Archive for July, 2009

next meeting: august 6

august 6 colours

tell your friends

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Reinventing the CNAP

all right, there’s been some cnap drama over the last few months.

cnap is a fairly new group and it is in need of some guidance.
we never wrote down a plan for cnap.
we never wrote down goals.
we never even really discussed logistics.
we, as eager crafters wanting to share the joy of craft, went at cnap with full force and obviously it started to fall apart.
it was only a matter of time.
but we are realizing our mistakes.
we are seeing that it is not going well.
but i have a vision.
and i have a plan.

a few points that i believe can help cnap grow and become a successful group:

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condensed hours (7-9)

three and a half hours is too long for a craft night. i believe we originally chose this time frame to encourage more people to show up whenever it was good for them. because of this, some people show up at the beginning of cnap and leave half way through when they get bored or when they finish their craft. other people show up later in the night and no one is there anymore (a friend from high school showed up “just to check it out” around 9:30 once and dan, laura and i were the only ones still there and only i was sewing some felt into 3d shapes.)

here is an ingenious analogy that i’m quite proud of:

think of the duration of cnap as a shallow dish and the people who attend cnap as a small amount of water. if you pour the drops of water into the dish, they’ll spread out thinly and might even separate into two groups on either end of the dish.

this is what cnap felt like on thursday. nicole, elisha and the others were one group of water droplets on one side of the duration of cnap, dan and i were on the other side. imagine other people, new members, showing up after we left, or in between the two groups leaving (had we not left and arrived within minutes of each other.)

now, if you pour the water into a smaller dish, all of the water droplets accumulate and fill the bottom of the dish. the water droplets mingle and share ideas and craft together because they ARE together in space and time.

this accumulation will be encouraged by a condensed time frame.

blankets for canada is around one and half hours. we are always like WOW IT IS ALREADY OVER?? and then we leave. since cnap is at a bar, if people feel like this, they can continue their craft until 2am if they really wanted to. but most people generally do finish up after two hours. this condensed time frame will prevent people from feeling bad for leaving early for whatever reason or by getting bored of their craft since they think they have to work on it from 6:30-10.

so that is why the time is changing.

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group crafts

all right, i realize that i haven’t been the most accountable person when it comes to organizing group crafts. i apologize for this. group crafts in the future will be spontaneous like the bunting project. i don’t want to continue to let people down in case i am late again in the future. i am going to research cheap (ie free) recycled and nature crafts that we can workshop quickly and with limited supplies. i believe the bunting thing went so well because i brought all of the supplies, i set up quickly, the craft was highly customizable, and the results were seen that night, and again at my bbq.

i have been itching to paint rocks all summer long, so i would love to have a rock painting project at cnap soon. i’m not setting anything in stone since the next meeting is so far away and who knows what will happen, but it would be amazing to meet under the ambassador bridge before cnap, collect rocks and then bike back to phog to paint them. that would be my ideal cnap meeting. everyone who wants to do this would be encouraged to bring paint brushes and paint (just so my supply doesn’t run out since we already used a bunch of paint on the bunting. these supplies are at the dollarstore for $1 each). so that project would go against the spontaneous thing, but we’ll see what happens.

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stress that CNAP is CRAFT NIGHT AT PHOG and PHOG is a BAR

if i had a dollar for every time i heard “why not find another location?”, i could probably buy dan and myself subway. cnap is phog. phog is cnap. nicole and i are firm on staying at phog. phog has massive tables and windows that let in natural light. it has bathrooms right by where we meet. it has fried goodness if you want some dinner. it has drinks if you want to get crunk. it has ever changing local art on the walls to look at and discuss. it has a lot more than people give it credit for. everyone seems to focus on the “bad”, meaning the bar aspects of it. the music. the sound checks. the poor lighting (it’s really not that bad once the blinds are up). but come on guys, it’s a bar. and we’re damn lucky to have it. we don’t pay phog any money for meeting there. we’re allowed to take up all of the tables in the back. we can spread our supplies all over the place. we can talk loudly. we basically own that end of the bar. for free. we. are. so. fortunate.

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increased publicity

since day one we’ve had mixed reviews. we had an article in The Lance, we’ve been mentioned in a few Windsor Star articles (although cnap was credited to Michou each time), and we’ve had some pretty good turnouts. but with the good, you also get the bad. after the first meeting, i read online that some people showed up to cnap, but left instantly, dubbing the group “craft night with michou”. someone else said that we don’t even get anything done (they thought it was a strictly group project thing and that we didn’t actually work on anything?).

even members who show up almost every week say that cnap is dying. cnap is dead. no one goes to cnap anymore. it’s words like these that discourage people from continuing to go to cnap and it certainly prevents newcomers from wanting to check it out.

ANYWAY, publicity. i never put my posters on the windsor lj groups anymore. i should do this again. i should post them on ravelry and on shuttercal forums (the creators of that site are really interested in all my craft ventures and encourage me to post everything related to every craft event i go to, but i never do.) we have almost 100 facebook members on our cnap group. they are all invited to the biweekly events if the event is actually made. i invite 90% of my list on top of that group to attend the group. i go through and handpick who i invite. i don’t invite the ones who don’t live in windsor or who are 100% not into crafts. but i invite everyone who i think would either be interested in phog or the arts. i know that all of the other regulars and semi regulars, save for elisha, have a facebook account. if they all invite all of their friends, that would be that many more people learning about cnap. nicole also posts about it on the windsor insider website. i also put the poster on my flickr and on the cnap blog. twitter also hears about cnap. despite this, more people need to know about cnap. there are a lot of people who want to craft and like to craft and want to learn different crafts and want to meet other crafters, but they don’t know where to go. we have a venue, we have talented members, and we like meeting new people. it’s so exciting when someone new shows up. bottom line: tell all your friends!

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increased interaction

there are some meetings when i’m on one side of the room and people are on the other and i don’t even know their names. or i do, and i’m 99% i’m sure it’s them, but i don’t want to walk alllll the way over there and say hello just in case it’s not them. this happened a few weeks ago when tabitha finally showed up to a meeting. only i wasn’t sure if it was her since i haven’t seen her in three (THREE??) years and her hair was dark when it was always light in high school. ANYWAY, i never made it over there to say hello. it was only later that week (month?) on facebook that i actually talked to her and found out it was indeed her. it sucks because she is so nice.

so my point is we need to have an ice breaker at the beginning of each meeting. you know those things that we used to do before drama class? even if we already know everyone, it’ll be nice to let loose and get the wiggles out. it’s summer, so really, we can go out into the parking lot and stand in a circle (or even just go in the middle of the front of the bar if no one else is really there) and do a little ice breaker game with casual introductions and throwing of a tennis ball. we need interaction! we need increased team morale! we need positive energy injected into the veins of this group.

we used to have team spirit in a way. at one of the first meetings, we all drew a self portrait and wrote our names or a message in a journal that elisha brought. we passed it around reading what everyone wrote. we kind of did the same with those post cards that were customized for frank and tom and other random members (i wonder where mine went..) at both instances, it felt like we were a real group with a heart and a soul and everything. (there were three journals that night, i believe. i’m pretty sure currie took one for herself, and i took the other two to hold on to since elisha left earlier. i gave one to my sister to draw in because she was bored and i haven’t seen it since. the other is safe in my room. i will bring it to meetings from now on so we can have a visual diary of cnap.)

i know we have it in us. i know we can be a real living breathing group of nice people. i know that we have the potential for people to go home happy. i know that we can become so immersed in our own and in group crafts that we can ignore the bad music, the sound checks, the fact that some people didn’t show up even though they said they would god damnit.

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so that’s my vision for cnap. we have three weeks to the next meeting since there are three thursdays in july. we have time to take deep breaths and long exhales. we have time to recover from this, from all of it, and lift our heads back up to the sky.

we are crafters. we are able, and talented and eager to share ideas and techniques. i would hate for rumors of cnap being dead, for maladjusted time frames, for bad music and for botched workshops to completely ruin the entire idea of cnap.

we can make this good again. we can make this a great group that people look forward to. we can share ideas and projects. we can do this.

if you have any suggestions and comments, please feel free to tell us via the comments : )

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Time Change

There was no felt flower workshop at the last meeting. I had to ride my coaster bike and i took over an hour to get downtown, so I’m really sorry to anyone who showed up with felt and needles in hand. If you bring your supplies to any future meetings, I can teach you how to make them, or you can just figure it out yourself by looking at the tutorial I posted in the last entry.

I also have no pictures to share from this meeting since when I got there, everyone had already left.

I think we’re going to be adjusting the time of the meetings from 6:30-10 to 7-9. If you want to stay longer and continue to work on your project, by all means feel free to (I usually like to stay until 10ish myself). But by changing the times on the posters, I hope it will encourage crafters to show up at a more unified time (rather than some people showing up at 6:30, and others showing up at 8:30 to an empty craft area.)

I hope that negative comments about CNAP aren’t preventing new crafters from coming out. Even after the first meeting, we encounted negative comments from people who were not at the meeting. We are a relatively new group organized by two eager crafters who have never organized anything like this before, so it should be understandable that we’re not perfect. But we’re always trying to better ourselves and the group.

I’m trying to do more workshops (the bunting one was amazing) and getting more crafters together to work on group projects. Hopefully we can advertise CNAP more on the internet and on the streets. Maybe you can tell your friends and family about CNAP too. I’m hoping the slight change in time frame can help to bring more crafters together too.

All right, I’ve talked enough. Again, I apologize for coming to the meeting late. The next CNAP is Thursday, August 6 between 7pm & 9pm. If you can make it anywhere between those times, we’d love to craft with you : )

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CNAP+Felt Flower Workshop

CNAP July 16

This Thursday is Craft Night at Phog!

Since my last simple workshop went over so well, I thought I’d try it again.

So if any of you are interested in learning how to make some simple felt flowers, come this Thursday with basic sewing supplies and a sheet of felt.

These are what the flowers look like. They can be made into a brooch or sewn onto a bag, etc. I haven’t actually tried making them yet, but they look super simple and cute : )

Note: I did not take that picture. It is from THIS tutorial that we’ll be working from (feel free to look at it and maybe try making some flowers before Thursday. I’ll make some tomorrow).

If you want to make some of these on Thursday, please bring:

  • Sewing Needle
  • a few Straight Pins
  • 1 or 2 sheets of Felt in colours that you like (felt can be found at Walmart or Michaels for probably less than .50c a sheet. Look for flimsy felt, not the stiff stuff.)
  • Thread (I’ll have some that you can use if you don’t)
  • Scissors (I’m sure other people will bring some, but things will go quicker if there is more than one pair)
  • Buttons (again, I’ll bring some, but if you have some that you like at home, bring them!)
  • Optional: Pinbacks for turning your flower into a brooch. I’ll bring a few for anyone who wants to do that.

Also, if anyone has craft or tacky glue, it would be amazing if you brought it. I have white glue that I’ll bring, but I’m not too sure how well it will work.

Remember: Thursday, Phog, Crafts

See you there : )

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CNAP was pretty amazing last night

I’ve been neglecting this blog and I heard all about it at last night’s meeting. I promise not to forget about it again! Anyway, last night’s meeting was pretty amazing. The turn out was pretty nice and everyone was busy on something. Nicole taught Richard how to knit (finally!) and I did a really quick workshop on how to make super simple/super effective bunting out of newspaper. You can see a tutorial here. A group of talented ladies and I ended up cutting out, painting and stamping 35 triangles for a large piece of bunting (i’m not 100% on these terms yet lol). We rubber stamped random words given to us by other CNAP members, song lyrics and words of encouragement on one side of every triangle. Justin from Broken City Lab showed up and talked to a few of us about what we could do over the summer. I showed him our bunting and he was like HANG THIS OUTSIDE NOW FOR TWO SECONDS AND TAKE PICTURES. So we did and it looked amazing. It was really nice to do a group craft like this. CNAP sometimes feels really disjointed and impersonal, so it was really nice sharing supplies and ideas. I definitely want to do more crafts like this in the future. Feel free to leave any craft suggestions in the comments! But first, check out this bunting:

photo by laura

photo by laura

We had to move it against a wall because it was way too windy to take pictures. photo by laura.

We had to move it against a wall because it was way too windy to take pictures. photo by laura.

we are all short

I really like this picture, lol. And not just because I took it : )

You can see more pictures at my blog HERE, on Laura’s Flickr HERE and read about it at Broken City Lab’s blog HERE.

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