Since we’re on the subject of the Makerie, I just wanted to share what’s coming up. I couldn’t be more excited to be included in the teacher round-up for another Makerie event. Not just any event mind you, but a super increadible one filled with creativity, learning, eating amazing food & all of it taking place on the most beautiful farm around these parts.
You’ll start the day off with a great 3 hour class where you can learn something you probably knew nothing about walking in but will be a pro by the time you leave. You can then relax with your new, like-minded friends, over a beautiful box lunch by the amazing Katie B. from Eat Private Chef & Catering. This will give you the energy to enjoy yet another, different class in the afternoon followed by a mixology course & a full on, sit down farm dinner prepared with the best foods just picked from the garden. All of this takes place on the beautiful Lyons Farmette.
It sounds like a day that if I wasn’t there teaching, I wouldn’t miss. There are 3 Sundays being offered all with a different theme. Check out the links below then grab a friend & sign up! The spots are going quickly. It will certainly be the experience you talk about all summer long.
I’ll be teaching on July 7th so if you’re interested in making your very own hand sewn leather clutch, sign up!
Hope to see you this summer!
It’s taken me this week to get re-organized after the inspiring, creative, Makerie retreat last week. I am just so thankful that I was invited to teach & was included in the round-up of the most talented & wonderful teachers. I feel like I spent most of the weekend with a smile on my face & laughing out loud. On the last evening there was a book making party where we could compile our own book that was put together in a very speedy 2 day class, “Crafting Content” with Janine Vangool of Uppercase Magazine. What a special souvenir to go home with.
The class I taught, “Modern Leather Accessories” was so much fun & the students caught on to the techniques immediately & went on their way to create lots of very fun wearable art & summer jewelry. Everyone got to learn the basics of leather work & then was able to apply their own special touches to make the pieces uniquely theirs.
The nights were always a great chance to catch up with others over a delicious dinner in the newly renovated Chautaugua Dining Hall. Saturday night the whole place was decorated with beautiful paper flower centerpieces & bright washi tape all around. The sponser of the evening was Creativebug, a very cool craft video website from Sanfrancisco, who were in town filming pieces from the Makerie weekend.
To be surrounded by the beauty of the mountains & the creative energy of all that attended surely made it a most successful weekend. Great job to Ali Dejohn & Emily Clark who pulled the whole thing off without a hitch & make it look so effortless. That in itself is a true talent. Below is a recap of the teachers & classes that were offered. All the photos were taken from the Makerie Book. Who could ask for anything more?
Happy Spring! Please come join Ali’s Summer Makerie series for your own magical day!
I’m getting ready to head to the Makerie Retreat today & so looking forward to just being a part & actually teaching at this very creative, incredibly fun, super-duper event! I’ve been packing my tools & supplies for the past 2 days. Making packages for the students & list upon list of last minute things that slip my mind. I know the students & other teachers will inspire me to no end & I’ll come home overflowing with creative ideas. Going away for a craft weekend has become a necessity once a year to recharge the imagination & what a better time than spring for that kind of energy renewal.
In addition to the retreat, I’m also launching the by elke store today on-line which has been a labor of love & a true learning experience in every way. I’m hoping that this will be a steady, calm way for me to work with a schedule that I can control, turn on & off when I need to be away & to create an outlet for all the things that keep being made.
Wish me luck!
I recently went out & found these rubber coated small tie bags as part of an old vintage boy scout pack. They just put a big smile on my face. I like the part how there is an “old sock”.
I cut here & snipped there, painted on the back, added bright orange zippers & vintage lures & this is the result. They would make the most unique dopp kit ever & also a great conversation piece.
Have a great weekend!
Spring is back along with some very “campy” fabrics. Nothing looks better on a summer clutch as a vintage fishing lure. Each bag gets a very unique finishing touch!
Oh, I can’t tell you how happy I am to get this giant, oversized bag made. It will be perfect to carry my tools & samples when I need to haul them around town. I made it just in time for a visit to our local Fairview High school tomorrow where I will talk to the student government about my small business. I already have it packed with repurposed samples and a couple tools so I can do a quick demo.
The bag was made from a really big, very old canvas carrying type, tarp. It had 3 leather handles attached on either side with old 3″ cotton webbing supporting the bottom. I don’t really know what it was used for so if anyone has any ideas, please do share. The canvas it self is a bit dingy even after 2 washes & I did have to cut off the webbing as it was falling apart. The handles weren’t in the best shape either so I kept the bottom part & reattached a new leather belting to the back side for strength. The thing I do love about all these old samples is the character that comes with them. The original rivets are fantastic & I can never resist an awesome selvage line. To clean it up a bit, I lined the bag in a subtle striped linen that has a bright pop drawstring closure. I also added 4 interior pockets on either side for organizing tools. After painting the stripe, adding the number “4″ & reinforcing the bottom with heavy white suede (very tool-baggish) I’m ready to go.
Well, it was a great 10 days with launching the store, learning how to pack & ship & becoming very good friend with my local post office. The part of the whole process I liked the most was getting to meet either through emails, or in person, the lovely ladies that were my customers. I love to be able to put a face to a name & personally pass off their bag. They were truly the kindest women & so full of positive energy. I also had some really nice email bantering that always put a happy spin on the day. The whole experience was so positive that I’m busy at work again getting ready to open another shop in mid April- A more exact date to be posted in the next few weeks! This time around it won’t be a “pop-up” shop, just a shop.
I thought I’d share one of the more simple bags that was available & I do have a couple left as I thought for something like this, one of a kind won’t fly. This is a great basic clutch that would fit into any lifestyle & has just the right amount of organization on the inside so you don’t loose your pieces at the bottom of a bag. I added a small embroidery to the front flap which gives it the handmade touch along with a contrast hand stitched tack at the opening. The leather is just the best thick veg tan quality that is firm yet soft. It is the perfect weight & quality for so many projects!
I look forward to creating more with this beautiful leather.
A big thank you again for all the support & encouragement I was given the last month and a half as I was in the process of trying to figure out how to actually put together a store. I have so much more to learn but it should be a ton easier the second time around.
I’m so excited to announce the opening of the by elke pop-up shop! The whole e-commerce thing has been a huge learning curve & I’m looking forward to the next one already as I feel a lot better prepared after this first test. Please bare with me if you happen to run into a couple of cliches along the way. We’re hoping this will be a smooth operation.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Let the games begin!
Last fall when I was in Texas I stumbled over some very old vintage bank coin bags. I wasn’t sure how to use them but I held onto them anyway. Just before the Holiday Market I made them into rugged clutches, small stains, markings, hand-writing & all. They were a hit & I believe they all sold before I even made it to the fair. About a month ago I stumbled upon some more. Just 4, but all different. They are from all around the mid west & each one looks like its filled to the brim with stories & history. These will be getting added to the store in time for opening next week. I’m plugging away still, making product, taking photos & input, input, input! It will be so fun to finally OPEN the doors!
To see what’s in the store so far, click on the shop button to the right.
Have a great weekend! xo
I got out my blue dyes & started staining natural veg leather. The next step was to start playing with the color & see what pattern could be made without it looking too sloppy. I went for dots. I love the outcome & the unevenness of the dye. I also like the splatter effect. These 2 small purses was all I did with this technique- I’m ready to play some more!