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Handmade

An early summer workshop with Mary Engelbreit and Charlotte Lyons

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Earlier this summer Mary Engelbreit celebrated the 40th Anniversary of her 1st licensing agreement by hosting a crafting workshop with dear friend and former CWEnder Charlotte Lyons. Mary and Charlotte’s Studio Workshop sold out as soon as the event was posted on social media 9 months earlier, and on June 15 twenty-two women from around the country—Chicago, Santa Fe, New York, Seattle, Texas, California, and Indiana—arrived at Mary’s Studio in the Central West End.

There were 5 instructors, in addition to Mary and Charlotte— “super stars” in the crafting field—who taught a variety of classes over 3 1/2 jam-packed days. An important side-benefit to attending crafting weekends, which have become extremely popular over the past few years, is the friendships that are made. Many women were able to connect with friends made at other workshops, or became fast friends with people they’d never met. Mary added, “lots of instant friendships were formed.” Most of the attendees, who stayed at either the Chase or the Parkway Hotel, were new to St. Louis and in their spare time set out to explore Forest Park, the St. Louis Art Museum, and local restaurants and shops.

After classes in the studio there was a cocktail party at Mary’s home one evening (one of the perks for Mary’s fans), where I understand every nook and cranny was Instagrammed, a visit to the Mary Engelbreit warehouse on The Hill (where Mary’s products were available and vintage goods dealers set up tables showcasing their wares), and a luncheon and “fairy garden” terrarium workshop, using ME fairies as ornaments, at Bowood Farms, followed by a tour of CWE artists’ studios.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Another highlight was Sunday morning’s demonstration on coloring and drawing by Mary Engelbreit, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Charlotte Lyons, a pioneer in the crafting-weekend phoenomenon, is Mary Engelbreit’s co-author for the Home Companion book series and has authored several craft books of her own. At the June workshop, she showed the group how to make an appliqué felt wallet (above), just one of many projects she’s demonstrated at crafting events in Los Angeles, New Hampshire, France, and currently around her new hometown of Bennington, Vermont. Here is a link to a recent workshop she co-hosted there.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Other instructors included Jone Hallmark, above, who led a class on rubber stamp carving and printing, and Crystal Sloane of Vintage by Crystal (not photographed), who demonstrated how to make a handspun vintage ornament figure (she also designs and makes her figures for Bergdorf’s).  Jenn McGlon showed the group how to make a painted clay birdie, and Cathe Holden taught the crafters how to create a handmade luminaria house in a mason jar.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

A view of a section of Mary Engelbreit’s large studio, including the crafting tables, during the June 15th to 18th workshop.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

“One of the favorite parts of the weekend was the artists’ studio tour,” Mary Engelbreit said. Those who held open houses included artists Barbara Holtz (in white coat above), Marlene Lewis, Lyn Magee, Sheldon Johnson, and Carla Dawson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Mary is amazed that two months after the ladies packed up their creations and headed home, “People are still posting photos on Instagram.”

Because of the success of Mary and Charlotte’s Studio Workshop, and that they had so much fun themselves, Mary and Charlotte are talking about hosting another event at Mary’s studio in Spring of 2018.  For news of this event, check Mary’s website and/or Charlotte’s blog. They will probably post an announcement right after the 1st of the year, but that could change, so check the websites periodically.

In the meantime, in conjunction with BookfestSTL to be held in the Central West End September 21 -23, there is an upcoming exhibition, Mary Engelbreit From the Archives which opens September 5 through the 29th at Schlafly Library, 225 N. Euclid. A Reception and Conversation with Mary Engelbreit (with Left Bank Books’ Kris Kliendienst) is scheduled for Thursday, September 21 at 6 p.m. at the library (parking is available in the garage). Mary will be signing copies of her new book, The Bedtime Book, starting at 7:45 p.m. that evening. Visit BookfestSTL for more information.

Bonobos Guideshop to open on Maryland Plaza

Nicki's Central West End Guide Handmade Services Shop News Uncategorized  Suitsupply Sam Koplar Maryland Plaza Koplar Properties Central West End Bonobus Guideshop

Sam Koplar, president of Koplar Properties, announced today the latest news regarding upcoming changes in the retail scene on Maryland Plaza.  As previously posted here, Suitsupply, a Dutch menswear brand, will soon begin renovation of the 4400 s.f. two-level space at 44 Maryland Plaza. That location is currently home to 10denza, where proprietor Chris Lanter is, lamentably, wrapping up a 6-year run.

Koplar followed up today with word that Bonobos Guideshop, an online men’s custom clothing retailer, will open its 1st retail location in the St. Louis area at 52 Maryland Plaza in “the city’s historic Central West End neighborhood.” That 1,400 s.f.  space was until recently occupied by Scapegoat, a tavern, and before that Crepes, etc.

Customers at Bonobos Guideshop are paired one-on-one with a Guide who measures and assists with selecting individual pieces or an entire wardrobe.  Custom-made purchases are fabricated off-site and shipped directly to customers free of charge within 2 to 5 business days. Here is a link to Bonobos’ best sellers.

“The Bonobos model is the future of retail,” said Koplar, “and we’re excited to welcome them to the neighborhood.”

The online retailer started business in 2007 and opened its first Guideshop in 2012. Judging from the list of retail locations on the website, it appears that St. Louis may be the only major city in the U. S. currently without a Guideshop.

Neighborhood favorite Scape, located between the two new retailers at 48 Maryland Plaza, continues to thrive. The patio at the Backbar at Scape is a lovely spot to enjoy a summer cocktail and dinner al fresco.

Lyn Magee’s CWE art space

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

Lyn Magee, left, is photographed in her 250 s.f. light-filled CWE studio she’s labeled her “art nest.” It’s filled with off-beat things she’s made out of quirky stuff she finds on the street and in alleys, learned on art retreats, or what she’s stumbled upon in local antiques stores. Magee’s sculptures, drawings and constructions, which fit her free-spirited personality perfectly, cover every square inch of her studio.

“I love this quiet retreat,” she said. “I often sit here and not create anything, just ponder. I’m beginning to think I’m really a decorator at heart, since I’m always playing and moving stuff around the space.”

On Friday afternoons Magee heads to Kelly Larson and Gina Alvarez’s Living Arts in Maplewood where a group of 16 artists, called the Women’s Art Collective, meet to work on a new project each week. Each member takes a turn leading the 1 1/2 hour class. Magee’s headpiece, above, is one she made during a Friday class. The teacher’s instructions were to make something from the past, present, or future.

“I’m done with the present,” Magee said. “I was happiest playing cowboys and Indians as a child—I always sided with the Indians.”

Right, above: A self-portrait hangs outside her studio door.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

Magee is frequently on the lookout for decorative elements to add to her eclectic possessions in the studio and in her South City home. R. Ege Antiques, 1304 Sidney in Soulard and Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall, 2317 Big Bend Blvd., are two of her favorite haunts.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

Noting the messages on the prayer flags, it should come as no surprise that Magee has been a yoga instructor for many years. Along with Kitty Daly, she founded Big Bend Yoga Center, 88 N. Gore, in 1994.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

“I’m into the ‘grid thing’ now,” she said, “influenced by classes I’ve taken with artist Dorothy Caldwell.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

From left: Printed textiles drape over a vintage rack; middle, a collection of buttons and gears; and right, art created in Kentucky-based artist Laurie Doctor’s “writingwritingwriting” class held at Living Arts.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

Left: The photo says it all. Right: Rock and leaf prints Magee made at a workshop at Dorothy Caldwell’s studio in Ohio. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

More of Magee’s art and antiques collection are shown in the photos above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade  William Kerr Foundation Building Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Treasure Aisles Antiques Mall R. Ege Antiques Lyn Magee Living Arts Collective Kelly Larson Central West End Big Bend Yoga Center Artist Laurie Doctor Artist Gena Alvarez artist Dorothy Caldwell

As we finished the interview Magee said: “I also come my studio to putter around and finish art projects.” An example of a work in progress is an unfinished lamp, right, started in a class taught by artist Jan Wade at Living Arts. Magee is also working on art cards to be sold at the annual Will Flores Fund Art of Giving Event scheduled for Sunday, September 17, at the William Kerr Foundation, a LEED-Platinum Certified Building located at 21 O’Fallon Street in downtown St. Louis.

Lyn Magee is a social media holdout. However, if you wish to contact her for more information about her art or her collections call (314) 496-5623. I can’t promise she’ll answer, but it’s worth a try.