Over the past several months I have been reading and soaking in the words of, “A Fearless Heart: how the courage to be compassionate can transform our lives” by Thupten Jinpa. One of the practices in the book is repeating, “Just like me, all others aspire to happiness and desire to avoid suffering.” The human connection… Just like me!
During my very short time here at Repurpose Art Studio I have witnessed compassion at work in the smallest of gestures to the moving of mountains! The practicing of compassion takes on life and breath here. The out-workings of compassion are subtle at times, but if you are still and watch…the joy bursts forth from the faces of our women as an inward smile or a confident turn of their head as they survey the final brushstroke on a notecard!
We have been joyfully preparing for “Spring Obsession” this Saturday, March 11th and our table at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. The ladies have been practicing watercolor techniques and being creative with adding color and texture to the lovely Spring note cards we will be showcasing this month at the market. Our aprons and jewelry will be available as usual. The proceeds from the market will go towards a specific project to purchase 10 basic, heavy-duty Singer sewing machines. We have several job opportunities arranged for our women who will be trained on the machines, so we are anxious for the current work to be accomplished so they can begin a new creative endeavor that will increase their marketable skills!
We would appreciate any donation towards this project. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
We are preparing for a workday this Saturday as well. We will have college students and neighbors here moving furniture, painting the last bit of moulding in our studio, building shelving in our cabinets to organize our supplies and creating a “Gallery” in our gathering space to display artwork.
Then comes the “fun” part…settling into our newly renovated Studio! The dream is becoming reality. We will have a spacious studio with sturdy tables for sewing machines, a cutting table and a lovely, vintage, wooden ironing board! The painting center will have tables, easels and drawing boards with a plethora of supplies to inspire creative play that we all so dearly need, no matter your age! For our handcrafters, we will find a couple comfortable chairs for hunkering down in and keeping the fingers full of threads and yarns.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
A week of discovering creative talents that have been hidden.
A week of discovering courage, giving strength to boldly go…
A week of discovering friendships built on trust and a common sisterhood
The renovation of the studio is almost complete. Now, we begin the deliberate equipping of the beautiful space. We plan on filling it with large, sturdy tables and an abundance of comfortable, practical chairs for sewing, jewelry making, handcrafts and painting. Yes, I did use those two words in the same context to describe chairs! It is possible!
Your prayers are especially appreciated in covering us women in love, courage and strength for the day.
We are grateful for our very handy man Art, who works to keep Repurpose Art Studio moving forward. A sincere thank you to Trinity Presbyterian Church for donating furniture to help make this space inviting and functional. Thank you to the multitude of people who have given of themselves and their wealth, be it financial or material…you provide the opportunity to keep our hearts full and our hands busy here at the studio.
We had the pleasure of having gentlemen from the Ledger visit the Studio on Wednesday. Several of our women had the opportunity to share the stories of their lives and their time here at Repurpose. The photographer snapped photos of watercolors moving on paper, beads strung on string and threads cross-stitched onto cloth. They graciously spent time on their knees picking up spilled beads from a necklace that slipped from Allie’s fingers. They shared in our time together as if they had all day. Hoping to see them again once we are settled in our new space. It was truly a pleasure.
Preparing our cherry blossom tree and watercolor note cards for Spring Obsession at the Downtown Farmers Market on March 11! Our ladies didn’t know how talented they are.
As we continue preparing Repurpose Art Studio for our growing number of women, our friend and fellow worker Letty has created a lovely welcoming entryway for our women and visitors. The painting placed in the entryway hangs In honor of Repurpose Art Studios dreamer and co- founder, Jessica Felix-Jager.
Our ladies set up at the Downtown Farmer’s Market this past Saturday. It was a beautiful, encouraging and successful day! Our handcrafted Valentines Cards were a big hit. Necklaces, earrings and several of our aprons, repurposed from men’s button-down shirts, were purchased. We will be returning March 11 for Spring Obsession with watercolor notecards designed especially for this event. Thank you Joyce, Letty and Ciara for supporting our women and drawing marketers to the tent!!
Thank you to all who came through our tent, admired our handywork and brought home gifts for yourselves or for a loved one! Your purchases make a profound effect on our precious women at Repurpose Art Studio.
The Demolition has begun! Our three small studio spaces have become one expansive, roomy, light-filled, creative space. The brainstorming has begun on the placement of a variety of stations designed specifically to enable each woman the opportunity to learn and grow in skill and creativity. There will be a painting station streaming with natural light and supplies, a sewing station equipped with heavy-duty machines, ironing boards and cutting tables and a sitting area for creating handcrafts. These spaces will make this studio a pleasure to teach and learn in.
Thank you Cameron for all your hard work and creative touches.
Our Repurpose Ladies have been preparing for Lakeland’s Downtown Market this week.
They have been building jewelry displays, from common, repurposed household items, for the handcrafted necklaces and earrings several of our ladies have created specifically for the Downtown Market.
Seeing this is “THE LAST WEEKEND BEFORE VALENTINES DAY” we have been concentrating on creating unique Valentines Day cards to gift to your friends and loved ones! The women really enjoyed this project and put a lot of heart into this precious cards! Look for us at the Lakeland Downtown Market this Saturday, February 11.
We are looking forward to changes to the studio over the next couple weeks. As I write, our plumber is piping water upstairs to the studio for a utility sink! The excitement of having accessible water for projects and being able to wash our equipment and floors without hauling buckets of water up the flight of stairs is beyond words! Thank you Paul!
Next week begins our wall demolition to open up the studio from three smaller spaces into one large working space. Removing the walls will accommodate the growing number of women who are joining us for the workshops, and will allow several projects to be in progress at the same time without the group being separated. We are planning on creating specific stations for sewing, painting and crafting in an open, fellowship friendly atmosphere. We will be meeting downstairs until the studio is completed. I will be posting progression photos, so please join with us in our anticipation of this new space! There will be opportunities for volunteers to help paint and build centers for a fresh creative atmosphere. Thanks in advance for your thoughts, prayers and willingness to help!
It’s been a wonderful whirlwind of celebration over these past two weeks at the Studio. Three of our ladies graduated from the Life Renewal Program at Talbot House. Moving on with increased courage and confidence, with new life skills and new friends!
From the Alumni of Talbot House… “I would like to remind all of you, that as you move forward, you can and will survive whatever comes your way…Because all of you are wiser and stronger from your prior setbacks in life. You have been tested many times, and yet, here you are!” Congratulations Ladies!
We enjoyed a wonderful time of food and fellowship this week. One of our precious women is leaving us and heading north to be near family in Connecticut. She takes with her the hearts of many of the women at Talbot House and all of us here at Repurpose Studio. She will be missed for her strength and wisdom and for the miracles she performs with a little yarn and a crochet hook!! Thank you for all the love you are leaving behind and look forward to creating with you over Skype!
Hello, my name is Connie Lutter and I am the newly positioned Director of Repurpose Art Studio located at 310 Plum Street in Downtown Lakeland. My husband Mark and I have very recently moved back to Lakeland after three years in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m feeling deliberately placed in this space, at this time, to fulfill a passion of opening up meaningful, honest dialog between women to nurture trust and courage. I have a lifelong love of fabric and paint that make this position, not only purposeful, but rewarding!
Repurpose provides a variety of workshops designed to encourage marginalized women from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds; to find and develop skills of sewing, handcrafts, jewelry making and cooking, to equip them for the marketplace. Which in turn will raise the quality of life for them and their families.
Repurpose not only provides opportunities for new skills, it also creates a loving space to build relationships, trust and courage and a safe-haven for healing.