Some of the Etsy craft loot, and some of the happy crafters during the party!
Some of the Etsy craft loot, and some of the happy crafters during the party!

We were blessed with good weather that day, but it sure rained happy vibes as crafters (some with their significant others in tow) trooped over to our makerspace at The Collective, and shared their time, creativity and craft materials (Char Sison-Lim–you’re still the record-holder for one of the most generous crafters!  Who can forget the Mod Podge last year, and the tray-full of lace and lovely printed fabric this year?) to the tune of this year’s theme of Crafting for Community.

The festivities extended to the screen printing area!
The festivities extended to the screen printing area!

This year, we had three activities slated: Merit badge-making, Doll-making, and Mosaic-making.  Since not all of the activities could be done all at once by everyone, we had folks pick out what they wanted to do.  Most folks took the merit badge kits home (with goodies from Etsy) and focused on the doll-making, while we had a small contingent of mosaic-makers outside in the hall.

The merit badge activity was to make badges to give to the heroic folks in your life–anyone, from members in your family, to a person you work with–being a hero to someone else doesn’t have to be grand, and as makers, we can spend a bit of time making special tokens for these awesome folks.  For the participants at the party who finished their badges, if you have photos, please share!

Some of the dolls, a sequined merit badge by a participant, and the crowd that spilled over to the hallway.
Some of the dolls, a sequined merit badge by a participant, and the crowd that spilled over to the hallway.

The dolls are part of a project that’s slowly shaping up, one we call for now the Play Project.  This doll was designed by awesome illustrator and artist, Celina de Guzman.  Different folks at the craft party had their respective takes on the doll, so the outcome for each was more of a collaborative effort.  The dolls will be given to the girls of Girl Matter, an advocacy project of Channel Good, wherein they interact with the girl-survivors of abuse in providing a safe community of expression, creativity and inspiration through conversation and interaction with different role-models.  [UPDATE: We’re currently coordinating with Channel Good on organizing a trip up to the girls’ safe house to give the dolls.  Craft Party participants, we’ll be in touch when a date’s been set.]  For the Play Project, Celina’s doll is a start to collaborations with different artists in developing toys and toy kits whose proceeds will in part be given to different causes.

The show-and-tell upstairs, mosaic-makers and doll-makers!
The show-and-tell upstairs, mosaic-makers and doll-makers!

The mosaic-making is a project with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.  We’re helping them put a bit of color into the Children’s Traffic Park in Manila, and we figured mosaics would be a good community project, resulting not only in collaborative effort and learning through mosaic, but a physical contribution to a public-owned space.  We didn’t have the materials on hand during the time of the party, but we’ll be getting ’em soon, and we’ll organize something for that when we they arrive (thank you to Jan Ong for facilitating this with MMDA).  For those who came to make mosaic, we shared some of the materials we had on hand [UPDATE: For the girls who made mosaics, please get in touch with us to finish these!].

Yummy food from Kitchen Revolution!
Yummy food from Kitchen Revolution!

After the craft festivities, we broke bread–more like vegan blackbean burgers, cold noodles and yummy chocolate chip cookies from Kitchen Revolution, and headed upstairs for a bit of show-and-tell.  We had new and old faces, it was wonderful meeting everyone (some again).  We also learned that a number of them decided on participation upon learning that the crafts were to benefit different communities.  We had hobbyists, entrepreneurs, school teachers too–all friends in an afternoon and evening of sharing and making.  Don’t be strangers!  🙂

Thank you to Etsy for starting this initiative, to Muni.PH and Loudbasstard for the sounds, Channel Good and Celina de Guzman for the inspiration in starting the Play Project, to Kitchen Revolution, to the Craft MNL Team, and to everyone who came and shared.

An afternoon of sharing and making.  Cheers to the generosity of makers.
An afternoon of sharing and making. Cheers to the generosity of makers.

This year’s Etsy Craft Party was featured on Interaksyon!  Read the article here.

See the full event album on Facebook here.