Blackbird's owners, Robb and Melody Smith, provide a creative haven for artists and musicians of all ages and abilities in the 4,000-square-foot Blackbird Music & Art Center, which boasts seven music studios, two classrooms, and an art gallery showcasing the work of their students. In groups of 5–24, students can learn to accurately portray the essence of a loved one's alter ego in the cartooning course, where an instructor teaches students the basics of characters, cartoons, and comic strips. After School Art Club, appropriate for ages 12 and up, challenges brush wielders to learn drawing skills and various art techniques, and The Art of Sketching class demonstrates the different drawing and shading techniques needed to decorate paper and metallic public-bathroom stalls. Though some supplies are provided, students should check with their instructor about the necessary equipment to bring.
Shelly Ivy's parents probably figured they were indulging a passing phase when they bought their 8-year-old daughter a blue camera with a flash bulb. As it turns out, that gift steered Shelly toward a career in photography that fully manifested when she opened Ivy Studios Photography with her husband Brandon. The duo specializes in wedding and portrait photography, and their work regularly graces Wedding Wire's Bride's Choice awards. Sharing a fondness for rock 'n' roll, they bring an enthusiastic energy to their clients' photo shoots, which commemorate occasions ranging from happy nuptials and momentous graduations to the fire walk that closes out every family reunion. When they're not focusing lenses on brides or setting up surveillance on ring bearers, the pair stages introductory and advanced photography classes that help students fluently maneuver around their digital cameras.
Classes are taught by Jennifer Ramieri, a preschool teacher, licensed mental health counselor, and certified Master Signing Time Instructor. Classes are held at various locations in the Gilbert, AZ, area (check the class schedule for times and location information).
At 18 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, Delia's team inspects, maintains, and cleans all manner of clothing and fabric, enhancing this service with free pickup and delivery. Founded in 1969, they're careful to ensure that each item gets the right kind of treatment. Sturdy material such as wool and cotton undergoes the standard cleaning. More delicate fabrics and garments with beads or sequins—cowboy outfits, for example—go through a gentler method that prevents any damage. To keep customers in the know, they've documented their means of fabric care in explicit detail online. Delia's crew also works to sew buttons back on, replace zippers, and make alterations.
Dr. Connie Anderson’s love of animals shines through in every facet of her life. Not only has she studied veterinary medicine at Oregon State University and Washington State University, but she and her family live with a menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, tortoises, goats, and Holly, a pot-belly pig.
At Dr. Anderson’s practice, Animal House Veterinary Clinic, she and her team pair their love of animals with the latest technology. Their microchip implants, for example, help identify pets if they are lost or don Groucho glasses, and digital x-rays screen for unseen injuries. The in-house lab and pharmacy ensure quick turnaround on prescriptions, and an array of lower-tech services—such as grooming, physicals, and vaccines—round out the health care treatments.
The zombie-themed Queen Creek Running Dead 5K has a greater purpose than scaring participants into running from the undead hordes hungry for brains. The race—held the weekend before Halloween—benefits local schools by funneling the proceeds to the Queen Creek Schools Education Foundation for scholarships and teacher grants.