Thursday, December 13, 2012

Handmade U - Spring 2013

Hi Everyone,

I am sure everyone is busy getting ready for the holidays like we are here! It seems that things begin to move at a super-sonic rate as the year rolls to a quick end. One thing I wanted to get ready before the end of the year is our plan for Handmade U - Spring 2013!! I know April seems so far away, but it will be here before you know it!

I still haven't finished sharing all the goodness that was our Fall Semester, but as I continue to do that, please consider joining us again, or for the first time for Handmade U - Fourth Semester Spring 2013. We will be in downtown Omaha April 4-6th for our latest installment.

You can find all the details on the new website! Please stop over and let me know what you think of the new site! I am totally biased, but I love it. It really is the Handmade U style.

The instructors we have coming this time will be FABULOUS!!! That is 100% certainty, no if's and's or but's about it.

Dawn DeVries Sokol will be teaching an exciting class called "The Doodlicious Tapebound Journal" Sounds yummy!

Camille Serra McClelland will be teaching a very cool class called "Introduction to Leather Whispering". Ohhhhh love the leather, love creating cuffs!!

Hope to see you when the school bell rings April 4th, 2013!! Visit HandmadeU to signup NOW!!

Happy Holidays!!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Third Semester Handmade U - First Night

Hi Everyone,

Did your Fall fly by like mine?  I can't believe Thanksgiving is over and we are headed full force right at Christmas!

The other event that I feel is coming quicker than I realize is Handmade U Fourth Semester Spring 2013!!

I feel like we just had our amazing Third Semester which I am going to share about here!  Spring will be here before we know it, and I have secured two AMAZING teachers for two SUPER FUN classes!!  As Handmade U evolves we try new things and keep the fun things you'll remember from all semesters past.  Handmade U will be held at a downtown Omaha hotel this next semester!!  That means just a few blocks walk to the Old Market full of shopping and restaurants!  A quick free shuttle from the airport, and just a fun atmosphere!

I am buttoning up the details and will be sharing the goods with you soon!!  Be sure to write your letter to Santa including your desire to come to Handmade U Spring 2013!!

(L to R: Shelley, Michelle, Hope, Me, and Liesel)

So Thankful for these ladies that helped make Handmade U Fall 2012 so wonderful!!

Now let's remember all the fun we had at Handmade U Fall 2012!  This was our biggest event yet.

Our Welcome dinner Thursday night after our afternoon of Shopping began with Goodies!!  Goodies included a bag of snacks, water, Omaha tourist info for students' stay.  The official Handmade U t-shirt!  A small tote bag embroidered with the student's name on one side and the Handmade U embroidered logo on the other with a fun ruffle at the top (made with much love by my Mom Sara.  Also a Yoyo button name pin!  Of course I must mention the total bag was full of sponsor goodies!!  So much love was shared with our students!!  They appreciated it all so much!

Everyone was excited for the much anticipated classes of our instructors Liesel Lund and Hope Wallace Karney!


I was thrilled that Liesel came all the way from Seattle to be with us, and Hope came from Maryland!  Not to mention that this was Hope's first in-person class to teach!  Both did such a great job!  More to come on the classes....

First Dessert....

YUM.  Nothing Bundt Cakes!!  So good.

Next we had Make and Take's.  My 3rd semester Alum and some of my favorite people helped out with the evening activities.

Michelle Geller, a two time Handmade U Instructor herself, taught a cute little journal that some of the girls used to track the weekend fun.  

At the next table over Shelley Overholt, a girl of many talents, showed us how to make her favorite Hexi's.  

Such a cute little bracelet!  This one takes a bit of patience and time, but well worth it!!  

Off to Bed for our students, and onto decorating the Class Room for me and a few elves ;)

More to come on the weekend.....

Be Inspired,


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Handmade U - Sponsor #16 Lisa Leonard

Hi Everyone,

Handmade U is only weeks away!  The excitement is building and preparations are in a frantic swing!! I was away on a work/vacation trip and am home to forge ahead to complete all the final tasks for the fun weekend to come!

I wanted to introduce you all to Lisa Leonard, today's sponsor!  Lisa makes beautiful and meaningful jewelry that becomes your go-to piece day to day, but special enough for a fun event!

Lisa has sent us a beautiful necklace that one lucky lady will win during Handmade U!

Please check out Lisa's blog where she shares about her sweet family and her day to day style, (which is fab!).

Also be sure to check out her shop HERE!  Sign up for her daily emails and receive a coupon code for a percent off your next purchase!!  How awesome!

Thanks so much Lisa for supporting Handmade U!!

Here is one of her gorgeous pieces!!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Handmade U Sponsor #15 - Sherri Welser!

Today's Sponsor I am happy to announce is Sherri Welser of Indigo Earth.  Check out her blog HERE!

Sherri makes beautiful leather wrap cuffs, beaded bracelets, beautiful artwork, all kinds of wonderful things!!

In her words " “I love to be creative and it is important for me to help provide inspiration to others through my work, You will often find inspirational words or quotes in my artwork with lots of color and texture. I currently am on several Design Teams and love sharing with others. I also have an online art workshop starting on September 12th- Embrace the Art Within Your Heart”

Check out Sherri on her website or blog!

Thanks Sherri!!!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Handmade U Sponsor #14!- AcornRidge Quilting (aka my MOM)

Hi Everyone,

My Mom, Sara Velder, is once again helping support Handmade U this Fall Semester.  She is making a fun door prize to be given away!

Sara is a talented Quilter, she uses her Long Arm Quilting machine to quilt customer quilts everyday. She has the quickest turnaround that you can find and does a FANTASTIC job!  If you like to sew quilt tops, but want someone else to handle the quilting, Acorn Ridge Quilting is where you need to go!  Check out her blog HERE and her website HERE.  She quilts for people around the country, all you need to do is ship her your quilt top!

Last semester we worked on using an old vintage cutter quilt I had to make these pencil cases.  I love mine!!

Many of her customers have won ribbons in the Fairs that are happening around the State now!  Fun to see!

Thanks again MOM!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Handmade U Sponsors #13 - Besotted Brands

Hi Everyone,

Today's sponsor is Besotted Brands!  They sent along a fun door prize that some lucky lady will win!

Check out their blog and shop HERE!

From their website here is how they describe their well said!!  Really intriguing!

"Besotted Brand LLC, the illustrious purveyors of fine design, lay claim to a quaint studio under the violet leaves of a Jacaranda tree in the City of Angels. The studio is pure magic; the leaves sweep themselves into the compost bin, pens don their caps like derbies, and the crumpets don’t ever leave crumbs. Everyone knows that for Proprietress Miss B., slipshod and messy just won’t do. "

Thanks Besotted Brands!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Handmade U Sponsor #12 - Jennifer Babcock

Our sponsor for today is Jennifer Babcock!  You can check out Jennifer at her blog "Covered in Glitter" HERE !  Jennifer her mom and daughter Lexi are always on the go and having fun adventures!  I met them at a Silver Bella long ago and hope to have them come to a Handmade U someday soon!   This time doesn't work but Jennifer wanted to be a part of the weekend so she is our 12th Sponsor!!

Here is one of her fun pics from her Facebook!

Thanks Jennifer for supporting Handmade U!!


Art Classes In Omaha Nebraska - Handmade U...the Inspiration

As Handmade U, our sure to be amazing art retreat (based on the most creative ladies coming) quickly approaches I am reminded of the first Art Retreat I ever attended.

I was living in Colorado at the time, and needed to come back to Omaha, Nebraska for a work meeting.  I was reading a Country Living magazine and saw an article on Silver Bella.  It was going to be the weekend after my meeting and I figured I would enjoy spending a few extra days in Nebraska visiting my family.  I did take some time to decide...the pictures and projects looked amazing, I loved creating things, but hadn't really made the time to work on projects.  

I did not know a soul that was going, or really anyone that was into that kind of CRAFTY stuff.  It was not cheap either so I thought and thought about it....I realized that I couldn't put it out of my mind and if I didn't do it I would be disappointed and regretful for not making the time for something I'd enjoy and really be inspired by.  So I signed up!  I figured the classes would be fun and hopefully I would meet a few people that had the same interests as I did.... And did I EVER!

I was excited and didn't know what to expect!  I showed up and it was wonderful.  I met a few gals from Kansas City that took me under their glittered wings and I had the BEST time.  Thanks to Kara, Sheila and Ali!

One of my first instructors was Charlotte Lyons, she is so very talented!  As you will see in upcoming pics, I seemingly stalked her at each event I went to!  I actually always just loved the projects that she was teaching, and she has a fun laid back style that I love.

After my first event I went crazy...Here is a walk down memory art retreat lane!

I attended Spark 1 in Salt Lake City, UT, again knowing no one!

Silver Bella 2009, Yes that is Charlotte again, we are wearing our felted hats that I learned to make in her class!

The Kansas City girls and I wearing our fun aprons!

I learned of Brave Girl Camp from a few gals and decided again to go without knowing anyone.  The fun thing is I ended up knowing a couple girls from the Spark event.  Best of all I met my sweet friend Lisa who has become a lifelong friend....a crafty partner in crime!

Melody Ross and her sister Kathy Wilkins have turned their Brave Girl Camp into an AMAZING beyond inspiring retreat.  Here are Melody and I at BGC in Idaho.

My friend Kara came up from KC to take an all day class with the cute and fun Claudine Hellmuth in Lincoln, NE.

My friend Jen and I decided to attend a retreat in Savannah, GA!  We had never been and wanted to see the sights and meet some fun ladies!  We met Shelly Overholt, in the middle between us in the pic below.  Yes we were suppose to be in Southern Belle Garb!  Shelley did I better than us!  Shelley will be back for Handmade U 3, her 3rd time!!  So fun!

Mary Engelbreit had a fun art retreat weekend in St Louis, yes that is her in the middle of us below.   My friends Lisa, Kara and I decided to head there together!  What a fun weekend.  Plus we got to see Claudine again!

Another class with Charlotte - YES PLEASE!

Kaari Meng of French General hosts the most incredible week in the South of France!  I've been blessed to be able to go twice.  Once in 2010 and in 2011.  This was my 2010 trip.  Met incredible ladies there as well!

Jo Packham of Where Women Create hosted Creative Connection in Minneapolis.  It was a huge convention of ladies in crafting businesses as well as just those of us wanting to learn new things!  My friend Lisa and I met there.  We were thrilled to run into Melody Ross and Margie Romney Aslett, our Brave Girl Sisters!

The Second Spark in Utah I was ready to head out with Lisa yet again, but she had a family emergency.  I was lucky enough to find out my friend Dana that I had met at Spark 1 was going again. We were able to share a ride and room and had a blast!!

Silver Bella yet again,  I hosted a fun swap and was excited to meet all the ladies that joined in!

Sheila, Kara and I at the vendor night!

This was the year at Silver Bella that I met Michelle Geller!  I didn't know at the time that we were destined to lots of collaboration in the future!!  At the time I joined a journal page swap that turned me onto vintage ephemera and woke me up to needing to UP MY Game in regards to embellishing!! :)

Great to see Jenny Doh, another Brave Girls Sister, and once again Charlotte Lyons at Silver Bella.

Brave Girls Camp 2011 - Lisa and I at it again.  We met another wonderful lady - Michelle!

Lisa and I at BCG with Camille - the leather whisperer!  (amazing artist)

I attended Moulin Rouge in Southern California, May 2011.  I knew of people going but wasn't close enough with anyone at the time to bunk up!  So I asked the lovely hostess Kim Caldwell and she gave me Denise Hahn's name.  Lucky me!!  Denise is as sweet as she is talented!  She picked me up and we shopped the garment district along with Michelle Geller and Valita Baxley!  What a fun day!!

This is where Michelle and I turned ideas into actions and I roped her into being the first instructor at the very first of hopefully many HANDMADE U's!!  (yes the wine may have had something to do with it!!)

Swap of the fun perks at some Art Retreats, exchanging goodies, ephemera, artworks with other crafty artsy ladies!!  I can't wait to see what the Handmade U gals come up with this fall!!

As an added bonus we went to visit Kaari Meng at French General and took a class with the talented Mother Daughter duo of Debbie Murray and Shea Frangosea.

May 2012 was also Birdsong at the talented Karla Nathan's home studio.  Lisa and I met in the middle! (Lisa coming from OK and me from NE)

The talented Carol Spinski was one of our instructors!  Fun tree class!

Then it was time for the First Semester of Handmade U!  Fall 2011  With the help and support of my husband Jim and my parents Gerry and Sara we really had a great weekend!

Michelle and I, HU's first instructors!

Fall 2011 Graduating Class (DeeAnn not pictured)

Mollie, Stephanie, Michelle, Rachel, Sara, Lindy, Lisa, Michelle, Shelley, Hope, Pam and Nora!

Brave Girl 2013...what a great group of girls!  My pal Amber!  Love her, so funny!

The best roomies!  Gina, Johanna and I

Melody and I

Don't even think about touching our Mod Podge!!  Camille, Me, Megan, and Johanna.  The Craft Pack.

Michelle and I kicking off Handmade U Spring 2012

Handmade U Graduating Class Spring 2012
Rachel, Shelley, Jodie, Paige, Michelle, Hope, Pam, Michelle, Leslie, Laurel, Mollie and Stephanie.

Handmade U - Staff.  Sara, Jim, Rachel, Gerry, Michelle and Pam.  THANKS!

Fast forward 4 years and after 13+ art retreats I have now hosted two of my own, moving onto Semester 3 of Handmade U!

I am most giddy when I have ladies email me about never attending an art retreat before and this will be their FIRST!  It makes me a little nervous that I am sure they enjoy Handmade U SO MUCH, it makes me work harder to prepare an AMAZING weekend.

I have at least 2 ladies coming this time that have never been to a retreat, they don't know a soul. I hope they can look back in a year or two and are thankful they were BRAVE and made their first step into Artsy Retreats!!

We have a few spaces left for Handmade U - Fall Semester.  The weekend details are HERE.  September 20-22 in Omaha NE.  Our instructors have COOL, AMAZING, WONDERFUL projects planned!  Hope Wallace Karney and Liesel Lund, so AWESOME!