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!