Can you find me in the photo above? I'm up there... making a macrame keychain! I'll be doing some posts over the next few weeks featuring some of the craft projects and the artists who taught them. They were all fantastic and do great work.
These pictures really show off the Commune, the event space at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs where the Crafting Community was held. There's a pool, a large room that opens entirely to the outdoors with fold up doors, a grassy area, a large pool deck, a fire pit, bar and food service and restroom - and it's all fenced and self -contained, which makes it really great for kids. On the first night, when we arrived, there was a taco dinner by the regular pool, and a s'mores night at the Commune. The first thing we did eat, the second thing we did was go in the pool. It was glorious.
During the weekend Splendid had a popup clothing shop set up near the front of the hotel. They're known for their ultra-soft jersey fabrics and simple but elegant styles. They did a blanket in the schwag bag (see below) that is just delicious. I never had a blankie as a child, but I would have if I'd had this one.
They also did a great, fun giveaway for the event - everyone was encouraged to come into the store and pick out four fabrics, selected by stapling swatches to a card - and they made scarves by sewing the four fabrics together in a loop.
People put together some creative combinations. It was really hard to go wrong - all of the patterns and colors looked great together.
I wasn't able to get a photo of our schwag bag (put together by Kids Concierge) before my nieces tore into it, but here's what it looked like - there was a choice of two bags, decorated with Karen Kimmel's stencils (we got the green.) Aside from the blanket, there was a nice California Baby starter kit, a couple of fun craft projects, some note cards, key chains, hair bands, a Vans wallet, snacks, vitamin water and other goodies. California Baby, Vans, Clif Bar, Vita Coco and Vitamin Water also supplied sunscreen, favors, and refreshments throughout the weekend, and iced tea and lemonade were available at all times. I drank a lot of Arnold Palmers.
The weekend ended at 2:30 PM on Sunday. Saturday and Sunday were divided into morning and afternoon crafting sessions with several tables set up for guests to rotate among. Each session featured different activities - jewelry making, macrame, crochet, God's eyes, felting, potting succulents, felt boards, knitting forks, envelope making, cookie decorating, even mixing your own scent of California Baby lotion - there were so many great options it was impossible to do everything. There were sign ups for popular activities like the lotion mixing, underwater photography and skateboarding, but it was come and go as you please for everything else. The girls especially loved the DJ instruction on Saturday, where the fine fellows of the Scratch DJ Academy in LA put earphones on the them and taught them how to "scratch."
Half of the Commune indoor space was dedicated to the crafting, and the other half was set up with long tables called the Commune Cafe - where they served a limited special menu all day - breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon, for nominal prices. Saturday dinner was an optional barbecue buffet for an additional cost. After the Saturday dinner they had a "dance party" for the kids with those neon glow in the dark rings, and then a communal story time. Other than meeting some friends for lunch at the Parker on the first day, we really didn't leave the hotel, and hardly left the area during the entire time we were there. I actually kind of wished we could spend another night, to get some more relaxation time at the hotel.
I guess the best indicator of what I thought of it all though, is whether I'd go back - and my answer to that question is an unreserved hell, yes. In fact, I can't wait. It gave me a chance to spend some great quality time with my nieces, it was a fantastic mini vacation, it was a chance to meet and hang out with some really cool people, and it rekindled my long-dormant crafting bug. I haven't done anything like that in a long time, and I really hope I won't have to wait long to do it again!
photos 1-5 and 7 by event photographer Steven Visneau