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Yaymaker craft classes go from Long Island bars to homes

Yaymaker Long Island is now hosting its painting

Yaymaker Long Island is now hosting its painting and craft classes online, so you can join in from your own home. Credit: Yaymaker/Tammy Tavarone-Bishop

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Wood, cardboard, paper plates, old towels and other things commonly found around the house can be used to create a masterpiece.

Yaymaker Long Island, the painting and crafting events company that usually hosts in-person get-togethers at restaurants and bars, is now hosting them virtually, seven days a week via Zoom, with the project materials substituted with items most people already have in their homes.

Only the supplies for its chunky blanket-making class, Seascape and Plant Nite must be purchased online through the company for shipping and door delivery since they require specific items to do the projects. Other offerings include drawing for children and adults including cartoon and tattoo styles, and cooking classes with recipe ingredients that most people keep stocked in their pantries and refrigerators. 

In one of the new painting sessions, for example, the instructions for how to paint a portrait called, “Get Your Hair Did,” shows participants how to use wood, cardboard, thick paper or poster board as a canvas, a paper plate as a paint palette and an old towel as a wiping brush. 

“Everyone’s stuck at home and it’s a two-hour escape — for the blanket-making, it’s three hours,” says Tammy Tavarone-Bishop, an East Moriches resident who organizes the Yaymaker activities. "Everything’s gloom and doom right now and [the classes are] an escape for their souls; they can do something fun."

She adds, “We’ve gotten so much positive feedback from customers who are begging us not to go back to the restaurants and bars — they like doing the classes in the comfort of their own homes."

Comfort also came into play when the coronavirus hit home for Tavarone-Bishop. Her mother, Debbie Tavarone of Shirley is now recovering from the virus and took one of Tavarone-Bishop’s painting classes to help ease her mind while she was still very sick.

“It was like hell,” Tavarone, 55, says of being struck by the virus. When she took the virtual class via her cellphone as she sat on her lawn on a nice sunny day, she says, “I painted a palm tree and there was water, a beautiful landscape … I felt like I was part of the world again.”

April Keough, 53, of Bohemia, a face painter and henna tattoo artist, says she always wanted to make a blanket and was happy to see that Yaymaker was offering a chunky blanket class to allow her to check one goal off her bucket list.

“I’ve been home and doing painting, but I wanted to learn something new and different,” Keough says. She notes she was sent the yarn for the class and that was all she needed. “Instead of using mini hooks, you’re using your hands to do the knitting basically. It’s pretty easy once they show you how to do it.”

Keough adds that she could have gone online to find out how to make a blanket, but she liked the Yaymaker class because it’s interactive.

“If they’re doing something you can say, ‘I missed that,' ” Keough explains. “It’s a better experience than trying to follow a video — it’s nice having someone out there showing you steps along the way. I think I’ll do some of their other classes, they sound really cool.”

Other classes include Plant Nite for making a small garden, Drawing for Kids and Drawing for Adults in comic book and tattoo styles), and “simple” cooking instruction for dishes made from ingredients found in most pantries and refrigerators.

Tickets may be purchased and scheduling for the virtual classes may be found at About five live videos are done each day, seven days a week.

Paint Nite is $15. The ticket does not include supplies, but they can be purchased at Chunky Blanket class is $75 and includes chunky blanket yarn and shipping. Plant Nite is $40 and includes a choice of a fairy or gnome garden and shipping. Seascapes is $55 and includes a Seascape Art Resin kit containing such items as seashells, rocks and a picture frame, and shipping. The drawing and cooking classes are $15, but participants must bring their own supplies to the class. Additional classes are being planned.

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