I’m jumping in here with a brief post to announce the launch of my (first ever) crowdfunding campaign for craft kits with the Crowdtivate platform. I was very lucky to have support from my Singapore friends with putting it together and getting it live. Marketing has never been a strong point for me but it was time to stretch a bit. Only 56 days left to get on board! Also I would love to hear from you with any feedback about this Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts “kit” concept. Yes, I’m ready to make it grow! Here is the link to my campaign page: https://www.crowdtivate.com/projects/view/4261. Many thanks!
Back to Singapore! My dear friends hosted me and my daughter (now almost thirteen) to an amazing week of great company, adventures, food and culture. Being over Chinese New Year, we traveled to Asia during the perfect time. New England has NOT been the nicest place to live this winter, and the escape from the bitter cold and unrelenting series of blizzards made the trip all that more sweet. We even got invited with our friends to a home for a special CNY eve hot pot dinner with delicious seafood, meats and veggies, and ‘tang yuan’ with black sesame for dessert. Some highlights:
Soon after our return I led a craft at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. This was my “big event” for the season and they offered a terrific Lunar New Year program with many performances and cultural experiences. I also was thrilled that friends and family attended this one. With this event, I learned (again) that a single strong concept and very simple craft can be fun and engaging for all ages. My daughter was proud that her “Lucky Lantern” was selected to offer to the visitors, out of all the designs in my book. We adapted it slightly (fewer cuts and a tracing paper liner) and gave away a tea light with the lantern.
‘Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts’ was offered in the PEM gift shop so I did some book signing as well. Our activity area was very busy all day and it was so satisfying helping to make Chinese culture accessible and enjoyable for everyone since that has been my quest since the beginning:
I also had a fun activity day early in the month volunteering with my daughter in a Portland after-school program (which we do twice a month). It was exciting to teach our young Somali friends about the celebration of the Lunar New Year. We painted scrolls, adding a “Fu” for a final touch, and did papercuts of “double happiness”:
I hope no matter which calendar you follow, you have gotten as positive a fresh start to the year as I have, and find many ways to enjoy being creative with your family, friends and students.
The weeks seem to fly by and there is so much I want to share about my craft book experience. A highlight of February was my trip to Singapore with my daughter. Now that the books are safely in the warehouse and I’ve at least started the selling engine (although it is always thirsty for more gas…), it was time for some fun.
Why Singapore? I had the book printed by a fantastic commercial printer there… a relationship I revived from early professional days as a product development manager. A book like this is only as good as its printing and production so I definitely had been focused on that aspect of the project with great care and planning right from the start. We had an opportunity to tour the plant and visit with the lovely family that owns the corporation and I felt like everything had come full circle.
I also have some dear friends that live there as expats and they were warm and wonderful hosts. We normally only see them in the summer here in Maine, so what a treat to experience their Singapore life with the new routines, cultural differences, and balmy weather! On top of that, we got to celebrate the end of Chinese New Year together, and attend one of the most elaborate, exciting and colorful parades in the world!