Monday, February 17, 2014

Winter Happenings

Winter. What can we say? This has been a doozie. All this cold and snow might make things a bit more cumbersome, but it certainly doesn't stop us. Here's what we've been up to:

Garden Expo 

Every year you can find Shake Rag Alley at Garden Expo in Madison on the second weekend in February.

We take lots of class project samples and love the opportunity to show off all the terrific things people can make in Shake Rag Alley workshops.

Quonset Hut Renovation 

This is so exciting! The soon-to-be-renovated Quonset Hut is finally starting to take shape.

Despite frigid temperatures, Ken Wallace and his crew have been hard at work with demolition, returning the interior to its original shell-like form. Here you can see the framing for the three bays on the west side. Originally garage doors, one will remain a functional garage door while the other two will become an entrance and a bank of windows.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Quonset Hut progress!

Valentine's Day 

Everyone got into Valentine's Day card making madness this year.

Our annual Valentine Card Sale was held the last weekend in January with hundreds of one-of-a-kind Valentines hand made by local artisans...little pieces of art, really. Plus yummy chocolates provided by our intrepid volunteer bakers. Always a warm and welcome event on a cold winter day.

But the kids and the monthly Women's Art Party also got into the act.

Instructor Di Sterba claims she pulled out a smorgasbord of "google-dy gongs" for the kids to use in the Middle School Heart Art class. One student made a fantastic "beating heart" pop-up card.

Click here to see the full schedule of Youth classes.

The Women's Art Party created these excellent Valentines. February's theme was "Heart Art" and the ladies came up with a variety of fun projects to work on.

Women's Art Party is held on the first Wednesday night of every month in the Ellery House at Shake Rag Alley, no registration required, just drop in. Mark your calendars for the next Women's Art Party on Monday, March 3rd from 6:30-8:30pm.

SRA Winter Writers Series

Since 2011 Shake Rag Alley's Writer's Residency Program has partnered with Wisconsin writing organizations to offer week-long residencies to their annual writing contest winners.

Writer-in-Residence Kathleen Ernst led a historical fiction writing workshop in late January for twenty Mineral Point fourth and fifth graders. Each student was given a historical photo to get their creative juices flowing and then Kathleen led them through the process of crafting a story about one of the characters in the photo. According to Kris McCoy, school librarian and Shake Rag Board member, some of the students were so enthused about the workshop they returned to the library after the session to continue working on their stories. Thanks to Kathleen for sharing her enthusiasm about writing with our students!

The next SRA Writers Series Event will be a reading by Amy Baker at the Mineral Point Public Library on February 27 at 7pm. Amy is the WI People and Ideas 2013 Fiction Winner for her work Snow Day.

Women's Winter Retreats

On Feb 7-9, eight women gathered for a glorious weekend of camaraderie and art...the first of two 2014 Women's Winter Retreats.

They made matchbox pendants, painted furniture and created leather masks. Guest instructor Kate Bausch showed how to create beautiful tree art.

Only one spot left in the final Women's Winter Retreat of the season on Feb 21-23! Don't miss here to register.)

Click here for lots more photos from the retreats.

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