Friday, October 26th


It’s almost too late to write about this, but it ties in nicely with the giveaway I’m doing. A little over a month ago I participated in Austin’s first CreateAthon, a 24-hour creative working session. Writers, artists and creative-types devote a full day of time to make marketing pieces for non-profits. It’s a win-win as the nonprofits get creative pro bono help and the creatives get the thrill of producing great work under the pressure of a ticking clock. Seriously though, most creatives thrive under that type of pressure.


Non-profits like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hope Alliance, and The Food & Wine Foundation of Texas sent a list of their needs and after 24-hours, had all new designs, jazzy copy, and a slew of new fans. My group was assigned to Austin Clubhouse, a rehabilitation program for adults with severe mental illness. We felt honored to help such a small, yet important organization. My team, by the way, rocked so hard. As I spent hours slugging through the copy and writing, they designed, illustrated, made layouts, and came up with the most gorgeous things. I heart artists!

We were tasked with redoing a very long, dry brochure and punching up a letter and turning it into a brochure. It doesn’t sound like much, but we were down to the wire. It was a LOT of work!


Creative Process

Let me mention our hosts: Build-A-Sign. The office was colorful and cool, the perfect environment to spark creativity. The staff that stayed with us throughout the night kept our spirits up and catered to our every whim. Keeping us caffeinated, well-fed, and providing ample space and privacy for the teams to work. Oh, and massages.


Red Bull

So Build-A-Sign does a bunch of cool creative stuff and they have a new site called Printcopia. They let me check out their canvas prints for free, so I chose a picture from my honeymoon. This is my favorite snorkeling spot in the world, Black Rock in Maui. Here’s my original photo: 

Black Rock Maui

The ordering process was very user-friendly. After I uploaded my photo the site walked me through a few options like sizing, canvas thickness, borders, display, finishing and retouching. The whole process took less than ten minutes. 14 days later I received my print.

Printcopia print

For the border, I chose the mirror-style, which brings your photo to the very edge of the canvas and mirrors it on the edge. This way you don’t lose any part of your image on the front.

Mirrored border

You can see the texture of the canvas when you get close to it, but it doesn’t distort the image in any way.

Canvas texture

I never thought about putting my photos on canvas, but I can see the benefits. This is durable and ready to hang. It’s lighter weight than a glass and frame, and I won’t have to clean smudges. I haven’t decided where I’m going to hang it yet, but I’m thrilled with the quality and will be happy to look at this beautiful image every day. Man, I really need to get back to Hawaii.

One of you lucky readers will get a free 11×14 canvas print from Printcopia! Leave a comment telling me about a time when you volunteered, and I’ll do a random drawing on November 9th. Following Mad Betty on Facebook and Twitter will earn you extra entries.

5 Responses

  1. Diane says:

    Love your photo of Black Rock in Maui. Would love to use it to create something for my home. Is it possible to do that? Thanks.

  2. Jeannie says:

    One spring my son, Adon, and I volunteered for the NJ Shorebird Project. Mostly we kept watch over temporarily closed bay beaches, enjoying the birds and meeting lots of fellow birders. One afternoon we were afforded the opportunity to help with the banding of the shorebirds at Reed’s Beach. We worked along side other volunteers and scientists from all over the world, most of whom follow the shorebird migratory path from South America to Canada. It just so happened that the day we went PBS was filming an episode of Nature about the Red Knot shorebirds and horseshoe crabs called Crash: A Tale of Two Species. I thought the whole process was one of the greatest experiences ever!

  3. This is cool, cool. I’m wanting to participate in that Create-a-thon next year. Nifty event. I just volunteered at AFWA Wine and Swine, and have the sunburn to prove it….lol

  4. Kim says:

    My most recent voluteer effort was for the Polar Bear Plunge in Wildwood, NJ, which benefits the Special Olympics. I was charged with registering the people crazy enough to want to jump in the ocean in the middle of January. People came in droves wearing crazy costumes – there was a bride and groom and team dressed as fruit and lots of kings and queens of the ocean. It was a great day and luckily I didn’t have to go in the water!

  5. carol says:

    I volunteered for three weeks this past summer. I spent one week in a kitchen down at Cape May Point, cooking for about 100 people enjoying a retreat at the beach. I also taught several 2nd graders who attended a two week summer program for 3 hours a day. RIght now I am teaching a weekly CCD class for the year that meets each Tuesday after school for 75 minutes a week. Love you MadBetty!!!

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