Tagged conferences

My Weekend In Greece!

Kalimera! I’m back from Greece and surprisingly awake for the day after a trip. It was such an awesome experience and I wish I could have stayed longer, but here’s a short (cell phone) photo recap -

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We (three other speakers from abroad and I) stayed at the Fresh Hotel in Athens. It was perfectly located and the staff was great. There was a full breakfast every morning and a great bar on the 9th floor rooftop with views of the Parthenon. Highly recommended! Here’s the view from my balcony.

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So many wonderful streets to wander! On Friday night our hosts, Elina and Valia from Ftiaxto.gr hosted a fabulous dinner in a Greek restaurant just beneath the Parthenon which is lit up beautifully at night. They ordered tons of dishes for us to try family style and it was all delish. There were carafes of wine (which is pretty cheap in Greece!) and lots of dessert too. It was also my fellow speaker Grace Dobush‘s birthday so we celebrated with profiterole cake and singing Happy Birthday in English and Greek.

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On Saturday we spent the day at the conference. I have a few pictures at the end which aren’t great, but I’ll definitely share the photos from the official conference photographer when they are up. Interestingly the conference went from about 11am to 9pm which I found unusual. People get a later start in Greece and eat dinner much later than we do. That night after the conference we went to a cool cocktail bar and it didn’t start to get crowded until nearly midnight, which was when we were leaving. Maybe I’m just getting old?

On Sunday I went sightseeing around Athens with Azra from DaWanda which is kind of like the Etsy of Europe, though it’s used by many US sellers as well. It was a perfect day to wander around and take in the city.

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So many small streets to explore. We left our maps in our pockets and just went whichever direction looked cool. Since the Parthenon sits atop a large hill we could stay oriented pretty easily and not get too far away. But even if we did, cabs are pretty inexpensive and easy to find in central Athens.

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Ta-da! There’s quite a view in every direction from the Parthenon.

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It was windy up there, but a sunny and beautiful day to be sightseeing.

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We went to the new Acropolis museum on the recommendation of many of the Greeks we met. They described it as really nice and much more organized than most things in Greece, and we agreed! The museum is a must-visit and really beautiful. It’s built atop these old ruins which you can see right as you enter.

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Inside there’s a huge collection of statues, ruins and other artifacts from the Acropolis all displayed beautifully.

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It’s incredibly modern and looks up at the Parthenon.

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Athens has a lot of street art and other graffiti. I liked this one.

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Lots of beautiful churches everywhere, like this one with a band out front.

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Walking around you run into ruins in many different places – it’s pretty amazing.

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And here’s a shot from the back of the auditorium at the conference which was held at the American College of Greece which seems like a pretty cool place to study.

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Because half the conference was in English and half was in Greek there were translators for both in a booth in the back and all attendees had headsets so you could listen in your language of choice. We felt like we were in the UN or something :) The translators did a great job even when there were 6+ people on a panel – it was very easy to follow.

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A few more things!
- Elina and Valia and the Ftiaxto.gr team were such wonderful hosts, arranging for every need while we were there. I can’t thank them enough!
- It was really great to get to know them and spend time learning about Greece not just a tourist, but from actual Greeks. I learned fun facts like jogging is a relatively new trend in Greece and when you see people out for a run some Greeks will point at them and laugh! (Not to be mean, it’s just still such an unusual sight!)
- Starting a business definitely seems more complicated and confusing in Greece than in the US. I’m thankful for all of the online resources that helped me in the beginning and hope that more crafters in Greece can make their way and help one another get up and running. They are certainly creative and hardworking enough to do it.
- Tsipouro is the new ouzo.
- So many smokers in Athens. Coming from the US where smoking is becoming pretty unusual, it was shocking to be in a bar or restaurant and have the majority of the people smoking!
- Also lots of protests. We had to turn around in the car because roads were blocked off, saw police in riot gear blocking a road when we were sightseeing and could hear the megaphones from the rooftop bar of the hotel. All that said, it was very organized protesting and I never felt unsafe for even a minute.
- It was wonderful spending so much time getting to know my fellow speakers Azra, Grace and Liana Kabel and learn more about their craft experiences.  It definitely wouldn’t have been the same with out them and we’re already planning a reunion next year!
- Today Lufthansa announced that they are cancelling zillions of flights this week due to a pilot strike. I got home just in time… or did I? I would have enjoyed a few more days in Athens!
- I was in Greece for 2.5 days and spent 48 hours traveling. That’s not an ideal ratio, but it was totally worth it!

See you at Sewing Summit?

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Anyone up for a trip to Salt Lake City? If so, I hope you’ll join me at Sewing Summit in September. It will be my first trip + I’m really excited because I’ve heard great things about this 3 year old conference. There’s a ton of awesome speakers and teachers – check out everyone here!

PS – It looks like Sewing Summit is currently sold out, but there’s always a chance they’ll release more tickets. You can sign up for the newsletter here so you’ll be notified of any future ticket sales!

Craftcation 2013

So Craftcation happened! And I suggest you make a mental note to sign up as soon as tickets go on sale next year because this year sold out. It was a really great conference – Ventura is beautiful and walkable (hooray!), Nicole + Delilah really pack the schedule with TONS of programs + events and you can work on your craft, your business and your friendships all in one place. Perfect!

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I had a blast teaching a leather workshop where we made business card holders. I’ve shared a few leather biz card projects, but this is a new design that I’ll share over on Whimseybox later this week. Here’s a peek:

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I also talked about how to get your first 1,000 blog followers. The full presentation is at bit.ly/craftcation1000 if you want to check it out.

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Yeah, I look like I’m mesmerized by my own site. There are TONS of great pictures of the event here, so go check them out so you can peek at everything that happened and get excited for next year. If you come, I’ll explain what I was doing here :)

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Actually, I have no idea what I was doing there. Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions, hope you’ll stay in touch!

 

Hello Craftcation!

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So, even thought we’re not done unpacking from the move, yesterday I rummaged through boxes to pack a suitcase and head further west for Craftcation where I’ll be speaking and teaching this weekend. It was a bit of a schlep getting here- drive to the airport (whyyyy is the Denver airport so far east?!), fly to LAX, take a ~45min shuttle to LA’s Union Station, take an Amtrak 2 hours to Ventura, CA. But I made it, and had the great luck of meeting a new friend, Helen from Helliemae’s Caramels (yum!) from Denver on the 2 block walk from the train to the hotel. Turns out we flew out of Denver on different flights less than 30 minutes apart into different airports and wound up in the same train car. What are the odds?

Last night kicked off with a fun craft beer tasting and crochet class. I basically felt like they planned that event for me personally. Now I know a little crochet! I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. Also, thanks to Rosalie for this interview with me on Unanimous Craft.

Join Me At Craftcation!

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Looking for adventure? Here’s one you should definitely consider – Craftcation!

I’ll be there speaking and teaching alongside awesome creatives like Creativebug founder Jeanne Lewis, Paper ‘N Stitch’s Brittni Melhoff, The Crafty Chica Cathy Cano-Murillo, Craftypod’s Diane Gilleland, knitwear design extraordiane Anne Kuo Lukito and many others. The conference is being held March 21 – 24th in Ventura, CA  which sounds like an awesome location that I can’t wait to check out.

The best part is that I got to meet the organizers, Delilah + Nicole, at Alt Summit a few weeks ago and they described Craftcation as “if Maker Faire and Alt Summit had a baby”. They also promised late night PJ dance parties. I can’t wait! Here’s the full info:

Craftcation is a retreat to inspire, network and build upon the independent craft business community. Craftcation seeks to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit and strengthen skills and abilities of both seasoned business owners and newcomers to indie business. Incorporating both business and social activities, Craftcation features industry professional leading attendees in DIY and small business workshops, panel discussions and Q & A sessions. www.craftcationconference.com

SMALL BUSINESS: starting a creative business, social media & PR, wholesale, retail, craft fairs, ETSY, legal & financial, publishing and more!

DIY CRAFT WORKSHOPS: sewing, knitting, soap from scratch, photography, letterpress, terrariums, bookbinding and more!

DIY FOOD WORKSHOPS: pickling & fermentation, artisan ice cream, salted caramels, farm to fork meals, seasonal jams, rustic italian cooking and more!

COMMUNITY EVENTS: happy hour networking, bbq opening celebration, pop-up shop, yoga, dance party and more!

Registration closes in a few weeks – sign up here.