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Getting crafty about family time

Elycia Martin runs The Art House, which is offering online classes in response to the COVID-19 issue. [Sean Heeger]

It was five years ago that Elycia Martin decided to add a little more arts and crafts to her life, opening The Art House. Her daughter was just a year old and Martin wanted to open a home child-care business when some things got in the way. Instead, she decided to teach seasonal classes on pre-school art, which then expanded to summer camps and play groups.

Today, her business is still going strong, but the implications of the shutdown brought on by the coronavirus have forced her to change her plans. Now she has come up with a way to keep kids entertained with crafts everyone can do at home.

Martin has created craft kits that aim to inspire families to create together using items they can find at home or in their pantry, the idea being to avoid having to make a trip out to the store just to buy the needed items.

Although she sends out kits to only a few people who have taken part in classes she’s held in the past, Martin posts how-to instructions and videos on her social media accounts, along with a list of items needed for the craft to be completed. This way everyone who may be interested can take part and show off their creative side.

“Having creativity and art everyday is something I just think people should be doing, it’s great for kids and adults … it’s the best thing to do with your family, like how to bond with your family,” said Martin. “I think that art is for everybody. It all looks a little bit different but all have a creative person inside of us.”

She says her big thing is that she does not want art to be expensive and to avoid that she thinks up craft ideas that can be done with items you may have at home and not even consider using for artistic means.

The kits are a new addition to what she offers, but so far they’ve been a big hit for her.

Projects she’s shared so far include things like “erupting volcanoes,” “I spy bottles” and “crazy contraptions.” Next on the list of projects will include doll houses which families will get to build themselves.

Martin plans in the future to run things on a more regular schedule. She also hopes to expand her art space and open the area up to host bigger events like parties.

For more information on the classes she runs, or to learn about the crafts she posts online visit her Facebook page The Art House, or her Instagram account @the.art.house.adventures.

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