Painting – With a Twist!


I love art.  Which is a relatively new thing, all thanks to Becca… and stepping outside of my boxes and pre-conceived notions about what I’m able to do, and what I’m good at… Art used to be crafts for me.  But now, I’m able to enjoy the creative PROCESS that goes into true art, and another way I’ve really gotten to enjoy that is by stepping outside of my box with my best friend. One day she said, “We should go do that Painting with a Twist thing where you drink wine while you paint.”  Well, of course I could paint if I was drinking wine and laughing with her, right?  And thus my real love affair with painting began.

PWAT night out

That first night, the teacher said we could make it our own … we could use different colors… and there was no right or wrong.  At that moment, something clicked.  And I became a rogue painter.  Now, at this time I’ll pause to say, I’m not one of those rogue painters you might have seen online… When I say I’m rogue, I just mean that my artwork never looks like the teacher’s.  Either I change the color, or the design, or whatever.  I just have to do my own thing.  I have to feel it.  And if I don’t feel it, I go out on a limb.  It’s more fun to live on the limb.  And we’ve had several girls’ nights and painted several really awesome paintings since that first night.  It’s safe to say we are hooked.

Because of getting “hooked,” I became friends with the owner’s daughter, and enjoyed learning about a different aspect of the business.  You see, it’s not just about adults going and drinking wine and painting.  It’s also about getting the whole family involved.  Every Saturday (and lots of other times, too!) they have “all ages” painting.  No alcohol involved – just lots of fun and laughter and some serious young artists!  I loved taking Becca to paint one Saturday morning, and look forward to taking her again sometime soon.  PWAT kidsThe teacher was fabulous with her.  Kat had the snail already drawn on the canvas in pencil, and when Becca went rogue (like mother, like daughter) and finger painted her entire canvas… then freaked out because her snail was gone, Kat happily came over and painted the shape of the snail back onto her canvas for us.  Totally a kid friendly and fun atmosphere, Becca was one of four kids that morning – two elementary aged girls and another preschooler joined us.  I love that they also have family painting evenings (with pizza often involved), and I’m hoping that sometime before too long we can get a babysitter for Gray and Cody and I can take Boo for a fun evening just the three of us.

Another amazing aspect to all that PWAT offers is the ability to do private groups – they do team building events for companies and even do surprise birthday parties!  Because Johannah is my permanent painting buddy, and I knew she had several friends from work that she would love to paint with, I coordinated a surprise party for her 40th birthday.  Katie (my friend who is the owner, Melissa’s, daughter) helped me plan everything with Nik, who would be our teacher.  I was able to take food, flowers, and a balloon over earlier in the day, and Nik had it all out on the table along with a butcher paper “card” that all the guests signed.  Everything went off without a hitch, and she was totally surprised.PWAT surprise

I also loved that in setting up the group, I was able to select the painting based on what I knew Johannah would want.  We set it up as a public event, so while others could have joined (which would have been fine), it truly was a surprise – it looked to Johannah just like any other regular class we would attend.  It ended up that our group didn’t have anyone else join us, and we really thoroughly enjoyed each other, and hanging out with Nik, who truly is a superstar teacher.

In building a friendship with Katie, and spending a LOT of time at the Painting With A Twist Alon Studio, she told me recently that they’d like to gift Cody and me with a date night sometime soon!  We’re excited to select something that would be awesome in our bedroom over our bed – which has always been a blank spot on the wall that seems to need something “his and hers”.  (When she sent me that, she didn’t know I was going to do this blog post, but I did want to disclose that gift they are giving us, lest anyone think anything was going on under the table here.)

I’m simply a huge PWAT fan.  I love that they are encouraging friends to get out and enjoy art.  Not just painting for adults, not just painting for kids, but encouraging families to collaborate and make art TOGETHER.  I love it.  And I am so glad to be a part of what will hopefully sweep our city with a new found love and appreciation for art – and painting in particular.

painting-with-a-twist-logomarkcmykhorizontal-2Are you curious to learn more about PWAT?  Here’s a little bit from my friend Katie, about how they got started:
Painting with a Twist started in Louisiana in 2007.  Melissa Smiley is a born and raised New Orleans girl. When she heard about this fun new “paint & sip” concept, she loved it so much that she bought a franchise before she took her first class!  Melissa was so excited to open San Antonio’s original Painting with a Twist in 2009 in a sweet little village of shops in Artisans’ Alley on Bitters Rd.
Melissa has always loved art, especially painting, and realized that this business was the answer to her dream job of using her creative talents.  In the beginning, she taught most of the classes with her son as her assistant. Business grew and so did the PWAT family! Fast forward to today, we now have a second location and a great team of over a dozen local artists keeping the dream alive! (You can still find Melissa instructing classes too!). Our artists work at both locations and truly know how to deliver a great evening – making sure you leave with not only a painting, but an incredible PWAT experience. Individuality and uniqueness are encouraged – there is no right or wrong in these step-by-step painting classes!
Some of our artists have been with us since we opened our doors and some are new to the studio – you will definitely see their wonderfully different “paint personalities.”  You may even realize that you paint best with instruction delivered by a certain artist so make sure to request your favorite when you sign up for your next class!
Check out our painting choices by viewing our events calendar online and by following us on Facebook (we are known for our random fun freebie/prize posts!)

Contact and location info:
Painting with a Twist – San Antonio (Artisans’ Alley)
555 W. Bitters Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78216
Located in The Alley on Bitters

Painting with a Twist – San Antonio ALON
10003 NW Military HWY #1126
San Antonio, TX 78231
Located in the Alon Town Centre

Have you tried PWAT?  Share your favorite memories in the comments, please!!

Are you new to my blog?  Looking for more “Fun with Art” Friday segments?  Click here for a full listing, and be sure to follow me via Facebook so you don’t miss a thing!

TP Roll Painting


Toilet Paper Roll Painting ideas are all over the internet.  They’re honestly a dime a dozen.  This is NOT a new idea, by any means.  I’m sure every mom out there who has been collecting TP rolls has thought of this one.  But what makes it fun and special is that this was the first time we did it… and the first time that I let Grayson truly paint.  To say he had a blast is an understatement. Honestly, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  Have you tried this with your kids?  It’s SO fun.  You gotta give it a whirl.


tproll becca

Calendar Art… It’s Time!!


If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you already know about the Christmas gift of the century that Becca and I created last year for her Pappy, PawPaw, and Daddy.  I nearly killed myself trying to get it all done in time.  So I decided to blog about it starting back in January, and start working on the art work – and give you ideas so that you could create your own calendars with your kids.  If you didn’t see the original post, it’s here.

Maybe you’ve been working on your amazing artwork all year right along with us, or maybe you’re just now getting started.  The beautiful thing is, it’s still August.  YOU HAVE TIME.  If you haven’t started yet, TODAY is the day!  It’s TIME!!  If you’ve got your artwork ready, and you’re just waiting for the calendar printout I promised, it’s HERE!  Click HERE to download your FREE 2016 printable calendar ready to print out and stick in those calendars.  free calendar 2016

In a couple of weeks I’ll sit down and get to the nitty gritty of actually how I put them together.  Because you’ll want to know the lessons I learned from my mistakes, I’m sure. 🙂

My challenge for myself this year has been that I did a bunch of art with Becca early in the year, and I just flat out haven’t been brave with Grayson really yet.  So in the next few weeks, I’m going to bring out some of our favorite art painting techniques and let Grayson try them!  So for those of you with Baby Bees, you’re about to see this mama get really brave… It’s Toddler Painting Time in the Hinnant House!  My goal is to have enough artwork to make every third month a collage of Grayson’s art.  Next year we’ll start in January with both of them and do every other month in the calendar as work from each child.  This year Becca will be a lot more involved in making the collages, too.  I’m really excited about starting on them – I’ve gotten a few of them started with her over the course of time, but haven’t fully finished any of them.  This is such a fun project, and I’m excited about planning an art time into our “school” day each day – for both kids.

Here are links to some of our favorite “Fun with Art” ideas that we’ll be revisiting in the next few weeks with Grayson:
Painting With Cars
Kitchen Brush Flowers
An Invitation to Scrape

Plus check back here next Friday for a super fun idea for Toddler Bees AND Big Butterflies that uses those millions of toilet paper rolls you throw away every week!!

Sauce Painting for Baby Bees

artRemembering that every child is super different has been hard for me.  I’m sure every mom struggles with it.  I’ve heard myself say “Why aren’t you like your sister?” And then the guilt comes washing in like waves beating up the seashore.  I don’t WANT my Baby Bee to be like his sister.  But certain similarities sure would be nice.  Like if he would get over this need to put EVERYTHING in his mouth!!!!  By this point with my Big Butterfly I was doing arts and crafts and sensory bins and more… Because she didn’t put things in her mouth!!

But I realized (finally) this last week that I need to get over that.  He isn’t his sister.  And I don’t want him to ever be… So, one of the main ways he explores his world is with his mouth.  He’s still majorly teething, and he needs to feel textures with his mouth to help combat his pain.  That’s why he licks touch-and-feel books.  That’s why he gnaws on everything.  Because his mouth isn’t finished doing a lot of really painful work, and he’s very aware of how it feels.
So, all of that is ok because it’s who he is.  However, it does make my life quite difficult.  I want him to be able to do fun things like I do with his sister… And he will in time.  Until then, I had to find a way to let him do things his way- that were safe for him.  Enter food.
I know there is a lot of controversy about using food as a manipulative for anything other than eating, but when you get desperate to provide experiences for your oral child, food is a FABULOUS way to safely allow participation – and exploration!
sauce painting
Sauce Painting is probably the easiest activity I’ve ever had to prep… Don’t buy anything!  Just set up your child’s highchair tray with a variety of sauces you already have, put them in the chair in just a diaper, and be prepared for a bath afterward!  It’s so fun to watch as your child experiments with the different textures, colors, color mixing, and of course, tasting!!
I will add here, however, that for once Gray never put his hands in his mouth!  Had I used paint, I’m sure he would have had it head to toe – including internally… but since I used yummy sauces, he of course decided not to indulge.  He truly keeps me guessing!!
For the painting aspect, I just grabbed a piece of scrap paper (this isn’t going to be the Van Gough you hang on the wall, mom – it’s going in the trash after you take a picture of this fabulous work of finger paint art… so don’t waste good paper on it!!) and let him paint!  He also got “paint” all over the place mat and the table, so a plastic table cloth taped down ahead of time might be worth the prep time if you are really picky about messy activities.
Sauces I used: Tarter Sauce (he LOVED the chunks!), Ketchup, BBQ sauce, Spicy Brown Mustard, and Honey Mustard.  You could use anything you’ve got that is paint consistency.  Mayo, regular Mustard, anything like that would work.  Remember that if you’ve got an oral kid, there ARE ways around it, and you can totally still provide them with art experiences… you might just have to experiment and step outside your “normal” box of crayons, markers, and water colors.

Painted Flower Bouquet


It’s time for another Friday segment of Fun with Art!!  We have been doing a lot of fun things lately, but she’s been on a big dry erase/crayon book/scribble on paper mode, so I haven’t had a ton of art ideas to share with you.  This idea came from several weeks ago when we were painting and she grabbed a silk flower and wanted to paint it… and for some odd reason, I said ok.  What she made turned out beautifully, and you might have seen it if you follow my Facebook page.  Here is the one she did:


It was already yellow, and had a large “diamond” in the middle, which she completely covered in paint.  So anyway, since she enjoyed it, when we were at Dollar Tree one day, I picked up a bouquet of white silk flowers, thinking she could really get creative with them.  This morning we finally pulled out the paints and painted them.  I think they turned out absolutely gorgeous!!painted flower bouquetHere are a few tips/tricks for painting success when it comes to silk flowers:

1. Buy them cheap.  The cheaper the better.

2. Use a good acrylic paint because it’ll go on very easily and not make the petals so wet that they stick together.  (It also dries relatively quickly.)

3. Carefully pull the flowers off of the stem to paint them.

4. Let them dry individually on a paper plate before putting them back on the stem.

5. Be creative!!  Remember that you don’t have to use a million colors to make some beautiful flowers.

6. Paint the stems and leaves too, if you want!  Why not?

7. HAVE FUN!!!

8. Please SHARE your painted flower bouquets on my Facebook page!  I’d love to see the ones that you create!

These would be a fabulous birthday/Mother’s Day/teacher appreciation gift that can be customized to the recipient’s favorite colors, could be tied with a ribbon and/or placed into a small vase!