December/January Sewing Classes are open for Registration.

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Saturday Class, November 29, 2014

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Last week, I had to cancel classes for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 20-22.  The make up classes will take place at the end of this current session.  That means, that we will extend our calendar one week.

A few of my students will have not been to class for 3-4 weeks by the time we meet December4-6th. Some or you were itching to sew, get some progress on Holiday gifts and other projects.  So, I agreed to meet with a nice sized group this morning, Friday 11/28.  And, will meet with a few more students tomorrow, the 29th.  THIS IS AN EXTRA CLASS, it is not a makeup class.  If you have arranged to come sew already, we will be meeting at 11am, not 10:30 as originally planned, as I need to be somewhere until 10:45.  If you have not signed up for this class, I am sorry to say that I do not have space for any more students.  We resume all regularly scheduled sewing classes this Monday evening.  I’ve put the start dates of the new sessions on the registration form on this website.  If you have any questions, please contact me.

Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and consideration during this time of personal loss.  I do appreciate it.

Sewing Classes for December 2014/January 2015 are now open for Registration!

Saturday, November 29th, 2014
LSS logo for CC

Register Now for both our 
December short session (2-3 wks)
and our next 6 week session in January/February 2015
and save $20
 
Adult classes meet weekly for 3 hours.
Kids/Teens after-school classes meet weekly for 2 hours.

  ***************************************

 CLICK HERE to register now!

 LovetoSewtoLovetoSewtoLovetoSew 
 
December has 2-3 weeks of classes 
Our Next 6 week session starts in January 2015
Sign up for both sessions of Sewing Classes 
and SAVE $20!
Space is limited.  
Aurora made this dolphin for her brother.  Turns out that his team is called the Blue Dolphins!
Whether you’re a beginner or expert sewist, you can find something to learn here at Laura’s Sewing School.  From learning how

to set up your machine and mastering the basics.  It could be learning speed techniques, while maintaining the quality of your work, or even improving it.  Or, the details that bring your work from OK, to WOW! 
 

Adult classes meet for 3 hours per week and are available M-Sat. 

either morning or evening. 

Kids/Teens
 after school Sewing Classes meet for 2 hours per week and are available on Tues, Weds and Fridays.  Open to Ages 9+

You can see our schedule at the bottom of this block.
*********************************************************************************

We offer:  

Semi-private lessons which allow you to create  

what you want, at your own pace!

 

What does this mean?

  • First off, the classes are small in size, 5-6 students, so that we can give instructions to students, one on one, during the class.
  • We customize our instruction to the student.  We see how you learn, and if one way doesn’t work, we find a way that does for you.
  • We don’t specify a project for you to work on, you choose what you create.
  • We will help you choose a project that is right for your level of experience, but it is your choice of project, pattern and materials.
  • Because we work with each student individually, you can be a beginner in any of our classes.  (unless noted otherwise.)
  • Since there is no deadline for when you finish your project, you can work at your own pace.  There’s no right or wrong speed when it comes to learning to sew in our classes.
The schedule below is accurate for the days and times, just not the start dates.  Those you can find on the registration form on our website.

(Click on map or highlighted address to go to the same map online.)
Parking on street
Arlington, MA 02476

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Join Us at Arlington’s Town Day, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

LSS logo for CC

Town Day is September 13, 2014
  1. Visit Our Booth at Arlington Town Day!
  2. Volunteer your help and save on your next class!
  3. Try our FREE Make & Take Project.
Town Day booths

Arlington Celebrates Town Day this year on Saturday, September 13, 2013. (Rain date 9/14)  There are festivities beginning on Friday evening at the playing field at the Boys and Girls Club.  The Activities culminate with a fabulous Fireworks show.  They shoot them off over Spy Pond.  But, you can get a great view of them from Robbins Farm park, off Eastern Ave in Arlington.
On Saturday, Town Day takes place on Massachusetts Avenue, from 10am-3pm.  The town closes Mass Ave between Pleasant St (Arlington Ctr) and Mill St, which is the traffic light right next to our shop.
Many of the towns businesses and organizations will have booths.  There are some great food booths, from India food from Punjab (my favorite Indian restaurant,) to Mexican (Zocalo my old neighbor on Broadway) and many others.  Churches and schools and arts organizations will be there.  And, businesses that service Arlington and the surrounding area LIKE US!
We won’t know where our booth is until we check in on Town Day.  But our Canopy is RED, so we will be easy to find.*******************************************************************************************

We will be having a Make & Take (FREE) project at the booth.
 We’ll be passing out free tape measures (for as long as they last,) and
taking registrations for the remaining spaces in our current session.
********************************************

HELP AT OUR BOOTH AND SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT CLASS!

We could use some help at our booth on Town Day.  It runs from 10-3, but we have to start set up before 8:15 when they close Mass Ave, and through 3:30-4pm when we break down the booth.  If you can donate any time, especially for an hour or more, I will give you a $10 off your next class for every hour you help me in the booth.
If you would like to display something you made at the booth, I would love to have it for the day.  That way, people visiting can see items sewn by my students, not just me. Last time I had a booth, I had two 10 year old students display their quilts.  People couldn’t believe that they were only ten years old, having made such nice quilts.  I can use small quilts, clothing, bags, etc.  If you could drop off the item by 6pm Friday, that would be best, as set up is early Saturday morning.  Please attach a card with your name (age if you wish) so I know whose it is and visitors can see who made it.

To either Volunteer your time or a display item, send me an email.

Umbrellas that I made recently.
Join us for our rescheduled Umbrella Workshop.
Sunday, October 5, 2014  10am-2pm
Cost: $115, includes frame and pattern
Number of students: 8
  • You can make umbrellas yourself.
  • The frames are available online, as well as the pattern.
  • You can use laminated fabrics which repel water
  • But, you can also use quilting fabrics and waterproof them.

The Fabric Corner has a stock of 30 laminated cottons that I find very inspiring.  You can make a raincoat or rain poncho.  Cosmetic pouches would be nice.  Then, I got the idea that it’d be great to make an umbrella out of those beauties.

What do you do when you are trying to realize an idea nowadays?……Go Online!  So, I did a simple search and found some umbrella frames from a business called umbrellajoan.com, located in that rainy Pacific Northwest state of Washington.  I spoke with Joan on the phone.  She is very nice, and had some good advice about working with her pattern.  She’s been teaching people how to make umbrellas for over 20 years.

I waited anxiously for my supplies to arrive and made the first umbrella out of the green floral cotton laminate.  Then, because Joan says you can use quilting cotton, I wanted to make one out of some Amy Butler fabric I had ordered in blue but put a rim of the white coloration around the umbrella.  Being that I like to challenge myself, I matched the pattern between the blue and white fabrics, which you can see in the picture below.

 

Can you see how the pattern matches between the white border and the blue canopy?
When the umbrella was finished, I waterproof it with Nanodyze.  One of my students found this product a few years ago and it’s great.  It’s advertised for water and stain proofing kids car seats as it’s non-toxic.  I’ve only been able to find it on Ebay.  But, now there are two sellers, so the price has gone down by a third.  Here is a link for that.

If you would like to make an umbrella, it isn’t really all that hard.  I can order the frames and patterns ahead of time.  If you want to use quilting fabric, order the Nanodyze, too.  (You can waterproof it at home after it’s made.) I see this as a great gift to make.

* LovetoSewtoLovetoSewtoLovetoSew *

(Click on map or highlighted address to go to the same map online.)
Parking on street
Arlington, MA 02476
Don’t forget to Bring a Friend!
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Fall Classes begin September 6-12, 2014

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
LSS logo for CC

There are still some spaces left in our

Fall Sewing Classes
beginning Saturday Sept 6-12, 2014
Adult classes meet weekly for 3 hours over 6 weeks time.
Kids/Teens after-school classes meet weekly
for 2 hours over 6 weeks time.

***************************************

 CLICK HERE to register now!

* LovetoSewtoLovetoSewtoLovetoSew *
 
6 week session of Fall Sewing Classes!
Space is limited.
Maddie made her skirt, finishing just in time for her concert. Reminds me of myself and the many outfits I finished in the eleventh hour preceding a performance!
Whether you’re a beginner or expert sewist, you can find something to learn here at Laura’s Sewing School.  From learning how to set up your machine and mastering the basics.  It could be learning speed techniques, while maintaining the quality of your work, or even improving it.  Or, the details that bring your work from OK, to WOW!

Adult classes meet for 3 hours per week and are available M-Sat. either morning or evening.


Kids/Teens
after school Sewing Classes meet for 2 hours per week and are available on Tues, Weds and Fridays.  Open to Ages 9+

You can see our schedule at the bottom of this block.

*********************************************************************************

We offer:

Semi-private lessons which allow you to create  

what you want, at your own pace!

 

What does this mean?

  • First off, the classes are small in size, 5-6 students, so that we can give instructions to students, one on one, during the class.
  • We customize our instruction to the student.  We see how you learn, and if one way doesn’t work, we find a way that does for you.
  • We don’t specify a project for you to work on, you choose what you create.
  • We will help you choose a project that is right for your level of experience, but it is your choice of project, pattern and materials.
  • Because we work with each student individually, you can be a beginner in any of our classes.  (unless noted otherwise.)
  • Since there is no deadline for when you finish your project, you can work at your own pace.  There’s no right or wrong speed when it comes to learning to sew in our classes.

Here are some helpful Documents:
Basic Sewing Tools and Supplies List
Helpful Things to prepare you for your first class.Arlington’s Town Day is happening Saturday September 13, 2014.  We will have a booth with a free make and take project for attendees.  Expect a newsletter in the next few days with details of the event and a volunteer sign up.

(Click on map or highlighted address to go to the same map online.)
Parking on street
Arlington, MA 02476
Don’t forget to Bring a Friend!
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook    Twitter    LinkedIn    Pinterest
Forward this email

This email was sent by laura@laurassewingschool.com |

 

 

Late Spring Classes begin the week of May 26th. This is a 4 week session which takes us to the end of the school year.

Friday, May 16th, 2014

LSS logo for CC

Registration is now open for the
4 wk Session of Late Spring
Sewing Classes
beginning May 26-31, 2014***************************************

 CLICK HERE to register now!
Umbrellas I made this past week!
  • You can make umbrellas yourself.
  • The frames are available online, as well as the pattern.
  • You can use laminated fabrics which repel water
  • But, you can also use quilting fabrics and waterproof them.

The Fabric Corner has a stock of 30 laminated cottons that I find very inspiring.  You can make a raincoat or rain poncho.  Cosmetic pouches would be nice.  Then, I got the idea that it’d be great to make an umbrella out of those beauties.

What do you do when you are trying to realize an idea nowadays?……Go Online!  So, I did a simple search and found some umbrella frames from a business called umbrellajoan.com, located in that rainy Pacific Northwest state of Washington.  I spoke with Joan on the phone.  She is very nice, and had some good advice about working with her pattern.  She’s been teaching people how to make umbrellas for over 20 years.

I waited anxiously for my supplies to arrive and made the first umbrella out of the green floral cotton laminate.  Then, because Joan says you can use quilting cotton, I wanted to make one out of some Amy Butler fabric I had ordered in blue but put a rim of the white coloration around the umbrella.  Being that I like to challenge myself, I matched the pattern between the blue and white fabrics, which you can see in the picture below.

 

Can you see how the pattern matches between the white border and the blue canopy?
When the umbrella was finished, I waterproof it with Nanodyze.  One of my students found this product a few years ago and it’s great.  It’s advertised for water and stain proofing kids car seats as it’s non-toxic.  I’ve only been able to find it on Ebay.  But, now there are two sellers, so the price has gone down by a third.  Here is a link for that.

If you would like to make an umbrella, it isn’t really all that hard.  What I’d suggest is that you order your frame and pattern online.  If you want to use quilting fabric, order the Nanodyze, too.  When you receive that stuff, bring it into class and we will get going on it.  I see this as a great gift to make.  I plan to make more shortly.  I’ll be posting pics on Facebook as I finish them.

* LovetoSewtoLovetoSewtoLovetoSew *
 
for our next 4 wk session of sewing classes!
Space is limited.  This will end when the school ends.  Then our summer session will begin.
 
Sarah in another dress made with fabric from Sawyer Brook!

Our next session of Sewing Classes will begin the week of
May 26-30, 2014

Whether you’re a beginner or expert sewist, you can find something to learn here at Laura’s Sewing School.  From learning how to set up your machine and mastering the basics.  It could be learning speed techniques, which maintain the quality of your work, or even improve it.  Or, the details that bring your work from OK, to WOW!

Renee’s puppy looks a lot like ours.  Remy is a 12 week old labradoodle (sp?)  She made this cute raincoat out of laminated cotton.  Hope it fits for a little while.  They grow so fast.
Adult classes meet
for 3 hours per
week and are available M-Sat
either morning or evening.
You can see our schedule below.
Classes are also available for kid and teens.  These After-School classes meet from 3:30-5:30
and are open to kids ages 9+.
Bottle cozy for her Dad

 

Michelle and her roller shade
Elena’s Feather quilt.  She did a beautiful job.
The only difference in this schedule is that there is no class on Monday mornings, or Tuesday evenings.  And, this session is for 4 weeks, so Adult (3hr)  classes are $190 and kids/teens (2hr) are $145.

(Click on map or highlighted address to go to the same map online.)
Parking on street
Arlington, MA 02476
Don’t forget to Bring a Friend!
Olivia and Indigo had an immediate bond.

New Addition to our School!

His name is Indigo and many of you have met him already.

Sharon and Indigo

He’s getting bigger every day.  I got him from a poodle breeder in Maine, up near Auburn.  He was born January 7th.  I brought him home in the middle of March.  He was just under 7 pounds then and now weighs in at almost 13 pounds.  My friend, Netta, has his brother, who they call Moose.  They’ve attended a month of puppy school together and now we have them working with Percy’s trainer every Sunday.  He is really sweet and gets a lot of attention.  Come say “hello” sometime to our new family member.

Jen caught Indigo climbing out of his enclosure.  He sat on her lap as she sewed.
STAY CONNECTED
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New Classes begin February 24-March 1, 2014

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
 
for our next 6 wk session of sewing classes!
Space is limited.
 
Sarah in her dress made with fabric from Sawyer Brook!

Our next session of Sewing Classes will begin the week of February 24-March 1, 2014

Whether you’re a beginner or expert sewist, you can find something to learn here at Laura’s Sewing School.  From learning how to set up your machine and mastering the basics.  It could be learning speed techniques, which maintain the quality of your work, or even improve it.  Or, the details that bring your work from OK, to WOW! 

Norma and the baby quilt she finished.  Unfortunately, you cannot see the great turtle print flannel and this is the back of the quilt! 
Adult classes meet
for 3 hours per
week and are available M-Sat
either morning or evening. 
You can see our schedule below.
Classes are also available for kid and teens.  These After-School classes meet from 3:30-5:30
and are open to kids ages 9+. 
Elena's Daughter in dress she made  
Laura showing how to sew a button

A Secret Sewing Space

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

When I was first sewing at home, we had one table for eating, doing homework and for me, sewing.  I would often set up to sew and then break everything down for family dinner time, then set it all up again to continue working on my project du jour.  I didn’t mind, as that was what I had to do to sew.  As an adult, I finally was able to set up a complete room dedicated to sewing.  This has been a luxury in my life, now, it is really an essential component to my living space, for that past 23 years.

Many people cannot dedicate a whole room to a hobby.  Maybe, once the kids leave home, but rather than having to set up and break down your work space, there is another alternative.  Read more about it below in my most recent newsletter.  If you would like to receive my newsletters, you can join by filling in the box in the upper right hand corner of this page on my website.

 

Create your own special Space for Sewing/Crafts

Dear Laura,

I am known for my sewing skills and teaching the craft of sewing.  But, I have always been interested in many forms of handcrafts.  Whether it has to do with fabrics, yarns, threads, all of which are soft.  To refinishing furniture, to decoupaging or decorating pieces that need a facelift.  I love all genres of creativity.I want to suggest that you, too, can expand your realm of how your express your creative side.  I just moved to a new home and in doing so, I had to downsize and reconsider what I use for what purpose.  I had to sell quite a few pieces of furniture, and on moving day, I realized that 2 armoires that I have will no longer fit where I live, or be necessary.  So, I got thinking about ways to repurpose them………
Here’s one example of a Sewing Armoire 
What’s nice about this one, is that it has a table with supports that folds out of the upper part of the cabinet.  And behind where the table folds, are a series of shelves.
You can see below, that there is a serger on the shelf.  You can imagine that an armoire meant for an office, with space for a printer or desktop tower, could be repurposed for holding a machine or other needed sewing items.
Here’s another, and there is a website detailing how it was done……. 
I found this online, there are so many great ideas that people are sharing on the web.
The blog, written by Lindy, is located at:
http://lindycottagehill.blogspot.com/2011/01/magic-sewing-table.htmlOn this page, she talks about why she wanted to do this project and how she accomplished it.  Very well done.

What I love about repurposing furniture, is being able to play with color and pattern.  The armoire above, has not only been painted, but decoupaged with a fun and lively pattern on the door panels.  I have a dresser in my shop that I got from a yard sale.  Since it was already painted white, I decided to do a paint treatment and then decoupage the front, top and sides.  I used 6 sheets of wrapping paper that I purchased from Bob Slate Stationers in Harvard Square.  I cut around all of the images and then found a way to put them on the dresser that looked good.  Once they were glued down, I then coated the piece with 4 coats of waterbased varnish.  It took a total of 9 hours to do the whole decorating.  And, I’ve been enjoying it for quite a few years now.
I’ve also used fabric in decoupaging furniture.  I did an email a couple years ago about that.  I did a table top and a desk, both top and drawer fronts.  They are still being used.  The table is as a desk in my sewing school office.  The desk is being used at my home for my serger.
The inside is set up to hold tools within easy reach and the whole thing looks great, whether open or closed.
For those of you who want to sew, but the dining room or Kitchen table needs to be used again, and it’s just too much work to keep setting up and breaking down your sewing area.  This armoire, gives you a designated space, that looks good anywhere in your house.
Laura Wirkkala
Laura’s Sewing School
Potential Sewing Armoire for Sale!
Amelia in Finnish Costume Front View

Originally over $1000,   I am selling it for $500 or Best Offer.

Currently, it’s in the garage of my new place, wrapped in movers blankets, ready to go to a new home.  Will it be yours?
Well, you had to know that I was leading up to something.  I have two armoires that I cannot fit in my new home.  And, one of them, I think, would be fabulous as a sewing cabinet.  I would convert it myself, but I already have a custom sewing cabinet in my sewing room and don’t need another.
You can see the armoire behind my daughter in this picture.  It is from at least 5 years ago, when they had International Day at her school.  I stayed up until 3am making her this Finnish girl costume.  The point today, though, is the armoire behind her.  It’s still in gorgeous condition.  Solid wood and has an upper and lower section.  Shelves, drawers and such.  The doors fold back completely out of the way.  Originally designed for a media center, it is furniture quality, no particleboard here.
I think it could be easily converted into a Secret Sewing Space.  I would hate to paint it, as the wood is so pretty, but you could do what you want with the interior and no one would be the wiser.  The back is cut out for ventilation for CRT TV’s, but you could put in a panel of pegboard to organize sewing tools.  Follow the blog above and insert a fold down table.  Or, I saw a cool set of table extensions on Nancy’s Notions website.  Click here to see them.
Laura’s Sewing School | 785 Massachusetts Avenue | Arlington | MA | 02476
Laura Wirkkala <lwirkkala@gmail.com>
12:38 PM (4 hours ago)

to Ifrah
Sincerely,
Laura Wirkkala

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The charm of old sewing machines, and why I love sewing with them.

Friday, October 4th, 2013
I love to work with OLD sewing machines.
Whenever I make a shirt for my boyfriend, of which he has received 5 this year, I always turn to an old Singer in a cabinet. The machine only does a straight stitch, but WHAT a straight stitch.  Also, the machine is so smooth and quiet and being set into a cabinet, there is support for my project all around the machine.  The only time I move away from the Singer is when I go to the serger or make the  buttonholes at the end.

 

You can see one of the shirts I made on an old Singer in my shop at the bottom of this article.  The fabric is a silk/linen, Ikat (pronounced ee’ kaht).  I matched the pattern down the front and around the pocket, too.  But, you can see how nice and even the stitching is on the pocket picture to the right.
Close up shot of Presser Foot and Throat Plate on Singer in my Shop, not the one I’m selling, but similar.
What I like about straight stitch machines, they have a narrow presser foot.  It gives maneuverability that I liken to the difference between roller skates and roller blades.  With roller skates, you have 4 wheels and you have to lift your foot to turn.  With a roller blade, you have all the wheels in a line, and all you do is lean to turn.  You can see in the picture to the right, how narrow the presser foot is.  Also, the hole in the throat plate, or where the needle enters the machine is very small, a circle rather than an oblong.

 

When you have a fine fabric, the small hole supports the fabric and keeps the needle from pushing it into the machine.  This can happen with the larger hole on zigzag machines or more modern machines.

 

So, the machine pictured at the top, is an old Singer Red Eye.  It’s called a Red Eye, because the decals on the machine, resemble eyes.  I got this machine awhile back.  It’s footprint when it is closed is quite small, yet, when you open it up, there is a nice support leaf to the left.  The front door opens, and there is storage there for bobbins and such.  It’s electric, and the power is controlled with your knee, rather than your foot.  It’s a nice machine, and you can find many more like this for very little money.

 

If you do want a machine like this, but miss out, many people are selling these machines on Craigslist, not knowing their true value.  Grandma died and left a machine in the house.  Mom downsized and doesn’t sew anymore.  Yard sales an second hand stores are also a source for some old beauties.  I got a lovely portable machine 10 years ago at an antiques coop.  It was sitting on the floor, being unobtrusive.  I paid $60 for it and it was in pristine condition.  Because it had a knee control for the power, I had my daughter use it as her first electric machine.  She was 4 or 5 years old then.  I still have that machine.  It only goes forward, no backstitch.

 

 

Silk Linen Men's Shirt Pocket detail

Town Day in Arlington

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

 

Ana, Laura, Jacqueline, Galen and Connie. Elena is taking the picture.

(If you want to see bigger versions of the pictures,  just click on them.  Press the “back” button to return to this web page.)

We had a great time on Town Day.  The Town of Arlington celebrates everything Arlington each September.  The festivities begin on Friday evening with fun family activities at the Boys and Girls Club field, with the evening culminating in a spectacular display of fireworks over Spy Pond.

The next day, Saturday, Mass Ave is closed off between Pleasant St and Mill St, which is the corner our shop is located closest to.  We packed all of our stuff for our booth the night before and were able to catch the fireworks over the treetops.  We are not give our booth location assignments until the morning of Town Day.  I found out that we were the 4th booth from Mill St, and could have walked all our equipment over there.  We did walk it back at the end of the day.

Regardless, we had a wonderful time and met many new people.  We offered a make and take project for free.  It was elastic band bracelets, or many kids know them by the name Rainbow loom bracelets.  My friend Alixe’s daughter, Helen, showed me how to make fish tail bracelets without a loom.  They are so easy and look so cool.  We had kids and teens and adults, both male and female making them.  We went through 6,000 ELASTIC BANDS!  If we hadn’t run out, we could have gone through at least a thousand more!  There was a little boy who wanted to make a bracelet so bad, he was picking bands off the pavement.  It was nice to get the help cleaning up.

 

You can see how popular this project was.  By the time this picture was taken, I had run out of my supply of multi-colored bands, so I pull out my back up supply of red, orange, pink and yellow bands.  The color didn’t stop the boys from wanting to make more bracelets.  I had 6 chairs and had people standing around the table and others grabbing a handful of bands and standing at the display tables.  I even have a couple of bracelets that I wear from this project.

You can see the two I have.  There are 2 easy ways to make elastic band bracelets with your fingers.  This style is called a fishtail.  If any of you want to learn, just bring in some bands and I’d be happy to show you.  I had some great help last Saturday at my Town Day booth.  Two of my Wednesday after school Students, Galen and Jacqueline were great at teaching the project.  They were hugely enthusiastic.  Also, my adult students came to help, Elena and her daughter Ana, Connie, whose top was on display and now in the shop window, Colleen and Liz.  My daughter, Amelia, helped with set up and some of the teaching at the beginning.  Thanks to all who helped.  I couldn’t have done it without your help.

 

Pictures of Student’s Work

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

The following pics are from 2009.  These are just a portion of what students have accomplished here in their classes.