The Makerie


A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of attending the third annual Makerie Creative Retreat, right here in my home town of Boulder, Colorado. The brain child of the darling uber-event-organizer, Ali DeJohn, it was a fun filled crafting/art weekend at the lovely Chautauqua Park. 


Being a local I opted to bunk at home, but most participants were from parts elsewhere and we were treated to cozy cabin accommodations. Since the 1890’s Chautauqua has been hosting groups of all kinds and it’s so wonderful to have the creatives move in!


My first day’s class was with the wonderful Janine Vangool, editor of one my favorite magazines…Uppecase.

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We got to pick her brain about the magazine business and create our own little magazine covering the Makerie. We were cub reports on the beat and we got a chance to photograph and write four pages for our very own little zine. I had the great pleasure of “covering” Molly Hatch‘s class, Word Play. Such a treat to meet her and peek in on her creative process and see what her amazing students were up to!

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Classes included instruction in letterpress, leather accessories, stamp carving, doodle drawing, food styling/photography and collage transfer. ALL were fabulous and as I got to roam through all the classes as a cub reporter, I got a first hand look at all of them! I would gladly have signed up for any of them.

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The food! Oh the food!! Lunches were provided by the really wonderful human being/chef extraordinaire, Katie Bruzdzinski of eat Private Chef & Catering Co. Wow. The food was simple, healthy and oh so delicious…

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…and LOOK at the presentation. I am a sucker for kits of any kind and this was by far the absolute best lunch presentation EVER! Bothering to bother…that’s what I’m talking about. See this post for my thoughts on that. I’m gluten free these days and was prepared to take apart my lunch and dig for the things I could eat. But no…Katie prepared a thoughtful, tasty gluten free lunch for us “glutards” as my son likes to call us, and my customized box even had my name on it! Oh Katie…I felt the love and am so deeply appreciative. The way to my heart is clearly through my stomach…if only my husband could figure this out! Dinners were equally as excellent at the newly remodeled Chautauqua Dining Hall.


My second day in Makerie land was at the Lyons Farmette, a 20 minute drive from Boulder. A little farm with the most wonderful animals…they are an events facility of the highest order. Many a summer weekend and night are filled with weddings and farm dinners.

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A wander around with my camera, I met some new friends and dreamt of the coming summer.

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And just in case you didn’t get enough of that little goat face…here she is again. Oh my god, I fell in LOVE! This mama goat gave birth three days later and just stole my heart.

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With panche a plenty, and absolutely no stuffiness or self-righeousness, the farmette was a great location for Aran Goyoaga‘s class on food photography and styling.


A whiz with a camera and the goddess of natural lighting, she showed us how to…

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…style and shoot food like the pros. Her new book, Small Plates and Sweet Treats is full of gluten free goodness for everyone.

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Spring was coming to Chautauqua and the Makerie managed to squeeze itself in between two snow storms…so happy making to see the bits of green and color springing up.


The final dinner was sponsored and hosted by the fine folks at Creative Bug and I loved the table decorations they did!

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Janine spoke at my beloved Two Hands Paperie on Sunday morning and we had a chance to hear more publishing stories…so inspiring.

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For anyone with a hankering to get their hands and hearts engaged and moving…come to the Makerie!! They have 3 one-day events this summer and then the big retreats again next spring. Like them on Face Book or follow their blog for the latest happenings. Oh and Instagram. Just love them and come next year!! Do you hear that my Seattle art friends????

3 Responses to The Makerie

  1. Lisa Hoffman says:

    I feel like I was THERE!….you’re an awesome street reporter. Care to start a newspaper….?

  2. Stephanie says:

    Was fun to follow this wonderful retreat on IG…cannot wait to SEE all the details of your latest retreat Fran.

  3. ali says:

    Thank you for the MOST beautiful post. You are such a dear & I’m so grateful you were there. Look forward to many creative adventures ahead! 🙂 xx

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