Categories
Education Art Class

Brainly Educator of the Year

One evening in April, Landyn called out to me from the other room “MOM check your email!!” So I did, and I found a nomination for Brainly Educator of the Year award!

The educator is my mom who is an art teacher at Ridgely Middle school. She teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and is nice to them all. She has helped me to stay on task a lot and get out of rough patches in my virtual learning and in this crazy time. She is the most supportive person I know and helps her students a lot too. My mom has been an exceptional educator in my learning journey this year because of many reasons. One of them is she is always prepared and cares for others a lot. She is always concerned if someone gets hurt and makes sure that they are okay. This crazy time is affecting all of our jobs, whether it’s getting fired or everything being harder to manage, my mom doesn’t care! She pushes through each struggling day of driving an hour to her school and back dealing with kids for the whole day, then drive all the way back home just to get on meetings and teach more kids and never gets tired of it! My mom is practically a real life superhero! I don’t care if she wins or not, I just wanted to nominate her to show her how much I love and appreciate her!

-Landyn Oates

I am so proud of Landyn and all he has accomplished as a 7th grader during quarantine. He had a tough time for a little bit when he got behind on work. As a mom and educator I find it interesting to manage my parent mindset and educator mindset, though most times they are the same. When it comes to being a parent, things like making sure my children take responsibility for their things… helping with family matters such as keeping their rooms clean, doing chores, and making sure they complete their schoolwork. Then as an educator, I find it important to make sure they have enough time to complete their school work. Especially during this virtual learning time… there is so much students do not know about using computers that they are learning so quickly.

So I decided to help Landyn out by taking over his chores, and instead of punishing him for his misuse of time, he used his time to complete his work and saw what happens when we do not do our part. When we slack off and decide to do other things then our responsibilities, it affects the whole community. Our actions affect the community as a whole, either in a positive or a negative way. This was such a good experience for him. He learned his lesson through love and modeling rather than anger and punishment.

Brainly: SMARTER TOGETHER.

No one knows everything, but everyone knows something. With Brainly, students combine their strengths and talents to tackle problems together.

Core Values

  • STAY CURIOUS: Always question. Always wonder. Always explore. There are no limits to what we can discover and learn. We believe in embracing our curiosity and seeing where it can take us.
  • LEND A HAND: We’re all in this together. And there will come a time when each and every one of us will need a little support. So when you see someone who needs an extra hand, don’t think twice. Step in and help them out.
  • STRIVE FOR BETTER: Reach further. Go longer. Work harder. There’s no knowing what we can accomplish when we commit to always trying to do better, and be better, in everything that we do.

These core values really resonate with me! The CEEQER model is one of questioning, exploring, expressing, reflecting, and experimenting. Then taking what we know and sharing it to help others on their journey! Its about having a growth mindset, and know that we learn most from our challenges.

So after finding out I was nominated I shared it with my students, and boy did they take it and run! I was voted for 164 times!! I am so grateful for my community, family and friends. Thank you all for believing in me and voting for me.

I did not have the most votes for my category, humanities, first place was taken by Angela Dierschke an educator from Lewisville ISD, Killough Texas! I love Texas educators!! Way to go!

I did however receive the BRAINLY SPECIAL AWARD!

This is such a wonderful opportunity and I am so grateful for be given this award! Thank you Brainly for your vision to share and celebrate educators!

Categories
Spirituality Divine I Am Education Existence

Music as Medicine

The Singing the Bones class with Lydia Violet, and Leah Song from Rising Appalachia, was a deep dive into the history, stories, songs, and cosmology that came before me…. that made me who I am.

They guided us in exploring the cultural inheritance of one of our ancestries through researching myths, folktales, archetypes, musical instrumentation, and song. By the end of the 6 week course, I had a deeper understanding of the cosmologies/myths/stories held within my cultural lineage. I saw so many connections to my Annishinabe heritage and my Scottish Celtic heritage. I was also able to redefine what having a relationship with my ancestors means for me. 

Music as Medicine

The Music As Medicine Project (MAM) was created by Lydia Violet Harutoonian, M.A, lifetime musician and dedicated student of Joanna Macy’s. While pursuing her Masters in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Lydia entered an in-depth study of some of the history and perspectives that have generated our current planetary crisis. For the past 9 years she has studied closely with deep ecology elder and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy, learning how we can metabolize our pain and care for the world into profound resilience and energy for action. She is also an accomplished musician who is deeply inspired by folk, blues, and protest music traditions. 

We are a collection of all the actions, thoughts, and experiences of those who came before us.

I decided to research my fathers heritage, Scottish Irish German, as I have been very much involved with digging deeply into my mothers heritage, Ojibwe. I have always felt like the magic in me comes from my native heritage. Though I have learned a lot through researching Scottish Irish and German heritages… the Celtic people were very magickal.

Uncovering more information about the cosmology of the Celtic people, I found so many similarities to Ojibwe teachings. From drums, rattles, turtles, and ceremonies. It was a huge realization again, that we are all connected and everything comes from within.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the class, it was so amazing hearing everyone’s journey and being inspired by everything that was uncovered.

“People do meditation to find psychic alignment. That’s why people do psychotherapy and analysis. That’s why people analyze their dreams and make art. That is why some contemplate tarot cards, cast I Ching, dance, drum, make theater, pry out a poem, and fire up their prayers. That’s why we do all the things we do. It is the work of gatherings all the bones together. Then we must sit at the fire and think about which song we will use to sing over the bones, which creation hymn, which re-creation hymn. And the truths we tell will make the song…

…The old woman sings over the bones, and as she sings, the bones flesh out. We too ‘become’ as we pour soul over the bones we have found. As we pour our yearning and our heartbreaks over the bones of what used to be when we were young, of what we used to know in the centuries past, and over the quickening we sense in the future, we stand on all fours, four-square. As we pour soul, we are revivified. We are no longer a thin solution, a dissolving frail thing. No. We are in the ‘becoming’ stage of transformation.”

– Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves

Categories
Earth Green Lifestyle Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Horn Farm Center

Saturday, May 1st was the annual Horn Farm Center plant sale.

The Horn Farm Center

The Horn Farm Center is a conservation success story. Born out of the effort to save the farm from industrial development in 2000, the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 2004. The Horn Farm was saved by a community of passionate people, who understood that our natural spaces and cultural practices of stewarding and cultivating the land are sacred and need to be preserved. 

The plant sale was fantastic! There were so many varieties of plants, fruits, veggies and herbs! I was able to purchase a bunch of things for our garden, and at the same time give back to the community. All proceeds support local, regenerative farming practices and education at the Horn Farm Center.

I was so inspired by the mission and goals of the Horn Farm Center. Currently I am working on starting our own community garden, so seeing how they do things was very helpful!

If you live in York, you should totally check them out! They have a schedule of amazing events, classes and workshops here!

Categories
Art Intuitive Henna Southern York

York Art Fair

This weekend was the York Art Fair hosted by Gymnastics of York! It was Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6pm. There were many different artists, vendors, music, open gym time for kids, food, and great people!

I had the pleasure of doing henna, and selling my artwork. Saturday my friend EliArtSparkle came with me and sold out of her real mushroom resin jewelry.

On Sunday Element and her friend Lauren came and sold stress balls and slime that they made together! It was so awesome seeing them figure out the details of running a business together.

York Art Fair Vendors

There were so many amazing people at the fair. I met a few artists that I am excited to make art with in the near future! I also added a few new things to my collection of wonders.

A coffee mug from Maybe By Meg

A mala from Liebe Krafted Designs

This amazing air plant came from Guichang Garden.

Perfectly potted succulent by Fringe and Leaf

I also met a few other amazing humans throughout the weekend!! Lakesha is an abstract visionary artists in the Hanover area! You can feel the energy in her work. I am excited to paint with her in the future!

I am so excited about building amazing things in community!

Categories
Earth Green Lifestyle

Gardening by the Moon

Gardening this year is going to be so wonderful. I am super excited about growing food! I have purchased many seeds, and begun tilling the dirt. The garden was overgrown with grass and weeds, so before I could till I had to get a lawn mower! Being that we moved in December, we had no need to purchase a riding lawn mower for our 1.5 acres. But now it is spring and the grass was growing fast!

Gardening

We were fortunate to find a 48” Husqvarna riding lawn mower on Facebook marketplace. It just reached 600 hours, which I learned is how you tell how long your lawn mower is expected to last! The average is 1500 hours. It is so much fun mowing my grass!

Now that the grass is mowed over the garden I am able to begin tilling the rest! The garden is at least 23ft. x 15ft, and I have only tilled a small portion.

The garden had turnips growing wild and taking over, along with strawberries! So I have transplanted some of the strawberries, and have let the rest to grow where they are for now.

On the spring equinox my friend Rachel and I planted 12 packs of seeds, there were three packs that did not grow at all, the rest are ready to be transplanted to larger containers! I was thinking maybe I could put them right into the ground, however it might be too cold just yet.

My Peach trees are blooming so beautifully… the green leaves are coming out. But I noticed that the bark has some mold looking fungus growing on it… some of the lower branches do not have any leaves at all. The bark also looks like its been shredded a little. Copper fungicide is supposed to work for the lechins which is what I think it is.

Another one of our trees that I have yet to identify, it is graphed…. has mites. So I purchased fruit tree spray. I hope that helps.

Gardening By the Moon

I have always been interested and fascinated by the idea of planning my garden around the cycles of the moon! Recently I came across the website Gardening by the Moon! They have wonderful digital resources that assist with what to plant and when! I am excited to be using these resources to help me plant!

I love learning as I go, being in the experience and figuring things out. Connecting with my network to hear stories of the way others have experienced life. Gardening is such a beautiful thing to build community around.

We have an idea, to invite our friends to share our garden with us. To plant food and share in the tending as they can. We would over see the garden daily. Then to come together for a community harvest dinner!!

I am looking forward to watching the garden and my community grow in peace, love, joy and unity. <3

Categories
Hampton National Historic Site Art

Watercolor Workshop

On Sunday, I taught an online watercolor workshop as a fundraiser for Hampton National Historic Site, through Historic Hampton Inc.

This was our first zoom art workshop, and I have to say it went really well. There were 19 participants that created beautiful paintings of spring flowers, inspired by the watercolor paintings of Helen Ridgely.

Helen Ridgely’s Watercolor Paintings

In many ways, this lady was a model of the modern woman during her time. It was said that she could work at the farm tending chickens all morning, go back to the Mansion and change clothes, then catch the train for Washington and have tea at the White House with her friends, the President and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt.

She traveled independently, continued her studies, managed the estate and its finances, formed her own opinions and expressed them openly, was active in civic endeavors, kept an apartment in Baltimore, was Chair of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Maryland Delegation to the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, had a telephone installed in the mansion, and learned to drive an automobile.

She took great interest in the natural world, whether depicting landscapes nearby and abroad; in the science of botany, taking courses in the subject; managing, reorganizing and enhancing the formal gardens at Hampton with an astonishing array of varieties; participating in gardening clubs, including founding the Amateur Gardeners; or simply observing local plants and flowers. She used her great interest and knowledge to manage the flower and vegetable gardens, orchards, and trees at Hampton. Years later, Helen was awarded a Diploma from the prestigious Maryland Academy of Sciences based on her studies and achievements in botany and horticulture which she had put into practice at Hampton.

https://historichampton.org/

After discussing Helen Ridgely and looking closer at her watercolor paintings, we dove into watercolor tips and techniques. Participants became familiar with different ways to use watercolor and everyone created their own flower paintings.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and thank you to HHI board for being such a wonderful team to work with! Together we raised almost $400 for Hampton!

Categories
Divine I Am Existence Spirituality

Hierarchy: Sacred Ruler

I recently read an article on how Maslow got it wrong when he developed his hierarchy of needs. Learning that Maslow spent time with the Blackfoot tribe was a new discovery for me.

Hierarchy of Needs
Hierarchy of Needs vs. Siksika Perspective

The Blackfoot belief is not a triangle. It is a tipi where they believe tipis reach to the sky.

Self-actualization is at the base of the tipi, not at the top, and is the foundation on which community actualization is built. The highest form that a Blackfoot can attain is called “cultural perpetuity.”

Hierarchy

The world Hierarchy means: SACRED RULER. The earliest sense was ‘system of orders of angels and heavenly beings’. This idea of a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.

The word sacred means connected with God (or the gods)… it comes from the root word for consecrate, which is dedicated or devoted. So hierarchy truly means a system devoted to God that organizes an arrangement or classification of things according to relative importance or inclusiveness.

What if we envisioned a hierarchy of our individual needs as as sacred way to connect with the divine! That is how the indigenous cultures saw it.

The Siksika tribe perceived existence in fluid way. They viewed time as cyclical and saw how each aspect of life was related… aiming to restore balance through their actions.

The idea of community actualization being based off of the fact that we are already born with everything, already divinely ourselves… is so powerful. It speaks to the idea of how important a creative, explorative, supportive and imaginative community actually is to self awareness!

In order to flow in the cycle of duality it is important to see that we must return to self awareness in order to remember the importance of self actualization. This can be done through cultural awareness. Once we have that cultural awareness, we can then start to have more self actualization, which will perpetuate our basic needs and safety, and cultural actualization. So it was important for Maslow to get it wrong in order for us to be clear on the entirety of the topic.

The way indigenous spiritual leaders took care of their tribe makes so much sense for the survival of their people. To create a safe space for the tribe members to be be their best selves. This relates so much to the Celtic tradition of the king marrying the land! The king married the land which showed his loyalty and allegiance to the land that supports his people and his life.

Another thing about this article that is interesting is the idea of wealth and how it was not about accumulating property and possessions. Sometimes I think people forget that money is simply a physical representation of their own current.

Money is not the root of all evil but rather the flow of the current of self actualization. If we stop connecting the idea of wealth to money, and allow money to be a manifestation of the wealth of our own energy… then we open ourselves up to receiving that which is divinely ours.

The word WEALTH comes from the root word for WELL or HEALTH. It has nothing to do with the idea possessions or money, though our current definition is simply that…. an abundance of valuable possessions or money.

What if we saw our will and our health as our most valuable possessions? When we hold that perspective we receive the flow of “money” as a physical manifestation of that awareness.

We are sacred rulers of our own design, our own life. We have the ability to create a hierarchy that resonates with who we truly are. Perhaps its time for a new hierarchy to be envisioned. <3

Categories
Art Cryptocurrency

Artist Grant Opportunity

One day I visited I-ron-ic Cafe with my family for brunch and I met David Smith, co-owner of the café! He was such a wonderful host. Through conversation while waiting for our order he shared that the Cultural Alliance of York County had an artist grant opportunity!

Artist Grant with CAYC

Artist Grant

Founded in 1999, the Cultural Alliance of York County is South Central Pennsylvania’s only United Arts Fund. Over the past 20 years, they’ve invested more than $10.4 million in essential arts groups that bring arts and culture to life for thousands of residents of York County. 

Funded in partnership with the Loucks-Bose and Langione Funds of the York County Community Foundation, the purpose of the Artist Professional Development Grants is to provide artists with funding to pursue opportunities which will advance their creative practice and further their career.

2021 Quarter 2 Artist Grant Recipient

My proposal was based on moving myself forward as an artist by stepping into the digital art world through NFT’s, and creating a curriculum to teach others about the future of art in a global economy. I am super excited about this project!

So far I have two NFT’s uploaded to Rarible, and am in the process of making more of my pieces digital to upload! I have many ideas about series of work, as well as work that unlocks special content once purchased. Now that I have been awarded this grant, I am able to purchase tools that will help me be more time efficient when creating digital art!

NFT Blockchain Curriculum

With all new things, comes new learning… and the best place to start is with our youth! This is the future, and I believe in the importance of setting up our youth for success by teaching them about the art world.

People all over the world are talking about NFT art and how the artworld is taking over the blockchain. The time is now.

All change starts with Art!

Categories
Art Class Education

Together Again

It has begun! Students and teachers are together again! I have missed my students a lot. Seeing them in the classroom, creating and smiling. Its been too long since we had this type of interaction. There is nothing like creating art together with other people.

Over the past year I have taught students art virtually. In doing so, I have learned so much about myself, teaching, and digital space. Learning what I love and what I can let go of. Seeing what I have to offer my students, even without being in their presence. Realizing that our energies can still influence each other, even if we are miles apart.

Now that we are together again

I missed seeing my classroom full of students creating. Walking in to my classroom filled me with anticipation!

We can create as a community. We get to gather and share. We get to feel that energy flowing through the classroom. Even though we are missing a few of our fellow artists in person, we have been able to nicely integrate both in person and digital work space!

RMS Together Again

Our PTA is the best ever, I just have to give them a huge shout out. They are so supportive of the teachers at Ridgely, and always go beyond to show us how much!

Categories
Cryptocurrency Art Most Popular

NFT Art

There is so much hype going on around the NFT art scene.

An artist that goes by BEEPLE sold one of his NFT art collections at Christies auction for $69 million, the first time ever a digital work of art was sold at Christies!

NFT Art by BEEPLE

Kings of Leon released their newest album as an NFT with special perks, generating over 2 million in sales.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will sell NFTs of digital artwork. “The Museum of Mahomes,” will launch March 17 on the digital art market MakersPlace.  Mahomes will donate part of the proceeds to his foundation called 15 and the Mahomies as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs in Missouri.

So what is NFT art?

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token… A unique digital file stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain. NFTs are not mutually interchangeable and thus are not fungible. An NFT is created by uploading a file, such as an artwork, to an NFT auction market.

Basically, it is a smart contract that is put together using bits of open source code, which anyone can find from platforms like GitHub, and used to secure that digital item. Then minted, or permanently published, into a token on a blockchain, like Ethereum.

Some sites you can use to mint an NFT are:

Any digital asset that the creator wants to make unique can become an NFT, like articles or event tickets.

Once the NFT is purchased, the owner has the digital rights to resell, distribute or license the digital asset as they please. The creator can program code for how it gets used, and write in any extra bonus’ for the purchaser. NFT creators also have the opportunity to earn royalties off of future reselling transactions.

Things to consider

So there are many uncharted territories when it comes to this digital crypto reality. There are many questions about the carbon foot print of minting an NFT, this is because cryptocurrencies and blockchain are run through an algorithm called Proof-of-Work (PoW). Things in the blockchain world are shifting and changing fast! Proof-of-Stake is happening soon.

Proof-of-Stake (PoS) concept states that a person can mine or validate block transactions according to how many coins he or she holds. This means that the more Bitcoin or altcoin owned by a miner, the more mining power he or she has.

This uses less energy, but it also allows those who hold THE MOST coins to have more power. This is less decentralized then PoW, however there are benefits that we must allow to out-weight the cons, because this is not going away. Blockchain technology is the new digital paradigm. Just like our current system was the new paradigm to the “founding fathers”.

So yeah NFT’s are like collecting digital baseball cards, and are selling for extremely high prices to people who have the crypto to buy them.

But artists can also use NFT’s to create rare one of a kind pieces for their patrons. For example, an image of an actual painting can be sold as an NFT, and with the token the purchaser receives the actual painting. Some artists are also adding bonus’ to the purchase, where you receive a video of the work being created! I really like how artists are adapting to this technology and making it work for them and their patrons!