Saturday Crochet: Amigurumi

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Firefly Center for Art & Nature

 

In 2010, we opened The Little Bits Workshop in River Forest, IL and it’s still going strong serving 80+ students every week. LBW is a cozy makerspace where our team of 12 instructors teach all kinds of skills from sewing to building to art.


We also partner with the Forest Preserve of Cook County to provide camps that combine craft and nature adventures. These MakerNature Camps have struck a cord with kids and might be our most popular program. 


I’m an artist and amateur naturalist, so naturally, I’ve wished our Workshop was in the middle of a forest surrounded by birds singing, grazing deer, frolicking squirrels and curious chipmunks. That dream has come 1/2-way true with our FPCC partnership because camps are held in the Thatcher Woods Pavilion completely surrounded by nature. An extension of these camps is our Wednesday MakerNature Workshop during the school year.


In 2021, my family made a difficult decision to move from River Forest to Wheaton to be closer to my mom and for my son who has Down syndrome to attend Wheaton North High School where we discovered a deep commitment to special education.


My long term desire to develop a Center for Art & Nature has propelled me to look at every nook and cranny for a place to start a small division of The Little Bits Workshop in the Wheaton area. If you are interested in this adventure, fill out the form belowand I’ll keep you posted.


Here’s my vision:

  1. Workshops for ages 6-adult that develop a passion for observation and documentation through art

  2. Art: Drawing, Watercolor, Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil, Acrylic, Multi-media, Collage, Printmaking

  3. Hiking in and journaling nature

  4. Bird, flower, insect, tree ID

  5. Fiber arts that reflect nature

  6. Sewing small nature-inspired projects

  7. Bushcraft skills

  8. To teach kids the joy of being still in nature so they can experience the magic!


MakerNature Hammock Camp,

a partnership between the Forest Preserve of Cook County and The Little Bits Workshop. Kids make their own hammock, go kayaking, do archery, hike in the woods, dip in the ponds for critters and just simply enjoy nature all day. It’s what summer camp should be!

Sand Ridge Nature Center Renovation

I had the amazing privilege to illustrate this mural for the newly renovated Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland, IL. Tony Preckwinkle, President of Cook County presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony and took a moment for this photo with me. It’s a magnetic wall and you’ll notice magnetic species slapped on it by little hands.

Our Story

Children, leave nothing in the woods but your footprints and leave it better than you found it. Tread softly around the wildflowers. Learn how to become excellent stewards and restore what others have destroyed. Do this for your children and their children.


You are invited to a

Wildflower Walk

& Watercolor Workshop

Saturday, May 21 at 9am

in Winfield, IL

To RSVP and receive directions, please use the form on this page and put "Wildflower Workshop" in the Thoughts box. We’ll be led through winding paths by property owner Ron who will introduce us to woodland wildflowers which he has been tending to for over 40 years. Then everyone will have a chance to find a quiet spot to paint what they see along the path. Watercolors and a small journal provided. Please RSVP. Spots are limited.




With all the bad news in our region, our country and the world, sometimes, we just need to hit the pause button and turn it all off. Getting out into nature, drawing or painting and just breathing fresh air can be so good for the mind, body and soul. Our mental health has taken a beating in the past few years. Getting out on a path where there’s no bad news is good medicine.


This week I met Ron and Maryanne who own a patch of Paradise in Winfield that they are so generously opening up to us to experience. Please RSVP for directions and details.

 

Trailside Museum of Natural History

This is one of 4 murals done for the lobby of Trailside Museum in River Forest.

Audubon for the Chicago Region

This is one of 12 illustrations done for Audubon’s annual report.