Tuesday, January 31, 2012

meet allison of beautiful birddog press!

I have been a letterpress lover ever since the day I held my first beautiful piece of letter pressed paper. The way it felt in my hand, how soft the ink appeared on the paper and the sacredness of knowing that each piece was printed by hand. I took my first letterpress class from Ms Allison of BirdDog Press last winter. It was completely incredible and I knew we had to add it to our Makerie offerings. Allison is quite a master ~ of many things! It goes without saying that her paper designs are out of this world, but the shear amount of creativity this darling girl has across the board continues to blow me away. Her letterpress workshop offerings are the first of it's kind at the Makerie. We are giddy with excitement for those of you who will be taking a field trip to her inspiring studio to take learn this timeless printing method!

Meet Allison below, one of the most creative souls I know!

The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Make sure it is really time to get up because I wish I could go back to sleep. I am a night owl.
A fun tidbit people would never know about you?
I'm not sure you would never know, but I have wacky “triple-jointed” elbows.
Some favorite ways to relax?
A week on a river trip, wine with girlfriends & maybe some yarn, giving in to my magazine addiction
What's for dinner?
Probably pasta... with simple crushed tomatoes and fresh mozzarella & maybe some homemade pesto
The best advice you’ve received? 
Learn something new every day!
What is the best meal you ever had?
Farm to table dinner
What are you most excited about lately?
A vintage travel trailer decked out with a feedsack fabric interior
A favorite spot you’ve traveled to?
Amalfi coast, Italy
What makes you laugh? 
Life’s comedy of errors

Your favorite way to make someone smile?
Handing a client their new freshly pressed business cards or stationery
What, in your mind, is a recipe for disaster?
A three year old with no nap & cupcakes for dinner.
Any tricks for finding life balance? 
Have the birds eye view but make an achievable list for each day.
{Oh & sleep when you’re dead. There really aren’t enough hours in the day, that’s a fact.}

Favorite books from your personal library?
zines: UPPERCASE, Anthology, Selvedge, boho, Kinfolk 
fiction: Still Life with Woodpecker, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Help,
books: Home As Sanctuary, Creative Family, Dottie Angel
I love books and magazines, period. The power of the printed word. Love.

Thanks for the great Q&A Allison! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

a treasued quiet weekend

I treasure the rare weekends with no agenda, plans or pressure. This past weekend was one of those. We slowed down, enjoyed lazy mornings, made a few spontaneous trips to the park and even created a hot chocolate stand. One thing I've made a commitment to is spending Sundays unplugged and offline. I've been calling it 'Simple Sunday' where we turn off the computers, phones and incessant influx of information and instead, spend time in nature, play games, make yummy meals, snuggle and just enjoy being with each other in a present way. It is quite refreshing for the soul. Try it sometime! I love weekends like this and hope yours was a wonderful one too! 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

absolutely adorable aran!

Aran is the author of the gorgeous blog ~ Cannelle et Vanille ~ her "blank canvas for creating anything and everything sweet that comes out of her heart." If that didn't have you at hello, the sensational images and mouth-watering recipes she shares certainly will! Her unique, organic aesthetic is attracting worldwide attention and she's authoring her first cookbook. She has quite an incredible eye for food styling and photography and her recipes are just full of creativity and interesting ingredients. You would never know it's all gluten-free! We are absolutely thrilled that Aran is teaching two food styling workshops, the first of its kind at the Makerie, and she is simply as sweet as she can be.

Without further ado, get to know the adorable Aran below!


The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Kiss my babies good morning and make some tea.
A fun tidbit people would never know about you?
That I often times get reprimanded by my family because I eat too fast.
Some favorite ways to relax?
I love it when we spend time as a family on the weekends without an agenda. Not having a set schedule and knowing I can devote all of my time to my family is very rewarding. But I do like to be alone as well and in the rare occasions I do get to be by myself, I love taking walks in nature, soaking my feet in seawater, baking and listening to music.
What's for dinner?
Tonight it will simple. Roasted red snapper with potatoes and onions, green salad with fennel, strawberries, and avocado, and for dessert, a piece of leftover chocolate cake. A thin sliver or else I won’t be able to sleep – I can’t sleep if I eat too much or too late at night.
The best advice you’ve received?
Facing problems is like exercising, you just have to get up and do it or you will never learn. My aunt said it to me when I was 20. I think about it every single day.
What is the best meal you ever had?
I have had very many good meals in my life, most of them very simple, but one of my most recent memorable meals was at 3-star Michelin chef Martin Berasategui’s restaurant outside of San Sebastian in the Basque Country. It was unbelievable.
What are you most excited about lately?
The release of my first cookbook later this year. It has been a long time in the making and I cannot wait to share it.
A favorite spot you’ve traveled to?
I was 14 years old the first time I traveled to Oregon and Northern California. I lived with a family as an exchange student for a month and we traveled all along Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Since then, Redwood National Park holds a special place in my heart. 
Your favorite way to make someone smile?
With a good meal.

Any tricks for finding life balance?
I don’t believe there is such a thing or at least I have not found it. When my personal life is going very well, I neglect my work and when my work is thriving my home can be chaotic. I feel that is life though and we just have to learn along the way. When we bounce from one end to the other, somewhere in the middle, we feel balanced, but I don’t think it’s a permanent state.
If the world ended tomorrow, what would upset you most about the person you didn’t get to become? That I still have not learned to be more patient in this life.
Favorite books from your personal library?
I am a cookbook addict. Currently I am reading through NOMA and catching up with Tessa Kiros’ books.
Thanks so much Aran! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

we can change the world with our own two hands

We are so excited to show you why we've been busy little bees behind the scenes over here. Several months ago in yoga class, the teacher played the most beautiful song during shavasna (the peaceful resting pose at the end) and it's pure loveliness made me cry. It was exactly what creating things with my hands meant to me, woven into every wonderful word they sang, and epitomized what the Makerie was all about. Fast forward and here we are! 

We had so much fun creating this piece and have some very special people to thank for making it happen. First of all, Dan Knudson & Michael Anderson, of Dan Knudson Productions, who brought their bright spirits, fancy cameras and amazing eyes. What an absolute treat to work with such great guys! Allison Bozeman not only let us take over her darling BirdDog Press studio, but also starred in the show and had every perfect prop at arm's reach. This mulit-talented woman was in the middle of eight branding and printing projects, but still managed to clean up her studio and spend an entire day helping us. Yes. She's a rock star ~ and then some! Laura Kuhn, our marvelous intern, lent a hand (literally at times!) and pitched in whenever and wherever she was needed. We are quite lucky to find someone like her who's willing to help with anything! Some of the fabulous footage is what it is because of Elke Bergeron and Kristin FitzGerrell, who provided many of the fantastic handmade props and accents. I highly recommend taking a peek at both of their endlessly inspiring sites, here and here. In the beginning of the piece, there is a drawer being pulled out from a wooden sewing box. This was my grandma's, passed down to me by my sweet Aunt Sarah. I couldn't think of a better way to begin the Makerie story and it warms my heart to no end that my grandma can be part of this in such a special way. If she were here today, I have a feeling she might have been first in line at the Makerie. :) She was a creative soul beyond belief! And lastly, gratitude goes to the Cup Espresso Cafe and Thai Patton, the gifted espresso artist who created our logo in a latte with flair. Adam, the Cup's manager, embraced the idea from our very first phone call and I'm so appreciative for their time and trust in us. This certainly took a team to pull this all together and I am immensely grateful for the amazing one we had! 

Thank you Ben Harper & Jack Johnson for creating this exquisite song. Oh I do hope it will inspire you to go out and use your own two hands as much as it does me! If it speaks to you, even a little, I encourage you to add it to your own playlist by purchasing it here, here or here

I feel this video does not need a lot of explaining so I invite you to sit down on a comfy couch, with your favorite cup of tea and a cozy blanket to watch it. It's just that kind of piece.

With love....

p.s. To view our video on a mobile phone, please click here

Friday, January 20, 2012

creative freedom

I've been thinking a lot about the importance of play and wanted to share some personal thoughts around creativity. A few months ago I was describing my little boy's birthday cake making adventure to my mom and used the words 'complete creative freedom.' From the flavors to the toppings to the extra special decorations, they get to choose it all. What a blessing (& great lesson to learn!) to watch children create with no boundaries or limits. We gather all of our toppings and just let the kids have at it. It inspires me to no end and once again, reminds me of the essential nature of freedom and play in all our lives. I loved watching both my kiddos come up with idea after idea of how the cake should be decorated and the delight in their eyes as they stuck 'just one more picture' in. Oh how I want to preserve their uninhibited imagination where anything and everything is possible! I'm convinced that children are spiritual masters. Yes. I'm sure of it. Homemade birthday cake making has become such a fun tradition in our family and one of my very favorite and cherished ways to celebrate their special day. Here is the 7th birthday cake masterpiece. I hope it makes you smile as much as it does me!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

two new fantastic lunch forums!

We are quite thrilled to announce the addition of two brand new business-focused lunch seminars for Makerie weekend lead by the darling Jessica Hernandez of Joyfolie and the adorable Andreea Ayers of Launch Grow Joy. Jessica taught our wonderful shoe-making workshops last year & we love that she's coming back in a different capacity. Andreea, founder of Tees for Change, will be such an awesome addition to the weekend too, as both these successful entrepreneurs will be sharing their experiences and successes of how they turned their craft into a booming business. Not only will they have wonderful stories to tell, but a wealth of knowledge to pass along to all of you! 

Turning Your Craft Into a Business
by Jessica Hernandez

Jessica will be sharing the journey of Joyfolie, from a single mom crafter on Etsy to a business of handmade products in the US, to eventually large-scale manufacturing. Joyfolie products have been available via Anthropologie, Gap, Inc. and others. It's her hope to tell the story of Joyfolie to share strategies with those who desire to expand their creative passion on a vocational level, or to simply inspire those who want to be intentional about pursuing their own creative aspirations, whatever they may be.

Becoming a Media Maverick: How to Get Publicity for Your Handmade Products
by Andreea Ayers

Do you want to see your handmade products in national magazines, on celebrities and in the media? If so, this lunch seminar is for you! Andreea Ayers, a mom entrepreneur who has successfully placed her inspirational t-shirts in over 200 media outlets, including Self, Shape, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, ABC, CBS, NBC and more, will share with you proven publicity strategies that get results. You'll learn about how to make the most of media opportunities, how to find and contact the press to pitch your products and how to leverage your publicity efforts. Andreea currently blogs at www.LaunchGrowJoy.com and her most popular blog post is "Why I ditched the press release - and what I do instead."

Huge heartfelt thank you to Jessica & Andreea for putting together these terrific lunchtime talks!

Friday, January 13, 2012

fabulous flora

image by Tara Morris
Flora is an international painting sensation, teaching her Bloom True workshops all over the world. Her unique approach to teaching combines her wealth of painting experience with yoga and massage therapy, which infuses her workshops with a deep connection to the mind, body and spirit. I love how she describes that by 'honoring intuition and celebrating the present moment, she helps her students overcome fear and welcome joyful spontaneous expression back into the creative process.' How incredible does that sound? She continues to inspire thousands of people and we feel quite lucky and honored that once again, Flora will be sharing her magic with us in April. Her class is currently sold out, but be sure to check out her new e-course and the brand new book ~ Brave Intuitive You ~ she just wrote. This woman continues to amaze me in countless ways!

Get to know the fantastic Flora below.

The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Try to remember where I am! With so much traveling these days, I often waking up wondering what country I am in. After that is settled, I splash water on my face.
A fun tidbit people would never know about you?
I pretty much grew up at the YMCA because both my parents worked there. I got to go to as much camp as I wanted!
Some favorite ways to relax?
Yoga, lots of yoga and walks in the woods. OH, and sitting in my little hand built sauna in my backyard…a favorite winter activity.
What's for dinner? 
Ideally, something that someone else cooks for me. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m just not much of a cook, at least not recently.
The best advice you’ve received?
Louise Hay’s belief that the most important thing is to love yourself. Everything else works itself out if you are loving yourself first. 
What is the best meal you ever had? 
I’m sure it was probably sushi somewhere along the way.
What are you most excited about lately?
Collaboration in all sorts of ways. Sharing is caring. 
A favorite spot you’ve traveled to?
The Gili Islands in Lombok, Bali’s neighbor to the east.
What makes you laugh?
My friends---I seem to attract the funny ones. 

Your favorite way to make someone smile?
Random acts of kindness.
What, in your mind, is a recipe for disaster?
PMS, a thrown out back and Mercury in Retrograde…I only say this because it just happened!
Any tricks for finding life balance?
I prefer to seek harmony since balance seems pretty elusive these days (even for a Libra girl like myself).  Lately, I‘ve been trying to find harmony in every 24 hour period, one day at a time. I try to incorporate a bit of self care, a bit of creativity, a bit of worky work and a bit of fun. That’s the goal anyways.  
If the world ended tomorrow, what would upset you most about the person you didn’t get to become?
I would probably be bummed that I never had a child. 
Favorite books from your personal library?
100 years of solitude, Time travelers Wife, The Creative Habit, Sally Mann’s Immediate Family, The Essential Rumi, The Gift by Hafiz, Light on Yoga

Thank you Flora! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

goodie bag contest design winner!

We are thrilled to announce Katy Clemmans as our goodie bag designer for 2012! We ran a contest in The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course I took (& loved!) and were totally impressed with all of the thoughtful and fantastic entires. I wish we could have used all the designs! We loved the way Katy described her winning design:

"I have created sheafs of 'corn' from the Makerie logo by adding long stems. The vertical presentation creates a pleasing stripe pattern and the random upside down sheafs give a quirky feel. I think the corn theme compliments the retreat's nature element, going hand in hand with organic foods, health, and the great outdoors! It's a really positive, happy and nurturing design for the goodie bag."

Katy was so kind to share her story with us and we wanted you to get her know her too.

"I studied graphic design at Salford University in the North West of England, and from there kind of fell into a career in design for television after getting a fantastic graduate job at the design department of the BBC in London in 2000. I have worked in TV ever since, and thoroughly enjoyed my career to date, but have always held onto my passion for print and all things 'pattern'.

Recently I have been designing wedding stationery for friends and family and dipping my toe into the world of surface pattern design, and discovered a total love for it. I had been trying to find a way of making money from my designs when I heard of the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course. The course sounded like an absolutely perfect foundation for me to make a proper go of establishing myself as a surface pattern designer and help me achieve my goal of working for myself, loosening my ties with the city and moving out to the countryside with my husband. I feel this is such a brilliant opportunity to put my love of creating patterns to great use, and one day hopefully it will pay the bills.

I'm brimming with ideas and can't wait to complete the course and get on my way to being a fully fledged surface pattern designer. I would love to see my designs on all sorts of paper goods, homewares, fashion accessories - in fact everywhere! I still hope to launch my own range of wedding stationery in 2012. To see my design on the Makerie goodie bag is (hopefully) just the beginning!"

We have a feeling she's on her way. Congratulations Katy! We absolutely love it.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the contest and to Beth and Rachael for supporting such a fun design challenge in the class.

Happy Wednesday!


Friday, January 6, 2012

thoughts for 2012

When a new year arrives, I find myself pondering and wondering about a lot of questions. What will this year bring? Where will our favorite memories be had? Do new journeys and directions await? How will I change and what lessons will I learn? I'm not one to make a bunch of resolutions, but I love thinking about a new year as a fresh start. What I do know for sure is that this year so far I've been:

~ adopting the word 'simplify' as a word of focus for 2012 (I'm forever on a quest for ways to make life more simple) ~

~ reveling in the quiet time our little family had right after the new year in the majestic mountains of Colorado (I'm convinced the fresh mountain air does wonders for the soul!) ~

~ dreaming of getting a feather bed ~

~ putting the final touches on our Makerie promo video (we can't wait to share it with you!) ~

~ feeling super excited to be working with such an amazing group of artists & teachers! ~

~ getting some beautiful advice from this book ~

~ becoming more & more addicted to Pinterest, especially my cozy board ~

~ wishing I lived in a home tucked in the trees (like this) ~

~ really looking forward to the new elements we'll be bringing into this year's retreat (more soon!) ~

~ thinking about how grateful I am that I have such a hard working, supportive, sweet husband that encourages me to follow my dreams ~

~ putting this advice to use: approach everything with a beginners mind ~

~ trying to find the courage to cut my hair short (I always chicken out) ~

~ going to my new favorite exercise class yoga sculpt ~

~ jotting down a gazillion ideas ~

~ inpsired to draw again, thanks to the wonderful the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course ~

~ adding more things to my 'must make' list (does your list keep growing too?) ~

~ listening to crickets all night ~ yes this mama gave in & we added a pet gecko to the family, whose name is Cinnamon (after the homemade cinnamon rolls I make on Christmas morning) ~

~ marveling in the genuine love both my little ones have for our new pet ~

~ trying to meditate for 5 minutes a day (there ~ I said it! :) ~

~ worried about how our children's generation is going to manage and navigate not only the online world, but this fast-paced, harried speed of life we all seem to be going in (everyone seems busier than ever these days) ~

~ making a commitment to bring 'Slow Down Sundays' back into our family (we unplug from everything & just spend quality, slow paced time with each other. It feels amazing for everyone!) ~

~ feeling incredibly grateful, honored and overwhelmed by all of the enthusiasm around the Makerie (can someone pinch me please?) ~

I hope your year is off to a really wonderful start!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the amazing jenny doh

Jenny is the mastermind behind the ever-inspiring CRESCENDOh, whose mission is to "ignite creative passion, authentic community, and focused compassion." Her site is a wonderful gathering spot where like-minded creatives gather to showcase the best projects and ideas from the online world. In addition to the lovely links, CRESCENDOh helps tell unique and heartfelt ART SAVES stories from successful artists who serve as Guest Curators throughout the year. If this wasn't fabulous enough, Jenny was the former Editor-in-Chief of Somerset Studio and has authored four books, including her most recent one which we are so thrilled to be a part of ~ Creative Pilgrimage

The two terrific Crochetologie workshops will be taught by Jenny and what a treat her students are in for! Her classes will not only leave you completely inspired to crochet away, but you'll also come home with multiple fantastic finished projects in hand. It was so much fun getting to know Jenny through the interview below. We love that her hubby cooks for her! 


The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Coffee. These days, I make it with my French press. Makes two perfectly delicious cups for me that I add with whole milk. I drink this while checking emails and such, while the kids get ready for school.

Some favorite ways to relax?
Love to knit, crochet, and er … um … watch The Housewives of (fill in the blank). They are terrible shows but for some reason, very relaxing for me to watch.
What's for dinner?
Usually, The Mister cooks. He’s a total foodie and very experimental so we eat very well and very diverse types of food.

What is the best meal you ever had?
Whole steamed lobster and steamed clams on the side … in a great restaurant in Maine.
What are you most excited about lately?
My new art studio: Studio CRESCENDOh.
A favorite spot you’ve traveled to?
Love New York. In the summer, in the winter … I love New York.
What makes you laugh? 
My daughter. She and I crack each other up regularly with all of our funny impersonations and different voices that we come up with.

What, in your mind, is a recipe for disaster?
Not paying your bills, eating too much, mismanaging your time and therefore missing your deadlines. I can spot these types of folks from a mile away and I usually stay clear of them. Disasters I’ve seen happen.
Any tricks for finding life balance? 
What’s balance?
If the world ended tomorrow, what would upset you most about the person you didn’t get to become?
Singer/songwriter … and a Professor of art.
Favorite books from your personal library?
White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
The Outliers (Malcom Gladwell)
Predictably Irrational (Dan Ariely)

Thank you Jenny!