Tag Archives: crafts

So Much Fun At So So Artsy

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So Much Fun At So So Artsy

Hello! In December, I went to a paint class at the Solon Community Center with my brother that was hosted by the delightful Melinda, owner of So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio. We had an absolute blast painting snowpeople and after learning that Melinda’s studio is very close to where I work in Twinsburg, I just had to interview her! This past week, I was able to spend a morning getting to know Melinda and her business better and I am so excited to share her amazing work with all of you. Let’s get to it:

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So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio has been in business for close to six years and is currently in its second location in Northfield. Through Melinda’s dedication, So So Artsy has become the place to be for birthdays, bachelorette parties, graduations, and corporate events. Melinda also enjoys her time utilizing her background as a social worker and counselor when she brings her art to schools and hosts classes for people with special needs. Born and raised in Northfield, Melinda’s effervescent personality and skill is now a staple in her hometown.

Business has never been better at So So Artsy and, shockingly, Melinda credits the success to the COVID-19 pandemic. For three years, the studio was struggling to profit and Melinda began to enhance her marketing strategies. Then, the world shut down and she kicked it into high gear! Through offering virtual classes as well as her ingenious art kits, So So Artsy became fully booked within thirty days. The art kits, which include paintbrushes, paints, a disposable apron, canvas, glass, and more were also a huge driving force and were shipped in the thousands.

Melinda strives to turn every class at So So Artsy into a special event where peoples’ creativity can flourish. It is a highly interactive experience and guests are encouraged to share their ideas of what they would like to paint beforehand. The painters also have full control of the music system so they can create an atmosphere tailored to them. Although Melinda draws inspiration from the beautiful Metro Parks nearby, she loves hearing the public’s ideas for canvas art and will then paint something to be replicated.

At six years old, Melinda was introduced to art through her best friend’s mom. Every weekend, they would all get together to work on crafts and it is a memory that is looked back on fondly. In fact, one of Melinda’s favorite paintings was made when she was in twelfth grade after painting ceramic statues during her art weekends. She tried to replicate the statue on the canvas and it was then that she realized her own talent.

Instead of acquiring an art degree, Melinda became a social worker and counselor and spent twenty years working for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. As you can imagine, such a long time in a stressful field burnt her out and Melinda knew that she needed a change. To boost her spirits, her friends invited her out to a paint and sip night and she went, albeit begrudgingly. That evening, something clicked and the realization dawned that she could do something like that too.

After her paint night revelation, Melinda began working diligently for two years to formulate a business plan for her studio. So So Artsy’s doors did not open until she was satisfied with her plans of A through Z and says that this is essential to creating a successful business. Melinda’s focus on her business plan was longevity because she knew that the money and popularity would come after being established. This plan has served her well and she is currently looking for a bigger space for her studio in the Northfield area.

If you are looking for a fun and unique outing with your friends or family, look no further than So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio. Even if you are “eh – so so artsy”, Melinda’s welcoming spirit and expert guidance will have you feeling “so so artsy” before your class is over!

After spending time with Melinda, all I want to do is paint! You can visit So So Artsy’s website and from there, you will be able to book your party or purchase an art kit in the shop. Do be sure to follow So So Artsy Paint & Sip Studio on Instagram @sosoartsypaints or on Facebook at So So Artsy Paint Studios Northfield Ohio. Thanks again, Melinda!

Have you ever been to a paint and sip event before? What was your experience like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Integrate Art & Culture Into Your Life

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How To Integrate Art & Culture Into Your Life

It’s no secret that art and culture can have a profound impact on our lives. But what does it mean to integrate art and culture into your life? And why is it important? In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of art and culture in our lives and offer some practical tips on how to integrate them into your everyday life. So whether you’re a die-hard museum-goer or just looking to add a little more creativity to your life, then let’s get to it:

The Importance of Art and Culture:

Art and culture play an important role in our lives – they can enrich our experience of the world, help us to understand other cultures, and give us a sense of identity and belonging. There are many ways in which we can integrate art and culture into our lives. Some of the benefits of doing so include:

  1. Enhancing our creativity and imagination.
  2. Broadening our perspective and understanding of different cultures.
  3. Nurturing our emotional well-being.
  4. Connecting us with our community.

Making Time for Art and Culture:

In our fast-paced, ever-connected world, it can be difficult to find time to slow down and appreciate the arts. But making time for art and culture is important not only for our own enjoyment but also for the health of our communities. Set aside a little time each week specifically for enjoying art and culture. Whether it’s an hour at the museum or thirty minutes of listening to local bands, pencil it into your calendar.

If you have trouble making time for art and culture on a regular basis, try turning it into a habit. Pick one day each week or month to visit a gallery or attend a performance. After a while, it will become second nature. Check out the Frederica Wald blog to find new ideas and info on exhibits.

Finding Art and Culture in Everyday Life:

You don’t have to go out of your way to enjoy art and culture – sometimes, it can be found right in your everyday life. Here are a few examples:

  • Take a different route: When you’re running errands or heading to work, take a different route than usual and see what new sights you can find. You may stumble upon a hidden mural or an interesting storefront that you never would have noticed before.
  • Talk to your neighbors: Get to know the people who live near you and ask about their favorite places to see art or experience culture in your city or town.
  • Check out local events: Most cities and towns have regular events that showcase local artists and performers. Keep an eye out for flyers or check online calendars to see what’s happening near you.

Art and culture are important aspects of our lives that can have a positive impact on our well-being. By making the most of the tips above, you can enrich your life and experience the world in new and meaningful ways!

Featured Image By: Pxhere

Where To Look For Artistic Inspiration

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Where To Look For Artistic Inspiration

If you’re feeling blocked creatively, it can be helpful to seek out inspiration from other artists. But where do you find it? And once you’ve found it, how do you use it to create your own art? Let’s explore some of the best places to look for artistic inspiration and offer some tips on how to make the most of it:

Art Galleries:

Art galleries are a great place to start your search for artistic inspiration. There are usually several different artists featured in each gallery, giving you a wide range of styles and mediums to choose from. You can also ask the gallery attendant about the artist’s process and what inspired them to create their work. Check out the best exhibits from women chosen by Frederica Wald.

Museums:

Museums are another excellent source of inspiration, especially if you’re interested in historical art or want to learn more about a specific artist or movement. Many museums offer tours led by knowledgeable staff who can provide insights into the artwork on display.

Photography:

Photography can be a great way to get inspired, especially if you’re looking for ideas for a new project or want to explore a different style of art. There are many different types of photography, from landscape and portraiture to still life and abstract, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Film:

Film is another medium that can be very inspiring, particularly if you’re interested in storytelling or visual effects. Watching films from different genres and eras can give you a new perspective on your own work, and you may even find yourself borrowing some of the techniques used by your favorite directors.

Nature:

Nature is one of the most popular sources of inspiration for artists, as it provides an endless array of colors, textures, and forms to explore. Whether you’re taking a walk in the park or exploring a new city, keep your eyes open for interesting patterns and shapes that could be incorporated into your work.

How to Use Inspiration:

Experimentation:

When you find something that inspires you, it’s important to experiment with it and see what you can create. Don’t be afraid to try new things or to fail. The more you experiment, the more likely you are to find something that works for you.

Be Open-Minded:

It’s also important to be open-minded when looking for inspiration. You never know where you’ll find it, so it’s important to keep an open mind. Who knows? Maybe your next great idea will come from something completely unexpected.

Take Your Time:

Finally, don’t rush the process. Inspiration can strike at any time, but it’s often not something that can be forced. If you’re feeling stuck, take a break and come back later with fresh eyes. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of time and patience.

For an artist, there can be inspiration everywhere you look. However, sometimes people can get stuck. Take the time to explore art hubs in your area and you might have an aha moment for your next great work!

Featured Image By: Pxhere

Fall Craft Morning

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Fall Craft Morning

Hello!! I work as an Independent Provider for people with special needs and it is the best job ever! This past Friday, I spent a fantastic morning getting crafty with one of my clients and we had a blast. Even better, part of our supplies for the projects we completed came from going on a fall hike. We gathered leaves to do some crayon stenciling and also purchased small pumpkins to paint. These crafts were simple to make but so much fun and will be a great way to spend a chilly fall afternoon with nothing to do:

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My neck of the woods boasts so many different Metro Parks that it’s impossible to keep track of them all. I have been looking forward to fall hikes with my client since the summertime and the trail we went on was glorious with all of the leaves changing colors. It also was a unique twist to turn it into a scavenger hunt of sorts while we scoured the ground for perfect leaves to stencil.

After the hike was done and our hoodie pockets were filled with leaves, we bought pumpkins and headed home to get our craft on. The leaf stenciling was a huge hit and, although the directions are self explanatory, here they are:

  1. Acquire leaves
  2. Place the leaf vein side up underneath a piece of paper
  3. Rub over the leaf gently with the side of a crayon
  4. Rinse and repeat

While our leaf craft was very successful, the piece de resistance was definitely painting the pumpkins! I have never carved a pumpkin before and, honestly, don’t trust myself enough to lol so painting a pumpkin is my compromise. This is a craft that I have done with many a client and it’s an ideal way to get into the fall spirit without the messiness of pumpkin carving. I opted for a pumpkin with the lifewithlilred initials and my client painted a super colorful pumpkin that turned out amazing. Now, I have to figure out some more crafts for next week! 😀

Not only is fall my favorite season but it is also my favorite time of year to spend with the people I serve. Enjoying the beautiful nature, cooler temps, and all of the activities and crafts that come with autumn never makes for a dull moment! ❤

Have you made any fall crafts? How did they turn out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Considering A Used Sewing Machine? Follow These Tips

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Considering A Used Sewing Machine? Follow These Tips

The cost of a sewing machine is significant. You need a reliable, sturdy machine with all of the capabilities you want right away and a few that you will probably desire in the future. A fantastic way to save some cash is to purchase a secondhand machine. But beware the buyer! The purchase of used equipment has its drawbacks as well. The following factors are important to think about:

What can it do and does it work?:

Any sewing machine, new or secondhand, must pass the most fundamental test – it must operate! Test out any equipment you want to purchase as soon as you can. Some stores will provide test models on the floor for new equipment. However, if you’re buying a secondhand sewing machine, you should test the actual machine, not simply the same model. Try the features out. Does the sewing machine produce uniform, skip-free stitches? Does it run without making any strange noises?

Bring along both delicate and more durable fabrics in different weights to test the machine’s capabilities. Remember, your results won’t be adequate if you don’t take the time to correctly change all of the parameters between these two, including switching to a heavy duty needle and thread.

Is it in excellent shape overall or has it undergone any repairs?

A sewing machine’s condition may not always be apparent at first sight. When buying from a store that sells old equipment, find out if the unit has been restored and what that entails. Find out the prior owner’s maintenance schedule and the most recent service date if you’re purchasing from them.

Who is the machine’s seller?

The safest option is usually to purchase a used or refurbished machine from a store because these items are frequently cleaned and fixed before being put back on the market. They could even have a modernized repair warranty. Unfortunately, the price difference between one of these machines and a new one won’t be as great because of the additional maintenance required. Directly purchasing from a prior owner may give you more wiggle room, but there will also be greater quality variety.

What does it include?

This is a crucial question to ask in relation to accessories. What comes with the purchase? Make sure you understand what you’re buying and what the final price includes. This is also a good time to double check that the machine is compatible with gear that you might already have.

Is it user-friendly?

It’s likely that a secondhand machine won’t have a user manual. It’s a relief that many of these can now be downloaded, but if you’re a novice sewer, it might be difficult to even know what questions to ask when getting started with a new machine. This is just another incentive to test a machine out before purchasing it!

Will it satisfy your needs?

It’s great to get a good deal on a used machine but is it going to be able to do everything that you want it to? What might be a smart purchase now could end up costing you more later if you realize you do want all of the bells and whistles.

What is the price being asked?

Last but not least, how much money can you afford to spend on a sewing machine? You’ll need to do some research to figure out what a fair price is for the item you want. Older machines are frequently pricey due to their enduring appeal, while more recent versions can be surprisingly affordable.

With all of these tips in mind, you will be better prepared to make a good decision if you’re on the market for a new to you sewing machine.

Resources:

Featured Image By: Alex Andrews from Pexels

Bubble Pop Craft

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Bubble Pop Craft

Hello! This past weekend was a whirlwind because my sister just had another beautiful baby girl! I am so excited to be a TT of three and my Val Gal is over the moon to be a big sister. While the little miss was making her grand debut, my dad and I watched Val over the weekend. We had an absolute blast playing outside, going to see a dance program, and making a super fun bubble craft!

When I was little, I could stay outside picking dandelions and blowing bubbles for hours and Val shares the same sentiments. On Sunday morning, it was very dreary so we couldn’t play outside. But, in the recesses of my brain, I remembered a craft that I had seen on Pinterest by Broogly that was sure to keep her occupied. Check it out:

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What You’ll Need:

  • Bubble soap
  • Food coloring
  • Paper

What To Do:

  • Mix food coloring and bubble soap together
  • Blow bubbles over your piece of paper to create your pop art. The longer the bubble sits on the paper, the deeper the color will be.

This bubble pop craft was so easy to put together and Val and I spent over an hour and a half making six masterpieces for her baby sis, uncles, and grandma. While this is definitely a better craft for doing outside, we were able to make it work with minimal mess by placing beach towels over the kitchen floor to blow bubbles on. The mess actually came after the project was complete when I accidentally knocked into Val and blue bubble soap spilled all over the floor. WHOOPS lol.

Not only was this craft entertaining but it was educational too. I got to teach Val all about mixing colors to make new ones and she assisted in helping me make purple and orange bubble soap. I loved how her orange turned out! She would tell you that the purple was the best and, as always, it’s her favorite color. ❤

The next time we make this craft (because there will for sure be a next time), hopefully the weather will be nice enough to do it outdoors. I plan on getting bigger sheets of paper and think that it will turn out really cool if we use one of the automatic bubble blowers. Do give this craft a try if you have little ones – they will love it!

Where do you find fun crafts for your kids? What crafts have you made together this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fourth Watercolor Project

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Fourth Watercolor Project

Hello! I have a vast repertoire of hobbies and enjoy reading, ice skating, writing, swimming, and, of course, shopping in my free time. Watercolor painting is a recent hobby that I’ve added to this list and I have been loving it and trying my hand at different projects as often as I can. This past weekend, I made this little painting for my nieces while Johnny took a nap lol check it out:

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My sister and brother-in-law have their daughter, Valerie, and will have another little girl very soon. We are SO excited and I wanted to make something adorable for their bed or playroom. They most certainly are cute as a button so inspiration for my most recent project was really easy to come by!

Val’s favorite colors are purple and pink so I obviously had to incorporate that and I think she will be super happy about the palette I chose. She’s also not old enough to know good art, either, so that’s another win lol. Good art or not, it was fun to make and I like how it turned out so that’s all that matters. 😀

Every time I paint something, I come up with ideas for another project that I would like to do. Without the watercolor class that I took, I would have never thought that it would be an activity that I would enjoy. However, here we are now on my fourth project and I am eager to continue creating more and more. I have some sketches ready to paint when I can and I also plan on making a rainbow painting for my nieces. I can’t wait to show all of you!

Have you started a new hobby recently? What do you like to do in your free time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Tune in tomorrow for bloopers from my Country Concert OOTD!

Namesake Watercolor Project

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Namesake Watercolor Project

Hello! I enjoyed the watercolor painting class that I took so much that I just had to buy some supplies to paint during my free time at home. Although my leisure time is scarce during the week, I have managed to do two projects that I am really proud of. I created a likeness of myself and Johnny and also painted a dedication to my namesake this past week:

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The Lil Red nickname originally stemmed from a coworker when I worked retail thanks to my signature red hair and lipstick. At the cash register, he would ask if Lil Red helped the customer out and they always knew who he was talking about! I have had this project in mind to feature my blog’s tagline and a red lippie tube since the class I took and I love how it turned out. 😀

Because of the constantly changing color of my hair, it has been a while since I was able to wear a pure red lipstick. I miss it terribly but I still think that it is the epitome of chic. A bold red lip screams confidence, even if you aren’t really feeling yourself that day. A quick swipe of red lipstick can completely change a simple jeans and T outfit or enhance a date night look. This never fails to amaze me and is a true testament to the power of makeup.

It sounds silly but I honestly feel like my red lipstick helped shape me into the person that I am today. It gave me a confidence boost when I had none as well as inspiration when I created my blog. During my next tap out tattoo session, I plan on getting a red lipstick tube somewhere on my arm. For now, however, a painting will just have to do. I wonder what I’ll come up with to paint next!

What do you consider a signature part of your style? What is your favorite lipstick shade? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Michael’s Haul

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Michael’s Haul

Hello! My mom, sister, and I recently took a really fun watercolor painting class taught by the fabulous Ana-Joel of Falcon Grove Studio. We had the best time and our teacher’s kind words, wisdom, and talent inspired both my mom and I to give watercolor painting a try in our free time. I was so proud of my mom when she sent me pictures of what she had painted already!

This past weekend, Johnny and I did some errands and went to Michael’s so I could get some painting supplies. He also picked up a few things to trick out his banjo with and it’s looking really good!

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While I haven’t painted anything yet, I definitely plan on it this week and already have lots of ideas brewing in my head. Of course, it probably won’t look as good as I am picturing it but practice makes perfect and I’m excited! Prior to taking the painting class, I had never done anything like it before and I know that it will feel good to express myself through a different medium because you all know that I am a word girl at heart.

Ana-Joel was an amazing teacher and I think that it speaks volumes that she motivated at least two of her students to continue painting in their own time. She was so encouraging and it was really moving to see how she celebrated our efforts because it should be celebrated! Ana-Joel said that all art is special because it’s our bodies dancing and creating something new. I loved that and it made me feel inspired to try something new rather than stressed out about not being the best at it.

Every day when Johnny gets home from work, he has taken to building small metal models and I plan on joining him and painting. It’s going to be fun to be able to create things together because he is so musically inclined and I… am not lol. I can’t wait to show all of you what I come up with!

What kind of art do you like to make? What is your favorite medium to work with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Watercolor Painting Class

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Watercolor Painting Class

Hello!! This past Saturday I took a really fun watercolor painting class at the Quirk Cultural Center with my mom and sister. The class was led by the wonderful Ana-Joel of Falcon Grove Studio and she taught us how to paint different herbs inspired by an English country garden. To begin, Ana showed us the different techniques to paint rosemary, sage, mint, and basil and then we got to create our own masterpieces:

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My mom, sister, and I would definitely not fall under the category of artistically skilled and have never painted with watercolor before. However, we all jumped at the opportunity to take this class because it was local and seemed like something we could enjoy together. I am so glad that we did and left the class with work that we were proud of and an eagerness to take more classes with Ana again.

Ana is an amazing local artist who founded Falcon Grove Studio during the pandemic to help promote a feeling of safety and wellness at home through art. She is so gifted, kind, and genuine and we all felt lucky to have her as our teacher. Her words inspired each of the students in the class and I loved how she told us that art is special because it’s the way your own body moves to create something. As someone who isn’t good at art, it was so encouraging to hear that you are still making something meaningful.

As I said, I had never painted watercolor before and I had a blast. It was such a unique experience and I was blown away by this whole world that I knew existed but never tried for myself. Ana taught us how to mix colors and use the water to enhance our art and it was so cool to see colors transform from something as simple as adding a touch of yellow or red and a “juicy brush” loaded with water.

For my project, I chose to paint basil and sage and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they turned out. Are they museum level works of art? No way lol. BUT, I thought that it was a pretty damn good first try. Not only did I feel proud of what I painted but I also felt excited to try painting more and I think that definitely qualifies as a GREAT SUCCESS (Borat voice).

Ana offers a variety of different courses in person and online and I simply cannot wait to work with her again. I also have ideas swirling in my head for some commissioned pieces by her! Please check out her social media and Etsy page at the following and support this fabulous local artist:

What is your favorite medium of art? Have you ever taken any art classes before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah