SCM Bulletin - Annual Children's Christmas Tree Trimming

Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “Annual Children’s Christmas Tree Trimming”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 12, page 3, author

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I loved writing this article. I am very involved with the museum and have attended as many of their events as I can, this event by far is my favorite. The image in the paper is not mine, but the image below is. The doll pictured below was made by 4 year old Boulder Creek resident Taylor Kievlan.

Sunday December 7th the San Lorenzo Valley Museum had their 13th annual Children’s Christmas Tree Trimming. This is the museum’s longest running event and as usual was a huge success. Over 40 families participated this year in getting ready for Christmas the old fashioned way by decorating cookies, making ornaments, and arranging greenery. This may be a children’s event but don’t think the parents weren’t involved as well; I saw just as many parents creating decorations as I did children.

There was a wide range of choices of activities and for a $5 donation you could do as many of them as you wanted. The skill levels involved also varied a great deal, but none of the activities were too hard for children, as the picture attached shows. The lovely lady you see there was made by Taylor Kievlan of Boulder Creek who is 4 years old. This activity starts off with two twigs tied together with a head already attached. You then choose from dried and fresh plant materials, tie it with raffia, which you also had a few colors to choose from, and with hot glue, assistance provided if needed, you create until you are happy with the final product. There are even 3 example dolls to help you along. This was the Kievlan family’s first time and her grandmother could not be more proud of Taylor’s creation. Taylor’s mother says she is going to display it year round, not just at Christmas. I saw several very well done versions of this activity by a wide range of ages. I heard others say how their kids look forward to opening the box that has the ornaments they have made from years past.

There were many more choices of activities. You could make a wreath or candy cane out of beads and pipe cleaners. If that isn’t for you, maybe making a Santa’s sled or a train out of candy is, this activity was a big hit with kids. If getting some candy hasn’t satisfied your sweet tooth you can decorate sugar or gingerbread cookies. If you wanted something more challenging you could make a corn husk doll and with a bit of pipe cleaner the doll quickly becomes an angel. For a hanging doll you could do the activity pictured. Finally for those of you who want to bring some greenery indoors you could make a hanging arrangement or a center piece out of fresh greenery, bells, and ribbon. There also was a decorated tree at the back of the museum near the original entrance to the Church. Next to that was hot cider and an arrangement of sweets for all to enjoy. There really was something for everyone.

It takes a lot of work to put on an event like this as well as sponsors. The sponsors this year were Joe’s Bar, W/A Insurance Services, and Redwood Resort. It was organized by executive director Lynda Phillips who was helped out by many volunteers. Friday night 10 AmeriCorps volunteers who put down paper to protect the floor, brought in the tables, chairs, and helped decorate for the event. The day of the event 14 volunteers, three of which were also from AmeriCorps, helped with setup, assisting everyone with the activities, and clean up. As always it was a well planned and executed event.

I have been to many activities at the museum this year and this one felt the most warm and inviting. It was like the whole community was coming together to decorate, socialize, and make this holiday time more than just about gifts, but about family and community. Now part of this could be because this was the first time you could really get outside after a week long rain storm and enjoy a bit of sunlight, I was very grateful this event was blessed with such nice weather. Our family will definitely be doing this again for many years to come, and I highly recommend it to everyone of any age.

SCM Bulletin - Mountain Art Center, Art Camp

Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “Mountains Art Center – Art Camp”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 8, Art & Music page 15, author & photographer

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In addition to my book review article I had two articles in the art section of the paper. The Mountain Art Center is an amazing local resource for all artist, and in particular young budding artists.

This week Mountains Art Center wrapped up their final session of Art Camp. This was the eighth year they have done an art camp and this year it was split up into 4 sessions, each session being 1 week long. For children ages six to twelve art camp was Monday through Friday with one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon. Tweens and teens had their own class in the late afternoons. This allowed for each age group to get the attention they needed, while allowing for maximum learning. Each week of classes had space for 14 children and most classes were full.

Each session had a theme and was executed by eight teachers, giving the kids a diverse palette of inspiration and instruction styles. They worked with many different materials such as beads, clay, metal, and paints. For the younger children the first session started off with the theme Wild Woods, session two was Machine Madness, three was Sun Time Fun Time, and the final session was Animal Friends. The themes for the teens was Clay for Teens, Robotics I & II, Manipulating Metal, and ending with Throwing on the Potter’s Wheel.

The results have been excellent and the goal of encouraging artistic expression and growth has been achieved. The children came away with a feeling of excitement and inquisitiveness about the artistic possibilities. The center is doing a wonderful job of teaching and inspiring the next generation of artist. Next summer, consider this summer camp program for your budding artist and see how the art center can help them grow and flourish!