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.
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?