This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color mixing, composition, and paint application. The class will be a fun and non-competitive environment to indulge your creative impulse
- Friday afternoons from 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm, Oct. 18 through Nov. 8, 2019.
- Classes will be held in our upstairs studio at 205 E. Main St., Front Royal, Virginia.
- Class fee: $185 per person. Materials are not included. Recommended materials list available on our website.
About the instructor: An award-winning, self-taught artist, Armand is a full-time oil & watercolor painter represented by galleries across the United States. Armand has had numerous One-Man Exhibitions and his work is found in notable corporate and private collections around the world.
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.
In case of inclement weather, we will reschedule the class. Please check our Facebook page for updates on class cancellations due to weather.
5 benefits of using cork in your home
Cork is a stylish and sustainable material that can be used for a variety of home renovation projects. Here are five benefits that come from using it around your house.
1. It’s renewable. Made from the bark of cork oaks, this material is harvested without harming trees in any way. The trees, which can live up to 250 years, are continually growing new bark, which can be harvested once every nine years.
2. It’s sanitary. Cork is a great option for people who suffer from allergies. It’s naturally mold and mildew resistant and has anti-microbial properties.
3. It’s easy to maintain. The material is extremely water resistant, making it ideal for kitchen and bathroom applications. When used as flooring, it’s easy to clean. Wear isn’t an issue, as it can be sanded and refinished.
4. It’s supple. Cork is full of microscopic air pockets that allow it to easily compress and expand without causing damage, making it a comfortable surface to stand or sit on.
5. It’s safe. Cork is fire-resistant. If it does catch fire, it generates less smoke and releases fewer toxins than other materials commonly found in homes.
The best part about cork is its versatility. It can be used in many different ways, from providing insulation and wall coverings to making furniture and flooring. If you’re ready to bring cork into your home, the options for doing so are almost endless.
Is your pet at risk for diabetes?
Did you know that dogs and cats can get diabetes too? Here’s what pet owners should know about this disease.
Just like people, dogs and cats can be affected by two different types of diabetes. Dogs are more likely to have type 1, which occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce the hormone insulin. Cats usually suffer from type 2, which is characterized by the body’s inability to properly metabolize insulin.
Diabetes generally affects middle aged or older pets but can occur in young animals as well. Dogs and cats that are overweight, inactive or have inflammation of the pancreas may be predisposed to the disease. Here are some signs to look out for:
• Increased water consumption and urination
• Weight loss combined with an increase in appetite
• Decreased appetite
• Cloudy eyes (more common in dogs)
• Chronic or recurring infections
• Decrease in energy
• Dull or dry coat
Type 1 diabetes is incurable, but it can be treated with regular insulin injections and a high-fiber diet.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated with insulin treatments, daily exercise and a diet that’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
In all cases of diabetes, early detection is paramount. If you notice the signs of diabetes in your pets, bring them to their veterinarian as soon as possible.
How to choose a host or hostess gift
If you get invited to someone’s home over the holidays, it’s best not to arrive empty handed. However, it can be hard to know what to bring, especially if the host or hostess is a relatively new friend or acquaintance.
Fortunately, there are number of things — wine, chocolate, coffee, tea, fancy hand soap and unscented candles, for example — that make great gifts when you don’t know the recipient very well.
However, if you do know them, you could offer your host or hostess something that you think they’ll appreciate. If they love to cook, for instance, a cookbook or an inexpensive kitchen gadget would be ideal.
Whatever you bring, make sure it’s not something that makes your host or hostess work. For example, if you choose to bring a bouquet of flowers, arrange them in a vase before arriving so they don’t have to.
Remember, this gift is meant for the hosts to enjoy after the guests have gone home. They’re not obliged to share it with you or anyone else, so don’t expect them to.
The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: The North Pole Christmas Extravaganza
There’s excitement in the air at the North Pole Auditorium tonight. The annual Christmas Extravaganza is about to start. Sitting in the front row, Santa and Mrs. Claus are excited to watch the show. The lights in the theatre start to flash, indicating that the audience should take their seats. Wearing an emerald green tuxedo, Taiga the elf takes the stage as tonight’s host.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 675th North Pole Christmas Extravaganza! Are you ready to be entertained?” The audience cheers and claps.
For nearly two hours, the master of ceremonies presents music, dance, comedy and circus acts. And while each is wonderful in its own right, the last three are truly special.
First, Rudolph and his sister Rudolpha the reindeer, teacher at the North Pole Animal Day Care, captivate the audience with a performance of a beautiful song they wrote about Christmases from times past. Their lovely harmonies are paired with touching lyrics that bring tears to the eyes of everyone in the audience.
Next, the Star Fairy, an electric guitar virtuoso, plays an instrumental piece backed by the children from the day care. While the fairy plays, the kids accompany her with maracas, bells, triangles and drums. Everyone in the room dances to their music, and the Star Fairy’s final solo stuns them all.
For the final act, Jack the elf-of-all-trades and his partner Nougat the chef perform an amazing dance number. Mixing ballet, jazz, salsa, hip hop and tango, the dancers perform a number they’d practiced in their living room for months. The audience shows their appreciation with a loud and long standing ovation.
As is tradition, at the end of the show, Santa and Mrs. Claus take the stage to congratulate the performers and to say a few words to the audience.
“Ho, ho, ho! Once again, you’ve amazed and entertained us,” starts Santa, “and my lovely wife has an announcement she’d like to make.”
Mrs. Claus smiles as the audience claps for her. “The North Pole is so full of talented individuals that we’ve decided it’s time to open a performing arts school. It’ll open in the spring.”
Hundreds of elves and animals clap and cheer. What a perfect way to end an amazing show.
Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas
Top tips for long-distance house hunters
Buying a house from afar can be challenging. Here are four tips to make the process a little easier.
1. Clarify your needs
First and foremost, you need to establish your priorities and your non-negotiables. Are you willing to renovate? What’s your budget? How important are schools? This will help you narrow down your options and thereby save you time.
2. Go online
Your first step should be to find out as much as possible about the neighborhoods you’re considering. What are commute times like? Are there issues with crime rates? How good are the schools? Don’t limit your search to factors that affect you directly: a house in a great area has more resale value.
3. Get someone on the ground
The internet is helpful, but you’ll need someone on the ground to really get a sense of what your options are. Spend time finding a good realtor, especially one that’s familiar with the area and who’ll take the time to communicate with you and answer your questions.
4. Plan to travel
It’s a good idea to spend a few days visiting houses on your short list. Give yourself enough time to see each one without rushing.
Long-distance house hunting isn’t easy. However, with the help of a good realtor, you’ll be able to find a great home that meets your needs.
Turkey and three cheese lasagna
Wondering what to do with your leftover turkey? This lasagna is a nice departure from endless turkey sandwiches.
Start to finish: 2.5 hours (35 minutes active)
Servings: 10 to 12
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 onions, diced
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 2 carrots, diced
• 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
• 1 pound leftover turkey, finely chopped (you can use ground turkey too)
• 2 (26 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
• 1 cup beef broth
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 2 teaspoons dried basil
• 16 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
• 1 (16 ounce) container ricotta
• 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
• 1 egg
• 4 cups mozzarella, grated and divided
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, celery and carrots until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Add one can of tomato paste and stir. Add the turkey and cook for about 5 minutes, making sure the meat and vegetables are combined. Add the other can of tomato paste, diced tomatoes, beef broth, sugar, bay leaves, oregano and basil. Bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat and simmer for about an hour or until the sauce has thickened. Remove the bay leaves.
3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg and parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Cover the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking sheet with a quarter of the prepared sauce and top with 4 lasagna noodles. Sprinkle one cup of mozzarella over the lasagna noodles. Layer the following ingredients in this order: sauce, 4 lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, 4 lasagna noodles, sauce, 4 lasagna noodles. Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle on the remaining 3 cups of mozzarella.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.