The holidays are here and there are too many gift choices to count! Here are our top picks from our shop and event calendar. We’ve got something for everyone on your list!
For the baby:
Purchase a Baby Bird Art session for the littlest artist in your life! We’ll be hosting this popular series at the Art Spot on Tuesday mornings starting in December and continuing into the new year. Participants can drop in anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m to enjoy creative sensory stations along with a featured project.
For the toddler:
Choose a Sensory Kit! Our sensory boxes are designed to spark creativity and innovation in your little one, while making your life easier! Choose from 8 different themes, including: The Beach Bum Box, the Creepy Crawlers Box, The Spring Showers Box, The Celebration Box, The December Box, The Love Box, and more! Order online or purchase in person at The Art Spot.
For the kid:
Try a Painted Trucker Hat Kit! Our painted trucker hats are popular for all ages! The kit includes one hat (choose between adult or child size), 5 fabric paints (red, orange, yellow, green, blue), one themed stencil set, and 3 paintbrushes. Customize your own stencil set or add more paint for an additional fee.
For the teen:
Consider our Intention Jar Kit. A perfect present for the reflective teen in your life. First, decorate a jar with the included collage materials. Then think about and write down 12 goals or intentions. The final step is to create a key with symbols, and decorate your popsicle sticks accordingly. This is a fun project and an excellent visual reminder to stick to your goals!
For the adult:
Make a customized etched glass! Our Etched Glasses are a fun and (surprisingly) easy craft. The results are beyond satisfying, and you can even run your finished product through the dishwasher! Choose between a stemless wine, whiskey, or pint glass, and a range of stencil options or customized your own.
As the weather turns, it’s time to stock up on craft supplies! Before shopping, brainstorm ideas for thoughtful DIY holiday gifts and projects for snowy days, and create a shopping list (so you’re not tempted to buy everything)! Here are 3 simple projects (using pantry staples) to get you started. Happy crafting!
Cinnamon Sugar Body Scrub
You can spend an armload at the store and buy a pre-made mix OR you can spend virtually nothing and use ingredients you already have at home! Gather the following to get started: mason jars (preferably 4 oz), granulated sugar, vanilla, coconut oil and cinnamon. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. After blending, transfer the mix to the mason jar and add your own label. For a professional touch, tie a cinnamon stick on the lid with red and white twine.
Dried Orange Slice Wreath
Making your own dried orange slices is fun and easy, and the results are beautiful. Plus, if you live in a dry place, these things will last for years! Simply follow these steps:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and a wire drying/cooling rack over the parchment.
- Spray the drying/cooling rack lightly with cooking spray.
- Slice your oranges as thinly as possible.
- Pat each side of the orange slices with a paper towel, then transfer them to the drying rack.
- Bake the slices for 1 hour, then flip and bake for 1 more hour.
- After 2 hours, check your orange slices every 5 minutes to see if they’re done. *They can burn easily, so monitor closely!*
- Once the slices are dry, remove them from the oven, and allow them to finish drying on the rack overnight.
- After 24 hours, add some twine and hang the slices in a window, over a fireplace, or around a tree!
3D Paper Pumpkins
Just in time for Halloween, these pumpkins won’t rot and all you need is paper, glue, a hole puncher and string! After gathering your materials and tools, Stack and fold 3 sheets of paper in half, then use scissors to cut out a half circle (with the flat side along the folded edge). Gently separate the sheets or cut circles, then use a glue stick to apply glue to the outer faces of each folded circle. Arrange the circles into a sphere and press the glued faces together. Punch a hole through the top, string pipe cleaner through the hole and curl the pipe cleaner ends. It’s a paper pumpkin!
A Few of My Favorite (Local) Visual Artists
I love learning about and meeting local artists. Sometimes they are easy to find and sometimes not! It’s important to know about and support these artists, because they directly and indirectly influence the vibrancy of our communities and the availability and depth of our creative resources. I recently learned that a few of my favorite small businesses have been forced into extinction, and that serves as an urgent reminder to continue supporting and celebrating the local makers and entrepreneurs we know and admire. Here is a snapshot of a few of my favorite local artists. Purchase their work, take their classes, and spread the word!
Explore the Works of Pamela Churman
Pamela started making beeswax candles many years ago as gifts for family and friends and it became a life long love affair with all things beeswax. Recently, Pamela was looking for a fun art activity that anyone could enjoy with little or no experience when she discovered acrylic pour painting. She and her daughter starting experimenting with the medium and were quickly hooked. When Pamela is not in her studio creating, she is either on the lake or in the woods or dancing at a live music event. She is a member of the Silverthorne Art Board and a co-owner and operator of the Sausage Queen food cart. She has three grown children and four amazing grandkids that she spends as much time with as possible.
Check out Erica Donaghy’s Beautiful Landscape Paintings
Erika started painting in 2017 after taking a watercolor workshop with friends and was immediately hooked. Making art changed the way that Erika saw the world; and allowed her to find greater appreciation in the beauty of the tiny details along the trail, and that is the feeling she hopes to give viewers through her work. While watercolor began her artistic journey, Erika also creates functional pottery, murals and teaches art classes.
Purchase Ingrid Davis’ Handmade Clothing and Accessories
Local artist Ingrid Davis, known as Kiki, is the founder, designer and maker of Simple Art Studio. Davis is from Guatemala and founded Simple Art Studio in 2021 as a way to work through depression and create art with others. Davis’ art interests include sewing, painting, drawing, sculpting, block printing and jewelry. Her husband Derrick also helps the Simple Art Studio on larger art pieces and woodworking projects. Simple Art Studio is inspired by the Davises multicultural family, with work reflecting their inclusive beliefs and culture.
Get inspired by Melissa Michel’s Sgraffito Pottery
Melissa Michel earned her BFA at the university of Tennessee Martin focusing in ceramics and has been working in clay for over 15 years. She has taught and worked in several ceramic studios across the nation, settling in Summit County and teaching at BCA. Melissa draws from traditional clay methods she has studied to create unique pieces that range from functional vessels to sculptural installations. Her use of sgraffito allows her to transform the clays surface into a language of mark making, pattern and texture to convey an illustrated meditation. She brings inspiration from Ancient Mexican art and North American Indian motifs, creating one of a kind pieces that reflect an occupied mind consumed by line and design.
Enjoy the Work of Woodworker Ben Whitmore
Ben Whitmore has been a carpenter, designer, and maker in the creative and theatrical spaces for 20 years. He was previously the Technical Director for Theatre SilCo where he honed his skills as a theatrical technician and artistic maker. Now he runs Bardic Mountain Workshop, his custom carpentry and woodworking business. Ben teaches woodworking and supervises the woodshop at the ArtSpot while also teaching classes and related skills to woodworkers of all skill levels. Outside of the woodshop, Ben enjoys board games, movies, and all things GEEK… especially Dungeons and Dragons! He has a YouTube channel called Peak D&D, dedicated to his love of D&D and being a geek in the mountains! Check out his website here.
Celebrate the Talent of Ceramic Artist Donna Causland
Causland is an accomplished porcelain artist and has worked in clay for over 50 years. She has completed various international artist residencies and sells her work at farmers markets, local stores and online. Donna’s business, The Glaze Spot, offers a wide variety of pottery forms for decorating, including cups, bowls and platters. Additional forms for children such as animal bowls and tea sets are also available, and the Glaze Spot is a great option for painting parties and more!
PS: If you don’t know where to start, check out The ArtSpot Makerspace in Silverthorne, Colorado. Some of the above artists have studios in this space, others teach classes here, and others simply sell their work.
The Best Activities for Babies and Toddlers in Summit County, Colorado
If you subscribe to my newsletter, I left you hanging, but you might have guessed that I’m expecting another baby. And…if that’s what you thought…you’re right! Baby Bird #2 is due in early September, so business will slow down a bit over the fall. In honor of our new arrival, this blog post is dedicated to my favorite activities in Summit County for babies and toddlers.
Make a splash! Visit the Silverthorne Recreation Center pool and take advantage of four pools, two water slides, and an aquatic climbing wall! The family locker room offers two cabanas to assist families with small children, and you can register your kids for the Kids’ Korner if you need some solo time!
Enjoy story time for babies or toddlers at the any one of the local libraries (South Branch, Main Branch, and Bluebird Market all offer recurring activities). Aside from story time, check the calendar for yoga and live music (for toddlers and kids) with special guests!
Embrace the outdoors – There are so many playgrounds and parks in Summit County that are appropriate for younger kids. Rainbow Park is a personal favorite in any season.
Mountain Top Children’s Museum in Breckenridge is open year-round and features hands-on self-guided STEM-based activities that stimulate imagination and creativity. A corner of the museum is dedicated to non-walkers, so all ages are truly welcome!
5). Indoor Play Space
Over in Dillon, Wild and Free provides a rare opportunity for nature inspired free play in a world that can be overly structured. This is an amazing option for parents with young kids, especially when the temperature drops and outside time is limited! If that’s not enough to convince you, Wild and Free offers coffee, tea, snacks and adult beverages for purchase.
When the sun is shining, have a picnic at the beach! The Frisco Marina has an expansive sandy shore, perfect for building sandcastles and dipping toes in the cold lake water! In the summer, you can rent kayaks, peddle boats, and canoes, and children weighing over 30 pounds are welcome to come along for the ride!
Get creative at The Art Spot! For just $12, adults can purchase a day pass and kids UNDER AGE 4 ARE FREE! If you’ve got an older kid, a day pass for ages 4-11 is only $5. The pass includes access to the makers space, and use of tools and materials like brushes, paint, play dough and more. It’s a great deal, and let’s be honest, it’s so nice when the creative mess is not in your home!
Besides acting as boredom busters for stay-at-home parents, these new experiences and activities are crucial for your child’s development. It’s important for babies and young children to see new places and meet new people. Safe and thoughtful exposure to the world hones social skills, intellectual curiosity, and physical health to boot! Hope to see you this fall. When I’m not sleeping, you’ll be able to find me at one of these places (with a baby in tow)!
24 Hours in Silverthorne, Colorado
One of the best kept secrets in Colorado is the Town of Silverthorne! Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, delicious local eats, or a unique cultural experience – this lovely mountain town has something for everyone. Keep reading to get the scoop on a few local favorites that you can pack into 24 hours.
9am: Feeling bleary eyed from the altitude? Get your caffeine fix at Red Buffalo Cafe. This local favorite offers a unique selection of caffeine-fueled beverages and freshly made food to energize your day. Whether you prefer a classic cappuccino or a fancy latte with a little extra something (we won’t tell!), the Red Buffalo Cafe has got you covered with their expertly crafted drinks. Try the brown sugar latte for a sweet little pick-me-up, and check out the rotating exhibition of local artwork while you wait!
10am: Head across the street to the Art Spot Makerspace and create some art! This new and vibrant center houses some of the most talented artists in the area, and provides a space where local and visitors can access and make art 6 days/week! Whether you are a seasoned artist, or have never made anything in your life, the Art Spot is for you. Explore woodworking, ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking, jewelry making and more. Drop-in/daily punch passes are available for out-of-towners.
12pm: Pick up lunch at Bluebird Market, where the options are delicious, fresh, and oh so satisfying! The beauty of a food court is the variety it offers. You can choose from an array of cuisines for each course, so everyone in your group is sure to find something they love. Plus, the added bonus of trying different dishes means you’ll never get bored. Need more caffeine? Try Nomad Coffee. No judgement here.
1pm: Go for a hike! One of the joys of Colorado is easy access to fresh air and outdoor adventure. Plus, the trails around Silverthorne offer stunning views and a great workout. With an abundance of options to choose from, there’s a trail for every hiker. Grab some friends or solo trek it, and be prepared to be awestruck by the picturesque surroundings. From snow-capped peaks to tranquil streams, nature lovers will be in their element.
3pm: Relax and unwind after your hike along the shores of Lake Dillon. Situated in the center of Summit County, this picturesque lake is a perfect spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life. With its shimmering blue waters and rocky shoreline, you’ll get to soak in the tranquil beauty of the surroundings. Whether you’re looking to lounge by the lake, or try your hand at kayaking or paddle boarding, Lake Dillon is the perfect place to spend the late afternoon.
5pm: Get a cold beer at Angry James Brewery! At this local favorite, you’ll find a wide selection of craft beers that are sure to satisfy any taste. Their rotating menu of beers means there’s always something new and exciting to taste, and indoor and outdoor seating makes this a great option in any weather. For anyone with kids, this is a family-friendly establishment.
7pm: Finish the day with dinner at Fritangas Mexican Restaurant. This unassuming spot serves up authentic Mexican cuisine that you won’t find elsewhere. From sizzling carnitas to mouthwatering enchiladas, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant restaurant.