2007-12-02, 11:55 p.m.
So, Friday night was "Craftapalooza."
(Approximately every event run by Campus Recreation any more has "palooza" slapped onto the end of it. It seems to be the new "electric boogaloo.")
What this was was that the Craft Center on campus (which I volunteer at, should you not already know) was open on Friday night and had various areas set up for students (students ONLY, sigh) to make presents for people. They paid a dollar per ticket at the door and then picked places to go spend their tickets at. We had beeswax candle making, glass pendant making, sandblasting, ceramic bowl painting, card making, scarf painting, T-shirt decorating, making picture frames...I forget whatall else. It was all pretty cheap- the most expensive stuff was 10 tickets- and a pretty good deal overall. Hell, I wish I could have dropped in to make some pendants and candles and whatnot myself.
This was the first time we'd ever had such an event here, and while I figured it would get a good crowd...well, it did! People were piling in and were practically out the door.
I was working the memory wire bracelets, which I have done before at "The Buzz" ("welcome back to school" event) before. People love those bracelets. It was a bit slower than The Buzz (which is to say that it wasn't a 100% total mob scene from opening until we ran out of beads), but I think that was due to circumstances. We were situated upstairs in the photo lab area (jewelry lab was full) and people told me they had a hard time finding it. Also, this time we were charging 3 tickets per rather than for free. But we still got a lot of people in there, having a very good time. One girl... well, she blew ALL of her tickets at the bead station making sets of bracelets for people. Another girl came in 20 minutes before the end, having bought 50 tickets at the start of the night and wanted to get rid of the remaining ones ASAP, and made four bracelets in those minutes. I was impressed.
It was very sweet. We had a lot of people in there saying stuff like, "I'm supposed to be at a party right now, but I'm staying here!" and "I love this! Can we make bracelets here all the time?" and "I REALLY WISH THIS EVENT WERE LONGER." (I think next year they may have to do it on a Saturday or something.) Someone said, "I thought four hours was so long, but..." I said, yeah, this place does that to you. I plugged the jewelry classes to those who were interested.
Also impressive, though not so much to the student types, was that I actually spotted two CR bigwigs making the rounds. Ever since the CC got moved to CR instead of where they had been "located" previously, it seems to have been the bastard stepchild that nobody wanted because the CC is non-athletic. So it was good to get some support. I chatted with one of them about her taking classes here. The other guy (the major bigwig) just wandered in and out. I hope they were impressed by the crowds, 'cause I sure was. And also, Gunrock the UCD mascot wandered in at one point. That was...random, but amusing. I thought about asking if he wanted to make a bracelet, but figured the costume might cause issues with that. (Hah.)
I heard later that card making wasn't terribly popular (this does not surprise me, since hey, almost everyone can do that one at home). Sandblasting ended early (I guess the machine overloaded?), and the line for glass pendants was out the door at one point, so they ran out early. I gather some of the T-shirt decorating was tricky- my guess is that was the screenpainted ones rather than the "draw on with marker" ones. But I think this is a definite go for last year.
As for me, I had kind of been dreading the event because The Buzz usually wrings me dry by the end of it. But this time it was great fun, and I didn't even mind that this time we didn't run out of beads or wire (seriously, they STOCKED UP this time, I was impressed) and thus didn't go home early. So, big yay for craft and for getting non-craft people to come in here and have a great time!