Monday, November 26, 2012

Make A Change Monday - Spread the Love (of Creating)

How many of you have friends (or neighbors or coworkers) who love what you create but say "I'm not crafty"? I know you do.  We all do.  What have you done about it?  I'll tell you what I've done - I've invited them to crops and offered to teach them how to scrapbook and included them whenever I hosted a crafty home-based party. Over and over and over again. They never come, and I always wondered what I was doing wrong. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

A few months ago I created this Fall banner for a work project and hung it in our living room.  Every time a neighbor stopped by I would get the same sort of compliment. "This is so gorgeous" or "You are so crafty" or "I would love to have one of those" ALWAYS followed by "but I'm just not creative." I was seriously (and delusionally) thinking about offering to make one for each person, and then one night Don said "Why don't you just have them over here and teach them how to make it themselves?".

WHACKING MYSELF ON THE FOREHEAD!

Instead of individually asking non-crafty people to come to a room full of girlfriends who are working on their own projects (a crop), or try to give them some intensive one-on-one help (teach them how to scrapbook) or invite them to an event where they feel pressure to buy something (home party) - why not invite them over to make one specific project where there are other "I'm not crafty" people and no pressure to buy anything and just a chance to get to know one another a little better?

And so - Craft Night was born.

I put a notice in our neighborhood newsletter and included a photo of the project and the cost (I just charged them what it cost me for supplies), asked for an RSVP and expected to maybe have four or five ladies interested.  Instead - the next Friday night I had nine fabulous women from the neighborhood arrive for an evening of fun and fellowship and fall banners galore! (all photos courtesy of Busy Bee Photography)

Shockingly...we used my Xyron machines.  ;)

Bizzy helped everyone make their paper selections...depending on the project you could probably just use what you have in your stash and save a little $$.  I did!

You know it isn't a craft night without snacks! I just made a few appetizers but you could ask your guests to bring something instead.  For those of you looking for an AMAZING holiday beverage you can thank Don for your introduction to a Stone Fence (and let me just say two things here: one - I do not like bourbon but this cocktail is gooooood, and two - a big shout out to my home decor for making me admit that yes - we did this the week of Halloween and I am behind schedule posting it). ;)


It was such a fun and diverse group of women - not everyone knew each other, one of the women I had only met once and one of the women had never been to a neighborhood event. A few of them had never done crafts before, a few were crafty in other ways (sewing, cooking, home decor) and just wanted a night out with the girls to try something new, but they all created something that was theirs. Every banner was different, but every result was the same. They created something beautiful out of a few pieces of paper and some chipboard - and I was reminded time and time again that night how incredibly lucky I am to be part of a hobby that celebrates creativity and community and joy.




So this is my challenge to you.

Invite a group of women over to create.

You pick the project, you provide the supplies (and charge them whatever your costs are), maybe ask everyone to bring a snack, and see what happens.  My advice?  Don't invite your regular crafty girlfriends.  Invite the co-worker who always admires your handmade cards or the teacher at school who loves the bulletin boards you create or the friend from church who always asks about your scrapbooks. If you can do it before Christmas - great. If not - how about making a winter wreath in January or a set of Valentine's Day cards in February? There are always great projects to be made and lots of women out there who would love to make them (but might not know it yet).

You and I already know the joy of creating something with your own two hands...so start your own craft night.

Spread the love. You'll be glad you did.

17 comments:

  1. What a great idea ! How very nice of you to give your " girls " the confidence they need to become scrappers .

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  2. Thank you for this post. "Why haven't I thought of this?"

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    1. Those were my thoughts EXACTLY Beverly!! :)

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  3. I think I'm going to do this once we get to Hawaii. I have to make new friends somehow! Thanks for the inspiration!!

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  4. Beth you're brilliant. I am always complaining that there are no crafters in my group of friends, so no crop nights for me... this would be a great way to connect!

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    1. I have the same problem Beatrice! Every time we move I feel like I am on the search for "crafty" friends...but this is a great way to connect with "non-crafty" ones!

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  5. Love this idea! The banners look wonderful!

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  6. I recently invited 2 friends, that have never made cards before, over to make some thank you cards for our traveling ministers wife, as a gift. I supplied the materials , because we all know I am addicted to buying craft stuff and have way more than I need. This way it gets used and I get to buy more!
    I only made two because I was busy helping them and we had a super fun time. It was fun to help them see that yes they do have a creative mind and to trust just going with the ideas they get. The cards turned out lovely and we have decided to do this more often.

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    1. Judee that is fabulous!! I knew I wasn't alone!! :) Good for you!!

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  7. Such a great idea and how fun for your new crafting friends (you never know, they might have caught the bug!). Great post!! Thanks for sharing.

    Katie B.

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  8. What a fabulous idea and such a fun way to meet new neighbors. Thanks

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  9. Great idea...I've tried it but the women just kept saying I don't want to buy ALL that stuff and they just want to play cards or Mah-Jong! UGH!!!!!

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    1. Claire...don't give up! I heard that from a few women and just told them "you don't need to buy anything, you can just use my stuff when you come here for craft night"! That seemed to help some - I hope it works for you!

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  10. Great job! Everyone's projects look really good.

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  11. I am so envious of these ladies!! A night in the house of Kingston!! What an honor and a treat. The projects were beautiful and I know each of you enjoyed it so much. Keep looking out for those notices. Beth is an amazing person with a love and passion for sharing!! Can't wait to see the next project!! Have fun and Merry Christmas to all!! Missing my friends the Kingstons!!

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    1. waaaaaahhhh!!!!!! We miss you too my friend - so very much!!!!

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  12. How fun. Looks like everyone is having a blast. Thanks for the inspiration. I am going to use some of these ideas. Love the photo of the puppy...He/She is so interested in what everyone is doing. too cute.

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