Well, the spring weather is finally here and I must admit that it was not an easy transition back to the office today. So, instead of continuing to wallow in my post-beautiful-spring-weekend-blues, I want to tell you about a few places that are guaranteed to take me (and hopefully you, too) to a happier place, Monday or not.
There is really nothing like a creative DIY project or craft to boost my spirits and take my mind off life’s daily stresses. There are several crafty venues in the city that I like to frequent, and in case you were worried that this would be a sober endeavor, some of these places even sell booze, or allow you to BYOB!
So grab your friend, kids, or lovah and boost your mood (and these local businesses) with a visit to one of these fine, crafty establishments in the near future!
All Fired Up (Cleveland Park)
I have been going to this place since I lived in the world’s smallest studio apartment in Woodley Park five years ago. God knows I had to get outta there from time to time. It’s a tried-and-true creative mecca where you can paint ceramics of all shapes and sizes. I am not kidding. You can find vases, spoon rests (my most recent project), robots, wine chillers, and more. One year I attempted to make all of my holiday gifts here. Note: painted ceramics are cute, just not practical for shipping…
All Fired Up is BYOB and it gets packed, so you should try to make a reservation if you can. Thursday is ladies night and all ceramic pieces are 15% off! If you’re looking for a delicious bite before, during or after, stop by Vace Italian Deli for a slice of some truly delicious pizza OR if you’re feeling spicy, you can find some Crab in a Bag right down the street!
SCRAP (NE near Brookland and Rhode Island Metros)
I recently learned of this place while looking for an organization to donate my company’s old letterhead to and was SO IMPRESSED by what I found! I think their website sums it up best, “SCRAP DC is a project of SCRAP, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.”
So not only does SCRAP provide art supplies and crafting materials at a discounted price, they also host an array of art classes for adults and children. The educational programs cover everything from knitting to mosaics, and far beyond. They also have open craft nights twice a month, where you can go to enjoy the company of fellow creative-types and work on a project of your choice, with full access to their robust collection of discounted supplies.
To stay up to date with all things SCRAP, you can check out their blog here.
ArtJamz (Dupont Circle)
This place is so much fun and conveniently located right in the heart of the Dupont Circle neighborhood. No pretense, just creative juices flowing in all directions. The self-professed “public art studio and lounge” boasts a bar, and a myriad of conveniently priced packages to paint, lounge, drink and consult their resident “roving” creatives.
At ArtJamz, you can go a la carte, or choose a package that includes 1.5 hours of studio time (all art materials included), 1 canvas and 1 drink. Packages range in price from $32 to $72 depending on size of canvas and number of people. Go to there.
The Torpedo Factory (Alexandria, VA)
This place. Is. Awesome. It is such a unique concept and is located on the beautiful waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. An outing to the Torpedo Factory and brunch at nearby Chart House (amazing bagels and lox!) is my idea of a perfect weekend afternoon! The Torpedo Factory is just that- a place that manufactured torpedoes in the early 1900’s.
Today, The Torpedo Factory Art Center houses more than 165 visual artists who produce artwork in a wide variety of media including painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculpture. Visitors are invited to join artists in their studios and observe their creative processes, with the option to purchase original work.
The Torpedo Factory also hosts their Second Thursday Art Night series, where visitors can browse open studios and galleries while enjoying refreshments and music (for free!) on the second Thursday of each month.