It is incredibly hard to describe the 72 hours or so that I had the privilege of being at the Michael’s Makers Summit, in Carmel, California.
I pride myself on being one with words, but when asked to quickly summarize this fortunate endeavor, there are only a few that truly do justice: marvelous, stunning, spectacular, inspiring, and extraordinary.
The honor of being chosen, along with 49 extremely talented women, was honestly so hard to accept. But once I stepped off the plane and was greeted by many other fellow winners, the reality set in & the energy was unstoppable.
Immediately after arriving at the ranch, the feeling was pure peace and tranquility. Maybe it was the lavender, planted carefully around the resort, or simply the promise of hours and hours of diving into my inner most creative being.
Either way, I was in paradise.
A kind gentleman on a golf cart showed me to my room, and upon entering, I was overwhelmed with pure joy. The mere square-footage was impressive enough. But I was nestled up in the trees, with views from every step. As I explored the different nooks and crannies of my temporary abode, I could not help but giggle. How was this happening? Was this real? And yes, I did the obligatory “bed jump”… because I could!
May I add that getting ready for the evening was HEAVEN? No one interrupted me:O) And I may have used an insane amount of Lavender Leaf bath soap.
The first meal was perfection: unsurpassed details , with conversation light and yet precise- discussing the latest trends in DIY, and getting to know each other’s strengths and likes. Did I mention a guest appearance by our beloved “Buffy”, Sarah Michelle Gellar? Her words of encouragement were infused with raw honesty that she had just “found her happiness in making.”
Buffy! She’s just like us!
It was hard to leave the hot chocolate bar, speckled with fun ( slightly alcoholic) fixings, but…
I was so excited to return to my room- it was just me!!!! I bathed in Lavender bath salts, turned on the fireplace, and snuggled in with a good book. Needless to say, my head hit my pillow almost immediately, and that’s all she wrote. (that says a lot coming from a chronic insomniac!)
Tuesday arrived right on time, and brought with it- more beauty outside my sliding glass door, and the exciting maker’s class agenda: jewelry, flower arranging, water color, and macrame.
The fabulous Maker -Heidi Swapp- could not be there with us, so she made sure to chat via video and send us off with some serious SWAG:O)
And on to the classes!
Mikie Russo!!! With wedding menus & such from Kym Johnson & Robert Herjavec’s Dancing With The Stars Wedding!!!
(Lunch adjacent to a sunflower field!)
Again, Paradise found.
Listening to accomplished professionals, tinkering with art supplies, challenging my inner creator-was utterly exquisite.
In each of these classes, we were encouraged to dabble, explore, mix, blend, and ultimately MAKE. No competition among us, no rush to finish, no wrongs or rights. That’s the best part of Making. It is solely up to you to determine the parameters, limitations, and final outcomes. Sometimes your work is unsophisticated, even frustrating. Other times, the results are more polished, skilled and refined. Regardless, it all can be invigorating, inspiring, and just plain awesome…if you let it!
The day ended with a starlit dinner deep in the vineyard, atop poufs and pillows, nibbling on delectable culinary creations. All the while shading in over-sized coloring pages spread under our romantically decorated tables.
I did not want the evening to end.
Some quickly made (lifelong) friends and I extended the evening with fireside chats, taking us long past our regular bedtimes.
After another turn-less sleep, & a top notch breakfast, (and after many teary goodbyes)a few of us adventurers decided to grab an Uber and explore the town of Carmel for our remaining time.
The next 3 hours were even more of a gift. Visiting this pristine beach, with sand as soft as silk, that ran effortlessly into the Pacific Ocean. To the left, stunning cliffs jetting out over the chilly waters. To the right, the notorious Pebble Beach, with its famous golfers and all.
The town surpassed my expectations, with its quaint streets adorned with chalet-like shops and restaurants. Concluding with a memorable lunch (including an impressively legendary singing member of the kitchen crew), I rode back to the ranch with moments to spare, and hopped promptly into my airport shuttle.
The layovers & “red- eye” into DC gave me plenty of time to decompress and reflect. And with each passing moment, my smile grew.
This was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and God’s handiwork in it could not have been clearer.
When things don’t make sense, go virtually unexplained, or seem like a dream come true-I truly believe they are meant to be just that.
So there it is. My best attempt not to bore you with mundane details (again, the writer in me) – but to simply wet your pallet and encourage you to take chances, believe in miracles, smile, grab life and MAKE the most of everything.
And at the very least, just MAKE something! You’ll be surprised at what happens when you do.