Well, Hello There Website Update!

SUZI THAYER/Boothbay Register

SUZI THAYER/Boothbay Register

It’s only been a week since my last update? Amazing. I’m getting better! The old “organized and on top of all things writing related – Jenn” could be coming back into existence, folks! I’ve been working as substitute teacher, artist, and art teacher for so long that I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to write for hours and hours daily.

I’ve got book ideas brewing.

They want to come out.

And they will . . . not yet, though. There are still too many “arty-teacher-y” things going on. (Which I, of course, am in love with.)

Boothbay YMCA Camp Knickerbocker is headed into its “Mad Scientist” theme starting tomorrow and, I’m coming to be frank, I’ve been looking forward to this lesson plan since I received the curriculum. I-can’t-wait!!!!!!!

{{dances around in circles}}

Here’s what I have planned:

  • Tea staining paper (and, once that paper is dried, we’re going to make mini-books and envelopes out of it)
  • Papermaking out of recycled book pages and paper scraps
  • Candle making out of old, broken up crayon stubs
  • Bubble painting

I even have black plastic glasses with round frames and white aprons for the young kids to wear so they can dress up as a “Mad Scientist” while we play in the Art Room! I have spray bottles, droppers, and other bottles to use for other projects that I’ll reveal throughout the week. I’m so excited – it’s going to be so much fun!

I’m looking forward to taking pictures of the campers’ creations and of them having fun! In the meantime, The Boothbay Register just featured and article and a pictorial of Camp K having fun! Here are the links:

During “Mad Scientist” week, campers will also be making bubbles and tie-dyeing t-shirts as part of their theme activities! Now do you see why writing is taking the back-burner? There’s so much going on – it’s so exciting! I haven’t picked up a paintbrush or any other medium to do my own work, either, because I’ve been so focused on the excitement surrounding Camp K – and I love that!

Which reminds me – I still have a painting hanging in a show at Boothbay Region Art Foundation at 1 Townsend Avenue in Boothbay Harbor if anyone would like to go check that out. I still need to pop in there to have my traditional “this is Jenn standing next to her painting” picture taken.

Creating an Art Wall within the Home

hanging_artMy children and I are embarking upon a summer filled with what we call “Summer Bridge” learning experiences, and that includes healthy doses of art education. This means we will be creating a lot of art in addition to what we did during “Family Art Day.” In order to accommodate all of these lessons, we need to create an art wall somewhere in my home or in my future office. (My husband is moving a small building on to our property that will serve as my art studio this summer!)

During “Family Art Day,” we worked on 8×10 wrapped canvases, whereby the need for hanging wire is necessary. I wrote a tutorial about how to install this on the back of each piece of art: Preparing for Delivery: Art Walk Lewiston Auburn. What happens when the work is on flat pieces of paper, though?

There are many art projects where picture hanging supplies are not necessary because all you have to do is install a hanging rail or use clips on the wall where the art is going to be displayed. For example, when using a display rail, all you have to do is tuck the piece of art right up inside. When using clips that are attached the wall, all you have to do is hang the art where the clip is attached. Other ideas include:

  • Create a museum type of display where canvases, framed art, and flat art pieces are displayed using hooks.
  • Hang a clothesline across the wall that is taught and attached at either end of the wall. Once the art is finished, hang it up using clothespins.
  • Hang large blank pieces of foam core or canvas board on the wall using binder clips and nails. Tape up or tack up the art pieces “bulletin board” style each time they are ready for display.Because we have limited space in our home, we are most likely going to turn one of our doors into a display area for the time being as we work through each of our lesson plans. Because we intend to replace this door in the future with a storm door and this is also a door we don’t use, I don’t mind tacking into it to create displays. There is already a nail hole in the middle of the door where my stepdaughter’s piece of art is hanging, so that is helpful.

Because we have limited space in our home, we are most likely going to turn one of our doors into a display area for the time being as we work through each of our lesson plans. Because we intend to replace this door in the future with a storm door and this is also a door we don’t use, I don’t mind tacking into it to create displays. There is already a nail hole in the middle of the door where my stepdaughter’s piece of art is hanging, so that is helpful.

This display area will serve well, too, for the art shows I am preparing work for throughout the summer. I have one piece that is nearly finished, and three pieces that I am about to start. Once they are finished, having a place to hang them is better than putting them on top of my freezer where the cats can sit on them; plus having them on display acts as great motivation for myself and my children to continue creating throughout the summer months.


Boothbay Region YMCA Camp Knickerbocker Arts & Crafts Director

See that up there?

The title of this blog post?

That is also my new job title! I’ve been working at Boothbay Region YMCA Camp Knickerbocker as their Arts & Crafts Director since June 19th, which is why the updates to this website (and Maine-ly Motherhood) suddenly came to a standstill. My work schedule is from 7:30am until 5:00pm Monday through Friday and it is incredible!!

On my first day, I exploded purple paint all over me...while the maintenance man was fixing the sink! No water! It was SO FUNNY!! I still have speckles on my glasses!

On my first day, I exploded purple paint all over me…while the maintenance man was fixing the sink! No water! It was SO FUNNY!! I still have speckles on my glasses!

Not only do I get to work with an amazing staff, but the kids are so fun! While there are always some kids who do not really care for creating art or craft projects, there are also always a lot more who do. This is so exciting because the Arts Center at Boothbay Region YMCA Camp Knickerbocker is AMAZING. It’s HUGE, there are great big tables for the kids to work on, spacious cabinets for storage, tons of shelves for even more storage, wall space for hanging, and open ceiling rafters for even more hanging. I absolutely LOVE working in this space. PLUS – there are windows everywhere so lots of natural light flows in, which is perfect for the creation of art!

I’ve been working steadily on the creation of lesson plans that are engaging and will keep the kids excited about art . . . and get those not interested in art a little bit more excited about showing up. (I’ve edged some over into the “art side!”) Each week, I create a lesson plan poster so campers know what to expect – this is especially important for the littlest campers who crave structure and always ask the “what’s next” question.


On June 27th, I asked the Executive Director if Camp K has ever had an Art Show. He said that he has never heard of one happening. So I said, “Can we have one?” He thought it was a great idea so, Camp K is having its first annual art show during the Camp K Carnival August 7th (I’ve already made official invitations for parents)!! I’ve told all the campers and staff – this is so exciting!

Their work is amazing - I can't wait to show it off to parents at the Art Show!

Their work is amazing – I can’t wait to show it off to parents at the Art Show!

Yesterday, while working in the office (I had to cover), I made a to-do list for the art show. Part of this to-list includes creating two slide shows of all the pictures I’ve been taking of the campers each week. One will be on my laptop and one will be on a Kodak Picture Tablet thing I have. I’m going to keep them playing on an endless loop in separate corners of the art show so parents can see their kids getting “arty” in the Arts Center.

This whole experience has been so incredible and I’m looking forward to moving on to week four. This week’s them is Camp K’s Got Talent and some of the projects on my lesson plan include:

  • Watercolor painting
  • Sand art using colored sand
  • Basket weaving with brown paper bags

For the youngest group’s watercolor painting session, The Scampers, I’m going to draw a picture with white crayon on their papers before we meet. Then, during our session, I’m going to tell them they can paint their papers any way they’d like. The crayon drawings will reveal themselves as a “surprise” for them and the final piece will become a motely abstract of color. I can’t wait to see their reaction!

Until next time – keep on keepin’ on!!

June 27th Art Walk Lewiston Auburn

L/A Arts announces several live musical performances, a fashion show, and visual arts galleries for the June 27th Artwalk Lewiston Auburn!


Youth Art Exhibit – Dube’s Flowers – May Artwalk 

L/A Art’s Artwalk L/A is ratcheting up the heat with more music,
more performances and more visual art for the June 27th Artwalk in downtown Lewiston!Despite the rain, the May Artwalk had a great outpouring of patrons from the community that came to enjoy galleries, music, and a sampling of food and drink at over ten L/A Arts curated venues and a total of twenty-two locations participating in the event.  This second Artwalk L/A of the year offers a bigger lineup of events including the return of young Lewiston designer Sahro Hassan displaying her newest fashions in a live show at Dufresne Plaza, and additional musicians to exhibit their talents up and down Lisbon Street.  Last month marked many positive additions to the Artwalk event including a new online artist catalog of artwork for the public to view on the Artwalk website (www.artwalklewistonauburn.com) which returns with over 25 visual artists displaying for June!  Over twenty greater Lisbon Street businesses and storefronts will be opening their doors and offering visual art galleries, live performances, and special exhibits to patrons.  Patrons will have an opportunity to browse, enjoy, and purchase artwork before and after the event. Come walk with us this June!

June, 2014 Businesses/Venues:

She Doesn’t Like Guthrie’s (115 Middle St.), J. Dostie Jewelers (4 Lisbon St.),Gateway Window Exhibit (11 Lisbon St.), Androscoggin Bank (30 Lisbon St.),Argo Marketing (64 Lisbon Street), Lyceum Gallery (49 Lisbon St.), Poliquin Hearing & Optical Window Exhibit (50 Lisbon Street), The Vault (84 Lisbon Street), The Cupcakery/Rainbow Bikes (97 Lisbon Street), Lamey Wellehan Gallery (110 Lisbon St.), Lamey Window Exhibit (113 Lisbon St.), Forage Market (180 Lisbon St.), Chill Yoga (2nd Floor-178 Lisbon St), Downtown Handmade & Vintage (182 Lisbon St.), Life Ideals (3rd Floor- 178 Lisbon),Hardy Wolfe & Downing (186 Lisbon St.), Kimball Street Studio (191 Lisbon St.) Dube’s Flowers Window Exhibit (195 Lisbon St.), Lewiston Public Library (200 Lisbon St.), L/A Arts (221 Lisbon St.) New Beginnings Outreach Program Window Exhibit (245 Lisbon St.) Le Messager (223 Lisbon St).

Location: Greater Lisbon Street, Lewiston ME

Time: 5:00 – 8:30 p.m.  

*Over 20 businesses/storefronts displaying or converted into visual arts galleries

*Special arts exhibits with participating businesses, and outdoor crafts

*Creative food and drink

*Performances, Including:

5-6:15 p.m. Chicks with Sticks - Dufresne Plaza – (Callahan Hall @ Public Library Rain Location)

6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Maine Music Society’s Androscoggin Chorale - Le Messager Gallery (223 Lisbon Street)

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Fashion Show with Designer Sahro Hassan from Tree Street Youth - Dufresne Plaza – (Callahan Hall @Public Library Rain Location)

7:30 – 8 p.m. Maine Music Society’s Androscoggin Chorale - Le Messager Gallery (223 Lisbon Street)

8:00 p.m - The Juke Joint Devils - She Doesn’t Like Guthries (115 Middle St.)

Throughout the evening: Solo music with Buck Curran from Arborea - Downtown Handmade & Vintage (182 Lisbon St.)

5 P.M. – 6:15 P.M. – Live Steel Drum Music from Chicks with Sticks

Location: Dufresne Plaza (Rain Location – Callahan Hall, Lewiston Public Library)


Chicks with Sticks is an off-shoot of the Tinpanic Steel Band, a popular 12-piece orchestra.  They are a small combo of 4 women who play steel drum music for parties, festivals, receptions and other special events, or whenever a group of people are looking to enjoy island-style music.  With sounds similar to Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley, Chicks with Sticks bring Calypso styled music to Central Maine.  

https://www.facebook.com/ pages/Chicks-With-Sticks- Steel-Drummers

6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. – Live Fashion Show with designer Sahro Hassan - Tree Street Youth

Location: Dufresne Plaza (Rain Location – Callahan Hall, Lewiston Public Library)


Lewiston-Auburn ArtWalk and Tree Street Youth are pleased to present a fashion show featuring local fashion line Fashionuji. Two years ago, Sahro Hassan, then a junior in school, began Fashionuji as part of the Youth Entrepreneur  Academy (an Androscoggin  Chamber of Commerce program). Fashionuji is a traditional clothing line that designs and sells handmade formal dresses, intended to provide a locally-made clothing line for girls and women who value modest – while still fashionable – dress. Sahro has been designing her sophisticated formal-wear since she was thirteen, and she has recently started sewing her dresses at Tree Street Youth. Be sure to stop by the Fashionuji show and support this rising star!

6:00 – 6:30 + 7:30- 8:00 P.M. The Maine Music Society’s Androscoggin Chorale

Lcoation: Les Messager (223 Lisbon Street)

It is with great joy to announce that members of the Maine Music Society Chamber Singers will be performing for the June Artwalk.  The 20 voices of the Chamber Singers are members of the Androscoggin Chorale who focus on music sung a cappella.  They perform music from madrigals to arrangements of songs by the Beatles.  They have been involved in several concerts ranging from programs at the Cumston Hall in Monmouth to the Salute to Veterans at the Colisee last November.  The singers will be performing at the summer series at the Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in  on July 30.  Because they perform without accompaniment, we can travel easily anywhere in the state.  We look forward to participating in this next Art Walk on Friday June 27.

Live Blues Music with The Juke Joint Devils – 8 p.m.

Location: She Doesn’t Like Guthries (115 Middle St)


Friday, June 27th The Juke Joint Devils will perform at She Doesn’t Like Guthries.  These guys take you back to a time when small house bands played from the soul, on real instruments, could swing like crazy, and anything could happen on stage. The Juke Joint Devils play a mix of West Coast and Chicago Blues, with a bit of spice from New Orleans and elsewhere. The band features International Blues Challenge finalists Tommy O’Connell on harp and vocals and Sean Bowman standup bass, Johnny Moran on drums, and with Stefan Iris on guitar.

L/A Arts would like to thank the 2014 Artwalk Sponsors for making this year possible!

Underwriting Sponsor:

Additional Sponsors:

Optometrics Associates

Austin Associates, Certified Public Accountants

Lisa A. Laliberte State Farm Insurance

Leary & Detroy, Attorney’s at Law

Be part of the Artwalk movement to celebrate the arts in Lewiston & Auburn.

Interested in submitting art?  Volunteering?  Need more information?

Contact L/A Arts:


or email Artwalk: team@artwalklewistonauburn.com

Find us on Facebook or visit our websites:





New Garden-Style Journal on Zazzle

I have a new garden-style journal on zazzle featuring a photograph of the container garden I set up on one of my porches:

Garden Style Journal
Garden Style Journal by Artist_Writer_2014
Design your own customized journals online at Zazzle

Thank you for checking out my design! I hope you’ll consider checking out the other offerings I have in my store while you’re on the link!