Lotta’s Creative Workshop & Nature Retreat 2019

This summer I had the chance to go to Lotta Jansdotter‘s creative workshop in the Åland Islands in Scandinavia. Last summer my friend went on the retreat, and had nothing but amazing things to say about it…so this year I signed up. And boy she was right…it was amazing! A once in a lifetime opportunity. Here is a little glimpse into my trip. :)

 

THE ISLAND

The workshop was located on the private island of Silverskär, and it is one of over 6,000 islands that make up the Åland Islands between Sweden and Finland. The island was absolutely beautiful, and the hosts of the resort were absolutely lovely. We stayed in the cabins on the island, gathered in the large barn for the workshop, and ate each day at the dining hall. We had some downtime to explore the island, relax in the sauna and hot tub, as well as get an actual Swedish massage!

 

THE WORKSHOP

I was in my happy place…making things and being creative ALL DAY LONG. It was amazing. :) We spent our mornings and afternoons in the barn learning and practicing printing methods. We started out with potato prints (flashback to elementary school), then to lino block printing, and then finally stenciling.

The amount of creativity that was in one room was astounding. I was so impressed and blown away by everyone’s unique designs. I was in awe of the different styles and patterns they created, and learned that I need to stretch myself to get out of my comfort zone.

 

FOOD & FIKA

First off the food on the island was AMAZING. Here is a glimpse of a few of the dishes we had, as well as my introduction to Fika. What is Fika you ask? It’s a Swedish custom to break from your daily activity to drink coffee, eat cakes or other light snacks, and relax with others.

 

 

THE FRIENDS

Most importantly, I met some beautiful and talented women that I hope to keep in touch with for the long haul. Their creativity inspired me and I hope that we can meet up again in the future. Skål!

 

April craft-spiration

Spring has sprung! On a 75 degree day in Seattle we took off on a road trip for a few days to Canada. We only had a few days, so we stopped in Whistler, and Vancouver B.C. It was a whirlwind trip, but full of beautiful sites, and time with friends. I hadn’t been up to Canada in awhile, and was reminded of how beautiful the area is.

These are just a few photos of what inspired me last week, and prompted some needed craft brain-storming when I returned home!

Inspired by nature

Canada nature

Inspired by art

Canada art

Here’s to a artful April!

KK_scissors_aqua

Wood chalkboard

My brother in law is handy and has every tool you’d ever need to build something. And since he loves building and making things we agreed that we would have a Bro/Sis Craft Day! Our first project was inspired by a wooden chalkboard project I discovered on Pinterest.

There are several different versions of this chalkboard online, but the one that caught my eye was from Modern Hepburn. When I showed my bro-in-law the idea he wanted to make one more “authentic” from scratch. Just in case our authentic one didn’t turn out, I purchased a basewood as a back-up (similar to the ones from Walnut Hollow.)

The one showed here is the store bought basewood. I completed the one from scratch as well, but the key is letting the wood completely dry before cutting it. I ended up with a little cracking and the bark fell off in places.

Wood chalkboard

MATERIALS

  • Basewood
  • Gray primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Brush or foam roller
  • Silver drawer pull
  • Hot glue gun
  • Leather hole punch
  • 1/2″ leather straps
  • 2 – 3/4″ screws
  • 2 nuts

Wood Chalkboard Materials

Here are some images of how we made the “authentic” basewood. The first step was my bro-in-law trekking out into the woods on their property and cutting a few cross sections of a tree that had been cut down awhile ago. He planed two of the pieces to make them more even, and I sanded the fronts down to make them smooth.

If you just buy the basewood this step is already done for you!!

chalkboard_steps

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1:

Prime the basewood with the latex gray primer. When that is dry, paint two coats of the black chalkboard paint (following the directions on the box.)

Once the paint is fully dried (3 days) flip the drawer pull upside down, and place it on the basewood where you want to glue it. Trace around the edge of the drawer pull lightly so you know where to glue it. Put some hot glue on the backside of the drawer pull and carefully place it on the basewood.

Trace the drawer pull

Step 2:

The last step is to attach a picture hanger to the back, or if you want to go the extra distance, a leather strap for hanging.

I purchased a 1/2″ leather strap from CocosHeaven on Etsy. Using a leather hole punch, punch a hole approx 1/2″ from each end of the strap. This is where you will place your screws. I added some extra hardware flare by using a nut on each side as well. Carefully drill the screw into one side of the basewood, and repeat on the other side.

Side of chalkboard

Step 3:

Now you are ready to hang your chalkboard! Use the upside down drawer pull to store your chalk. It brings a little of the outdoors in. Enjoy!