Saturday, March 31, 2012

an unsung hero

I wanted to take a break in the action to recognize someone that often goes uncelebrated ~ my husband Chris. He truly makes the Makerie possible for so many reasons:

~ He works very hard in an extremely busy job to support our family
~ He always has & continues to encourage me to follow my dreams
~ He has supported this whole idea from the very beginning, even when times were tough
~ He takes care of our little ones when I'm working late & often does bedtime all by himself (which is often this time of year!)
~ During this intense planning period, he never complains about my lack of making meals, but instead often makes dinner for me
~ He has to listen to me hem & haw over Makerie decisions ~ over & over again
~ He gets the play by play & always has his practical advice handy
~ His calmness is a saving grace during the stressful stuff that comes along with planning an event of this size
~ He even folds laundry ~ multiple loads at a time!
~ He is the most efficient man I know
~ He even organizes me (along with the kids' rooms, their toys & he even organized my grandma's sewing box once ~ not even kidding)
~ Did you know that when I came home from last year's Makerie, he had not only unpacked the car but had put every single thing away. Can you imagine coming home exhausted to find a totally organized & clean house? What an unexpected gift that was.

I just wanted to thank my husband for all of this and oh so much more behind the scenes that is hard to explain. He is the most positive person I know, does things in such a quiet way and never expects anything. It truly takes a village to put together the Makerie and I would never be able to do it without his constant love and support. I am a quite a lucky lady.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

adoring mollie makes

Mollie Makes ~ living and loving handmade ~ has truly taken the crafting publication world by storm. This UK magazine is just full of lovely projects with an equally beautiful aesthetic. They were so kind to feature us in Issue #9 and we were quite thrilled to be included in such an incredible international publication. For those of you coming to the Makerie, I'm excited to share that they are very generously providing each of you with your own copy. Wait 'til you see it! We have a feeling you just might fall in love. And if that weren't enough, their U.S. distributor is also contributing some 'stitch kits' to the goodie bag and our Cozy Creative Lounge. It will be such a fun, interactive addition! For year-round Mollie Makes goodness, take a peek right here and here for print and digital subscription information. We adore Mollie Makes!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

amazing alex

Alessandra Cave is just full of inspiration ~ every which way you turn. In addition to her genuine loving ways, she brings a wealth of experience from her career in the film industry, her adventurous travels and huge heart into her photography. She beautifully describes how her style reflects what she loves most in life ~ 'people, color, beauty, romance, bohmeian flair and a feeling of wanderlust, all wrapped in a soft light and sunshine glow.' It's not hard to see that she's over the moon in love with capturing images and we are just thrilled to have her back teaching two workshops this year ~ Your Life in Pictures & Shoot Your Craft. I adore our in-person conversations and of the many things I love about Alex, one of my very favorites is how she follows her heart and inspires others to do the same. 

Get to know the sweet, sweet Alex below!


The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I snuggle with my daughter and husband for a few minutes (or a few too many) in bed. I admit that I usually fuss a bit and have a hard time getting up, but once I'm up and with a hot beverage in hand, things begin to flow fast. In fact, mornings turn out to be my most productive time of the day after all.

A fun tidbit people would never know about you?
I studied and danced classical ballet for some 10+ years. Dance was my very first love.

Some favorite ways to relax?
I really love having some alone time to read, daydream, take walks in nature, journal and just wander on my own. Other than that, I really relax the most when I am back in my home country, Brazil. There is something about the laid back culture of just hanging out on the beach all day, chatting with your friends until your jaw locks from laughing so much, dancing forro (a typical dance), listening to bossa nova all night, swimming in warm waters, hiking in a tropical jungle, and eating lots of fresh juicy fruits, that does it for me every single time. Oh and the sunshine! I definitely need to be in warm sunshine to recharge!

What's for dinner?
For today I was thinking salmon, couscous and roasted veggies.

The best advice you’ve received?
Follow your heart. It's a staple, but still, our own head and general outside influence can truly slow things down.

What are you most excited about lately?
Right now I'm really excited about finding my way back to myself again. I have been jotting down several ideas since my daughter was born, and now I'm getting close to bringing some of those to life, such as my first e-course "shoot your craft" and a few book proposals.

A favorite spot you’ve traveled to?
So hard to pick one place only, but I must say that I have magical memories of Thailand back in the day, and especially of a little bay called Hat Tham Phra Nang. That little tiny place is how I'd always envisioned paradise would be like.

What makes you laugh?
My Brazilian friends and their very unique way of joking around and making fun of their own stories. And my daughter, of course, but I would say that with her is more giggling than laughing :)

Your favorite way to make someone smile?
Offer unexpected kindness.

What, in your mind, is a recipe for disaster?
Lack of sleep! No doubt.

Any tricks for finding life balance?
These days I'm trying to stay detached from the idea of balance and focusing more on trying to meet every moment with a bit more gentleness.

If the world ended tomorrow, what would upset you most about the person you didn’t get to become?
I don't think that I could be really upset, because I love the life I've created for myself this far, and I also have the comfort of knowing that I am always trying to move in the direction of my dreams regardless of the end result. I've always thought more in terms of "the journey is the destination" for my life goals anyway. On the other hand, what would make me really sad is if I did not get to see my daughter grow up to be the amazing woman I know she will be. I long for deep long conversations with her...

See! Isn't she amazing? Thank you Alex. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the chautauqua assembly history

the original Boulder Chautauqua

I found it fascinating when I learned about the history of Chautauqua and the ironic significance of what we're doing ~ at one of the few remaining Chautauquas in the country! Although my husband is the history buff in our family, I did love learning about this and thought you might be interested in hearing what it was about too!

Started in the late 1870's, the Chautauqua was the greatest popular educational movement of its times. Hundreds of touring pop-up camps were set up across the nation presenting learning opportunities and cultural enrichment to everyday people. Wonderful orators and teachers of dance, music and the arts lectured and performed in tents and brought inspiration to thousands of people. It's a popular belief that this type of information exchange was the origin of the current popular adult education movement. The original ideals of the Chautauqua were lifelong learning, love of nature, voluntary simplicity and music, oration and the arts. (Yes! It's what we stand for too!) I do believe and feel proud to say that the Makerie is an exciting revival of the historical Chautauqua indeeed.

Monday, March 12, 2012

an inspiring evening indeed

We are just filled to the brim with excitement to tell you that the cherished Jenny Doh will be speaking her beautiful words at our Opening Ceremony at the Makerie this year! Jenny has been an incredible supporter of this event before it even came to be (and yes, she took a chance on us by including us in Creative Pilgrimage before we had even held our first event ~ no pressure there :).  I have had the wonderful chance to share meaningful conversations with Jenny since the inception of our little event and every single time I am left with thought provoking advice and words of wisdom that always seem to stay with me. Our talks are open, heartfelt and honest ~ three of the things I cherish the most. Jenny's resume is quite impressive and extensive, the author of seven books (and counting!) and the former Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing for Somerset Studios, among a plethora of other fabulous accolades. Of the many things I love about Jenny, I adore how she can sum up her resume in one sentence ~ "I'm the head of Crescendoh and I'm crazy about art." Her wealth of experience in our creative community plus her deep understanding of what creativity does for our lives on a personal level is quite a stellar combination, and one that I can't wait to be able to share in such a special way with all of you. She's working on her talk as we speak and I just couldn't imagine a better person to kick-off our event. Thank you Jenny ~ for everything! What a gift you are to the Makerie in oh so many ways.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

a souper swap!

the soup I made from Cannelle et Vanille
*image & copyright by Aran Goyoaga

We held our first Soup Swap for Makerie volunteers and supporters last weekend at Savory Spice Shop ~ the best spice shop around in our opinion. Each person was asked to bring a big pot of their favorite soup, their own bowl & spoon and a smile. We provided fresh bread from Cured (my new local love for bread), drinks & wine (generously donated by Holly), sweet treats (from Aran's blog), jars to fill with soup to take home, and crafty supplies to decorate and label them. I was amazed that everyone brought such a wonderful variety without any pre-planning and we had so much fun walking around the room tasting each one. Not only was it a warm and casual environment, but the people who came brought their kind spirits, an openness that I love and the sweetest desire to be part of the Makerie. I am constantly touched and surprised by how many amazing people want to help and I'm not sure I'll ever get over that. I am forever grateful for this and often don't know how to thank people enough, besides telling them a million and one times over. The Makerie is certainly an evolving event and each and every person involved is helping to shape and define what it is becoming. I have always said that the Makerie is something we're all creating together and I love the community that is forming because of it. To gather together with like-minded souls is a sacred part of what the Makerie means and it is one of the most rewarding parts of this endeavoer. When we have events like the Soup Swap, I'm reminded once again why I'm doing this and how much it not only means to me, but how many people are craving a loving, creative community in their lives too. I've been wanting to create an event just for our incredible volunteers and supporters and I think we found our nitch. In fact, the Soup Swap worked so well that we plan on making this an annual winter event! Special thanks to Laura & Kara for their amazing help in organizing our very first one. We already can't wait for next year!

p.s. Kara put together an awesome soup recipe booklet from the Soup Swap and thought it would be fun to share it with you too!

p.s.s. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us here. We'd of course love to have you!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

day packages are here!

We are thrilled to announce our Day Package option for Makerie weekend for those few very special spots we have in our classes! We truly want to make our event open to as many people as we can. 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!