Studio Musings

Friday, January 14, 2011

Craft it Forward

A couple days ago, I replied to a friend's 'Create it Forward' post on Facebook.  Her challenge:  in exchange for a handcrafted item from her, I'd pledge to make something handmade for another five people as well.  And those who accept my invitation agree to make something for another five people.  And so on and so forth...  Hence "Creating it Forward".

Naturally, I responded immediately!  A handmade item from someone I know does gorgeous work?  Yeah, I'm there.  And then I started getting excited about what I, in turn, could make.  Lots of ideas running through my head.

Then I started to wonder what other people have done, so I turned to google and did a web search.  The more interesting posts I found include:

  • Draw it Forward, where participants create cartoons from templates provided and other participants' cartoons.  Seems rather tangled, and some of the submissions seemed to be purely random, but it was kinda fun.
  •  Unleash: A Wandering Journal Back in 2009, an all-female group of students at Zayed University started this project by printing and distributing 1000 blank journals with 10 pages each.  The idea was for each recipient to fill one page of the book any way they pleased, then pass it on.  When the book was full, it was to be returned to the project organizers.  While the link from the blog article didn't work, I found a short video about the project, and a Facebook page indicating the project is still alive and well.
  • Craft it Forward, a  Facebook page.  Recent posts promise everything from handcrafted gift tags and cards to baby tutus to be sent to the first x people who respond to each post.   Baby tutus?  Huh.  Wouldn't have thought of that...

My strengths tend to circle around beading, stitch and surface design.  So if you respond to my Facebook post, you're likely to get something along those lines. I've set the deadline to post as January 21st, and will select five people randomly (assuming I have more posts than that) for whom to make something.  I'm thinking a beaded bead, beaded ring or a hand-stenciled t-shirt.   Just don't expect any baby tutus!  We're not going there. 

And since I'd love to know who's reading my blog, anyone who comments on this post by January 21st will be entered into a random drawing to win either a surprise package of beads sufficient to make a freeform beaded bracelet - the package will contain a mix of seed beads, accent beads and at least one focal "bead" - or a signed copy of my book, Freeform Peyote Beading.  Their choice (yes, shameless self-promotion, I know).  

I'd love to know if you've ever participated in a similar endeavor, and what your experiences were!


  1. Oh, I am so jumping up and down! I have participated in the Facebook "Craft it Forward" My only disappointment is that only one person responded so far. I am in the process of making her gift now.
    I would so like to be in a drawing for your book!! Yeah!

  2. Well Shirley, your chances of winning the book are looking mighty good. :)

    I've had a really slow response the the Craft it Forward, too. I wonder if I offered several one-ones, it would work better? I'll make an item for one person, they need to make it for one person? I wonder if making 5 items is simply too intimidating.

  3. I think you have a good idea. I also had a friend comment that she wasn't crafty, but she thought it was a good idea. So, maybe give folks some different ideas other than "crafty" stuff. Like bake a cake, make a little photo album, plant some flowers in a neighbor's yard, etc.
    Let's use our brain power!!

  4. Great ideas!

    Made me think of my sister; she does lovely crochet, but is so busy right now as a mom of three, she has little time for it. But her decorated cupcakes are as beautiful as they are delicious.

    Hmmm.... I think I'll try again in a month or so.

  5. Congratulations Shirley!

    You've won either a surprise package of beads sufficient to make a freeform beaded bracelet - the package will contain a mix of seed beads, accent beads and at least one focal "bead" - or a signed copy of my book, Freeform Peyote Beading. Just let me know which you'd like.

    As this was my first contest, I'm still figuring out the logistics - I think the easiest and most secure way for you to send me your mailing address would be to use my contact form at

    And thanks for the suggestions regarding Craft it Forward!

    Happy Beading,

    Karen Williams