Gather and Craft: Modern Calligraphy Recap

This past Monday we hosted our last Modern Calligraphy class (for the year) at Nest. It's been great to see how the classes and word of kith has grown. We had one student come from two hours away! A few others found us via Google (yay! we're Google-able)!   Kaitlyn and Shannon are always so helpful with having the tables and chairs set up. They even let us use some wrapping paper for the table which helped make it more festive. 

I asked Jodi, a former calligraphy student, if she would be willing to make some yummy treats for the class. Not only did she say yes but she went all out by making five (very good) treats for the class to try.  Also, she labeled and packaged some of the treats (with her awesome calligraphy skills) to show the students how calligraphy can add that extra zing to an item. 

Those Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies...*insert Homer Simpson drool*

Gingerbread Caramels. You need them in your life. 

Paulene has been learning to make intricate flowers from paper. Perhaps a new class in the making...

Class has begun. 

This Mother/Daughter duo were so funny. Their repertoire went from encouragement, to mocking, to (friendly) competition. 

Champagne and fruit? Why not?!

Free handing!

When in doubt, draw a lion. 

Fun with gold! 

Ready to be framed. 

Gold + Red = Winning Combination. 

Happy mess!

#marycatherine #superstar
 Pumpjin Soirée

Things not pictured: The excitement, laughter, comraderie (two high school friends got to reconnect who hadn't seen each other in years) , me freaking everyone out by talking about American Horror Story and other scary shows and movies.  

My goal with the classes has been to showcase the local talent in Columbia and meet some great people along the way. I have more than exceeded my goal and I couldn't be happier. I'm still working on ways to make it grow but I'm more than happy with the progression. 

If you want in on the fun, be sure to check out the other classes being held:


Upcoming Gather and Craft Classes

Modern Calligraphy for Beginners

Monday, November 10th



1450 Main Street

Cost: $123.99(includes PayPal fee)

If you've always wanted to learn calligraphy, never picked up a calligraphy pen before, and don't know where to begin, this modern calligraphy beginner class is for you! We'll go over the tools you'll use, how to write with the pointed pen, and learn how to create the thick/thin strokes that everyone loves with calligraphy!

Each student will receive:

  • 1 straight pen holder
  •  2 nibs 
  •  a pot of black ink
  • Instructional Alphabet 
  • Tracing paper and practice sheets
  • A resource guide of additional tips, supplies and websites to advance your new calligraphy skills


Since the holidays are quickly approaching, we will focus on showing you how to create cards and prints for the season - perfect for gifts and holiday parties!

You'll also enjoy some tasty treats and drinks while you learn!


Photography Tips and Tricks

Sunday, November 16th


Silver Spoon Bake Shop

2506 Devine Street

Cost: $52.24 (includes PayPal fees)

For this class you will need a point and shoot or DSLR. 

 In this class you will learn:

  • Basic strategies on setting up photos
  • Basic composition tricks
  • Low light settings (tips and tricks)
  • Details on lens and features your camera has and what each they are used for. 
  • MACRO settings 
  • People settings (Gotta make sure they look good!)
  • Visual layouts
  • Tablescape settings (How to make it Pinterest worthy!)  

What better photography subject than a beautiful cake baked to perfection by Erin of the Silver Spoon Bake Shop? After the students have mastered the art (and restraint!) of photographing fresh baked cake, we'll celebrate by slicing it up for everyone to enjoy!


Pumpkin Soirée 

State Farmers Market 

Cost $62.49 (includes PayPal fee) 

Join local foodie legend Dupre Percival & Izzabee's Confectionaries baker Nicole Storey for a festive Fall night of everything pumpkin, just in time to wow your Thanksgiving guests! Dupre will show you how to roast, prepare & puree your pumpkin and Nicole will show you how to bake the perfect pumpkin cupcake, in addition to teaching various piping techniques for you to feast your eyes on!

Class includes:

  • A vast knowledge of all things pumpkin!
  • 4-6 cupcakes (you do the decorating!)
  • Tips, couplers, and bags for you to take home
  • Plus a bonus treat!

Let's give "Pumpkin Season" the proper send-off!

  • Class maximum is 10
  • No refunds


New Top/Jacket

I was suppose to have this post up about week or two ago but I was trying to get better pictures of the top. I am going to try to start taking more photos of the items I make. Correction, I am going to try to take more photos WEARING the items I make. I just hate the way I look in photos. I instantly start to think "Ugh, I look ugly, fat, *insert insult*" So, I guess it's going to be a journey of several layers, taking more photos of what I'm wearing and having more self-confidence. Anyways, I'm sure you didn't come here to read about my neurosis. Or, maybe you did. Things get pretty random around here. 

I love finding unique, vintage fabric to create an item. To me, that makes the item really unique. Granted, the items itself will be unique since I made it but using vintage fabric takes it to another level for me. Now I don't use only vintage fabric but when I come across a pattern I really like, I can't pass it up. I've talked about it on this blog before how I try to buy my items locally or second hand (as much as possible). Over the past year I have met some great, local, vintage vendors who have a great eye for finding amazing pieces. One of my favorites, Butterfly Vintage, had a few yards of a print I really liked. 

First, I planned to make a simple top but I really wanted a kimono. Once I started to execute the item I realized I  didn't have enough for the kimono (I had one yard. I think 1 1/2 yards would have done the trick) so I did what I do best, improvise. 

(Shorts in October. It's the South, yall!)

I wore it out to an event at our local Urban Outfitters. Emily, and a few other local vendors, had set up shop in the store for the night. 
Emily rocking a cat top. 

I had Jordan take a few photos for me outside. There were plenty more but like I said, gotta build that self-confidence. 

View from the back. 

Notice the different brick walls? I had my husband take more photos the next day. Still wasn't happy but we know how that song goes.

This was made from a template I had created for another top and like mentioned above, I improvised. 

Of course, I love this top! I can easily dress it up or down. But what I love the most about it is that it is completely one of a kind piece you won't see anywhere else. 


My New Favorite Pants! Until I Make Another Pair

Like most crafters, we like to hoard our stash before we feel we find the "perfect project" to use it on. Over the summer I found some tribal printed fabric at a crazy discounted price and snatched up two yards. At first, I had planned to make a dress for the summer (and beyond. This is the South) but then I came across a pattern for pants and knew I would most likely wear them more as pant than a skirt.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 1428:

I rarely follow the instructions to a pattern because for some reason my brain just can't comprehend. My brain is motion visual (if that's even a thing). Meaning, in order for me to comprehend I have to see someone do it then attempt it myself. Also, I noticed a lot of Simplicity patterns aren't the most detailed (I've read that on several other blogs as well). I only tried to follow the instructions because this was my first time inserting pockets. Seems intimidating but after one video on YouTube it was very easy. Sewing the rest of the pants was easy (to me) because I have made several shorts and its basically the same construction.

I wore them last night the State Fair's Preview Gala. This year, I am working with Palmetto Health Foundation as a Pinkador. You can find more information on that on my post for FIG.

I cut them a bit bigger, I could take them in a few inches (and I may) but right now I'm liking the MC Hammer style.

As mentioned in the title, these are my new favorite pants. The only issue I had was they fabric was too light and very stretchy. Now I know why a lot of sewers aren't fan of knit stretch. One trick I read was to place a thin sheet of paper underneath the fabric while sewing to help keep it stabilized.

Now to get more fabric!



Babies, babies. 

Last week I made some baby items for expecting mommies. 
Booties and headband set for my husband's cousin. 

Beanie, booties, and sweater set for my friend. Naturally, I used Gamecock colors because like most living in Columbia, she is a huge Carolina fan. 

While telling others about the crazy antics I deal with when it comes to my youngest son, someone suggested I use a hashtag so I can look back and see the crazy he's put me through. 

He is obsessed with oranges. He eats as much as he can off the rind and then neatly (well, 2yo "neatly") lines them up next to each other. 

Walking pass our dog's water bowl and this is what I see. 

Welcome to my life. 

Unfinished Projects

Like so many crafters, I have a huge list of projects that need to be complete. Such as this quilt. Doesn't help that my sewing machine is in the shop. 

Gather and Craft

So far so good. Still trying to find ways to reach a wide audience and get other makers involved. I have a vision of what I want to create (biggest one being to have my own studio/office/workspace) it's just down to continuing to bust my ass and make it happen. 
You can keep up to date with what's happening on our Facebook Page.


I have downloaded and half-started so many books but have yet to finish one. Right now I'm feeling very ADD (which I'm sure I have) to focus. I did download This is Where I Leave You. I keep seeing previews for the movies and it's a constant reminder on how I haven't gotten past Page 1, Line 2 in the book. Speaking of movies, I keep seeing preview for The Maze Runner. 

Like many other non-Young Adults, I have an obsession with Young Adult books. I probably won't go see the movie in theaters but I know I'll eventually watch it so I'm wondering if I should add the book (or is if a series?) to my ever growing queue? 


True Blood came to an end.  While I'm not happy with how it ended, I get it. I do feel the last season was rushed. 

Somewhat related to True Blood:

I shared this photos with friends last night and we briefly discussed the potential sizing of a certain body part on Mr. Joe Manganiello. GAWD, you know they are totally naked in this photo.  


Dyeing with Turmeric

I had about two yards of unbleached cotton just waiting to be used. I boiled a pot of water, added vinegar(for the mordant), then added the turmeric. 

I folded the fabric using the shibori method. 

The results!

This was after having it in the dye pot for less than five minutes. If you are getting into natural dyeing and want the gratification of instant results, go with turmeric.   

Wool/Cotton Blend yarn

I have some ideas on how I want to use the fabric. I recently used it as a table cover for the recent calligraphy class at Gather and Craft


Having A Voice

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine approached me to speak at a summer camp being held through her job. She wanted me to talk about my history with self image, self worth and where I stand today. My first thought was "Why me? Do I really have a story to tell?" Actually, my first thought and question to her was, "How many f-bombs can I drop?" 

But seriously, I was shocked she considered me. Yes, I've been through things (and am still going through some) but do I have anything to offer that could be inspiring?

Last night we met with the girls whose ages ranged from14-17. 

My high school years were some of the roughest years of my life. Never had I felt more insecure and ugly than I did during high school. It doesn't help when people tell you to your face you are ugly. Boys suck. I had a group of friends but not the core group like I had imagined. I didn't have anyone I could truly confide in. Granted, I didn't give anyone a chance to know me but I saw too many girls flip on each other so quickly I was not going to let that happen to me. So, at school, I would be happy, bubbly, talkative, and never let anyone see what was really happening with me. When I got home, I could let my guard down. I would go to my room, turn on the TV, and mellow out. Pretending to be happy is exhausting. Because of this, my grades sucked, I didn't try out for any sports or extracurricular activities (because I was concerned what people would think of me).  I didn't have the motivation to apply myself to anything.  I definitely focused on the things that should have been secondary: my hair, my clothes, getting a car (I rode a bus all four years. Only driving my moms car here and there my Senior Year). I would always think if my hair was longer I would be prettier, get a boyfriend, be happy, and then I would start doing better in school. I'm pretty sure you are furrowing your brows right now because that logic makes absolutely no sense. You're right. It doesn't. But the mind is strong as hell and it can make you believe anything you want. Countless times it made me believe this world would be a better place without me. 

This mentality occurred during the majority of high school (and beyond) until the second half of my senior year I had asked my parents to check me into a mental institution. I thought this would be the "cure all end all" fix I needed. It wasn't. I got out and went back into the same routine. My parents didn't understand. No one really understood.  And I don't blame them. Depression is one of those diseases many people didn't understand or talk about. There is still a stigma surrounding it today. A lot of times I was told to "Get over it!" "Suck it up!" or informed of how everyone has problems too. Some advice: DON'T say these things to someone struggling with Depression. These words may be the tipping point for something very bad to happen. 

I'm a huge believer in signs and that "everything happens for a reason." So why did I go through my own personal hell for a majority of my life? To be there   last night for these girls and share my story. I know to some that may be outlandish but as we spoke to these girls last night I scanned the crowd and saw myself in a lot of them: the ones who don't feel beautiful, who are depressed and hiding everything inside. I made sure to be as open as possible about my Depression. I think this allowed some of the girls to open up about their own struggle with Depression, no matter how mild or severe. I hope I was able to show them it DOES get better and there will be those days that it completely sucks but realize it and then fight tooth and nail to be happy. Being happy is hard work but if you find innerpeace and surround yourself with the right people, you can do it. 

And yes, some days you will fall but it's OK, you're not perfect. On those days, I watch The Twilight Series and knit. 

The girls I met last night have been heavily on my mind today. I hope they all heard something from one of us that will impact their life in a positive way and to rise that extra step towards getting help, being compassionate, speaking up, and not feel ashamed. 


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