DIY style

. March 19, 2013.
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Inside Blue House artist can work at their own pace.Want to get in touch with your creative side? Visit Blue House, a recently opened handmade studio across Main Street from The Big House near downtown Ann Arbor. The blue home that has been in owner Siobhan Lyle’s family for years features an array of artistic delights.

Blue House is a “hands-on learning community” welcoming people of all ages and abilities. Lyle says she opened the studio because, “I just love making things and Ann Arbor is such a great community with so many creative people that I wanted to bring together those interested in this independent craft. It’s about the DIY lifestyle and trying to bring that to the forefront so that it’s accessible. It’s fun and hip, and speaks to the area. The reception has been overwhelming and people love it.”

The studio sets itself apart, offering affordable workshops, approachable teachers and special events.

Workshops and events

Workshops range from screen-printing to sewing and knitting. Many local artists who sell items in the Blue House Consignment Studio also teach there. At the workshops, “you are truly going to connect with the artist who is producing those types of goods,” says Lyle. “It’s exciting because you get to be a part of the process and get to have a tangible experience with the artist.”

Blue House also coordinates special events — birthday parties, preschooler workshops and women’s group activities. Lyle says they work with groups to find projects that best match their interest and skill level.

The Crafterlot series is one of several community events Blue House hosts. The outdoor market will be held second Saturdays in June, August and September, from 5 – 8 pm. The event will feature 20+ local artists and a children’s “make-and-take craft area to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.” Kids can create while parents enjoy the local art scene. Live music is in the works too.

MittenMADE is an outdoor fair scheduled July 23-24, to coincide with the Ann Arbor Art Fair. The event will expand on the Crafterlot series and showcase more than 45 handmade artists and goods from all over Michigan. The community is encouraged to participate in these fun, free events.

Lyle’s enthusiasm for Blue House is catching on. “The crafting and creating is a huge part of this, but really what I think most people get from this is the connecting that happens when you actually sit down and make something with other people you might not even know. We want to educate people on handmade crafts and why it’s so important that we don’t let them disappear.” 

Creative inspiration and a full list of workshops, events and space rental fees can be found at Blue House, 1026 S. Main, Ann Arbor, 734-780-1762 or online at www.bluehouseannarbor.com