April 2022 Create Date – Bicycle Spin Art Columbus

Last Sunday, we finally had a chance to do our Create Date for April at Bicycle Spin Art Columbus. The Columbus location opened April 9, 2022, so they don’t have a sign outside yet. You have to enter through Columbus Axe Throwing which was a little bit confusing. I went in just to ask where we needed to go, and that’s when we were directed down the stairs by the bar – after getting a couple drinks, of course.

Upon arrival, we were asked to cover up in coveralls and boots which they provided. We also had to sign waivers and create our name tags. There was a list of artists, a list of bike manufacturers, and then you added the name your kindergarten teacher called you. Keith and I were just called our names, so our tags aren’t the most creative ever…

Our Bicycle Spin Art host, Brooklyn, gave us a run down of how the process works, and then we were set free to experiment. Since I am, by nature, the more chaotic and experimental creator, I went first. I decided to mask the center with letter stickers to spell CREATE, and then I did just that. It was really fun to experiment with how fast or slow to pedal, how to pour the paint, and which direction to spin.

Keith went with a lot more negative space in his painting, and he was a lot better at directing me on the bike. He also had the advantage of all of the experimenting I did, so I think he was able to be a little more precise with his choices. Either way, I think our paintings are pretty much polar opposites. LOL

We really enjoyed this experience! We have even talked about going back as a family to make more. We are planning to add our art to the front room of our house, but it is not a project we are taking on right now. Here is what our final products look like – I love them so much! 🙂

Have you ever done any spin art? Would you love to try it? Let us know in the comments. 🙂

March 2022 Create Date – Glass Axis Sushi Date Night

We recently had the opportunity to take the Sushi Date Night class at Glass Axis. We had been to Glass Axis in 2019 to make Glass Sculpted Shamrocks, but this class is a totally different way to work with glass – glass fusing. Basically, we got to make a picture on glass with glass and then it was all melted together. The evening started with sushi and drinks, but I did not take any photos of that part. We were also given instructions on how to use several glass cutting tools and what types of glass we had at our disposal. Alex was a really helpful teacher and we enjoyed learning from her. After a talking through a few ideas for our design, we settled on a sun and rainbow motif.

Keith worked on the rainbow for the main sushi plate while I worked on the dip bowl. I think that Keith’s idea to make the rainbow a little fractured was brilliant, and I enjoyed doing just a little mosaic work for the sun.

We were told that we needed to wait 2 weeks to pick up our pieces because of the kiln schedule and COVID, so it was really exciting when I got to pick up this week. We love how they turned out, but we definitely have ideas for how we would do things differently if we were to do it again sometime.

Bringing home our pieces inspired an impromptu family sushi snack time, and I am totally here for it. Look how gorgeous this spread is (sushi is from Kroger – I can make it, but chose to buy it this time).

Family sushi snack time!

Incidentally, we will be heading to our favorite local sushi restaurant, Mr. Sushi, this weekend to celebrate our youngest daughter turning 17. Time can slow down a little bit… Do you have a favorite sushi restaurant? Let us know in the comments!

February 2022 Create Date – Columbus Cookie Academy

When everything shut down in March 2020 and Keith was suddenly home for lunch, we started watching television together while we ate everyday. We started with rewatching Community, we’ve watched every season of Taskmaster we can find, we went through as much of the Goldbergs as we could stand, enjoyed Schitt’s Creek, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. Over the holidays this year, we went through all 5 seasons of the Christmas Cookie Challenge. We loved seeing the techniques the contestants used, and Keith mentioned that he would love to take a cookie decorating class. You know that I was all over that!

After searching a bit on Facebook, I started emailing back and forth with Molly from Columbus Cookie Academy. Keith and I seem to have a lot of meetings these days, but eventually we were able to find a date that worked for us to go try our hand at some icing techniques. That date then had to be pushed back due to the ice and snow storm the beginning of this month, but we were finally able to make up that class this week. We made the drive up to Galena very excited to decorate some cookies.

Molly was so personable and easy to talk to. She had an amazing way of explaining things so we could understand, and she was very sweet to answer any questions we asked. The first thing she did was demonstrate making the royal icing that we would use. She included that recipe and her cookie recipe in the goodie bag we got to take home after the class, and she made sure to walk us through it step by step so that we can replicate it at home. The next thing she helped us with was getting the icing to the right consistency and colors to decorate our cookies.

Next it was time to learn to flood the top of the cookie with icing. We then learned some wet on wet techniques. She seemed to think that Keith and I were naturals – I did volunteer that I have taken cake decorating before, so I wasn’t exactly a beginner. But Keith was definitely excellent at this from the start. I am so proud of him!

In between steps, the cookies went in the dehydrator so the icing could harden a bit. It was fun to decide how to divide each cookie for decorating and what techniques to use.

In the end, we both decorated 5 cookies. Molly also gave us some quadruple chocolate cookies she had made – mine had sea salt on top and was divine. Yum! We were thrilled with the box of cookies we got to take home – and so were the kids. 🙂

Our finished cookies – can you guess who did what? There are clues in the photos above. 🙂

We both left this experience feeling really positive – Keith is already planning to make cookies for the Spring musical cast party in May. I think we should choose a slightly smaller project for our first one, but I like his enthusiasm. We definitely recommend Columbus Cookie Academy if you have any desire to learn to decorate cookies!

Have you ever done any cookie decorating? What is your favorite royal icing technique? We’d love to hear in the comments.

January 2022 Create Date – Pleasures of the Cup

I am so excited to be writing about our first Create Date for 2022! I have missed this so much – although I will admit that we have done some creating and adventuring that didn’t appear here in the blog. I am really just thrilled that I have adventure and create dates on the books through March! So many things to look forward to!

For this particular Create Date, we did a little mixology with the Ohio History Connection in their virtual event called Ohio On The Rocks – Pleasures of the Cup. The event featured 3 segments where we mixed new cocktails and 4 segments where we learned some facts about Ohio during the Ice Age. Was it a little bit cheesy at points? Yes. Was it still super fun? Absolutely! We have actual done one other virtual event like this called Once Upon a Cocktail (it was fairy tale themed), and I have enjoyed both. We got to buy and mix new drinks and we definitely enjoyed making some cocktails from our last class over the holidays. Also, both times, we have done this “with” a friend, so we spent the time sending messages and photos back and forth. That was definitely wonderful and I would recommend attending the event with friends for that added fun.

I am going to leave you with some fun photos of our set up and drinks – we made Sex on a Glacier, The Purple Mammoth, and Damn the Weather. I think Damn the Weather was our favorite, although we enjoyed The Purple Mammoth a lot as well.

Have you ever taken a mixology class? Do you have a favorite mixed drink that you would recommend we learn to make? Have you ever attended a Pleasures of the Cup event? Let me know in the comments.

February Create Date 2020

This month, our family is directly involved in 4 shows and our youngest is also auditioning for another tomorrow. To say that we are busy is a bit of an understatement… There were 4 fundamental truths I knew about this month’s create date:

1. It would most likely need to be at home due to our extremely limited free time together.

2. We needed to throw our oldest an 18th birthday party.

3. Her birthday this year is the day before Mardi Gras.

4. Making a King Cake is on my list of 44 things to do while I am 44.

So, we made a simple king cake. Yes, it uses crescent rolls. Yes, I can make homemade crescent rolls, but please refer to the reference to extremely limited free time mentioned in number 1 above. That was our only short cut, and I don’t even feel a little bit guilty.

Here are a few photos of the process:

And here is the cake in action:

The general consensus is that the cake was amazing – probably not as good as you can get in Louisiana, but definitely better than I have found in Ohio. The recipe that we used can be found here: https://pin.it/JtTqD5G (We did not use pecans, but if you like nuts in baked goods, please have at it.)

What are you doing to celebrate Mardi Gras? We’d love to hear your traditions! 💛💚💜

January 2020 Create Date

When I saw that a new bar with a project menu was opening in Franklinton, I knew we had to go. In an amazing twist of events, their opening night ended up being perfect for our schedule. We previewed their drinks and their projects on their website and arrived ready to enjoy a couple of hours of creating.

When we arrived, we chose a table, ordered our drinks (a drink called The Iron Mallet – their take on an old fashioned), and then headed over to the project wall to choose what to make. There are so many options that we had a difficult time choosing, but their menu gives a difficulty level and time estimation for each project, so that was really helpful. In the end, I chose to make a cup koozie for my reusable Starbucks cups, and Keith chose to make cement planters that we will use to hold forks and spoons for Madeline’s graduation this May.

Keith’s project arrived at our table in first – because it was opening night for them, they had a few little bumps including having to print the directions for my project because they couldn’t find them. None of the bumps were severe or really impacted our fun, so it was totally fine. I am sure they will get everything ironed out really quickly. Keith had to mix and pour the concrete into the silicone molds and then he had some time to just hang out and enjoy while it set. After that, he added tiny stripes of Madeline’s high school colors to the rims and the planters were finished. I think they are going to be perfect for the party and beyond!

My project came out and had a lot more steps, but no real downtime. I had to cut the leather to shape, stamp the letters, stain it, punch holes, paint the letters, lace the sides, and put waterproofing on it. None of the steps took a long time, though, so it was nice to have something to do most of the time. I love how it turned out so much – I will be using it this afternoon, as a matter of fact.

In the end, we spent about 1.5 hours on our projects and we are super pleased with how everything turned out. Here are some finished photos:

Would we recommend Makers Social to others – absolutely! Please be aware that their signature drinks are $10 each, but they do have other beverages in a cooler that are less expensive. The table next to us was a couple working on one project together, so I don’t think they care how many projects each table works on. The projects started at about $28 and went up to about $45. Ours were both $35 which seemed fair for all of the materials they had for us to use. They do have free popcorn, and I believe they let you bring in or order in food. So, I think it can be an affordable date night for couples or larger groups. We will definitely be back!

December Create Date

For our final Create Date of the year, Keith and I went to The Smithery in Grandview Heights to do some metal stamping. There were many different designs we could use and metal pieces we could stamp on, but since it is Christmas we decided to make ornaments. After a brief but thorough explanation of the metal stamping process, we were let loose with a wide selection of alphabet and design stamps.

I chose to make a “Create” ornament with a little “2019” tag – of course! Everything went pretty well until I was stamping the holly on the small tag – I am still really pleased with my finished project, though. 🙂

Keith chose to do a Christmas tree shaped ornament, and he chose to do a “Merry Christmas” garland. I really think it turned out nice, but he is less enthusiastic about it. My poor husband is ready to be done with classes that “basically remind you of how hard it is to make things so you appreciate when people are good at it.” We will have to rethink our create dates for next year, but bless this man for standing with me for an entire year of this. He must love me. 🙂

I really love how the ornaments look on the tree, and I am proud that we have tried so many new things this year. I think Keith would enjoy a class where we learned how to do something over the course of several classes as opposed to this super condensed introductory classes. Do you have any suggestions for crafty classes we could try next year? Let us know in the comments!

November Create Date

This month, Keith and I got to go to Idea Foundry for their Ornament Turning Date Night. We did not use the lathes at the Valentine Date Night we attended at Idea Foundry in February, so this was a totally new creative experience for us. I feel like we need to try new experiences each month to finish out this year and meet the Create Date parameters. 🙂 We arrived for our class about 10 minutes early, and I really loved the “Grow” sign in the lobby. We got to fill sign in, make name tags, pick out the block for our collaborative ornament, and then we waited for the first demonstration and starting instructions.

It was decided that I would make the first ornament, so here are some action shots of my ornament from start to finish.

Keith was second to make his ornament. Here are his action shots.

We then got to collaborate on a more intricate ornament. We each worked on a half and got to use a couple of new tools. I think it turned out really pretty!

Keith and I both really enjoyed the process of wood-turning these ornaments, although we did both have moments of frustration as we got used to using the tools. They are definitely beginner level work, but I think they show great potential. With practice, I think we could both really find the process meditative and relaxing. I look forward to putting them on the tree and telling everyone that visits that we made them! What a fun story!

Do you have ornaments with a great origin story? Tell us about your favorites in the comments!

October Create Date(s)

Next May, we will be hosting a high school graduation party. So, in August, we started thinking about what we wanted to accomplish in and around the house before then. One of the big things we needed to address was our deck. The wood was in rough shape when we moved in, and it has not improved no matter how we washed and tried to treat it. So, the flooring, rails, fence pieces, and balusters needed replacing. Knowing that we will (depending on the weather) want to use the deck for extra space during the party, we knew it was time. So, we ordered the wood and Keith got to work tearing out the old flooring boards – we really only had one set of tools for that task, so I just tried to do the indoor chores while he worked outside.

After the old floorboards were out, it was time to get to work! Because of the way the deck is constructed, the boards had to be cut to the right lengths (and sometimes angles) to sink down into the frame. We knew we would need a circular saw for those cuts, and thankfully we were able to borrow circular saws from both of our fathers. We also needed to cut off some nails that we couldn’t remove, so we borrowed a reciprocating saw for that. Lastly, we knew we needed to cut out the boards to fit around posts, so we bought a jigsaw. My Dad also contributed a lovely drill with 2 batteries and two collapsible saw horses. Keith’s Dad brought us a t-square and some really nice gloves that Keith used the whole time. He also came down to help us with the first day of construction. (That was technically September, but it was the only day in September…)

After that, we checked the weather and schedules in October and Keith took 1-2 days off each week to work on the deck. We always got lunch together and worked on the deck as long as we could before we had to start running our kids places in the evenings. Some days we had more hours than others, but we always made steady progress. 🙂

Our next task was to finish ripping up the railings and the privacy fence. We also had to rent a small truck to get the new fence slats to put up – we hadn’t planned to replace them, but they fell apart when Keith took out the ones that were over the floorboards, so we had no choice. We are really happy with how the cedar looks – we think the deck turned out beautifully!

I hope that we will be able to retain the two tone look when we stain and weatherproof it next year – I really think it looks sharp! We love it even more when it is wet – so pretty!

So, while this wasn’t our typical Create Date, I think it more than qualifies as trying something new and creating something that is beautiful! Can’t wait for our next project!

September Create Date

A few weeks ago Keith and I got the chance to take our first class at Columbus Garden School. They are located on Cooke Road near I-71 and they offer all kinds of gardening, crafting, and DIY classes. The class we were able to attend was a Garden Leaves class where we made cement leaves to put in our landscaping.

The process was actually pretty straight-forward and a lot of fun! We had to bring any large leaves we had (I had rhubarb) and dishwashing gloves. We started by laying our leaf on a mound of sand covered by plastic. This will allow the leaves to hold water if we wish for them to be bird baths/insect watering containers.

Our next task was to mix a 2:1 ratio of play sand to Portland concrete. We then added water until it reached the proper consistency. Then it was time to carefully cover our leaves with about 1/2″ of the concrete mixture.

At that point, we had to clean up our supplies and leave them to dry for a couple of days. We also carved our initials in the back. Two days later, I went back to retrieve our finished pieces. I had to tear out the leaves to reveal our awesome concrete garden accessories! How cool do they look?!?

I couldn’t wait to get home and get them in our landscaping! They are super fun, and do hold some water when it rains. I think a cat (Jiji!!) might have laid in mine, so now I get to try to patch it. But, I have photos of how cool it was before it broke…

Overall, we really enjoyed this class and would 100% recommend it to anyone. We will be back at Columbus Garden School as soon as our schedule allows. Great experience!