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Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 | 1 comment

DIY Pets: Making Raw Dog Food

DIY Pets: Making Raw Dog Food

I recently started making my dog Star’s food using mostly raw ingredients. Having heard about how healthy a raw food diet can be for pets, I wanted to give it a try. Almost immediately, we saw a difference in Star’s coat. She even started getting compliments on how glossy it looks. She looks younger than her 10 years too. I started transitioning Star from kibble to raw food by buying the prepackaged raw food from the pet store (Nature’s Nibbles) and mixing it into the kibble until she got used to the change. To make my own raw food from scratch, the owner of Nature’s Nibbles recommended that I watch this how-to video by pet nutrition blogger, Rodney Habib. (If you watch, the how-to portion starts at around 45 seconds in.) What’s in her meal above is about 1-2 cups of raw 95% lean beef, a tiny bit of cooked chicken, a couple of sardines from a can, a raw egg, some cooked sweet potato, hemp seeds (and a...

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 | 0 comments

Register Now: Street Chalk Painting Workshop

Register Now: Street Chalk Painting Workshop

Last May, The Del Ray Montessori School hosted La Bella Strada, an Italian street art festival, where professional and amateur artists from around the area created chalk masterpieces up and down Mt. Vernon Ave. The event is a fundraiser for the school. This year, La Bella Strada will take place on May 13 and all are welcome to participate. For anyone unfamiliar with chalk as an art medium, La Bella Strada organizers have arranged a chalk art workshop on April 29 led by local artist Patrick Kirwin. You’ve probably seen artist Patrick’s work all over Del Ray. He painted the outdoor market scene on the side of VéloCity bicycle co-op, along with children from the Community Kids Club, a group of nine 4th and 5th graders from Mount Vernon Community School. And during the winter he painted several of the winter wonderland window scenes in shops along the Avenue. Last year, Patrick was also a featured artist at La Bella Strada, creating a magnificent hippo and a crocodile and...

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Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 | 3 comments

Register Now: Valentine-Themed Hand-Lettering Workshop

Register Now: Valentine-Themed Hand-Lettering Workshop

Our hand-lettering workshop with with local artist Samantha Testa, of Painted Palettes was so popular last November that we are  hosting a second hand-lettering and watercolor workshop on Saturday, February 11 from 4-6 p.m. Photo credit: @melindasnyderphotography In this workshop for beginners, you will learn the basics of hand lettering using several unique pens and several different styles to practice. You will be using different strokes and formation techniques. In addition, you will learn basic watercolor wash techniques to create a colorful watercolor Valentine’s Card for your favorite person (or people). At the end of the 2-hour workshop, you will take with you: A gorgeous, personalized workbook folder Hand lettering pen(s) A handy workbook to help you keep up your skills Watercolor paper Small journal for practice A ready-to-display work of art that YOU create with your new talent! Discount coupon for the Painted Palettes online store Space is limited to 15 students. The 2-hour workshop costs $47. REGISTER...

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 | 1 comment

Studio Tour: Painter Remy Lavelle

Studio Tour: Painter Remy Lavelle

You are bound to meet Remy if you’re in town and find yourself in UpCycle Creative Reuse Center (CRC) in Alexandria, where she is store manager. Remy is a recent graduate of the Corcoran School of Art & Design. When she invited us out to her studio for a tour, we were eager to see her finished work and works-in-progress. Remy mainly works in oils and acrylics, but also mixed media to add texture and to accentuate the deeper meaning in her work. “I try to recreate a memory that will fade in time,” she says. “This is an attempt to document my own memories with respect to the memories of objects that came before me. Through the simple act of stitching, knotting, and applying paint, I attempt to weave these materials together in a way that respects them and the time we share together.” Since graduating, Remy’s work has evolved to a more sculptural surface. She’s working on new work in her studio that is more layered, constructed...

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 | 4 comments

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

I did a double-take the first time I drove past Brad and Heather’s home and noticed their handsome gleaming wood porch. Later, I learned that they designed and built it themselves and were willing to share their experience with us. Here is the porch the way it looked when they first purchased their home. Brad initially did his planning on paper and with computer software. He went through many drafts before​ c​oming up with the perfect design. Once they had the final plan, Brad spent several months ​drawing the interlocking wood panels using a key to indicate the differen​t e​lements. They then ordered enough white oak to build the railings and to replace the ​five original pillar​s that were removed. They salvaged the old yellow pine for other DIY projects.​ While Brad worked on the wood pieces, Heather prepared the flooring by removing many layers of paint by using a floor grinder and pressure washer​. They installed slate tiles, a choice they admitted to regretting since they said it...

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