Craftcation Conference Recap!

me ready for the Mad Men party with the official Craftcation van
Sorry for the absence on the blog this past week! I was at the amazing Craftcation Conference for 4 days and am now getting back to the swing of things. As always, this event reminds me that the DIY community is filled with lovely and fun people. It's really easy to get in your bubble and separate yourself from the masses. Truth be told, I love living a hermit's existence, all wrapped up in my quiet thoughts, but being tossed into a conference full of honest enthusiasm is a good jolt now and then.

our view - our TV stand bar
It's super fun to meet all the new people enjoying their first Craftcation event, but even more fun is seeing repeat faces in the crowd! I'm so happy when people take time from their busy lives to learn from me year after year. It's an honor. 

Jen and her famous Jen & Tonics
It's also great to see some of the same teachers year after year, and to meet new people that I know from around the internet. I was thrilled that my bestie Jenifer was able to be at the event the whole time along with me. We shared a room (which had no TV in it, so we made that into a bar), took classes together, and attended each other's classes. A seriously fun treat indeed! 

me & Jenifer in Ventura - the terrarium I made in Jen's class
Other folks that I was happy to meet was the hilarious Luke Haynes (no relation) and the adorable Courtney Cerruti. Both make amazing work and I encourage you to explore their sites. 

Luke Haynes - Courtney Cerruti
It was also lovely to see keynote speaker Lisa Congdon again, whom I know through Jenifer and my other San Francisco pals, and her opening night address was very relatable, and for me, extremely timely. The general theme was taking risks, and as I leap into many voids in the present and future, it hit home in a big way. 

Lisa Congdon's keynote address - Lisa in my zippy bag class
This year I taught three classes, two sewing related and one fabric-based. One of the things I like about this event is it allows me to reach beyond my usual sewing classes and go back into my art education to pull out skills I don't get to use all the time anymore now that sewing is my business. The one non-sewing class I taught was blockprinting your own fabric. We worked with lino blocks, erasers, and potatoes, and I was so thrilled with how amazing the results were! Check out some of the incredible work below…

blockprinting class
My sewing classes were geared for absolute beginner and slightly more experienced beginner. Both classes did an amazing job! The first class was an easy little zipper bag, and though it's crazy easy, since I've written up real instructions, I'll post my PDF handout here in the coming days for everyone to download if you so desire. Many in the room had never sewn and all had 100% success! So job well done everyone!

zippy bag class
zippy bag instructions & sample (with catnap!)
My other sewing class was a 2-part tunic dress that is geared for a super beginner. No set in sleeves, no darts, no closures. Just simple stitching, a little bit of gathering, bias binding, and hemming. Everyone did an amazing job and I am so proud of each and every one of them! I've had many questions on Instagram about the pattern, and all I can say is that you will see it in the future, much later in the year. Nothing else to reveal yet, so stay tuned! But no, it isn't my next pattern (coming out in July!!!). 

my amazing tunic ladies!
cutting tunics in the lobby - hard at work sewing
Each year the event throws a Saturday night party and this year's theme was Mad Men. Hell yes! Jenifer and I went all out and got into our super 60's mod vibe and had a blast. Almost everyone was dressed up and collectively, we totally rocked that theme! My dress was a floor length dress that I acquired from my grandmother when she passed away. I hemmed it up to my knees and voila! Perfect mod 60's frock. My gold purse was also my grandmother's, as I have many of her handbags, gloves, and hats. I love them all so much. I'm thinking I will take up the dress a smidge more, and perhaps take in the sides a bit too. It's a huge swingy dress, but with those small modifications, I can totally get away with wearing it everyday and not just to a themed cocktail party.

me & Jenifer at the Mad Men party
All in all, this was probably my favorite Craftcation yet and I'm already chatting with the organizers about what I'll teach next year, so for those in question, yes, I'll be back! If you plan to come and have ideas on what I should teach and what you'd like to learn, let me know! I'm completely open to suggestion! 

Thanks to Delilah and Nicole who put this massive undertaking on, to all my amazing students, and to everyone else I met this year. Big hugs!