Due to technical issues this post was delayed, but I am so happy to finally share these gorgeous images captured by Caitlin Sheffer. The Summer Makery was truly a wonderful time spent with wonderful creative people. I hope you enjoy this snippet of it.
Fall is officially in full force and even though I am so glad that the muggy weather has been replaced by crisp cool days, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for the carefree spirit of summer. It seems like only yesterday we were cleaning off the grill, setting up the kiddie pool, and excitedly planting herbs and tomatoes—and I was dreaming about the Summer Makery.
The Summer Makery was one of the highlights of my summer. It all seemed to go smoothly, the workshops were informative and beautiful, the guests each brought their own flare and creativity to their work, and it was nice and refreshing to connect with kindred spirits.
Like the Spring Makery, I wanted the Summer Makery to reflect the season and be a collaborative process with other artists in the area. I was lucky enough to bring not only talented artists on board, but also to work with women who I consider friends and would be so happy to collaborate with again. Catilin Sheffer is a photographer, calligrapher, and the watercolor artist behind Bella Love Letters. She taught our watercolor workshop. Lynette Reed is a fiber artist, bookmaker, painter and illustrator, and she led the sun-dyeing workshop.
I knew of Caitlin’s Etsy shop, Bella Love Letters, before meeting her in person. I reached out to her to see if she would be interested in sponsoring the Spring Makery and once we did meet in person, I felt an instant kinship—we both do creative work out of our home with a toddler sidekick keeping things real. Her work has a feminine, whimsical style and this came through during her workshop as she led the attendees through the creation of their own designs inspired by a floral table runner.
I met Lynette Reed over a year ago when she was having an art show opening and I was presenting a mini workshop on homemade ice cream at 2530 Espresso in Fredericksburg. Lynette attended the Spring Makery and we talked briefly then about having her contribute at a future Makery. I had been wanting to include a fabric dyeing workshop for a while and work with Lynette, so I reached out to her and she came on board for the Summer Makery as well. Lynette’s work has a colorful, expressive style and the sun-dyeing workshop she led reflected that. The attendees got to learn a fun technique that combined rich summer foliage and the sun to create sun dyed toiletry bags.
And of course, there was food. Since this was a morning workshop, we started the day with tropical mimosas, mini donuts, and locally roasted coffee served in cups that I painted with watercolors so that they would reflect the colorful theme of the event.
After we completed our workshops, we sat down for a relaxing lunch. I love creating the seasonal tablescapes and menus for everyone to enjoy. I want the table to look pretty, but mostly I want the attendees to feel like welcome guests when they take a seat. To give the table a relaxed feel and reflect the abundance of summer, I opted for a lush fruit centerpiece with an array of peaches and fresh cherries. To go along with the peachy color scheme I also included party favors of chile-lime salt.
The menu highlighted lots of summer produce. We started the meal with a roasted tomato tart, then for the main course we had grilled chicken with peach barbecue sauce topped with chive blossoms, a baby greens salad with radishes, cucumber, and chives, and basil creamed corn.
Finally for dessert, ice cream was a must for summer. For a fresh and fun take on a classic, I came up with this Nouveau Neapolitan Ice Cream which was made with layers of homemade salted Nutella ice cream, buttermilk ice cream, and roasted strawberry ice cream.
The Fall Makery is coming up, and it will be a one-woman show with me leading both workshops. It worked out that way this time since baking and DIY are both topics I teach, but I will miss collaborating with other artists this time around. I plan to bring on more talented local artists in the future, though, so stay tuned for a new batch of gatherings starting with the Winter Makery 2017.