Blog Archives

Fabulous Mafia Member and Owner/Designer of Snarky Sleeves, Michelle Kaffko, is stoked that her new site: is officially up and running!

The site looks AMAZING! So we had to ask: How the hell did you do it, Michelle?!

Michelle: “I hired the amazing Lauren Johnson of Goodspark (, as
she was recommended to me by another Mafia member and I loved her work!
She also has extensive experience in building e-commerce websites for
craft-based businesses so I knew she would totally understand all of my
needs and how I wanted the website to function.  She used open source
software OpenCart ( as the backend for the shopping
cart, built it into the design, and I host it with my own website
hosting account so I can keep control and make frequent updates to the
site myself.”

They initially opened the store with 38 phrases on
sleeves and have several more that they’re going to unveil in the coming weeks.
Check ‘em out NOW!

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A HUGE thanks to Michelle Kaffko, a fellow member of The Chicago Craft Mafia, owner of Snarky Sleeves and Organic Headshots!

We know that you can’t wait to see how the finished photos came out. In the meantime, please enjoy these outtakes of a few of our members!

Side Note: The theme was ‘Goodfellas’. Michelle’s direction was for us to be “serious with a smirk”.

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Our friends over at Steel Metal Press got scammed by a fake wholesaler! Click here to read her story.

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We thought you’d like to know:

Interweave Press is offering a series of free e-books, including “Know Your Rights: Copyright 101.”

Click here to start downloading !

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The Chicago Craft Mafia is excited to introduce a new series of blog posts that introduce some of the best artists and crafters that we know to our readers (and the world, of course.)!

Here’s what you do:

Simply copy and paste the questions below into an e-mail, answer the questions and e-mail them to:

The Questions:

Your Name (first & last):

Your Business Name:

Your City & State:

Your Website:

What medium do you work in primarily?

What kinds of products do you make?

Price range of your products?

How did you get started with crafting and this business?

Is your craft full-time for you? If not, what else do you do to make ends meet?

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not crafting?

What is the best advice that you can give to a crafter who’s first starting out?

We are so excited to view all of your responses!! We will notify you by e-mail within 2 weeks if you’ve been selected to be an upcoming Featured Artist!

Thanks so much for sharing who you are with us.

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The Campaign for Drawing” is an independent charity which raises the profile of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. The Campaign has created a new regard for the value of drawing to help people see, think, invent and take action. Its long-term ambition is to change the way drawing is perceived by educationalists and the public. This has won support from leading practitioners in the creative industries and in art, architecture and design colleges, signalling an overdue realisation that drawing is fundamental to the training of students in these disciplines. The Campaign takes a wider view. It sees drawing as a basic human skill useful in all walks of life. The Campaign’s work will finish when the words ‘I can’t draw’ are dropped from our vocabulary.”


Organizers for The Big Draw are asking organizations to submit a simple Event Application to help us build a robust calendar of drawing events throughout Chicago this October.

For more information or to fill out and application Click HERE.

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The When: Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:00pm - 7:00pm

The Where: Chicago Cultural Center

73 E. Washington, 5th floor

The What:

Edmund Dantes Hamilton, , Founder, Chicago WordPress Meetup Group, and  Scott Winterroth, Founder, Country Music Chicago will take you through:

  • WordPress Basics
  • PayPal and Ecommerce
  • Installing a Shopping Cart Plugin
  • Configuring Store Settings
  • Setting Up Product
  • Setting up Shipping
  • Test Live Purchase

For more info click here.

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The Copyright Safety Belt: Maximizing Revenue Streams
Presented by: I Am Logan Square and The Logan Square Chamber of Commerce

Speaker: Marci A. Rolnik, Legal Director, Lawyers for the Creative Arts

Date: Thursday, March 14th

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Place: Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd Floor

Admission: $10



Surviving and thriving as a freelance artist means knowing what steps to take to protect your work. Marci Rolnik will present a comprehensive overview of copyright law, licensing and assignments

and discuss various issues with “appropriation artwork” and derivative use. She will also focus on best practices to safeguard copyrighted artwork marketed at art shows and online via social media

and other third party websites.

For more information visit:

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Be a part of the conversation!

The City of Chicago is launching a new initiative to develop the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan. The plan will create an outline for Chicago’s future cultural and economic growth as the centerpiece for the City’s goal to become a global destination for creativity, innovation, and excellence in the arts. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is seeking input from Chicago’s citizens, cultural organizations, and city and community groups regarding the direction of our arts, cultural and creative industries as it affects them and their quality of life.

Public engagement will play a key role; Chicagoans from all walks will be actively involved in shaping the plan and can submit their ideas through social media, town hall meetings and public forums.

This is an amazing opportunity to think big!  What would we want to help our businesses grow in The City of Chicago?  A crafts entrepreneurship corridor / business district with stores in front and studios in back? Bring your ideas to the table!

Visit this link to RSVP for the next meeting in your neighborhood.

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March 23rd and 24th at The Chicago Cultural Center

The Creative Chicago Expo is a chance for arts organizations and artists of all disciplines to exchange information, and share best practices at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Join more than 5,000 creative practitioners who will connect with 140 LOCAL AND NATIONAL VENDORS and participate in FREE WORKSHOPS and networking opportunities.  Now in its 9th year, the Expo brings Chicago’s many diverse arts communities together at the Chicago Cultural Center, free of charge.

The 2012 Expo is expanding to two days.

Friday, March 23rd will focus on information for arts organizations and creative businesses.

Saturday, March 24th will focus on the needs of individual creatives.

Admission is free.

Expo takes place at the Cultural Center, located at 78 E. Washington Street, in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Date: March 23–24, 2012
Time: 10am – 4pm each day
Location: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street

Highlights for 2012 include:

Chicago Cultural Plan: Participate in the development of the new Chicago Cultural Plan.

The Paczolt Insurance Oasis – Learn about specific insurance issues for organizations and individuals in one-on-ones and small groups.  Data security to temporary event coverage to options for health insurance.

Corky’s Cafe --  A delicious range of food and beverages to keep your creative juices flowing all day long.

City Treasurer’s Small Business Plan Competition

1 Hour Mentor with Howard Tullman, CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Academy, and with Paul Natkin, Executive Director of the Chicago Music Commission and renowned music photojournalist.

32 Free Workshops- from Branding to Business Planning to Engaging your Audience.

Visit Chicago Artists Resource for more info!

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