When you and your girlfriends get together, you like to relax, have fun, and catch up over great conversation and a good glass of wine. Well, we have three ways to make that happen.
Reach for the Star Glazers
Several places around town get your creative juices flowing over some unpainted pottery that you can turn into your individualized masterpieces, but Star Glazers Owner Ann Flynn brings the fun to you.
No need to worry about painting on your good clothes or going grunge in public. You can get comfy with your gal pals right in your own home as you select and paint a piece. And because you’re in your own home, you can cook up some hors d’oeuvres and pour a couple glasses of wine to share throughout the night.
Star Glazers offers pretty much every piece of pottery imaginable, so before the pottery party, Flynn asks for a little direction for selecting the pieces to bring, whether that direction is a price range or style. Then the night of the party, Flynn brings a wide selection, and everyone gets to go shopping for the piece they’d like to buy and make their own. And Flynn is sure to bring plenty of each style in case multiple people have their hearts set on the same piece.
Beyond the unpainted pottery, Flynn brings all of the tools necessary to turn the white "canvas" into a functional piece of art. Yes, she brings the glazes and paint brushes, but more importantly, she also brings inspirational books and supplies to turn even the least creative person into a seemingly pro potter. From foam stamps to stencils, Flynn has several tricks up her sleeve to help the uninspired find inspiration.
As you work your magic, you can also work your mouth. "The way I describe it to ladies especially is something to do with your hands while you’re talking," Flynn says. "The whole point of it really is the fellowship and getting together."
After the party, Flynn gathers all of the pieces and takes them to be fired. Once the pieces are ready, she brings them back to the hostess’ house so that guests can pick them up.
Cheers to Art
With all of the ways to express your creative side, there’s just something about a paint brush and canvas that makes you feel like a true artist. And Cheers to Art helps transport you to that feeling.
Located in Madeira, this art studio offers hands-on art instruction to walk you through a full painting in one night. You can sign up for one of their scheduled classes, including a ladies’ night the last Thursday of every month where they have drink specials, a drawing for free sessions and 20 percent off the items in their boutique attached to the studio. Or you can gather a group of girlfriends for a private party.
Either way, you have a little control over where the instruction leads. The Cheers to Art calendar shows what piece each class will paint, and when you set up a private party, you can select what the group will paint.
Once you’ve selected your session, you just show up about 15 minutes before the session starts, gather your supplies, pick your seat and settle into an imaginative mood. And when we say "gather your supplies," that can include a glass of wine or bottle of beer, as Cheers to Art has a wine and beer license.
Then, the instructor will take the group through step-by-step instructions. "I’m painting right along with them, so they can see my technique. I can surely tell them to connect dots and paint, but really what ultimately happens is they make it their own and their personalities show up in their painting," Cheers to Art Owner Jill Carroll.
While Cheers to Art does offer instruction, Carroll refers to the sessions as more of parties than classes. "I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated in coming here and thinking, ‘Oh gosh, I can’t do this,’ because everyone can, and it’s always fun at the end of the night to see everyone’s take on the same painting and hear the ones that leave here saying, ‘I’ve never painted before, and look what I did, look what I accomplished,’ " Carroll says.
For more information about Cheers to Art, check out CheersToArt.com or call (513) 271-2793.
Created Beaded Brilliance
Just like your painted pottery and canvas can accessorize your home decor, your creative expression at the Bellevue Beadery can accessorize your wardrobe.
From beads to wire and chains to clasps, this bead shop offers everything you need to make jewelry. The shop also provides free classes to help you learn how to turn the supplies into a fashion statement.
You even can gather a group of girlfriends for a private party, where you can choose the techniques that you learn and the jewelry you create. "They can bring their own wine or their own beer, whatever they want, and hang out with their girlfriends," Bellevue Beadery Owner Joanna Maehren says.
Yet again, many people who don’t have confidence in their creative ability often are surprised by the jewelry they end up creating. "They become more creative as they get more into it, and of course, we offer free classes, so that just kind of goes hand-in-hand," Maehren says. "The more classes you take, the more techniques you learn, the more creative you actually can be."
As customers have come in more frequently with their discovered talent and passion for jewelry making, they have developed friendships, too. Four ladies meet at Bellevue Beadery every week, and before coming to the shop, only two of the friends had known each other. Now, the ladies are great friends who have bonded over beads.
Maehren relates the shop’s atmosphere to the TV show "Cheers." "Everybody really does know your name here," she says. "When customers come in, most of the employees know them by name."
For more information about Bellevue Beadery, check out BellevueBeadery.com, call (859) 292-0800 or stop by the shop at 341 Fairfield Ave. in Bellevue.
Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Ann Flynn and Cathy Brookbank
Location: BOOST…for meeting’s sake
Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Before and after pieces from Star Glazers
Location: BOOST…for meeting’s sake
Photo courtesy of Jill Carroll