Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Creative JumpStart 2014!

Nathalie Kalbach, single-handedly, makes me look forward to January!

Of course thatś when Creative JumpStart begins!  For $20, this is a steal for crafty peeps.  For more info and to sign up, check out Natś video below

See you during Creative JumpStart 2014!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Local Phenomenon

Our friend, Jane Reiter, is a local phenomenon!  And sneaky too.
For more than a year, she has been working on a phenomenal art project - and kept it under wraps!  At the opening recently, you could've knocked me over with a Micro pen.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am focusing solely on Jane's personal work, although the show includes cool pieces from the community.
Merriam-Webster defines PHENOMENON this way:
"something (such as an interesting fact or event) that can be observed and studied and that typically is unusual or difficult to understand or explain fully" 
And being the Library-Girl she is, no doubt she meant the meaning to be such.  But I see this phenomena differently.  Jane used all of her many skills such as Zentangle, crochet, photography and a mixed media sensibility, put them together to create an amazing mixed media phenomena.  I could go on...
But see for yourself!  Jane's work will blow you away.  (See below for addy and hours).


"My first goal is to highlight the large number of neglected commercial buildings within Lansing. The amount of empty commercial space is discouraging and unsightly to residents. Using the element of art in surprising places may prompt a second look at these buildings."
Jane's second goal was to enlist community members - in typical Jane style of inclusion, baby!  You must make a point to see this show by January 10!
Riverview Church's Corridor Gallery
3585 Willoughby Road
HOURS: 9:00am-3:00pm, Monday-Friday, and during weekend service times.
Here's a little cherry on top -
 Jane's Zentangle billboard is on I-69,
close to the Perry/Owosso exit
–it faces east and sits on the south side of the highway.
Thanks to Arts Council of Greater Lansing 
(Are you a member?) 
and the Chris Clark Fellowship 
Check it out!

"And now, for something completely different..."

Just kidding! Here's a list of Jane's upcoming Zentangle classes at SmittenDust Studio!
Thursday, December 19, 5:30 – 7:30 PM, TangleMania Club, $5, please pay at class
Get together for sharing ideas and tangling fun! (this is not a teaching class).
Please bring a refreshment to share.

TangleMania club also meets on January 16, February 13, March 20, and April 10.

Monday, January 6, 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Introduction to Zentangle, $43
Explore the fundamentals of a peaceful, meditative drawing approach with black pen on white paper.

We will learn a few tangles as this is a wonderful session for those who believe that they cannot draw! Class fee includes basic drawing kit.

Pre-registration required at please specify as to which date you are registering. Other dates for this class are February 3, March 3, and April 7.
Thursday, January 23, 2014, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
or Sunday, January 26, 1:00 – 3:00 PM  
Tangle Valentine’s Cards, $20
Enjoy making Zentangle®-inspired Valentine’s Day cards with blank cards, markers and metallic pens. Class fee includes necessary supplies like cards, envelopes and inspiration! The only requirement is having completed one introduction to Zentangle class with a CZT.

Saturday, February 15, 10:00 AM – NOON
or Monday, February 17, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Zendalas, $35
Create with Zendalas, which are based on radial designs reminiscent of mandalas. We will tangle on round tiles and explore the possibilities of working in a circular format. The only requirement is having completed one introduction to Zentangle class with a CZT.

Classes meet at SmittenDust Studio in beautiful downtown Dimondale, 257 South Bridge Street (the corner of Bridge and Jefferson Streets—it is the only 1900-era building on this corner).

Classes require payment in advance either by PayPal, see link at left, or a check.  For information, please contact Dusty at

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when I sit back, take a breath…and realize I am one impatient woman! (This, ahem, might not be a surprise to my family or friends).
I hope I’m a thankful one too.  I’m blessed with a nice family (that's my not-so-crafty husband, Tim Makinen) and a group of friends who share the craft-community-vision.  I really couldn’t do this without Robin Miller-Smith, Jane Reiter, Sue Ziel and Shirley K. Bentsen.  Their insight, vision, guidance and support are more important to me than they will ever know. Photo coming soon!

I don’t want to get all misty-eyed and corn ball, but without the crafty community who supports national –caliber artists at the local venue of SmittenDust Studio, we couldn’t do this creative journey either.  You know who you are.  So do I, and I thank you.
Speaking of artists…my everlasting thanks go to my long time friend, Kari McKnight Holbrook.  She has smart and curious mixed into her bag of creative tricks. Kari’s wacky, wonderful and equally talented Aussie BFF, Jen Crossley is fun, kind, giving and … did I mention FUN?!  You can’t help but laugh and learn when you’re with those two.
Sweet, uber-talented, giving and gifted, Kristen Robinson encompasses the sense of community we envision at SmittenDust. What a special week many of us shared.  I still miss this girl!  She has promised to return in 2014 – stay tuned!
We’re adding to the Nice Girls Club!  There are some really awesome national and local artists who are working out their 2014 calendars to come and play at SmittenDust!  Woot!  When they are confirmed, you’ll know all about it!
Anyway, back to impatience (or was it distraction?)  On January 18, 2014 we will have owned our building for one year, 365 days.  In that time, we’ve painted and painted, added chandeliers, cabinets, air conditioning, a water softener, a secret garden with fencing from a turn of the century cemetery, a new rubber roof (ouch!), new toilet, new refrigerator, china dishes, gold tableware, tables and chairs… oh my!

Time and money.  Oh, the things we could do with more of either or both! My super power would be to control time.  More time for fun, less time for boring meetings and traffic jams.

Deep breath.  You know what I realized after working my full time job with Gift of Life Michigan (are you an organ donor?) during the day and SmittenDust Studio evenings and weekends?  I’ve got to work smarter, because I can’t work any harder! 

<Insert impatience here>

In the spirit of working smarter, we have two fabulous workshops in January.  I mean, seriously fab! 

The Vision Board Workshop with Tricia Headley is a transformative event.  Remember New Year’s resolutions?  Pishaw!  Forget those.  My vision board is framed and in my office.  I look at it every day and see if I’m veering off track.  (Me?)
I remember cutting out the phrase “Take Control of Your Sleep” and I couldn’t, for the life of me, say why.  But I cut it out and it wound up near the middle of the vision board.  Ummm, yeah, that became super important as I loaded up my to-do list three or four months down the road.  Sleep did become a priority.
I am really excited about this technique journal!  It's lovely!
The Creativity Collage Journal with Jacqueline Sullivan 
Jaci is someone I’ve wanted to take classes from for years, but it never worked out.  I’m looking forward to this class.  I hear from others she is a very giving and generous teacher.  And honestly? Who doesn’t love to make journals! Plus, she’s a Golden Artist Educator so we’ll learn LOTS of new things!

We’re working on the 2014 calendar now!

  • Look for the monthly Sunday, Craft 911!
  • Lots of Zentangle-y with Jane Reiter, the tanglewrangler
  • We’re deep in to planning a weekend to “Run Away with the Circus” in cold, dreary February!  You know you’d want to if it weren’t for work, kids, family, mortgage – oh, never mind.  It’ll be a weekend full of circus themed crafts and a bunch of surprises!
  • A local artist who loves upcycling and treasure hunts
  • Prayer Flags with Shirley K. Bentsen in March
Classes and events will be posted here.  Poke around often!

Friday, November 1, 2013

December classes!

Sunday, December 8 , 1-4, Craft 911! Fun, free, creativity with friends!  Holiday Potluck and saving lives one glue stick at a time! No rules, no expectations, no cost!

Thursday, December 19, 5:30 – 7:30 Tanglemania join Jane Reiter, $5 for this inspirational session.  Please bring refreshments to share.

SmittenDust Studio is available for holiday luncheons, parties, family events during the year.  For more information, please contact Dusty at

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Frolic with Kari McKnight Holbrook!

I have to admit, I think my first love is paper - and anything that sticks to it.  That probably goes back to when I was a kid, road tripping with my parents.  I always packed my train case ('natch!) with pens, pencils, (snacks, of course), crayons and a book with clean, white pages.  I got busy before we were even out of the driveway!
So when Kari McKnight Holbrook comes to town,  
November 8 - 10, 2013
I can't wait to pack my - slightly more sophisticated - colored pencils, gel pens & sticks, metallic anything and the

Kari is so generous, kind, talented and uber-creative!  We are so lucky to have another nationally-known artist - Kari who teaches at CREATE, Art and Soul, Art Unraveled, Artiscape - at a local venue, SmittenDust Studio (257 S. Bridge St., Dimondale, MI).

Our goal is to offer an exciting, national-caliber, quality art event, yet keep the costs down to local level pricing.  No kit fees!  

Thank you for supporting a local venue so we can keep attracting cool artists!

Here's what Kari is teaching in November:

From Frumpy to Fantasy
Friday, November 8 from 10 - 4:30, $80

Eyes are windows to the soul, and the key to an interesting painting. We will look into what give faces spark and life. 

No previous drawing or painting skills are required to create a painting full of magnetism and energy.  With a bit of magic we’ll create beautiful painterly, charismatic faces.  
3D embellishments adorn our beauties, giving them a sensual allure that captivates and charms our viewers.   

This is a brand new workshop- first time offered anywhere!  

Supplies you will need to bring:

Apron, water container, a few paint brushes, A canvas OR canvas board (At least 8 x 8), gel medium, scissors, Exacto knife and cutting mat.  A few colors of fluid acrylic paint, A small selection of embellishments.  Baby wipes.  A large selection of different faces will be provided, but you may bring your own if you wish- (Toner and at least 2 copies of the image at least 6 inches tall.)  

Power Word Deck
Friday, November 8 from 6 - 9, $45
Feel your handwriting keeps you from art journaling? Don’t like the look of your handwriting?   No more worries! No drawing or calligraphy skills required!  
This stress free class is the perfect for a Friday night intro to creating your own unique and beautiful writing style to incorporate into your art pieces!  You will learn how to make your own tools to ease this process.  

Kari’s step by step demos and visual aids make it all so simple and enjoyable. Once you’ve created the masters, you can copy and resize and seamlessly incorporate into your future projects in a blink of an eye! 

The bonus to this workshop are the sexy tips and tricks that enable you to use your writing on canvases and journals without risking beautiful backgrounds you’ve already made!

Supplies you will need to bring:  scissors, pencil, kneaded eraser, Twin Tip Sharpie

Gelli Printing Joy
Saturday, November 9 from 10 - 4:30, $85
Gelatin printing is quickly becoming one of the keystone building blocks of the entire mixed media movement- jump in now and join the fun!  Kari will walk you through all the steps, unlock all the secrets about how to make your own printing plates, how to use them, and what to do with the wonderful stash of papers it creates!  
Monoprints without a press!!  This is a stress free, joyful class, that will inspire your work for years to come.  True to Kari’s nature, she will share new ways to use your stamps and stencils.   

Kari will be bringing her own line of polymer stamps for all to use and enjoy in this workshop.**A special bonus of this class is we will also explore printing Christmas and holiday cards, tags and wrapping papers**

Supplies you will need to bring:

Apron, baby wipes, a brayer to use in paint, a few colors of acrylic paint, small bottle matte medium (liquidy), scissors

a Gelli plate, please bring it.  
IF YOU DO NOT have a Gelli Plate, PLEASE let us know at the time of registration.  We'll have a gelatin printing plate made for you to use during class.

IF YOU WANT TO BUY a Gelli Plate, you may use the coupon code KARI13 for 15% off at USARTQUEST 
(And USArtQuest is a Michigan-based company, I might add!)
IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A GELLI PLATE IS please email Dusty (your secret is safe with me) at 
 Relic Rings and Things
Saturday, November 9 from 6-9, $37

Unearth the rustic beauty of polymer clay! 
 We will explore mold-making, using found objects, vintage jewelry and recently discovered treasures to enhance our rings/pins/button covers and barrettes. 

No previous sculpting or jewelry making skills needed.  
Angels Among Us
Sunday, November 10 from 10 - 4, $80
Celebrate the holidays with your own happy little angel!

These canvases are sure to become a favorite.
Kari’s tips and tricks make it easy for anyone to create these charismatic creatures - even if they’ve never played with clay before.  
The glazing techniques give the canvases a richness and depth, accentuating the wonderful patterning and personalities.

Supplies you will need to bring: 

All supplies provided, other than an apron and a smile!

NOTE: Email with your class choices.  Once we receive your choices, you'll receive instruction on payment. 

Limited Enrollment.  A non-refundable deposit holds your spot. Here’s the scoop:  We are expecting full enrollment for these workshops, and are taking students on a first-come, first-serve basis.  To reserve your spot in the class, please send the deposit now. 

Please contact Dusty DeHaven for registration.

Need lodging?  Check out this Centennial Farm bed and breakfast - The Legend Inn, located in the countryside of Dimondale.

Request a reservation by calling 517-646-6765 or e-mail