Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Cuff Above the Others

This morning, I went to a "cuff workshop."  My friend, Susan, invited me some time ago, and I set out this morning still not really sure what I was embarking upon.  Well.  It turns out that Martha Stewart doesn't live back East; she resides in Rowlett, Texas, and her name is Chantal Johnson!

Chantal was the instructor of this workshop, which was held in her home.  I knew most of my fellow students, which helped, since I quickly ascertained that sewing was involved.  As I walked into her picture perfect house, I realized that I had forgotten my camera.  This is akin to a traveller forgetting her passport.  Of course there were a million photographs to be taken, and there I was.  With my iPhone.  In a house that could be featured in the magazine Where Women Create (porn for crafters).  Oh well...I decided to make the best of it.  Freshly baked scones with strawberries were on the kitchen counter.  Life was good.  I decided you really wouldn't mind a blog post with cell phone photographs, just this once, because, really, it was too good not to capture.

I put on my adorable handmade name tag, and wandered around.  Take a look!

Here's my personalized bag of goodies, like embroidery thread, needles (now I have needles!), trimmings, and embellishments.
Chantal showed us some cuffs she had put together, probably in a minute or two. Here's a sampling.

Here's a whole bunch of them.  They're like fancy bracelets!
Here's Chantal talking about some of the things we'll be learning.
Everyone soon gathered around the dining room table.  This is where the needle and thread part came in.  By the time I threaded my needle, others had made their cuffs.  Not to be deterred, however, I continued snapping away with my iPhone camera.

We also got to visit Chantal's studio out back.  It was a dream of a cottage, with everything you could imagine inside...hundred of stamps, miles of ribbons...whatever you needed, it was there.  If it had a name, this little piece of heaven would be called Finishing Touches.

Before I knew it, I had a bad case of sensory overload.  Good thing it was time for lunch! We all wandered through the patio and yard, and back into the house.

Chantal went out of way to serve us a lunch fit for crafting champions!  There were caesar salad wraps, tiny pimento and cheese puffs, fresh fruit, pasta salad, chips and dips...what a treat!
 We had mason jars with our initials on them for drinking glasses!
For dessert, we had Dr. Pepper cake and also a Nutella birthday cake (Susan's had a birthday recently, but was out of town, so we'd had no celebration).  Both were scrumptious!
While we were there, the mail was delivered, and in it was the much anticipated college acceptance letter for Chantal's daughter, Savannah!
Chantal's mother, Maryse, was a tres delightful Frenchwoman, who took pity upon me, and helped me with my cuff!  We bonded right away with our love for all things French!
Chantal's youngest daughter, Presleigh, is obviously loved by their sweet little pup, Paci (pronounced Passy)!

Before I knew it, the day had slipped away.  I hated to leave my new-found friends, but I left with the anticipation that one day, I'd be back.  If anyone is interested in a workshop of this sort, I'd say that Chantal has cornered the market for creativity in the Dallas area. She can be reached via her blog at