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Wakefield Artisan Fair!

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Nothing could be more perfect on a crisp autumn day in October than heading to an artisan fair. The Americal Civic Center in Wakefield held the fair on Saturday, raising money for the Hallmark Health VN and Hospice, which provides care for many in the greater Boston area.

Among the tables in the Americal Hall, Janine Degusto (and Mom! as her sign said) presented an array of crocheted and knit hats and scarves. Janine’s mother handles the knitting as Janine herself prefers to work with one needle. Although she has a machine, Degusto said she hasn’t used it, preferring needlework on her own or with company when it comes to working with challenging materials like eyelash yarn.

Just the Thing had an adorable setup featuring stuffed bears, bunnies, and other animals — all dipped in soy. The stuffed creatures were not candles, just immersed in soy so that they retain and give off a wonderful scent without having to burn. The soy stuck just so to the fur, creating a butter cream texture for the toys as they sat looking out from their shiny cellophane tents.

Judi Keleman, helming her Westwind Designs table, showed off a host of items ranging from scented sachets to soaps to original photography. Keleman said she buys her soap in bulk from a supplier in Michigan, all made from goat’s milk. The aromatic balsam fir inside the sachets came from Maine. As for taking pictures, Keleman said that she likes to take her camera with her everywhere she goes. With a Fine Arts degree in film from Mass Art, Keleman used to do photo gigs, finding that the work brought her to interesting places she’d normally never see. For her own work though, she likes to find a route in local towns and areas and just go, snapping foliage, lighthouses and other New England staples.

Lison Scalzo, specializing in paper crafts, displayed loads of adorable pieces — cards that held hot cocoa packets, hidden Hershey bars, and gift card holders. Scalzo said that she gives classes for making paper crafts out of her home in Wakefield. Called Saturday Morning Craft Café, all ages can attend and learn how to create their own paper goodies.

At a table juggling both Bags for Bookworms and Lee’s Fabric Creations, Lee R. Dixon literally had her hands full working on a Dammit Doll. With a supply of quilts, cozies for wine bottles and glasses, she is willing to do plenty of custom creations. Her Bags for Bookworms line was rather new — a prototype on display sat on top of a stack of literature, the bag itself made from the hardcover of an old book. Lined with an olive fabric as a nice chromatic match, Lee said she was testing different handle types. The present model had black rectangular handles and closed with a button loop. The greens and the aquas, she found, were the prettiest —Lee also said she’s working on a Pride and Prejudice bag for her daughter.

Kathy Fortini and her mother Jane Danielson showed off their doll clothing tailored for American Girl dolls. Rain slickers, party dresses and holiday cape and muff sets hung on a petite clothes line, bookended by custom, handcrafted beds. Kathy said her grandchildren often pick out pieces they like the best and shop for their dolls. The holiday time brings some pressure to creating outfits, but Kathy said she and her mother find they have a week in between each craft show that they appear at to catch up.

Every vendor at the artisan fair also put an item up for silent auctions that occurred throughout the day. Those proceeds provided additional fundraising for the Hospice. It was a charming day to shop around that helped a great cause.

 

 

Art

Rain and Fire in Sedona

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Ange Alex

A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography. 

What to do, what to do.

Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!

The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.

When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold. 

We were about to become glass blowers! 

Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.

Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”

Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.

Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.

Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.

Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.

They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like  we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor. 

Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing! 

Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.

If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!

How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!

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Family Fun

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Legends!

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Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show – – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and the mysterious visions that have only existed in your imagination and now materialize before your eyes: the Unicorn, Pegasus and a Woolly the Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS!

Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind Pachyderm Painting.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS SM, playing Amway Center January 14-18, 2016. Save $4 off tickets using promo code 4MOM. Live tweet to us while you are there! @RinglingBros #BestGiftEver  @BackstageBeat

 

 

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Family Fun

NEW Children’s Museum of Atlanta Re-opens December 12!

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Families will soon experience more STEAM-style activities and exhibits when visiting the newly renovated Children’s Museum of Atlanta, which re-opens to the public on Saturday, December 12. This iconic downtown attraction, which has been busy renovating since August of this year, now features targeted science, technology, engineering, arts and math education programming woven through almost every aspect of the enhanced space. Whether children build and shoot their own rocket launcher in the new “Gateway to the World” exhibit or design their dream home in the enhanced “Tools for Solutions” exhibit, the increased focus on STEAM learning enables the Museum to further prepare young children to be problem solvers and lifelong learners.

We got a sneak preview this week and I can honestly say it was the most fun my kids have had in a long time! They amount of things there are to do is mind boggling!

One of our favorite areas was Tools for Solutions – This enhanced, multi-layered zone reaches all ages and explores the science of building through four learning environments: the giant ball machine, Built-It Lab, Construction House and City Blocks. Using six simple machines, visitors can move balls through the Museum’s beloved giant ball machine. Children can also learn how to use real tools and materials in the new Build-It Lab, which will feature building workshops and more. This lab will also house a “Maker Space” to empower young children to harness their own ideas to build inventions and artistic creations. The Construction House, designed to showcase what is “behind the walls,” features a solar panel and incorporates activities on how to attach make-believe wires, connect pipes and insulate walls. City Blocks enables children to create skyscrapers and design the city of the future. Through this revitalized exhibit space, children can hone early and more complex math skills, as they learn the importance of processes and sequencing. They also utilize creativity, social emotional and gross and fine motor skills, while discovering that even the most intricate problems can be solved step-by-step with a solid strategy and through the use of tools.

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