Crafty Partner: Krmbal Clothing

We’re glad to have Tessa from Krmbal as our Crafty Partner for another month! She’s just made an awesome redesign of her site that we really love. You can get the Shop Indie shirt in a variety of colors now!  We still really want to grab a Solar System shirt when we can.  Her Dullahan shirt is going to be on sale up through St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) when EVERYTHING is going to be for sale, but just for that day! So mark your calendars and be sure to scoop up something awesome!

Welcome to Tarot Tuesday – What We Will and Won’t Be Doing

Welcome to Tarot Tuesday! This is something we’ve decided to join our friend Shawna at Scrawny Girl in doing. We hope you’ll read her Tarot Tuesday posts, too, and maybe even be inspired to start doing your own.

Before we really get started, I want to tell you what we won’t be doing here. We won’t be using tarot cards for divination. Divination is defined as a practice for trying to obtain knowledge by supernatural means, and it comes from the Latin “divinare”, meaning “to forsee, to be inspired by a god”. Some people do use tarot cards that way. I’m not one of them. We won’t be talking about recieving messages from any deities or spirits. I’m not judging anyone who feels they do have that kind of connection through their cards. It’s just not for me.

So… got your cards? No? I might have a deck or three around here…

I actually left a few decks out of the photo. Why do I have so many decks? The answer to that gets us into some of what we will be talking about on Tarot Tuesdays… art! I haven’t bought a new deck in many years, but I was collecting them for a while because each deck has different art.

I’ve recently started using my cards again. It’s part of my mindfulness practice to draw a card and simply reflect on how the symbolism applies in my life. I have done readings for people and taught others how to do readings in the past, but even when doing a reading I look at the symbols more the way Carl Jung saw them when he was developing his ideas on archetypes. The truth is, any combination of the cards can fit any situation in your life when you’re reading them as symbols and archetypes. The key is to simply let them bring your focus to stuff you already know is happening and people you already know you’re interacting with. Not a matter of revealing secrets, but just helping you sort through your own stuff.

Sometimes we’ll look at the symbolism of specific cards here. We’ll also be looking at what we can learn as artists from the cards, ways to use the cards to nurture creativity, and some crafty projects related to the cards.

Are you ready to see my favorite card?

My absolute favorite card is The Fool, and here it is from each of those decks in the first photo. Starting with the big card on the top left, that’s the Rohrig Tarot Deck, followed by the Revelations Tarot. The badger with his puffin buddy is from the Tarot of the Animal Lords. Saint Francis (friend of animals) is from the Tarot of the Saints deck, which blends the lives of Christian saints with the symbolism of the tarot deck and comes with an actual book instead of the tiny booklet (known as the LWB – Little White Book) that is standard with tarot decks.

Bottom row now, starting back on the left! That small card is from a mini sized Hanson-Roberts deck. That and the next one – The Robin Wood Tarot – are two of my favorites because of the cheerful colored pencil artwork. Next is the Thoth Tarot Deck. The last is one that isn’t very easy to read unless you’re already familiar enough with the cards to know them by heart. (Intuitive reading is about interpreting the images. Harder to do with less detail.) It’s a really fun deck to have, though – the Gummy Bear Tarot!

Please be aware those are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you buy through them.

There are traditions that say you have to be gifted your first deck, and I was, but I don’t really think it’s necessary. I say find a deck with art that you love and buy it yourself.  I prefer decks that are based on the Rider-Waite system, as all of the ones pictured except the Thoth deck are.(It’s still very similar, but that’s a long story that has nothing to do with what we’re doing here.) There are a lot of types of Oracle cards out there, and some of them work off their own systems with their own unique meanings and ways of interpreting the cards. Any deck based on the Rider-Waite system will have the same card meanings as any other deck based on that system. The difference is the art. I’m likely to use the Robin Wood deck for most of the Tarot Tuesday posts unless I have a reason to use a different deck. If there’s one you’d like to see more of the art from, just ask me and I can use it in the next week’s post! There are also quite a few tarot apps out there. I know there’s one for the Robin Wood deck, and Scrawny Girl Shawna uses a different app. Of all the things I use apps for, that’s not one. I still really like to touch and hold the cards.

Part of crafting without shame is not being ashamed of where you find inspiration. I don’t use tarot cards quite the way a lot of card readers do. On the other hand, I do use them… which can get raised eyebrows from both folks who aren’t comfortable with the idea for religious reasons and skeptics. I hope you’ll enjoy the Tarot Tuesday posts and maybe find something useful in the cards that you hadn’t thought of before.

Become a Patron – a new way to support Craftypodes

2/18/2015 Update – We’ve updated milestone goals and patron rewards since first publishing this, so the post has been updated to reflect those changes.

If you’re an independent creator you’ve probably at least heard of Patreon. We’ve been watching its growth and didn’t think for a long time that it would be right for us. We’re making some changes as part of our focus on crafting without shame this year, though, and have decided to use Patreon as an alternative to supporting our work simply through finished item purchases. Today, we’re announcing our Patreon campaign!

Let me explain a little about Patreon for those who aren’t familiar with it, and then we’ll get down to what your money will really be going to by becoming one of our patrons.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is different from platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo in a couple of ways. First, this is not a donation to fund a one-time project. This is a modern return to the days when artists had patrons to support their ongoing work. Creators can choose a subscription model where you financially support their work on a monthly basis, or a “by the work” model where you support them each time they put out a certain type of work. A pledge of a single dollar may not seem like much, but your dollars add up over time.

Another way Patreon is different is that there are certain protections in place for you, the patron. You’ll notice we’ve set our campaign up for “by the work” rather than a monthly subscription. This means you don’t even get charged for the month unless we put out the content you’ve agreed to support. If something happened and we weren’t getting any work done for a few months (let’s hope not!) you would not pay for work that isn’t happening.

You can also set a monthly limit for yourself. We’ve estimated, based on past work, that we can probably put out the content we’re asking patrons to support about twice a month. Maybe only once some months. Maybe three times if a month is going well and the projects are small enough. But what happens if you pledge $3 per work, thinking you’ll usually pay $6 a month, and we suddenly start posting that content six or seven times a month? If you’ve set a monthly limit, it won’t matter. Let’s say you’ve set a limit of $9, pledging $3 per work, and we put that content out six times in a single month. You would only be charged for the first three times.

Okay… but why not just sell your finished work?

We come up with a lot of ideas that we end up passing on because there is some legal grey area on selling the finished work. That goes for patterns, too. We’re passionate about our work, but warm happy feelings don’t pay the bills. We also get a lot of feedback from people who say they love our work and love seeing our process, but they can’t drop a lot of money on a finished piece even if they understand the value of the piece. Trying to restrict our work to smaller projects that we can finish quickly without sacrificing quality and sell at a lower price means not really pushing ourselves as artists and pattern creators.

We’d love to slow down and really invite you to be part of the process of our stitched art. We’d also like to write more tutorials to help others tap into their creative side instead of choosing between that or more items for the shop.

What am I supporting as a patron?

We have plans for original cross-stitch patterns that celebrate LGBTQIA identities. We’d really love to be able to afford to release these patterns for free when they are ready. If you’re worried that we’ll only focus on the L and G, fear not! Our first two planned projects in this series are to celebrate transgender and asexual lives.

We’re asking our patrons to support each pattern we release for free. If you’d like to see what you get in a Craftypodes pattern, we invite you to download our free pattern for this Alice Walker quote from The Color Purple.

We still have a list of patterns to design that we’re carrying over from last year. With enough support, we’d like to be able to make all of our patterns available for free. We’ll be updating our milestone goals to let everyone know at what point that can happen.

We’d like to have more time to write tutorials. Our mandala drawing and easy French Knot tutorials have been especially popular. We enjoy helping others in their own creative journeys, and it often makes us sad to keep putting off a tutorial so that we can finish another for sale item. We’re asking patrons to support us when we post a tutorial.

What do I get for becoming a patron?

You get the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from making it possible for a couple of artists to be successful while creating more beauty in the world. Okay, okay… there are some perks for patrons.

Patrons who pledge $1 or more per work will get access to the Patron Activity Feed on our campaign page, which includes seeing some work-in-progress photos exclusive to patrons. You’ll also be asked to vote on decisions from time to time, such as which pattern to set free when a milestone is reached.

Patrons who pledge $5 or more per work will also get early access to patterns! You’ll get each completed cross-stitch pattern two weeks before it’s released to everyone else. You could be halfway through stitching it by the time other people can download it.

Our first five $5 patrons will also recieve one of Kelly’s hand drawn mandalas, unique and drawn in black ink. The mandala will be suitable for framing (sized for a 5 x 7 frame). We ask that you expect it to take about two months for your mandala to be ready and shipped to you.

We have 10 spots open right now for $10 patrons. Why only 10? Because that’s an amazing pledge for support and we want to give you something really special to thank you! You’ll get access to the patron activity feed, early access to patterns when they are released, a unique hand drawn mandala, and a bookmark personalized with your name spelled out in cats. CATS. Little stiched cat bodies forming the letters of your name. Because you’re puuurrrfect! Please expect it to take two months for your thank you package to be ready and shipped.

You can become a patron here, and thank you for supporting our work! If you have any questions, drop us an email at craftypodes at gmail dot com, or tweet us @Craftypodes.




Shop Move – You can now buy directly from

See that “Shop” button at the top of the page? Ever since we put it up there it has taken you to our Storenvy shop. If you click it now, you won’t leave the site! What sorcery is this?!

Selling finished work directly through our own site was always something we wanted to do. Eventually. Someday. When the time was right. (Isn’t that when everyone intends to do things?) As of today, the time is right! Payment is accepted through PayPal. We still do not see your personal information about your bank account or credit card number. All of that is still safe and private when you buy from us.

For now, our patterns are still available through Craftsy. It is only physical finished items that we’ve moved. If that changes in the future, you’ll already be used to the new shop page by then.

We will be keeping the Craftypodes Storenvy shop open until the end of February. If you want any items listed as “Preorder” you’ll need to order them by the end of the month. They will not be making the move over. We’re retiring them as we become more focused on our own designs and patterns.

Keep your eyes open for another big announcement coming on Friday!


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