This four week course with the instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply washes, use brushstrokes and lifting to achieve the effects of light and shadow. Students will practice applying washes on paper, start mixing colors and paint several color wheels to explore color. Students will work on simple line drawings of a sprig of leaves or flowers they have drawn, transfer these onto watercolor paper and practice their techniques.
Recommended materials (not included in class fee) are listed on our website.
Tuesday afternoons, 1:30-4:00pm, Aug. 6 – Aug. 27. Classes will be held in our upstairs studio at 205 E. Main St., Front Royal, Virginia.
Class policies: We understand that scheduling conflicts do happen. You may cancel your class for a full refund up to 48 hours before the first class, by phone or in person. No refunds will be issued after this time.
The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: Frost’s bad dream
The children at the North Pole Animal Day Care are napping under the watchful eye of their teacher, Rudolpha the reindeer. Resting on their soft mats, Mistral the penguin, Storm the fox, Bianca the rabbit and Snowflake the polar bear look like perfect angels.
Only Frost the snowy owl isn’t napping peacefully. He flaps his wings, twitches his feet and shakes his head from left to right. Suddenly, he opens his eyes and yells, “HELP! HELP ME PLEASE! NOOOO!”
The other children all wake with a start. Calmly, Rudolpha approaches the young owl. “Everything’s okay, Frost. It’s Rudolpha, you’re at day care and you’re safe here.”
Trembling and breathing hard, the little owl huddles closer to his teacher while the other children watch him curiously. Slowly, Frost calms down. “I had a terrible nightmare. I was so scared,” he says.
“Tell us what happened,” says Mistral.
“Yeah, we want to know what scared you so much,” agrees Storm.
“Do you feel like sharing, Frost?” asks Rudolpha gently.
“Okay,” he agrees, “but I’m warning you all, it’s really scary.
“I was all alone on the tundra when I heard something that sounded like a lion’s roar. I knew that lions don’t usually live in the North Pole but then I saw a huge set of pawprints in the snow. At first, I thought they were bear prints, but they didn’t look anything like Snowflake’s paws. What were they?
“I found out a second later. Suddenly, there was a huge monster next to me. It looked like a big cat with two gigantic fangs coming out of its mouth. I think it was hungry because it was drooling as it looked at me.
“I tried and I tried to fly away, but my feet were stuck to the ground and I couldn’t move. That’s when I yelled and woke everyone up.”
“It sounds like you were dreaming about a saber-toothed tiger,” says Rudolpha.
“What’s that?” asks Frost.
“It’s a huge prehistoric cat that, luckily for us, disappeared thousands of years ago.”
“Really? Well, the next time I dream about one, I’ll say, ‘I’m not afraid of you, big kitty, because you don’t even exist!’” says Frost, puffing out his feathered chest.
After the emotional episode, the children and Rudolpha put away their mats and carry on with their day. That afternoon, they decorate Christmas cupcakes for snack time.
Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas
Stairway to Christmas: how to decorate stairs for the holidays
The stairway in your house is the perfect place to show off your Christmas spirit. Here’s how to dress up this oft overlooked part of your home.
Decorate the handrail
Wrap the handrail with evergreen garlands and decorate them with either berries, pinecones and burlap ribbons for a rustic look, or with Christmas baubles for a more whimsical take. Wrap a string of white or colored lights around the garlands to add some sparkle.
Alternatively, you can decorate the handrails with ribbons instead of greenery. Depending on the look you want, you can choose to use either one type of ribbon or a mix of different kinds in an assortment of colors and sizes.
Decorate the stairs
If they’re wide enough, put decorations directly on the stairs. Pillar candles (battery-operated ones are safest), wooden decorations and festive figurines can help create the holiday ambience you’re after.
Decorate the walls and ceiling
Ask the kids to make paper snowflakes and use them to decorate the wall along the stairway. You can also display holiday photos from Christmases past. As a final touch, consider suspending large ornaments from the ceiling. Make sure to hang them high enough so that no one bumps their head.
If you follow these tips, your stairway esthetic is sure to please visitors and earn their praise all season long.
Men’s holiday fashions
Are you hoping to turn heads at your next work party or family event? Here are the top fashion trends for men this winter.
Monochromatic looks. Get the look of the season by wearing a single neutral tone in varying shades and textures. If the esthetic is too simple for you, jazz it up with colorful or metallic accessories.
Sheepskin. Leave last year’s puffer jacket in the closet and instead reach for a timelessly cool sheepskin jacket or coat. Cognac and cream is the classic color combo for them but monochrome versions (try black on black) are also stylish and provide a more modern take on the look.
The black suit. Do you have a formal holiday party to attend this year? If so, you can’t go wrong wearing a classic black tuxedo, white shirt and bow tie. Make sure it fits you perfectly by taking it to a tailor for a professional fitting.
Earth tones. Brown and other autumnal colors are in vogue this season. Pair a light brown blazer with espresso-colored pants or a sandy suit with a darker shirt.
Whether your style is edgy and contemporary or timelessly sophisticated, there’s a holiday look that’s right for you.
Parking lot dings: how to prevent your new car from getting one
Are you wary of public parking lots because you don’t want your new car to get damaged? If so, you can minimize the risk by carefully picking your spot.
While entirely parking away from other vehicles is a good strategy for protecting your car from getting dinged, it’s not always possible. Here are some tips for choosing a safe parking spot.
• Look for new and high-end cars. It’s a pretty safe bet that their owners are just as concerned as you are about their paint jobs.
• Park near compact cars. Small cars have smaller doors, which reduces the risk of them getting slammed into yours. By the same token, avoid parking near two-door cars, which tend to have bigger doors.
• Avoid cars with child seats. Parents may push their car door against your vehicle while strapping kids into their seats.
Finally, avoid parking at the end of a row and the narrow parking spaces created when cars park too close to the lines. These spots leave your vehicle more exposed to potential damage.
Mozzarella sticks with tomato dipping sauce
Looking for an appetizer to serve at your next holiday party? These mozzarella sticks and tomato dipping sauce are sure to be a hit.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
• 1/4 cup flour
• 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
• 1 egg
• 16 ounces mozzarella, cut into sticks about half an inch thick
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 French shallot, finely chopped
• 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon parsley, fresh or dry
• 1 teaspoon basil, fresh or dry
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Spread the flour on one plate and the breadcrumbs on another.
2. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with a fork.
3. Completely coat each cheese stick in the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs to create a crust. (This step can be repeated a second time for a crunchier result, but you’ll have to double the breading ingredients.)
4. Place the mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet and freeze them for about 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a pot, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat. Add the French shallot and garlic and cook them until they start to turn golden.
6. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and maple syrup to the pot and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add the herbs and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. In a large pan, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Fry the mozzarella sticks in batches until they’re golden on both sides.
8. Serve while still warm with the dipping sauce on the side.
You can also cook the mozzarella sticks in the oven. To do so, heat it to 375 °F and place the cheese sticks on a baking sheet that’s been covered with aluminum foil and lightly oiled. Spray a fine mist of olive oil over the breaded cheese and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
A history of roads in Virginia: Federal legislation sets stage for the decade
In December 1991, Congress passed a six-year, $151 billion transportation act called the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). It was the first reauthorization of federal surface transportation legislation since the beginning of the interstate program. While ISTEA provided funds for highway construction and repairs, the emphasis of the legislation was on preservation, operation, and better management of existing transportation facilities. Intermodal transportation, in which various modes of transportation are designed to work together to move people and products, was a key theme.
In tune with that theme were two major manifestations within the commonwealth in the early 1990s of increased reliance on intermodalism. One was the establishment of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), developed to provide 4,500 or more Northern Virginia daily commuters a reliable alternative to congested highway travel. With VDOT’s support, the VRE opened 36 miles of service between Manassas and Union Station in Washington, D.C., in June of 1992 and a 57-mile VRE line from Fredericksburg to the capital city in July of that year.
That same month, the General Assembly elevated VDOT’s Division of Rail and Public Transportation to separate agency status. The new department would help Virginia achieve a balance between building more highways and improving and expanding public transit. As the decade proceeded, a citizens’ campaign to establish rail passenger service between Bristol and Richmond and Washington, D.C., built up steam. In addition, planning for high-speed rail service from Washington to Richmond and on to Charlotte, N.C., gained momentum.
The move toward intermodalism reflected to a large degree the intensified concern for the environment, as did a change in VDOT’s mission statement in 1991. No longer would the statement provide only for “a safe, efficient, and effective surface transportation system”; now it also would include an “environmentally balanced” system. Consequently, environment-protecting policies of the department were given new priority, and minimizing disturbances to the state’s natural and historic resources took on new importance. Roadway noise levels in neighborhoods were lowered by shifting highway alignments and constructing sound barriers. Wetlands lost to highway improvement projects were replaced with similar and even additional wetlands nearby. HOV lanes were constructed and motorists were encouraged to carpool.
Historic sites were assessed and, whenever possible, were preserved before highway projects commenced. In addition, VDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway Program, inaugurated in 1988 to remove litter from Virginia’s highways, became one of the nation’s largest volunteer programs in the 1990s.
A popular feature of ISTEA was a provision for “enhancement” grants, which were awarded to localities for increasing the usefulness of transportation facilities, making them more aesthetically pleasing, or creating them from scratch. Consequently, the CTB awarded millions of dollars over the decade to restore old railroad stations, preserve historic sites, create hiking, biking, and driving trails, landscape transportation facilities, and more.
Even as a new priority was being placed on the environment and alternative modes of transportation, federal funding levels for Virginia’s highways increased dramatically through ISTEA — from $290 million annually to an average of $436 million. At the beginning of fiscal year 1992-93, VDOT’s budget was increased, for the first time in two years, to $1.89 billion. The budget allocations included a total of $829.5 million for transportation improvement programs and $518 million for state highway maintenance.
VDOT Commissioner Pethtel was positive in his outlook, predicting that ISTEA “allows us to deliver a strong, stable transportation improvement program.” Virginians looked forward to spending $5 billion during the next six years in state and federal funds on highway improvement projects, mass transit, ports, and airports.