Arts and Crafts

Novato's Studio4Art Celebrates Four Years with the Opening of the Annex

October 23, 2011

Studio4Art AnnexNovato's Studio4Art celebrates not only its four-year anniversary, but also the opening of its new Annex, located directly behind the main studio! This new space will be used for parties, summer and holiday camps, workshops, and classes for children two years and up. The Annex will also serve as a gallery for student-created artwork and student art shows. The main studio will continue to be the place for drop-in art sessions as well as the retail area where customers can continue to find quality art supplies and unique art gifts.

Studio4Art has been serving Novato and surrounding communities in Marin and Sonoma County since it was opening in September of 2008 by owner Kebby McInroy. Studio4Art has maintained a specialized niche within the community, serving schools, families, and civic groups such as scout troops and dens. Studio4Art continues to advocate for children of all ages and their creative needs by offering affordable and quality hands-on classes, summer and holiday camps and workshops, and drop-in art sessions covering a variety of media from acrylic, watercolor, and oil painting, to sewing, wheel-throwing, clay hand-building, silk screening, block printing and mosaic-making.

Book of the Week: The Apple Doll

September 18, 2011

The Apple DollMy five-year-old daughter must love the book The Apple Doll by local Bay Area author and illustrator Elisa Kleven (40 pages, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007). She checked it out from the library no fewer than two times last year and got it again a few days ago. It's easy to see why it's one of her favorites: The Apple Doll is a charming book, and it's another great read-aloud story (with an added activity) for the fall season, especially if you happen to have an apple tree nearby.

The Apple Doll tells the story of Lizzy, a shy little girl who loves the apple tree in her yard and ends up making a doll out of an apple and twigs that she names "Susanna". She ends up getting teased by other kids for carrying around her apple-and-sticks creation at school. I know this sounds a little odd but the book handles the situation in a much better and sweeter way than I'm describing it here. Ultimately, Lizzy's mom takes the now long-in-the-tooth Susanna and makes an apple doll out of her, which inspires a class apple doll project and friendships and happiness ensue.

Drop-In Discount at Studio 4 Art

March 1, 2011

Our friends at Studio 4 Art in downtown Novato are offering a 10% discount on drop-in art-making sessions for Marin Mommies readers! Simply mention that you heard about this deal on Marin Mommies to get your discount.

Drop-in hours at Studio 4 Art are from 10 am to 5:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 10 am to 8 pm on Wednesday. For children ages 4 and up, it's a perfect activity on a rainy day, or any day for that matter. Children can choose from a variety of media to work in, including painting, mosaics, drawing, sewing, clay, or wheel-throwing. Studio 4 Art's friendly and knowledgable instructors are close as hand for questions, advice, and help. Children have fun and, more importantly, leave with a great piece of art and sense of accomplishment.

Create a Family Heirloom for the Holidays at Studio 4 Art

November 19, 2010

Kids can create a holiday heirloom for your family at one of Studio 4 Art's great hands-on workshops this season.

On Saturday, November 20, create your own clay ornaments from 10 am to noon. Use Studio 4 Art's wide selection of tools, footprints, handprints, and even dog prints to make unique and beautiful holiday ornaments. $20 cost includes 2 pounds of clay, firing, and glazes. Additional clay available for an additional cost. This workshop is suitable for participants ages 2 to adult.

By popular demand, Studio 4 Art will hold a second clay gingerbread house workshop on Saturday, November 27 from 10 am to noon. Construct a gingerbread house that will last a lot longer this holiday season—make it out of clay! This workshop has become a holiday tradition at the studio, and it's a fun project to work on as a family. Workshop costs $40 and is for ages 5–adult. Gingerbread houses will be fired in their kiln; you can come back and paint yours with glaze for no additional charge.

Studio 4 Art is located in downtown Novato at 1133 Grant Avenue, at 2nd Street. For more information on these and other workshops and creative activities, call them at (415) 596-5546 or visit

Enjoy Museums for Free at Target Arts & Wonder Weekend

July 14, 2010

This weekend, Target (you know, that place where you buy diapers and bathroom cleaner and toys and the occasional dress or shirt) presents Arts & Wonder, a free family event with free general admission to six of San Francisco's leading museums and free art activities and performances.

This weekend-long marathon of free family fun kicks off Friday, July 16, 2010 from 5–8:45 pm at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, where you can turn Target's canine mascot Bullseye into a work of Andy Warhol-inspired "Pup" art and watch a ballet performance celebrating the work of Impressionist painter Edgar Degas. General admission and activities and performances are free, but if you want to see the Birth of Impressionism exhibition (highly recommended!) you'll have to get a special timed ticket—$15 for adults, $10 for children 6–17, and free for kids 5 and under.

Coloring Easter Eggs the Natural Way

March 30, 2010

In case you haven't picked up one of those Easter egg coloring kits from the store yet, never fear—there are ways of coloring your eggs using stuff you may already have around the house, including natural dyes that you may never have thought of! A friend of mine passed on a great post from the website iLunchBox that goes over alternative egg dying methods. One suggestion is to use the plain old food coloring that you may or may not have in your cupboard. Mixing different combinations of blue, yellow, and red will give you just about any color imaginable.

If food coloring' not your thing, then uing a natural ingredient for dye, such as spinach or grass for green, turmeric for yellow, or even red wine or red wine vinegar for a red color. Read the article here for more Easter egg tips.

It's Sticker Paradise at Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory

February 17, 2010

Mrs. Grossman's Sticker FactoryAnyone who loves stickers, knows about Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory. Located just north of Marin in Petaluma, I’ve been wanting to take my kids on their famous factory tour so we can see how their stickers are made.

This family-owned company is a must-visit place for families in the Bay Area. For $3 per person, you get a guided tour, a goody bag of stickers, and more. Tours are held Monday through Thursday by reservation only. You can give them a call at (800) 429-4549 to schedule a tour. Tours last about an hour.

Go Swimming Indoors This Winter

January 19, 2010

I decided that I’m going to do something for myself this year—I finally joined our local health club and I’m going to get myself back into shape. I signed up at the Marin YMCA a few weeks ago, and have to say that it was the best decision I’ve made so far this year. Not only am I able to take advantage of the workout room, but our entire family can participate in the classes and programs they have to offer as well.

One of our favorites features so far is the indoor pool. Believe it or not, we have been making a lot of use of it during on these recent rainy weekends, and my kids are able to burn off some energy as well as brush up on their swimming skills. My son wants to join the swim team in the spring and he needs to be able to swim the length of the pool first, so we’re getting in some valuable practice time.

There’s something I love about swimming in an indoor pool on a rainy day. At first thought it seems a little odd to want to go swimming when it’s cold and wet out, but once you get to the pool it’s warm and pleasant and a contrast to the yucky weather going just on the other side of the windows and walls.

New Art Studio in Downtown Petaluma

July 20, 2009

Jennifer Richardson art studio painting activityLocal artist Jennifer Richardson has just opened a new art studio in downtown Petaluma that offers children's art camps and art classes for adults, teens, and children. The new "For the Love of Art" studio, conveniently located a short drive from Marin at 600 Petaluma Boulevard South, is the perfect place for children, teens and adults to feel safe and allow their creativity to emerge with guidance from Jennifer.

In addition to offering summer art camp, Jennifer offers a Tuesday night (7–9 pm) Teen Art Night—a safe place for teens to come and hang out and foster their artistic skills and interests. Thursday night is Adult Art Night, which offers an artistic learning experience along with a glass of wine and great music. Also offered every Friday from 6–9 pm is Parent’s Night Out, where kids can come and join in educational art activities, have a bite to eat, and let Mom and Dad have an evening off.

Jennifer’s art studio also offers birthday parties. Art projects are the take-home gifts and the clean-up is taken care of.

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