From the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, we headed to Kansas City, our carry-ons stuffed with more silverware, glitter and glass than the hulking airport attendant, scanning our bags, knew quite how to handle. First, there was the Easter table we did at Halls, followed by an afternoon workshop and cocktail party, sponsored by our friends at Creative Candles and Factory Direct Craft. The project du jour? Teaching 30 DIYers how to etch their monograms onto hand blown hurricanes.
Now, I realize the word craft makes some of you cringe, but the way I see it—if the project is sophisticated enough and executed well, it should never look crafty. From barbecues to birthdays, pillar candles in hurricanes make the greatest, no-fail centerpieces for entertaining outdoors, so what better way to bring a more personal touch than a monogram, beautifully etched?
The hand-poured pillars for the workshop in celadon, fuchsia and raspberry cream came courtesy of Creative Candles, while the glass hurricanes and all the supplies were provided by Factory Direct Craft, my new favorite place on the Web for everything craft-related. They were the ones who gave us the Styrofoam balls for the plaid shirt ornaments we made for Kathie Lee on HGTV!
So with a late season blizzard outside and the heat in the Factory on high, guests arrived, undeterred, for an afternoon of wining, dining and uncrafty crafting. Like the event at Wish in October, I decided to do an edible landscape but with all the makings of antipasto, including cured meats, herbed bocconcini and crumbled parmesan. Special thanks also to Kathy Skinos Smith, who makes the most incredible Spanakopita by hand, flaky and delicious, available here.
Though a small outfit in Kansas City, Creative Candles produces private label candles for some of the biggest names in the business, including Pottery Barn, Bloomingdale's, and Simon Pearce. Here's one of their artisans, Harry McDaniel, dipping tapers by hand.
Meanwhile, at the back of the house, a cool, industrial space with blocks of wax and candles ready to be shipped, I had a little factory going of my own as guests for the workshop, sipping Sauvignon Blanc, traced their monograms onto contact paper.
Here they all are, concentrating hard. Among them, blogger friends Suzanne with Sunshine and Wine and Karena with Art By Karena, one of our very first readers!
On the other side of the room, folks were busy creating their own works of art.
Here's what Mrs. Blandings was conjuring up.
And even though it takes a steady hand to cut away the letters, "there's no sweating in etching," I reminded the group, garnering laughs all around.
Even Pam and Ken, our favorite Kansas City candle makers, got in on the action.
Here's event designer and blogger Anne Potter cutting away her letters. Beforehand, Jaithan had designed everyone's monograms on computer, just as they wanted them.
And here she is applying etching cream to the hurricane. For thorough, step-by-step instructions, check out her post from the day!
Just as we were saying our goodbyes, three-time workshop guest Becky Lagoski from Prairie Village told us how much she loved the antique Blue Willow plate we used for display. "Take it, honey!" I said. "Our bags couldn't hold another piece of china even if I tried!"
A final thank you again both to Creative Candles and Factory Direct Craft for another super successful workshop! Looking ahead, I think we might take the Uncrafty Craft on the road with other projects. Tell us: where should we go next?
How fun is that! I wish I could have been there. I love hurricane lamps and have two on my sideboard. Mmm…I should try this!
I LOVED the workshop and learned so much! I’ve been etching ever since! Now you’ll just have to make it to Rochester, MN to teach me more! Thanks Eddie and Jaithan 🙂
so fabulous i love it!!! wish i could have been there to make one too.
Thank you very much for the kind mention and may I just say, COME BACK soon! All of us in Kansas City already miss you two. My monogrammed hurricane sits on prominent display in our dining room and every time I look at it, I think of you and smile. My best to you and Jaithan. Thank you again for your inspiration and kindness.
This was fun to read about, so certainly it was a blast for the participants! Learned something new today, thank you!
Eddie, every time I see these etched hurricanes I think of the two I have stored in my garage. I need to do this!! I don’t think this is crafty at all I think it is lovely and sophisticated and could be used in anyones home. xoxo Kathysue
I think you should come to CHicago,Beth
hmmmm, i am thinking chicago.
we miss you e+j, are you coming to see your friends in the windy city?
Where should you go next? To my house for some al fresco dining! Tell me…what don’t you do…you are so talented!
Eddie I can have 40 people set up in my backyard to host the event if you ever get to Buffalo/Niagara Falls! 🙂 Just added a more formal fountain garden – hope you can stop by and take a peak when you get the chance! 🙂 Take care! A
I’d follow you anywhere.
Eddie and Jaithan, It was such a great time, you made the afternoon so fun!! It was so good to meet Pam & Ken of Creative Candles.
Art by Karena
Enormously fun and very pretty indeed.
I tried etching our initials on a vase once with disastrous results. I wish I could have been there. I’ve always thought that an etched glass would make a lovely hostess gift.
I’m thinking Chapel Hill, NC, Boothbay Harbor, ME, or Mystic, CT — your choice, and I’ll be there!
You should come to my house in Augusta, GA!!! Or anywhere in GA will do, really. I wanted so badly to join you when you were in Atlanta but a broken heel kept me away 🙁 Come back down South!
Oh and I will mention this segment on my weekend posting! Thanks again Eddie and Jaithan! Such a treat!!
Art by Karena
Eddie, you and Jaithan MUST come to Raleigh, NC for some amazing flea
market-ing! The south will welcome you with open arms and great big smiles! :)I’m such an avid fan of yours and I am dying to make one of the hurricanes as my next non-craft project.
Eddie I just love your blog! and please do come to the Washington DC metro area! we would love to have your workshops here:) Love your work,
Sounds like a lovely time…and such pretty results!
You MUST come to Syracuse NY next!! PLEEEEEZZ. I will help promote, organize, set up, break down, pick you up at airport, return you there, shine your shoes, whatever needs to be done – You can even stay in my guest room!!
What a great workshop! You two are just too much…In a great way!
This is such a chic idea, and not “crafty” at all… all of the finished pieces look so polished and fab. I’d love to go to a workshop on this – and I think it would make such an amazing gift for bridal showers (instead of pulling up something from a registry or making something “crafty” that will probably never see the light of day). Seriously. Love it.
Eddie and Jaithan-with the red buds in full bloom in Kansas City, the winter snow that blew in for the Hurricane Workshop last month seems like such a distant memory. With the warmth of the laughter from those of us gathered to learn how to craft without sweat, we had a wonderful cozy time imbibing on the delicious edible landscape, enjoying the camaraderie, and learning another classic way to display candlelight. We received wonderful compliments from all the guests of the time spent at Creative Candles. Thank you for once again sharing your talents and supporting DIFFA. Fondly, Pam at Creative Candles.
You express and share so much beauty every day. This workshop would be a dream to attend! Do you think you’ll do a monogram hurricane class in the white sandy beaches of Northwest Florida? Really really really want a set of these. I even know of a cute beach house you and Jaithan can stay in…
new to your blog (apparently living under a rock) and blown away by your talent! this project is amazing — nothing “crafty” about it! have a lovely weekend.
Oh wow you should bring that to Atlanta
one word — DALLAS!!!!!
What an awesome idea for a class:) I’ll have to try this soon (Looks super fun!) Thanks for inspiring us to try something different.
I am so jealous! I wish you were closer Eddie…I’d love to attend one of your workshops!
It’s always such a treat to visit your blog…thanks for sharing your talent with us! ~LaurieAnna
Ok, this just in, at the furniture market last week, they confirmed the arts and crafts era is back…
check out my post
Eddie, there are limitless possibilities, especially when you see what they have done with furniture. Although it is crafty it does not look it. I cannot wait to see you take this era to a “whole nutha’level”.
I am so onto factory direct craft now…thanks for the link.
OK YOU DID ASK – AUSTRALIA OF COURSE!KG