Artist Melanie John's bright, colorful studio and retail shop surrounds visitors with her vibrant watercolor portraits and textured abstract paintings. Paintings, photos, and pottery also line the walls, inviting gazes to linger over aesthetically elegant pieces and check every design for hidden Magic Eye patterns. BYOB art classes help beginners and master palette wielders create their own masterpieces while sipping on toted-along beverages or purchasing tipples from the bar-licensed studio.
At 11,000 square feet, Sky Blue Soccerdome ranks among the biggest indoor soccer facilities in Mississippi. Inside, players learn to master the beautiful game on a state-of-the-art synthetic turf pitch through training, camps, and leagues. Skills come easy under the tutelage of Manchester, England–born founder Tom Cosgrave. Tom combines his honorable-mention All-American collegiate experience and his degree in sports medicine to drop knowledge on students of all abilities. The soccerdome also includes a performance gym for improving fitness, reducing injury risk, and learning that "pumping iron" doesn’t involve lifting vitamin bottles.
At The Clay Canvas's child-friendly contemporary ceramics studio, customers of all crafting levels dabble in DIY activities ranging from pottery painting to hand-building moist-clay pieces. Children's summer camps, workshops, and other classes help youngsters take steps toward skilled painting or overcoming a fear of sitting at a potter's wheel that may be surrounded by friendly ghosts. The Clay Canvas also engages with the local artist community by selling finished pieces at the studio.
For almost 35 years, the friendly staff at Continental Sewing Center has been pairing sewing enthusiasts with high quality accessories and equipment, as well as hosting hands-on classes that yield tote bags, dresses, and quilts. Armed with the shop’s colorful fabrics, threads, and buttons, students of all ages can learn both basic and advanced techniques, such as reading a pattern, applying ruffles to bloomers, hand-embroidering decorations on dresses, and sewing parachutes into jackets for epic 10th story exits.
Inside the brightly-lit confines of Fat Cat Art Cafe, shelves brim with bare-bisque pieces in the form of plates, mugs, and bowls. Visitors wield non-toxic, lead-free glazes and paints, embellishing items with designs such as flowers, abstract squiggles, or a squirrel's handprint before accommodating staff members fire the pieces, readying them for everyday use. Not just a paint-your-own pottery studio, Fat Cat Art Cafe offers specialty sessions such as Clay Day, where participants learn to make their own pottery pieces, and summer camps, where campers delve into daylong or weeklong projects such as creating a mosaic plaque, building flower pots out of clay coils, and making clay jars to store one’s nosehairs.
When she began knitting at age 12, Henrietta “Hank” Davis kindled a lifelong passion; as the owner of Hank of Yarn, the only yarn shop in north Mississippi, Davis now shares her hobby with the local community. Her seminar-size classes, which range from novice to expert techniques, cover topics such as crocheting, knitting, and dyeing. Handicraft lovers can mingle in the shop’s cozy seating area, where knit-alongs and parties sometimes feature surprise extras such as professional massages, eyebrow waxes, or group appearances by the cast of Airwolf. For inspiration, patrons can browse the shop’s comprehensive selection of needles and inspect yarns that range from baby-friendly varieties to luxurious strands of cashmere.