Back in October I celebrated another birthday, and though I have reached the point where birthdays are often described as "better than the alternative," I have to say that this one was pretty good. Spending my birthday morning at Urban Craft Camp was definitely one of the highlights.
I'm not exactly sure how I first heard about Urban Craft Camp but I'm pretty sure it was through Instagram. I was already familiar with the craft workshops run by Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day up in San Francisco and Bri Emery of DesignLoveFest in LA, and while LA isn't too far from here, I was beyond excited to discover an option that didn't involve that dreaded commute up the 5.
Urban Craft Camp is run by Jen Byard, a San Diego creative who also runs Thread and Arrow, a hand crafted goods business. Each session focuses on a particular craft. They've done everything from floral arranging to book binding.
I attended my first session last spring. It was held at the North Park Nursery and in it we learned how to make succulent wreaths. I made a conscious decision not to bring my Canon to that workshop. I really wanted to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand. Of course now I regret that because my iphone photos are kind of meh, but I must have been doing something right because that succulent wreath is still thriving six months later!
Whenever I attend an Urban Craft Camp workshop I always feel as though I've gotten my money's worth. Every detail is carefully thought out, from the snacks (there are always snacks, often made by local bakers) to the tablescapes. Upon arriving at the North Park Nursery I was thrilled to find long tables filled with succulents and succulent clippings.
There were other goodies as well, like these fun scissors from We Love Citrus. Not only did we use the scissors to make the wreaths, we also got to take them home.
My next workshop focused on canning—as in canning preserves. That's right, a craft camp wherein we used mason jars for their intended purpose. (Genius, I know.)
One of the fun things about Urban Craft Camp is that the location changes according to the craft, making it a great way to experience cool, new spaces around the San Diego area. This time it was held at Zilaro Cellars, a wine tasting room in picturesque Coronado, California
As usual, every detail was perfect: from the name tags and business cards set out on the front table...
To the snacks...
To the baskets of fruit which we eventually cut up to put in the preserves.
Look at these adorable place settings. We got to keep the painted wooden spoons, the herbs (mine was rosemary), and the recipe cards.
The class was run by Betsy from BetsyLife, a food blog I've followed for quite some time now. (I may or may not have been a little star struck when I met her.) If you're not familiar with Betsy, you probably are familiar with her Samoa Cake. (It was pinned about a jillion times on Pinterest.) And for good reason. (It's a Samoa Cake, for goodness sake.) Go look at it now. Seriously.
And here's a picture of the finished product. In addition to the goodies mentioned above we also got to take home a jar of our homemade preserves (and they were delicious)!
My third Craft Camp was a calligraphy workshop held at the gorgeous Central Library in downtown San Diego. Once again I left my big camera at home so please forgive the small, iphone shots.
Our instructor was Wendy Ware, a Professional Calligrapher and Illustrator. Here she is demonstrating her craft.
And here are my attempts.
(And my snacks. I like snacks.)
For this session we got to take home a ton of goodies including a stylus, several nibs, two types black ink, colored inks, tracing paper, lettering guides, and envelopes.
I'd love to tell you that I've used those goodies to become a calligraphy expert but that would be a lie. (Still, though, the potential is there. )
The last workshop I attended is the one I mentioned in my introduction. Taught by the adorable Jonnie of Grey Theory Mill, the focus was chalkboard art. (Fun fact: Jonnie is an artist at Trader Joe's, as in, she does the signage that you see around the store. Needless to say, she was the perfect person to teach a class on chalkboard art.)
Here are a few snaps from the workshop.
This cute sign was stuck in my eraser. (An eraser that saw a lot of use.)
Everyone got a tote bag emblazoned with this quote:
The workshop was held in at The Moniker Warehouse in the East Village neighborhood of downtown San Diego. It is an incredibly cool space.
Jonnie brought an impressive array of chalk pens.
There were lots of cool examples to emulate:
And here are some signs made by the participants. This one was made by my friend Sabine of House of Danlu.
I'm not sure who did this one but I thought it was really well done.
And this is mine. I love it and can't wait to put it on display for the holidays.
There were so many great signs that I can't possibly include them all here. If you're interested in seeing more, check out Urban Craft Camp's Instagram page.
When I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea that I would be ending it with this: I am thrilled to announce that I will be attending the next Urban Craft Camp not as a participant, but as an instructor. Join us on December 13th for a Holiday Crafting Workshop. I will be there teaching people how to make vintage-inspired, mason jar snow globes like the one seen below:
photo credit, Jen Byard