' section of the Expo hall for sure. Right across from us was the Craftster booth and next to them was the I Love to Create booth with the Crafty Chica herself. Could we ask for better neighbors? Not a chance. I got to meet Kathy Cano-Murillo at Maker Faire Austin back in October, but didn't get to really spend any time with her. I'm so glad that changed this time. She is one of the sweetest, funniest, happiest, genuine people I've ever met. I literally couldn't stop smiling while I was listening to her talk. It was kinda ridiculous. I just wished we could hang out the whole weekend and make stuff together.
The Craftster gals were amazing, too. They had one of the smoothest-running booths around. They were making three different simple crafts, and folks rotated in and out of there with ease. They were a very well-oiled machine. I finally got to meet Pam (kittykill) whose amazing embroidery I've admired for ages. I've also admired her gorgeous embroidery tattoo. When I saw the Craftster gang setting up their booth, I ran over to introduce myself to Pam and promptly said, "OHMYGODCANISEEYOURTATTOO!?" I'd been dying to get to see it in person. Holy smokes, y'all, it is one amazing piece of art. The details are exceptional and it is just beautiful. Thanks, Pam, for putting up with me ogling your tat. ;)
As I was walking through the Expo Hall on set up day, I spied the Eye Can Art booth and bolted over to gush about how much I loved their printing can. I reviewed the kit for Craftzine back in December and really, truly loved it. It was so nice to literally pick the can up and head out the door and have everything I needed right there. Plus, it was just a super cool project to do with my kids ... and on my own. As I went on and on about how much I loved the product, the business owner realized who I was and whipped out a promotional card they'd made that included a quote from my Craftzine review. I was thrilled they used it, because the Eye Can Art printmaking kit was honestly one of the best craft kids I've ever played with. We chatted throughout the weekend, and she sent a bookmaking can home with me as a sweet gift. I can't wait to make some little books with my daughter this summer!
I also saw Rob and Corinne from Threadbanger (they hosted a rad Twitter-based scavenger hunt at Maker Faire - how cool is that!?) I met them briefly at Stitch about a year and a half ago, and it was great to see them again. Rob is seriously they smiley-est person I have ever met. Adorable.
There were so many other cool folks, and amazing things to see at Maker Faire. I couldn't help but walk around and feel like I was completely at home. Somehow, I felt overwhelmed with contentment and with excitement all at once. I never wanted it to end. And though I couldn't make it go on forever, I'll have the pictures and online friends to keep up with until the next one, which can't come soon enough.
* Special thanks to Nat, Becky, Diane, Kristin and Brookelyn for letting me use some of their pictures here! :)