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PARTIES!

Looking for a new way to celebrate?  Have a party at my studio!  It’s fun, it’s creative, and I provide all the art supplies and clean-up!  Plus – I can custom design a project just for you.  I do parties for kids AND grown-ups.  Bring your own food and beverage.  Contact me for details.

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Spring!

Hasn’t it been a weird winter-in-to-spring?  Here in Missouri, we just don’t know what season it wants to be!  So, while I feel like maybe spring is here for real, we might get a snowstorm next week.

In honor of Spring, the Wednesday group made these BEAUTIFUL wall pockets!  We had a great time building them out of clay.  Then, some kids glazed them and some kids used the crayon/black acrylic technique to add color.  No matter which method they chose, they turned out great!  We added some cool beaded hangers, planted some succulents in them, and bam, they were done!  They are so very awesome, I just want to make wall pockets with everyone!

So…  I’m scheduling an Adult/Teen Clay Wall Pocket class in April.  You know you want one of these lovely little items all your very own.  So, click here to see details and sign up!

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Not Right Now…

I can’t do that right now, I am (tired, unable to concentrate, playing spider solitaire, doing laundry, snuggling the dog, thinking, going to the post office, hiding under my drafting table, watching Rachel Maddow…).  Please tell me you do it, too.

Ah, time management, you saboteur.  And, it’s not like I ALWAYS have a problem with it…  sometimes Time bends to my will and I emerge victorious.  Then a glorious image develops in my mind, me on top of a mountain, wind in my hair, expensive Frye Melissa Tall Lace boot (that I do not actually own) crushing an enormous steam-punk (it’s my image, let me play) clock.

I really can rock it.

But, not lately.  I am struggling to use my time wisely.  My teacher would write it in the comment section if I was in fifth grade.  “Daydreams.  Does not use her time wisely.  We are working on helping her focus.  But, sweet girl and so much potential!  I enjoy having Donna in class.”

Here’s my problem:  I have too many options.  I am currently in Squirrel Mode.

On a much better note, the weekend’s birthday party was FABULOUS!  We made Owl Pillows and OMIGAWRSH they were so cute and I wanted to keep them ALL.  Alas, the guests would not have it and spirited the beautiful pillows away.  Sigh.

Birthday parties at my studios are the best.  You should have yours here.  It doesn’t matter how old you are.  I’m thinking of having my own birthday party here.  How fun would THAT be?

 

 

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December

It’s that time of year…  I know, I know, it’s busy and fun and stressful and fattening and expensive.  So, everyone just take a deep breath.  Close your eyes.  Breathe again.

Dark nights and soft gray days.  The longest nights, the shortest days.  Now is the time to curl up with something or someone warm and think.  And dream.  And think.  And be grateful.

I love December, in spite of (or maybe because of) the darkness and gray days.  I think it is because my favorite art is colorful to the extreme (big fan of Fauvists) and the grayness of December is such a perfect backdrop to intense saturated colors.  Contrast.  I’m all about contrast.  I like the almost painfully bright red of the cardinal against the browns and taupes of a naked winter tree.  I like a courageous color explosion of a child’s painting against a concrete wall.  I like bright lipstick on a pale face.  I like a sunshine yellow hat in a sea of dark umbrellas.

Find your bright spot this month.  But don’t forget to rest in the darks.

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Collaboration

In our school district, they have “collaboration days” where the teachers get together to discuss best practice, share ideas, support each other, help each other.  Sounds like a good model.  I especially like the part about supporting each other.  And helping each other.  Building relationships.

I hold classes on those collaboration days because the kids get out of school two hours early and many need a place to be while parents work.  I love these days.  Our little group is growing into a special community.  Those kids share ideas, support each other, help each other, giggle together, and build friendships.  They, too, collaborate.  It was a good place to be yesterday.  A very good place indeed.

In the surrounding turmoil of the day, I felt the need to create something extra-positive, extra-uplifting.  I felt the need to look into our hearts and remember what is good.  I had just seen a Gratitude Box project by Meri Cherry and I shamelessly stole the idea.  I’m so glad I did because they turned out beautifully, and made us feel good, too!

We spent some time talking and writing about what we were grateful for.  (first, we figured out what the word “grateful” means!)  We thought about what we were fortunate to have, what makes us happy, what sustains us. We made gorgeous paintings upon which we wrote our thanks, tied them with wool yarn and a “glitter stick” (glitter makes everything happy), and put them all in a little brown box we decorated, to keep and to add to as we wish.

I couldn’t stop looking at them.  The kids couldn’t stop holding them.  They were so lovely, but the words written were the loveliest of all.  (There was one in particular I was especially fond of……)

We have room for more children on these days.  Children who need to feel included, welcomed, supported no matter what.  Sign ’em up.  We will greet them with open arms.

 

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Halloween!

It’s Halloween.  It feels different to me this year.  Our daughter is twelve, in seventh grade.  She is entirely too cool to be dressing up and she is ambivalent about our traditional Halloween gathering at my parents’ house.  (She is not, however, ambivalent about the pumpkin pie.  My mother’s pumpkin pie is divine.)  This is also the first year in a long time that I have not been at school, surrounded by scores of super cute, amped-up, made-up children, navigating fall parties and the subsequent fall-out.  While I miss all the little ones, I can’t say I really miss the sugar-frenzy…  So, Halloween has been a little slower, a little calmer, and I think I like it.

Things are happening in the studio!  In addition to classes with amazing kids and amazing adults, I have been making stuff!  We recently got our kiln all set up, tested, and working.  This was a dream of mine, and one I wasn’t sure would ever come true, but, there you are!  Look at me – I have a kiln!  I am enjoying making tiny little things out of clay.  Tiny things to wear.  Tiny things to carry in your pocket.  An analysis of my fascination with tiny things is forthcoming.  Another day.  Also forthcoming… clay classes in the studio.  You know you want to partake.

Be safe tonight.  Keep your kitties in the house.  Have a beautiful All Hallow’s Eve.

 

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Summer Is Over…

Our daughter is back to school.  We are trying to get back into that routine.  She is happy to be back with friends, happy with her teachers, unhappy with getting up so early!

It is strange not to be back in the classroom at Maple Grove Elementary!  There is a twinge of bittersweetness.  Is that a word?  Now that summer classes are over here in the studio, I am trying to navigate the ebb and flow of how the school year impacts my schedule.  Finding the right balance between teaching and creating is my current focus.  It’s lovely to spend time on my work.  My own work.  Time to think, develop, experiment.  Delicious.20160830_103059

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Gatherings

So, I did this birthday party this past weekend.  The birthday girl was turning nine and she had three of her best friends come for her party.  These girls were sweet, funny, giggly, excited, creative, eager, and smart.  Just as kids ought to be!  My friend had asked me to come to the party and provide an art experience for them, which I was all too ready to do!  There was much discussion about imagery, fabrics, color, beading, trim, and friendship.  We made purses with painted panels.  They were cute, jazzy, and unique.  I think the girls were pretty happy with the purses.  I know I LOVED them!  But, as is always the way, it seems, not one of those girls would let me keep her work, no matter how much I begged them.  Can you believe that?

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Painting Class for Kids

Summer Art Camp was FABULOUS!!  I had such a good time with all of my talented artists who took part in my first ever ART CAMP.  Those kids were adventurous and creative and willing to try anything I asked them to try.  And the results were wonderful!

Summer Art Camp is over for this year, but I am in the process of adding many one-session classes for the rest of the summer.  Be patient with me, it is quite a learning process!

Next week, I will be holding a class for younger kids where we will be painting flowers.  Big, gigantic, colorful flowers!  I am really excited because it will be colorful, messy, oversized, and creative.  And I love all of those things!  I will also be listing a few more kids’ classes for next week, so keep looking at the CLASSES page!

 

Here are some photos from Art Camp 2016!

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