I’ve been to every single Craftcation and if I have anything to say about it (and I do) – I’ll go to every single one until it’s either over or I’m dead. I guess that first sentence gives you an idea of what you can expect for the next 600 words or so: gushing. I love Craftcation. I look forward to it every year. If I were getting married, I would plan my wedding date AROUND Craftcation. That’s how committed I am to this four day business & makers conference.

Craftcation takes place every year in late March/early April in Ventura, CA. It’s a city filled with thrift stores, a Japanese fabric store, fish tacos and beach, beach, beach.

It’s impossible to cover everything that was great about Craftcation, but here are some highlights.

I couldn’t attend Ashley Nickels Watercolor Quilting class but I did see some of the projects that came out of that class and I was drooling. It’s a combination of free motion embroidery and quilting and watercolors. I already have plans to get together with another Craftcation-er in my area to recreate the magic locally. Lucky for us, Ashley is filming that very class for Creativebug so we can still get her instructions. Keep an eye on her page for it’s release.  

Emily McDowell killed it with her keynote speech and stunned us all when she told us to be careful what we wish for and threw down some real world knowledge about what “being successful” really means in daily life. Sobering and inspiring at the same time. I like how honest she is about her business and openly talks about mistakes she has made. She makes me feel better about not living a perfectly Pinterest-worthy life and instead being a human person who has flaws and sometimes does things wrong. She has an amazing creative business – but she doesn’t always know exactly what she’s doing. There’s hope for me yet!

Friday evening was Wanderings: A Self Guided Art Walk. The idea was inspired by Miriam Dema’s hotel room pop up shop. Attendees were given the opportunity to transform their hotel room into an experience. Ten people participated and from the hours of 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. there were herds of Craftcation-ers in the hallways trying to find room 4099 (a room that was surprisingly difficult to locate). Room 1021, The Photo Booth Experience was set up by Karissa Raya. There were multiple backdrops, selfie sticks and a printer where you could print out your photos onto stickers. Stickers! She was declared the winner by popular vote and received a free ticket to Craftcation 2017 and a year-long Premium Membership on Unanimous Craft.

Meighan O’Toole’s “Developing a Social Media Plan for Your Creative Business” was standing room only and pretty much all I heard anyone talking about for the rest of the day. There was literal RAVING. You should probably subscribe to her newsletter.

Lea Redmond walked around the conference with an apron full of colored yarn and had people finish this sentence: “Craft is my…” Each pocket of the apron had a different word to complete that phrase: pleasure, meditation, dream, fascination, therapy or paid gig. Each person got to pick two colors of yarn that corresponded to their answers and Lea knitted up a scarf that documented the answers with a row for each color selected.

Craftcation is really an inspiring and amazing event and it wouldn’t happen at all if it weren’t for Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson. Not only do they produce this amazing four day conference, but they also produce Patchwork. I only hope that they get completely overwhelmed with appreciative thank yous and standing ovations wherever they go because they deserve it. Putting together this conference – even with the help of a small army of amazing volunteers – is a real feat. Here’s one lady who hopes they never stop!

Rosalie Gale

Rosalie Gale


Rosalie is the co-inventor of Shower Art — waterproof art you can hang in your shower with a suction cup. She is also obsessed with German board games and free-motion embroidery. She created and operates Unanimous Craft — a website where you can find places to sell your handmade and small batch goods. In her spare time she opened a retail store in the historic Pike Place Market called Ugly Baby and La Ru.

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