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Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 | 0 comments

Kate’s Custom Crochet Doll: The Rainbow Lady

Kate’s Custom Crochet Doll: The Rainbow Lady

If you live in Del Ray and have kids, I can all but guarantee you’ve heard of Rainbow Rock. They’re local musician Kate Moran’s band that has been performing for children since 2012 at parties and festivals, in cafes, and at the annual festival that Kate also produces in the spring, the Tot Rock Fest. When Kate performs, she transforms into “Rainbow Lady” in a colorful bob, rainbow t-shirt and hoodie, sky blue skirt with rainbow appliqué, and black-and-while saddle shoes. What would be more fitting than for Rainbow Lady to have her own lookalike plush doll. The idea came to her in a moment of serendipity, when Kate was browsing the booths at Del Ray’s annual Art on the Avenue last fall and met crocheter Sarah Potter from Hooked and Loopy. Sarah specializes in amigurumi, the Japanese art of making knit and crochet stuffed toys. Kate says, “I walked into Sarah’s booth to buy a penguin and I noticed she had these superhero dolls which were SO cute!...

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Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 | 1 comment

“Be the Light:” The Making of an Art Installation

“Be the Light:” The Making of an Art Installation

Today we welcome Nancy Belmont to share how the “Be the Light” display in Del Ray came to be… If you’ve been on Mt. Vernon Avenue in the evening over the past week, you may have noticed some extra energy. On Saturday, December 3, I launched, “Be the Light,” a new community art installation. The project asks visitors to think about the light inside of them, write an intention about how they can bring that light into the world, then light a candle to add to the display. Photo credit: Bill Coyle on Flickr “Be the Light” is my third interactive public art project over the past year and a half. (The first was the Courage Wall; the second was UNITY.) It was inspired by the idea that sometimes my light feels covered up by sadness, pain or heartbreak. I wanted to bring people together in a way that allows them to be vulnerable through anonymity. By creating a space where people can participate without sharing their identity, they...

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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 7, 2016 | 1 comment

Meet the Mural Artist: Patrick Kirwin

Meet the Mural Artist: Patrick Kirwin

You may have noticed a new mural gradually taking shape in the neighborhood, becoming more and more colorful and elaborate, alongside the long wall of the VéloCity bicycle co-op on the corner of Custis and Mt. Vernon Avenues. The local artist who proposed the idea of painting an outdoor market scene and has been doing the painting is Patrick Kirwin. He specializes in Trompe L’oeil. Patrick currently teaches at the Alexandria Art League and has taught at The Corcoran College and the Smithsonian Institution. He has completed large commercial projects, as well as the interiors of many small shops, private wine cellars, and residential murals. Initially, Patrick worked with children from the Community Kids Club, a group of nine 4th and 5th graders from Mount Vernon Community School, to paint the flower pots along the bottom of the length of the mural. As the mural acquires more and more detail, Patrick fills the flower pots. He is also beginning to paint people and dogs into the mural to add...

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 | 2 comments

How to Host a Suffragette Sash Party

How to Host a Suffragette Sash Party

No matter your political leaning, we can all agree the right to vote is a wonderful thing. The suffragettes from the early 1900s who vigorously advocated for a woman’s right to vote by donning “Votes for Women” sashes certainly appreciated having their voices heard. In this election year, what better way to celebrate this right than with vintage-inspired suffragette sashes. Don’t have a sash? Host a sash-making party! This was Layla Masri’s thought after her friend Reba mentioned she wished she could find her suffragette sash to wear to the polls. Layla queried a few friends to gauge interest in a sash party and easily heard from 25+ attendees. Layla ordered plain sashes from Amazon for about $3.50 each and everyone brought ribbon, sequins, foam letters and shapes, fabric paint and glue guns. A number of ladies brought felt and cut out their own letters to match the feel of the original sashes. A few decorated the backs of the sashes with some “updated language” from this election cycle,...

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