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!
Over the past year & a half I have been dabbling with bracelets. Sometimes it’s just for fun & at other times I feel like a bracelet factory. I tend toward using leather pieces that are floating around my office. I like the old, broken in straps with lots of character. I also like breaking in the leather myself though & so I can see the transformation happening on my wrist. My latest love is a 2″ wide natural leather braided cuff that started out a very light, light tan color & now, after 2 months of wear is a beautiful caramel color with a broken in sheen.
I recycle horse bridles, old belts & random vintage accessories. I paint, punch holes, embroider, sew & wrap. I like that it is a project I can typically finish in 1 sitting & can wear out in the evening. I like to take big pieces of thick natural leather & dye, cut, wash & oil them. You never get the same results twice. Each bracelet is unique with it’s own character. Occasionally, someone will say,”I want one just like the one you’re wearing.” I wish I could fulfill that wish but then I would have to take it off my wrist & give it to them (which I have done happily.)
Today I’ll spend my time playing with tools, leather & trinkets in hopes of creating a fabulous new bracelet.
I love my job…..
The biggest market of the year (for me) is over. I have to work pretty constantly for 2 straight months to turn out enough product to fill a 10′ x 10′ booth. I felt like I had bags hanging off everything from old ladders to trees. I was hoping to take lots of pictures but as soon as the doors opened I hardly looked up for the first 4 hours. By the time I was able to take a breath, I found that my booth looked picked over & half empty. It took the rest of the weekend to rearrange the goods to make it look more full & inviting. That is a good problem to have so I am most definitely grateful. By the time I packed up on Sunday evening I had 5 bags hanging & looking quite lonely. I have them on a coat rack in my office as I type. Summer is officially over- Now for new fall bags!
After making lots of leather bracelets lately, I looked at my wrists & decided they needed a bit more color for my springtime mood. I went down to our local bead shop & bought some beads & waxed polyester cord & just started braiding. I made some for myself, I passed them out to friends & now I’m feeling like the beads & some colored thread make my hands look a whole lot happier!
I’d like to introduce you to my new yellow addition. My friends at High Street Market were open 2 windy weekends ago & I was invited to come & set up a small display of goods at there monthly pop-up antique shop. They always have the best finds hidden away in their storage garage so of course I poked around & found this beauty which was calling my name. The owner found a little leather purse of her liking out of my stash so we made an old fashion trade & both of us walked away happy!
Below are some pictures of the set up at the High Street Shoppe.