Hosting “Paint Parties” with a variety of mediums
By Aimee Robinette
The Bolivar Bullet
Bayou Academy teacher Casey Andrews has always had a penchant for creating artwork, but it wasn’t until the introduction of Covid-19 and the subsequent quarantine period that she discovered how much fun doing your favorite thing is with your favorite people.
“They say that who you surround yourself with brings out your best features, and I would definitely say that was true. During the shutdown, my kids and I spent most of our time with Callie Towles and Candice Fioranelli,” said Andrews. “The kids swam and played outside, and the three of us dabbled in arts and crafts. During that quarantine time, we just talked about how important and special experiences were. We are all three super sentimental, ha! so experiences mean a lot to all of us. One of our talks by the pool or around Callie’s island is where the party ideas started.
Andrews said during that time Fioranelli held an “art camp” for kids and it was a huge success.
“After that, we knew that we needed to do something along the same lines for adults,” she explained. “All three of us have a slight obsession for decorating for every holiday, so our first party was for a ‘multi-seasonal’ door hanger. We offered the door hanger and an option of six attachments to put on the door hanger. We had a great response to this party. We ended up having two of the parties for the door hangers. This one was a little more challenging because it’s hard to make sure everyone feels confident in what they are doing. It can be totally overwhelming to someone to not only do a door hanger, but 6 different attachments too. Most of the ladies at these parties were our age. These parties were around $120 and it included the wooden door hanger and the wooden attachment cutouts.”
Andrews said the next parties they held were alcohol ink parties.
“These were a blast. The ink was something that the three of us had played around with, and knew that anyone would be able to do it and feel good about what they created,” she said. “Mixing ink with alcohol from droppers onto paper shows an ‘instant-gratification’ kind of event. Seeing everyone get excited about what the ink does and how it reacts is absolutely the best. We had so much fun with these because no one got too critical of themselves because you can easily move the ink around, change the flow of the colors, and add more color. I loved seeing how proud everyone was of their art.”
The ink parties were, in Andrews opinion, the best ‘girl’s nights.’
“We even did one for a group of teacher friends from the same school. It was so fun to see them all interacting together. These parties were definitely easier to prepare for. We didn’t have to prep the door hangers and attachments,” she explained. “We just had to provide the paper, ink, alcohol, and a few other supplies. At a few of the parties, we supplied frames for one of their pieces of art. The alcohol ink parties cost from $45-$60 depending on how many pieces are created, if frames are included, and if we provided any food.”
The ladies didn’t stop there.
“We did a mother/daughter ink party with a sorority at Delta State University earlier this year, and it was a blast,” said Andrews. “Again, seeing how proud everyone was of something they created was the best feeling. I have the ‘teacher voice’ so I usually do the beginning instructions, and then the three of us just mingle with everyone, encouraging and giving little tips. I love this too because it’s awesome to see so many different ages doing it. From our grandmothers to college sorority girls, it’s amazing to see everyone get out of their comfort zone and get creative.”
While being able to create art is the focus of these events, Andrews is quick to point out that doing those parties has been the best experience with Towles and Fioranelli. “It’s been so fun to do something all three of us love: food, art, and friends,” she said. “We are planning some senior parties that we are all excited about. We thought it was an awesome idea to have graduating girls create a piece of art with their best friends that they would be able to take to college with them. We even have a ‘housewarming party coming up soon,” she added. “This one will be a “first party at the new house” get together, so I think that it’s an awesome experience to have with your closest friends, time creating something together, and just laughing with each other.”