Meet the Hackers: C2E2

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Today marks the start of C2E2 in Chicago and we are back fro our 3rd year!

We can be found in the same place we have been every year in booth 1357.

As Kim said Wednesday, she will be at C2E2 this year in the Black Cat Creations booth.

This years Craft Hacker line up includes Toni from Quiltoni, Nicole from Craftigurumi, and Jess from Ami Ami Creations.  We will have lots of amigurumi goodness, plush, scarves, quilts, pillows, and quilt patterns.  This year Toni and Nicole have to make room for brand new inventory so are putting the old into special mystery boxes!  Each box has a guaranteed value of $95 and can be yours for $40.  Every item in the mystery boxes will never be made again.  They are only available while they last.

So swing by, say hi,tell us how your year has been, and check out all of the new things we have!

Indiana ComicCon is coming up!

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Good day and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. This week I’ve been on supersonic prep for two shows I have coming up. This is my second year at both events, and they are two of my favorite ones!

This weekend you can find me at Indiana ComicCon, which is April 14-16. They are featuring some amazing guests, including Val Kilmer, Cary Elwes, Nichelle Nichols and Jewel Staite. More details of the show can be found here.

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Gearing Up for Show Season, Part 3

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. In previous Wednesday posts, I have brought up how to apply for shows, what to do for Juried events and photos, and what questions to ask an event to determine if its a good fit for you. Once you apply, and receive an acceptance, what next?

Creating stock for the event. Generally, think about the theme of the show, the demographics and buying power of customers likely to attend an event. If there are special guests or celebrities, consider whether items inspired by them should be something you offer. A wide variety of pricing can also help. The rule is enough stock to refill your table 3-5 times.

Make sure your display is tasteful, geared toward the event, and something easily visible to customers. It should never overpower your stock. If using tables, consider table lifts. They are easy to make or buy, and raise the tables enough so that customers don’t have to bend too far to see what you have. Organize your things, and have price tags or price signs out. Many customers don’t want to ask the cost of items- they may simply walk away and assume they can’t afford what you have. A sign across the front of your table or hanging on a display behind you will help with customers that are farther away. If at an art or craft show, having a banner across the top bar of your tent, or framed is a nice touch. Make sure it includes a logo or photos, along with contact information such as websites, email or social media links.

Invest in good business cards, shopping bags in paper or plastic, wrapping tissue, bubble wrap, boxes, or other packing materials for customer purchases. Unless you are selling bags or purses, most customers want their purchases wrapped. Buying handmade implies a higher level of service, so make sure that every part of the purchase is a pleasant one. If you want to make reusing or recycling part of your concept, offer newspaper, saved bags, or them about going green. Make sure you can take credit cards, because it will account for a significant number of your sales.

Before your show, its also a good idea to make sure you utilize social media to its full potential. Advertise the show, share photos of the art available, and make sure to publish directions and a map to your space. When at the show, walk around, talk with other artists and vendors, and network. Many times you can share customers, or direct them to someone who may sell something you don’t make. It is a small community, and it helps everyone when you are nice.

Next week, we can talk about pricing your items for your event!

A Demon of a Good Time

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Hello Sunday readers!

This week we are at MAGfest! The Music and Gaming Festival that takes place at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD is one of our favorite events of the year. It includes non-stop gaming, fabulous music, and wonderful geeky camaraderie. Every year has a different theme and this year’s is Castlevania so I figured we could take a look at some cool, appropriately themed crafts.

Many of the results of my search ended up on fuse bead art, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have a rather large fuse bead color stash.

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

But I like to mix things up a bit and my first craft of choice has always been stitching. Hence, my love for this Castlevania stitched coaster from the Sprite Stitch Forums:

I haven't tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it's time to give it a whirl.

I haven’t tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it’s time to give it a whirl.

Or, for the more ambitious, this Pixel Hobby Dracula by Deviant Art user EveningEmma is super amazing:

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

Or if you are into the cosplay scene, this combat cross prop made by Deviant Art user weaselhammer would complete any Belmont clan costume:

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

I have a lot to work to do if I am to build up my collection of evil-bashing art, so I guess I better get onto it.

Stay crafty!


Meet the Hackers: Magfest

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Today is the first day of Magfest!!  For those new to our blog, Magfest is one of my FAVORITE conventions of the year.  It is a 24 hour video game convention featuring music, free to play games, panels, and of course the marketplace which is where I will be.

Laura (Sunday blogger) and I will be participating in the Claw tournament again!  If you want to cheer us on, check it out Friday at 2:30.

This year we have a few very special things happening.  First is the raffle!  Everyone has been asking for details on it, so here they are:


  • When: Saturday at 4pm.
  • Where: To be determined.  We will pick a large area able to handle the crowd near our table and will let you know where to go when you purchase your raffle ticket.
  • How Much: $3 a ticket, 6 for $15, 15 for $30.
  • Are there any other prizes?  Yes!  We will have two smaller prizes that are Link related that we will reveal at the convention.

I am also introducing Quilt Kits!  If you love our patterns and want to make the quilt exactly like I made it, you can now purchase a kit with all of the fabric to make the top just like mine.

Nicole is unveiling a few new dolls new to her line this weekend!  I will be live streaming on and off through the weekend on my Quiltoni Facebook page.  So make sure you like the page and get notifications first to see all of the videos! 

Swing by our table (look for the quilts) and check everything out.

A new year brings change

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Hello to all of you! I’m Kim from Fantastical Menagerie. Toni from Quiltoni asked me if I would be interested in contributing to the blog spot here on Crafthackers, and I was delighted.

I have been running my own art business for twelve years, and full time since 2011. I work mostly in polymer clay, and some mixed media. I tend to work with sculpting animals into wearable art. Besides doing a number of ComicCons and Art Shows each year, you can find my things on Facebook at or on Etsy at

I am hoping to have some tutorials over the next few months, along with ideas to inspire you to create! If you would like to see one I posted here in September, here is the link. It’s on clay pumpkin earrings.

DIY: Pumpkin Earrings and Pendant

We have a new year in front of us, and so many things to try.


Meet the Hackers: Forest City Comic Con

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Today is the start of Forest City Comic Con in London, Ontario.


A celebration of nerd culture like no other: the largest event of its kind ever to hit London, Ontario will return in 2016. Returning to the London Convention Centre and continuing its partnership with Project Play, the event will feature costumes, vendors, panels, board games, and video game tournaments. The event promises to a celebration of nerd culture and the popular culture that surrounds it.

Toni of Quiltoni, Megan of Absynthetika, Marc of Rice Hat Samurai, and Tracey of Geek @ <3 will be there!


Quiltoni is just back from quilt market and has some exciting stories to share, so swing by and chat for awhile!

Meet the Hackers: New York Comic Con

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Today is the start of New York Comic Con!


Toni of Quiltoni, Nicole of Craftigurumi, and Jess of Ami Ami Creations are here!  We are super excited to be back in New York.  Our booth is in the EXACT same place as last year at Booth 2582.


Toni and Nicole will be debuting the new Superman quilt pattern!


In addition to quilts, pillows, amigurumi dolls, and plush, we will have some great exclusives just for New York Comic Con.  Keep an eye on the Craft Hackers and Quiltoni social media for pictures and updates throughout the show.




Con Survival Part 4: Etiquette

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Hello Sunday readers!

Sorry for the delay in the last post of the series but the convention was a resounding success which means I couldn’t sneak a post in! It’s been a fun journey these passed few weeks talking about convention survival but all fun things eventually come to an end. So the last thing, something near and dear to my heart, I’d like to put out there is all about how to act at a convention so that you are not “that person”. So I give you my personal set of convention etiquette techniques!


  1. Don’t be the Labyrinth junk lady! Seriously, remember that talk we had a couple of weeks back about bringing everything including the kitchen sink? That person’s bag not only knocks uncounted merchandise off of displays, it also makes it very difficult to move through the ocean of people. It’s not just about your discomfort but those around you. Knocking people off of their feet as you turn around to snap a pic of that amazing cosplay will definitely not make you any friends. Less is more! If you do absolutely have to carry all of your DM supplies, just remember that you need extra space behind you.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. Following on the heels of the first point, not doing this second one will definitely not endear you to your fellow con-goers.
    • When shopping, you may get distracted by the SHINY THING. Please please please do not stop in the middle of the aisle to stare at the SHINY THING. Be kind to those other folks that are trying to get from one side of the hall to the other for their photo-op/autograph/panel/emergency potty break by moving closer to the booth or slightly off to the side.
    • When cosplaying, you are going to get a lot of attention. Besides being careful not to smack everyone in the face with your amazing wings/cape/tentacles, you may interrupt the flow of traffic every time someone asks for a photo-op. While I agree that it is totally cool and kind to give these folks their chance, you can help everyone involved if you can direct the would-be fan to a less crowded area for a quick pic.
    • When taking pics of awesome cosplay, please also refer to the above. There is a natural flow to traffic in an enclosed space and stopping in the middle of it will definitely ensure an occasional pile-up. When stopping a costumed person for a snap, also see if you can direct them to a less populated area so that others may get to their destinations.
    • When checking your phone for messages, make sure to look up once in a while! It’s inevitable in this day and age that you will be walking and using your phone, possibly to locate your con-group (or possibly in your hunt for a certain pocket monster). That’s fine as long as you are talented enough to do both at the same time. If not, perhaps stepping off to the side until you finish communicating would be best.
  3. Remember that celebrities are people, too. I can totally relate to the feeling of complete awe when meeting someone you’ve admired for a long time. But please remember that they are people with feelings and a life outside of the fandom they represent. They are not necessarily the characters they portray and while you may have paid for the privilege of meeting them, it is a terrible thing to treat them like an object. Also recall that those hundreds of other folks standing in line behind you would like their 5 seconds with said celebrity as well.
  4. Wash thyself. I know that most convention suggestion articles joke about this point but let’s get serious here. Whether you came to this convention to game, meet people (celebrities included), purchase neat things, or just soak up the geekiness, you should not neglect self care. This includes hygiene. Even if you can’t squeak out a quick, awkward “hi” to that celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet, you definitely don’t want to be the number one nose offender that day, either. Even if this is accomplished with baby wipes and Febreeze, it is certainly better than the alternative (I unfortunately know folks that use this technique regularly).
  5. Support your favorite artists/vendors. This point will probably surprise exactly no one that regularly reads posts on Craft Hackers. We all appreciate your business! But please also remember that, especially for those artists that make everything with their own two hands, haggling over prices or looking for deals can be at the very least, mildly insulting. I completely understand if you’ve already gone through most of your con-budget because you had to have that special photo-op! Understand, though, that the crafters spending hours at their trade need to eat and pay their bills as well. The biggest thing many struggle with is remembering to pay themselves. That’s where you come in! Give them the very large compliment of paying for not only their product but the quality of their work. If you cannot immediately afford whatever lovely piece catches your eye, see if they have an on-line shop and then save your pennies for that beautiful gift to yourself. It’s worth it.
  6. Be courteous. Above all, I cannot emphasize this last point enough. You are in an enclosed space with hundreds, perhaps thousands of other humans that enjoy the same things that you do. The atmosphere can be exhilarating and exciting but it can also be overwhelming and chaotic. Being kind perhaps by holding a door, saying please or thank you, and stepping aside to let someone pass helps everyone by keeping that lovely flow going.

To close, a convention isn’t successful simply by bringing people together, it’s successful because people keep coming back to be together for that one purpose. The attendees are truly what make the experience unforgettable so why not make it the best one possible?

I do hope you’ve found these posts helpful. Next week, I promise we will go back to your regularly scheduled craftiness.


Cosplay: When they’re wearing your outfit

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I was on a podcast and got asked a question which was actually a fairly good one. While it isn’t very crafty related, I thought it would be something to address because it has been one of the reasons that I’ve stuck around in this hobby,

Cosplay- the only time when someone else showing up in the same outfit as you is awesome. Running into someone else who is wearing the same costume as me is one of my favourite things. As much as I love running into Captain America when I’m Peggy Carter or Maku when I’m Korra, I love running into people in the same outfit even more. Why is it awesome?


To start with, it likely means you have an instant friend. You know something they like (cause they’re advertising it by wearing it), and you probably like it already yourself. That awkward “I don’t know what to talk about” moment? Not an issue. Even if you don’t become best buddies, you can talk about the source material, the character, and why you chose to wear that costume. You might find a new perspective on something you already love.

Secondly, you can now swap horror stories. Trust me, you both have them. Making costumes is never as straight forward as it sounds, and you can bond over how georgette is the worst fabric to have to sew and you wish you’d never found that interview where it mentioned it was the fabric used in the on-screen version.

Maybe there are things about your costume that you want to improve. Maybe you will notice something they’ve done on their costume that you really like and wish you’d done and since they are right there, you can ask them. Most cosplayers are quite happy to talk about their process and how they went about things. This is the best time to ask these questions.

Lastly, what gets more attention than just being in costume? Being around someone else in a similar costume. Groups always attract a crowd if you and friends put together a cast group that is one of the best way to ensure photographers get your photo. But if you want to get noticed for lots of photos, hanging out with a fellow in the same costume is just as good. What’s better than one Wonder Woman? Three!


I find that these friendship tips still work even if they’re not doing the exact same version of a costume as you are. So even when I’m not wearing my blue suit, I adore running into other Peggys, no matter what outfit they’re wearing. Its all about finding like-minded souls, and wearing a costume is the most obvious way to shout out you enjoy a fandom. Rather than fretting about your own costume or going into comparisons, enjoy the camaraderie and friendship that you can gain when you both choose the same costume.

~ eliste