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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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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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If you haven’t made a Diorama, it’s time you did.

Dioramas are fun to make.

Moms, Grandmas, this activity will occupy your energetic kids and grandkids for hours.

Check out this cheerful Safari Diorama made for a kids workshop I taught during Spring Break.

Safari Diorama

Safari Diorama crop

Diorama 2

To make your Safari Diorama

You will need:

  1. A shoe box (preferably  man’s shoe sized box – free from your local shoe store.)
  2. 3-4 sheets of colored paper for the background (chose from orange, red, or peach shades)
  3. White sheet of card stock paper (.95 cents a sheet – aprox. 20″ x 24″ )
  4. Damco Tempra paints (liquid non-toxic brilliant colors – ($11.95 for 6 bottles  – white, black, red, yellow, blue, green. These will last for many projects)
  5. Pencil  
  6. Pair of scissors 
  7. Glue stick  
  8. Tape
  9. Paint brushes  
  10. Container with water to clean your brushes

Supplies are available at your local art and craft supply store, House of Fine Art (HOFA)

Now you are ready to begin.

1.  Begin by gluing the orange, red, or peach paper inside your box (sides and bottom)

This will give it the feel of a hot African Safari desert.

Now, using your card stock:

2.  Draw your characters, paint them, and cut them out.

Geraffe Lion BWElephant tiger 2 onlyGiraffe lion cutoutsElephant tiger 1
3.  Draw 3 suns – large, medium and small sizes.
4.  Color, cut, and glue them together as shown below.
5.  Glue them into the background of your diorama.
Diorama 3 suns 13 suns colored3 suns together

6.  Do the same for the mountains.

3 Diorama mountain patterns 1
Diorama mountain pattern colored 1

7.  Now the tree
Diorama tree patterns
Tree colored 1
8.  Glue your tree to the foreground of your diorama.

9.  Make a stand for each of your characters.

10.  Glue the stand to the back of the character.

11.  Find a home for your character in your diorama, and glue it down.

prop up stand

12.  Add some grass…

Snip into a strip of card stock to make blades of grass.

Diorama grass pattern

13. Paint your grass using yellow, brown, orange and green hues.

14. Glue to the front of your diorama.

Safari Diorama crop

Voila… your diorama has come alive.

Have fun.

Thank you House of Fine Art

for providing the art room for us to create our dioramas.

House of Fine Art is located at #101-2485 West Railway, Abbotsford, BC  604.853.2400

Thank you Chrissy for making the appealing poster,

and Riley, for taking a photo of the finished diorama.

Diorama

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To one and all – a Merry Christmas Eve. 

Soap Stone Carving- Nativity - Carrie ©

Tonight we’re making a beef dish called “Rolladen”.

It is of German origin.

My “Rolladen” recipe:

Ask your butcher to slice thin strips of top quality beef (no fat) about 6 inches wide, 8  inches long, and a mere 1/8 inch thick

Spread a little hot mustard on one side

At one end, place a small pickle or pickle piece

Crush fresh garlic and sprinkle over the meat

Do the same with bits of real bacon

Add some sauteed onions

Roll in up and use 2 toothpicks to keep together

Put into a glass casserole and add:

About 1/2 cup water

1-2 Tbsp. virgin olive oil (use a brush to cover the meat with the olive oil)

Salt and pepper

A few shakes of Mrs. Dash.

1or 2 bay leaves (place in the water)

Bake slowly at 325 degrees

This meal goes great with garlic mashed potatoes or dumplings.

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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.”

“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.

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Panda Bear, pencil sketch - Carrie ©

True to my word, I searched my closet for photos of my Newfoundland dogs.

Our two  Newfies, Panda Bear and Dandie Lion,  are called Landseers (Black and White). The Landseer was named after an English painter, sir Edwin Henry Landseer.

For more of Edwin Henry Landseer’s paintings check out the Encore Editions site where I found this painting. Delightful artwork. Encore Editions

Called “Newfoundland and Woodchuck”

“Their big head and kind, gentle expression makes them very adorable and dignified”, as my daughter put it.

Beautiful, dignified, and true to their nature, these dogs were every bit a Newfoundland at heart. How we loved our Newfies.

Panda Bear and Dandie Lion playing soccer - Carrie ©

Panda Bear and Dandie Lion, Someone has a ball! - Carrie ©

Playing in the Back Yard with our son - Carrie ©

I’ve decided to dedicate a page to Panda and Dandie.

A  page where I get to tell stories about all my furry and feathered friends.

I’ll be sure to sneak in a bit of informative stuff as well.

You’ll find these animal stories here: Panda and Dandie’s page

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Chuzzle’s Incredible Journey is written for ages pre-school to Grade Two. A Mother and daughter effort – written by Minde Wachsmann, illustrated  by Carrie Wachsmann (myself).

Chuzzle cover blog

Chuzzle, a young adventurous porcupine with many endearing qualities, embarks on a journey to find his dear friend Whuzzle. Chuzzle and Whuzzle used to play together everyday when they were neighbors.

Then Whuzzles and her family moved far away, past the Little Stream, through the Deep Forest, beyond the Green Blue Pond, and up the Giant Big Hill.

Chuzzle missed her very much. One day he decided he was now old enough to venture out on his own. Saying goodbye to his parents, Chuzzle packed his lunch and bravely embarked on his incredible journey to find his friend Whuzzle.

You can read the complete story at:

http://bit.ly/BxBbk

My daughter  and I have cooperated in writing and illustrating several short stories.

Illustrating this story was exceptional fun. I got another opportunity to use my  Wacom Tablet – a Christmas gift from my husband. Thank you dear.

Minde created the visuals for the characters – then I developed her  concepts into the images used in the story book.

Chuzzles leaves homeChuzzle leaves home – Carrie  ©

I sketched, then pencil crayoned the sketches. I scanned the sketches and detailed them using Photoshop and Wacom Tablet. Using my digital Nikon camera, I took photographs and used them to create backgrounds.

Chuzzle leaves home - Carrie  ©

Chuzzle leaves home - Carrie ©

I’ve been studying some tutorials on http://deviantart.com which I’m finding very fascinating as well as helpful.

Here’s the photo I took of a burned out tree stump. I used it to develop the night scene in the forest.

I’ve learned to always have my camera ready cause I never know what treasures I’m going to find. (my moto: treasures are hidden in simple things)

Burned out tree stump

Burned out tree stump - Carrie ©

Chuzzles arrives at his destination after his incredible journey - Carrie  ©

Chuzzles arrives at his destination after his incredible journey - Carrie ©

You can read Chuzzle Incredible Journey at:

http://bit.ly/BxBbk

Available in Ebook form.

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