Two sustainable Christmas craft activities to try around the UK

Worried about the amount of festive rubbish in your wheelie bin? Just take action and then have fun at one of the following eco-friendly gift and decoration classes.

Edible gifts

More unwanted “stuff” at Christmas? Try giving a tasty treat instead. Chocolate workshops at the National Trust’s medieval Powis Castle and Garden near Welshpool, include handmade chocolate robins and stars, and sparkly chocolate shards (19 Dec, £27.50). In York, the original home of Rowntree’s and Terry’s factories, chocolate workshops at York Cocoa House range from drop-in lollipop-making (£3.75), to masterclasses on specialties, such as ganaches and caramels (various dates, £55 adult, £28 child).

In the Gloucestershire Hills, Harts Barn Cookery School in the Forest of Dean is running Christmas cookery classes throughout Dec, including children’s edible decorations and edible gifts classes (gingerbread men, marshmallow penguins, chocolate lollies and reindeer pretzels, 15 Dec, from £25), and Christmas chocolate-making for adults (1 Dec, £50), with truffles and more to take away.

For something savory, learn the secrets of creating quick pickles at the Salt Box sustainably-minded cookery school’s Pickle like a Pro workshop (11 Dec, £45) near Redhill in Surrey, which also includes a festive drink and a two-course meal. Classes will take place in a private woodland glen and a cozy barn.

Unusual ornaments

Piece Hall in Halifax – a recently restored 18th-century cloth hall that now has independent shops and eateries around its vast courtyard – is running a series of Christmas events and workshops, which include making felt decorations with heritage cloth (17 Dec, £5.50) and felted snowman sessions for children (ages 6+, 21 Dec, £7.50).

In Surrey, the Royal Horticultural Society’s 97-hectare Wisley Garden – one of the UK’s most-visited gardens – has a workshop on “living baubles” – known in Japan as kokedama (£15, 4 Dec), alongside free children’s decoration-making sessions using woodland materials (14-15 Dec). Also for children, and inspired by a new exhibition, Flights of Fancy: the Wondrous World of Quentin Blake (running until April 2020), The National Trust’s Nymans house in West Sussex is running decoration workshops (various dates, £3).

In Glasgow, Locavore, an organic and sustainable food shop and cafe close to Queen’s Park, has a workshop (23 November, £10) on upcycling old books to become paper decorations, such as intricate snowflakes and folded trees.

Children craft holidays for the homeless

The Giving Tree is back and children came to Oakville Grocery Store in downtown Healdsburg to get the ball rolling on the project, now in its third year.

The Giving Tree starts with paper ornaments that are crafted by the children. Members of the homeless community then write down what they would like on the ornaments before putting them up on the tree for residents to fulfill. The presents are then taken out to the homeless community by Reach for Home’s Rick Cafferata.

The tree project has been organized each year by local homeless advocate Gail Jonas and the kids were getting into the spirit Nov. 13 as they grabbed scissors and got to work.

Sophia Jonas said it was her second year helping create the ornaments. She said that this year, she came out with friends and family for the first time.

“I think it’s fun to make them and just spend time with people,” Sophia Jonas said.

After the ornaments have their gifts listed on them, she said she liked to see what was on people’s wish lists and helping spread the word to people who might be interested in donating.

For Julia Dolph, this was another way to help her community. Previously, she ran a dog walking service for her neighbors.

“I think this is a really good way to show our dedication to the community,” she said.

And there are sweet rewards for the help, too, as Josh Proctor pointed out. A slew of cookies was available to help keep the energy up.

Having kids help with The Giving Tree is a big part of the project, Cafferata said.

“I have them (gift recipients) to where they break down and cry. Cause somebody gave them something and especially something that they asked for. Not just something that somebody gives you out of the blue.” Cafferata said. “It’s wonderful to get the younger generation involved. They go home and teach their parents a thing or two.”

The kids’ work pays off, too.

“Last year I got a really cool pair of boots,” said Lucky, a member of the homeless community.

Lucky said that he appreciates the energy the kids bring to the project.

The first year the tree went up, it had 20 ornaments, Cafferata said. Last year, there were around 30. There was a concern from last year, however, when shortly after the gifts from the tree were given, there was a police sweep of camps, which possibly left people without their new gifts.

‘Concrete Genie’: A kid’s game about the joys of art (part 1)

Concrete Genie’s optimistic storyline, akin to an old after-school television special, offers a lesson in empathy. It’s a bit too straightforward and unironic for a sourpuss like me but I’d like to think that it may help some kids come to terms with the fact that children can be cruel to each other for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious. Since “Concrete Genie” is a kid’s game (and it’s not made by Nintendo) I wasn’t betting I’d play through it but I was disarmed by its novel gameplay which, for the most part, is oriented more around the creation and problem-solving than confrontation.

At the beginning of the game, we are introduced to Ash, an artistic kid who loves drawing fanciful-looking creatures with horns and plumage in his notebook. In spite of his mom’s wishes, Ash elects to while away a day in the young ghost town Denska. The small island’s economy collapsed after a tanker spill polluted its coastal waters. Exacerbating the once-thriving fishing town’s woes are gnarled vines that have infested the area, blanketing walls and clogging up machinery. This mysterious substance, which is colloquially referred to as the “darkness” is a byproduct of negative mental energy. Admittedly, at no point did I become interested in the story.

Ash’s day is upset after a group of unruly children snatch his notebook and scatter its pages. The kids then push Ash onto a tram that goes to a tiny island guarded by a purportedly spooky lighthouse. Ash doesn’t let the kids’ warnings get to him. Without much ado, he sets about exploring. Inside the lighthouse, Ash discovers one of the pages of his notebook on the floor. Dejected, he hangs his head in despair when Luna, the creature from his notebook, miraculously comes to life on the wall. Projecting her power from the wall, Luna mends Ash’s torn notebook and gives him a magic brush.

The Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMAs) Announces First Award Series

The Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMAs) was stablished in 2019 and has launched officially its awards program. The 2020 awards are set for April 20, live from The Craft Brewer’s Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Breweries, as well as their agencies, marketing partners, and designers, are invited to enter their top work. The 2020 CBMAS includes more than 30 categories which recognize all aspects of beer marketing, including best can, best use of social media, best merchandise design, coolest taproom and more.

“More than ever, breweries recognize the need to prioritize their marketing strategies,” says Prabh Hans, vice president of business development and strategy for Hillebrand, CBMAs presenting sponsor. “We’ve worked closely with brewers since 1984 and know that shelves and cities are flooded with an overwhelming amount of craft beer options. The CBMAs team recognized how much time and money these breweries are now investing into branding efforts and created a one-of-a-kind opportunity to celebrate them.”

The award series features categories that celebrate the very best of beer marketing and the teams, and individuals behind them, according to CBMA. All categories are judged by an influential and respected panel of beer, marketing, and design experts from across the country, including:

·        Ryan Murphy, owner of Craft Beer Review

·        Rob Sager, marketing director, Crossroads Brewing Co.

·        Peter LaFrance, beer author and journalist, beerbasics.com

·        Michelle Pagano, gluten-free advocate and writer, @Thebrewbabe

·        Mark Hegedus, president, Magic Hat Brewing

·        Lauri Spitz, co-founder, Moustache Brewing

The aforementioned will join with others to create a 65-person panel dedicated to the judging of the more than 30 different awards that will be presented during this inaugural series.

Entries are now being accepted on the CBMAS website. Early bird deadline is November 29 and the final entry period ends January 31, 2020. Breweries and their marketing teams can enter work from January 2018 through September 2019. The judging process will begin February 13, 2020 and is set to conclude on March 20, 2020.

According to CBMA, the association was developed to recognize and award the very best marketing in the brewing industry across the nation.

Bardstown Arts, Crafts &Antiques Fair returns this weekend

The 39th annual Bardstown Arts, Crafts & Antiques Fair will starts this Saturday with hundreds of vendors, live entertainment, regional and state artistry, food and a celebration of local.

“I am looking forward to the craft festival of this year and seeing what our creative vendors will have to offer,” said Ms. Randi Mouser, executive director of the Bardstown Main Street Program, heading the event.

Mouser also said 2019’s  festival will have 250 craft and retail vendors as well as 23 food vendors, including 100 vendors that are new to the event. Some newer items at this year’s festival will include handmade fairy houses, vintage automotive items repurposed into décor and lighting, bird feeders made from recycled tires, and many other unique creations.

The festival, sponsored again by LG&E and KU this year, will take place around Spalding Hall Lawn, extending into North Fourth and Fifth Street and other side areas. There will be Kids Zone, a seating area, and Bardstown Rotary Club will offer a Beer Garden again. As usual, food vendors will be spread throughout the festival, rather than collected in one area.

Mouser said that last year they spread the food vendors around and visitors all liked that idea, so they kept it the same for this year.

This year’s layout includes expanded booth space through the Recreation Department parking lot. The Recreation Department will also host an indoor vendor fair to coincide with the whole festival.

The festival will take place from10 a.m. to 6 p.m. of Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. of Sunday. The festival’s entry is free but it might cost to park in some lots. You can find nformation, including a map of vendor locations at the Hospitality Tent on Spalding Hall Lawn.

The following roads will close beginning at 5 p.m. Friday:

  • North Fifth Street from St. Joe parking lot to West Broadway
  • West Flaget Avenue from North Fourth Street to North Fifth Street
  • Xavier Drive
  • North Fourth Street from West Flaget to West Broadway
  • Vehicles should not be parked on these streets during the closure.

The Eight best sporting artworks (part 3)

6. Dynamism of a Cyclist

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Racing along, wheels spinning, head down, knees pumping, covering immense distances at high speed: how to depict a champion cyclist in action? Any 2D image seems to limit the sense of ongoing motion, and this wasn’t good enough for the Italian futurists. Arguably the best of them, Umberto Boccioni follows the French photographer Etienne-Jules Marey, whose split-second shots of soldiers sprinting were recorded on the same picture, in showing past, present, and future at the same time. Umberto Boccioni‘s cyclist, an overlapping sequence of stop-start instants, did the same thing, maybe more legibly, with a little dog running along on a leash.

  1. The Discobolus

British Museum, London

The stunning Discobolus, a classical athlete who is compressing all his power into one fling of the discus, is one of the most famous images from the ancient world. This statue is a Roman copy of the lost bronze original, which is attributed to the sculptor Myron c470-440 BC. The moment is so fleeting that it could be scarcely observed as a still form, yet the sculptor transforms it into a monument of judgment, balance, and athleticism. Discus-throwing was the first element of the pentathlon, regarded as a feat of grace and athleticism. However, this copy has the head looking away wrongly from the discus.

  1. The Reverend Robert Walker  (1755 – 1808) Skating on Duddingston Loch

Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

The Reverend Robert Walker is an ideal Olympic candidate: a founder member and brilliant amateur of the Edinburgh Skating Club. The most famous painting of Raeburn shows Walker sweeping on one leg across Duddingston loch and yet in full motion. It is the portrait like an action shot. The figure cuts a dark diagonal through the grey light with his blades etching criss-cross lines on the ice, which perfectly mimicked in the paint. Walker was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers.

 

The Most Famous Art Galleries in Europe (part 2)

  1. The Groeninge Museum, Bruges

Add: Dijver 12, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

For those who love art in Bruges, the Groeninge Museum is perfect for experiencing the mesmerising collection of art work from Belgium and the Netherlands as well, dating from the 18th Century. The Groeninge Museum  displays an eclectic mix of historic paintings including post-1945 pieces. Visiting the gallery can give you a valuable insight into the city’s artistic culture.

  1. The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Add: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

When you visit the city of tulips, you can’t miss this. The city Amsterdam presents one of its most widely-known national treasures – Van Gogh, in a museum that was dedicated to his life and work. The Van Gogh Museum is complimented by other 19th Century artists as well as contemporaries of Van Gogh. This museum holds an extensive collection of Van Gogh’s work at various stages across his paiting career. Whether you’re a newbie to the world of art or you’re familiar with Van Gogh’s work, this is a place everyone will highly appreciate.

  1. The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome

Add: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131, 00197 Roma, Italy

This is exactly modern art in an ancient city. The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rome was founded in 1883 and prides itself on maintaining a contemporary standing. The gallery is home to some of the 20th Century’s greatest artists such as Dutch painter Mondrian and many of Italy’s finest.

  1. East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall

Add: Mühlenstraße, 10243 Berlin, Germany

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1990, 118 artists gathered from across the world to transform the remaining section into an open-air gallery with more than 100 paintings. The East Side Gallery in Berlin helps you to take in the location’s historic importance and viewing the wonderful artwork that commemorates the location. After being neglected in the 1990s, refurbishment and restoration has just been completed, making it better than ever.

The Most Famous Art Galleries in Europe (part 1)

If you are a bit of an art lover, head to Europe that boasts some of the best museums in the world. There are several incredible arts to see if you are traveling cities to cities. Make sure to check out the most famous galleries, paintings, and contemporary art on your trip.

  1. The Louvre, Paris

Add: 75001 Paris, France

Let’s start with the biggest. As the famous home of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is a spot not to be missed when you visit Paris because just the actual building itself is piece of art. Admire the world-famous pyramid, the beautiful architecture, magnificent ceilings, and the spectacular pieces of classic art residing there.

The gallery is presently hosting the Leiden Collection’s masterpieces, showcasing the work of 17th-century Dutch painters including the largest collection of works by Rembrandt.

  1. The Tate Britain and The Tate Modern, London

Add: The Tate Britain Art Gallery, Milbank, London SW1P 4JU

        The Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

They are considered as the art enthusiast’s paradises. For those who first visit London, the Tate Britain is a must-visit spot. Home to British art from 1500 to the present day, this art gallery gives the visitors a comprehensive view of Britain’s culture within the art world.

The Tate Modern is the younger sibling of the Tate Britain. It is home to a collection of international art from ‘1900s to modern-day with an amazing mix of exhibitions, and contemporary art forms.

Located in an old power station, the Tate Modern often comes with an experimental twist, being home to the likes of Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Tracey Emin. It offers paintings, sculptures, and installations that you have never seen before.

  1. The National Gallery, Prague

Add: Staroměstské nám. 12, Staré Město, Staré Město-Praha 1, Czechia

The National Gallery of the Czech Republic is home to the nation’s largest collection of art. It exhibits a mix of Czech artwork, Cubism, and Baroque pieces. The gallery will exhibit items like 14th–16th Century Panel Paintings and the Charter 77 story this year. This is a unique opportunity to see the work of Prague’s most famous artists.

The eight best sporting artworks (part 2)

  1. Pulcinella and the Tumblers, 1797, by Tiepolo

Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Venice

Those traveling gymnasts are putting on a show in 18th century in Venice, where Tiepolo painted the scene as a fresco. Pulcinella refers to the hook-nosed trickster in a black mask, a Commedia del’arte figure somewhere between Punch and Harlequin, which is responsible for turning the world upside down. This is exactly what these gymnasts are enacting with all of their springy athleticism. For what Tiepolo depicts is the ability of the gymnast to walk on one’s hands meanwhile appearing to tumble all around the place and to topple while keeping one’s balance.

4. The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake, 1873, painted by Thomas Eakins

Cleveland Art Museum

The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake commemorates America’s first pair-oared sculling race, which was held on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia in 1872. The painting shows the Biglin brothers turning the stake with John pushing his oar and Barney pulling his to create the gliding movement that was repeated in Eakins’s beautiful composition. The Biglin brothers are winning as their opponents are still rowing towards their flag in the distance. The picture well celebrates their team spirit and closeness. The great realist Eakins painted from personal experience when he was a dedicated oarsman on the very same river, too.

5. A Rally, 1885, Sir John Lavery

Glasgow Museums Resource Centre

Lawn tennis was quite new when the young woman in Sir John Lavery’s painting A Rally hit the ball back across the net. The Anecdote has it that Major Walter Clopton Wingfield started playing outdoors with vulcanized rubber balls in London in 1874 and Sir John Lavery, the Irish-born painter, got the bug on his return from Paris only a few years later. His painting emphasized on the woman in her hopelessly impractical but fetching dress, dramatized her energy and concentration. Sir John Lavery also painted some tennis scenes in Scotland, each regarded pioneering, rather like the player herself.

New Arts and Crafts Spots for Kids in New York City

It’s time to get messy, creative, and make some arts and crafts. Arts and crafts classes give kids the opportunity to develop some new skills and unleash their imagination. In this article, we introduce two new arts and crafts spots where kids can get creative in New York City.

The Craft Studio

174 Duane St.

Tribeca

Online: craftstudionyc.com

646-922-8823

Regulars and newcomers rejoice: The Craft Studio has a new spot in Tribeca. The studio was originally intended as a pop-up, it is now officially here to be a permanent addition to the Craft Studio family. The welcoming environment has made the studio a favorite in its original version, and it is really warming hearts in the new nabe.

The Tribeca spot is similar to the UES location such as Toddler Art and Little Hands, where the littlest artists can get down and dirty with some fun arts and crafts. Besides the usual classes, it also offers fun classes like The Coolest Art Craft Ever, introducing kids to edgy and fun new crafting techniques and materials, or Creative Movement and Art, combining jumping and active play with art-making.

Moreover, the Tribeca location is open for walk-ins almost every day and has a lot of options for tweens and teens who need a spot to hang out. It also offers private classes, birthday parties, and adult nights.

Midwood Arts & Crafts Studio

1701 Kings Highway

Midwood

Online: midwoodarts.com

718-737-9700

 This Arts & Crafts Studio in Midwood has been around for a few years, but a recent increase of offerings is the added reason to check it out. The spacious and bright second-floor studio gives kids over four-years-old a fun and educational experience. Led by kind English- and Russian-speaking teachers, classes range from individual instruction to groups and allow kids to use their hands for everything, from pencils and paints to professionally modeling clay. All of these things are very great for the development of fine motor skill.

Midwood Arts & Crafts Studio has its plans to expand to more events, including adult classes and paint-n-sips, and artsy birthday parties for kids.

All events and classes are drop-offs, so you can leave your kids in the capable hands of the teachers to explore any of Kings Highway’s other offerings.