Arty Girl: a.ware girls Craft Party

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When I was a kid, I couldn't survive a summer here without discovering some kind of new craft to get my hands tangled in. There was the summer of watercolors, origami, Fimo clay, puffy paint...name any craft for kids that got popular in the early 90's and you can bet I was all over it (okay, I admit that origami is particularly nerdy but it kept me quiet, out of trouble and in air conditioning).

These days, crafting has become much more than a measly activity to keep a kid busy. As evidenced by the big turnout for the screening of Faythe Levine's Handmade Nation a few weeks ago.

Local crafting duo, the a.ware girls, know all about this ultimate indoor activity and are starting the summer off right by hosting their very own craft party tomorrow, May 23rd from 1-7 p.m.

Julie Hampton, a teacher with a Master's in creative writing and local photographer, Carol Panaro-Smith started a.ware girls to satisfy their "crafty" side. Panaro-Smith makes gorgeous books, collages and photo cards and Hampton makes pretty much whatever her whim demands - belts, candles, cards, jewelry, etc. When the two get together, they screenprint t-shirts, scarves and adorable onesies from appropriated images found in old books.

On Saturday, they'll be selling their own wares, selling wares from other local artists and hosting all kinds of great activities. You can bring your own shirt, pick a screen print image and make yourself an original top. They've got a plant bar where you can create your own little garden in one of their pots or yours if you bring your own. You can munch on homemade popcorn or slurp on homemade fresh fruit popsicles, get a foot massage from Melissa Everhart or gain some clarity with an intuitive read by Carrie Keller (schedule a half hour appointment by calling 602-262-2092).

Other included crafters/artists are the aforementioned Carrie Keller (Life Aromatherapy: chakra and room sprays, healing oils), Nissa Kubly (jewelry), Sherrie Zeitlin (ceramic pots and planters), Mary-Beth Buesgen (ceramic jewelry), Ashley Smith (succulent plants), Roy Vassen Walle (Fuzzy Balls Apparel: t-shirts, buttons, pillows) and Crystal Bortfeld (jewelry).

From 5-7 p.m., there's a= big surprise. It's some kind of performance but I don't know the exact details. But I hear it involves delicious cake.

Crafts, air conditioning and cake? Man, that's way more than I got when I was a kid...I love being a grown-up sometimes.

a.ware girls summer party on Saturday, May 23rd goes from 1-7 p.m. at 534 W. Coronado Rd in Phoenix. Call 602-262-2092 for details.

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