Maritime Makers #CraftParty

Maritime Makers, How to Fold a Paper Boat printable instructions by Susan Black Design

Maritime Makers is a new volunteer collective founded when advocates of handmade from Atlantic Canada met at the Etsy Team Captain Summit in Toronto at this February. We saw a need for one main portal to connect the work of Maritime makers and maker culture in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, and Prince Edward Island similar to how OMHG has connected makers globally since 2010, so of course I volunteered to help build and organize it. Along with the help of leaders Fatema (NS), Suzanne (PEI), Janie (NB) and our very own OMHG contributor Alison (NL) we launched the Maritime Makers website this month and are working together to grow our local maker movement!


The internet has expanded many of our markets and blurred borders between countries and provinces leading to more opportunities for makers both locally and globally. Maritime Makers intends to show the value in Maritime provinces creating an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming definition of regional cooperation, connecting business, organizations, and advocates on every level to strengthen and support our region. Our first collective project is uniting communities, Etsy sellers, and small business supporters to collaborate on Etsy Made in Canada events in each of our provinces.

As volunteer co-captain of the Halifax Etsy team I’ve also been helping to organize fun accessible projects like team meet ups, designing the new website, and our community #craftparty this weekend at Wonder’neath Artist Studios where we are making a rising tide of folded paper boats to demonstrate how makers and the maker movement are an economic force that can lift us all up. Our goal is to make and install over 1000 unique boats made by many hands from recycled papers during our market this September 26th.


Huge thanks to my brilliantly talented dear friend and neighbour Susan of Susan Black Designs for collaborating on illustrations for this project and a printable tutorial for folding your own paper boats!

Not in Halifax or Canada but still want to participate in this project? Print out the instructions and fold up your own boat! Boats mailed to me will be installed along with ones made during our craft parties and at open craft tables during our market. How neat would it be to show that makers around the world can work together to make art and social change? Boats can be sent by September 20th to:

Maritime Makers, c/o Jessika Hepburn PO Box 1690 Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0, Canada

I’m excited and honoured to have these opportunities to serve makers directly and improve the quality of life right here in my own backyard. To follow along with this project, learn more about Maritime Makers, or get involved visit our new website!


2015 Maker’s Retreat with Oh My! Handmade


Gather to make more community, kindness, comfort, friendship, family, warmth, delight and creativity.

When we gather with the intention of nurturing honest connection we make room for real magic. The requirements for making magic are simple: a warm welcome, a beautiful place, kind diverse people, whole local foods for the body, and nourishment for the head, heart, and hands. Our gatherings mix these ingredients up with gentle leadership to leave everyone totally confident we are all makers with everything we need to make more goodness in the world. This tangible magic of creation and community isn’t the sparkles and fairy dust kind but the type that fills us up with warmth and wholeness that we can radiate in our lives and work.

We live in a busy chaotic world full of hustle, our gatherings are an invitation to slow down and savour time well spent. Ours is a quiet revolution built on a movement of moments and small steps with others who value the art of handmaking a life. Curl up into lazy days and conversations that can unravel and reknit themselves into a community. Cultivate contentment and fullness and family through sharing food, creative exploration, story sharing, and group projects.

Hosted at the non-profit owned and completely handmade Hollyhock campus our retreats are open to anyone of any age who makes things, makes change, or just wants to make more goodness in their lives. Let’s bring our families, engage our young people, nurture our elders, inspire our children and ourselves to live full lives, rich with meaning and making.

Register for the 2015 Maker’s Retreat

OR CALL HOLLYHOCK at 800-933-6339

If you are unable to attend due to financial reasons consider applying for the Hollyhock scholarship fund or using the contact form below to contact us with your story to see how we can support you.



An internationally renowned centre for learning and well-being, Hollyhock impacts personal, professional and social development through over 100 programs. The spectacular natural setting on Cortes Island, British Columbia is an ideal backdrop for transformative experiences. Hollyhock offers a comfortable and safe environment where people can deeply connect with others, gain creative insights, and renew hope that a better world is possible. Founded in 1983, Hollyhock is Canada’s leading centre for lifelong learning, but you can also think of it as a “refuge for your soul”, a place that allows you access to what matters, or simply time to rest, play and achieve wellness in BC. Learn more about Hollyhock.



As  the founder of Oh My! Handmade Jessika Hepburn has been connecting the head, heart, and hands of the handmade community since 2010. Jessika sat on her first board of directors at 9, founded an arts empowerment camp for inner city youth at 19, and started her first handmade business as a young mom in 2003. A leading voice in the handmade community Jessika has spoken on the maker movement at events across North America and supports makers, creative entrepreneurs, small businesses and companies like Etsy, Bamboletta Dolls, and Playful Learning, while coordinating programs, events, and retreats for makers across Canada all from her 200 year old home in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Learn more about her right here. 


 About Our 2014 Retreat

Our events are built on the belief that if we put our heads, hearts and hands to work we can make anything but if we put them to work together we can make a movement.

We know that we do our best work when no one is the expert but everyone’s expertise is valued and openly shared. Have you ever gone to a workshop and just wanted to spend time really talking with the instructor? Or noticed the juiciest part of most events happens in hotel rooms or over dinner when ideas are thrown on the table and collaborations sparked? We all have unique talents and experiences to share and the power to do just about anything when we cooperate.

As a group we wrote the agenda, led the workshops, and covered vast stretches of conversation about making from the theoretical to the intimate details of what we’ve learned as makers. We made trips to the beach, walks in the woods to forage for inspiration, time to learn calligraphy, papier mache, needle felting, fibre + dye experiments, late nights crafting and talking around the campfire, watching double rainbows and weaving lifelong friendships.

Many of us can feel disconnected from who we are and our place in the world, the role of makers and creators is to show how we can weave those common threads into one blanket by handcrafting lives and communities rooted in creativity and compassion. Making a life of meaning from pieces of our soul is hard work, we need community to patch where we’ve worn thin and remind us that we are all connected, our 2014 retreat did just that and left us all feeling renewed with a reinforced conviction that making matters.

Click here to read Arianne’s participant recap of our retreat on Academy of Handmade 

Click here for photos and a brief summary of our week. 

Ethical Guidelines for Blogging

ethical guidelines for bloggers

Blogging seems simple enough! But did you know that you could get in legal trouble for blogging, or at least risk angering someone you admire? Consider some basic blogging ethics and understand the legal issues with blogging. Not only do you want to keep things legal, but you want your readers to trust and respect you. Here are some things to think about.

Copyright and credit

If you’re able to write all the content for your blog, and create all the graphics and take all the photos, you will be in the clear as far as copyright infringement goes. A great side effect of all this diligence is that your blog will shine for the hard work you’re putting into it.

Not everyone has the skill and the time to create every last bit of content from scratch. If you don’t, make sure you’re using images correctly. Your only legitimate ways to gather images for your blog are:

  1. Create the photo or graphic yourself
  2. Use paid or free stock photography with an appropriate license
  3. Get permission from the content creator to re-use their work

Just because someone posted an image on their own site or on social media doesn’t mean it can be posted anywhere. If you will be posting images that you didn’t create, you need to have the right to do that.

When in doubt, if you’re putting any kind of content on your blog that you haven’t created yourself, you should both ask the creator for permission, and credit that person in your blog post.

If you’re re-using written content, it’s usually okay to insert an attributed quote into your text (and even better if you link back to the source). It’s not okay to re-print someone else’s entire article without permission.

If your post is based off of the original idea of someone else’s, share the credit and mention the inspiration in your post.

Truth and opinion

You may not think of yourself as a journalist, but as a blogger, you are responsible for earning your readers’ trust. You need to be clear about what is fact and what is your opinion. When speaking of others, be sure that you’ve verified what you’re writing about them. Libel is a real thing that you can get in legal trouble about.

Be transparent with your readers about what is editorial and what is advertising. Are you sharing affiliate links? Did you receive payment or get free product to blog about a certain topic? Readers need to know if they’re getting your unbiased opinion, or if your writing is affected by a relationship with an advertiser.

Giveaways and contests

Before you go wild promoting your blog or business with giveaways and contests, read up on how to do these legally. Your innocent blog giveaway may be an illegal lottery in some states. If your prize is worth enough, there will be tax concerns you need to think about.

This article gives a brief overview of how to keep your contests legit:

But Everyone Else is Doing It: Why There are So Many Illegal Social Media Contests

Marketing and spam

When promoting your blog, make sure that you do so tastefully, and steer clear of anything spammy. This means not sending unsolicited emails, not posting inappropriately about your business in public forums, and not forcing advertisements on people who aren’t looking for them.

Even in your own spaces (your blog, your social media accounts), remember that people want value from you, not an endless stream of ads.

Privacy and policies

Always respect your readers’ privacy. This means keeping their email address private, and if you collect any data about them, you shouldn’t share this information with others, or use this information inappropriately. Your emails must be opt-in, and you can’t share your email lists with other people or companies.

Make some policies for your blog and be sure to share them with your readers! What is your comments policy, privacy policy, terms and conditions for use of your site? These don’t need to be pages and pages of legalese, but could instead be a few sentences by your comments box, or a promise next to your email opt-in that you won’t share email addresses with other companies.

Did you know that the comments people write on your blog posts are not yours to use? By default, they are copyrighted by the comment poster. If you want to use that wording elsewhere on your site or in your marketing materials, you’ll need permission. You can get this permission in advance by having a comments policy stated on your site.

More help with your blog

This is a brief overview of topics to think about. If you blog, I urge you to spend some time on Google learning more about blogging ethics and legalities.

This post kicks off a series on the Aeolidia website about starting a blog for creative businesses. Upcoming posts will discuss whether you should have a blog, share the steps to take to start a blog, give you a huge list of ideas of what to blog about, and cover common blogging mistakes I see.

Take a moment now to subscribe to my newsletter, so you won’t miss the next posts:

Get more tips on blogging

Since we’re talking ethics here, I had better mention that I will keep your email address completely private, and will not share it with others or use it for anything but to send you my newsletter!

Do you have a blog? Are you thinking of starting a blog? What questions do you have about blogs for business, or blogs on ecommerce sites? Please share in the comments. I’d love to offer some personalized tips.