Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dreamhaven: First Draft Charettes

In the news this week we've got a little peek from Coupe Architecture.  These bubble-diagrams on the left are initial sketches of the park layout, as per our last meeting.  A charette is a collaboration where design solutions are brainstormed and then proposed for a project.

It is quite a bit different from our original concept map (which was to be expected), and reflects the overall concept a bit better in regards to the "Fantasy Village" layout.  We should be seeing some more formal drawings as time goes on, as well as an updated color map.

We'll be using these sketches to create a large-scale modular map of the park as we move into the phase of collecting relevant business data in order to do our financial analysis.

The coupon-booklet continues to be both a growing success and endeavor.  We've already got some excellent names signed up for the next edition like Jasmine Beckett-Griffith!

Our Pinterest Board for the booklet is also another new addition to this version of the book.   It conveniently shows which businesses are offering what sort of discounts.  It is our hope to develop a phone app for the next incarnation (fingers crossed).

In other news - this week's giveaway comes to us from Herb Leonhard Art!  10 Pairs of Tickets to MythicWorlds in February!  Get your entries in and enjoy. :)

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Fairyblossom Update!



In Fairyblossom Festival news this week, I am most pleased to share a few highlights.  We've included the festival in the Coupon-Fairy Booklet 2015.  What this means is that with the purchase of the booklet, you get 1 Free Pass to the festival AND coupons and savings at over 100 vendors, events, indy-authors, musicians and more!

If you purchase before February 6, you ALSO will get a FREE PASS to Riona's Cave of Treasures coming up in Portland, OR.  RCoT is an artisan craft faire located at the Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center in the wonderful and weird City of Roses.  If you're local, we definitely hope to see you there!

On the DIY adventurous side of things, Ion the Leprechaun and I got industrious over the weekend!  We had collected some free pallets with the intention of deconstructing them as pallets, and reconstructing them as stages for the Festival.

This is my YouTube short documenting our experiment.  It turn out SUPER great so...this weekend we'll be making more!  The part that just pleases me all to pie is that A) pallets are free, so we are saving BIG bucks to build our stages and B) the leftover pallet frames that we tear planks off of are still in working order so they get to now become our walling and backdrops.

I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

Coupon-Fairy Booklet 2015 is Live!

The big news in Dreamhaven this week is that the Coupon-Fairy Booklet 2015 is live and ready for purchase! 

In Q4 2014, we had almost 50 participating vendors/events in the booklet and it was our goal to at least double that for 2015.  It's great to say that we have roughly 120 participating businesses now.  This incarnation of the booklet includes stores from overseas in the UK and France, the addition of musicians, authors, new events and hundreds of dollars in savings.

If you're not familiar with what how it works, it's like this: the coupon booklet is packed full of coupons from small businesses and events.  You buy the booklet and then get to redeem the coupons inside for savings at the participating stores/places.  Most of our vendors are online sellers so you can shop from anywhere for the interwebs cover the world!

The awesome part about the booklet is that it not only supports the vendors and small-business community, a portion of the proceeds get donated to Dreamhaven Park as well as the Black Knight Society (historical re-enactment & education non-profit).  Last year, this stream of our fundraising efforts brought in ~$250 - not bad for a first time effort that only had a couple months to get out there. :)

Righto, my wingéd friends -  until next time!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dreamhaven 2014 Year in Review

Happy New Year to one and all!  I hope everyone was safe and enjoyed the holiday season. :)  Before I jump into my 2015 year of posts, I wanted to take a moment to review some of the 2014 milestones for Dreamhaven Park.

I have committed to making a very sincere effort toward community involvement and transparency with Dreamhaven Park and its development.  Over the course of 2014 I diligently logged our progress, successes and general advancement in a timeline of ongoing work (which you can see below).

This year we're really hitting the ground running.  One of our major fundraising efforts, the Coupon-Fairy Booklet 2015, has over 100 vendors, events, storefronts, musicians and artists internationally!  This is very exciting as the purchase of these booklets not only contributes to Dreamhaven, but brings the buyer savings AND supports small business.  It is the first of its kind!

To add to this, Dreamhaven Park has officially partnered with the Black Knight Society non-profit.  A portion of our booklet proceeds will go to support their educational re-enactment organization.  This is exciting news as it couples well with the part of the Dreamhaven vision to demonstrate modern education on old-world practices and eco-friendly living through the lens of fantasy, history and gaming.

Our other big highlights were:
  • Raising enough money to secure our architectural agency (COUPE)
  • Becoming a certified member of the Office of Minority & Women's Business Enterprises
  • Securing a site for the Fairyblossom Festival (from which funds will be donated to Dreamhaven Park).

All that said, here is the review of last year's timeline! :)

2014 Year in Review
Nov 26, 2014: For those of you following the Dreamhaven Project at home, you may recall that two weeks ago we formally secured the architectural firm that will be designing the park.
This is really exciting news and we're looking forward to seeing some initial bubble diagrams and drawings by the end of the year!

In the interest of elaborating on the various module components that we are incorporating, here's a little bit about the banquet hall...


The Great Hall: This element of the park will be attached to the main castle. It's concept is to be a large hall with supporting industrial kitchen and side break-out rooms for small groups. We wish to make as many aspects of our park as multi-functional as possible. Our aim here is to build a space that can be used to host receptions, bazaars, large scale gaming tournaments, workshops, corporate retreats, seminars, banquets and more.


Lastly, we've now added donation portals to several of our facebook pages/supporting businesses to increase the ease of donating as well as visibility.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


November 12:Formally retained Coupe Architecture to begin our project design.  We've focused the scope of the project quite a lot, and narrowed our land-search areas (in order of prevelance) to Snohomish, Lewis and Grant Counties.  These will be contingent (ultimately) on what our market studies bear out.  We've added some detail to our "project plan" outline as well to help streamline the process.  Some of these changes will be evidenced in our "Wish List" here on GoFundMe where we've itemized the various aspects of the park in estimated cost breakdowns for that component.  We'll be looking to start seeing some new concept bubble-maps between now and the end of the year from Coupe.

In other fundraising news, we've grown our Coupon Booklet to approximately 70 vendors and events as the idea gains steam.  We're looking to get that number up to 100 by Jan. 1 2015 and are excited to be including fantasy artist Amy Brown and steampunk band Abney Park amongst our new participants.  Thanks, everyone!

October 6: We are almost to our first $1000. This is exciting because it allows us to get the ball rolling with our architect! We've been selling the coupon booklets and an influx of new vendors for the 2015 book as well. Thanks to two of our booklet contributors: Solvang Faerie Fest and Spokane Renaissance Faire who both had their amazing events this last weekend!

Sep 27: We've applied for a $150,000 grant through the Chase Bank small business program.  Each year, Chase awards 20 winners a $150K grant for their small business.  These funds would be used to: find and purchase land for Dreamhaven.  Additionally, we would win a $2,000 toward marketing research study.  You can read more about the program benefits here.  Winners are notified in January 2015.


Aug 18: I'm really excited to say that three of our other fundraising efforts are well underway now (we are putting multiple streams of revenue generation into the works). The first is the Coupon Fairy Booklet. It's drafting is moving along and we will have the first version of it by this weekend for final reviews! Once live, people will be able to support both the artistic community AND the Castle Project by purchasing an "entertainment-style" coupon book filled with savings from online and brick-and-mortar businesses!


Second is the Fairyblossom Festival! We'll be holding our very first festival on June 20-21, 2015, centrally located in Chehalis, WA - partial proceeds will be donated to this fund for a permanent event venue. Thanks everyone for your continued support - we're doing it!
Third, our efforts to get the OMWBE membership (which will assist with grants and loans) is *almost* complete...bureacracy takes a long time to process!


July 31: In the last month, we've begun a number of efforts, foremost the Coupon-Fairy Fundraiser in conjunction with online sellers.  Its purpose is to help raise the $15,000 needed for the feasibility study.  At this time, we have several stores signed up to participate and are nearing completion of the booklet design (eta first week of August).  We've also drafted (loosely) a visual map of the intended project so that it can be seen.  Our aim is to let the architecht work off this general premise.  There have been very preliminary discussions about expanding our eye toward the Oregon area for property (when the time comes) so we'll be including some land that direction in our econimic-marketing study.  We are almost complete with the review process for the OMWBE to gain membership (and small business assistance for grants and loans).


June 23rd: Beginning RFPs to solicit proposals from additional architectural firms. Drafting up $15,000 mini-fundraiser for interested vendors and etsyians to participate in to help raise funds necessary for to reach our first milestone!

June 20th: First architectural proposal is in and WHEW. Not cheap (by which I mean it costs more than the average vehicle), but not impossible. The next step will be to put together a formal RFP (request for proposal) to submit to some other firms so that I can get some general pricing comparisons. I will have this done by Wednesday.

June 14st: This month's stock option investment has seen ~7.5% return (investment capital).

June 10th: First meeting with prospective architect (Brandon) to discuss feasibility study. The meeting went very well and I can expect to have a proposal, with costs, for the feasibility study within the next week

June 5: Business license renewal is in

May 26: Mailed off OMWBE application to State of Washington; filed credit report dispute to vanquish the one negatively impacting item

May 24: First secured loan was a success. Took out a second secured loan to build credit.

May 21: Initial project discussion with the financial planner (Steve), outline of process and next actionable steps

May 14: Sedro Woolley property visit, first sample grant obtained

Apr 2: TD Ameritrate account established



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Citrine Keybearer and Aviator Giveaway

My wingéd friends, this week I bring you reasons for holiday cheer!  The first is the 4th and exciting Citrine Keybearer Package - if you don't know what this means, read on....

At RadCon 2015, all Keybearers are invited to participate in a one-of-a-kind Quest!  The object of our adventure is to find the Crowns so that we can give them to the winning King & Queen of the Masquerade Ball.

The Keys are being auctioned off, bids beginning at $5 - the Citrine Auction ends Sunday, December 21, 2014, 11:59pm so get your bidding in by clicking on the picture!

Secondly, I offer up to you this week for a giveaway, the following handmade aviator flap hat!  It's free to enter, so take up the offer - hope you have a great week. :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Updates from Lolly-land!

Chehalis Santa Parade
December always goes by in the blink of an eye.  I had every order out and in the mail by Saturday.  This morning, I have a stack of new ones - that's good but wowzers, busy!

Over the past couple weeks I've been from my 400th Bloomday Party at Oddmall Seattle, to the Chehalis Santa Parade, to the Winter Wonderland Bazaar!

It's been a snow flurry!

We now have over 100 vendors and small businesses for our coupon booklet!  My goal for 2015 was 100 so this is great news, as it exceeds the goal.  I'm really excited to be adding some great new talent from Amy Brown Fantasy Art, Abney Park, Heart's Delight Clothiers as well as some of our first stores from Europe: Boho Tribal Tent, Lorellyn's Enchanted Creations and so many more!

If you aren't familiar with our booklet, here's the scoop!  The Coupon-Fairy Booklet is a collection of coupons from handmade artisans, vendors, small businesses and events (such as renfaires, festivals and conventions).  Most of our participating stores are on the internet so that you can shop-and-save no matter where you live.  The booklet is for sale in a number of places, most of our vendors also retail it.

When you purchase a Coupon-Fairy Booklet, the proceeds go to benefit both the outlet from whom you bought the booklet, as well as Project Dreamhaven - our effort to build an event and gaming venue.

Join the Dream!
Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dreamhaven Update #12


For those of you following the Dreamhaven Project at home, you may recall that two weeks ago we formally secured the architectural firm that will be designing the park.

This is really exciting news and we're looking forward to seeing some initial bubble diagrams and drawings by the end of the year!

In the interest of elaborating on the various module components that we are incorporating, here's a little bit about the banquet hall...

Great Hall Example
The Great Hall
This element of the park will be attached to the main castle.  It's concept is to be a large hall with supporting industrial kitchen and side break-out rooms for small groups.  We wish to make as many aspects of our park as multi-functional as possible.  Our aim here is to build a space that can be used to host receptions, bazaars, large scale gaming tournaments, workshops, corporate retreats, seminars, banquets and more.

Join the Dream!

King 5 News Interview

Ambassador for Oddmall, I got to tell K5 all about us!
Reap the whirlwind! This last weekend was beyond incredible. First, it was my 400th Bloomday and I had the distinct pleasure of throwing a party at Oddmall Seattle. Party Hardy Balloons built me a whole balloon castle, complete with sign, moat, toadstools and snails. Heidi from Kreative Kettlecorn brought me rainbow kettle corn and cherry cake-pops!

Clover the Balloon Fairy, Ion the Leprechaun, Ladies Leaflock & La De Dah and my Changeling Boy were in attendance. We duly converted an army of spritelings into unicorns by distributing unicorn-horn party hats, I wove fairy hair, Ion helped them crack Dwarven Mining Stones, VIP gift bags went out to the early RSVPs - it was amazing.

Perhaps the most exciting part though, was getting to appear on King 5 News to tell the world about the epicness of Oddmall Seattle! I was honored to represent this amazing event filled with small business artisans, vendors, eclectic entertainers and more.

There are about a billion pictures (ok,slight hyperbole but you get the idea) of the event.  Here are some handy links if you're interested in checking out the weekend's events!

Remember, most of these businesses have online shopping available so if you want to both shop on T-day AND support families being home together for the holiday, check everyone out online!

Natasha Hopp's Pictures of Oddmall
Samuel S Grahn Photography's Pics of Oddmall
Oddmall Seattle's Photo Album


The Dreamhaven Project
Just about to crack the Castle Piñata!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dreamhaven Update #11

I'm taking a moment this week to talk about Dreamhaven specifically.  There have been a lot of updates and changes over the summer as the vision refines itself and takes better focus.  I am really very excited about how it's shaping up.

Yesterday, we formally retained Coupe Architecture to begin our project design. We've narrowed our land-search areas (in order of prevalence) to Snohomish, Lewis and Grant Counties. These will be contingent (ultimately) on what our market studies bear out.

Two of the things that I am most excited to discuss are the Handmade & Farmer's Market, and the P-Patch Community Gardens.

Handmade and Farmer's Market
The market is, ostensibly, one of the first things you will see when you enter Dreamhaven.  While it is meant to have a medieval/fantasy village aesthetic, we plan to build as much as we can using green technology and permaculture techniques.

The market will have to primary types of shoppes or stalls: 1) the permanent artisan workshops, some with overhead living/storage studios and 2) daily farmers market stalls which are first come, first served to set up and vend for the day, or for the duration of your event.

The village market stalls will be intended to house a variety of artisan craftworks such as pottery, bath and body products, glass blowing, blacksmithing, jewelry, garb & cosplay clothing, etc.  These products are intended to be made primarily right on site from Dreamhaven artisans!

Pea Patch Community Gardens
These little garden patches will be available to members of the public community.  They will be welcome to tend to their garden in Dreamhaven every day, and are invited along with any other vendors/artists to sell their produce, flowers or other crops in our farmer's market stalls.

It is our goal to provide both a learning experience and a hobby, whilst encouraging community productivity.  The more we learn to sustain ourselves, even in our urban settings, the greener our world will be.

Developing our on-site gardens, pumpkin patches and orchards provides us with a unique opportunity to hold educational seminars and field trips.

I am very excited about the direction we're going and looking forward to sharing more as we go forward!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Herb Leonhard: Artist Guest of Honor



Mid-week update, as promised.  First, I am beyond ecstatic to officially be able to welcome our Artist Featured Guest to the Fairyblossom Festival, Herb Leonhard.

Herb has a long history of painting, murals, book illustrations and graphic design and his work is an ornament to our event!

Prints, magnets, books, art boxes and more can be found both on Herb's Website as well as in his Etsy Store.  You can even find a coupon for his etsy store in our Coupon Fairy Booklet, should you plan to shop small business this season - we are convenient for you like that!

Though it be only Wednesday (aka 'Infamous Camel Day'), the week has been incredibly busy.  Updates on the Fairyblossom front are a mixed bag.  Special events permit and insurance are taken care of - that's a major plus.  My desire for official city sponsorship are going to be on a longer timeline than I had hoped for (meh), but not off the board (so, yeah!).  We may be able to even get district involvement, which would be amazing.

Vendors are signing up (yay!), games and entertainment are shaping up really nicely (yay!), we are going to be in the Centralia Santa Parade (yay!), we're set to start buying and building things like stages (yay!), I'm ready to start trying to get some sponsorship partners (yay!).  Overall, things are really rolling along splendidly and that is very exciting. :)

I've also got my Bloomday Party at Oddmall coming up on the 22-23.  It's been party-favor and unicorn hat central here for some time as I'm getting ready.  It's free for everyone and anyone to attend and if you RSVP by November 16th, you can get a VIP party favor at the party! There's going to be a balloon castle and even her highness Elsa will be in attendance!

And last but far from least: Dreamhaven!  We should be meeting with the architect hopefully here next week to really define the scope of the project and get started on the draft work.  It is hard to describe the strange excitement that the magnitude of this fills me with but it is happening and that is amazing.  I look forward to the day that I can open the gates for a grand-opening, gala party and know that this piece of work is an asset to the community. :)