CraftHack Camp August 8, Keynote by Derek Neighbors

Take your crafting to the next level at CraftHack CraftCamp. Aug. 8, 2015 at TechShop in Chandler, AZ.  a conference for crafters by crafters.


Network with other craft artists and craft designers. Learn from each other how we have transformed our crafts into our life passions and/or small businesses.


  • Demonstrations
  • Tips
  • Ideas
  • Inspiration!



Morning sessions, 9-noon, TechShop, 249 E Chicago St, Chandler, AZ. Scheduled panels will be on:


9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.:  Main Room

KeyNote talk with Derek Neighbors.


9:15-10 a.m.: Main Room

Setting up your Ecommerce Cart


Interested in setting up an e-commerce site to sell your crafts? Here are some tips and ideas to think about:

– What kind of ecommerce site options do you look at?

– Scaling up your crafting business

– Things to consider when picking an e-commerce cart

Panelists: Anne Watson Barber, online marketing consultant and ecommerce manager, TBA – ecommerce site owners from BelleChic


9:15 a.m.-10 a.m.: 2nd Room:


Selling Your Crafts on The Retail Scene:

Advice on selling your crafts in stores and boutiques, or at art walks.

Selling your crafts can be done via boutiques and shops — like Sibleys West, a Chandler boutique that sells items made by local artisans. Arizona has tons of art wallks — so Marnie can talk about her experience with both selling her glass work at art walks and fairs, as well as managing art walks.  Panelists: John Wolfe from Sibleys West, Marnie Buquo Brookins, glass artist

Speakers’ Bios:

Marnie: I started in stained glass in 2000 when we purchased a new home and wanted a custom window for it.  The addiction quickly adapted to fused glass about two years later.  GlassMelts, LLC began formally in 2007 when I applied for my first business licenses.  I have an associates degree in business Jobs have included everything from day care, retail sales associate, dental assisting, office manager, to special event planning and of course, an artist and small business owner.


10:15-11 a.m.: Main Room


Photographing Your Crafts


Tips for photographing your crafts — including how to make your own light box. Panelists: Jewel Clark, Digital Technologies and Websites manager at the Heard Museum, Jo Ann Lassell, creator at Josaics and instructor at TechShop

Speakers’ Bios:

Jo Ann Lassell is an instructor at TechShop Chandler, volunteers with Refugee Focus teaching women to sew, and it seems like she knows – or at least has dabbled in – just about every craft medium. You can find some of her mosaic pieces and workshop information on her perfectly-named mosaic studio page, Josaics.


10:15-11 a.m.: Second Room


Crafting for Charity

Ideas and inspiration from nonprofits and artisans who create crafts to make the world a better place! Panelists: Jacqui Mounce, Lisa Takata

Speaker’s Bios:

Jacqui Mounce, director of Microenterprise & Women’s Empowerment Program at Refugee Focus, a resettlement and immigration services to new Americans in Tucson and Phoenix. The program offers entrepreneurship and jobs training to women, with a focus on teaching them craft skills.

Lisa Takata, who participates in a program to buy and sell wool from Navajo families. She is a spinner and fiber artist who sells her work at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market and the Mesa Arts Center.


11:15-Noon: Main Room


Do you like to blog about crafts or the crafting world? Join two bloggers for a roundtable about the blogging world. Be prepared to show your site and talk about your passions! Panelists: Stephanie Liebold, of, Kitty Carlisle, of, Kelli Donley, of


Speakers’ Bios:

Kitty Carlisle is a writer and editor who says she was born with a pencil in her hand. She writes content for others and is almost finished with her first novel. She enjoys editing more than is socially acceptable and works on doctoral dissertations, manuscripts, resumes, and website content, among other things. Because the blogs she writes must be optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), she can show you how to write content that will have people reading your blog and coming back for more.

Author/crafter/long-time blogger Kelli Donley will be part of our ?#‎chcraftcamp? panel on blogging. Check out for her sewing tutorials, hiking adventures, as well as her gardening, knitting, and baking projects.


11:15-Noon: Second Room

Crafting and Maker Spaces


Phoenix has seen an explosion in maker spaces – places where people can learn, build and share their inventions. Crafters and DIYers and inventors frequent these spaces — and often use them to launch their budding business ideas. Panelists will give advice on what it’s like to create and start your business in a maker space.

Panelists: Ryan McDermott, of HeatSynch Labs in Mesa, Amanda Tucker, events coordinator at TechShops


Lunch is on your own with new friends. Choose among Downtown Chandler’s diverse restaurants with vegan, vegetarian and other delicious fair.


Afternoon demonstrations begin at 1 PM at Gangplank, 260 S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ. The afternoon session is open to everyone — you don’t need to register or pay for a ticket to participate!

  • Reserve a spot to display and demonstrate your techniques,
  • learn a new skill from our community of artists, and
  • discover local nonprofits who need your skills.
  • Open craft swap — bring items you want to discard and swap with other crafters. All remainders will be donated to charity

A reception will finish the day at Gangplank at 4 PM. Make new contacts with our local craft blogging community, get insight into starting, restarting or renewing your crafting business.


Proceeds for Charity

All proceeds after costs will go to Refugee Focus’ Women’s Empowerment Program, a Phoenix non-profit that helps refugee women become self-sufficent through micro-entrerprises.



Morning sessions will be at TechShop in Chandler, 249 E Chicago St, Chandler, AZ.

Afternoon sessions will be at GangplankHQ, 260 S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ.


Ordering information: Tickets for the morning session are $20. Afternoon session at Gangplank is free.


New Workshop Format for Code Sisters

The next Code Sisters Workshop is July 18th from 11 am to 5 pm, in the main space at Gangplank Chandler. Know a woman or teen who might like to learn how to code? Spread the word!

This month’s workshop will introduce a format designed to give participants more choice over what and how they learn. This format should also let our mentors make better use of their time and be more creative in customizing their training to the student.

We will have three different groups, each group with a different objective:

1) “Learn to Think Like a Programmer” – Basic programming concepts presented in a clear and direct way. You won’t even need a laptop for some of these. Hands on exercises and answers to your questions. This group is designed to teach the “whats” and “whys” of coding. For beginners or anyone who wants to reinforce their knowledge of basic concepts.

2) “Project Boot/Reboot” – Bring a project or consult with a mentor to pick a learning project that is right for you. Work on that passion project you’ve been putting off or try something new and fun that will advance your skills. If you want to finish up the snake game or the to do list from prior workshops, this is the place to be. Work on the “how to” of coding. Any level.

3) “Challenge Yourself” – Got dreams of getting a coding job or tackling a Hackathon? Test your skills under the guidance of our mentors. Find out what you know and what you don’t… There will be various types and levels of challenges available, ranging from easy to difficult.

What to bring – A laptop and a curious mind. Lunch is on your own – you can either bring your lunch or visit one of the downtown Chandler eateries. Optional – Bring a project of your own to work on. If you don’t have a project, bring your questions about programming and learning to code.

Who can participate? The workshop is intended to encourage women to learn to code. Men are welcome to participate, too, if sponsored/accompanied by a woman. Suggested minimum age is 14.

Digital Storytellers Meetup & Creative Bootcamp

Who: Ita Ema (View from Above Entertainment) is the mastermind facilitator for anyone interested in crafting their story—whether it is for a business website, blog, comedy gig, feature film or fantasy novel—you see there is no end to genre or medium; all are welcome.
What: The meetup is part instruction, part project-sharing, part accountability and support group for telling the story that entrepreneurs and creatives need and want to tell. The Creative Bootcamp is a 5-hour ‘Get it Done!’ workshop to follow through on creative story-telling projects.
Where: Gangplank, Chandler (usually the conference room)
When: Meetup is every other Monday at 6-8 p.m. Bootcamp is approximately once a month. Check the Gangplank Calendar and newsletter for upcoming schedule.
How much: This is social capital at its best! A valuable investment of time for PEOPLE to PARTICIPATE in LEARNING how to craft their story and DO their storytelling with BOLDNESS along with a COMMUNITY of creatives who COLLABORATE, and Oh! happen to build FRIENDSHIP in the process. (= no monetary fee)

Urbie's blank slates

Urbie’s blank slates

This meetup group brings together an eclectic bunch. We have our regulars, we have our once-in-awhilers, and we always have newbies. And that doesn’t mean they are new to story-telling necessarily, but in some cases new to the craft and this group. Beth, a voice coach, is working on a musical she wrote many years ago decided to pull it out of the attic storage box and re-write it digitally. Ariel who is a programmer, musician and former firefighter shuffles around her many projects including an epic fantasy novel. I cannot count all the comedy guys who bring in their projects, one of which is a story about the comedians themselves.

I bounce around to a different project every meetup, but my first “Get ‘r Done” project was a video I created for a non-profit’s AZ Gives campaign. I wanted to raise money for a “real restroom” at this non-profit’s recycling facility. I brought my ideas to the group one night about a year ago and we had fantastic fun brainstorming and flushing it out—no pun intended! I then narrowed the story down and created a script, did some on site shooting. I brought the footage in for our fearless leader, Ita, to help me with editing software in the Gangplank computer lab and I recorded the voice-over in Gangplank’s podcasting room. It’s not the project per se that sealed the deal for my commitment this storytelling group, it is the honest feedback and collaborative spirit of participation for my own projects, as well as for those of others’. When I see their stories come together and witness the progress they make, it’s a beautiful thing.
Learning the story arch and the beats for fun and fiction is in some sense a no-brainer, yet it is quite the ‘Ah-ha!’ moment when you see a story is crafted into a business plan. We have numerous entrepreneurs creating stories for video and audience-building on their websites and online marketing. April is a long-time Gangplanker and WordCamp 2013 Director plugged in her Powerhouse Posting Process online courses through Made Better Studio.
Self-assigned homework spurs participants onward between meetups and that has organically grown into the ‘part support group’ aspect. Marissa pounded out the story arch for her online tutorials for home-schooling parents and shot the video after one visit to the meetup. BOOM!

During Bootcamp it's 4 X 45 minute blocks of nose to grindstone

During Bootcamp it’s 4 X 45 minute blocks of nose to grindstone

Others of us struggle to fit creative time and energy into our daily or weekly schedules and we’ve found ways to hold each other accountable along with sharing tips and tricks—everything from apps to track and time productivity, to inspirational videos, to online script writing and animation tools. Ariel attributes her writing 15,000+ words in the last few weeks to the learning, camaraderie, and support to Digital Storytellers. Rob, eventually hammered out his Bottom Five Comedy material between meetups and says, “The Digital Storytellers group helped me narrow my focus so that I could complete my first short film script, get my website up and running, and begin a feature. Without Ita and the group, I’d still be stuck with a million random story fragments.”
Even our fearless leader finds himself progressing on otherwise top candidates for procrastination projects such as a feature-length script, Full Field the Basics video series and now a crowdfunding campaign story. Ita says, “Sometimes you don’t know where to start, but it you can just take the first step that’s enough to get the ball rolling.” And he certainly has helped us do just that and more!

Urbie meets success: a finished product in a new medium

Urbie meets success: a finished product in a new medium

The fourth Digital Storytellers Creative Bootcamp was On Sunday, March 15. While all participants experienced successful outcomes, newcomer Urbie ( @urbie ) found out he could be a pirate at Gangplank via #tlap (Teach Like a Pirate Twitter chat), so long story, short teaching pirates connected to Gangplank pirates on the app. Urbie came into the bootcamp with a laptop, a phone and a tablet along with a rainbow of sticky notes and pens. But more importantly he came in with true ‘Arrrrrrrr’ spirit! He had never tried comic strips before, but wanted to #BeDangerous and give it a try. He started from zero, added an idea and ended up meeting his goal of a publish-ready strip. I’m inspired!

Upcoming Events

No Events