Welcome to the Makerie

It’s been over a month since I returned from The Makerie. I intended to write about my experience sooner but we all know how life ends up rolling along. When I signed up for The Makerie, I signed up because it was something I wanted to do for me. Something I knew that if it didn’t happen this year, I wasn’t sure when it would happen. After attending The Makerie I know that it is something that I will do again. Maybe not next year but I will definitely make that kind of experience a priority in my life.20130418-213404.jpgAs soon as I arrived at the Chautauqua property, I felt welcomed by all of the small touches Ali DeJohn had put into The Makerie. When I walked into register, I was greeted with a warm hug from Ali herself and was told to let her know if there was anything she could do to make my stay better. This was her mantra all weekend long. Whenever I saw her, she asked how I was doing and genuinely hoped each of us was having a wonderful experience.20130418-213440.jpg

After checking in I got to select a paper flower name tag. Each individual tag looked so lovely, it was hard to choose just one!

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In addition to our name tags, there was a pinecone for each of our rooms. Mine now sits in my Makerie Box as a daily reminder.

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Every little detail was thought out at The Makerie, every detail to make each of us feel welcomed.20130418-213501.jpg

As I unwrapped my lovely lunch that first day, I delighted in the colorful patterns and fun little details of the packaging. I realized that it may feel like extra work to add these small touches to our daily life, but the joy it brings seems to outweigh that extra work.

I’ve been noticing that creating those small details in itself creates joy. It may not be possible to do everyday, but after The Makerie I tried to make smaller efforts to bring my joy in the form of color into my life. I pulled out my colorful cloth napkins for dinner and made sure to use my patterned desert plates.

These beautiful lunches were just another element of a well throughout weekend. A weekend to make each of us feel welcomed, appreciated and special. I think as woman, a lot of us go about making the lives of those we love special, but we forget about doing that for ourselves.20130418-213530.jpg

I was so happy that, last minute, I had opted to stay at Chautauqua. Staying on site made the entire experience so much more relaxing. I think had I chosen to drive back and forth from Denver to Boulder each day, almost an hour each way, I would have felt like the whole experience was lacking.

20130418-213417.jpgI enjoyed being able to walk back to my little cabin throughout the day to grab something, or just for a moment of quiet. This cabin made me want my own little quite cabin in the woods. Some day…20130418-213637.jpgMy cabin mate and I enjoyed morning coffee sitting out on the back patio, swapping stories about how we met our husbands.20130418-214850.jpgStaying on site allowed me to feel rested, unrushed and to be able to fully enjoy and immerse myself in the retreat. I was certainly excited about the creative part of the retreat but I was also very excited about starting each day with 6:30am yoga. All I had to do was get up and walk across the lawn and I was in the yoga room.

20130418-214808.jpgI got to see the sun rise several mornings while at The Makerie. It was magical to watch the sun come over the town below us.20130418-214816.jpg20130418-214828.jpg

And magical to watch the sun brighten the Flat Irons Mountains above us.20130418-214838.jpg

After starting our morning with yoga for two days, our last day was started with a morning hike. It was peaceful and quiet and only about 10 of us were up for this morning hike. I loved it! I loved being able to walk out the door and begin this hike. I loved being in the woods in the quiet. It was also a nice treat since Chautauqua can get pretty busy on a weekend.20130418-214734.jpg

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The Makerie was a weekend full of all the things I love. The small handmade details, a weekend to play and create (I’ll share more about this soon, I promise!) and a weekend spent close to nature. “It’s so quiet,” is something I say to myself when I find stillness and I’m realizing how much I long for this. “It’s so quiet,” is my way of saying, I am happy in this moment.20130418-214756.jpg

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