It's fun being a mafiosa

I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support I received after my post Wednesday about depression. Being able to speak about something so challenging and receive such a positive response gives me great hope that others will recognize that they can speak about it too. There needs to be a dialogue around mental illnesses that does not involve shame and recrimination. I'm going to step off my soapbox now to talk about a fabulous event I took part in last weekend. 

Chicago Craft Mafia and Blue Buddha Boutique hosted 'Maker's Day: Watch. Make. Take!' There were so many awesome vendors showing people how to make: chainmaille jewelry, leather bracelets, rubber stamps, appliqued cards, and bath salts. There was also a very popular lock-picking demonstration.  Zero Landfill was there with a ton of amazing things that they save from the dump. They find ways to repurpose those items. The Mafia has a full list of vendors on their site. 

Lydia from Letterpress by Lydia and I shared a table to give people the opportunity to make their own decorated stationary. Lydia, who is an amazing artist, taught people how to hand carve their own stamps. It was so cool to see how people translated their ideas and design into the stamps. My favorite part of the day was hanging out with Oliver and Orla, two delightful kids who were happy to learn how to applique and make rubber stamps. Lydia helped them with carve their designs and stamp it on a card. They then joined me to add some fabric embellishments to a card. 

I can't wait for the next Mafia event which will be held at the fabulous Lillstreet Loft. There will be a panel discussion with makers and shop owners to talk about how makers can get their work on the shelf. Crafters, makers, artisans and all aspiring makers come and learn how to get your products in some fabulous local stores. 

Originally published 3/13/14

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