Thursday, August 25, 2016

Phoenix After School

Can you even believe that school will be starting again next week?! Once things get rolling and our kids are settled in, there will be After-School Enrichment Classes and Workshops available for our students and for kids and adults from the surrounding community. Starting with music (at the top of  boosting executive brain function, confidence, and well-being), there will be group violin lessons with the wonderful Sonia Pena:
Sonia is one of our local treasures, a fun, talented musician and teacher, best of the best. Parents and kids will get to meet her and learn all about her program towards the end of September.

As for visual arts - I'll be teaching another round of lamp making, once a week for eight to ten weeks. This will be for kids and adults. I love teaching multi-generational classes, the inspirations fly back and forth, lights get turned on and friendships happen.
And big surprise - I'm planning ongoing workshops and classes in fashion design! These will include making some beautiful clothes, designing material, and dipping into cultures, science, history, cuisine, music, languages. In other words, it's going to be fantastic! 
How is Phoenix After School going to work? Our own students, as well as kids and adults from our community, will be invited to sign up for weekly classes of their choice; there will be workshops and celebrations as we get more into it. Prices will be very affordable. We even have a driver (just one, so far) for kids who may need a ride from other schools. I'll let everyone know as soon as we have the paperwork for this - it won't begin until the end of September. But I wanted to let it start percolating in our collective mind. And can't wait to see it all unfold. 

PS - If you want to understand more of the wonders of violin for children, you will enjoy Music of the Heart with Meryl Streep, available online for free and a wonderful eye-opener in many ways. It tells the story of Roberta Guaspari, a single mother who has brought inspiration, self-discipline, focus, self-respect, and creative expression to hundreds of children, meanwhile gaining the affection and huge support of the world's greatest violinists.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Fairies and Rain

First question at the start of our "Call the Fairies" workshop some weeks ago: "What happens when you focus on something?" Eight little girls all loudly answer, "It's gonna happen." Their little booklets and necklaces, their sculptures, paintings and mobiles, have all been about calling the fairies. One little girl in particular saw quite a few fairies. If you can't believe it, you might want to check out this book, The Secret Life of Nature, in which quantum physicists show that the natural world teems with nature spirits.
This lady, my friend Linda Chiles, is receiving a gift from the girls for all her work in making and stringing felt flowers. The girls' part in this were tiny hand-made sculptures of fairies, a big challenge for them to pull off. If you look carefully you'll see them swinging around.

Fast forward to the last days of school. This article explains how the mind has the potential to influence weather patterns. So a number of us drew rain for our summer - and then we went to the field and focused in our Neighborhood Walk. If you live anywhere near the school, you probably think the kids' focus worked. It's been pouring down rain for days, with lots of rainbows.
They are saying, "I have an awesome summer with lots of fun. I use my brain to bring the rain."

Saturday, May 21, 2016

More Fairy Makin'

Eight little girls all a-flutter, chirping and giggling and working ardently to make their fairy creations  happen. The hour and a half go by so fast, not one of us can believe it.

If you live nearby please come to our big auction on June 4th. It plans 
to be a party to remember, with great food, music, raffles, 
auction items including some of the kids' artwork.
auction flyer

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Fairy Catchers

The girls have been stretched and challenged with sculpting and tying fairy mobiles, and they got a little cranky. They needed a break, and became happy again with little bits of glass, ribbon, tissue paper and fake flickering candles. I sent them home with breakable glass but at least I can say they won't burn the house down.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Morning


There are six of us sitting at the art table, a small breakout session. I tell each child my favorite thing about him or her: always interesting and intelligent with great attention to detail; mysterious, deeply quietly mysterious; powerful; passionate and colorful; far-reaching genius. They take these to heart and quietly smile (not that the quiet lasts).
 Lamps are back from exhibits and shows. The kids greet them with love - their creations.
We are working on making their own little "pony on a stick." We've already gone out to choose their special sticks, sawing them down from hazelnut bushes that grow here in profusion. The sticks are waiting in the corner, each with a child's name on it.

Gathering for a visit from three little goats.

This was just the morning. Afternoon brought the bigger kids - sawing, cutting, burning (wood), tooling (copper), a thank you card for one of our most awesome donors, plans for the coming auction, and detailed watercolors of song birds. I often don't have time to take pictures. I love these busy spring days, we have the best school.