ON THE PICTURE : Kelley Hanson of The Craft House in Moorpark. Photo submitted.
by Kateri Wozny
Kelley Hanson recently posted a photo on her Instagram page of a wooden backdrop with the name of her business, The Craft House. Instead of being filled with customers waving their artwork, it was empty.
“I miss all of your smiley faces in our photo booth. . . I love seeing all the projects you create at home! Hanson wrote.
Hanson temporarily closed his Moorpark business on March 16 due to Ventura County’s COVID-19 public health order “Stay Well Home”. Businesses like hers under the ordinance are considered non-essential. Until then, she stays positive and makes do-it-yourself DIY kits for her clients.
“These are tough times for everyone with a lot of unknowns,” Hanson said. “I’m more of the optimistic type; I ran with it.
The Craft House offers DIY kits for adults and children. Available for purchase from the website, wooden message signs in a variety of styles ($ 28 each) can be assembled at home. Kits contain a chalkboard, laser cut letters or other pieces, decorations, and (for some kits) a paint tray and super glue. Kids’ projects feature paint by number designs (dinosaur, magical unicorn, beach
scene or monster truck) laser engraved on wood for $ 12 each. (Paints and brushes are not included.) Customers can pick up the kits from the porch of the Craft Bar, have them delivered to their home (for a small fee), or ship them elsewhere (costs vary by location) .
“I’m very flexible and try to give people things to do around the house,” Hanson said. “I try to help provide fun things for people to do with their families. It’s a way of bonding and keeping busy.
The Craft House will also soon be hosting a monthly virtual comedy and crafting course.
For more information visit www.crafthouse805.com.
NASH Exchange Incorporated
NASH Exchange Incorporated at Ventura holds a special place in Sarah Vibbart’s heart.
“My goal is to educate people about the reception system,” Vibbart said. She named the nonprofit shop after her son Nash, who was adopted by the Ventura County Hospitality System in 2015.
Vibbart craft kits include a driftwood, seashell, and sea glass wall hanger ($ 30); driftwood, starfish and sea glass candle holders (two for $ 25); wreaths of seashells, sea glass and starfish ($ 20); and pine cone flower wall art with plywood, moss and sticks ($ 20). All kits also come with epoxy or hot glue; Glue guns are available for rental with a $ 5 deposit.
“These are mental crafts,” Vibbart said. “They can help people de-stress.”
There are also kits for the more advanced craftsman, including a wooden cutout with a ‘dirty color’ (different colors of paint placed in one container and then poured together), more elaborate driftwood hangers and boxes in wood for mason jars. YouTube tutorials are in progress on how to put them together.
Children’s craft kits are also available. Choose from dinosaur garlands, butterfly garlands, driftwood and wire wall brackets, each costing $ 10.
“It’s good to keep kids active, creative and to stimulate their artistic abilities,” Vibbart said. “Handicrafts are good to make and give as gifts for Mother’s Day and birthdays. “
For now, Vibbart uses Facebook or Instagram to sell the craft kits. Proceeds help benefit NASH Exchange reimbursement programs, including sports, school supplies, summer camps, and scholarships. Customers can pick up the kits from the curb or have them delivered for free if they live within a 10 mile radius.
“The idea is to create craft kits to help everyone coexist at home,” Vibbart said. “A lot of people don’t think about the mental health aspect. Stay on top of your sanity and be happy and healthy. I firmly believe in the work of your hands.
For more information visit www.nashvc.org or check out the organization on Facebook or Instagram.
Vintage lily fields
Donna McClure of Lily Fields Vintage in Santa Paula named her shop after a Bible verse that reminded her that God is in control and not to worry. She has taught approximately 75 craft classes in her store over the past three years.
“I had a lot of inventory left over from every class I had taken [to make craft kits]”McClure said.” When I got the health prescription I had to get creative because I just can’t stop business. “
McClure offers DIY kits for adults and children. All come with brushes, wax, paint and
instructions. The paint is Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint, an all-natural formula based on milk protein (casein), limestone, clay, chalk and natural and / or non-toxic synthetic pigments.
“I’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” McClure said. “Customers are so eager to support local businesses. ”
Wooden crates, hearts, bunnies, and signs come in kits for adults, while younger ones can play with dinosaurs, birdhouses, unicorns, or just plain old paper and stickers.
“It’s important to keep our kids busy,” McClure said. “I sold the first two days and had to restock the inventory. ”
Costs range from $ 12 to $ 30 per kit. McClure said future discounts will apply. Customers can have their purchases delivered or picked up on the store porch.
“I sterilize the porch with bleach and spray on Lysol,” McClure said. “After someone picks up a kit, I spray it again to keep everyone safe. “
For more information visit www.lilyfieldsvintage.com.
Vita Art Center
Vita Art Center owner Mary Perez knew she had to find a way to keep her engaged art students at bay. Art company Ventura currently offers Zoom classes for children ages 6-10, 10+, teens, and adults.
“Two things we want to achieve are art and community,” Perez said.
The cost for six children’s art workshops, ceramics or drawing lessons is $ 100. The teen art program is funded by a grant from the Reed Foundation, where students use colored chalk pastels during instructional drawings and may also receive scholarships. Adult classes include an oil painting for $ 100, $ 150 for six drawing sessions, and $ 125 for six ceramic sessions.
“We’re going to add as many classes as possible within our limits,” Perez said.
Perez and his team assemble VITAmin children’s craft kits with watercolors, pencils, printed and collage papers and a brush. Customers can collect and sign the VITAmin kits in the patio of the art center. After the course is completed, the boxes should be returned so that employees can clean them and refill them with new supplies.
“It’s a daily dose of art [VITAmins]”said Perez.
Artists and collectors can also participate through a social media art exhibition called Upside down, where a work of art on display in their home is shared on Vita’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
“It changes and makes our space more meaningful,” Perez said. “Mentally, we are all in the same boat. ”
For a full schedule, visit www.vitaartcenter.com.