The Kraaft Shaak story…
It was early June 2010, I started having a few friends over and showing them how to make cards. We played with stamps and paper and made pretty things together. Eventually more wanted to play along.
We had small gatherings where we learned together…how to do watercolor quilting, sewing baby gifts, scrapbooking and whatever else would fulfill the creative side of life.
My dining room became just a wee bit too small and we had this idea to grow into a separate building. My dad came up to visit and remodel an old shed that my friend was gracious enough to lend to us. I had this vision of all kraafts of all types under one roof, where anyone with any level of ability could join in learn, teach and grow…a sort of shaak for Kraafters…
Folks were invited to come on in and experiment, play and learn. Bring the kids, a friend or come on your own – I was always willing to play along no matter what.
That wasn’t enough though…we wanted to do more!
We had drawing lessons for kids and adults, weeknight ladies’ gatherings, scrap-fests, birthday parties and so on.
The Kraaft Shaak has always been about family working together and helping people find their Kraafty bone (even when they think they don’t have one) and when my family needed me to be home more, that meant the Kraaft Shaak came back to our house too.
A season of our house becoming a business was tough but adventurous. The living room was now the Kraaft Shaak and people came and went and we even held a full on Art Gallery in the space for the Drawing Class students.
We hosted birthday parties for 10 year old young ladies
We held baby showers!
That season, like many others, changed…I suffered from a disease in my wrists and had to undergo surgery in my right arm and in doing so that meant all activities like this came to a halt!
We packed it all up and moved boxes to the basement. As we did, my dear husband saw how sad I was and decided to create for me a space I could enjoy and create in when I was healed.
That wasn’t enough though…I needed more!
As I sat in that lonely space, full of light and enormous room to spread out and create, I was overcome with sadness because I was all alone!
This is where everything shifted.
I learned in that moment that it was not the activity that made me excited to get up for work everyday, it was not the colors that inspired me to create, it was not the space or lighting that encouraged growth…it was the people!!!!!
From all alone, to the WORLD!
One day I decided to reach out to the world through a camera and the use of YouTube. In doing so I was able to meet with so many more people, and so many of them who have had no other way to engage with others. Many are bedridden, health issues or just unable to connect with others locally.
In helping others build a community (We call it the Kraafters Kommunity) we have a virtual place, an online world, where under ONE ROOF all the talents are shared, the questions are answered and the friendships are bonded. Our space is not limited, our supplies are unending and our love for eachother grows and grows with each post. We have recently moved to a FACEBOOK Group and all are welcome to join us there.
The growth of crafts and art and self expression has been because of the people I have had the pleasure to meet online!
And it just keeps growing…
The YouTube channel for the Kraaft Shaak has grown a little bit, we only started with 7 on that first day I turned on the camera. Each Tuesday we host a LIVE show called Kraaft It LIVE! Archives are stored in the Video Treasure Chest. I do a weekly Vlog now on a new channel and sent to my newsletter subscribers. I offer an occasional This & That Thursday video, which I try to keep short for easier consumption – that is hard! I teach an online Simple & Basic course of study, completed a LIVE drawing class and am adding new classes on different topics soon. We now do a weekly recorded show called Watercolor Wednesday – having fun with watercolors.
We now have a connection on all the major social media platforms, particularly Google Plus where we connect through the Kraafters Kommunity. You can follow us on Facebook, be a twit with us on Twitter and best of all see Behind The Scenes antics #ShaakBTS on Instagram.
We now sell prints of our art pieces, as well as coffee mugs, t-shirts and more at Society6.
We have opened an online store to purchase original art too, Spreesy!
This is no longer a one person operation either…it is now a family run endeavor setting new goals and dreaming bigger than ever before! That family includes our rapidly growing support system on Patreon where individuals can now become a part of the Kraaft Shaak team. Their support earns them exclusive rewards such as monthly downloadable sketches and artwork. Exclusive videos and hangouts and so much more. Their support is what allows us to keep on adding to what we do here at the Kraaft Shaak!
But would you believe THAT is not even enough? We are still looking for more to do, we feel we have a purpose to bring this to the next level…to take the Kraaft Shaak on the GO!
To help people find their passions and enjoyment IN PERSON! To reach new people who we have not yet met, to hug those who have been a part of this awesome ride, to shake the hand of supporters – this is where the virtual comes back to the real!
I was blessed to have a few experiences over the past year that have convinced not only myself, but my family, my closest friends and my supporters that a LIVE studio audience in real time and space is absolutely crucial to the fun we have. So we are doing it!
I can not say this is where the story ends…rather this is where it begins – with you here in this moment. Your shares, retweets and comments are what keep us going. Your love and support is a part of this story! THANK YOU for making dreams come true and thank you for learning more about the Kraaft Shaak.
The Kraafter Family
Gregg, Heather, Mitchell, Ruby, Daniel, T-Dawgg, Karli, Kynli and Mason