Life is weird right? Things just randomly come together, at a time when you’re especially struggling. You attend one little crafting retreat and your life suddenly changes…for the better. You start connecting with like-minded people who are so amazingly welcoming and trusting.

One of my chance encounters at the Makerie led to my newest endeavor. One that I’m wildly excited (and nervous) about. The owners of Fancy Tiger in Denver (only the coolest, most hip crafting haven around) are letting me teach sewing classes at their studio!!!

Check out my official class page!

Now I can actually tell you the true purpose of our first annual Sew Weekend. Yes, I was being all secretive and stuff. It won’t happen again. What I was really doing that rainy weekend was having a trial class for my family and friends.

And the before and afters are pretty impressive.

Refitting these oversized shirts is what has inspired me to take the proverbial refashioning leap into high low skirts and tailored trouser jeans. If you haven’t tried repurposing your own thrifted clothing, this is the perfect class for you!

In the future, I’ll be featuring a full tutorial for those folks who aren’t in the area and those who feel comfortable behind a sewing machine.

If you’re in the area, I encourage you to sign up for two reasons. Because 1) I want to meet each and every one of you who is so graciously following my blog and 2) I want everyone to understand how exciting and liberating it is to refashion clothing that you’re not embarrassed to wear in public.

If nothing else, visit Fancy Tiger, and you’ll instantly feel inspired. Tell them I said hello!

The Makerie changed my life.

I know, it sounds ridiculously cheesy. And trust me, I hate the cheese. So it has to be true.

At the Makerie I met countless people who were happy to listen to me talk on and on about my dreams post-school, and a few that are more than willing to help my achieve those dreams. Sometimes I forget in the inherent goodness of people, and if I need a creative retreat to remind me of it, then so be it.

Enough with the sappy stuff and on with my newfound passion. Shooting in manual mode. It’s difficult, frustrating, and I still can’t tell if these pictures are any good. Still, it is

Blankets! In a basket!!

And Chautauqua couldn’t have been a better location. Next year, you better believe I’m bunking in one of those rustic cabins. I was so jealous of the women skipping off to their bunks to drink wine together and craft all night long.

Fun fact: Did you know that the summer lodge in the movie Dirty Dancing was a chautauqua? Also, the concept of a chautauqua is a common recurring theme in the novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance! Chautauquas are awesome, enough said.

The first workshop was letterpress with Allison Bozeman of Birddog Press Studios. Allison’s studio, nestled in the heart of Lyons, was adorable. She had two, very old presses and two baby presses. I am now on the hunt for a 1500 pound press from the early 1900’s. No one will ever want to help me move again.

The second workshop was learning to photograph your “craft”. I bet you can guess what I toted along to photograph.

That print will never die.

And my favorite fabric in the world. That will be made into a pillow in the coming days after a successful Ikea trip this morning.

There were no less than five different Allie’s that attended the Makerie (including the organizer). I have never been surrounded by so many of my own kind. It was confusing and amazing at the same time.

Ali DeJohn was awesome at accommodating everyone’s needs. Gluten free meals were provided for all of us intolerant peeps, and the food was to die for. Katie’s boxed lunches were adorably packaged and deliciously yummy. I swear that no detail was overlooked at the Makerie. That is the number one reason I will be back next year.

Who’s coming with?