Oh you guys. I was a little (lot) spoiled a little over a week ago when Michaels invited me out to Sonoma, CA…as part of their Michaels Makers Summit. That little pocket of California is hidden treasure, I tell ya. Definitely not your typical beach-y coastal location…..but still incredibly beautiful! It was definitely a nice place to feel inspired and let those juices flow. (It might have also helped to not have 4 little ones at my feet…ha!)
Last year was the first year of Michaels Makers and as part of that group, I was given monthly challenges, a gift card, and a whole lot of freedom to just create whatever I wanted. It was a lot of fun to be given a topic….but then a lot of freedom.
But before starting the 2nd year, we headed out to California and were wowed by not only the surroundings…..but Michaels really turned this summit into an amazing location.
***Yep, I’m way in the back on the left. :)
All I need are fresh flowers to make me happy…..and those were definitely in abundance!
The best part of the trip, for sure, were the 4 classes I took. I thought they all sounded interesting but, let me tell you, I was completely shocked by how much I really enjoyed learning these new techniques. I mean, making things is totally what I do and of course I like to try new things…..but these 4 classes aren’t topics I am normally drawn to. However, when I actually tried them, I was shocked at how much I loved them! (And guess what, you can take the same classes FOR FREE until August 22nd. More info below!)
For example… I’m not a painter. Well, I can paint walls and furniture but don’t ask me to paint a landscape. Or a portrait. Or anything that has a shape. ;)
But we were all taught basic watercolor techniques by Yao Cheng and not only was she absolutely darling….but she was an excellent teacher. She taught us color and blending and the behavior of painting, etc.
And then Yao taught us how to make leaves. I have some work to do…..but I can’t believe how excited I was about LEAVES! Ha! (Okay, the flowers needs lots of help. Baby steps, right?) Watercolor was actually relaxing and unpredictable and surprising! I really want to dive in deeper now, which still shocks me to say because seriously….I’ve never been one bit interested.
I wasn’t even discouraged sitting next to Ashley from Lil Blue Boo….because she, of course, popped out a masterpiece that you could frame this minute and hang on the wall! (Ha…..love that girl. She’s even cooler in real life, if that’s even possible!)
We were also taught how to make these amazing Peonies from tissue paper, by Livia Cetti. I mean, come on, these could have been plucked right from a flower garden. So much fun to make! (And equally fun was seeing Cindy from Skip To My Lou again. That woman is so much fun bottled up into one body…I need to vacation with her!)
Okay, another mind blowing project……was trying out this whole Image Transfer thing. This class was taught by Courtney Cerruti and it was so mind-blowing. I mean, you can transfer so many things onto ANYTHING!
One of the simplest techniques is transferring images onto packing tape. Then it still has some tackiness from the tape and you can attach it to glass vases, votives, etc. (Such a great project for kids….and they will LOVE it!)
But she also taught us how to transfer images onto wood, canvases, or anything at all. It really was the coolest process and I have visions of transferring large images onto pieces of wood and use them as decor in my house. Can’t wait to play around with it a little more!
The final class we took was Frame Weaving, taught by Annabel Wrigley (who has an adorable Australian accent). She does some remarkable things with weaving and creates some clever designs and patterns that would be so cool incorporated into your home decor. :)
Anyway…..enough TALKING about these classes, because you guys have got to actually TAKE these classes. FOR FREE!
Michaels has teamed up with Creativebug® to offer these 4 free video classes…..for a few weeks only (expires 8/22/15). They are the exact techniques we learned out in California by the same teachers, but you can learn them at home — in the comfort of your favorite pair of PJs!
Such a fun trip meeting fellow Michaels Makers and actually putting real-live faces to the names I’ve mostly only known online. These people are real, guys!!!! ;)
(Rebecca from Simple As That, Jamie from The The Crafting Chicks, Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous, and Kari from U Create….and so many more that I didn’t take pictures with. But truly, it was so fun actually meeting blogging friends!)
And thanks for having us Michaels — it was a real treat!! I’m so excited to try more new things this year……and surprise myself again and again! :)
And thanks for reading guys (if you made it this far down…ha)! I really hope you’ll love taking those classes as much as I did……and if you do, share with me what you’ve made. I’d love to see! :)