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Washington Voices

Monthly gatherings combine socializing, food and art

Shauna Kennedy-Carr shows class members techniques they can use to create an embellished picture frame.
Shauna Kennedy-Carr shows class members techniques they can use to create an embellished picture frame.

For friends Shauna Kennedy-Carr and Jessica Breeze, there’s nothing more fun than creating delightful home décor out of old objects.

Unless it’s hanging out with other women.

Last fall the two decided to combine their love of crafting with the camaraderie of girls night by hosting monthly do-it-yourself craft classes for women at their shabby chic boutique, Those Girls.

“It’s girls night out with food and drinks,” Kennedy-Carr said. “We come up with a project and show them how to do it and have a good time.”

The class costs from $15 to $20, depending on the craft, and includes dinner, drinks, craft supplies and instruction. Women who bring friends also get in-store credit to spend in the boutique.

From its first night in November, the class was a hit and averages 10 to 20 women.

One Friday evening last month 13 women braved icy roads so they could eat, chat and make magnet embellished photo frames.

Brenda Fletcher, April Burrer and Kristine Fannin came to the class, their first, because it offered an opportunity to connect in an adults-only environment while enjoying an activity that’s difficult to fit in at home.

“It’s nice to come and set aside time,” Fannin said. “As a mom you don’t usually say, ‘Let’s take two hours and do crafts.’ ”

“We all needed a girls night out,” Burrer added.

After eating, the women got to work, their progress punctuated by stories and a lot of laughter as they helped each other search through magazines for the perfect lettering to use on their frames.

The evening’s craft came by request when women at a previous craft night saw the completed project for sale in the store.

“We take old frames that are outdated and repaint and refinish them and give them a new life,” Kennedy-Carr said. As an example for Friday’s class she placed a black frame on the table. Across he bottom the word “Family” was magnified by small glass stones.

“We sell those at the store,” she said. “It’s been a hit item and something the girls wanted to make. It was their choice.”

Kennedy-Carr and Breeze said they get their ideas from a variety of places – magazines, the Internet and even their customers.

“I like taking something everybody else would walk by and make it beautiful,” Breeze said. “It’s transforming ugly into beautiful.”

In addition to the girls night out craft class, Those Girls offer bridal and birthday crafting parties.

“We had 14 kids come for a birthday party. We made sock snowmen that were really cute,” said Kennedy-Carr.

She said that happens at every class, no matter the age of the participants.

“There are all levels of crafters. I try to come up with something that’s easy and fun that we can get done,” she said. “I’ll have something in mind, come up with a project and I do it a certain way, but it’s so funny. Everybody puts their own spin on it. We all design it a little differently.”

The craft class, she said, is also a fun way for women who don’t feel very crafty to experience success making their own décor and handmade gifts. Plus, all the setup and cleanup is provided.

“I really love to be able to give people confidence that they can whip up some bath salts or make their own card. A lot of people think they’re not creative,” Kennedy-Carr said. “I love inspiring people to be creative and have a good time.”

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