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.
What is a Makerspace?
Are you looking for an exciting and innovative space to explore, create, invent, tinker or discover? You might be looking for a Makerspace, a multifaceted community workspace that is essential for anyone interested in pushing their creative boundaries and collaborating with like-minded makers. Whether you’re interested in robotics, printmaking, textiles, woodworking, or simply crafting new gadgets, a Makerspace has something for everyone — from beginners who want to get started on basic projects to experienced hobbyists who are ready to level up their skills. In this blog post I will break down what a Makerspace is all about, so if one exists where you live, you can take advantage of this incredible resource.
Access to Resources is Essential to the Creative Process
Creativity knows no bounds, and exploring your artistic side can be one of the most fulfilling experiences in life. However, creating something truly remarkable requires more than imagination and talent. Access to tools, materials, and resources can elevate your crafts to the next level and help you surpass your own limitations. After all, no great artist has ever flourished alone; a supportive community of like-minded individuals and a wealth of resources can help you grow as a creator and achieve your vision. Whether you’re an experienced artist or just getting started on your journey, having access to the right tools and materials can make all the difference. Enter the Makerspace, where membership includes tools, materials, and human knowledge/creativity. Rather than spending valuable time and resources tracking down resources, the Makerspace provides a one-stop-shop.
Different Types of Makerspaces
In today’s world, we have more options than ever before to explore our creativity and passions. Makerspaces have become a popular option for artists, tinkerers, and craft enthusiasts to come together to share their knowledge and ideas. With various types of Makerspaces available like robotics labs, 3D printing hubs, and digital fabrication workshops, there are opportunities to explore technology and artistic expression. These spaces foster a sense of community where people with similar interests can come together to collaborate and learn from each other. Whether you’re into traditional crafts or cutting-edge technology, there’s a Makerspace out there waiting for you to unleash your inner maker.
Examples of Successful Makerspaces Around the World
Throughout the world, there are countless Makerspaces that are having a huge impact on their communities. Not only are these creative hubs providing a space for people to explore their passions and create beautiful crafts and artwork, but they’re also fostering a strong sense of community and connection among their members. A few standout examples include the TechShop in San Francisco, which has helped countless entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses; The Sewing Lab in Stockholm, is dedicated to teaching people the art of sewing and connecting them with other passionate makers in their city. Tokyo’s FabCafe is an innovative space that combines a coffee shop with a high-tech lab, allowing customers to prototype their ideas while sipping a latte. FabCafe’s mission is to foster creativity, and they’re achieving just that.
No matter where you live, or how much you define yourself as an artist or creative, Makerspaces are worth visiting. There is truly no question that Makerspaces are improving communities by fostering creativity and innovation, and more importantly, by bringing people together in unique and unforeseeable ways.
Having recently joined a local Makerspace in Silverthorne, Colorado, I can personally attest to the value of these institutions. If you live in Colorado, please The Frosted Flamingo at The ArtSpot!
As the world has been slowly pivoting from remote work towards traditional, in-person offices, I have been reflecting on the benefits of working alongside other people. Not only can we collaborate more effectively around others, but being physically present allows for greater social interaction and a sense of community. That being said, it can be tough to leave behind the comfort of our home offices. To make the transition smoother, we need to adapt our daily routines to fit our new schedules. Setting up a transitional workspace at home can help ease the adjustment. In this article, I’ll share some strategies to ease this transition so you can reap the benefits of working in person!
Understand the Benefits of Working Around Others
Working in an office or within a communal work space is more than just a way to pay the bills. It’s an opportunity to connect with others, grow professionally, and make a difference in the lives of those around you. From collaborating with coworkers to problem-solving and decision-making, an office setting provides a dynamic environment that challenges you and helps you develop new skills. And with the support and guidance of colleagues and management, you can achieve your career goals and build a life you love.
Prepare Your Home Office to be More Productive
If you find yourself returning to an in-person office environment after working remotely, it’s important to literally “set the stage” for success. Clear out any clutter that may be distracting. Invest in comfortable furniture to keep you focused and comfortable throughout the day. If you’e been working from your couch at home, this will feel like a compromise! Consider adding plants or artwork to your office space to make it feel more inviting, inspiring, and homey. With the right setup, you’ll be able to reclaim your productivity.
Get Ready to Adapt to Changes in Your Daily Routine
Life is all about adapting to change. And when it comes to our daily routine, it’s no different. Whether the change is unpredictable and massive, like a global pandemic, or simple and small, like a shift in a school or work routine, it’s important to keep an open mind and be ready to adapt. Shifting your perspective might require creativity and flexibility, but embracing change can lead to new and exciting experiences. With an open mind and a positive attitude, you’ll be amazed by how resilient and adaptable you can be.
Set Up A Transitional Workspace At Home
As we start to transition back to the office after months of working from home, it’s important to make the shift as smooth as possible. One way to ease the transition is by retaining a transitional or temporary workspace at home. It can be a designated corner in your living space or a small desk in your bedroom. By creating a space that mimics your office, you can slowly readjust back into the office environment. Make sure you have a comfortable chair, a laptop stand, and any other office essentials. PS: I would like to emphasize the word TRANSITIONAL! Ultimately, you shouldn’t be working around the clock, and home should be home!
Implement Strategies for a Smooth Transition Back to the Office
It’s time to dust off those dress shoes and pack away the work-from-home pajamas. The transition back to the office may feel daunting after such a long hiatus, but don’t let that hold you back. With the right strategies in place, you can make a smooth transition that will leave you feeling invigorated and empowered. Whether it’s reconnecting with coworkers, reestablishing a daily routine or finding ways to incorporate a healthy work-life balance, now’s the time to start implementing those strategies. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey – we’re all in this together.
Reap the Benefits of Working in Person Again
After a long period of remote work, it’s finally time to reap the benefits of working in person again. The collaborative energy of a bustling office, the unspoken camaraderie of work friends, and the chance to genuinely disconnect after hours–these are just a few of the perks of going back to our offices. Whether you’re returning to your job after months of telecommuting or starting a new one, there’s a unique excitement that comes with returning to a shared workspace. Let’s embrace this shift as an opportunity to rekindle our passion for what we do, connect with our colleagues beyond a Zoom screen, and make the most out of this newfound sense of normalcy.
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Crafting with food is a delicious way to get creative and have fun with your family. There are so many possibilities when it comes to crafting with food, and the best part is that you can eat your creations when you’re done! Here are some of our favorite ideas for crafting and celebrating with art you can eat.
Edible Finger Paint
This one is a classic for a reason – it’s so much fun! All you need is some cornstarch, food coloring, and a little bit of water. Add equal parts cornstarch and water to mixing bowls or muffin tins, and then a few drops of food coloring to each mixture. Use a spoon to mix your paint colors well, and don’t worry if the cornstarch is challenging to mix! If you’d like to make this recipe tasty (not just edible) swap the cornstarch and water for yogurt. This is an especially great option for parents with babies that stuff everything in their mouths. Either way, don’t be afraid to get messy! For more ideas like this, visit our Baby and Toddler page.
These are perfect for a summer picnic OR a cold grey day when you need to pop some color into your life! First choose your fruit and prepare it on a large surface. Blueberries and raspberries are ready to go as they are, but you’ll need to cut up larger fruit like apples, pineapples, pears, watermelon, etc. You can use metal or wood skewers, and if young children are helping you, be mindful of the sharp end of each stick as you work. Thread fruit onto skewers as you’d like! This is a great opportunity to talk about colors and patterns with kids. If you want to get really fancy, dip your finished skewers in melted chocolate or yogurt. Yum! Check out The Recipe Critic for more ideas on this special treat.
(image from The Recipe Critic)
This one is a sneaky way to get kids to eat their veggies. Arrange some carrots, celery, cucumber slices, and other bite-sized veggies on plates, along with some dips like ranch dressing, hummus, or cream cheese in bowls. Help kids spread a dip or spread of their choice over a tortilla, then let them use veggies to create faces or other designs. They’ll have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re eating their vegetables! If you want to step this up a notch, use a spiralizer to make curly hair cucumber noodles and shredded carrot for orange facial hair. Visit Two Healthy Kitchens for more inspiration.
Crafting with food is a delicious way to get creative and have fun with your family. Whether you’re making edible finger paint, fruit kabobs, or veggie faces, there are so many possibilities when it comes to crafting with food. And the best part is that you can eat your creations when you’re done! So what are you waiting for? Get crafting and celebrating with art you can eat!