I was incredibly lucky to be invited to the 2016 Michaels Makers Summit a couple of weeks ago, and it was such an incredible experience! Michaels provided their Makers and contest winners with accommodations at the Carmel Valley Ranch, and hosted all of us for two days of immersive hands-on creating and making. It was a dream come true!

michaels makers summit logo

The moment that I returned home from the Michaels Makers Summit, it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken very many photos while I was there. I got WAY too caught up in having a good time, crafting, and meeting new friends! Luckily for me, some of my friends (new and old!) took a ton of gorgeous photos, so I’m intermingling my photos with their Instagram snaps – be sure to give them all a follow over there! You’ll be glad that you did.

michaels maker summit view from resort
Photos of accommodations courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch

When I arrived at the Carmel Valley Ranch, I was blown away with how gorgeous the scenery is. I’ve visited Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea many times in my life, but I’ve never taken the short drive away from the coast and into Carmel Valley. I had no idea what I was missing! The lighting in the valley is absolutely stunning, and it makes entering the Carmel Valley Ranch feel like you’re stepping right into a living painting.

carmel valley ranch suite inside showing cozy fireplace area

My spacious suite at the Carmel Valley Ranch was the perfect combination of luxury and comfort – with two fireplaces and a wrap-around deck. The staff left a bottle of lavender pillow spray on the bed at the evening turn-down service, and it was a heavenly way to lull myself to sleep.

carmel valley ranch suite inside of sitting area

carmel valley ranch suite bathroom and large bathtub

After getting settled into my room, I met up with a couple of my friends, and we went down to the Valley Lawn at sunset for a lovely dinner outdoors.

people dining outside at makers summit

pretty table settings at michaels makers summit event

The team at Cricut used their Explore Air machines to cut dozens of these awesome canvas placemats for us.

delicious fancy dinner at michaels makers summit

The food at the Michaels Makers Summit was totally fantastic, but our surprise celebrity dinner guest was even MORE fantastic!

sarah michelle gellar holding microphone at the michaels makers summit

Sarah Michelle Gellar (aka Buffy to us superfans!) joined us and spoke about Foodstirs, her organic baking kit company. Foodstirs sends you everything you need to bake it better together and create meaningful experiences in the kitchen. I can’t wait to try it!

pretty greenery at carmel valley ranch summit location

After a chilly full night of savory food, s’mores, and hot chocolate, we were all ready for our cozy beds and those nice warm fireplaces.

The next morning, we attended a general session where we received some sweet goodies from Heidi Swapp before heading off to our craft classes for the day (because that’s what Makers do at the Michaels Makers Summit – we make ALL the things!).

Feeling positively spoiled to be part of the #michaelsmakerssummit! Somebody pinch me! No don’t, I like it here. ????????

A photo posted by DIY Tutorials � Marlene Sauer (@idlehandsawake) on

flower arrangements for fall that read \'thankful\'

I started off with a floral arranging class where we learned how to create fall tablescapes and this pretty autumn centerpiece from celebrity wedding planner Mikie Russo.

#michaelsmakersummit @michaelsstores

A photo posted by Michael Russo Events (@mikierusso) on

participants of macrame class at the michaels makers summit

Next up was macrame lessons with Annabel Wrigley of Little Pincushion Studio. I was super excited to take this class, and it didn’t disappoint! I picked up on the technique pretty quickly (once I got past my first row of crooked “Cheerios”), and I found the experience to be incredibly relaxing and meditative.

pretty woven macrame craft at michaels makers summit event

I definitely see more macrame projects in my future! It’s a TON of fun (and a surprisingly great arm workout!)!

Today’s first class in the #MichaelsMakersSummit is #macrame! Super excited!!!

A photo posted by Gloribell Lebron (@idknowhowshedoesit) on

beautiful organic garden at carmel valley ranch

We took a break from making pretty things to eat lunch in the ranch’s organic garden. It was absolutely beautiful!

pumpkins stacked on table next to vase of flowers


organic garden and garden sign

Seriously, every nook and cranny of the Carmel Valley Ranch is gorgeous, and I highly recommend stopping by if you find yourself in the area.

After lunch, I took a watercolor class with Jane Davenport, and I fell in love with her infectiously encouraging teaching style as well as her new product line that will be coming to Michaels stores in January. These super pigmented and vibrant watercolor cakes are truly the most fantastic paints that I’ve ever used!

We finishing up our crafting sessions with a  jewelry making class taught by Nina Owens. I made a colorful beaded wrap bracelet that can also double as a necklace.

Last #jewelry class #michaelsmakerssummit so many gorgeous #bracelets

A photo posted by Nina Owens (@artgalz) on

dinner on the vineyard lawn table arrangements

We wrapped up the event with one more dreamy dinner al fresco, this time with a bohemian vibe, low tables, pouf seating, and a totally awesome coloring page table runner (SUCH a great idea!).

The boho dinner at the Michaels Makers Summit was so fun! #michaelsmakerssummit

A photo posted by April (@illistyle) on

coloring sheet table runner for michaels makers summit outdoor dinner

michaels maker outdoor dinner menu

Yes, we ate ALL of that food, served family-style, around long tables full of some of the most creative and passionate minds in the industry. And yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.

heidi coloring at dinner during michaels makers summit

My friend, April, took this photo of me as I was coloring at dinnertime and soaking up the moment. I shared it on Instagram with this caption: “They say that a sweet friendship refreshes the soul, and these past couple of days have been SO refreshing.”

It was truly such an honor to have attended the Michaels Makers Summit, and I returned home with a full heart, loads of inspiration, and a keen interest in new-to-me mediums. It was a blast hanging out with some of my old friends and tons of fun making lots of new friends (and staying up late painting with watercolors and drinking wine late into the night!). Being with other creative people is always so rejuvenating to my soul, and I can’t thank Michaels enough for hosting such an incredible event.

heidi signature from happiness is homemade

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