A memory and a milestone 20

Hello Kraafters!

I have so much to share but I really needed to come here today to talk about one thing and save the rest for another day. A memory and a milestone!

Today, May 30, I was reminded on Facebook of a moment that took place 3 years ago. It was a compilation of events that eventually landed me in a happy place doing what I love and treasure as my J-O-B today.

To understand though, I need to back up a bit.

A Memory!

In the fall of 2012, I was struggling with the physical aspects of getting older, a disease I did not know I had and the realization that I did not enjoy being a glorified babysitter.

I was “teaching” after school art classes to 12 children ages 5-12 in my livingroom once a week. I loved the concept. I enjoyed that these kids were getting the “arts” in a time when the arts were being removed from their schooling. I was actually considering opening up the class to more than one day a week! 




The kids came immediately after school. If you know what that is like then you know we needed a snack ready for them when they arrived. I learned that the first week! So week two I am ready with snacks and we had their attention! It was awesome!

Art Gallery

Then after several weeks of doing this and dealing with some parents who just wanted one more minute without little Johnny or another few hours to get rid of their dear sweet Jane, I realized I was not doing something I loved. I was babysitting for people who cared so little about the arts their children were getting that they left their art work and could care less about ever picking it up! I still have those pieces by the way.


I was also coming to the realization that my right hand could no longer function properly and in the middle of preparing for an upcoming class I lost full use of my right hand! I went to the doctor again, and this time he insisted on surgery.

So – we prepared.

I quit the after school program, and we began to pack up all of my crafty space. We decided if I was not going to do classes anymore, why should it take up the main floor of our home. So we moved it all to the basement. In the basement we stacked boxes and as I cried my husband felt sorry for me and said – well you can still have a space here. While I watched and held my own miserable hand – he created a space for me that was big, bright and full of my goodies.

Kraaft Shaak 2013

I had surgery and then in January of 2013 while recovering from surgery, I saw a button on my YouTube channel. It said GO LIVE! I pressed it and it said I needed a webcam. I bought one that day and the rest is history…almost!

Coffee Chat & Kraaft 2013

At that time, hangouts were BRAND SPANKING NEW! I did not even know I was using them at the time I hit that

LIVE button. I did not know for months as I used that tool that it was a tool I was using! Then as I made adjustments to my schedule, struggled with other personal issues in my home and struggled to find peace by reaching through the webcam to a world far far away, I found one day my blue GO LIVE button was GONE!

I panicked. I reached out to use Ustream. I retreated and licked my wounds.

I then did research and I found this dude. This amazing guy named Ronnie Bincer who was appropriately named, The Hangout Helper. I sent him an email and at that time I had less than 70 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I figured I was not big enough for a guy like him to help. I took the chance.

download Thanks RonnieHe helped me to understand the tool I was using, how to get set up properly and some tips to grow my audience. Honestly, he did more than all of that though, he helped me to grow as a person! He had truly become a good friend and because of meeting him, I have met some AMAZING people since then and I am blessed to call them all GREAT FRIENDS!





So here we are today, 3 years after my blue button went away and I learned all about Hangouts on Google and this little place I love to call my virtual front porch, Google Plus. I love it here!

Today we have a Community on G+ called the Kraafters Kommunity which has nearly 400 very active members. We have over 4,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel. My own personal profile on G+ has over 5,000 followers and I have several featured collections that have a following of double, triple, and even quadruple that!

I have done over 300 live videos! I have done nearly 100 edited videos! I have experienced having a retail store, a design team and all that entails. I have a group of believers who support me and my growth, MY PATREONS – who right now ensure I have a monthly income to continue the exploration of my art and how best to bring it the audience that loves to watch it!

I have made some friendships all over the world I never would have been able to do without the internet. I have been a part of some incredible collaborations, and worked with some of the smartest people on the planet. I have sat in on meetings that I still can not believe I was privy to. I have been able to see technology used in ways it was not intended for. Developed use cases for why it should be created and used this way… and so much more!!!!

I have been blessed!


Well, Google Hangouts AND – my own drive to not give up!

So there is The Milestone.

Not the “following” which honestly, is not that big.

Not all the “accomplishments” because many of those were failures to be honest.

No, no, it isn’t any of that. No – the milestone is realizing today – 3 years ago – I could have given up.

I could have quit and pouted. (well I did do that, but I did not stay in that for long) I could have been a quitter but I chose to be a fighter and persevere and NOT GIVE UP!

Thank you!

Thank you for being here – through it all, or just joining in on the journey now. THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart!!!

Here we mark the beginning of a NEW JOURNEY as well. We want to do so much more with the technology, my family wants to be involved more and we want to make this whole gig mobile and bring it to YOU!

The next adventure will surely be just as exciting as the last 3 years if not even more so! So hang on tight and let’s ride this train together!!!



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About Heather Kraafter

First and foremost, I am a child of the One True King! I am blessed to be married to my best friend and was privileged to stay home and raise my boys. I began the Kraaft Shaak in 2010 as a way to experiment with crafting mediums and to teach others what I have learned and have come to enjoy it as my creative passion. Taking the 'show on the road' is my latest passion and each day is one step closer to that dream. Thanks for being a part of that journey too!


20 thoughts on “A memory and a milestone

  • Sylvia Tabor

    Pioneers, all of you Google + techies!! You persevered then, as you do now! Pushing the limits, setting the sights, making the whole Hangout experience an escape from life’s events, where us like minded Kraafters gather, watch and enjoy each other’s company. I hear the excitement in your words, pushing the limits yet again for a mobile Kraaft Shaak! How amazing is that!!!

    • Heather Kraafter Post author

      AND YOU HAVE BEEN THERE THE WHOLE TIME! I am honored to spend each day with you, side by side, dreaming and scheming…I would change nothing of how this all came to be, what we have been through and how it is growing. Thank you my dear sweet friend. YOU are the glue, the fire, the the ignition! LOVE YOU!

  • BJ Ratzloff

    Loved reading “your story”…there was a lot I never knew!! 😉 So honored to be ale to know you the way I do…(just a bit, really!) But I love the bit I know! I thanks you for not giving up…just keep on! Here’s a hug…!

    • Heather Kraafter Post author

      Thanks BJ – I am honored to have so many friends with which to share this story!

  • Jane Christensen

    WOW ….. I did not know this history and how you became the YOU that I know now!!! What a wonderful story of stick-to-it-tiveness and positivity. I love this so much! Here’s to an equally exciting future. When I thank the Universe for my life and count all the things I am grateful for, the Kraaftshaak and you (and Sylvia and all the members) are at the top my list.

    • Heather Kraafter Post author

      Oh Jane – you are a wonderful soul. Thank you for all of your support!

    • Heather Kraafter Post author

      That little blue button changed everything, didn’t it? I am happy I pushed it too – I may not have met you otherwise!

  • Peg

    Ditto what they all said. You have that unfailing faith that gets you through. May the next three be as thrilling. I can’t wait to watch you grow.

  • Debi Davis

    I am blessed to have been part of this journey. I remember well some of your early “live” events. I was drawn to you immediately, and have come to love you dearly.

    You are a role model and an inspiration. Keep doing what you’re doing. You are changing lives.

    • Heather Kraafter Post author

      You know all the dreams I have had…well nearly all, and you have been INSTRUMENTAL in seeing them to reality! I thank you my dear friend and I appreciate these words more than you may ever know!!!!

  • Lynda Wessell

    What an inspiration on never giving up! I am late koming into the Kommunity, but so very blessed to have arrived!. So enjoy your work Heather, KoNgRaTs!!!!

    • Heather Kraafter Post author

      Excellent use of the K there my friend! Lynda, you have been a fabulous supporter since the day you arrived and for this I am grateful to CeeCee for bringing you my way! I am blessed to call you friend!

  • Aino-Mari Kämppi

    I’m so grateful that You didn’t give up and we are here today. Because of You, Kraaters Kommunity and Kraaft it Lives I had the courage to reach out in a small Finnish group of planner addicts, who seemd to be just as crazy as I am. I first joined their Facebook group, then found out they have a blog, started to follow it – there found out there’s a WhatsApp group and joined that too – and today I’ve met with one of the girls, who’s coming to my place to kraaft and plan on a weekly basis. Few more are coming to see me in my home. A bunch I’m meeting the up coming friday and a bigger bunch in July in Tampere for a meeting for 50 of us. I surprised my self by broadcasting on Periscope and it was fun. Love, Love, Love You sooo much. Thank You for being You Heather!!

  • Maria T Meade

    You are my hero! I wish I could do that, and I know I can, I just have a hard time with the motivation for some reason. I have tears in my eyes and just want to say I love you and I’m glad you didn’t give up. Now I have to return the favor.
    Love you,

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