Thursday, November 29, 2012

two hands paperie ~ a paper love affair

We are super excited to announce that Two Hands Paperie will be a sponsor of the Makerie this year, and in particular, the Crafting Content workshops with Janine Vangool of UPPERCASE! Part of the class will involve making handmade books about the Makerie weekend and Two Hands Paperie will be donating the gorgeous specialty papers we'll be using. It's incredibly generous and I feel so lucky that this gem of a shop is right here in our backyard. Every time I make a trip to their beautiful boutique, I am inspired in a million new ways and often get stuck there dreaming of all the things I could do with their extraordinary variety of global paper products, unique art supplies and special notions. Two Hands Paperie is certainly a Boulder establishment and the art of paper clearly their passion. We are thrilled to be working together for the very first time and are immensely grateful for their support. So if you have a paper love affair like we do, this is one special shop not to miss! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

meet jenny hart, the embroideress behind sublime stitching!

photo by kenneth b gal

We are giddy with excitement to welcome Jenny Hart as a teacher for Makerie Sewing weekend! Jenny is known for her extraordinary artwork in hand embroidery and for her company, Sublime Stitchingthat has continually led the way in embroidery patterns, kits, textiles and education. Hand embroidery is fresh and exciting to a new generation of makers and we simply can't get enough of the abundant creativity that Jenny shares with the world. Did you know that she's stitched numerous portraits of famous people and even has a permanent embroidered piece in the Smithsonian American Art Museum? There is something very peaceful and reflective when you take needle and thread (or floss) to a stretched out piece of linen or fabric and bring a printed design to life. Students in Jenny's class, Illuminated Embroidery, are certainly in for a very special treat, as they will be stitching up their favorite sayings or quotes with Jenny's patterns and guidance for hand-lettering. Surely the embroidered creations that will come out of her classes will be wall-hanging worthy and have a permanent place in many homes. 

Meet the sensational Jenny below!


What is your favorite food obsession right now?
Mint chocolate chip ice-cream bars.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist.

What's for breakfast?
Breakfast tacos!

A wish that came true.
Having a solo show in Paris, which I wished for, and having my work in the Smithsonian, which I never dared wish for.

What risk are you glad you took?
Launching Sublime Stitching.

If you could learn a creative skill other than your profession, what would it be?
Leather tooling.

A favorite gift you’ve received.
It's a secret.

A condiment you love.
Sweet BBQ Sauce!

What book do you keep on your coffee table?
A collection of Krazy Kat by George Herriman.

What you love most about what you do.
The freedom and independence.

The most challenging or difficult part about what you do.
Too much freedom and independence! It can be overwhelming to prioritize and know what is best.

_________ is at the top of my inspiration library.
The Drawings of Bruno Schulz

Any tricks for finding life balance?
Keep searching and don’t stop because balance always tips.

Any trade secrets/words of wisdom you’d like to divulge?
Anyone who appears to have "made it" is still working ten times harder at continuing their success than you may realize.


Thanks Jenny!

Friday, November 23, 2012

shopping small!

Small Business Saturday ~  it's brilliant and it's tomorrow, Saturday, November 24 ~ a day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to support our local business loves. We adore small businesses, especially handmade ones, oh so much. It's a pure joy to get to know their owners and I've always admired the passion they put into everything, as well as the heart they pour into their community. Small Business Saturday celebrates and supports the shops and businesses we cherish, owned by our friends and neighbors so we'd like to encourage everyone to SHOP SMALL tomorrow and reward those small business owners. After all, they are helping our economy to thrive by creating local jobs and wonderful opportunities for their customers to buy fabulous things locally. So here's to shopping small! We'll be there right along side you.


p.s. In case you were interested shopping small with us, we offer gift certificates for any amount!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

say hello to the adorable elke!

We are immensely delighted that one of our incredible past participants (for two years in a row), Elke Bergeron, will be joining Makerie weekend as a teacher this year! Elke comes to us right from our own backyard of Boulder, but has spent 10 years working as a designer in the fashion industry in New York City. All of her designs are handmade, modern and fabulous and very much reflect her beautiful creative spirit. We love that she says, "the best part about what I do is that I get to play all day creating things and there is no one telling me what ‘direction’ I should be going in. Every found object takes on a new life and you never know where it will lead you." This year, Elke will be teaching students how to make Modern Leather Accessories with everyday materials and we can assure you that participants will leave her workshops with some incredible pieces of their own!

Get to know the adorable Elke below.


What is your favorite food obsession right now?
The whole "chocolate, caramel & salt" combination is incredibly tempting & I generally cave in.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist. I don't think I actually thought what kind as long as I could make art.

What's for breakfast?
Kashi with lots of fruit & a nice spoonful of Noosa yogurt on top with a hot cup of coffee.

A wish that came true.
Being asked to be a teacher at the Makerie! When I went to the first Makerie I thought, "Now THIS would be a great job!"

A favorite gift you received.
An old rusty, beautiful, antique metal bucket that says "Slickery Axel Grease." It is truly unique & it's my favorite color!

A condiment you love.
Does truffle salt count? 

What you love most about what you do.
I like being my own boss. I get to change my mind about product without anyone telling me I'm going in the "wrong" direction. I truly get to make what I love. I also can't imagine not making things by hand. It is so satisfying to see the progress and differences when something is made individually one at a time.

The most challenging or difficult thing about what you do.
When you make something by hand, there are so many details. Even in something that may look so simple. Sometimes I have a hard time when I get to the end of a project and I still have to put on the labels or something. I also have a REALLY hard time with repetition and making the same thing over and over in the same fabric. That is probably why I specialize in "One of a Kind" & rarely make more than two in any given fabric/style.

______ is at the top of my inspiration library.
Vintage stores!

Any tricks for finding life balance?
Flexibility. Each day for me can be a different schedule so I sort it out in the beginning of the week and plan goals that need to be done by the end of the week. I try to work as much as I can when the kids are in school and be available to my family in the afternoons. If I keep that in mind I actually get quite a bit done without feeling that I'm sacrificing any one thing to much. I also find about an hour, early every morning to hike with the dog. That sets the right tone for the rest of the day.

Any trade secrets/words of wisdom you'd like to divulge?
Surround yourself with encouraging, positive friends & partners. Life is too short for pessimism. Anything is possible.


Thanks Elke!

Monday, November 19, 2012

we just turned two!

It's really hard to believe it's been two years since we launched the Makerie! Our second anniversary was last week (November 11) so I'm a little late in sharing this, but didn't want it to slip by without a gigantic thank you to each & every person, organization and entity that has been a part of this journey so far. I am grateful beyond belief for the gifts and growth I continue to gain from this experience, for learning to listen to my heart, and most of all ~ for the beautiful new friends in this incredible creative community I continue to make. At the end of day, it really is the amazing people that have made the Makerie come to life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this dream come true for me which will hopefully inspire many others to go after their dreams too.

Lots of Love~
the Makerie

Friday, November 16, 2012

meet the fantastic french general founder ~ kaari meng

We've long admired the thoughtfully curated French General, their amazing array of gorgeous fabrics and products, and of course its beautiful founder ~ Kaari Meng. Kaari's aesthetic is certainly one we love, inspired by the rural South of France. We feel incredilby honored that she'll be traveling to Boulder in April to teach her uber popular Natural Plant Dyeing workshop at this year's Makerie Sewing. Participants are in for such a treat, learning to create beautiful hand-dyed textiles that can be used in a gazillion ways. 

It was really fun to get to know Kaari through our little interview and loved all of her answers to our questions, especially her trade secret! Read on to get to know the wonderful Kaari.


What is your favorite food obsession right now?
My favorite food obsession right now is the chopped salad....and what I can put into it...can I put anything into it as long as it is chopped?  It is a constant experiment and I like the challenge.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up - and the funny thing is...I feel like on some level I have become one ~ I teach crafts!

What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is a cup of Earl Grey tea with milk and toast with honey.

A wish that came true.
I also wanted to be a designer when I grew up ~ and that wish came true!

What risk are you glad that you took?
I am glad I took the risk of leaving the jewelry business behind to pursue other creative interests and start French General.

If you could learn a creative skill other than your profession, what would it be?
I would love to weave rugs in New Mexico year round or at least in the Fall every year.

A favorite gift you've received.
One of my favorite gifts I receive on a regular basis are Melograno candles made by Santa Maria Novella from a friend of mine in New York.

A condiment you love.
My favorite condiment is Mrs. Ball's Chutney.

What book do you keep on your coffee table?
I love Twyla Tharp's two books:  The Creative Habit and The Collaborative Habit ~ both inspire me regularly. On my coffee table right now is: Quilts 1700-2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories edited by Sue Pritchard... the book that accompanied the first major exhibit to focus on British patchwork and quilt-making at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

What you love most about what you do.
I love being able to wake up everyday and do something creative. It feeds my soul and makes my heart sing ~ all day long!

The most challenging or difficult part about what you do.
The most challenging part about what I do is to stay focused and finish the task at hand before moving onto another exciting project ~ otherwise I take too much on and don't finish anything!

_________ is at the top of my inspiration library.
Color and fabric are at the top of my inspiration library!

Any tricks for finding life balance?
My secret to finding life balance is to pace myself and not say yes to everything. I try hard to find projects that will help me grow and inspire me and let the other opportunities pass me by without regret.

Any trade secrets/words of wisdom you'd like to divulge?
My only trade secret is do what you love with all of your heart and you will be successful!


Thank you Kaari!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

whole hearted whole foods

image by Aran Goyoaga

I have been a fan of Whole Foods since I can remember. Trips to their stores (any of them really!) are never just a grocery shop, but truly an experience. In fact, when I have the rare treat of grocery shopping alone, I often find myself wandering the aisles for hours happily lost in the incredible array of healthy choices and admiring the abundant creativity among the amazing food purveyors. I know it might sound a little silly and nerdy, but wandering through our local Boulder Whole Foods is one of my most favorite, relaxing pleasures. 

Clearly Whole Foods has always held a special place in my heart, but their support of the Makerie has taken my love and gratitude to new levels. I'm really beside myself how much they are embracing our creative community and standing behind small local businesses. I love partnering with companies that believe in living a conscious, healthy lifestyle (like I do!) and am incredibly thrilled to have Whole Foods Boulder sponsoring Aran's workshops this year. As a part of that, they are hosting an awesome food photography contest for Colorado residents and generously giving away a FREE full package to the Makerie to attend both days of Aran's classes! How amazing is that?!?  

Here's how to enter! 

:: Snap a photo of your most beautiful food tradition anytime between now & Monday, November 26

:: Upload it via this link

:: Encourage your family & friends to vote for your image

:: Don't forget to review the rules & regs (just in case you miss the small type, liking the Makerie facebook page is required to win)

:: The image with the most votes will win a trip to the Makerie and will be announced on Tuesday, November 27

Won't this be fun? We can't wait to see what you've got! 

In other exciting news, many of you will get to meet Aran in person, as she will be doing a book signing of her stunning brand new cookbook Small Plates & Sweet Treats at Whole Foods Pearl Street on Makerie Eve, Wednesday April 10. And yes dear Boulderites, the entire cookbook is gluten free! 


p.s. While we're on the topic of Whole Foods, we just started a new season of leading Kids Club Crafts at the Pearl Street location so look for us the first Tuesday of each month from 4 to 7 pm. We love crafting with the kiddos! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

our brand new etsy team!

After an amazing trip to New York last summer and the special, awesome opportunity to visit the Etsy offices, I came home completely inspired by the people I met and their incredibly energizing, creative environment. I loved learning more about their terrific team program while I was there and it made perfect sense for us to get a team together too. And so we did! We're super excited to share that our brand new Makerie Etsy Team is up and running! It's open to all past and present participants, teachers and volunteers (you need to be an Etsy member ~ either a buyer or seller or both ~ to participate) and a wonderful way to share ideas and our favorite Etsy finds. We will be using this platform to celebrate handmade and share the projects we're working on, as well as a place for current participants to coordinate retreat travel or perhaps even facilitate local gatherings. And speaking of gatherings, we're in the midst of planning our first holiday team event so it would be a great time to join in on the fun. We'd  love to have you! Go Team! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

on being busy

Busier and busier. It's the new norm. Just ask the New York Times. I often ask myself why is the answer always 'busy' when you ask someone how they are? Much to my chagrin, I'm guilty of this too. What I'm noticing is that when I do meet someone who says 'I'm great' without listing the things they are busy doing, I admire them. A lot.

In one of my favorite books about parenting, they raise the question "When did being busy become such a status symbol?" It's such an interesting thought, isn't it? Whether it's the pace of technology and how available we are all the time, or the societal pressure to always be productive, it's our current culture and we're moving at a frantic pace. When my schedule is jam packed, I say yes too often and have very little space to think clearly, I know that I am not operating at my best and some of my very favorite, simple daily practices slip away without even realizing it. As I find myself getting caught up in the whirlwind, I'm learning how to get off the treadmill and start putting some self care back into my days.

This past weekend, my sweet husband surprised me with a getaway to the mountains to celebrate our upcoming anniversary. I can't believe it's been 12 years! Having a few days to focus on each other, breathe the fresh mountain air, ride our bikes up Vail pass, enjoy lazy mornings and long slow dinners, knit by the fireplace, and have space in our days was completely refreshing to my soul. It made me realize, once again, how important it is to take care of yourself and put a bit of breathing time into your days ~ in whatever way you can ~ and especially during the hectic holiday season that has arrived. Giving yourself time and space is so much of what the Makerie means to me and our weekend away was a beautiful reminder of just how important retreating is for our spirits. It lasts far beyond those precious days away. We all need to slow down more. Life is too short to be busy. It's true.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

we heart experiences

We're huge fans of experiential gifts ~ of any kind! As someone who is often overwhelmed by 'stuff', I find it very refreshing and exciting when I am gifted an experience instead of a 'thing'. Whether it's the brand new restaurant in town I've been wanting to try or a voucher for a class I've had my eye on, it feels like such a special treat when someone thinks of you in this thoughtful kind of way. As we approach the holiday season, we wanted to let you know we offer gift certificates to the Makerie too ~ for any amount! Each one is uniquely handmade and packaged in a petite fabric pouch ~ perfect for a stocking stuffer or a last night of Hanukah surprise. If this idea is tugging at the 'ole heart strings, it's as simple as sending an email to with a subject heading 'gift certificate' and including the details of what you'd like. We'll take care of the rest. So just in case the Makerie is on your holiday list, all you have to do is give a little hint to the ones you love by emailing the link to this blog post and you never know what the magic of the season may bring!

Here's to the happiest start to your holiday season!