Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Handmade U Semester 8 - Hoop Art SWAP

Hi Again,

Part of the excitement in preparing to come to Handmade U are the many SWAPS to participate in.  This gives the ladies that are really anxious to get here a little something to keep them busy before HU begins.... (or a lot busy if you sign up for ALL of them)

As I mentioned in the last post I host the Color Box Swap and then ask other students to host their own swap.  They provide me the guidelines and then pair up the participants that sign up or coordinate all the participants if it is a group vs one-on-one swap.  This semester we had a few new ideas that were loads of fun!

Jennifer suggested and hosted the Hoop Art Swap!  This was a one-on-one swap that each participant created (or purchased) a meaningful hoop based on what they could gather from their partner of their interests.

These hoops really hit to the heart of each of us!  So thoughtful and lovingly created or purchased!!

Jayne & Laura:

Suzanne & Kim:

Dawn & Nicole:

Mackenzie & Charity:

 Me & Beth:

 Jennifer & Julie:

Casey & Ali:

Katie & Tammy:

Dianne & Bianca:

All the hoops were so fun to see!  Everyone had their own take on them and made them special for their partners!  So fun!

This swap I think should be a keeper!!

More to come!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Handmade U Semester 8 - COLOR BOX SWAPS!!


As I started sifted through the pics of all our Handmade U Swaps I quickly realized this would take a few posts to share all the fun things the students traded, or SWAPPED with each other. 

First I'll share my favorite.  This has quickly become a student favorite as well.  I host this swap each semester because it is incredibly fun to pick out a color and have your partner find a fun container/box, and fill it to the brim with vintage bits of ephemera, fabric, paints, or buttons, trims, etc.  Really anything and everything to create a visual treat when your partner opens it up!  There are a lot of ooh's and aah's and maybe a few eeks, when the receiving end opens up her swap box!

Traditionally a vintage jewelry box is found and filled, it is the perfect container since there are so many little spots to fill up.  We had a few new container firsts that you'll see below that were a hit as well!

Jennifer and Charity -
{Vintage Train Case and Jewelry Box}

Ali and Julie -
{Vintage Jewelry Boxes}

Nicole and Robin -
{Nicole found this cute sewing bag for Robin, super cute, and a Vintage Jewelry Box}

Casey & Judy
{Vintage Cake Tin and a Large Floral Box}

 Carey & Katie
{Vintage Jewelry Boxes}

Dawn & Dianne
{Vintage Jewelry Box and Wooden Cigar Box}

Tonya & Jayne
{Wooden Travel Box and Vintage Wooden Purse....Jayne was brought to tears by Tonya's sweet story and Facebook stalking to pick the most perfect symbolic container, super special}

 Tammy & Beth
{Vintage Train Case and Jewelry Box}

Barb & Rene
{Bird Cage - fun new idea! And Jewelry Box}

Me and Laura
{Metal Tool Box (loved it Laura!) and Vintage Train Case}

Valita and Shae
{Wooden Box and Hat Box}

These color boxes just get better and better!  I love the thought all the girls put into their swaps.  They truly are a treasure to take home!  


Friday, May 15, 2015

Handmade U - Semester 8 - Day 3 - Class Time, Wood Fire Oven Pizza and a Fond Farewell Dinner

Hi All -

I'm loving remembering this joy filled weekend!!  Even though I might have been a little crazy busy during the weekend, I enjoyed every moment with these students!!

Saturday morning we started by finishing the little birdies and plaque with Melody.  The painting and collaging really added to the personality of each little birdie.

All the beautiful work from the students!

I hope they grace a special place in each of your homes!!

While everyone worked to finish their projects in the morning we had an Oven Fire Pizza making machine come set-up for lunch!

Even in the brisk weather and drizzle they braved the elements to FEED us!  So grateful!

Thanks to Rolling Fire Company for bringing in lunch and cranking out those pizzas!  Did you know those ovens get to over 800 degrees??  After a day of cooling off they can still cook a chicken in it??  Wow, HOT!

The pizzas were super tasty!  They were also very accommodating for our gals who were gluten free, even egg and corn free along with a few other things....

Judy was able to eat pizza after not having it for years!!  Yay!

After having our fill of pizzas that kept being delivered into the barn, we finished up Melody's fun project and I provided my Handmade U Barn stitching project to everyone that was ready...

I gave a few stitching lessons to those who were embroidering for their FIRST time!! How exciting!

Though this project wasn't going to be completed in an afternoon, I was so excited to see everyone get started with a stitch or two!  We have been sharing on our FB group and instagram the progress.  I'll do an update blog post when I get more finished project photos to share.  I love seeing how differently all the gals are choosing to stitch their project!

I put together a little "self-published" {aka copied and sewn} book together of my favorite basic stitches.  I hope it helped the newbies!!

One of the gals favorite gifts of the weekend was the amazing Quilted Red Barn needle keeper that my Mom created for each student, personalized and all!

After everyone finished their projects and started wrapping up the gals either went back to freshen up at their hotel, or even snuck in some extra shopping....

Dinner was at Lazlo's in downtown Lincoln in an area called the Haymarket.  I had chosen kebabs, steak or chicken, and salads.  Such good food, and great service.

We had our own special room which was away from the crowded restaurant, so it was relaxing and private to share one last meal together and my thanks to the group!!

We even had an impromptu photo shoot at the end of the evening...

Thanks to Melody Ross for being such a wonderful teacher, and impromptu helper - given I was a little behind due to being under the weather the few days before HU.  She was a trooper and I can't thank her enough!

Thanks too to all the Sponsors, I will be doing a special blog post coming up on the Sponsors, they make HU even more FUN!!  Who doesn't love a goodie bag?!

Thanks to all the 'peaters this semester!!  The 1-peaters or the 2, 3, 4 or 5-peaters!!  I loved having you at the Homestead, I hope you enjoyed it!!

Ya'll come back now ya hear?


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Handmade U Semester 8 - Day 2 - Class with Melody Ross and Antiquing!

Hi Friends,

Our teacher for Friday morning and Saturday morning was Melody Ross, who by the way is amazing, I'm sure you know this, but in case someone hasn't been touched by the Brave Girl's Club, please go and check them out.  It is life - changing, soul - stirring, healing stuff they do over there.  Love them....

We did miss having the other half of the founding duo of BGC with us, Kathy Wilkins, but so happy she was able to spend time with her newest grandbaby!  So we'll look forward to her visiting us during another semester!!

Melody brought a fun project with awesome techniques that use many household items such as foil!

She made a fun little birdie that holds a special message, as well as a plaque....

This project also involved plaster, which is messy, wet, and all together awesome.  Luckily we have a water spout next to the barn, so we all took a little field trip to fill up our cups.

Julie, like a pro....

All the birdies came out differently which is always the best!  Each one unique like each of our students!  Laura and Ali, a part of a fairly hilarious table...every time I walked by someone at the table was cracking a joke or laughing like crazy.....

Always a good day to wear the HU t-shirts when there might be a little mess, and an apron if they had one!

Melody was so fun to have at Handmade U.....we want her to come back again and again....

The birdies were built on top of candlestick holders that we all found and brought with us to HU.  

After a busy morning of our hands in the plaster, we took a break for lunch prior to our antiquing afternoon!!

Beginning last semester I thought it would be fun to have a box lunch one of our days.  Since this is a school of sorts, why not bring out lunches in the vintage lunch boxes I hunted down for HU??

Luckily I had Cora McGough to help direct me finishing up the packing and making of the lunches....and  of course Jim McGough in the AM to help!

Each lunch box is packed with a croissant ham and swiss with special dressing, an apple, a cookie, string cheese and what else but a bag 'o chips! 

 Thanks to Jayne for
gifting me with a couple vintage lunch boxes that she found down in Florida too!!  So fun to share these with the students each semester!  It takes you back!

Melody enjoying her lunch on the lawn...we are pretty casual at Handmade U!

After lunch we all packed into cars and headed to two of my favorite antique malls.  I gave them a heads up a couple weeks before HU to staff up since I was bringing in about 30 women, who may like to shop!  Both did, which was so appreciated when it came time to check out!!  

Dawn and Jayne with their purchases waiting for the rest of their carload to head to the next stop...

 Check-out time....

Just about everyone found some special treasures to take home with them to remember such a fun weekend.

I could get lost in here for hours....

The next stop was just like the first, tons to see, and treasures to find...

After the last penny was spent and we packed it all into the cars we headed back to the Homestead.  Jim McGough had started the preparations for dinner.... Cream Cans.....  What are Cream Cans you ask?!  It is one of my favorite favorite meals....not only for the experience but for the tasty food!

You fill an old cream can (that has been cleaned out of course!!) with corn on the cob, sausages, potatoes, carrots and cabbage.... fill it with beer to steam it all in, and once it steams to perfection dump them into these tubs to serve!  Just like that...a meal to savor!!  Nice job Jim!


 The happy gals sharing a meal and stories...

Love seeing these happy smiles!  I miss them so...

Feels like camping a little bit....

Dig into the corn!! I love it Nicole!

Full from the food and the friendships formed this day.....

Appreciate the love and support from this guy, my #1.

 Before dinner was ready we spent time trading our swaps....oh my, that is a whole post in of itself!  The swaps, ahh, love them, love the LOVE each gal puts into sharing a special surprise with their partners.  I took TONS and TONS of pictures of each one.... I'll share soon!