According to the Dallas Morning News, sewing and handwork gave Laura Kay Houser's life "balance"—guiding the stay-at-home mother through life's daily challenges as well as more trying ones, namely her son's illness. In 2006, Houser and two partners turned that restorative hobby into a business venture. Houser now spends most of her days behind the counter, eyes figuratively glued on her latest project.
Inside the colorful shop, shelves overflow with fabrics by brands such as Andover, Benartex, and Marcus Brothers, as well as with books, kits, and experimental needlework patterns inspired by the paintings of Jackson Pollock. Experienced teachers pop in to lead a variety of classes, ranging from sewing basics to workshops with renowned authors and designers. As the culture of quilting has always involved gifting quilts to those in need, the store publicizes volunteer opportunities involving quilting and other crafts.
Tell us about your business.
We have an art studio where we hold open BYOB painting parties every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. We also book private parties for birthdays, corporate team building, and other events. We provide all supplies and no previous experience is needed.
What kind of training/expertise do you have?
_ We are three owners who are also veteran Art teachers in the McKinney Independent School District. We are also professional artists. Frank Guerra is a mixed-media painter concentrating on portraiture. Leslie Booth is a prolific painter and is gifted with design. [I am] a ceramicist focusing on organic form._
What's the interior decor or vibe of your business like?
Set in downtown McKinney, our upstairs loft is over 100 years old. With exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows and original hardwood floors, the atmosphere is ideal for creative inspiration. Tables are draped with paint-spattered canvas drop cloths, and the walls are adorned with a myriad of paintings which guests may choose to recreate.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We hold a strong philosophy that all people can paint. With the right atmosphere and direction, we aspire to uncover the artist in everyone.
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At Sip-n-Doodle, colors swirl, spread, and mix over canvases while lively conversations crackle. Artists walk students through step-by-step instructions, helping them fashion their own interpretation onto a painter?s canvas. Participants are encouraged to bring snacks and a beverage of their choice, the better to sip as they daringly work outside the lines. The studio provides all the necessary painting supplies, cups, and bottle openers, as well as blow dryers should works not be completely dry by the end of the night.
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