Protect Thyself: How Not To Become A Cog In A Mini-Mass Market Wheel

Let's get one thing straight. Marimello has been to countless factories in China. This is part of our day job. Marimello understands the process involved in getting that $2 item to the big box store display. Marimello feels very very weird when she sees it. Weird like cog-in-the-wheel weird.
The process by which any given item gets into your typical big box store is long and costly. It is not however without personality. The number of people that go into getting your shiny new toaster right on the shelf when you would boggle you mind.
Craft is different though. Buying from a crafter directly via online shops like Etsy, puts the consumer into direct contact with the creator. Consumers driven by the desire to purchase unique goods infused with the spirit of the artist has not been undocumented. In a culture where fewer crafts are handed down among family members, we have not lost the sense of importance in owning hand made treasures.
Not long ago a thread appeared on Etsy concerning a seller who sold items to another seller who turned around and sold them as her own. Obviously seller #1 was livid, but felt she had no recourse against buyer/seller#2. Where did she go wrong?
First we assume that the transactions of crafters are sacred and we are trying to protect ourselves from becoming cogs in a micro-mass market process. If this is you goal as a crafter I suggest looking into Creative Commons Licence. They're non-profit and even the software is totally free. From "all rights reserved" to "some rights reserved" a Creative Commons Licence can help you protect your designs on and offline. If someone misuses your design, you will still need to probably consult a lawyer, but at least you have back up.


Sojourn Quilts: sexual assault awareness month is almost over?

Why just a month? Be always aware friends.
OK off my soap box for just a sec to remind everyone of another Etsy store opportunity to do good that will soon be over.

Sojourn Quilts will be wrapping up their month long benefit for Sexual Assault Awareness in a few short days, so if you haven't already, take a gander at their shop. Click here or search "hopeandhealing" at Etsy to see other items that will benefit Rape Response Services of Bangor, ME or the sellers' local rape crisis centers.

There is ALWAYS a huge opportunity to do good with craft. What will you do in May?

Stitch N'Pitch: Call the Paparazzi

Extra Extra! Little Ms. Popular to been seen knitting in public!

Knitting in public is fun! You all know this already: not only can the warm fuzzy blankie feeling relieve the pressure of a dreaded dr. visit, but the people you meet when your craft is in your hands are ten gazillion times more interesting. I find people bubbling over, telling stories about their mothers when in the presence of any craft. In my experience it is a very safe bet that even if I was decoupaging the dentist's own Sunset magazines to his table, someone would let fly with a story about their grandma's tatted bedspread.

Which is why I am wondering what crafting in public will mean at Stitch n' Pitch. I mean sure, we've all knitted through a child's ball game (well in my case, a sibling's soccer game). And certainly those of you with a decent transit system can attest to the joys of crafting on the go, but this is a real honest-to-gosh Major League Baseball event. Drunk morons will spill devoted baseball fans fans will pour over my precious precious project. This could be a better ego trip than rewriting my resume, or it might be an interesting door opening onto the wide world of felting with beer.

So take me out to the ball game people! Join me in LA May 22nd and in SD July 22nd!


Wonderland Retreat

These past couple weeks, medical emergencies seem to be popping up around town like a bad cold. I groan at the thought of making another meatloaf to bring over to a friend's house, but am quick to remember the joy I felt when my friends rallied around me in the hospital a couple months ago. And it's an expensive way to find out who your friends are--my bills gave me a shock that might have sent me back to the ER had I not been so heavily sedated--so I also am quick to remember that every little thing I can do is a much bigger thing to the sicky in bed.

So in this spirit I want to remind every one of the Wonderland Retreat. As many crafters have already heard, Alison Gordon, crafter of Wonderland Q, co-organizer of Bazaar Bizarre, and Sample Contributor Relations superhero recently faced a medical emergency. Like many other independent artists and crafters, Alison is without health insurance.

Her friends created Wonderland Retreat on Etsy to help ease the financial burden of her ordeal. If you would like to help a fellow crafter, please consider purchasing an item below or donating an item of your own. To donate an item, please contact renee garner at wonderlandretreat@gmail.com for more information. To make a monetary donation of any size, please send paypal to info@auroraseven.com