Joan Martin Fee has been a craft enthusiast her whole life, and she credits her passion to her upbringing.
"I lived in the middle of absolutely nowhere; we were at least 10 miles from even a teeny town. So we were always trying to find something to do," Fee said. "We found things around the family farm to make like floral arrangements and all kinds of stuff."
She crafted as a hobby until 1990 when she turned on her TV and came upon a nationally televised craft show called Aleene's Creative Living where viewers were encouraged to submit their ideas for a segment on the show. She submitted her idea—a doll crafted from shrink-plastic—and that was the start of Fee's creative reawakening.
- Photo By Karen Garcia
- RUMMAGING FOR GOLD Joan Martin Fee has a plethora of crafting supplies that assist her attendees in the creative process.
Fee now owns and operates Creative Me Time, which offers workshops, kits, private parties, and women's retreats. Attendees get expert instruction on crafting projects.
The project and price vary with the season, but she offers workshops on making succulent wreaths, a vertical succulent garden, resin necklaces, stenciled resin wall art, mosaic wine bottles, mosaic frames, stepping stones, and trivets.
Fee is already developing new classes for next year that incorporate metal-hammered wire wrap and polymer clay.
The classes are perfect for individuals, friends, or family members who want to work on crafting a project together. The workshops are offered throughout the Central Coast—including through Paso Robles Recreation Services, the Morro Bay Art Center, Cuesta College, and at private venues in Lompoc.
Fee said she's always wanted to make people feel special, and through these workshops she can do that.
"I give them encouragement. I feel as though I'm the cheerleader coming along and saying 'great job' or 'good choice of colors,'" she said.
I was invited to the Mosaics Choose Your Project Day workshop on Nov. 23 at the Morro Bay Art Center. Participants chose their project before the event—a mosaic wonky Christmas trees, mosaic wine bottles, or stepping-stones.
White paper and supplies covered three tables in the center's activity room.
On two separate tables, Fee had multiple bins with an array of colored tiles, china plate pieces, baubles, buttons, and beads so attendees could customize their projects.
To get in the holiday mood, I chose to create my version of the wonky Christmas tree. My supplies included wood, paint, glue for the decoration of the tree, and grout to hold everything together.
Fee gave instructions and then we started. She walked around the tables and gave compliments, tips, and help, and she answered questions that anyone had. The atmosphere was perfect for first-timers, as some attendees had been to several workshops because everyone was giving one another compliments on their work.
My favorite part had to be when the room fell silent, as everyone was hard at work on their pieces with only the sound of positivity to break the stillness. ∆
New Times Staff Writer Karen Garcia is happily displaying her wonky Christmas tree at firstname.lastname@example.org.