Monday, April 30, 2012

The Makerie 2012

Most photos were taken by the talented Teryn, who captured the entire Makerie weekend on flickr HERE

A little over a week ago, I was back in beautiful Boulder, Colorado for the second annual Makerie.  Last year I was a teacher and this year it was part work and part play, since I gave a lunch forum on transitioning a craft into a business, but also took a few classes myself.  If you ever longed for time away: to create, to dream, to eat good food and make new friends...  the Makerie is the place for you!

The crafting retreat is set in the mountains in Chautauqua with adorable and fresh little cabins nestled in the foothills.  It was unseasonably warm--80 degrees!--so everything was lush and in full bloom.  

Ali {who runs the Makerie} picks the most amazing food for the weekend, a farm-to-table menu with meals like goat cheese and portabello sandwiches, pesto gnocchi, and red velvet cake pops being among some of my favs.  That's my little red head in the photo below:
{The beet tacos were amazing, btw!}

I took a food styling class with Aran Goyoaga.  Aran has her own distinctive, feminine style and a knack for creating tasty food and finding amazing light.

another of Aran's yummy photos:

Aran gave us a presentation with a few tips, then she made a hazelnut and goat cheese salad showing us the entire recipe, then had chocolate and cherry cookies, beet quinoa, almond apple tarts, and lots of other amazing food for us to sample and photograph.

I don't know if I have said before, but I have a love/hate relationship with photography.  I think it is such a beautiful way to capture life and savor memories, but it can also be extremely frustrating... it takes time, thinking, positioning and repositioning to get the perfect shot.  It was both gratifying and discouraging to hear Aran describe her process in her photo styling, which was not unlike how I feel when I photograph our shoes.  Aran notices every detail--the crack of an egg shell, the color of each berry, the turn of a leaf of an herb--all these details are studied and snapped again and again until finally they align into the perfect capture.  That's how it is for me...  I study every detail when I shoot our shoes, notice the light, try one backdrop and then another... and take shots over and over {usually while both kids are running around my ankles} until I get "the shot."  It's hard, aggravating and rewarding all at the same time.

I learned some tips on gear, using reflectors, but mostly, I could feel a sense of similarity.  I mean, I am not a professional photographer by any sense and I am not equating my skills with hers, but I think our emotional connection to what we shoot is similar, since Aran cooks all the food she photographs like I design all the product I shoot.

Here are a few photos from the class and my attempt at food styling.  {Ha!  I won't be quitting my day job any time soon!}:



I will have more on the rest of the Makerie weekend tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dancing in the Kitchen

"I can't image in anything by music could have brought about this alchemy.
Maybe it's because music is about as physical as it gets:
your essential rhythm is the heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath.
We are walking temples of noise, and when you add pounding hearts to this mix,
it somehow lets us meet in places we couldn't get to in any other way."
-Anne Lamott
Several years ago, I was at a MOPS retreat--a little getaway for moms set in a cottage in the country by the lake.  It was late and we were sitting on the couch and talking, when one of the moms was saying how she was going to make sure all her kids would know the lyrics to songs of her favorite rock and roll bands.  From there, we were laughing and reminiscing about the music of our childhood... listening to "Everybody Hurts" while swaying at the sock hop, stomping our feet to "We Will Rock You," or cuffing our jeans to "Bust a Move."

Since then, something struck me about the importance of music and it's power to cultivate emotion and solidify a memory.  As the kids have gotten older, it has been an intentional effort of mine to include music among their childhood memories.  While I think there is something transcendent about music centered around worship {one of our fav artists is Shane and Shane} we also listen to a lot of main stream music, too.  Our home is often filled with music, and the kids have each developed their respective favorites.  In fact, I feel like it's given me a bit more insight into their personalities to know each child's preferences.  My seven year old son Aidan has an uncanny amount of physical energy; in fact, so much so that one time he broke his nose and chipped a tooth on the headboard of our bed, just being a super hero.  However, when Aidan listens to music, he seems to prefer acoustic/folksy music or sounds that are soft and lyrical; he often relaxes when he listens and it seems to calm him.  Mia, on the other hand, is my little rocker {in the picture she is belting it out to Kelly Clarkson's Stronger} and loves pop and rock and roll.  One of my biggest dilemmas has been how to handle the kids during the witching hour {you know, that hour before dinner, where they are tired and hungry and tend to whine and fight.  Your kids would never act that way, I'm sure, but that's how it is in our house.}  Well, I have found that is often the best time to turn the music up as loud as it will go and dance in the kitchen.  Also, sometimes at bedtime, the kids request listening to a favorite song instead of a story.  I'm looking forward to taking them to their first concert, when the time seems right.  But overall, my main drive has been that when the kids remember home, not only do they remember times of peace, quiet and safety, but they also have memories of heart-pumping dancing in the kitchen, laughter, and that special type of joy that accompanies music.

What about you?  Do your children love music and how do they respond to it?  Do you dance in your kitchen.... or only when no one is looking? ;)

Dancing Poster by Joy of Ex, found here.  For some of our family's fav songs, you can click here or listen to the songs on the pop up player on the right side of the blog===>
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DIY Wednesday - Gumball Necklace

Beautiful bouquet by Flourish Designs. Photography by Sarah Maren

It's not a secret that bright, enamel jewelery has been a trend for awhile now.  One of the things I love about Joyfolie is taking some of today's modern trends and applying them to little girls.  So, considering Easter is this weekend, the profusion of candy, and the chunky jewelry trend, I have the perfect DIY for you.  I took the color inspiration of coral, lilac, and teal in the lovely bouquet above and used similar hues in this necklace, perfect for your little gal's Easter basket {or perhaps equally fun as birthday party favors}:

So, here is what you need:

satin or fake flowers
gems {optional}
fabric glue or glue gun

a metal skewer

Reading through the material list, this DIY is for a gumball necklace!  You may like the fun, ephemeral nature of the materials.  If you don't like that and want it to be lasting, I have tips for that at the bottom.

So, to start, use your skewer to poke holes in all your gumballs:



Next, take your ribbon, and wrap the end with a piece of tape {makes it easier to thread} and push the ribbon through the gumball, knotting the ribbon in between each one.  I used wasabi tape, so you could see what I mean.

Add enough gumballs until you feel the necklace looks complete.

Next comes the fun part.  Using satin, felt and/or fake flowers, embellish the necklace.  Since it's made out of gumballs {and going to get drooled all over} I would suggest making the flowers into a clip that can be used after the candy is eaten.  I have a tutorial HERE with tips on how to make a flower clip similar to the one in the photo.  Or, if you really want the entire necklace to be lasting, you can purchase bubble gum beads on Etsy HERE.

Hope you enjoy!

May Poll

Artwork by Michelle Armas

Hello out there!.... to the four people still checking the Joyfolie blog as it has sat idle, once again, for much too long.  The irony is that when the blog sits silent is when there is the most happening behind the scenes.  This dichotomy really saddens me, actually, because I want Joyfolie to be transparent.  I want to say, Grab a cup of coffee {or glass of wine, depending on time of day} and hang out, and I will tell you what it's like, starting as a one-woman crafter and taking something into full-scale production.  I want to tell the story because I want Joyfolie to be different from faceless conglomerates, but more importantly because maybe my path will help other women out there... to take a wild journey, get lost in a passion, see what happens to this hobby run a muck, that sort of thing.

If I had to sum up the current silence, it can be attributed to one issue: staffing.  I have an amazing and tiny little team here at Joyfolie, and I stand at the helm pulling at way too many strings {designing, selling, marketing, production, pricing,... even a lot of the photography... and so on.}  All this is happening while my two kiddos spin around me like a May poll.  I mean that literally.  The other day I was standing in the kitchen, mulling over what to do next, while both kids walked in tiny circles around me.  I am not even sure why.... or why their father can be in the next room enjoying a TV show uninterrupted, while around me the spinning continues.

There are a lot of implications in our next phase of growth.  It's funny... I would have thought {and some people have even asked me} if it's a scary thing.  But it's not.  It feels exactly right.  In fact, at night when everyone is sleeping, sometimes I put headphones on, turn the music way up, and imagine what it will be like... to be in a bigger studio space, to have a solid team, to build a business in a Red-Bull world that values family.   It feels both exciting and necessary.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop by to say hi!  And, yes, still alive over here.  In fact, summer {and our new collection} is already coming next month!  ...and women's shoes and a few kids dresses.  I can't wait until I have a little more breathing room to tell you more!


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