Encourage their he-ARTs!

1 kids blog postOh, friends . . . We just finished up an awesome summer of our Creative Wings 2018 Summer Craft Camp for kids – six awesome sessions of creative projects from collaging, painting, basket making, journal making, and block painting. We had a great group of  kids again this year, and are so grateful to have had them with us creating this summer. (Thanks to all who joined us!!)

Following the session, I received a message from one of the moms sharing how much her daughter enjoyed the classes, and how her daughter has started drawing more often at home. This mom asked if I had any tips on how to keep her daughters artistic momentum going . . . and that made me SO EXCITED!!! Always one to “art talk”, I thought I would share some of my ideas for encouraging our kids in ART here on our blog: 

  • One of the biggest things we can do in continuing their momentum in art – is to continue making their experiences SPECIAL.
  • Exposing kids to art materials is another great way to encourage their interests.  Giving them access to different supplies, and allowing them time to FREELY create (no matter what their final projects look like) is huge. They do not have to be a prodigy. Let them explore and create on their own. Michael’s Stores has a wonderful, relatively inexpensive line of art materials called “Artist Loft®”. From paints, brushes, sketchbooks and colored pencils, you can pick up a variety of things for your young artist to begin using – without breaking the bank.
  • After a little bit of time, take them on a field trip to a “REAL” Art Store – like Blick (www.dickblick.com). Michael’s is awesome for nearby shopping. But to make it really ‘special’, tell them you want to take them somewhere “professional artists” or “real artists” shop. Pick up something for them there – maybe a higher quality sketchbook or pencils. Nothing too expensive, again. But exposing him/her to a new store with art materials is super exciting.
  • Along the field trip lines – be sure to bring your young artist to The Art Institute of Chicago. (Oh, we are SO lucky to have this museum in our city!!) Take them on a little tour to see some classic works. Ask them questions along the visit – What do they think the artist was painting? What is the setting of the subject of work? What colors do they like in the particular piece? How does the painting or art piece make them feel? Letting them look, feel, and express what they see in art is a wonderful habit to start. It will teach them that art MOVES us. What a wonderful thing to learn!! 
  • YouTube it! I must start by saying – I am not a huge viewer of YouTube. However, there is a WEALTH of information at our fingertips – and it CAN be used to strengthen and keep that momentum going for our kids! There are SO MANY videos about ART online – from actual instructional videos to art eduction. I love to tell people that when I was a child (long before the YouTube age), I would sit and watch artist William Alexander every single Saturday on Channel 11, our local PBS station. With a lined notebook and a box of crayons, I followed along what he did with oil paints and tried to reproduce his work in my notebook. Set time every week for your child to practice their craft. Make it “ART TIME” in your home. 
  • That being said . . . make time for them to “ART”. When your child has that art bug (and you will know it when you see it), allow them time to nurture it. Our kids are often involved in SO much – that leaves them with little time to Create. It really doesn’t come naturally . . . although many people think that it does. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Van Gogh was said to produce more than 2,000 works of art in his 10 year career, and there are over 2,500 paintings and drawings attributed to Claude Monet.  An artist friend shared this on Facebook a while ago, and I think it is a brilliant . . . (Thank you, artist Sarah Anderson, for pointing out that PRACTICE is really what it is all about.)

comic strip

That is about it, dear friends. My “2 cents worth” about keeping the art momentum going for our kids. 🙂 We are so grateful at Creative Wings Art Shoppe for being able to do a small part in sharing art with so many great young artists (and ADULT artists, too)! If you have any questions or want to talk more about this subject, feel free to reach out via email or by calling the shoppe. Or . . . stop by and see us. SHARING ART is our joy, and enhancing lives through inspiration and creativity in our shoppe is our mission!

Thanks for being a part of our dreams! 



“Green Acres” . . . via Art Journaling!

Sometimes things get a little silly here in our Shoppe. And it often evolves around singing . . . (we are a bunch of music lovers, I must say!) This week, during our regular “Song Lyric Art Journal Class”, we took a turn and brought the silly to the page with this hysterical rendition of Grant Wood’s American Gothic – Art Jounaling style. We just had to share in on the blog! 

Song Lyric - Green Acres

This page cracks me up . . . I can’t stop! LOL! 

And I KNOW you are singing along with me, aren’t you? 

Our next Song Lyric Journaling class is Thursday, June 28th at 6:30pm. Join us for a night of great music, learn a little bit about art journaling, and spend some time creating! (Call 815-905-3068 for questions!) 


Summer Craft Club for Kids

Hi friends!! Can you believe that summer is right-around-the-corner? Truly . . . it is SO/CLOSE, I can almost see it! We wanted to take a minute to share with you our Summer Craft Club flyer for kids ages 8-13. We had so much fun last year, I have been thinking about this years club for months!! Call the shoppe if you would like any information about this years club. Space is going FAST – so call to sign up your Craft Club artist TODAY!!! 🙂 Summer Craft Club flyer 2018-1

Grateful and Joyful Moments

Friends . . . friends . . . friends . . . . oh, where do the days go? It has been way too long since we’ve blogged! (Actually, it’s been 56 classes and LOTS and LOTS of Creative Wings flying about since we last blogged! WOW!! 56 classes held since our last post.  We have been BUSY!!) The holidays came and went . . . winter came, and hopefully will be LEAVING VERY SOON . . . the Shoppe walls are full of projects and inspiration . . . and life is super good here on State Street. 

In between classes, we’ve had lots of people stop in to see what we are all about. From bright eyes and smiles on new faces stopping by, to heartfelt moments of a new visitor saying they just “FEEL” the energy when they step inside – each day we feel so grateful to be living this dream, and these moments make what happens here so very special. 

A couple of Saturdays ago we had just closed up for the day – lights were off, sign was turned, jackets were zipped and the garbage bag was knotted and being carried out, when a few ladies came up to the window to peek inside. With eager waves and an opened door, we welcomed them in to share the story of our Shoppe with them. The lights went back on, and within minutes I knew that it was a brief meeting of minds that was MEANT to happen. After sharing our stories, a particular quote on the wall touched one of our new visitors deeply, and tears started to flow . . . with hugs following right after that. 

These are the joyful moments we savor in our Shoppe. Those moments of connecting with complete strangers who you have just met – and feeling like we’ve known them forever. This is what it is all about. Connecting through art. Making the world a little smaller, a little brighter, and a whole lot happier. 

This month we were awarded the honor of being voted “BEST ART STUDIO” by 22nd Century Media’s SOUTHWEST CHOICE AWARD. Voting took place in the seven suburbs 22nd Century Media publications are distributed (Frankfort, Homer Glen, Lockport, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park and Tinley Park), and our little Shoppe at 1011 S State Street in Lockport won. 

SW Choice 2018-Winner

It doesn’t get any sweeter, my friends. 

Thanks to those who continue to join us in spreading art in the world. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the shoppe yet – come on by! We’d love to help you spread your Creative Wings! 

Much love and peace to you all. 

Blessed Beyond Words

Friends, with the holidays right around the corner . . . . (literally . . . we can see them . . . right there), we can’t even begin to tell you how blessed we have been in our little shoppe this year! We are so grateful to each and everyone of you who have spent some of YOUR valuable and precious time with US. We know how hectic life can be for everyone, and the fact that so many came and spent time making art with us – well, we are just so grateful! Here are just a few photos of happy days (and classes) spent this past month. Oh, HAPPY DAYS!!!!

Looking forward to what trouble we can get into NEXT MONTH, dear friends!

Wishing you all much love and peace! 

Too Soon? (We don’t think so!)

Oh, my friends . . . the recent cool weather in the midwest has me feeling all sorts of happy FALL thoughts. And as we finalize our October Calendar . . . all I can say, is that I am ready for the sweaters, jeans, football, pumpkin spice lattes, candles burning, and raking leaves!!! (I know!! I know!! I must be crazy!)

I don’t want to panic you too much, but my daughter did share with me that Christmas is 108 days away.  (WHAT!!?!?!! AHHHHH!!!!) Ok . . ok . . I will leave Christmas alone for right now. But . . . FALL . . . oh, my friends, I am READY!

We have lots of awesome projects planned in the shoppe this Fall (below are just a few!) Laura and I have been brain storming, creating and gearing up for lots of great creative times! Don’t forget to take a look at our “CLASSES” tab and make sure to call us (815-905-3068) to sign up for any of the upcoming classes. They are filling up fast, and we would LOVE to see you in our shoppe this Fall!

As always, much peace to you and yours! 


Finding Time for Art

IMG_4356Sometimes it is hard to fit in time to create. Sometimes ART falls to the very bottom of the list – and is often lost completely between all the things happening in life.

But sometimes MAKING ART is the very thing we need for our spirit.

My oldest daughter started High School this week. Yes, first born . . . and first day in a   g r e a t   B I G  High School. This was a pretty huge transition for her (as it is for all kids, of course), and aside from trying to fill her with positive thoughts and “You CAN DO THIS!” moments – I felt completely lost at helping her with the anxiety she felt of starting this next chapter in her life. As she nervously packed her lunch the night before day one, she asked if I could draw a little doodle on her lunch bag, and I was THRILLED!!!   “THIS, I CAN DO!!” I thought to myself.

IMG_3805With my trusty microns and a stack of lunch bags in hand, I got to work. But not just on one . . . I spent an hour with Pinterest on the iPad and my marker at work . . . Doodling one after another of inspirational quotes and thoughts. I pulled up random creative lettering pins on Pinterest and replicated a number of them, while finding my breathing becoming calm and peaceful as I doodled away. Replicating the quotes was all I needed – it allowed me to practice my lettering skills (practice makes perfect) without having to ‘think’ about the creative process. And I felt like I was actually doing something to help my daughter. (A win – WIN!)

Sometimes we have to really force ourselves to stop life for a minute – and just doodle. Just get back to basics. Nothing fancy. Just some markers, and a few paper bags. We are starting a new class in September here at the Shoppe called “Back to Basics” where we will take a pencil, a sketchbook, and some sharpies and just doodle – kind of like the lunch bags. We will focus on lettering, zendoodling, and how to approach creative time. We will meet monthly (or bi-weekly, whatever the group decides). If you need some time just for you – I hope you will consider joining us. (Call the Shoppe for more information 815.905.3068).

Oh, and my daughter? She had a fantastic first day, and said that the new friends she made at lunch absolutely LOVED the doodle on her bag and said they hoped this was going to become a daily thing (little did they know I have a whole months worth all ready!!) So grateful that both of us got something out of that time with art.

Here’s wishing you time for your art, my friend.





THANK YOU Summer Craft Club!

As we approach the beginning of the school year, and all our friends return to their busy schedules of learning (and lots of fun, we hope), we wanted to just take a minute to thank our AWESOME Summer Craft Club Friends who spent 6 Mondays with us this  summer making art and flying with their Creative Wings! 


You were such a great group of young ladies to spend the mornings with – I couldn’t think of a better place to be than right here in our little shoppe with all of you! 

We hope you all have a GREAT school year! Keep making art and sharing it with the world. You each are fantastic, and we know you are going to do GREAT THINGS this year. Come and visit us as often as you can, and when you are next in the shoppe – take a look at the back of the store for your “Handprint” art that we made during class! I love that I can have a little piece of your art here for everyone to enjoy! 


Hope to see all of you again next summer for

Summer Craft Camp 2018!!


Loving All the Good Things


We updated our gallery wall yesterday. Our husbands came in and helped as we rearranged and added new art to our Workshop Samples (we are so very grateful to them for their support – and elbow grease!) And today I sat at the shoppe, awaiting the arrival of our Summer Camp artists, and I just took in all the work we did.  

I love our wall. 

And our little shoppe.

And I count my blessings for all the good that happens within these walls.

The Art. The encouragement. The sharing. The laughter. The faith. 

Good things, my friends.

Thank you for being a part of it with us. 

Finding Ourselves through Art

We have had so many wonderful moments since we have opened our little Creative Wings Art Shoppe. People who have walked in full of doubt and uncertainty at their own artistic ability end up leaving with a wide smile and feeling of pride at the art they have made. And friends . . . THAT is what is all about. I truly believe that absolutely anyone can make art . . . all it takes is a little faith and a little inspiration. And it has always been our wish that when you are in our shoppe – you feel both of those things. 

We also have these experiences when a visitors eyes fill up with tears while they experience some sort of magical moment here. Whether they are making art for a loved one, listening to a story of inspiration, or taking the environment in and having an “Ah-ha” moment with a particular piece that they just  . . . feel. 

I love those moments. Every single one of them. 

And I have to share a recent one that still leaves me with goosebumps. 

We offer a really lovely “Teen/Tween Art Journaling” club here at our shoppe. (Your teen or tween can join us at any time . . . just call the shoppe for more information about it.) When we first met, each student received a lovely package of art journaling goodies (a journal, markers, water colors, glue, scrapbook papers, washi tape, stickers, and a few other things.) Our first club gathering was spent talking about what art journaling is, and working on a few pages to start our journals off. The girls did a fantastic job!! (I truly was so proud of them all!)

But there was one moment that I will never forget.

I gave the girls a journaling prompt to work on in their journals. The prompt was to make a page completing the following thought, “I am . . . “ I provided them with suggestions like “I am funny, I am kind, I am tough.” And gave them each some papers and paints to work on their pages. 

That is when the magic began.

They each were so focused and got right to work with little prompting – they had a vision . . . each one of them.

I love visions.

When they finished their page, I asked if they wanted to share what their page was about. They each eagerly agreed.

“I am . . . UNIQUE,” one of the girls said. “I am unique because people always say I am weird, but I take that as a compliment.”

“I am . . . HAPPY,” another said. “I have a home, a family, food on my table.”

“I am . . . BEAUTIFUL,” said a third. 

“I am . . . SMART,” said the last. “At school a lot of kids call me stupid, so I wrote ‘I AM SMART’. Because, I AM smart. And when I look at this – I will remember that.” 

My friends . . . these are the moments that melt my heart. 

These are the experiences I wish for the children, and adults, who come to our classes. These are the moments I hope those who take a chance and walk through our doors will have. These are the moments I dreamt of having in our little shoppe. 

And they are happening. 

And for that, I feel so incredibly blessed. 

Thank you for being a part of our Creative Wings!