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Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 | 0 comments

Mindful and Merry Del Ray

Mindful and Merry Del Ray

From trees and garlands to window murals and light displays, anywhere you walk along Mt Vernon Ave. in Del Ray, you are reminded to be “mindful and merry” this holiday season. The Del Ray Business Association chose the “Mindful and Merry” theme this year and it is thoughtfully and creatively executed on every block. Local businesses sponsored the trees decorated by non-profits (you can vote for your favorite tree on the DRBA website before December 25). Several windows have been painted with winter wonderland scenes — some are still being painted and if you are lucky you may just catch an artist in action. It wouldn’t be Del Ray without something out of the ordinary as well. A stand-out this year is the custom-made “Be the Light” display, the work of Del Ray resident Nancy Belmont (more on this project later this week). And it’s all capped off with the giant tree at the Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, one of the merriest spots in...

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Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 | 1 comment

A Charlie Brown Christmas in Del Ray

A Charlie Brown Christmas in Del Ray

In the next few weeks, many of the businesses along Del Ray’s Mt Vernon Ave. will feature winter wonderland-themed murals on their windows. For the mural at Del Ray Pharmacy, my friend Candi and I offered to paint an ode to one of our favorite holiday stories, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Our supplies: Washable tempura paint and black tempura pen (not shown). Powder tempura paint. Adding about a tablespoon of powder to about a cup of the premixed paint makes the paint thicker to allow better saturation of color on the windows. Dish soap. One squirt in the mixture also helps the paint to stick to the window better. Paint brushes of various widths. Hair spray (not shown here). Spraying the final artwork will help protect it from the elements. First, we found images online and had them enlarged in black and white (we got ours printed at Affordable Signs) to the actual size we would paint. We then taped the images in place on the inside of the...

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 | 0 comments

Amy’s Handmade Holiday Wreaths

Amy’s Handmade Holiday Wreaths

We’ve always loved the look of Amy DeGood’s floral arrangements (we featured her Del Ray business Good Gardener last year). Now that the season for locally grown flowers has passed, Amy’s transitioning to the use of evergreens to create simple, elegant and natural wreaths. You can buy them at an open house in Del Ray this Sunday. Amy makes a variety of sizes and style wreaths. She mixes branches of evergreen, boxwood and magnolia from her farm (and collected around the region) with dried flowers and curly willow branches to create an elegant layered design. Amy says the key to keeping a natural wreath looking good well into the holiday season is to keep it cool, protect it from the rain/wind and give its branches a squirt of water if temperatures are unseasonably warm. Amy will be selling her wreaths at a sale this Sunday, November 20 from 1-3 pm at 415 E. Windsor in Del Ray. Quantities are limited, so the earlier you come to the sale, the...

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Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 | 0 comments

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

From street chalk art to custom water colors, hand-lettered invitations to wall art, local artist Samantha Testa embraces a wide variety of art mediums.  I met Samantha last spring when she participated in La Bella Strada: An Italian Street Painting Festival. Samantha cleverly used the artist-grade sidewalk chalk as watercolor paint to create an exquisite landscape. She also recently appeared on Art on the Avenue in Del Ray, where she sold the one-of-a-kind watercolors and hand-lettered paintings that she features on her Painted Palettes website and Etsy store. One of Samantha’s signature features is hand-lettering, which she makes the centerpiece of a piece, or an enhancement. Photo credit: @melindasnyderphotography She does many custom projects for clients as well. Her main requests are for watercolor animal portraits, watercolor venue/house paintings, hand-lettered invitations, and hand-lettered gifts, such as a wood slice with a family’s last name, picture frame mats hand lettered with a saying, wine glasses, ornaments, nursery art, and personalized art for specific rooms in a house. Stayed Tuned! Samantha...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 | 4 comments

The Animal Welfare League’s Lady Grey

The Animal Welfare League’s Lady Grey

We love visiting our local animal shelter, the Alexandria Animal Welfare League. Both of our family pets come from the shelter including Wei, the sweetest Schnauzer mix you will ever meet, and BB-8, our Hemingway cat who has brightened up our lives since we got him in January this year. There is one special cat at the shelter named Lady Grey. She is beautiful and sweet as can be. Unfortunately, she has been at the shelter since January. This really upset both my kids because January is when we adopted BB-8. The thought of her being in the shelter all that time makes us sad. The Animal Welfare League has a great program called Adopt it Forward. There are generous people who pay the adoption fees for some of the animals at the shelter. Lady Grey’s fees have been paid! She has to be an only cat because she has an upper respiratory infection that is contagious. My daughter has a special affection for Lady Grey. She drew a...

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