28 December 2011

Scenes From a Nashville Christmas, Part 5.

Homemade Holidays!

I was proud of my shopping this year. None of it involved the mall, and about 97% of it was handmade.

This year's Christmas involved me giving only hand-fashioned items or books as gifts. My sister received a cuff bracelet made out of a license plate and a penny on a chain stamped with PLAY, both from Art and Invention. My mother received stationary and a gift card to buy the latest James Patterson book. I made each of my nephews a cape with the first letter of their name on the back (playfully transformed into a superhero emblem). My dad and Dede received a beautiful book of photographs and stories by my friend John Guider. And, my brother-in-law Nic received a journal to encourage him to continue writing.

My sister commissioned me to make a small painting for her grandmother-in-law, a pelican (middle image). And, my friend Milo received a string of bunting emblazoned with his name (top image).

Handmade Christmas: this is one tradition I'd like to keep going!

Live Colorfully!

Scenes From a Nashville Christmas, Part 4.

Museum And Menagerie: a Benefit For Safe Haven . . .

I have been asked to help out with an exciting fundraiser and gala event in support of Safe Haven, a nonprofit organization serving Nashville’s homeless families.

Safe Haven is the only shelter-to-housing program of its kind in Middle Tennessee that accepts the entire homeless family. Safe Haven keeps the family together and provides comprehensive services that empower families to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. Safe Haven has an emergency shelter program and offers a Transitional Housing Program and Rapid Rehousing Program.

Safe Haven’s comprehensive approach is one of service, compassion, trauma-informed care, and evidenced-based practices.

Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live entertainment, has partnered with local photographer Allen Clark to host Museum & Menagerie: A Circus Celebration from Past to Present benefiting Safe Haven on January 12, 2012.

Clark was granted access behind the scenes of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® circus to create an exhibit featuring animals and performers that capture the fundamental beauty and magic of these classic icons. The photographs will be included in a silent auction to take place at the event. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, drinks, performers, items on display from the Ringling Bros. museum and live music by the band Bear Cub.

Check out the fun props they had at one of our meetings! More images coming soon!

Winter Festival of Wonders . . . 2012 Submission.

Scenes From a Nashville Christmas, Part 3.

Belmont Bruin: I am one . . .

So I just finished my first semester back in graduate school (all A's, hooray!!). It was never my intention to get a second masters, but this teacher certification came with one . . . I mean: the more, the merrier--right?

I am in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Belmont University's Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed for individuals who wish to develop careers in teaching. It's a 45 credit-hour program offered in a variety of flexible formats so students can self-pace their program of study. I am getting my certification in art.

During the past semester, I took two courses: Diverse Learners and Contemporary Issues in Education. Both were inspiring and thought-provoking. But, this program is so drastically different than the graduate program I completed in Baltimore. In this program, I do not engage with other graduate students in my field, nothing is based in art, and I take classes with sophomore undergrads. (And, I don't spend 5 days in classes . . . ) It's making me think using a whole different part of my brain, which is stimulating and exciting! We shall see what happens!

More soon . . .

26 December 2011

Scenes From a Nashville Christmas, Part 2.

Emma's back: just in time for HOLIDAYS!

My friend Emma and her boyfriend Chris moved back to Nashville on December 1st. And, it's been an exciting, whirlwind of activity ever since! Emma and I met in Nashville during my first stint of living here, way back in 2003. We were both painting shoes for a company called, Kiss My Feet. It's where I met several of my still-very-close-to-me friends: Kelly Kerrigan and Drew Frazier, to name a few.

Emma was living in Medford, Wisconsin, where she's from. I moved up to Medford at the end of the summer of 2005. I lived there for a year. It's where I met Doug Grant and continued teaching classes under the guise of Blueraku. Emma and I have gone through many changes in our lives, but we've kept in touch this entire time.

So, when she moved back, it was like nothing had changed. I talk to her almost every day, like when we were living in Medford at the same time. And, we bounce ideas off of each other every chance we get. She is a constant source of inspiration to me!!

It is so great to have her back in town, living just down the street. I can't wait to see her parents and sister when they come to visit! Hooray for old friends and good times!!

Scenes From a Nashville Christmas, Part I.

Shelves up!

My dad came over to my house towards the beginning of December and helped me install some shelving in my kitchen.

We made the shelves out of 40 year old cedar plank once used for fencing in cows at my friend Gary's farm out in West Nashville. While I haven't yet had a chance to organize the shelves (I plan to get some shiny bins to hold everything in place), I think they really help to save space and fill out the room. A huge thank you to my dad for all of his help on this project!!

28 November 2011

Prepping for December.

Charlotte and I spent the evening decorating for the holidays. (She was not as enthusiastic about it as I was . . . ) But we got the tree done. This was the first tree that I've decorated since Christmas 2008. Hopefully we'll get the lights up in the windows soon!

17 November 2011

Help us REACH our GOAL . . .

While this project is expensive it is also expansive, and even though we still need more dollars to make the original goal, I think it is really important that PEOPLE support the project. So, consider pledging $1. This will keep you updated and connected to the project for the next year! If you can give more, super. Find out more here.

Your support is greatly appreciated.