Sweet Paul Makerie 2017

A few weekends ago, I was off to Brooklyn NY with my new suitcase in hand, to attend the Sweet Paul Makerie Retreat. Last year my friend Cathie (of Tinsel + Trim) went to the retreat in Philly. We had such an amazing time that as we were walking out of the last day of the retreat we said to each other “we are DEFINITELY coming back next year.” It came at a time in the year when I needed time away to just relax and invest in me. This year it comes on the heels of a few busy work months and so again…it’s come at the right time.

This year’s retreat started off with a Friday evening cocktail reception at Lotta Jansdotter‘s Brooklyn studio. Meeting her was quite the treat. She was truly lovely and welcoming! We mingled with other SPMR attendees, sipped on some cocktails, and nibbled on some Bien Cuit bread and cheese.

This year the Sweet Paul Makerie was at 501 Union space. It was such a lovely venue.

My first workshop Saturday morning was screen printing with foil with Hannah Shultz.This project had my name written all over it…GOLD bling! :) We trotted over to the Textile Arts Center a few blocks away for this workshop.

I haven’t done silk screening since my summer school stint in elementary school. :) We got some instruction, then we were let loose to create our master pieces. I was a little stumped at first on what to create, but then with a little inspiration I created a geometric tree and printed it on some light gray fabric I bought at Purl Soho earlier that week. I LOVE the way it turned out! And what to do with it? Make it into a pillow of course. (My house is beginning to look a little like a pillow shop.)

In the afternoon I took a leather bracelet class from the wonderful Bags by Elke. I am a fan of Elke and her beautiful bags and leather goods she creates. I purchased one of her bags at last years Sweet Paul Makerie and it’s one of my all-time favorites.  We all first made an organic leather bracelet, learning how to use a few new tools like the leather strap cutter and leather punch. Who knew there was such a thing as a strap cutter? Brilliantly easy tool. We then graduated to learning how to bevel and burnish the edges of the leather by making a 2-row beaded bracelet.

Sunday was an all-day espadrille class by the fabulous instructors from the Brooklyn Shoe Space. By far this might have been my favorite class of the weekend. Not only did we walk away (literally) with a custom handmade pair of espadrilles, but I learned so much about the art of making shoes. I am definitely traveling back to Brooklyn to take another class. :)

Over the whole weekend we had a few special guests. One of the highlights (for me) was the Bread & Butter Bar. Yes, that’s right. A BREAD AND BUTTER BAR. :) The bread was provided by Bien Cuit as well as Zachary Golper, founder & owner of Bien Cuit joined us to tell us his story!

Also at the retreat were the Beekman Boys of Beekman 1802 Mercantile. All amazing creative people who were inspiring in different ways. Sweet Paul never ceases to amaze me of who he brings to his retreats. :)

The whole weekend was amazing. As many of the participants reflected on the weekend…the general feeling in the air is that the Sweet Paul Makerie Retreat is always a place for creativity, sharing, learning, and reuniting. I too recognized a few familiar faces (as well as met some new ones) that I look forward to seeing again (in person or online!)

Here’s to next year and many more!