Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

giraffes have two stomaches

Check out this incredible little tribe of giraffes made by our "Amazing Animals" class for ages 3 and 4.

After reading about how amazing giraffes are we used recycled materials like tp tube for the neck, balled up paper for the body and the head and straws for the legs. They taped them together and covered them with plaster cloth (one of the best materials). They actually all stood up. I was surprised and delighted. After the giraffes dried they painted them and added eyes and ears. Pink ones, orange ones, spotted ones oh my.

But we didn't stop there. We decided to make carts for our giraffes to ride in. Using milk cartons that were cut off at the top, they painted and glued on fabrics, popsicle sticks and buttons. We added wheels which are just some plastic lids with brackets through them. The tribe is now ready to be on the go.

Friday, May 25, 2012

12th birthday party celebration- book in a box

We did a Birthday party for a twelve year old last week. We suggested a book (accordion book) in a box for the project. She loves books and boxes so it was perfect for her. We talked about telling a story, primarily fairytales, through images. Since the stories are primarily universal it's easier to convey a story through images.

After choosing which story they would like to tell, we start with a box and cut a length of paper and fold it to fit in the box. Then we went through many sources for our images, playing cards, magazines, storybooks, old postcards, beautiful origami papers.

After cutting out all the desired images we laid them onto the length of paper, moving them around, deciding where the watercolor paint was needed, what backgrounds were needed.

Then the final step is the gluing and the glitter. Oh so much glitter. Here are some final pieces. The stories range from Persephone to Hey Diddle Diddle to Sleeping Beauty. They are truly amazing and they fold up into a little box. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

let's start from the very beginning

About two years ago I came to the conclusion that I wanted to open my own art studio for kids and  families. I'd been teaching art at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena for about 8 or so years and I had started the Purple Twig which was rogue art teaching. I would go to homes and teach an art class to a group of children weekly. My good friend, Ivan at Art Design Office had already created Purple Twig's identity and website. But Purple Twig needed a home. I wanted to have my own place to create art happenings for kids. But I knew nothing, I mean knew absolutely nothing, about business. NOTHING! So my first step was to ask my long time friend Ally, who is an environmental lawyer what I needed to do. She laid it all out for me. The first and most important thing I needed to do was to get a good CPA. So I did. Bobby Malhotra has been amazingly helpful. I couldn't have done this without him. I completely recommend him if you are in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles. 
I listened closely to both Ally and Bobby about S corps and LLCs and businesses licenses. I went to Leagalzoom, paid my $500, waited 6 weeks and became Purple Twig LLC.  It's not so mysterious.

During this time I was doing research. Cataloging art projects and activities from the Armory, from craft fairs, from my own projects. Doing research online for art and craft projects for kids. I even sent my daughter to all sorts of art classes around town to check out their business and teaching models.

Then I looked for a space. The first time I drove past this vacant storefront in Eagle Rock I knew it was right.

That's my friend Karin. She asks questions that I would never dream of.  It's good to take someone like her with you. She made me look at spaces that I was never interested in. It made me even more sure that this was the right space.

That was my first look inside all 1,000 feet of it ( a bit blurry)  and this is the bathroom (a bit disgusting).

After putting in an offer and negotiating with the land lord (which I didn't know one could do). I sent that lease agreement to Ally a few times and she came back with some great changes. 
I went camping with my family and when I got back I got the keys with two months rent free to renovate.

While at our local super market, I noticed these small green chairs. I immediately bought them all. It was my first purchase for the new space. And they are one of my best.
I had big plans for the storefront, building walls, sanding concrete, beautiful tiles, I also had a very limited budget so I did almost all the work myself, except the painting. 

And the electricity, although my brother did try and talk me into learning this for myself.

 I did put those things together, which took days.

I looked at tiles and paints and shelves. I went to flea markets and thrift stores. I spent more time in IKEA than I ever wanted to spend in my life. And in the end I went very simple and functional.I finally got to put the art supplies that I had been saving up from thrift stores, art stores and our own recycling.

Look at this amazing bathroom. I am so proud of this. I cut and installed the tiles ( I electrocuted myself a few times. If any of you ever cut tile you know what I am talking about. I wished I had gotten a demo on that power tool beforehand) , created the vanity and built the step stool from the crates that contained the concrete tiles. It's quite a difference.

After about 4 months in the making I finally opened my doors for the Eagle Rock music festival on October 5th 2010 and was completely overwhelmed.