Monday, December 26, 2011

spectacular surface pattern design

I have been taking this amazing Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course online ~ created by the dynamic duo of Beth Nicholls and Rachael Taylor ~ and wanted to share a bit about what's it been like. From a student standpoint, it's been amazing on every single level. From the impeccable organization to the thoughtful exercises to the amazing interviews with prominent people in the pattern design industry, from the jam-packed information that has been so beautifully designed into each week to the supportive, inspiring community, I just can't say enough! I realized that since starting the Makerie, I haven't made much time for any making myself, which is a little bit funny because it was the making I loved so much that was the whole reason I started the Makerie and remains at the heart of what it's all about. I still struggle with finding balance and giving all the things I love in my life the right amount of time and energy ~ raising children, making time to spend with my husband, working on the Makerie, making meaningful, healthy homemade meals and goodies for my family, exercising, spending quality time with friends, being creative with my two kiddos, getting proper rest, and finding time for a little of my own creativity too. It's this last piece that always seems to fall to the bottom of my priorities at this time in my life, yet it's one of the things that brings me so much happiness!

A big part of Module 1 of the pattern design class is drawing. What I have adored so very much has been rediscovering how much I truly love to draw and it has brought back many memories of my love for this as a child. I have been thinking about how I won a drawing contest at Zoo School camp way back when. I drew a giraffe and being the shy person I am, was so embarrassed to walk up to the front of the auditorium to accept my prize. (I wish I could find that drawing!) No wonder I find myself happily lost in illustrating lunch notes for my little ones! I often regret never applying to art or design school. Oh why didn't I listen to those little voices that have been nagging me all along? I could have spent weeks just working on the drawing prompts in the course, and plan to do the wonderfully creative exercises presented many times over. Just this short spurt of creative instruction has helped to see the world already in new ways. I'm creating patterns in my mind out of everything I see! The class assignments were broken down into wonderfully simple exercises, which made it easy for an untrained artist like me to follow and feel inspired by. I even did some of them with my 5 year old, which was one of my favorite afternoons we've spent together. There is nothing like witnessing the uninhibited artistic nature of children!

As much as I have loved making a little time again for my own creativity, it was not nearly as much as I would have liked to dedicate to the course. Due to various circumstances, I was not able to put the amount of time and energy I had wanted and hoped to. I like to give everything my all so this was hard for me! Oh how I would have loved to duck away to a cozy cabin for an uninterrupted week to play with drawing and patterns and color ~ and while we're at it, let's add in a wood burning fireplace, my favorite warm tea and anything from the bread group right out of the oven. My time is often not my own with two young children, work responsibilities, a husband that travels a lot, and just the general busyness of family life. We all try to do it all, don't we?

The pattern design class has been awesome in many ways and made me realize once again, not only how important creativity is in all our lives, but also how hard it can be to make it a priority. The beauty of this e-course allowed me to wiggle in the time at my own pace and yes, sometimes even in my pj's! It also made me think about the reason I started the Makerie ~ an uninterupted weekend dedicated to giving the gift of time and space to play and create ~ away from the demands of everyday life.

I am so grateful to Beth and Rachael for pouring their hearts into this e-course and for all I've learned so far. I can't wait to explore my own style of pattern design over time and I'm super inspired by the amazingly talented community ~ hence the over 2600 photos in our class flickr pool and a super fun contest we launched to design our 2012 Makerie goodie bag (more on that later!). My goal is to repeat Module 1 when it's offered again this spring, and then carry through to Modules 2 & 3. There is so much more I'm craving to learn! So if you have the chance and you are interested in any type of pattern design ~ fabric, stationery, greeting cards, home decor, etc... ~ I highly recommend giving this a go. And the beauty of it? You really don't even have to be an 'artist' at all. Just ask me!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

sunset magazine!

We are absolutely thrilled to share that we are featured in the January issue of Sunset Magazine. I have been a long time subscriber of this wonderful publication and am constantly inspired by everything they highlight ~ from fabulous destinations to delicious recipes to the hottest happenings in town to amazing artisans making magical things in the the west and more. We are grateful and honored to be included alongside the Teahouse Studio and Ace Camps as part of the 'West at its Best.' Thank you Sunset Magazine. It's truly a wild dream come true!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

little gifts from the heart

Do you need a few sweet, simple, handmade gift ideas to slip into those stockings? Well take a peek at some of these fantastic, fun ideas curated by the wonderful Sarah Bryden-Brown on Kirsty. We were so thrilled to be asked to contribute a project! Learn how to make these felt ponytail holders right here.

Happy making!


Monday, December 5, 2011

the 2012 makerie scholarship!

We are absolutely elated to announce our second Makerie Scholarship! Old Glory Antiques and their adorable new boutique Prince Street Dry Goods will be generously offering one full Makerie package (excluding travel costs) for the 2012 event. Starting on January 2nd, we are inviting nominations for a very special someone who would embrace the spirit of the Makerie. Do you know someone who is deserving of a creative weekend away, but maybe is unable to make the financial commitment at this time? The eligibility requirements to enter are simple for each nomination: 
:: become our facebook friends ~ Old Glory Antiques & the Makerie
:: follow us on twitter ~ @OldGloryAntique & @theMakerie
:: write us a letter under 500 words via email to telling us why this person would be a beautiful fit for the scholarship and what attending the Makerie would mean to them. And YES, feel free to nominate yourself! Be sure to include your contact information. Please know that all entries will be kept confidential. 
:: financial need (we will work off the honor system here!)


Scholarship Application Process

Mon, Jan 2     Email your nomination to (please use 'makerie scholarship' in the subject line)
Mon, Jan 16   LAST DAY for nominations!
Weds, Feb 1   Scholarship winner notified! Yippee!!


Awarding a Makerie scholarship means the world to us and one of my personally most cherished parts of our event. I just can’t thank Old Glory Antiques and Prince Street Dry Goods enough for their incredibly kind generosity in making this all possible.
We would be grateful if you could pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested in applying! 


Friday, December 2, 2011

brave intuitive you

photo by Flora Bowley

I wanted to share some pretty exciting news about one of our amazing teachers ~ Flora Bowley ~ who has swiftly become a painting phenom. Those of you who will be taking Flora's Bloom True workshop with us in April are in for a treat ~ and quite a magical one at that. Flora has this incredible way of empowering everyone and has such a gift for bringing out a person's true, unique spirit through the painting process. I've seen it in action and it is just amazing to witness what happens to the students in her workshops. I feel so incredibly grateful she will be giving her Makerie students this gift once again this spring.

One of the many wonderful things I adore about Flora is how she openly shares her inspirational painting techniques with others and now she will be putting this offering into the world through her brand new e-course! If it wasn't so close to the Makerie, I'd be jumping at the chance to join in. It starts February 6th and runs for five weeks. She has partnered with the amazing Beth of Do What You Love and I can tell you that this is one powerful,  professional team that will deliver an e-course beyond your dreams. I can say this from first-hand experience, as I am currently taking Beth and Rachel's Surface Pattern Design Course (more on that later!) and it is fabulous on every level. I love how Flora describes why you should take her class:

"Because I believe making art should be a joyful process ~ not a struggle. I believe creating should be a time for letting go of fear, embracing the magical unknown, following intuition and existing in a universe where there are no mistakes. Right?" 

Huge congratulations to Flora and Beth for the launch of this amazing offering and for sharing more creativity with the world. You go girls! 


p.s. The first 100 people to sign up for Flora's e-course will receive her book for free. What a cool bonus! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

we beckoned the lovely

I am a huge fan of Amy Krouse Rosenthal (as many of you know!). Not only do I love her messages about humanity, connection and making things, but I love how she embraces life to the fullest. Her movie ~ the Beckoning of Lovely ~ captured my heart. From the moment I started planning the Makerie, I found myself bound and determined to somehow incorporate Amy into our inaugural event. I had no idea how it would work, but I put her picture up on my Makerie vision board. She turned out to be our opening speaker, which frankly I still can't quite believe. She joined us via Skype from her own personal vacation! Her inspirational ideas and thoughts and clever ways with words left quite an impression with everyone and like many things she does, her talk was interactive and had our participants doing a variety of activities. I loved them all, but in particular the very last one where she had everyone write a 'Dear John' letter (a take on my last name DeJohn) about what being at the Makerie meant to them. It was such an unexpected surprise and I will cherish those letters forever.

The culmination of the Beckoning of Lovely was released on 11/11/11 at 11:11 am ~ as a full length feature film. I wish I could have been there in person in Chicago at the Bean, but the gathering we had in Boulder was simple and wonderful. Participants from last year's event were there, along with a few new friends too. We watched it on a laptop, and thank goodness for the kind, generous coffee shop manager who let us borrow his since my computer decided it didn't like the wireless connection that day. Then the volume was too soft and dear Esther offered up a pair of speakers she happened to have in her car. All I could think about was this is exactly what Amy is trying to teach us. The power of human connection. These might seem like such simple acts, but to me it was an example of how wonderful 'simple' can be. If Adam didn't lend us his computer, there would not have been a movie viewing... If we didn't have Esther's speakers, no one could have heard it. I'm realizing more and more how delightful 'simple' can be and our gathering was exactly that ~ just some lovely soles all together in one space watching a meaningful movie. If you have the chance, I highly recommend watching this film. I can almost guarantee it will make you want to go out into the world and do really good things ~ it certainly does me!

I'd like to end with my very favorite take away message from Amy that I hope you will love to. It's simple.

Make the most of your time here.


** post amendment **

Since I wrote this post, Amy has since taken down the movie from YouTube. Please read her explanation below. I love her bravery, how she listens to her heart and the trust she has in the universe!

Dear Universe,

I wanted to let you know that I've just pulled the The Beckoning of Lovely film from YouTube. It seems that if I truly want this to be the best thing ever, then I'm not done. I can't quite believe it myself because I've never worked harder on anything in my for any of you who are frustrated/disappointed that you can't access the film, please know that this was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it was the right one. I owe it to everyone involved in this project and to the diaphanous entity that is The Beckoning of Lovely itself to stay with this just a bit longer and bring it to you in its most perfect, shiny form.

This is not the way I thought it would all shake down post 11/11/11, but so be it. Such is the life of a person who makes stuff.

peace sign, red heart, yellow umbrella,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

finding creative time

Maybe similar to you, I'm always searching for the best ways to find life balance. I go through phases where I make a list of my priorities and plop it in a place where I can glance at it (a lot!), sometimes I create daily to do lists (and openly admit to adding really easy things so I can just check something off!) and most recently I made a chart for what my 'ideal week' would look like from the time I wake up to the time I say goodnight, and even including the eight hours of sleep I've learned I need to function properly. Some days I think I've found it ~ that ever elusive feeling of meeting everyone's needs and a few of mine too ~ and other days everything seems lopsided.

I try to be mindful of where I spend my time and energy, and one of my goals this year is to bring back more creativity into my little world again. Starting the Makerie has been a dream come true in countless ways and the planning of it is a magical experience full of very hard work. I often think about the reason I started the Makerie and the heart of it all ~ the power, joy, peace, calm, inspiration and playfulness creativity brings to your life. I love to make things ~ so so many things that it would take more than a lifetime to finish the projects I have on my list.

Although I haven't made much time for any making or creating myself this last year, I have an insatiable appetite for learning anything new creatively and I'm ready for a new challenge. I'm thrilled to be taking an amazing e-course on Surface Pattern Design with the uber talented duo of Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls that starts next week. I'm psyched to be a student again! It's such a great growing experience to try something out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself creatively. I'm a wee bit intimidated but it's such a good exercise in remembering firsthand how our retreat participants often feel. I want to experience that over and over again so I can always look at our event with fresh eyes and an open heart, knowing exactly how it feels to be in your shoes. So here we go! Wish me luck and know that I will be practicing what I preach!


Friday, October 28, 2011

training her early

I love discovering ways to be creative with kiddos, and projects that are 'travel-able' have extra added value for me. We did some finger knitting this week and wanted to share it in action. One of my most favorite moments of teaching my girl was to watch her little light bulb go on when she figured it out herself. Don't we all love that feelng? Have a wonderful weekend! xx

Monday, October 17, 2011

whole partnership

I'm truly honored to announce our new partnership with Whole Foods Boulder! They were such a wonderful, supportive sponsor of our inaugural event and I am so excited they wanted to take that relationship a bit further this year. I love partnering with companies I admire and I've been a huge fan of Whole Foods for quite a long time (at least as early as I started grocery shopping by myself!). Living a conscious, healthy lifestyle is incredibly important to me and Whole Foods embodies what I stand for. They have asked us to lead a kids creative activity each month at their Pearl Street location in Boulder, and as you know, we'd love for the adults to jump in as well! We'll be doing all sorts of fun crafts ~  inspired by some of our very favorite kid craft bloggers. Stay tuned for more details each month. We can't wait to get creative with the kiddos and hopefully the adults too. Everyone deserves a little time to play! :)

P.S. A little sneak peek at one of the crafts ~ natural stamping. Can you guess where this came from?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

our newest supporters!

We are thrilled to announce Janome & Sew Vac of Boulder as our newest Makerie sponsors! They are generously donating machines for every student in the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas and Lisette A-line Dress workshops, as well as several for the Creative Character class. As a super fun added bonus, the machines will be for sale at a discounted rate following the Makerie so if you've had your eye on one of their wonderful machines, April might be the perfect chance to take one home. Thank you dearly to Janome & Sew Vac of Boulder for their unbelievable support!

Monday, October 3, 2011

pinch me please

We have some pretty exciting news to share over here. The Makerie is going to be featured in a book! Creative Pilgrimage is Jenny Doh's latest title ~ featuring superb art projects with stunning photography by 14 incredible artists and inspiring behind-the-scenes look into some of the most celebrated art gatherings across the nation. Pinch me please! It is SUCH an honor to be in the company of these outstanding artists and events I admire so very much. One of my favorite ways that Jenny describes the book is this.... "to help all of us realize that the time will never be perfect, but the time will always be now to embark on creative pilgrimages big and small." The book will be released on January 1, 2012 and is now available for pre-order at Amazon or you can reserve a signed copy directly from Crescendoh here (that comes with a sweet little free gift!).

Speaking of Jenny, I had the absolute honor of guest curating at Crescendoh last week and was asked to write an Art Saves story to go along with that. I have been an avid reader of the wonderful words other Art Saves authors have shared over the past year and have been incredibly inspired and touched by their countless, powerful stories. So you can imagine that when Jenny asked me to be a part of her special series, I couldn't wait to share the gifts that creativity has brought to my life too. Writing the words to my story validated the essential nature of honoring my passions, especially in and amongst the busy, beautiful life of motherhood. If you are interested, you are welcome to read my words and thoughts here.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Jenny and her team for believing in our creative gathering enough to be part of this beautiful book and for inviting me to become part of the awesome creative world she has created at Crescendoh. If you want to meet this fabulous woman in person, you should really come take her Crochetologie class at the Makerie this coming spring. It's bound to be a day filled to the brim with inspiration, laughter and love.

Friday, September 30, 2011

meetup in denver!

Hi friends! We are super excited to be part of the last fantastic Horseshoe Market of the season. I have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know the founders, Amy and Doug, over the past year and have loved being inspired by what they have created in their neighborhood. The market is always full of such fabulous energy and they add the most special ideas (not to mention great food vendors!) to an already amazing market. We are teaming up with an outstanding organization, the Denver Handmade Alliance, to host our first Denver meetup. So bring a craft to work on, get expert knitting advice by the uber-talented Kate or just come by to say hello. We'd love to meet you there! xo

Friday, September 9, 2011

here we go!

It is such an honor to be able to present our 2012 Makerie! We are incredibly thrilled to be back for our second year and I can't tell you how excited I am with the workshops our amazing teachers have put together for you. With the return of the fabulous Flora Bowley (who will be teaching a two-day in-depth workshop and is writing her first book!) and the amazing Alessandra Cave (leading phenomenal photography workshops and is an absolute inspiration to simply spend the day with), combined with the addition of five brand new inspiring classes and teachers ~ you are really in for a treat this year!

The lovely Liesl Gibson, founder of Oliver + S, brings a world of sewing and teaching experience into the classroom with two wonderful workshops. Liesl delivers a fresh, modern approach to pattern design ~ just take a look at her darling new sewing book! You could spend a day on a creative crochet journey with the sensational Jenny Doh of Crescendoh, whose mission is to connect the creative passion of the individual and build an authentic community of like-minded souls. Don't we love that? Creative Thursday founder Marisa Anne will be teaching students the art of making a creative character and how to use embroidery to design a 'stitched painting.' Marisa is a passionate advocate of living your creative dreams and I can assure you her wonderful words of wisdom will be woven into her workshops. And if you're anything like me and share a love for beautiful paper and a handwritten note, you will have the chance to spend a delightful day learning the historical art of letterpress. You will create your own stationery in the charming BirdDog Press studio with the ever-inspiring Allison Bozeman leading you through her printing process (and boy, does she have an eye for design!). Rounding out our final class offerings, the adorable Aran Goyoaga of the award-winning food blog Cannelle et Vanille, will be teaching her unique (and gorgeous!) food styling tips and food photography techniques. Her first cookbook is in the works!

But wait... that's not all! We have some brand new ideas we'll be incorporating into the retreat weekend we think you'll love, and those wonderful little details will unfold as we get closer to April.

And to top it all off, Fancy Tiger will be back with their cozy cabin pop-up shop and Firefly Handmade will culminate the weekend with another splendid market, celebrating the love of creativity and the world of handmade.

So here we go! We can't wait and believe more and more how good creativity is for the soul. Well go on now... take a peek at what we have in store for 2012. We think you just might find some things that make your heart sing!


p.s. If you would like to read a bit about last year's event, you can find some very kind words here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


image via the Kinfolk web site

I had to share this new online magazine discovery ~ Kinfolk Magazine. I'm completely smitten with absolutely everything about it. Go on now... see for yourself!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

creative coffee with the movable letterpress truck!

Save the Date for Thursday, August 9! Boulder, Inspired will be kicking off the Creative Coffee series, designed to bring our creative community together by sharing ideas, inspiration and conversation. The Movable Type Truck is on a cross-country adventure, bringing mobile letterpress to our town! Come check out the delivery truck, turned letterpress workshop, and learn to print the old fashioned way. This FREE event will be held at the Common Threads parking lot and is open to anyone interested in being part of our creative community. Come spend the morning celebrating the timeless art of letterpress, along with tasty treats and coffee by Tee & Cakes for purchase from our beloved local bakery Tee & Cakes. You can RSVP right here. Can’t wait to see you there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

a not so big life

Summer is in full swing over here and I've been spending a lot less time online. I miss the constant inspiration and feeling like I'm up-to-date on things, but honestly ~ it's been quite refreshing to just shut off the computer and slow down! It also has me thinking a lot (& frankly struggling!) about how to find the balance of being in the online world and the value of turning it off. I am the first to admit, I love what the internet offers ~ it's ability to connect like-minded people, the instantaneous resources available, the beautiful blogs, a source of new inspiration, the sharing of ideas and favorite finds, etc... But at the same time, hours go by in a flash. In an era where time is a most precious commodity, the internet can be quite a culprit in taking it away. It worries me how fast paced all of our lives seem to be these days and the enormous amount of information we are constantly being fed. How does one stay present with the never-ending flood of communication we both send and receive ~ emails, text messages, facebook, twitter, blog posts, etc...? Does anyone write a handwritten letter anymore,  just because? Are our children going to know how to have a conversation in person or make a friend not on facebook? This is what I've been contemplating ~ a lot ~ and I think a huge part of why I love making anything with my own two hands. It slows me down and always brings me back to the present moment.

It feels serendipitous that I stumbled upon this little book this summer, as finding the balance of the online and real world is constantly on my mind. I've only read the first few chapters ~ finding myself hanging onto practically every word Sarah Susanka says and wholeheartedly agreeing with the profound (yet simple) wisdom she has to share. I do confess, it had me at the cover and tagline ~ The Not So Big Life ~ Making Room for What Matters Most. Sarah's philosophy is "that anyone can wake up from an overstuffed life to make room for what we long to have time for. It's possible to start living a life of full, rich, vivid moments where everything that happens to us is experienced fully, and where spirit and connection have room to thrive." If this is what living a Not So Big Life means, well then sign me up because I couldn't think of a more beautiful way to be in this world.

Friday, July 15, 2011

we heart tee & cakes

What a fabulous first Makerie Meetup we had at Tee & Cakes! Our venue couldn't have been more perfect and it was really wonderful to see some familiar faces and meet some fantastic new people too. There was some completely adorable crafting going on ~ lots of cute little flag garland, fabric flowers & even a bow tie cake by Alli (above) ~ all reusable (which we love). Tee & Cakes ~ the most generous host ~ made such delectable cupcakes and mini cakes to send home with everyone (which are SO yummy!) to go with their handmade treat toppers. On top of that, they gifted us their donation jar to go towards a Makerie scholarship for next year. How awesome is that? There was such a happy energy in the air & it was great fun to witness the lovely creativity in one room. I loved getting to talk to people in person. With much of our lives online, it always feels so nice to have a face to face conversation and give someone a real hug. We did get quite a few questions about next year and who the teachers will be. We're working on that & will be super excited to announce this in September. Stay tuned! : )

Thanks so much to everyone who came out last night to our meetup and to Tee & Cakes for being the most fabulous host! If you missed it, don't worry, we'll be planning more. Make sure you are signed up for our mailing list (here) so you can keep up with the latest happenings at the Makerie.

Have a happy weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

our first makerie meetup

We are having our first Makerie Meetup ~ a Sweets Styling Summer Eve ~ in a few weeks! I am so grateful to Tee & Cakes, the most adorable cupcake shop in town, for partnering with us to host our first event. There will be cupcake decorating, crafting of special little treat toppers from fabric scraps (bring your favorites!), good music & mingling. What more do we need really for a fantastic, fun night out? It's wonderful connecting with everyone online, but at the end of the day, nothing beats spending time together. So if you are in the area, come to Tee & Cakes on Thursday, July 14th from 6 - 9 pm. The event is free, but please RSVP (here) so we have an idea of how many people to expect. Really hope you can make it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

these days you can find me...

~ thinking about new ideas for the Makerie ~

~ having as many picnics as possible! ~

~ loving our CSA ~

~ riding bikes everywhere (& getting a good workout pulling my two little ones in the chariot!) ~

~ wishing we had a charming bedroom in an attic ~

~ reading through amazing Makerie workshop proposals for 2012 ~

~ planning hiking date nights with my handsome hubby ~

~ trying to slow down the pace of our life ~

~ madly making recipes from Super Natural Everyday ~

~ searching every day for that sweet spot of life balance & realizing it's a constant state of adjustment ~

~ working on a Blurb book full of my little guy's kindergarten stories ~

~ getting excited about an upcoming book we're going to be in (still pinching myself!) ~

~ making some headway on a sweet Debbie Bliss sweater pattern for my soon-to-be-born niece ~

~ feeling so lucky for the dearest friends in my life ~

~ cooking homemade meals with love ~

~ realizing the power, possibilities & limitations of just being one person ~

~ creating a summer music playlist ~

~ spending every Monday evening we can at the Meadow Music concerts at Chautauqua ~

~ happy to be here posting ~

~ wishing you lots of happy sunshine this summer! ~


Friday, May 27, 2011

summer is here!

And this is where you will find us all summer long! Happy Sunshine!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

goodie bag gratefulness

photo by Linda Winski

I wanted to give a huge shout out to all of the amazing companies that participated in our wonderful goodie bags this year, and another special thank you to Kate & Mo for their wonderful work on this project! What a terrific treat you all gave to our participants.

Thank you SO much!!


Cloud Nine
Colorado Chautauqua
Cool Mom Picks
Dandy Social Club
Dish Gourmet
Edible Front Range
Fancy Tiger
Fiona's Granola
Firefly Handmade
Flora Bowley
Gypsy Wools
Hellimae's Caramels
Interweave Publications
Julia Vandenover
MM Local
The Nugget Denver
Open Studios
Petite Purls
Savory Spice Shop
Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins
Stefanie Japel
Sunset Magazine
Sunshine Yarns
Whole Foods

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a leap of faith

photo by Linda Winski

Well I’ve had over two weeks to think about this post and I’m still having a hard time figuring out where to begin! The Makerie was truly one of the most special weekends I’ve ever had. It was filled with so much goodness from every corner and I still can’t get over the absolutely incredible group of people that gathered in Boulder for our very first event. I’m still pinching myself. Just one amazing person after another showed up and truly brought their best, beautiful selves. The Makerie was really what I had imagined and hoped it would be ~ a beautiful setting, inspiring, loving teachers, absolutely amazing sponsors, wonderful workshops, healthy food, amy krouse rosenthal, our very own craft boutique, and an incredible handmade market to top off the weekend. I just don’t know how to thank everyone enough for the magnificent moments you all created.

In thinking about this post, I wanted to back up a little and share a bit more of how the Makerie came to be. It was truly wonderful work, but certainly no easy feat. It was a roller coaster ride of excitement, fear, faith, joy, disappointment, trust, self-doubt, etc., and lots and lots of dreaming along the way. I have always been a dreamer, and I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve had that I never followed through on, only to leave me guessing, 'What might have happened if I would have tried that?’ I’ll never know! Nothing excites me more than witnessing someone following their dreams. For so long, I have always been the one on the sidelines wishing I could follow my dreams too, but was never sure how to find the courage to do so. With each idea I had, it was always so much easier to come up with a million excuses for why not to do it. It wasn’t the right time, or it wouldn’t work because of ‘this’ or ‘that.' Somehow the Makerie was different. I had this nagging little voice that wouldn’t go away with this one. I had created the Makerie in my mind already (hundreds of times), and I just needed that little push to finally try. I can’t explain it, and there was not an ‘aha’ moment the pushed me forward, but merely a tug at my heart that could not be ignored. Somewhere I found a little fire to give this whole thing a go. Sure, I got the green light from many people I love and respect telling me I should do it, and the affirmations were lovely and felt really good, but at the end of day, I could not have done this unless I truly was the one making the ultimate decision to move forward. Was this an ideal time in our family for me to do this? Not really (but is it ever?). Did I have every piece in place when we announced the event date? Not even close. When we opened up registration, did my heart skip a beat when someone signed up? Every single time.

The reason I am sharing all of this with you is to tell you it's possible! So many things are possible when you listen to your heart and maybe by sharing a little part of my story, you will be inspired to try something you’ve always wanted to do too! I’m an everyday person just like you, who decided to take a leap of faith. Maybe this will encourage you to do the same? I have grown in so many ways through the process of planning the Makerie, and I know this event and the people I meet through it will continue to teach me lesson after lesson. I appreciate personal growth so much and am truly grateful to the Makerie for being a platfrom to help me learn invaluable things about life.

Your letters and emails and beautiful words have meant the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for each and every one of them. Knowing that the Makerie experience was a gift to you is the greatest gift of all to me. That's the heart behind why I started it and the motivation to continue to grow it so we can give more people the precious gift of time and play.

It is my belief that if we can all find something we love, and actually do what we love, we will have a world filled with happy people. I love the sound of that.

With Love,

p.s. If you’d like more details about the 2011 Makerie, there have been beautiful blog posts written about the event that you can peek at right here under 'kind words.'

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

getting my thoughts together...

photo by my wonderful mom

I have so much I want to share about Makerie weekend and our inaugural event, but it's taking me some time to get my thoughts together and the words on paper. Thank you for your patience ~ a post is coming soon!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

a grateful day!

What an amazing day of making we had on Saturday! We made all kinds of things for Makerie weekend with the loveliest group of people. I'm still in awe of how lucky I am to have such awesome peeps willing to lend a hand ~ & a creative one to boot! I just could not be more grateful to the fantastic folks who generously gave their time & talents to Makerie projects this weekend. Wait 'til you see the love they all put into them! From the very beginning stages of planning the Makerie, I've always said the most magical part was the wonderful creative community it seemed to be bringing together. And what another perfect example of this.

Is this really all happening this coming weekend?!? Pinch me please.

Friday, March 18, 2011

we were inspired

I love Kristin's wood assemblage work!

Wednesday night kicked off our brand new series of creative conversations in Boulder. An awesome speaker, a fabulous new home at Design within Reach for our Apartment Therapy Design Evenings, super silly icebreaker nametags (i.e. if you build ________, it will come) and a gathering of over 35 creative souls ~ I have to say it was a pretty exciting night! Kristin's talk centered around living a creative life ~ taking risks, building your creative community, remembering to be a kid again and play (which really hit home from me with the Makerie being right around the corner!), and the fun and power of collaboration. She is living her creative dream and inspired us all to do the same.

The whole idea behind this series is to build a community of creatives that can share their passions, ideas and inspiration. We are really excited for Boulder to embrace this idea and can't wait to continue the creative conversations!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

life is like a basketball game...

grip it!

Please read these beautiful words of wisdom by Ms. Paris Anne Rosenthal (Amy's daughter), age 13. How does she know all of this at her sweet, young age?

Grip it

Life is a basketball game. You cannot go through it without other people. The time gradually runs out, so take as many chances as you can and take advantage of the precious minutes. Do not rush or wish away the time. Sometimes you hit the right spot, and sometimes you don’t. Not every shot or every day is the best. A coach is someone you look up to in life. There is always someone to guide you and teach you new things. Always try your best. Work with others and share the ball. Share your glory, share your generosity, share your wisdom, share your humor, share. But also be greedy sometimes. Take shots; don’t constantly pass. Alone time and individuality is essential and vital. Use the losses, the air balls, the complete misses, and failures as ways to learn and be better next time. Bond. Take time to stop and simply reflect. Love, travel, laugh, study, learn, think. Compliment someone. Wear a uniform. Literally? No. But have your own number that stands out in the crowd. Be yourself. Have your own personality and build an identity. Face it, you can’t have someone else’s title or jersey number, so cherish your own. Grip the basketball firmly, and do the same with your life. Make sure you know what you want and how to ask for it. Jump high for the ball, jump and go over the top. Assist. Make passes, and help other people in life. Give more than you receive. Do at least one active un-bargaining service or duty each week. If others don’t recognize your deeds or humane actions, keep doing them anyway. Continue giving without receiving. Watching others’ glory can be hard, but the best thing to do is just cheer for them. Treat them how you would want to be treated; support. As the time diminishes, kick the switch up a notch, give in the fuel, and go for your dreams and goals before you regret anything.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

boulder, inpsired.

I wanted to introduce you to a brand new Boulder initiative a trio of us are starting. Meet Boulder, Inpsired ~ a series of creative conversations we will be hosting once a month to bring community to creatives. We will alternate months with Creative Coffees (inspired by Swiss Miss and her Creative Mornings) and Apartment Therapy Design Evenings (so excited to be working with them!), and can't wait to get started!

Each event will feature a creative speaker and hopefully spark conversation around the featured topic. These meet ups are designed for anyone (yes, that means you!) who is interested in creativity at any level, and did we mention they will be free?

We have a great list of speaker ideas brewing, but are always open to and welcome your suggestions. So mark your calendars for the very first Apartment Therapy Design Evening in Boulder! (rsvp here)

Date:   Wednesday, March 16  (6 pm)
Place:  Design within Reach
Speaker: the incredible local assemblage artist Kristin FitzGerrell of Studio 22
Topic:  the process & passion of living creative lives

Join us, won't you?

P.S. While we are on the topic of conversation, have you seen what TED just launched? Brilliant.

P.S.S. Don't forget to become a Boulder, Inspired fan on facebook too!

Friday, March 4, 2011

day packages!

you could learn how to make cute shoes!
We are so excited to announce a brand new Day Package option for Makerie weekend for those special spots we still have open in our classes! First come, first serve so please don't delay.

The Day Package will include:

(1) all day workshop
(1) lunch
(1) goodie bag
(1) invitation to the Opening Ceremony

We do hope you can join us!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

beckoning the lovely....

I am really (REALLY!) honored to share with you that the abundantly inspiring Amy Krouse Rosenthal is going to be part of the inaugural Makerie (and a big wonderful thank you to Old Glory Antiques for their help in supporting this!). Several years ago, I watched the Beckoning of Lovely for the very first time. It warmed my heart to no end, and yes, even brought tears to my eyes. I loved Amy's vision so much ~ her inclusiveness ~ her incredibly kind spirit ~ and the thoughtfulness that went into this entire project. It spoke so beautifully to the everyday person and left me thinking... why can't our world be just like the Beckoning of Lovely? Is it so difficult to be kind to each other? Does it really take that much to go out of your way to make someone's day? Why can't we make do with what we already have? Although this video featured the community that gathered in Millennium Park, it spoke volumes to me about our entire universe and the power we all have to simply make it a better place.

I have watched the Beckoning of Lovely countless times, shared it with everyone I know, and even almost sent in some 'things I made' for the chance to be part of the film.

This is what happened on 9/9/09...

and latest evolution of the film on 10/10/10....

Every lovely message in Amy's films leaves quite an impression on me, and always has me asking myself, "How can I be a better participant in our world?" To be frankly honest, when I began envisioning the Makerie, I had this tiny wish of her somehow being a part of it. I had no idea how, but our visions seemed so aligned with how I pictured the Makerie ~ celebrating the everyday person, inspiring people to be the best they can be and the ultimate takeaway...

"make the most of your time here"

Amy is a person who likes to make things.

Some things she likes to make:
Children's books.
Grown-up books.
Short films.
TED Talks.
Connections with the universe.
Something out of nothing.

And one more thing to add is that she will be making the coolest, live Skype presentation around just for us! In keeping with the messages in the Beckoning of Lovely, her talk will be called:


I just couldn't think of a better person to help kick-off the Makerie than Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I am humbled, honored & seriously still pinching myself that this little dream I had has actually come true. I just know you will treasure everything she has to share.

Thank you Amy, from the bottom of my heart, for truly believing in what we are creating here and for your thoughtful, innovative idea of how to be part of our inaugural event. It means more to me than you will ever know!

P.S. Amy is leading the most incredible PUBLIC heART project at TEDActive this week. You must go & see!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the kind-hearted katherine sanz

We are so proud to have one of very own local jewelry designer gems teaching at the Makerie! Katherine Sanz is a second generation artist who earned her Fine Art degree from the University of Colorado. What I love about her jewelry is that it is meant to be worn, and each Moonspun piece is lovingly handcrafted in Boulder. Ethically sourced, recycled, and recklessly beautiful materials are used in every one-of-a-kind piece. (I love that!) It is important to her that the beauty of the jewelry accentuate the beauty of the wearer and reflects a harmony between meaning and design. What I love equally as much as her jewelry pieces is Katherine's kind-hearted spirit. What a treat for those of you that will be taking her workshops! Come get to know her a bit more below.


What do you value most in other people?
Honesty. And the creativity, love and humor that naturally pours from their beautiful honest hearts.

If you could start your own restaurant, what would it be?
Breakfast for dinner

Favorite thing to eat for breakfast.
Sunday morning pancakes with my sweet. He makes the best blueberry!

What color shoes are you wearing right now?
Tall brown boots.

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?
I love lots of circus tricks and practice fire poi, hula hoop and aerial fabrics.

Do you like to sing in the shower?
Yes. In my mind, I sound like Gillian Welch mixed with Sarah Siskind, with a dash of Bjork. In real life, it's probably a good thing I keep it to the shower!

Your true indulgence.
Chocolate or red wine... or both!

If you could give the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Love with your whole heart.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

open knitting lab!

Knitting is a wonderful, healing, calming craft, and we are so excited to share with you that we are now offering a workshop called Open Knitting Lab! This class has taken the place of Shape It, as we wanted to offer a knitting day that was open to all levels of experience. All you need is a pair of knitting needles and some yarn, or you could even just wait until Makerie weekend to get your supplies at Fancy Tiger's pop-up shop on site (won't that be cool?). Whether you've always wanted to learn how to knit or you are a more experienced knitter wanting to give a brand new technique a whirl, this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out under the loving guidance of this phenomenal teacher!

Friday, February 18, 2011

a little note from sweet sara

Our super sweet scholarship winner ~ Sara Guiffre

Throughout my childhood, my parents brought me to many Grateful Dead and Phish concerts and I would watch all of these beautiful women walking around in patchwork skirts. When I was in high school, I realized I couldn’t afford to buy one of those skirts, so I started learning how to sew. 

More recently I found the fabulous Fancy Tiger and my love for sewing was reignited. With all of those fabulous fabrics, how could I not be inspired?! I took a class at Fancy Tiger and a few months later, came home to a brand new sewing machine my boyfriend bought me for my birthday! Luckily I had great friendships that have supported my habit and hobby all along the way.

When I found out about The Makerie I was more than excited, but I absolutely knew I couldn’t make the financial commitment at this time. I loved the idea of spending a week with others that shared the same interest and passion for creating and learning. I was blown away when my roommate came home on Valentine’s Day (when I happened to be fairly sick) and told me I had won the scholarship to the retreat! I half didn’t believe him, since I was feverish and all.

Being able to express myself through sewing and make something with my own two hands is an incredible feeling. I can’t wait to hear this same passion from others while I attend the retreat. Not only am I blown away by the classes I’ll be able to take, but I am eager to meet new people, hear new ideas and share my passion with others.

Much Thanks!

Sara Guiffre

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

our schloarship winner!


We are SO proud and excited to announce the (very first ever)
2011 Makerie scholarship winner!


Sara Guiffre 


Sara's third party nomination spoke so clearly about her incredible generous spirit, and how she has dedicated her personal life to serving others less fortunate. She has endured much more than the average person and her love for creativity has helped her persevere. In just one conversation with Sara, her genuineness and positive attitude simply shined. The quote at the bottom of her emails epitomizes what she is all about:

"Just make yourself lovely, there is nothing you can do about the storm."

What a beautiful way to approach life! A most heartfelt congratulations to Sara. We are so happy to have you at the Makerie this year and can't wait to meet you in person!

Thank you so much to every single person who applied for the scholarship and for sharing your heart-warming stories. I am already trying to think of ways to add more scholarships for next year! Here's to Old Glory Antiques & Common Threads for making the scholarship possible this year. Your support means the world.


Friday, February 11, 2011

sweet candy boxes

What a fantastic evening we had making these Valentine candy boxes! I came across this super sweet project last year & tagged it in my special tutorial folder. I was so glad I found it again because it was a lovely little project, perfect for little hands! I absolutely love spending creative time with my kiddos. Not only do I love creating side by side together, but I adore watching them light up with their own ideas and how proud they are of what they make. We used a combination of our own paper patterns we created in illustrator & some of these wonderful ones in red & pink shades (which if you are into cool patterns it's a must for your bookshelf!). Here they are! Are you working on any fun Valentine's Day projects? I'd love to hear about them! ~xo

Monday, February 7, 2011

letterpress class

I was so lucky to attend the letterpress workshop at Birddog Press last Sunday. I love paper ~ beautiful thick paper that feels like velvet in your hands. When I saw that Alli was offering a workshop on creating your own letterpress stationery, well how could a girl with a longtime love affair with letterpress say no? It was a fantastic day of playing with wood type letters, learning a brand new creative skill, and a wonderful place to share ideas and inspiration with like-minded people.

Not only did I leave the workshop with a set of stationery I designed myself, but ended the day with a huge reaffirmation of why I wanted to create the Makerie. Spending the day with this wonderful little community, getting lost in creativity, just filled me to the brim. It's one of the best things you can do for yourself. Period. Creativity helps people find balance in their lives. It fills them up in magical ways. And although it may be a bit disguised, it's one of the most beautiful forms of self care there is.

Friday, February 4, 2011

first friday at fancy tiger!

We are so excited to be part of First Friday tonight at our very favorite local crafting boutique. Fancy Tiger is at the forefront of the modern handmade movement in Colorado, and we are super thrilled (& quite honored as well!) to be partnering with them on the Makerie. (more details on that later!)

But for now, won't you come join us at this adorable, 'makes you want to make everything' shop in Denver this evening? Stefanie will be there with a sneak peek of her knitting embellishment class she is offering at the Makerie. Did we mention wine & treats too?

Come join us ~ won't you?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

love mae

(photo credit love mae)

I completely adore this sweet, sweet Australian company. I have been eyeing their reusable fabric (yes, fabric!) wall stickers for quite some time now, and just wanted to share this cuteness with you. I have a feeling these (or these) may end up on my kiddo's walls soon! : )

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

old glory antique love

We wanted to introduce our newest, sweetest supporter ~ Old Glory Antiques - urban home and design for Denver. Holly's boutique is always warm and inviting, where you will find a fresh mix of old and new combined in unexpected ways. I am just thrilled that Holly and I have the chance to collaborate together, as she is filled with such fabulous ideas and we have some pretty fun things up our sleeves! I really loved reading about how she started her creative journey, and you could too right here.

If you like cupcakes (or your loved ones do!) and love a sweet sale, then do come by Old Glory Antiques on Saturday, February 12 from 2 -4 pm. We will have DIY cupcake decorating and everything in the store will be 15% off. How lucky are we that it just happens to be customer appreciation weekend too!

We are incredibly grateful for Holly's generous sponsorship of the Makerie, including supporting our very first scholarship, and can't thank her enough for her sincere belief in this whole idea. SO happy to have Old Glory Antiques on board! Yippee!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

the inspiration behind the makerie

a family hike at Chautauqua Park (photo by my mom)

In June 2009, I attended my first creative retreat and it was seriously, one of the best experiences I have ever had. I went by myself ~ didn't know a soul ~ and had the time of my life. Not only did I take the most amazing creative classes designed for anyone, but came home with the most genuine friends, a huge amount of inspiration and a renewed spirit. This was the first thing I had truly done for myself since having my two little ones. At first I felt guilty and selfish for taking a few days out of our busy lives to go, but then I realized how terribly important it was to have a little time and space to just be me again ~ something I had lost a bit along the way with the intensity and beauty of being a full-time mom (which please read ~ I love more than anything in the world!). I learned so many things that weekend ~ so many things:

* how important it is to honor who you are and what you love to do

* the power of being in a like-minded community

* that you can have your own thing and still be a great mom (in fact, I found I was a better mom because of that!)

* how honoring and exploring your creative side brings out the best in everyone

* to listen to your heart

When I came home, I shared this magical experience with all my friends and family, and they all wanted to go. So I told them I would find a place in Colorado a little closer to home and we would all go. I searched and searched for something similar and couldn't believe that there was nothing like this in our majestic Rocky Mountains. How could that be? There must be a place like this here! And maybe I should start one? In my heart, I knew that I wanted to create a place to give people the opportunity to experience what I did, but in my own backyard that I love so much. I wanted to provide a place where people could step out of their fast-paced, everyday lives, leave technology behind for a few days and reconnect with themselves ~ a space to simply play and feel like a kid again. It does wonders, let me tell you! I still carry the magic I felt from this first retreat, and am eternally grateful to Elizabeth and the courage she had to create Squam Art Workshops. It truly changed my life.

As I approach the endeavor, I am doing so with an open mind and heart, and trust it will evolve as it should. I have cherished the input and support from so many amazing people and feel the greatest power in creating this is the warm and wonderful community it already seems to be bringing together. My greatest hope for the Makerie is that it provides a beautiful energy to all it touches, and that it might inspire someone to follow their dreams too. The Makerie is most certainly a dream come true for me and something I do believe we will all create together. So here we go! Hold on... it's going to be one wonderful, wild ride!