I was lucky enough to be of the first attendees to take part in The Creative Journal’s new venture; The Creative Labs, a series of workshops, that bring together local artisans to share their skill and craft with others. The lovely Sam from Dunne With Style hosted The Pretty Poms Workshop; and we were taught how to master the ‘Lola Pom’ and given tips and tricks on how to turn these cute and colourful little poms into wreaths, chandeliers or floral crowns. You can read more about the brains behind The Creative Journal, that is Amanda and Carly later in the post.
The workshop took place in a beautiful light-filled studio, in the heart of Melbourne, just off Little Bourke St. The studio had been so thoughtfully styled and decorated, I couldn’t wait to find a spot and get started on the Pom-Pom fiesta! I was well and truly in my element, surrounded by colour, creativity and wonderfully warm people. It didn’t take long for us all to start chattering away, enjoying a laugh and getting to know everyone; isn’t that what you want from a creative workshop? A relaxed, supportive environment, where you can just be yourself and create your own little masterpiece to take home (and show off!).
So to get things kicked off, Sam asked us to choose our colour palette for our Poms – and what a difficult decision, with so many beautiful colours to choose from. I of course gravitated toward one of my all time favourite colours – the teal and then chose a few naturals, mint and a contrasting yellow and orange to make the colours pop. I do love this colour combo at the moment.The colour selection was one of the highlights of the day; watching everyone go such different directions within their creative process. Some made their choice, then changed their minds a few minutes later, others went for variegated colours within the same pom and then as for me, I chose my favourite colour and then others that worked with the teal.
In no time, under Sam’s supportive and watchful eye, we were all pomming up a storm! It was quite therapeutic once you started the process and I soon built up a rhythm. As if weren’t spoilt enough, Carly ( who is the master maker-baker) made all the mouth-watering desserts that we were grazing on all day (take a look at the pics!) and the mid-break catering was from Rosa’s Table here and was out of this world.
I was so impressed at the high level of detail and quality that went into the workshop. Everything from the space, to the delivery of the workshop, to the food; it was top-notch and I honestly would recommend that you jump on board and book yourself in for a day of fun, creativity and laughter. These women have set the bar high for creative workshops and I cannot wait to see what they have in store next, I still can’t believe this was their first ever workshop. Did someone say PROFESSIONALS!
You can visit The Creative Journal here and click-through to The Creative Labs to see what is happening next.
And Ta-Da! My finished masterpiece! I decided to create a wall hanging with all my little poms and I have it hanging in my office, and the leaves and rosemary have dried beautifully. If you are on instagram you can check out more pictures of the day at hash-tag #prettypoms – and The Creative Journal (here) and Dunne With Style (here) are on instagram so follow them to keep up to date with exciting news and events.
A huge thanks to Carly and Amanda from The Creative Journal and Sam from Dunne With Style for a creative, fun-filled day. I honestly left buzzing and filled with inspiration. I cannot wait to follow their journey, what a clever and gorgeous bunch of women.
Here is a little more about Carly and Amanda’s story and their reasons for starting The Creative Labs. Stay tuned as I will be interviewing Sam from Dunne With Style in a later post. I couldn’t let her get away that easily!
So tell me a little bit about yourselves and your backgrounds.
A: My passion is all things with a thread and a needle. I could knit at 6, sewed my prom dress at 15 (think Kermit green in a nylon!) and my fabric stash takes up more room than my clothes. Although banking and finance is my day job I have always spent my free time ‘making things’. That often leads to my friends and family receiving multiple handmade gifts each year as I test out new techniques and designs! Carly and I met at ANZ when I first moved to Melbourne, and we compliment each other really well. Carly is a styling and baking queen (oh the sweet treats I have eaten!), and I love textiles and coming up with DIY tutorials. I couldn’t imagine going on The Creative Journal adventure with anyone else.
C: My background is actually banking & finance… love me a good spreadsheet! I’ve worked for ANZ since I was a graduate and only stumbled upon my creative side when I did a cake decorating course a few years ago. I can’t draw (I think I failed year 8 art!), can sort of sew… but I love playing in the kitchen and styling. I’m also partial to a can of spray paint and have a few more tutorials lined up with my ever-growing stash in mind! (All very legal!) My daughters birthday parties have become a major creative outlet & with the help of Amanda and Sam I’m slowly getting better at threading a needle!
What made you want to start The Creative Journal and now The Creative Labs?
Amanda and I had talked about what makes us happy and what life might look like outside of an office. We knew we wanted to run workshops eventually but decided to start the blog first to sort of test the waters. Plus it looked like a hell of a lot of fun and a good excuse to try different projects! We also had the thought that there were probably others out there wanting to start a creative business and that if we documented our journey it might help others. That’s not to say we get it right all the time, but there is sooo much too learn it is nice to read about what others have found works or doesn’t work for them. That’s why we started The Creative Marketplace section of the blog… I kept finding useful articles or references and would then lose them so the blog has become a tool to document them!
What is the core message of The Creative Labs?
The absolute core message for us is fun! Of course we want people to learn a new skill or refine something they have tried before… but mostly we want them to take 4 hours for themselves and do something just for the sake of doing it. Something that makes them smile or makes them stop thinking about the everyday. Something you can share with friends or just enjoy a time out by yourself. I kind of feel that these days we have to justify why we do things – and The Creative Labs are really an indulgence just to have fun and create. Nothing more. And who cares if you walk away and your Lola Poms are a little flat (like mine!) or your cupcake topper isn’t straight? As long as you had fun then that is the main thing from our point of view. (But if you really want phuffy poms or straight toppers we will of course make sure that happens!)
What do you look for in creatives that are hoping to be a part of The Creative Labs and to host an upcoming workshop?
Energy is the word that springs to mind for me. Sam was an easy choice to start with because she is just so positive. It didn’t matter what the logistics threw at us she just kept smiling! And someone who is willing to really be a part of the class and not just teach if that makes sense. Our next two teachers Danielle (from Sweetcheeks Cookies & Cake here) and Eliska (from Ruffles & Bells here) are similar in that respect also – both have boundless energy for their creative talents and love the excuse to indulge their passions with others! We’d love to hear from anyone if they are interested… we have some plans we are working on for 2015 and we are definitely going to need to be talking to lots of creatives!
And lastly, what are your upcoming workshops, please tell us more!
We have two! Hey There Cupcake is on Sunday May 4th and I personally am a little excited about it! Danielle will be taking the class through how to create a party perfect cupcake with a buttercream swirl and fondant topper and matching sugar cookies and I will be showing how to make chocolate covered oreos. It is perfect for beginners or anyone who needs something a little more hands on than a You Tube tutorial. It is also being held in a studio at Abbotsford which is just so gorgeous I want to live there! Tickets are on sale now here
And then we have Garlands & Glitter with Eliska from Ruffles & Bells! Sam might even make a guest appearance at this one too. We are still finalising the details but this would be perfect for anyone wanting to style their own party or even a hens afternoon out. We will definitely be covering how to make a tassel garland and we are working on a couple of other extras to throw into the mix.
The Creative Journal click here
Dunne With Style click here
Do you have a workshop I need to know about? Contact me here