Those of you who follow me on Instagram will already know this, but last weekend I headed out to Sonoma, California to take part in the first annual (!) Michaels Makers Summit. I had so much fun being part of the Michaels Makers last year, and I was giddy when they invited me back for another year. This time they really kicked it into high gear by flying us all out, and wining and dining us for a few days. (Seriously, so much wine and champagne!) They styled everything down to the smallest detail. They had gorgeous throw pillows, a gourmet popsicle cart, and best of all: four of the best classes from Creativebug! We learned the basics of weaving, watercolors, image transfers and paper flowers. I came home feeling SO inspired and ready to tackle some pretty huge projects (that are now officially underway!) Being in the company of so many talented and determined women was just what I needed. As corny as it may sound, I feel like I found part of myself that I had been missing. Okay, I know, lame.
Anyway, if you follow me on Instagram then you've likely seen a handful of these photos, but I wanted to do a formal "recap" of sorts so you could be inspired, too! When I got to the airport I had my very own town car waiting for me, with a delicious lunch and everything. When I arrived at the hotel I was given a big goodie bag full of snacks, art supplies, and little bits and bobs for the weekend (including a Michaels backup battery for my phone haha!) The first night we got to town we got all dolled up and drove an hour over to Long Meadow Ranch to have an incredible farm-to-table dinner. Champagne, a flower crown bar, delicious food and a make-your-own-smores bar! It was the perfect way to start the festivities!
The next morning we all gathered for breakfast and then ventured up the biggest, curviest mountain to an incredible estate overlooking the area. I don't get carsick, but I was feeling a wee bit icky going up that thing! Y'all, it was a ride! But the views and the incredible day that was waiting for us was so so worth it. I wish I could do that day three hundred times over! We were broken down into 4 groups so the workshops were smaller and we could get to know each other better. My group (orange) started the day with watercolors! Yao Cheng taught us a little bit of her magic, and I left feeling so inspired! I had never done watercolor painting before, but I enjoyed it so much! (In fact, I went to Michaels yesterday and bought a cartload of watercolor paints and papers! Let's do this!) The second class was weaving with Annabel Wrigley. It was so fun to learn how to do something that I've seen all over Pinterest and Instagram lately! I enjoyed it so much I kept weaving in the airport and on my flights home! I'm pretty sure the folks around me thought I was a bit looney.
After the first two classes we broke for a delicious lunch and some chatting. We learned how to use the new HP Sprout (I want one so bad!) and then we snacked on gourmet popsicles. Then it was time to head to class number 3! We had image transfers with Courtney Cerruti! We did packing tape transfers, paint transfers, and black and white (blending marker) transfers! I did several kinds of image transfers in a college "Altered Books" class so it was super fun to refresh those memories and skills! (The birthday photo of Linden is a packing tape "sticker" of sorts!) Finally our last class was paper flowers with Livia Cetti! We learned how to bleach tissue paper and make paper peonies! I gave mine to my friend Maya who always shuttles me to and from the airport, but I want to make some more soon to share!
That evening was followed with champagne, wine, appetizers and a pretty unreal dinner. I think we were all sad when it was over! We hopped back into our shuttle vans and made it down the mountain for the hotel. The next morning we loaded the vans with our gear, went back up the mountain one last time, and enjoyed a delicious brunch. We climbed up even higher on the mountain and had a Q&A with Steve, the head of Michaels marketing. Steve joined us during the whole Summit and it was fun to get to know him a bit. He gave a really great speech and totally on-point answers at the session. We were sitting on top of a huge skydeck, drinking champagne at 9am, and learning more about Michaels. I told some of the gals on the way to the airport that I felt so inspired and so solid in my decision to join the Makers after hearing all of that. Sure, Michaels is a "big retailer" but they also see the value in community. I'm excited to see what this year brings. Oh, and we stopped at the super foggy Golden Gate Bridge on our way out of town, too!
I know this post was crazy long, but hopefully you feel a little inspired too! I can't wait to share our projects for this year, and to build on the things I learned at the Summit. It was SO MUCH FUN!
Even better?! You get to take all four classes that we took FOR FREE! Creativebug and Michaels are offering y'all one month of these four classes so if you've wanted to learn weaving, watercolor and more, now's your chance! And you can meet all of the makers, too!