Celebrate "Colorado Craftsy Day" with free classes on craftsy.com today

Categories: Classes, DIY

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craftsy.com
A look inside the Craftsy studio.
In the social network age, it's easier than ever to take on new hobbies, thanks in part to online communities like Colorado-based Craftsy.com, which offers streamlined instructions on the web. To celebrate its third anniversary, today the website is giving away all the lessons it typically charges for today.

See also: The Anschutz Collection of Western art will add expanded viewing opportunities in June

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Upcycle Events now raising funds for PalletFest, Denver's first major upcycling fest

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What started as a pile of wooden pallets is now in the process of becoming Colorado's first major upcycling festival, set for October in Denver. With founder Kenny Fischer leading the way, Upcycle Events is currently raising funds for PalletFest, a festival showcasing the versatility of materials usually considered waste. The Kickstarter campaign for the project ends next week, and Fischer reports that the group has already raised 84 percent of its goal amount.

See also: Spacecraft, the creative-reuse store, holding a Photo Ball fundraiser Saturday

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Becky Wareing-Steele

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Becky Wareing-Steele, "The Adventure of Henri & Evelyn -- Vegas Vacation."
#93: Becky Wareing-Steele

Becky Wareing-Steele lives in a world of miniatures, where tiny figures and creatures go about their lives inside tiny bottles and jars and whimsical lockets, and even among the jagged crystals of cracked-open geodes. Her crafting career started with a button-making machine and worked its way into diorama-building; now Wareing-Steele's growing family of miniatures, under the moniker of Becky's Buttons, have become sought-after collectibles at local craft shows and boutiques. How does the world look from outside of those tiny bubbles? Wareing-Steele shared her big picture in the following 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Stephanie Ohnmacht


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DIY gallery space Inca House closes up shop

Categories: DIY, Visual Arts

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Molly Bounds
American Culture playing at the Inca House last winter.
When artists Taylor Boylston and Chelsea Bashford recently decided to officially "close" Inca House, their home gallery and show space, it was for reasons all too common to a DIY spot: the rent got to be too much and people weren't respecting the venue. "We felt like people were taking advantage of our space and things were getting stolen and broken and mistreated," says Boylston, who acknowledges that these issues are perils inherent to opening your home to the public and insists they won't stop her from trying again in the future. But for now, Inca House is no more.

See also: Alley Cats: An All Women Art Show opens Friday at new DIY gallery The Inca House

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Crafting Yourself: CU Denver students create a creative program for kids

Categories: Classes, DIY

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The students behind Crafting Yourself aren't all that much older than the six-graders their after-school program is designed to help. As part of the University Honors and Leadership program at the University of Colorado Denver, five senior scholars were given a year-long assignment to create a sustainable, innovative and creative project. They decided to bring arts and crafts back to eleven- and twelve-year-old children who do not currently have an arts program at school, and lack financial resources to fund their own involvement in the arts.

See also:
Dylan Scholinski seeks donations in his mission to bring art to troubled kids with gender issues

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Spacecraft, the creative-reuse store, holding a Photo Ball fundraiser Saturday

Categories: DIY

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Photos courtesy of Leanne Alaman
Spacecraft creates art out of donated, reused materials.
Spacecraft opened in February as a place where companies and individuals could donate used materials to be repurposed into art. "The mission is about providing easy access to sustainability, giving people a way to make a difference that's fun and doesn't require that they change their entire lifestyle," says founder Leanne Alaman. As part of the fun, Spacecraft is holding a Photo Ball fundraiser for the shop on Saturday, March 15, where guests can have professional pictures taken against backdrops made out of reused materials.

See also: Best Place to Recycle Everything Including the Kitchen Sink -- RAFT


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Mike McNamara on quilting, AIDS and imperfection

Categories: DIY, LGBTQ

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Mike McNamara
Quilter Mike "Mac" McNamara prides himself on his emotionally evocative and often asymmetrical quilts.
The modern quilt world's obsession with straight lines and symmetry rubs quilter Mike "Mac" McNamara the wrong way; he never cared for prescribed patterns. His emotionally evocative quilts reflect on life's biggest issues: desire, grief, politics and childlike wonder. Often as humorous as they are critical, his quilts are gifts of love for another person. McNamara's cartoonish, homoerotic quilt "Stand Back--He's Mine!" is currently on display at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum; Westword recently spoke with McNamara about his life as a quilter.

See also: David Charity addresses hunger, human trafficking and other social issues through quilts

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David Charity addresses hunger, human trafficking and other social issues through quilts

Categories: DIY, Visual Arts

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David Charity poses with three of his social-issue quilts.
"These aren't your grandmother's quilts," said Marcie Emily, docent at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, while leading a tour through MANifestations, the twelfth biennial exhibition of quilts made by men. As she walked by each quilt, she discussed techniques, the price of the fabric, and which were hand-sewn and which machine-made. When she arrived at three black-and-white quilts with stark, violent lines and graffiti stenciled on the fabric, she froze; these quilts make her nervous. Looking more like Soviet agitprop than Amish crafts, one depicted a slave, another a starving child and the third a woman chained to a bed. Describing quilter David Charity's intent, Emily stumbled over the words "sexual exploitation," and then assured the group that despite the violent images, the artist was a warm and charming man and very good at explaining his own work. So Westword took the cue and talked to Charity about social issues, art, craft and gender in the quilting world.

See also: Fashion designer Jasmine Zion talks about her quilted vagina skirt

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Fashion designer Jasmine Zion talks about her quilted vagina skirt

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Skirts are usually used to cover things up, but fashion designer Jasmine Zion decided to turn things inside out recently when she quilted a skirt based on vaginas to auction off at a fundraiser for a scholarship benefiting survivors of interpersonal violence (that is, violence between people who know each other). The fundraiser is part of Metro State University's student production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.

Westword spoke with Zion about what sparked her idea, how she made her vagina skirt and what her grandmother might think of it.

See also: Womb Service: The Vagina Monologues are back, for a benefit at the Boulder Theater

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Ten best comedy events in Denver in February

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poster design by Michael King
February is winter's death rattle. The roads are sludgy, the calendar is wonky, and there's nothing to look forward to except Valentine's Day --which can often seem more of a solemn obligation than a holiday, anyway. Fortunately, a diverse range of comedy events should light up the otherwise bleak February entertainment landscape: comedian-produced shows with gross names like Tongue Stuff and Tits & Giggles; veteran acts like Paul Mooney, Norm MacDonald and Jeff Ross; and even the spectator sport of Olympics for Weirdos. In short, plenty of ways to keep you laughing until the sun comes back.

See also: Beth Stelling on Sexpot Comedy, writing plays and tiny failures


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