Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A New Way to be Crafty

I'll admit when the concept of Paint Nights (groups of people get together to drink and paint the same picture) were first introduced, I was intrigued.  I went to one and had a blast and discovered I wasn't nearly as terrible at painting as I thought I'd be. However, after attending 2-3 more, I was sort of over it. How many not all that fabulous canvases can you hang in your home?  It turns out, none. I liked the paintings I had done, but I didn't like them enough to hang them in my house. So I've been fairly anti-Paint Night ever since.
But I did enjoy the concept of going out and trying some new form of craftiness. Scrapbooking is fun, but no one in my group of friends does it, so it's a fairly lonely activity. I enjoy it immensely, but I'm not engaging when I'm doing it. That brings me to the new and totally fabulous business that just opened in Anne Arundel County called Mix & Marble. The ladies behind Mix & Marble also enjoyed the Paint Night concept, but saw the same issues I had seen. They were also not a fan of having to possibly paint with many people they didn't know. They felt it was like a wedding scenario (small talk and chatter without much substance) instead of a fun night out with friends.  This led them to the art form known as silk dying.
At Mix & Marble, they have long troughs filled with some substance (it was clear - that's all I got). You're given the choice of a whole rainbow of colors to choose from - 3-6 colors are ideal.  Then you drop the colors in whatever pattern your heart desires into the trough. The dye mixes and swirls into all sorts of shapes and sizes which is way cool, if you're as easily amused as I am. You then can use a paintbrush or 2 types of rakes to swirl the colors even more. Once you're satisfied with the design, the lovely ladies help you to place the scarf into the trough, where it soaks up the gorgeous design you've just created. Like I said, I may be easily amused, but the process was fascinating!
Once it's dry - which takes about 24 hours but you can still take the scarf home with you that day - you have a one of a kind silk scarf to wear. And I don't know about you, but I have a slight obsession with scarves, so Mix & Marble is sort of the ultimate craft night for me. Added to the fun of the craft, they also have a nice bar where you can buy wine, beer or soft drinks. They don't have a permit to sell food - however, they encourage customers to bring snacks and hang out before and after crafting. (Pro tip - The Donut Shack which resides above Mix & Marble sells the best homemade donuts in the county!)
Overall, I just loved Mix & Marble.  The owners were lovely and super helpful and seemed to really enjoy this new business they've created.  The shop itself is cute which of course, made me like it even more.  And the crafting was first rate.  I may not need a bunch of new scarves, but they are expanding into new items to dye such as leggings.  And from the looks on the faces of the girls from the girl scout troop that were also there when we were, leggings are going to be a hot seller for Mix & Marble. With the rise of Lula Rowe, I can only imagine how many little girls, and moms alike are going to enjoy making their own designer leggings to compete with this trend. Also scarves make so much better gifts than canvases that may or may not be awful.  So there's always a reason to visit.  And based on my experience there, I can see that I will be doing that quite a bit!

Mix & Marble
497C Ritchie Highway
Severna Park, MD 21146

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