sorry, long posting: executive summary = take a look at http://www.levitada.com (read “About”, “How it Works”, “FAQ”)
details below describe http://www.levitada.com, a tool I made for us to use:
We want a way to swap Proofgrade materials once our “thanks for waiting” box of goodies arrives.
Some of us will want a lot of veneer but have no use for leather. Others of us will want a lot of leather but have no use for veneer.
How do we find each other? This forum is great for a lot of things, but it would be a cumbersome place to make these exchanges.
There are so many highly skilled artists here who are incredibly generous. They’re posting Vector Graphics free for us to use. I want to find them.
Again, this forum is a bit cumbersome - I want to be able to use a search tool so I can filter by category, search by keyword, and see the results as thumbnails.
and another problem:
I’m getting rid of stuff to make room for GF materials.
I’ve got yarn, fabric, and paper crafting supplies I no longer use, and they’re too good to throw away and useless to Goodwill.
I want them to go to knitters, quilters, and paper crafters who will put them to good use.
I’ve also got a lot of finished hand-crafted items that I want to go to fundraisers, but I’m not hooked-in to local schools/PTA’s, band boosters, scout groups, dance troops, etc. who would like them as fundraiser (auction or raffle) donations. They need me, but they don’t know about me. I need them, but I don’t know about them.
and a wish:
I’d love to get my hands on scrap proofgrade wood and/or veneer, just to feel it before my GF arrives. I hope there are beta and pre-release glowfolk who’ve got scraps to give, or even better, extra “rough draft” items they want to give away. I hope when I get my glowforge I’ll have lots of “made on a GF” items to give away.
the solution (humbly, I hope ) = http://www.Levitada.com
Levitada is an online marketplace that I just created, designed specifically with Glowfolk in mind (though, hopefully useful for others) to solve the above problems. It is, and always will be, free to use: no ads, no fees, no spam. ever. (simply because I hate seeing ads on sites, paying fees, or wondering if the sites are selling my email addr, so I will never do those things, esp on a site which is all about celebrating Making and Giving freely.) I’ve got a good “day job” so I’m willing to fund the site. The only other funds will come from donations, details here: http://levitada.com/Donate.html (donations are not tax deductible b/c I don’t want to take the time to create a 501c3 - at least not until I see if this site has value. As mentioned, I have a “day job” therefore limited time to spend on this, and creating a 501c3 is a huge undertaking
How Levitada solves the first problem: swapping Proofgrade materials:
Sign in, post a listing under the category “Proofgrade Materials” specifying either “Whole Sheets” or “Scraps”. In the description, say what it is (leather? walnut veneer?). If you’re hoping for a swap, put your desired “I’d like to swap it for xyz” in the description. Wait for requests to come in. Use whatever criteria you want to choose who to swap with or give to. Maybe you’ll discover someone close enough geographically to make an in-person hand off. (The site has a “search by location” feature to help in this.) Or, negotiate shipping, etc.
How Levitada solves the second problem: finding free Vector graphics, using keyword searches and seeing results as thumbnails:
Sign in, post the listing under “Graphics” specifying one of the subcategories. In the description and title, add keywords that will make it easy for users to find the graphic you’re giving away, ex: “grayscale horse in a landscape” or whatever. Also say what the file type is (ex: SVG) and maybe the tool where you created it (ex: Inkscape). Upload some thumbnails showing the graphic. For the “type of graphic” choose “Raster” or “Vector” for “types included” (sometimes, as in the case of .zip files, you’ll check both). (The FAQ links to places which do a good job of spelling out the difference between vectors and rasters - do a youtube search for good explanations). Sadly, you can’t upload a file to the marketplace, but in the description, you can link to it wherever you’ve put it on the internet (including here in the forum? maybe?). When others of us login, we can click the Graphics category and do keyword searches. The results are shown as the thumbnails you put in the listing.
How Levitada solves the third problem: getting hand made items or supplies/materials into the hands of people who will want them or to charities that can use them for fundraising
When you post listings, you can choose “Willing to Give to” : Only Individuals, Only Charities, or Both Individuals and Charities. You can also make listings under the Category “Supplies and Tools” and choose one of the subcategories, ex: “For Paper Crafts”.
How Levitada can make my wish come true: giving and receiving GF made items
When you go to Levitada, scroll down until you see the big, green “Update View” button. Just above it, there is a checkbox you can check to filter search results so that you can find just items “Made on a Glowforge”. When you list items to give away, you can check “Made on a Glowforge”.
I hope you will find this useful. The artistry, craftsmanship, and generosity I’ve seen here in the forum really was an inspiration for creating Levitada. You are such an amazing group, I’m humbled and honored to be part of it. (Lucky for me that the only criterion for joining was buying a GF, otherwise, I don’t know that I could live up to the high standards here!)