MEET THE MAKER - Dana Hunt

Welcome Dana! We’re so excited to have her teach her indigo dying class at the shop! If you haven’t signed up already, please follow THIS LINK to do so.

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Tell us about your class and why you want to share your artistic process with us?

In this class you will learn a little bit about the history of indigo dye and the process behind it, but we will spend most of the time hands-on dyeing kitchen towels. Attendees in this class will have the opportunity to learn a new skill, meet other fun and interesting people, and take home their unique creations! 

I love teaching classes and making space for people to carve time out for learning and individual growth. We all can get so busy, it’s easy to forget to take some time for yourself, to get your hands a little dirty. 

What is so intriguing about the Indigo Dyeing process?

Indigo Dyeing has such a beautiful history, but is also so approachable and fun to do at home. I love the process because it’s such an easy way to explore your own creativity. And no matter how much you try, no one piece ever turns out the same. So you truly have to let go, enjoy the process, and wait to see what happens! 

What is your favorite part of this class?

My absolute favorite part is the big reveal at the end of the class, when everyone unrolls their creations! It’s always so fun to see how different they all turn out. Always beautiful and surprising! 

What is your favorite goodie in the shop?

I love to go to Hopscotch Bakery to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family. They have such unique finds that will make your friends feel special and one of a kind. I also love the beautiful cupcakes!! 

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Mother's Day Giveaway!

WE LOVE MOMS!

To celebrate this year, we are doing a giveaway: two coffee drinks and a cheesecake for two!

ENTER BY:

Posting a photo of you and your mom on Instagram (if your feed not stories) tagging @hopscotchcakes and use the hashtag #hopscotchlovesmoms. OR post on Facebook using the hashtag #hopscotchlovesmoms.

Winner will be announced Friday, May 10th!

Here are some pictures of our amazing team and their moms! <3

Our Vegan and Gluten Free items!

Here at Hopscotch, we pride ourselves on being a vegan and a gluten-free friendly bakery, but by no means are we exclusively GF and V. While we would love to have all of the items listed in stock for you at all times, quantity and availability are subject to what is made and sells in a day - if you are looking for something specific please call the shop as we cannot guarantee that items listed are in stock. Don’t forget that custom orders are always an option too!

Some of our Vegan Options:

  • Sunshine Cookie

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • Soup

  • Sticky Rice

  • Chia Bowls

  • Focaccia

Some of our Gluten Free options:

  • Panna Cotta

  • Gooey Butter Cake

  • Rice Pudding

  • Macaroons

  • Macarons ($1 on Wednesday!!!)

  • Sunshine Cookie

  • Cakes and Cupcakes (these guys go quick!)

  • Chia Bowls

As you can see, we have many items that check both GF + V boxes: Sunshine Cookie, Chia Pudding, Soup, Sticky Rice, Chocolate Cookies and Chocolate Bundt!

XO

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MEET THE MAKER: Crystal Hartman

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Crystal is new-ish to our community and a new friend to us here at The Hop. We felt an immediate connection to her work and had to display it in the shop. Since reaching out to Crystal we’ve discovered that she is a passionate, motivated and inspired by the world - just like us! We can’t wait to get to know her better and see where her art takes her here in CU!

You are relatively new to Champaign-Urbana, what brought you here? And how do you like it so far?

I fell in love! He teaches at the University and brought me along from southwest Colorado.  Everything here is so new and inspiring to me.  First the trees grabbed me, the sycamores and elms, then the magnolias and peonies, and the vastness of the horizon!  The creative community here is amazing, textured and full of incredible stories, I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

What importance does nature play in your work?  

I have the intention to be of service to the trees and to the water.  I am increasingly interested in conscious creating -awareness of the stories we tell and where they create space for conversation, the materials we use, where they come from, where they will go- sustainability and harmonious living are at the center of my thoughts and practice.  When I get busy, distracted, or simply need refreshment, I find my way outside to move and breathe… this inspires the stories I tell.

You're also a jewelry maker, how does your 2D work play into your 3D work?

I found my way to jewelry with a desire to bring the creatures and concepts from my paintings into a functional and accessible form.  I draw in wax and cast in recycled fine metals… this process led me to the world of beeswax, bees, and pollination!  Now I find myself largely focused on sharing the story of pollinators and life through beauty, reminding us why we love nature and creating space for conversations through this love. I find that changing format and scale keeps creating fresh, and my body and mind active.  When I’ve worked for a long time on a small scale it I enjoy switching over to a large painting.  Too long with golden wax, switch to blue and green paints.  

What is your favorite goodie at The Hop?

Oh! How to choose?  I love sharing a babka on a Wednesday afternoon, I love that Hopscotch has gluten-free and vegan options.  I love the macaroons - the rose one is like some magical, heavenly cookie from unicorn land!  And my dog Lola Honeydew is crazy for the K9 cookies!

MEET THE MAKER: Lisa Connery, Crass Stitching

We get so excited about all of our classes here at The Hop - we’ve got this amazing community of makers and they are so generous to share their skill sets with us that we swoon every time! Lisa of Crass Stitching is one of these makers and it is an understatement to say that we’re not geeked out over her two part class! Sign up at Eventbrite!

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Typically, if someone was to do a cross stitching project, they would use a prefabricated design.  You go rogue, where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I have so many sources for inspiration, I could have 30 projects going at once and still not even make a dent in my list! I create many of my own patterns, but I also follow so many talented needlework artists on IG so I buy patterns from them or I alter vintage patterns I find in books or online. The IDEA store is a great resource in town, especially for someone just learning a craft--there's no need to spend a ton to learn something new (not that cross stitch is a very expensive hobby!). 

Tell us about your class!

I've been talking about doing a class for a billion years, so I am *SO* excited to finally have one! I realized as more and more people were asking for kits or just patterns, that there are so many people who want to learn a new skill, they just don't know where to start. I'm hoping my class will be a good introduction to the craft. I aim to cover all the basics about cross stitch, from materials to stitches to finishing your hoop so it looks professional. Each person will get the materials to complete 2 cross stitch pieces, in addition to keeping the pattern and the tool kit to help with future projects.  I have so many people say they don't think they can do it, but I think once they sit down with someone explaining the basics, they'll see that it is really simple and enjoyable. 

How important is it to you to incorporate humor into your craft?

This is truly just my side hustle, so if I am not entertained by what I'm making, there's no point in doing it. My fiancé watches me crack myself up when I finish a really good piece because I think I am HILARIOUS AF. My favorite part of doing shows is watching someone start to laugh or have their eyes bug out at a design. I like to guess which piece is making them smile. I sometimes wish I did more serious "arting," especially when I see the tremendous talent of the artists in the CU area, but I also like that I know my pieces will bring a smile to someone's face, which is a lot less stressful than creating a more traditional piece. I think teaching this class will help me feel a little more serious while still letting me be silly.  

What's your favorite goodie at the shop?

Girl. Stahhhhp. It's all good. I like to go in and pretend that we're having company over so I need to try like, 6 items, but then I go home and eat all of them on the couch with my Boo and Netflix. 


Boneyard: South Side + Hopscotch

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After we leased the building and before we started an inkling of construction, we spent a lot of time daydreaming about how we wanted the shop to have an impact on our community. So many of those daydreams have come true and the one we hold dearest to our heart is the collaboration we have with South Side Elementary School students every year for Boneyard Art Festival. Our ongoing commitment to hosting the 1st, 3rd and 5th graders in the shop during the festival allows for every student to participate as the years go on. (I know as a young artist, I would have cherished and marveled at being a part of a real-life art festival. Maybe that is why it is so important to us, we’re celebrating little daydreamers too.)

A huge shout-out to Amy Lozar, South Side’s art teacher, who runs a pretty awesome program - with out her willingness to participate and enthusiasm for dessert this ongoing project wouldn’t be possible.

Boneyard Art Festival takes place April 4th through the 7th. 5th grade South Sider’s work will be visible during drop off Thursday morning and will stay up through the weekend, weather permitting. Younger student’s work will be up in the shop Thursday and for the following weeks after the festival.

For more information about 40 North and the Boneyard Art Festival, please visit 40North.org and boneyardartsfestival.org!

Let's talk: Buttercream!

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I will be the first to admit that I know very little about cakes. Kaya has all the cake knowledge in her noggin and since I trust her tastebuds why would I ever need to know the details? (We also have an amazing team back there too, so you know if that it’s not Kaya making your cake it’s someone else who is exhibiting the same amount of care and thoughtfulness with every step.) Well, it’s time for me to learn something about the kitchen and why not start with what makes our cakes beautiful and tasty: buttercream.

What kind of buttercream do we use? Why?

Kaya: We use two types of buttercream: Swiss and American -- Swiss is made with a meringue base so it is not as sweet or heavy. American buttercream is just a blend of powdered sugar and butter.

How do we flavor our buttercream?

We use natural flavors like roasted strawberries, ground pistachios, vanilla beans, or cordials like our elderflower buttercream that was on the Royal Wedding cake!

What makes our buttercream different?

We make it fresh and use it at once. It is not going to be cloyingly sweet or heavy - buttercream also allows for a shiny and striking look on cake sides.

Why buttercream over fondant or cream cheese frostings?

Buttercream is both delicious and beautiful. We specialize in the use of buttercream over fondant for its classic yet unfussy look - and no need to peel it off before consuming. We do use cream cheese icing for fillings, but in order to get the Hopscotch “look” it requires more structure than cream cheese icing has - as it can look weepy and soft.

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We want you to have the best buttercream experience - so we include a care card with every cake purchase. A care card might seem silly for a cake however we want our cakes to be enjoyed with the same amount of love and thought we put in to them.

Open Table Event for Brides and an AMA with Kat (our bridal consultant)

Hey there brides + grooms!!! February 23rd from 12-3pm we will be hosting an open table tasting event for you! During this time, you will have the opportunity to have a mini consultation with our bridal consultant Kat, try our mini bites + wedding cake flavors (champagne-champaign, chocolate and vanilla with icing options: vanilla, triple berry preserves, salted caramel) and hear more about the vendors we work with. BONUS: 10% total discount if you book and put deposit down that day!

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What is trendy in the wedding industry currently?

The wedding industry is always changing, but a few trends are taking center stage as of late. Lots of brides are choosing "minimalist" wedding themes. They are picking monotone color schemes or choosing accent pieces to liven up their weddings instead of a mixture of various colors.

Natural wood, greens, and colorful florals seem popular with brides, followed but clusters of candles nestled in flowing greenery. A few stand-out pieces are all the decorations that some brides need, which is different than the décor style of weddings past. The monochromatic color scheme helps these pieces pop and creates that effortless yet romantic look.

What kind of desserts are popular? Dessert tables, cutting cakes, etc.?

This year, I have seen a lot of "naked" cakes with live floral accents. The naked look is achieved by using minimal icing where bits of cake peak through. This style of cake fits into that minimalist theme that seems to be popular lately.

In addition to that, brides are using dessert tables to give their guests more variety than just a cake. Items like mini cupcakes, cheesecake bites, brownie bars, and macarons have been popular with couples.

What is the number one priority for brides?

I think the number one priority for brides is the vision of their wedding space. Once a bride has the details of the space, she can really start putting together a vision for her theme. Once a theme is established, the bride can focus on bringing her dessert/cake options into reality, which is where we come in!

What is your favorite part of working with brides (and husbands?)

My favorite part of working with brides is the creativity that I can be a part of. Some brides come in looking for ideas and suggestions and others know exactly what they want. Either way, I get to help narrow down a vision that helps each bride have a custom Hopscotch cake. All of our cakes are custom, and not one cake is a replica of another.

What is your advice for every bride, regardless of budget?

Figure out what will work best for your style as a couple. Desserts are an extension of the wedding itself. It's important to know what you, as a couple want. Being realistic is also key when shopping for dessert. There are more things that go into customizing an order than just style, flavor and look. Take your time and remember to have fun with it!

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MEET THE MAKER: Lisa Kesler

Lisa Kesler is a painter, printmaker and illustrator. She is also a bad-ass - most recently, she kickstarted a campaign to fund bringing a press into her studio. She offers workshops and classes at her studio in Tolono, but she will be teaching a valentine’s day workshop at the Hop this Friday!

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You have had a career many artisans could only dream of, what would be on the highlight reel? 

Every time I see my work in a public space it is a special thrill for me because I know it was chosen to be seen my many, many people and to improve their day in some tiny way. 

HOLY SHIT, you have a press now! Now what??? 

Well, to a printmaker, the addition of a Vandercook press to their studio is a huge game-changer. I reached out to the community for support to help me acquire my vintage letterpress recently. It will allow me to print larger images faster and with more consistency. I will be able to print fine art prints or commercial work, like posters, and to teach workshops and educate interested visitors about the history of graphic design and the printed word. 


You teach a plethora of classes, of all skill levels - what is your teaching philosophy?
 

I want to give people a place to explore their creative side and get the satisfaction that we all feel when we create something with our own hands. My workshop students range from beginners to professional artists. Beginners enjoy the camaraderie of working on a project alongside friends and experienced artists like to step outside of their usual routine and try a new medium or learn a new skill. 

What is your favorite treat at The Hop?  

Cupcakes are always my favorite. Anything with nuts and/or chocolate!