“The Star. . .” Newsletter #15, “Opening Week at the Studio”

It has been an exciting couple of weeks.

Spirit of Light Creativity Studio opened it’s doors to the public July 1, 2014.

Front Door and South Facing Wall of Spirit of Light Creativity Studio in Le Roy

We hosted an open house Saturday, June 21st.  About 15 people dropped by.  Some are friends who came out from Bloomington-Normal to see the place.  But a handful of people from Le Roy came by.  They had learned of the open house through Facebook and through a LeRoy-Farmer City newspaper article.

A second open house, more casual drop-in, was held June 24th. . .all day.  As I was preparing for this event, I noticed some workmen outside setting up a blockade in front of the doors.  It was the crew that is doing the masonry restoration [tuck pointing] on the building.  They graciously decided to move to work on a side of the building and planned then to only work on the front on days when we are closed.  Fortunately, the sounds of grinding are not too loud. . .but this will go on, off and on, all summer.  Hmmmmm.  This is a bit of a setback when you are trying to get people to come work on projects they enjoy in your space.

But we have to shake it off.  I don’t expect too much action during summer months. . .and hopefully this will be done by September.

Display window with Stained Glass and window display - from inside the shopWeek 1:

I sold a few copies of “The Star Who Almost Wasn’t There.”  Remember, profits from sale of this book are used to support the start up of the Village Project for developmentally disabled adults.

On Tuesday, Della, who lives nearby, showed up to work on a drawing.  She brought a sketch pad and pencils. . .and a calendar from which she had chosen a picture she wanted to try to re-create.  She mentioned that she’d like to try it in colored pencil.  So I responded that I have a book by a color pencil artist that does beautiful work.  I got the book out and she began to read.  Pretty soon she was drawing and doing quite a nice job of rendering.  She showed me how she had learned from the book that to blend colors and get a smooth appearance it is better to use a circular motion in laying down the color.  She pointed out where she had used a directional stroke for contrast.  And I noted that since she is rendering a kitten whose fur is quite textural, the directional stroke was a good fit for rendering that soft fur.  It was quite a nice exchange.

I was working on creating some samples for Sampler classes I will offer to get some folks started.  And we spent the afternoon chatting like old friends.

On Wednesday, Della arrived again.  We mostly worked in separate rooms since I was engaged in ‘business’ activities.  I got a visit from the insurer. . .who told me to hold my check.  I have a binder but the company he was placing me with balked at the idea that I might have some other people teach classes [volunteers/guests].  They will be by to visit me to get details.  We may have to look for another insurer. . .or possibly the liability insurance will cost me more than is customary for a sole-proprietorship with no employees.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

Then I got a visit from a plumber about installing an industrial sink.  Without going into details, that too will cost more than expected. . .and he can’t do anything without permission of the owner.  Of course I have permission from the owner to put in a sink. . .but the plumber himself needs permission to do what is necessary. . .even if I am paying.  Hmmmmmmmm.  Guess I can understand that one.

The next visitor was a Le Roy native who works for the second LeRoy newspaper, the Le Roy Press.  We really enjoyed visiting as I told her all about my plans for the studio and she told me a great deal about arts and crafts in the town of Le Roy.  Her Aunt is also a stained glass artist.  I’ve seen her work with is beautiful. . .immaculate.  She is quite a talent.  And her Mother used to work with ceramics.  I hope to see an article about Spirit of Light in that paper this weekend.

That evening a young woman named Ann came by.  She had seen the article in the newspaper and wanted to explore.  She does not feel comfortable with ‘visual arts’ but loves to write.  And she would love to have a space away from home where she can come and do so AND where we can try to bring a group of people with this interest together.  We chatted quite a while about the goals of Spirit and the two missions and Ann seemed excited about this opportunity in Le Roy.  So we will be selecting a date and putting out a call for writers who would like to share experience and help one another.  I mentioned that I hoped to get a group together interested in writing for children.  My thought is to engage others in expanding the book “The Star Who Almost Wasn’t There” into a series for children.  The Star and Jesus will grow up together and share earthly experiences.  Jesus will learn from his Father, and share what He learns with Star.  I’d like those interested in children’s stories to come together and brainstorm ideas. . .and contribute to the writing.  Everyone who participates will receive credit in the books. . .and the profits [if any] earned from sales will go to support 1. The StarGift Project and 2. The Village Project.   Should these never become full non-profits, if any profit remains it will be donated to services for developmentally disabled adults.  Perhaps some of you would like to participate in the writers group. . .or in a group to evolve the Star story.

I came home that night feeling quite good.

On Thursday [? This is beginning to blur] I got a visit from Jenny, who sells advertising for the Pantagraph.  By the time we were done talking she too was very excited.  She did not sell me any advertising.  In fact, she didn’t even try.  She volunteered to talk to the person at the Pantagraph who does stories on new businesses etc. and encourage an interview.  And she volunteered to try to mention Spirit of Light Creativity Studio [pro-bono] in her other Le Roy ads.  I’ve encouraged her to come back and spend some time.  She too likes to work with words. . .so perhaps she will engage in the writers group.  At any rate, I am to let her know when the first meeting will occur.

My hope is that people who love expressing creativity, in any form, will want to hang together at Spirit of Light in an atmosphere of sharing and caring.  I have posted a prayer on the front door:

Copy of prayer on studio front door.


I spent much of Thursday cutting glass scraps and marking them for sale and setting them out.  I have a lot of glass that needs to be so treated!  It will take some time.  And since I bought a lot of glass in 2005, I chose to mark them at 2005 prices.  So there are some bargains to be had in the studio.

I also worked on a stained glass on glass mosaic as an example for a ‘Sampler class.’  And I took the window display down. . .so people going by could see me working on this mosaic in the window.  Sadly, there is scaffolding outside.  Perhaps I can set up a table in front of another window.

Sampler classes are short classes [one evening. . .and come in and work during open studio] that get one started on a very simple first project. . .to see if one likes the work and the camaraderie of others working on similar projects.  It is a way of introducing people to some art concepts or basic crafts.

I’m working on preparing for about 4 such classes to be offered yet this summer.  When I have a schedule set, I’ll post it in the next newsletter.

In addition to opening the studio, I received the works from contestants in the StarGift Design a Custom T-Shirt Contest.  Wow!  So now I am quite busy creating some new web pages to show the results, the winners, and tell a little about each.  That will take a few weeks.  I’ll bet the contestant are waiting anxiously to find out who the first and second prize winners are!  I can’t wait to post about this.

Image of many StarGift T-shirts in various colors and including youth sizes. Beige, purple. orange, lt. blue. gold. yellow, olive green, forrest green. ..lime green!

In the future I will be hosting a class for a StarGift Design a Custom T-Shirt project.  Participants will purchase a shirt with the StarGift logo on the front shoulder [they come in more colors than shown] and then will embark on a journey to tell their own story of relationship with God. . .the gifts He has provided to them, their passions. . .and how they share this love with others.  I hope many of you will choose to participate!

I hope you all have a fun-filled and safe Fourth of July weekend!