Every time I have a design camp, I tell the class that they are my favorite class I've ever had. And it's true; my favorite class is always the most recent. This year's Seattle camp -- and oh, yes, I will be going back -- is no exception.

FIRST OF ALL: We had camp at The Pantry at Delancey, in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle (I'm, like, a native now.). Located behind the equally amazing Delancey restaurant, The Pantry is a beautiful, light-filled space with a full kitchen, where cooking classes are often held.  

I am happy to say that they also allow other kinds of classes there, because I cannot imagine a better place in Seattle to have a design camp.

Full kitchen bonus: real cups and saucers for our morning coffee.

Also, an herb garden outside. I was in Seattle last year at this time, and I still couldn't believe that the flowers/herbs/etc were still going! My herbs went to seed ages ago, and I do not even want to talk about the sad shape my flowers are in.

My campers have an astounding array of cute bags.

AB Chao has an astounding array of things she likes to stand on to take pictures. Megan was so worried I was going to fall that she almost couldn't take this photo. Somehow, we both survived.

I had so many sweet offers for goodie bag contents this time around.  Katie at katnawlins sent these gorgeous Laissez Les cards (the rest is just lagniappe, y'all.). I nearly hoarded them all for myself, but I practiced restraint and handed them out. Aren't they fabulous?

PomLove sent -- nay, rush made and shipped -- the tassel garland and gold confetti.

Camp itself was great, as always -- the first day we concentrated on a bunch of learnin', and the second day we applied that learning to each other's actual houses. Also, we arranged flowers and then took pictures of them.

And then, as ever, we drank champagne.

A super special and heartfelt thanks to The Pantry at Delancey, who not only extended to me their space for two long days, but also Paige, pictured below left. Oh, you don't know Paige? She's only the most amazing thing to hit Seattle since beer-boiled pretzels. Paige made my job so easy it was like I was actually on vacation. AT MY JOB.

Another super special thanks needs to go out to Megan "American Spirit" Reardon, my Seattle taxi and iced-coffee-provider; and to Jessica, my intern and now friend, who somehow doesn't have a blog. GET A BLOG, JESSICA.

Oh, also! Thanks to Picnic for the lunches, which were so good I'm still talking about them days later. Piquillo peppers + brie + arugula, WHAT?

My cute group. PS, one of these girls had a baby the next day. It's true! Babies like to stay inside for camp.

And now, a few more instagrams from the weekend.


The bottom two photos are from Essex, Delancey's new bar. We went there after camp both days. If you go there, order the Queen Mary and don't regret it for a minute.

Next up: Portland!

All photos: AB Chao and Megan Reardon

AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdesign camp
4 CommentsPost a comment

Hello and happy Monday, all you fine people! I have returned from my week in Seattle and Portland, and both design camps (including my first MINI camp!) exceeded all of my expectations and then took those expectations and turned them into pretty unicorn fairy dust and rainbows. Also, I drank a lot of coffee.

I will post more detailed recaps of each camp soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy these Instagram pics from our Seattle camp. (For more, see #designcampseattle.)

So much fun, right? All photos courtesy of me, @notmartha, and @jessaspen. Thanks, ladies!

AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdesign camp
2 CommentsPost a comment

Photo: Karen Mordechai

1. Hey, guess what, y'all? A couple of people have switched their camp locations from Seattle to Portland -- AND I decided to raise the Seattle class size to 20 -- so I currently have FOUR openings in Seattle. Get on it, all you waitlisters! I am very excited about this development. Sign up for Seattle HERE.

2. Speaking of Portland, I still have openings there too. And the price is now $250! (PS, the price is also $250 for those of you who signed up before I did the discount. I didn't forget about you!) Mini-camp, yay! Sign up for Portland HERE.

3. The NYC camp is going to be held in the GORGEOUS new Sunday Suppers loft, pictured above. It's located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which I hear is sort of a happening place. Oh, and I've raised the class size of that one to 20, too. Because I love y'all. Oh, and Nick Olsen will be there. What? Yes. Everything is beautiful, go sign up, the end.


*Unrelated: Thanks so much to everyone who's written/commented to ask about us -- we are fine and safe and despite being surrounded by downed lines/trees, somehow even have power! Around 7,000 people here don't, though, so if you're one of them, you are welcome to come over. We're having tortilla soup tonight.

AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesdesign camp

Slide presentations are fun. I am a liar.

I know it seems like this place is nothing but camp talk lately, and that is because I am in the camp WEEDS lately. Next week I will embark on a dangerous thirteen-day journey to the wilds of San Francisco, where I will hold not one but two design camps. I have a couple of announcements, so I thought I'd hit y'all with a little news update.

1. The San Francisco class size has been upped from 15 to 20. As of right this second, I have one space left for SF I and three spaces left for SF II. I have never had a class this big before, so it's all very exciting. I will be bringing extra rulers for rapping knuckles.

Sign up for SF I (July 21-22)! Sign up for SF II (July 28-29)!

2. Someone has had to give up their spot for the Seattle camp, so there is one spot available. Sad for her, but yay for you! Sign up here.

3. I have been adding some cute things to the Dewit Design Toolkit, but I cannot find a good place to get custom pencils. The last order I placed, from maybe a less-than-reputable company, was lost in the mail and I paid a bunch of $$$ for a great big box of nothing. Sad face. So I am taking suggestions if you have them.

4. This has nothing to do with camp, but four of my friends have recently dropped books, no big deal. Pam. Stephanie. Heather and Jessica. BAM. I know some smart, funny ladies.

5. I hope you have enjoyed my new habit of randomly bolding words. It's too hot to go outside so I am making my own fun, goodbye.


Hello! Did you miss me? I have been gone for a million days to a wedding in the San Juan Islands, where Vince Chao's cousin Christy married a nice man named Jason. They are both dentists, and all of their friends are dentists, so there was a lot of this happening:

"Hey, can you look at this spot?" "Um, do y'all think this can be fixed?" "Is this an abscess?" "Does anyone have any painkillers?" And so forth.

The wedding was held in the beautiful back yard of a couple on Orcas Island, overlooking the water, and it could not have been anymore beautiful. If I didn't have to drive to Dallas, catch a flight to Seattle, rent a car, drive two hours to Anacortes, get on a ferry, and then drive some more, I would totally buy a vacation house there.

The happy couple was backlit, so this is the best I could do in the way of photos.

You can still see, I'm sure, how beautiful Christy and her man looked.

The reception started off slow, but after a few beverages, everyone had a good old Southern get-down dance party. Christy is originally from Louisiana by way of Taiwan, so she's got dual-country skills. The next day we ran into the groom's parents on our way to the ferry and they went on and on about our dancing. I think they may have been over-served.

We spent three glorious days on the island, but we also spent some time in Seattle, which was awesome. First we went to Delancey, where I got to meet my beloved Shauna in person for the first time ever.

Then we ate the best meal ever. Then I caught Vince and Madeleine Chao having a heart-to-heart while I was in the bathroom. It was really cute.

Then Molly came to sit with us, and we bonded hardcore. And THEN we got to eat yet another meal with Miss Megan and her cute huz.

And finally it was time to make the long trip home, whereupon we all fell into a deep sleep for a frillion hours.

Thanks, Christy and Jason, for letting us be a part of your beautiful wedding. And thanks, Seattle, for the sun and cool weather. You are awesome and we will be back.

AuthorAB Chao
4 CommentsPost a comment