Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcoming Solstice: Monica Ashley Designs Brightens Dark Days with Spirit and Light

A full moon, a lunar eclipse, and the solstice combine December 20 and 21st for a magical marking of the shortest day of 2010. My family plans a day by the fire, a warm dinner of “solstice soup” (aka chicken fricassee), and some time spent with friends in the moonlight – if the rain lets up for a few moments.

Whatever takes place, I am welcoming the season of drawing in and hibernating. I am wrapping up old projects, organizing, and otherwise clearing the path for resting. I’ve got a picture in my mind of long evenings of handwork by the fire.

To set the stage for welcoming solstice, we’ll need to do some physical transforming and acknowledgment of the changes to come. What better way to do this than to set a nature table?

During last year’s Winter Solstice, Sono-Ma featured Monica Ashley’s nature table (above) with its icy and crystalline colors of pale blue and amethyst. However, this year’s chain of rainy days has us thinking of wet and marshy winter images. This evening we were surprised to see a field of huge mushrooms growing (uninvited) along Fulton Road.

However, there is no need to let the gloomy weather make for gloom and doom spirits. We can make our own light, and revel in the delight of finding the mystical in the darkness. Monica says, “Cap the mushrooms in red, throw in a few elves, sprinkle all with the rare moonlight we’ll soon experience, and suddenly we have a fitting scene to express the newly arriving Winter.”

You, too, can create such a felt-scape with Monica at her upcoming wet felting mural class in January, 8th at 1:00 pm. This four hour class is just $50 (including materials). Create your own warmth, fire, and forest lore with wool and weave your own interpretation of Winter.

Your kids may also enjoy spending the upcoming long and rainy days slated for Winter Break in Monica’s magical studio. With classes tailored to engage 8-11 year old children in all things creative, your children are sure to bring home bright smiles and tales of spirited fun.

This December, I will be offering two special days of winter craft making in my downtown Sebastopol Studio.

Tuesday the 21st and Thursday the 23rd of December. The days will begin at 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon. The children will have baking time and gift making each day.

The children will make gingerbread cookies or assorted cookies and decorate a gingerbread house to take home.

On Tuesday, we will create gifts made from recycled materials: Recycled sweater, hot water bottles or similar gifts, felted ornaments or small animals for a nature table or small child.

On Thursday, we will create gifts made from nature: pine cone ornaments, Snowmen or Santas made with pine cones and wool roving, lavender sachets and beeswax decorated candles.

Each day a snack will be included along 5 hours of care and materials.

Ages: 8-11

Location: Monica Ashley Design’s Studio Sebastopol, California

Registration: Call or email Monica Ashley 707. 236.2829 or monicadanashley@yahoo.com.

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