Read Part 1: Workshops & Makers here.
Today is gray and rainy, so it has been nice to immerse myself in all the pictures from the Spring Makery this past Sunday. It was 75°F and sunny—one of those days where it is so perfect out that the air itself feels alive and full of possibilities. I was up early preparing and packing dishes for the Spring Makery, which would be the first of what I hoped would be a series of creative craft workshops and dinner events in Virginia. To be honest, I was feeling a little unsure about how it would go—did I have enough food, would people be happy with the food, would the oven work, would I get everything set up in time? As I walked out the door that morning and caught the scent of spring flowers in the air, I felt optimistic that I was doing exactly what I should be. By the time I got home that evening, I was certain of it.
It takes faith to put your work out there. Faith that it will all come together, that what you are trying to say as an artist will be received (and welcomed) by others. Along those same lines, it takes trust to invest in something that is the first. Something still unproven. Each person who bought a ticket, the event partners and sponsors were doing just that—putting their faith in me and this little creative event I had planned. They were each an integral part of the small collective of makers that I wanted to bring together through this gathering. Meeting all these wonderful people, eating with them, and sharing food and ideas with them—the community—made the Spring Makery a success.
The attendees each brought their own personalities, creativity and aesthetic to the event. In addition to the guests, I could not have pulled this all off without the Spring Makery partners: Blushing Blooms Event Florists, CrewelGhoul, and Kerry Renee Photography. The team at the venue, Stevenson Ridge, was also wonderfully helpful and supportive. The Riddick House is such a gem.
Then there were the generous sponsors who provided gifts and take-aways for the guests so that they all left feeling completely spoiled! Johnna of Twila & Co. provided a raffle item gift box with wine, popcorn and candy, along with fun custom wine labels with gift cards for everyone. Cate of Bella Love Letters gave each guest beautiful 8 x 10 floral watercolor prints that were perfect for this flower-inspired gathering. And finally in addition to leading the workshop, Blushing Blooms also gave out the cutest gift boxes with elderflower lemonade, cookies, and wildflower seeds.
Kybecca, my absolute favorite restaurant in Fredericksburg, sponsored the handcrafted happy hour by creating a delicious signature cocktail for the Spring Makery—a Rose Collins made with their house-made rose syrup. It was a little pink drink with flower petals in it, but it packed a punch. Everyone loved it and the cocktail recipe cards that they got to take home.
Now let me share with you the meal. I wanted the food to feel familiar while also giving the guests a fresh experience. I wanted to create a feast for the eyes while also presenting the food on vintage family-style platters and bowls. I wanted it all to be both exciting and humble. The menu consisted of flower petal summer rolls, spice-rubbed roasted pork tenderloin, flower-fetti roasted baby potatoes, a salad with Blenheim Organic Gardens’ flowering greens, sweet pea flowers, and radishes, along with Virginia peanuts and chevré. Finally, as Julia Child once said, “A party without a cake is just a meeting,” so for dessert we had vanilla bean cake with lavender-chamomile buttercream. The buttercream was made with a lavender-chamomile tea-infused simple syrup that added just a hint of floral flavor (after all, I didn’t want to over do it with the flowers.)
It was such an enjoying, leisurely day! I can’t wait to do it all again in a few months at the Summer Makery (subscribe to my newsletter to get early updates about it and subscriber discounts!) Scroll down to get a peek at the meal and all the gorgeous food photos taken by Kerry Mulhern.