We were very excited to go and explore Earth Day at Morgans Grove Park in Shepherdstown West Virginia this 2012 Season. Earth Day in the park put on by Earth Vibe and the various vendors and local marketers provided a wealth of alternative ideas, art and connections. It was a bit of a cold one on Saturday and the rain came in the afternoon, but we set about exploring and talking with as many participants as possible. Truly we could have used all weekend to connect with all the wonderful people we met. I love talking to people in the local economy who have set up their own “road show” business or avocation off the beaten path. You can keep your department store because the good stuff is outside the periphery of mono-cultured plastified products with codified UPC bar scans. Alternative products from real people garner more than the value on the price tag, the unspoken value is also in the connection to local business and culture that breathes life into an afternoon of good conversation. sharing ideas and just participating in being a part of a solution for many small and local artists and vendors. If you do not regularly go to events such as this then I’ll make my case here for why you should engage in alternatives just such as this!
Our fist stop was SawJac Carvings, seeing as how a “Welcome Bear” carved out of an old tree beckoned to us. Jack Veara was happy to share his work of turning trees into art. Jack displays and does demonstrations at festivals and events from around the area in PA, MD, WV and Virginia. The Earth Day event at Morgans Grove was a little too short on time for Jack to do a demo on Saturday but there were more than enough of his past works to see what Jack can do with a chainsaw and a tree trunk. Jack said this is not a full-time gig for him but a hobby that just kept going. It keeps itself paid for and allows him to continue exploring new pieces and designs. On display were a cacophony of unique pieces and designs, from carved wooden garden mushrooms to custom log benches.
Now I ask you, why not gt a unique and functional piece of art or furniture in lieu of mass-produced particle board extrusions when you can have this kind of character? Jack’s next show will be at the Smithsburg Pride Day and the link to his site is included here. Of course if you’re looking for a custom piece or have an event you’d like to see Jack at you can him at 304-258-0981.
Moon Bouce or Gem Hunting?
I see more and more children’s parties with Moon Bounces these days, but we spotted an ALTERNATIVE to the Moon Bounce Children’s party. How about this for “Alternative” Mobile Gem Hunting from Tims Gems. I have to say I really liked this engaging idea for kids. Jacob Allen was toting his Daughter Winona and once we found this we set about making a real world test. Tim set’s up kids with a various sized buckets of sand loaded with various gems and fossils and the kids set about “screening” the sand in his self-contained mobile sluce boxes. What is not to love about the discovery of mysterious possibilities, this is ready-made to appeal to a child’s inquisitive nature and is the perfect educational opportunity as well.
Tim has been hard at work doing this for several years and he is constantly busy with this alternative business. In recent years he has been getting more and more business from educational institutions and event venues, not to mention the business he receives as a replacement to the Moon Bounce. You could say that we really dug this idea for its originality and alternative to convention. A+ Tim, you can contact Tim on his website at TimsGems.net where he has stored more information about this Alternative Business and venues that he will be participating in.
Handmade Custom Kaleidoscope Silks.
Onward to another participatory adventure in creating original products. Floating color on a liquid medium and painting patterns of self created originality was the next booth that drew our attention. For the price of $10-30 you get a custom silk scarf created by your own hand at the new venture called Kaleidoscope Silks. We talked with Ashley Britner of Chambersburg PA who runs this artistic venture and participates in alternative events around the area. Ashley’s business allows you to make your own marbleized silk scarf at local events/at our studio, or buy wholesale pre-marbled scarves and works for your business or event. The possibilities can be used in literally endless ways for those so inclined to imagine these creations possibilities. Lamp shades, tapestries, accents, pillows, and on and on.
Easy as Pie (Personal Chef, Caterer and Food Services)
First off, did you say PIE! Well I continued to wander about and the letters P.I.E. actually work like some sort of unconscious magnet on me. Not to mention the shining smile of Elissa Schwartzbach-Cleaveland and Chef Lis of Easy as Pie specialty Sauces and Preserves. Smiles, Pie, Homemade Strawberry Vanilla Preserves set on the table ready for tasting so the magnetic call of another “foodie” had me bouncing over to talk with Elissa. After we talked for a while we both realized we had known each other in differing circles around the area a while back. She had moved on to pursue culinary school many years ago and this is part of the culmination of her love for food and the practice of the art. I am a self-proclaimed “foodie nut” and love food for the connection and culture that it brings to sharing human relationship. If you are a “foodie” you will understand that there is a certain spiritual aspect to sharing preparation, intent and creation at a table. Ellissa confirmed my experience with this when I heard her parrot the same experiential journey food has led her to in her own life. Easy a Pie is her chosen vehicle to continue the exploration of food creativity and spirit by breathing her creations into the life of the local economy and social circles. Social circles and gatherings are probably where an experienced Chef who has this creative mindset can really add to the experience of a food event. As we talked I could readily see Elissa has this intuitive and talented understanding of food. Indeed I was quite excited at the prospect of Elissa rotating over through Alterjournal.org as a Food Editor in the near future. I hope that we will bring you more from Ellissa as a feature in Alterjournal soon. Perhaps you can convince her to share some articles about the Spiritual nature of food by visiting her facebook page or at 240-601-1751 and telling her we wold love to hear more!
Shopping List Item 172 a Gourd for a Berimbau
Mountain View Gourds
A while back I saw a gentleman playing a Berimbau that he had made from a stick, the steal belt from an old tire and a Gourd. OK, so I am not an avid Goard Farmer so I made a mental note to get a gourd at the first possible opportunity figuring that it might take a while to find the right gourd. For whatever reason I just don’t seem to travel in the circles where gourds present themselves everyday which is why I made a beeline directly to the display of painted and artistic gourds set out for display on the Mountain View Gourds table. These are truly beautiful creations that are hand burned, carved and painted, laid out with various patterns and artwork. Containers of artful expression and again my path to potential Berimbau Production this summer. Barbara Acker is the artist behind these creations and she does it for the love of creation and sharing. I looked over her designs and I was really impressed by their fine detail work and originality. Being a local Shenendoah Catch and Release Carp type fisher person I was particularly attracted to the Japanese Carp Burn/Painted Gourd Vase in the Picture, the driftwood stand made it a complete work. I was very happy while talking to Barbara about my Item #172 Shopping List Item Gourd requirement for the upcoming Berimbau project. She did not look at me like I had three heads(well at least not for long) she kindly offered to shepherd me around her Gourd collection on her farm in the future so I might complete the almighty summer Berimbau project. We talked about how she works with this art form and her affinity for the usefulness and potential of the much maligned and misunderstood gourd. Her artwork with gourds and her readiness to help such a lowly Berimbau gourd seeker is one of the reasons to attend events like this. Now I have a Gourd Source, and I venture to say THE gourd source for the Berimbau project and an Artist to really breath visual artistic expression into an archaic musical instrument. I will certainly be calling on her for this and perhaps more when I think of unique presents for birthdays and special occasions.
My Western Medical Ridden Body is Killing Me Is There A Masseur In The House?
Walking around all day is not an activity that my Lyme Survivor body takes to readily. Decades of western medicine aimed at curing me for a misdiagnoses of Juvenile Rhuematory Arthritis among other things turned out to be in fact Lyme disease, so now I suffer from both the effects of Lyme disease itself and perhaps more nefarious are the effects of treatments western medicine leveled at the wrong disease to start with. Western medicine never could address Lyme adequately and it is still mired in the politics of disease, however science is beginning to start to understand that material and energy are interchangeable in the most literal sense. In no modality is this perhaps more important than in the modality of healing and medical practice. Where it not for herbal and alternative solutions I would be still bound in constant disability. Nikole Bosley and Aldene Etter had their booth set up with Message Therapy tables and knowing the potential for relief I headed over for a complimentary 10 minute message session. Afterward and feeling much more energetic and relieved we talked quite a bit about medicine, healing, energy and the differing modalities available to patients who would otherwise be left without treatment. There is a point of view often that “alternative” medicine or energy is the stuff of “hocus pocus”, I can relate to that point of view, but I will tell you it is a misinformed one. For me left with no choice but to explore these modalities I found great wisdom and a complete world of healing that in general western medicine has been loath to adequately recognize. I could tell from talking to Nikole and Aldene they recognized and knew the powerful effects these modalities can have, they knew the potential and had the recognizable mark of caring and altruism that seem to ingress into true practitioners of these ancient arts. I have stood in front or been presented to 100′s of doctors over the years and in at least my experiential subjective point of view I can see when healing is the primary motivation. Nikole Bosley and Aldene Etter are two of those I would continue with. You can connect with her on Facebook Here or stroll over to her website at Nikole Bosley’s Therapeutic Massage & Aldene Etters website, relief is a click away.
Summing It All Up
The Earth Day event was actually a fairly short event running for only a day. We tried to get to as many attractions as possible and do justice to the art and people who are doing these alternatives to convention. To be honest we simply did not have enough time to get every where we wanted to go. I have included the list of vendors from the Earth Vibe Productions events page and you will certainly want to check out their website and talk with them about future goings on. There are tons of reasons to participate and attend events like this, but I have found that there is more value in the local economy of ideas and shared connections than can be fully expressed outside of experience. There is a great feeling that we need to move to a more realistic and close relationship in our own communities and this event was certainly a good vehicle to navigate our local resources. All too often we are shopping and consuming through abstraction at the local warehouses stocked by the consumer priests of sameness. I could shop at Walmart and fill up carts full of material all day and still bring home nothing of intrinsic human value. What do I bring home from an event like this? I received more value than I can adequately express in words. It is part and parcel of the reason we wanted to start Alterjournal in the first place, to connect with, point to and celebrate real endeavors on a very personal connected level.
This is where the magic happens, thanks to all who took time to share with us!
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Complete Vendor List Earth Day 2012
Taste of Leesburg
Road Wood Works
Healthy Networking Services
in the Valley
for Life / American Red Cross