Time well spent

Time well spent


What is it about children that allow them to enjoy every minute of things they love? Unaltered self confidence, belief in themselves, no fear of mistakes or judgement? Whatever it is I have spent the last year and a half enjoying children and their creativity in my studio. 

I asked a group of pre-teen girls that were in the other day why they liked hanging out in the studio so much. Their answer was simple, “it’s fun and we can do things here that we can’t at home”. So- thinking about adults I would say that is the same. You can explore creativity, meet new people and relax at the studio. So why do so few of us spend the time nurturing that for ourselves?

I have set some new goals for myself this year. I will explore new hobbies, spend time carving out serious time to connect with others in my schedule, do more art (of any kind), and focus on having fun. If I can help to do this in my community for others- so be it!

Why is it always kids that have so much fun?”

I have decided to plan more events and programs that will provide opportunities for families to do things together, for people to try new creative things without intimidation and to really focus on building skills in artistic techniques.

This will take an army of educators, artists and willing participants but I feel like the time is right.

To do this I’m looking for feedback and advice from people who come to the studio, people who don’t and people who aren’t even close to Muskoka about what will make it work. I can think of a million ideas and do this all myself…. but then I wouldn’t have any time to play.

I hope to see you at the studio!


Who likes getting dirty?

Who likes getting dirty?

Apparently lots of people! The studio classes and drop ins have been going so well that we are running out of prime space to offer what people are looking for! 

July 1 will be a busy day for us as we help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday at the Bracebridge Street Party downtown- (come visit our art tents)! We have also decided to expand the studio space into the next unit at 193 Manitoba St.

This way- there will be plenty of room to spread out for our summer day camps and offer classes for all ages all summer. It’s a trial so don’t miss out on these great options.

Each day we will highlight one medium and have classes dedicated to different age groups. We will also have special drop ins in case you want to come and go during the time and do something a little different.

The best part of the expansion is that we will have space for our darkroom and photography equipment, the beginnings of a pottery studio, glass fusing and more gallery space for private shows. Getting dirty is only half the fun when you are creating something wonderful! If you haven’t tried your hand at ceramics yet, come and visit us this summer!

Getting dirty is only half the fun when creating something wonderful

Summer in Muskoka is one of the best times to spend outdoors so we are also starting our new program of “Art to the Dock” if you would like to stay where you are and host a creative activity for your family and friends- give us a call! 705-646-0223.

Again without the help and support of our community this studio wouldn’t be able to happen! I am so appreciative of the donations and ideas from all of you that keep us thinking of great new classes!


Experimentation or flop?

Experimentation or flop?

It is quite the task to come up with a variety of classes every 6-weeks. I imagined very early in this journey that I would need to get some feedback, to try new and random things and to take a chance that the classes may be the same as other places. So- I decided to go to the biggest critics. Children. Every last Friday of each month we do Testing Lab which is a time for our instructors to try out new ideas on kids and get their very real feedback about what works and what doesn’t. 

The first one was chaotic and messy and amazing. Children from 4-14 working together to have fun and try out our crazy whacky ideas. The most important part of the night for me was at the end when they told us if we were on the right track or not.

I decided that whatever the outcome, we would always try to do creative projects to keep people interested. What I didn’t realize is how much people just really enjoy doing ANY art.

I learned a lot that night and also since in the adult classes with feedback telling me that it doesn’t have to be so complicated… we can offer a variety of classes and our clients just love to do art.

Sometimes it may be what everyone else in the world is doing on Pinterest 

I will continue to try to find interesting new classes for people however there may be some cool projects we do that seem like everyone on Pinterest is doing… either way, more people in this community are doing art! Sounds good to me! Let’s keep going!

Sewing without a pattern

Sewing without a pattern

When I was a child my mom tried desperately to teach me to sew. She was always someone that I watched creating clothes, sewing quilts, crafting animals and dolls. She was magical. She could make anything. She has always had an amazing sense of colour and style. My brother and I used to joke that if you tore into the walls of our house you would find a rainbow because she painted the walls almost every season. She changed the colour as she changed her feeling and style in the house and it always made it feel just like home.

I was probably the most infuriating child to teach because I never used a pattern. Somehow though, she still smiled, allowed me access to the fabric stash and continued to support my creative whim as I hacked away at what I believed was the next masterpiece.

I was probably the most infuriating child to teach because I never used a pattern.

After 15 years of solid work-a-holic type behavior, I decided to pay attention to some pretty big messages in my life and leave my work with the YMCA and pursue a goal I have had for some time and surround myself with art in a more intentional way. I love the Y, community development and youth work and so unfortunately none of that can be far behind what I continue to do however, it is time for a change. I know about myself that the best decisions in my life have been made on intuition and so, I decided to act on inspiration and pursue this goal of helping to support art education in Muskoka.

I have three lovely spunky children of my own that love to do art and so do all of our friends. We have found it difficult to find places for us to do this year-round (and my house just isn’t big enough)! I felt like there should be a place where everyone has a chance to hang out, to feel good doing something they didn’t know they could do- with no judgement about whether they used a pattern or not, and have the pride to put it on display. That is why I have started Let The Cat Go. A place for the “Curious and Creative” to get a little messy. Hopefully you will join me.


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