Liita Forsyth has always created art with a little bit of this
and that. So it's no surprise her new family art studio is called
Little Bits Workshop. The studio, which recently opened in
River Forest, teaches kids and adults how to turn objects destined
for the Dumpster into functional, attractive items for their home.
Everything from cracker boxes to T-shirts is used.
Forsyth, who has two young children, says the studio is just one
step in her goal to simplify her life and help others learn to do
the same. Before moving to River Forest, she was a magazine art
director and her husband was a Chicago Public School teacher. After
having children, they decided life needed to change.
"The whole dream shifted a bit when my son was born," Forsyth
says. Nathan, 4, has Down syndrome and staying in Chicago meant
separate schools and schedules for their children. So they took a
leap of faith and were hired as house parents/building managers for
an international student center in River Forest. Miika, 7, and
Nathan attend school just a couple of blocks away.
Realizing she needed a place to create outside the student
center, Forsyth, who is an artist, spotted a garden apartment,
zoned for retail, that held promise. The Little Bits Workshop and
her own work studio are tucked into the cozy, below-ground space
located just across from her kids' school.
Forsyth focuses on the classics in her workshop lineups for
kids-offering sewing, knitting and other basic skills. She plans to
start a program for homeschoolers and is working toward developing
a product that people with disabilities can make and sell. She
hosts mom-group retreats where women can create altered books and
journal about their life.
"Taking the time to create is healing," she says.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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