Yesterday the second Cambridge Etsy Craft Party took place, which I had co-organised with Collette aka Crafty Glitten. We settled on a pub venue in the city centre right by the river and punting boats. The weather was ridiculously humid, but rainy, so we squeezed into the busy pub (damn students!) and got our craft on.
The Etsy supplies this year were fantastic and the themed encouraged parties to craft for the community.
Collette had done a wonderful job of getting donated yarn from Debbie Bliss and Rowan, so keen knitters and crocheters could get started on some baby blankets for the premature intensive care unit at Addenbrookes hospital. These will be ongoing, so expect updates later in the summer!
Lots of people made embroidered merit badges too with the supplies from Spoonflower and Etsy.
At one point the party was so packed! It was pretty busy and hot, but we all stayed cheery and found out about everyone’s blogs and Etsy stores. We had to spill out into other parts of the pub in the end!
It was fantastic to see all the other #CraftParty pictures and tweets posted online throughout the evening. The Southampton party was hosted by Ohnorachio and Harriet Gray and had a pretty pastel theme.
Over the last few weeks, I have been busy organising an Etsy Craft Party which took place on Friday 24th August. What’s a craft party you ask? In the words of Etsy…
“Craft Party is a time to get to know your neighbours and exercise your creative spirit. Craft Parties take place around the world when communities come together to participate in art, craft, design and DIY in every form. Anyone can organise a Craft Party and anyone can participate — the power is literally in your hands!”
Etsy arranged a simple ‘meet-up’ site with leaders inviting their participants and planning activities. What caught my interest, was that it was a global craft up, with parties taking place around the world, at the same time. Fact fans may like to know that almost 500 parties took place, with close to 5000 participants. That’s a lot of crafty people!
Fellow bloggers Crafty Painter and Suzie Makes put their thinking caps on to help me organise. The parties were sponsored by American craft store Michaels (think Hobbycraft) who kindly provided a FREE box of supplies! Check it out!
We were over the moon about this! Paint, papers and scrapbooking materials galore! If these goodies didn’t ignite creativity, we were stuffed!
We had organised a picnic (yes, I know British summer sucks) and planned to dash to the local pub if the rain made an appearance. We rocked up to the local green with cakes and craft supplies aplenty. A small crowd at first, which grew to 23 in total throughout the afternoon.
I knew almost all the people who attended, via our newly formed WI group, but many of the attendees had not talked to each other before. Some new faces came along too and shared their fantastic scrapbooking and book binding skills. As cheesy as it sounds, it really felt as though sitting in a park, collectively crafting, brought us all together as new friends.
Naturally there was an immense amount of cake. We ignored the rain (see the drops on the lid of the bakewell tarts) and stuffed our faces. Sugar overload. Probably not a good idea with embroidery needles and scissors around!
The theme for the craft party was ‘Wish You Were Here’ so we planned some crafts to reflect our city. Bicycle themed embroidery and wooden painted postcards featured.
Some people indulged in papercraft. Look at the fab page from Miss Dotty’s smash book!
Some made friendship bracelets (quite apt for all the new friends made) and learned basic crochet stitches, whilst others came with in-progress projects.
By the end of the afternoon and 5 hours of crafting under the threatening grey skies of Cambridge, we had experienced a few rain drops, made some pretty things and all gained stiff backs and dead legs. Picnic blankets are not all that comfy it seems!
Etsy UK and Etsy US tweeted us throughout and we posted updates of our makes on Instagram. Although some parties such as NYC wouldn’t take place until hours after ours, we had US twitter followers commenting on our party. The Brooklyn party was on a much bigger scale (queues aplenty) and Vancouver even had an after party planned for theirs, but our small picnic somehow still felt as important.
It was a fabulous afternoon. New friends made, new crafts learnt. Sharing out the unused craft supplies at the end of the afternoon came with great excitement. You’d think we’d all got a new pair of shoes or a sparkly diamond ring each. It’s amazing how exciting crafters can get about a new pair of scissors hehe!
We decided ‘crafternoons’ should be a regular thing. Inspired by Etsy’s idea, we shall meet again.
Please also take time to check out this fabulous post about the NYC craft party by starcrossed smile!