An artsy summer

Posted by Karen - September 2nd, 2017

Mid-spring is when we usually start planning our kids’ summer activities. 2017, however, was shaping up to be a real pickle. For one thing, we were deeply enmeshed in selling our house and buying a new place, plus organizing for moving, and it was hard to think about anything else. For another thing, Miranda (age 12) was having the worst ongoing set of flare-ups she’d had since she was 2 years old, as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) moved its way up and down her left leg for months, and with no end in sight. I’m going to come out right here and admit it – we basically organized NOTHING, for the first time in years.

Miranda, however, was pretty bummed by the thought of 2 months stretching out with just a one-week road trip to look forward to. She was definitely not OK with so much down time. Fortunately, she had what turned out to be a pretty good idea…

Around mid-spring, as chance would have it, Miranda’s Girl Guides group had gone to do a clay mug-creation outing at a local art studio which puts on programs for kids and families. Now as it turned out, Miranda was actually sick the night they went, and she missed it. When she saw her fellow Guides’ creations, however, she was fascinated, and she bugged me to sign up for a project at the same studio, a thing which she and I would do together. At some point in June, I think, we took an afternoon off from house-related stuff and did a workshop where we each created a clay candy bowl shaped like a whale. Miranda was ALL OVER this!

And so, fishing about for things she could do this summer, Miranda decided to look into whether there were any summer programs available at this art studio. Lo and behold, there were – it turned out you could sign up for full or half-day camps of 2 to 5 days in length throughout the whole summer. The idea of half-day camps was really perfect – not long enough to seriously tire out her flaring leg, and also not involving lots of running around outside (which other camps offer, and which she couldn’t do), but certainly enough to give Miranda a fun outing each day. Also, with it being just a half day, and in a small enclosed art studio, we figured it was safe enough for Miranda to do these camps without a specific helping aide. Miranda ended up signing up for about 5 weeks worth of half-day camps at this studio.

I have to say it – this turned out to be really just perfect. Miranda loved every moment of the art camps, and made a lot of cool stuff. She did miss a few days here and there due to FOP-related issues, but for the most part, she was a constant presence at that studio.

Here’s Miranda posing with her most recent creation, which she made at camp just this week, with Halloween in mind…


And now, a selection of some of her animal mugs (no, this is not even all of them)…


Her art work is now adorning her bedroom walls (NOTE – sea turtle in upper right corner was not actually by Miranda, but by a friend of hers, and not in connection with these camps – but everything else was created by Miranda)…


Not only that, but I even got some of her art for the walls in my home office…


Yep, it was one very artsy summer for Miranda. Big thanks to 4 Cats Art Studio, Burnaby (, for making this all possible!

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