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Archive for the ‘Story Telling’ Category

April 9th, 2016 our local Abbotsford Arts Council put on our community’s 12th Arty Award event. An event well worth attending; in fact in my opinion, one of Abbotsford’s finest events.

Culinary catered food, fun, quality entertainment and awesome, stone hand crafted awards, made for a night to remember. 

We were introduced to some of our community’s finest, most talented artists – dance, theater, literary, visual, music, culinary, photography …  every category of the arts was represented. 

 

Yes, I got nominated… for the “Outstanding Literary Artist.”

And I won!!  I’m still feeling the thrill of it as I write this. Just had to get that out there. It was pretty exciting. Thank you – everyone who put so much into this outstanding evening. 

 

This year’s  theme was the 80’s. 

It took me several weeks to come up with something appropriate. I searched online for the 80’s style… as I was having trouble remembering – the 80’s were 30 years ago. Apparently I was not very fashion conscious at the time. But the research took care of that. I remembered a dress I’d sewn many years ago that fit a description of the 80’s formal wear. 

Puffed sleeves, shoulder pads, velvet, scalloped neckline. This dress has it all! 

hand sewn 80's dress Carrie ©

Sewn with my Bernina sewing machine – 80’s dress – Carrie ©

I dug into my closet, opened the garment bag… I put it on… it fit!

I was set.

I took a look at my handiwork from so many years ago – “Not a bad job”

… I complemented myself. 

 

The artist, Robert Syrenne, owner of RS Arts in Mission, hand-created the beautiful stone art pieces awarded for this year’s Arty Awards.
I am thrilled with mine!!

Literary Arty Award 2016

 Arty Award 2016

Thank you Abbotsford Arts Council / Kariton Art Gallery & Boutique for putting on this event and recognizing our community’s many talented artists. It gets better every year.

And thank you, Charles Wiebe and Associates, for sponsoring the Literary Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writing memoirs c

Novelist Stephen King once said, “I write to find out what I think.” Your memoirs are a LEGACY. Putting them on paper gives friends and family (as well as yourself) the opportunity to FULLY …

Source: Writing your Memoirs Leaves a Legacy.

Novelist Stephen King once said, “I write to find out what I think.”

Your memoirs are a LEGACY.

Putting them on paper gives friends and family (as well as yourself) the opportunity to FULLY appreciate these valuable, interesting and “uniquely yours,” experiences.

Writing your memoirs is different from writing your autobiography.

An autobiography is the complete story of your life.

A memoir is one or more stories from your life. You can write as many memoirs as you have memories.

Outline the events of the story sequentially. Then start your story with a little action. You don’t have to necessarily start the story from the beginning. Weave your story, create suspense. Get your reader hooked, looking for more. Then fill in the pieces – the background – as you go.

Here’s what I do…
Close my eyes. Take myself back in time to the memory I’ve chosen to write about. Now, using my five senses, I recreate that scene. What do I see? What do I feel, hear, smell, taste?

I transfer those thoughts on to paper. I want my readers to feel like they are there with me experiencing what I experienced.

Writing memoirs is the easiest kind of writing to do – because you know the story, inside and out.

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This funny happening,  happened several years ago – and still makes me laugh.

HOFA - watercolor - Carrie Wachsmann ©

HOFA – watercolor – Carrie Wachsmann ©

 

I went to my local House of Fine Art (HOFA) store for some Alizarin, Crimson artists’ oil paint.

Max Gumbacher paint

At the time of this humorous occurance, I was a frequent visitor to this fine little art store.

The owner  was the president of our city’s Abbotsford Arts Council.

As I was paying for my tube of Alizarin, Crimson oil paint,  he invited me to come to the Abbotsford Arts Council (AAC) AGM meeting that evening.

He said, “tonight“, and wrote down the details on the back of his business card.

He also asked if I would consider being on the board and naturally I asked, ” What do I have to do to be part of this elite group?”

“Just come to meetings once a month.” He said “The AAC is part of the city’s planning and direction for the arts, and supports the many art groups in the community with their projects.

My response – “I can do that – that sounds like something I would actually like to do.”

 

I grabbed my receipt, tucked my purchase into my purse and made my way to the door. As I left he said, “See you tonight at the Kariton House.”

 

6:56 PM I arrived at the Kariton House where I was greeted by someone I didn’t know – I looked for Mr. HOFA but he was nowhere to be seen, so I assumed that this someone else was covering for him. Funny, I don’t recognize anybody, I thought to myself.

The “leader” asked, “Are you a new member” and I said, “Not really – I’ve been a member for a while now but this is my first meeting.”

“Well, what do I know,” he answered, looking somewhat puzzled. Then he said that I would be pleased to know that on Saturday they were going on an outing, somewhere up past the city of Hope into the mountains.

Stunned that I knew nothing about outings, I responded by saying, “I didn’t know you do outings. That’s interesting.”

“Oh yes”, he answered, “that’s what we are all about.”
I pondered that for awhile thinking, “Mr. HOFA never mentioned any outings. That sounds a lot more involved than one meeting per month.”

 

I know…you see it coming, but my lightening fast mind still hadn’t put the pieces together.
Here’s how the rest of that evening went:

The meeting starts and I look at the agenda. It is then that I realize….I am in the wrong meeting!
To my chagrin, I am in an Abbotsford Rock and Gem Club meeting. That explains those chunks of rocks on the table and that rock chart taped to the side of it! LOL
I must admit, my first emotion –  embarrassment, but that changes very quickly. No need for embarrassment, I tell myself. This moment is just too humorous to be wasted on embarrassment.

So I speak up at the first opportune moment (actually I butt in and have to be put in order) and I address the group – saying” Please excuse me. You can all have a good laugh at this…(I take a deep breath)… You see…” and I explain myself.

The room is awkwardly quiet for what seems like an awfully long moment. Then thankfully everyone begins to laugh, after which a few sympathetic individuals try to unsuccessfully entice me to stay – to become one of the rockin’ Rock and Gem Club enthusiasts. I insisted that I must find that Arts Council meeting. One individual asked, “The Abbotsford Arts” who?

At that point I realize this meeting is just not going to happen for me, at least not tonight.

Confused but still in good humor, I take my leave and make my way back home.
As it turns out, I would still have the opportunity to attend this very important meeting –  the next day.

I suppose I could have double checked and consulted my latest “Eye on the Arts” newsletter for meeting dates, before leaving my house instead of after I got back.

 

But then I would have missed out on a funny memory worth remembering –  and a a funny story worth telling.

Visit:  carriewachsmann.com/blog for more storytelling. 

You can find me on Facebook here:  – Carrie Wachsmann – Storyteller 

& here: Roadblocks to Hell – book

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

(inspired by a true event)

“It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old.

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.

‘Peace on the earth, good will toward men’,

from heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.”

Follow me 11
 
“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 1  Carrie ©
 

Christmas music gently filled the little coffee-house. Unlike the carol heralding a ‘midnight clear’, this night was everything but. Snow fell fast and thick.

In the corner, a young man sat alone. He looked out the window and watched as the last patron of the night plowed their way out of the parking lot.

“Young man, we’re closing.”

He nodded, put on his coat and made his way to the exit. He looked to be about fourteen, fifteen at the most.

As the door closed behind him, the cold quickly bit into his face and hands.  He pulled his collar up close to his face.

“Do you have a ride?” a voice called to him.

The young man turned to see someone standing in the shadows of the building.

”No, I’m good,” he answered firmly.

The man persisted. “I’m not so sure about that. It’s Christmas eve. Shouldn’t you be home with your family, sitting by the fire and enjoying hot chocolate, or something?”

The lad shrugged his shoulders as if to say… yah, so what. Who cares anyway.

The man stepped out of the shadows.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 2 - Carrie ©

 

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 2 – Carrie  ©
 

The young man saw that he was an old man. Old enough to make him wonder what someone this old was doing out in a snow storm at this hour of the night.

The old man continued. “Where you’re headed… it is not worth it… You do have options you know.”

The young man was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He stared at the old man not sure what to make of the encounter.

“How do you know where I’m headed?” he finally asked.

“I know that place, under the bridge.” The old man continued.  “You won’t find what you’re really looking for out there. Running away isn’t the answer.”

Now the young man paused.

How did this old man know that he was going to that “homeless place” where he might make it through the night?

Maybe if he was lucky someone would share their Christmas “Spirits” with him.

And how did this old man know that he was running away?

The old man smiled knowingly and said. “I’ve been young and now I am old…but I have never seen God’s children forsaken”… The old man talked so strange…and yet he was most compelling.

“I know a place.  A place where you can get a hot bowl of homemade soup, and a good night’s sleep.”

“Follow me,” the old man continued.

 

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 3 - Carrie ©

 

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 3 – Carrie  ©
 

The old man began to make his way through the deep drifts of snow. The young man hesitated but only for a second or two. “Man…what do I have to lose,” he mumbled.

He began to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

After some time, the old man stopped at a building with a sign that read, “The Welcome Home Centre”.  He turned to the young man. “They will take care of you.  You can stay as long as you wish.” Then he paused, looked the boy in the eyes and added, “God loves you, you know. He’s got plans for you”.

The young man did not know what to think. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They stood in silence and waited.

Eventually a pleasant sort of man answered the knock on the door. The young man’s last bit of resistance melted away as he breathed in a blast of warm fragrant air. He smelled something wonderful.

“Come in… welcome,” the man said sincerely.

“I…ah..need a place to hang till this storm’s over,” the young man said, hesitantly.

“You’ve come to the right place then,” came the reassuring answer.

The young man sighed.

He turned and started to thank the old man but no one was there.

“That old man, who was here with me. He brought me here. He was just here,” the bewildered young man exclaimed .

“I didn’t see anybody but you, lad,” came the answer.

“But he was here, I followed him here. He told me about you…he knew stuff about me…he…”

Bewildered, the young man took one last look out into the white night. He saw only lonely, empty streets and a fast disappearing, single set of footprints that lead to The Welcome Home’s front porch.

Putting a kind hand on the young man’s shoulder the man at the door said, “It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened son. “I do believe you.  Come…I want to hear all about it.”

It’s now midnight and that brings our 2010 Christmas eve story to an end.

Yes, this young man’s life was changed forever that Christmas eve.

What will this Christmas bring you?

Will you let God’s love bring you a miracle this Christmas?

I wish for you, a life-changing kind of Christmas.

One that you will remember forever because it was…well…life changing.

 

For more inspiring stories check out my author’s Storyteller site, carriewachsmann.com/blog

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NOTE: The Fur Trade Challenge project dates have been moved up one week from previously posted – PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGES:  The Fort Langley tour – Friday, Oct, 11, 10:00 – 12:00 noon (bring a bag lunch to share after the tour)
Classes will be held Tuesdays starting October 15 – Tuesday December 3, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.

Attention: Home school families in the Abbotsford area… 

I am very excited about offering this new course to home school families. 

Fur Trade Challenge – for Grade 5 Home School Students

Fur Trade - Fort Langley, BC - © Carrie Wachsmann -  watercolor

(NOTE: this project meets many of the HCOS (Heritage Christian Online School) requirements for Grade 5 Social Studies – see list below under “Requirements”)

Here is what you can expect from this course:

Project includes the following:

  1. A visit to Fort Langley – “ Fur Trade Challenge” interactive tour. NEW this year
  2. Research
  3. Descriptive writing/outline & report
  4. Art & crafts/visuals/display
  5. Building a Fort Langley model
  6. Costume creation/character identification
  7. Presentation

Date & Time: The Fort Langley tourFriday, Oct, 11, 10:00 – 12:00 noon (bring a bag lunch to share after the tour)
Classes will be held Tuesdays starting October 15 – Tuesday December 3, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.
Duration: 8 weeks starting after the field trip to Fort Langley.
Cost per student: based on requirement of 10-12 students  (supplies and facility included)

Cost per HCOS student is $100

Cost per student from other schools is $135

Extra cost: Families are responsible for admission to the Fort Langley tour on Friday, Oct. 4
Cost of admission per student $3.90 & $6.55 per parent  (taxes included – children under 6 – free)

Location: Solid Rock Church 34371 4th Ave. Abbotsford. 604.850.1350

Fort Langley project winter scene

Popsicle stick version of Fort Langley’s Big House and outdoor oven, along with dough characters – done several years ago. 

Project DETAILS:

  • The Fort Langley project takes the students on an exciting adventure into the lives of our pioneering
    ancestors.
  • This project will begin with the students enjoying a day at Fort Langley.
  • Students will choose a character or personality that they would like to represent .
  • Students will have opportunity to create a costume (thrift store shopping) that fits their character.
  • Students will write a descriptive letter to family back home, about their experiences at the fort. (research and outline included)
  •  As a group, students will recreate the fort using popsicle sticks, and branches. Each character will build their own building, and in some cases 2 or more students may work on one building.
  • The fort will come alive when the students fill their fort with dough characters they have made.
  • Students use their resourcefulness to outfit their buildings and finish off the fort.
  • The project ends with a family presentation day where students get to share their story with parents and guests. Parents may want to provide snacks (perhaps something representative of the early Fort Langley days) to celebrate the students’ accomplishments.

Requirements:

The following requirements taken from HCOS Social Studies learning plan are covered in this project.

http://www.onlineschool.ca/outcomes/Socials.php

(italizied areas indicate where this course meets the requirements of the learning plan)

3. What were problems faced by people involved in the Fraser fur trade? Choose one and identify why it was a problem and how it was solved. If it wasn’t solved, suggest a solution (Students will choose a character that would have settled at Fort Langley)

8. Interview someone about their life. (Students will be interviewing tour guides at Fort Langley on the field trip as well as doing other research) Are their answers the same or different? Explain why. Present your questions and answers in one of the following formats: written report. (Written in the form of a letter to family back home across the ocean – about their experiences as a settler to Fort Langley) (hand written rough work, then typed) electronic presentation, illustrations with captions, dramatic, roll play, song, time line, journal, diorama).

9. Find some primary sources (defined as: original document relating to a particular subject, experiment, time period, or event) (research their topic and character) for your own life or someone else’s life (birth certificate, pictures, journals, diaries, school work, art work, stories from parents, etc). Use them to make a secondary source (defined as: a document that interprets or analyzes primary sources and is usually written or produced some time after the initial event took place or work was produced). You could also put the primary sources together into a variety of other presentation forms listed in question number eight.

14. Who were the first settlers in B.C.? Choose a person or group and tell more about them. Clarify things like: when they came to B.C., difficulties they faced, things they enjoyed, daily life, etc.)

15. When creating any of the reports above or for another Social Studies assignment for project, create an outline before you begin. In the outline identify the following, topic/assignment/title, how you will introduce your topic, key points (with details for each point), how you will conclude your topic. Your outlines can be graphic, written, or done electronically.

16. Create an annotated timeline, map, scrapbook, story board, or other graphic to illustrate selected events

18. How did the Canadian environment affect early forms of transportation and communication in Canada? (Rivers)

19. Pretend you are an early settler coming to Canada from another country. Outline the trip and all the different types of transportation you use and why you needed that type of transportation.

26. How are waterways used in different parts of Canada for transportation? How has this changed over time?

46. Pick a job (character) that was around in 1827, and currently (e.g., teacher, grocery store owner, carpenter, farmer). How has technology changed how this job is done?

47. Choose a city that has a natural resource industry (saw mill, mine, fish and marine, energy). When did the town start? Did it start because of the natural resource? (Fort Langley)

82. What did the Canadian constitution give Canadians in 1867 and 1982? Describe the significant events and people contributing to Confederation (e.g., fur trade, gold rush, railway, John A. Macdonald, Pierre Trudeau).

Instructor: Carrie Wachsmann

Here’s what some parents and students have to say about Carrie’s instruction: (feedback from Carrie’s home school course “Writing, Art & Bookmaking”)

(Note: Watch – details on this course to come shortly)

“Well organized. Carrie had 12 kids happily engaged for three hours at a time, asking for more work, and at times forgetting their lunch time. She gave them tools to edit and do their work on their own. This has helped the students to expound their creativity and still keep their original ideas. They shared their very own story/book with everyone at the end. They have learned tons of skills beyond book publishing.”
S.K.

“I love the concept of this course, and my daughter and I are both very pleased with the book she was able to make. We also really enjoyed Mrs. Wachsmann’s teaching style and inspiring creative talent…” R.F.

“The course was excellent. Very well prepared… The cover idea was brilliant.” G.B.

“I think it was the best class I have ever been to.” E.E.

“It was excellent fun.” D.K.

“It was a wonderful course! I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks. Mrs. Wachsmann is an excellent teacher.” J.K.

“… Making a book with you was like opening a door into another world.” A.F

BIO: A little about myself

Carrie library candle stick 5

Carrie (Heide) Wachsmann has been writing stories since she was first able to hold a pencil. Her short, personal stories have since expanded and she is now a published author. Her first fiction book called “The Ryder” was published in 1991. Since then she has also written for a number of national and international magazines. Her on-line articles can be found at examiner.com and abbotsfordtoday.ca. Her personal blog nuggetsofgold.wordpress.com chronicles some of her current and past writing accomplishments.

Carrie also paints, sketches and illustrates books. Some of her paintings can be found at carriewachsmann.myartchannel.com.

In 2008 she was awarded the “Outstanding Emerging Artist” Arty Award, by the Abbotsford Arts Council. This was in recognition for her contributions to art in Abbotsford in writing, painting and videography.

Carrie is currently completing her second and third novels of the trilogy that began with The Ryder.

The Ryder 1991 cover - Carrie  ©

The Ryder 1991 cover – Carrie ©

Her first fictional dramatization of a real life story is being edited by the publisher, and is expected to be released in early 2014.

Not only is Carrie a skilled artist and writer, but she has also developed a series of instructional courses on writing, art, bookmaking and creative, multimedia story telling.

CONTACT: carrie@wachsmannstudios.com

Check out the FACEBOOK Event page – Fur Trade Challenge – Home School opportunity 

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From the moment I first sipped Red Rooibos tea, I was hooked. On the lookout for a tea with interest, I had found one. Rich in taste, full of flavor, and loaded with antioxidants, this tea has a lot to offer.  That was several years ago.

While taking in the many sights, sounds and tastes of the 2012 West Coast Women’s Show, I made a point of paying a visit to Liz Bandelin’s Tega Tea booth. A welcome stop after spending the last few hours enjoying the endless displays of just about everything a woman could want – jewels, clothing, cosmetics, skincare, food, drink, entertainment and adult beverages.

The world slowed down as I enjoyed the tea tasting, along with a little flavorful chat. I treasured the moment.

I was pleased to see new additions to Liz’s already rich combinations and varieties – Chocolate Mint, Chai, Orange Spice, Lemon Hibiscus, Wild Berry and Green Rooibos teas to name a few. Based on my tasting, I decided to purchase the Winter Berry Blend and the Tropical Sunrise. I was already looking forward to a cup before retiring later that evening.

Tega Teas are the #1 ranked fair trade teas in Canada.  To learn why and to learn more about Rooibos and its many health benefits, go to    http://www.nu-tea.com

My next stop of interest –

Epic Cosmetics and their Clear 60 Minute Skin Care line.

We “mature” women are always on the look out for that special something – the miracle in a bottle that will fix it all. Well, maybe not all, but if it erased even a few years of lines and wrinkles (oh, it almost hurts to say that word) we are all over it.

Now, having said that, this “miracle in a bottle” must pass several very stringent tests. Having educated ourselves in the fine art of healthy living, we “mature” women, have become very discerning.

Not only does this miracle in a bottle have to be effective, it must be natural and toxin-free. No more sacrificing inner body health for outer body beauty. Those days are long gone.

Mladen and Tanya, a local scientist and his beautiful wife, work tirelessly to bring us this “miracle in a bottle”. Clear Skin Care is 100% natural, safe and toxin free, highly effective and loaded with anti-oxidants. Clear Skin Care is making its mark and flying off the shelves of local stores.

Did I mention it is effective? You see, I discovered this skin rejuvenating serum a year ago.

I haven’t even touched on the skin clearing capability this remarkable product has. Chronic problems like psoriasis, eczema, hives and various unknown skin conditions are erased or eliminated within hours or days.

Here’s a little secret. It’s not just for woman, nor is it just for the “mature” woman. Check out their website at  http://www.epic-cosmetics.com/

The treasures one can find at the West Coast Women’s Show are endless. If you missed this year’s show, be sure to make it a priority next year.

What do Tega Tea and Clear 60 Minute Skin Care have in common?

Me for one.

 

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A friend and I met for tea this morning and she reminded me that today was the last day of January!

2012 Carrie ©

The comment caught me off guard for a moment. 1/12th of the year is already behind us!

“Where have the last 31 days gone?” I asked myself. Before I could answer, my friend said, “the next thing you know, it’ll be Christmas.”

I gasped, and then quickly recovered, realizing we really do have almost 11 more months to prepare.

Every year many of us declare that December suddenly just “appeared” on our doorstep. How stupid is that? It comes around every year, exactly once every 12 months, or every 365 days; accept for this year which will be 366 days. There are no surprises here.

So this year, I am making a decision. No more surprises.

This year I am putting in my calender that I will start to organize myself today, so that I’m ready for December.

What will that look like?

Does that mean I will do more busy stuff to prepare for Christmas?

Here’s what that might look like, and NO, I do not intend to do more. It merely means that I intend to get the most out of the season, and I will not be caught off guard for the umpteenth time.

More questions come to mind…

Does that mean that I won’t still get the most out of the other months and seasons of the year, because I’m preoccupied with that one month of the year?

Enjoying the beauty of the moment - Jan 2012 Carrie ©

On the contrary, this will be a reminder  to enjoy the moment and season that comes with it.

Does that mean I will spend more money on Christmas?

Most certainly not. I intend to have the time to thoughtfully decide what it is I want to spend on Christmas, and, what I don’t want to spend on Christmas.

Another way to make the most of this wonderful month of the year is by intentionally thinking about who I want to spend it with.

Umm, not sure where aunt Susan fits in… but we’ve got almost 11 months to figure that out.

What about the preoccupation with gifts?

Throughout the year, many fabulous craft fairs and trade shows pop up  just about everywhere in the county. If I’m thinking creatively and ahead, gift giving can actually be fun to do.  I still believe that it’s the thought that counts, not the “how much did it cost?”.

So, that’s my decision.

2012 Carrie ©

January, you’ve done well. As you can see, I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy this season.

February, I have a very good reason to look forward to your extra day.

Yes, I’m ready for the rest of the 11 months.

December, 2012 is starting to look pretty inviting.

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