In the wintery months, or on a rainy day any time of year, it can be fun to dive into a creative project to brighten the day. Here are six places to do just that.
Sip a cup of tea or hot cocoa while you transform a plain white piece of potty into art! CreativiTea’s bright, comfortable environment in the heart of Fairhaven makes it easy to want to stay and create for an afternoon. Choose your piece of pottery (ranging in price from $6-$60) then let your imagination take you away as you create your masterpiece. Or try your hand at glass-fusing art ($10-$60) as another crafty option. Once you’ve finished your pottery or glass masterpiece, the folks at CreativiTea will fire your piece, which will be ready to pick up in just a few days.
CreativiTea offers kids’ classes as well. Tea, Tales & Paint takes place the first Saturday of each month from 10-11 a.m., for ages 3-7. The $15 (+tax) fee even includes a cup of tea for the grown ups. The Kids Create Workshop takes places on Bellingham School District no-school Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon. The workshop is for kids 7-13 and costs $38 (+tax). Advanced registration is required for both classes.
1312 11th St., Bellingham, 360.752.1724, creativitea.com
New on the scene in 2014, Ragfinery’s core goal is to serve as a “textile reuse center” where community members can donate used clothing, textiles and even sewing notions. From those donations the Ragfinery staff sorts and categorizes fabric into shelves and shelves of colorful, ready-to-use-again textiles for the public to buy. Some of the textiles are up-cycled into new products (bags, clothing, home décor) by Ragfinery staff and local fiber artists, which can be purchased at the store.
Small pieces and oddball fabrics end up on the scrap table – which is where some of the fun with kids comes in. My kids love to stuff the provided bags full to the brim with scraps – for the nice price of $1 per bag. For a little more than $2, we have an afternoon of fun at home making clothing for the kids’ stuffed animals.
And Ragfinery also offers in-store classes and workshops for kids. A new after-school camp will take place Feb. 2-4 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $65 per student, and the kids will focus on different types of fun fabric embellishments each afternoon. The age range for this camp is 8-13. Also, look for summer camps in July and August.
1421 N. Forest St., Bellingham, 360.738.6977, ragfinery.com
3. Fairhaven Toy Garden
This Fairhaven toy store is fun to browse anytime, but it’s also a great spot to take part in arts & crafts workshops. From crafting felted owls to learning the art of origami to designing post-holiday thank you cards, each month offers opportunities to create. Workshops take place on Bellingham School District early-release Thursdays and Saturdays; check the Toy Garden’s online calendar for details. Be sure to schedule ahead of time.
1147 11th St., Bellingham, 360.714.8552, fairhaventoygarden.com
The Family Interactive Gallery at the Whatcom Museum not only has all sorts of interactive exhibits but also studio space devoted to families to “make art together.” Each month there’s a new theme/project to check out, plus opportunities throughout the month to participate in workshops for all ages.
121 Prospect St., Bellingham, 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org/fig-about
5. The Foundry Makerspace
“Come make stuff!” implores the Bellingham Foundry’s website. At the heart of the Foundry’s mission is the “Maker Movement” – to bring together a community of like-minded folks who want to learn to build and fix things. In this spirit, they welcome all ages and all skill levels to take part. Learn the basics of 3D printing and TinkerCAD, a 3D modeling program where you create your designs for the printer. Monthly all-ages Minecraft is bound to be a hit with many families, as will be seasonal workshops such as pumpkin sculpting and ornament making.
1515 N. Forest St., Bellingham, 360.296.9825, bellinghamfoundry.com
6. Jansen Art Center
North county kids can get crafty without going far from home at the Jansen Art Center in Lynden. Kids’ classes in jewelry making, after-school musical theater, and Kindermusic for preshoolers are just some of the regular offerings. Kids: Do Art! is twice a year program featuring painting, ceramics, dancing, acting and more.
321 Front St., Lynden, 360.354.3600, JansenArtCenter.org