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Craft shop opens in Canyon Country

Classes offered to all ages, all skill levels

Posted: July 3, 2008 12:45 a.m.
Updated: September 3, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Cyndi Garcia works in the Santa Clarita Craft Lab on Thursday. She teaches classes for all ages and skill levels.

 
When Cyndi Garcia was 10 years old, she took an embroidery class with her mother, grandmother and great aunt in her hometown of Fontana.

Even though the class met at the city’s senior center and Garcia was surrounded by women who were decades older than her, she developed an appreciation for crafting and the energy it creates among a group of generations.

“I heard them talk about things they never talked about,” she recalled about her family members.
From that experience, Garcia’s passion for making crafts blossomed, leading her to further her crafting education.

Her mother, who worked as a seamstress making wedding dresses, served as a role model and teacher.
“I fell in love with the idea of sewing,” she said.

From playing with clay to drawing and painting, Garcia began exploring all types of crafts and developed what her friends call “crafter’s ADD” because she couldn’t focus on one type of craft.

Two years ago, Garcia said she came up with the idea for the craft lab while talking with a friend over coffee.
But home schooling three young boys got in the way of her dream.

“As a mom, you put dreams on the back burner,” she said.

Not wanting to let go of the idea, she started a blog about her hobby.

The entries would develop into a form of encouragement for her to open the studio.

“I felt like I had put myself out there and had to fulfill it,” she said in between smiles.

Now the Valencia resident has opened the Santa Clarita Craft Lab and hopes her Canyon Country studio will tap into the local crafting community while teaching anyone about the power of a simple, small craft.
With the slogan “Not your mama’s crafts anymore!” Garcia wants to create a community where people can learn how to make all types of crafts.

The lab, which officially opened on Tuesday, will offer a variety of classes, ranging in sewing to drawing classes, as well as a series of workshops.

Garcia also will offer a crafting retreat in Mexico, giving crafters the ultimate paradise: a scenic vacation south of the border while taking part in their favorite hobby.
The classes are designed for all ages with all types of skill levels, and Garcia said the projects taught are inspired by popular crafting magazines.

“I turn it into my own ideas,” she said, while sitting inside her studio where lines of crafts made by her and her handful of instructors hung on the wall and along the shelves.
For instance, girls can take the “Fabric and Spice” class to learn how to make a necklace made from fabric, beads, ribbon and lace.

Along with the traditional styles of crafts, Garcia wants to expose crafters to “altered art” and “mixed media,” which combines tools when making a craft.

The product of mixed media pieces include miniature works of art like the “Fairy Jar,” a glass container that holds a decorated fairy complete with a photo of the crafter’s face atop the delicate body.

The studio, however, is not limited to just classes as Garcia, a member of the crafting organization “Los Angeles Craft Mafia,” plans to offer daily and monthly passes for crafters who want to use the space and its tools.

Garcia sees endless possibilities with crafts.

For her, it’s using her Mexican American heritage to make “Chicano pop art.”
“The influence comes from my culture,” she said.

For others, Garcia hopes her studio will give others direction in where they want to take their crafting.
“I’m here to help them along the way,” she said.

To find out more about The Santa Clarita Craft Lab visit www.santaclaritacraftlab.com.

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