Monday, June 24, 2013

So Happy at Craft Happy Retreat

I am exhausted and all crafted out! I am writing this Sunday night after spending the day learning new crafting techniques at Craft HappyRetreat. Lisa Cherry, owner of The Makery, is the brain child behind the day retreat and gathered some pretty talented instructors to show how it’s done. I had entered a giveaway for tickets to the retreat and was so excited to find out that I had won. With my sister Stacie in tow, we headed to Community to get crafty!

After coffee and donuts for breakfast – my favorite – and a little mingling we headed over to our first workshop: Art Journal Making. The class was taught by Rachel Hillberg who I had recently met at a crafting event at Look in Anaheim. We had also connected and collaged just last Thursday at the OC Etsy Craft Party. We got the 101 on bookbinding from scratch, with basic materials like paper and wax string. Rachel also talked about how to fill our new journals with art using different mixed media techniques. Busting out stamps, markers, crayons, scissors and colorful paper, we went to town on brightening some pages. Rachel left us with some prompts to continue our art journaling experience, and I left really needing to buy this awesome jar stamp she had for us to use. I hear she teaches a bookbinding class that teaches how to make some awesome leather journals…

During our first break we headed over to A Little Known Shop’s make and take station where we got to screen print an ampersand onto vintage book pages. During lunch we returned to screen print the cutest little red fox. Note: My Papillon Oliver looks like a fox and I am without question his human. As a joke (because it is funny at least to me) I screen printed my red fox on a page that talks about marriage.
Leaving our screen print art to dry, we went to learn about block printmaking with Morgan Culture. Morgan showed what legit printmaking is all about and now I know what a brayer is. After demonstrating how to properly carve and ink on linoleum block, she described the modifications we would need to make for our block printmaking while using potatoes on fabric. I’ve heard of potato printmaking before but had never actually tried it, so I was pretty excited. She had a variety of potato sizes to choose from and I decided to go big. I wanted to print my tote bag with a bow and dog pattern and set about cutting out the negative. It was a bit easier than I had expected, and was also able to try out my design on paper before committing to my tote. While testing my design someone commented that they liked my dog design so it wasn’t that bad! I finished my dog and bow pattern and even borrowed my neighbor’s heart design to add a little flair at the top of my bag. Stacie’s bag turned out bad ass. She printed the planets in our solar system and it looked amazing.

Reaching the halfway point to our day we were getting a bit hungry and could smell deliciousness from our designated eating area. Catered by The Lime Truck, they offered a Crav On French Fry bar with delicious pulled pork and steak toppings. I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant on loving the French Fry lunch option until I tried it. The pulled pork was delish and the steak was amazing. The chipotle honey sauce was really tasty too. As a side we got a bag of Lundberg Farms sea salt rice chips – yum.
We were ready for something sweet and headed over for a cupcake decorating lesson with pastry Chef Nika Yazdani. Nika demonstrating butter cream and fondant techniques that were actually much easier than I thought they’d be to do. Stacie is a big fan of baking and can get very creative when it comes to fondant so it is no surprised that she made a cupcake covered in yellow fondant (table cloth) and covered it with mini fruits, veggies and a turkey leg. She was called a liar after having said earlier in the day that she wasn’t very crafty. Nika was generous enough to send us home with our very own piping tip so we can continue our decorating.

Stacie and I headed to our final workshop, beginner’s letterpress. Lauren Macaluso from Creative Outlet Studios showed us a diagram of what parts make up the letterpress and how to properly ink it. Stacie and I had made gift tags on the letterpress last Thursday, but it was great to hear more in depth about the machine. We each letterpressed 5 thank you cards and got to see how the machine worked first hand. One of the most interesting facts was how the machine had to be tuned correctly to get an even print. I like that each card I pressed is different due to the antique mechanisms of the trade. It makes for a real unique print.

Thank you to the wonderful instructors I met today and big THANK YOU to Lisa for organizing such an awesome craft day!


  1. It was such a fun fun day! Love your recap xoxo

  2. Looks like you two had a blast! The cupcakes look amazing!


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