more flower to you: sparrow’s floral design.

sparrow floral design collage6

Sparrow’s Floral Design

sparrow floral design DK sparrow floral design ella3 sparrow floral design table sparrow floral design tattooCopyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

plant one on me: sparrow’s floral design.

sparrow floral design table

sparrow’s floral design

sparrow floral design snipsparrow floral designbwsparrow floral design ella2 sparrow floral design lapCopyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

leaves in good hands: sparrow’s floral design.

sparrowsflowers signThe simple, lovely flower has long been a source of joy and comfort to us humans. We look forward to spring when we can dig in the raw dirt and plant beauty. In the fall, we sentimentally press those coveted blossoms between the pages of heavy, thick books in the spirit of preservation. In winter, we might delight ourselves in the purchase of a bouquet, just to brighten the dull grayness of the room.

You’ve likely given or received flowers at least once in your life… for flowers deliver a message much larger than you can fit on that itty bitty card. They are nature’s poetry. Flowers transmit feelings – love, admiration, grief. At weddings, the hope tied to catching the bride’s bouquet. An anniversary gift that says, “I love you more than life itself.” During illness or bereavement, the encouraging reminder that life does, in fact, triumph.

sparrowsflowers sauceBrandy and I were invited to a Flower Party and Potluck Dinner hosted by Amanda Tutwiler, owner of Sparrow’s Flowers. It was at Hillandale Park on a lovely evening. We all (14 of us) brought a few stems of whatever bloom we could pilfer and something to eat, and Amanda supplied the vases, greens (for the flower arrangements, not for eating), and of course, her expertise.

sparrowsflowers taco bowlssparrowsflowers food2 sparrowsflowers food1While folks arrived, we chatted about the usual: work and children. We talked about how irritating it is when your kids tattle on each other. I’ve basically told my kids, unless there is blood pouring from your body or something’s on fire, work it out yourselves! (Mother of the Year?) But they still tattle. Maybe I should implement a point system. Each kid starts with, say, five points. Whenever a kid tattles, he loses a point. If the accused is actually guilty of the crime, that kid loses two points. If anyone has any points leftover at the end of the day, he or she doesn’t get rolled up in a carpet and dangled off a bridge (Mother of the Year!). You know, it’s the whole “choose your battles” thing. Anyhoo. Food continued to arrive and we continued to drool… but the guest who was bringing plates and cups didn’t make it, so I hopped in my car and scooted down the street to Food Lion. Once back at the picnic shelter, I was hailed a hero and we chowed down.

sparrowsflowers eatDuring dinner we chatted about the upcoming Art Lotto (can’t wait!!), summer plans, and the show Fargo on FX that I’m completely obsessed with. And then the real fun started. We each grabbed a vase and just started piling in the flowers.

sparrowsflowers vasessparrowsflowers collage1There were irises and lamb’s ear, daisies and azalea blossoms, baby’s breath and peonies and lots, lots more. It was fun, and festive, and pretty, and relaxing, and I thought, this would be a great activity to do at a wedding while waiting for the bride and groom to get to the reception. You know, while they and the wedding party are having photos taken, the rest of the guests could create centerpieces for the tables. Huh, huh? You are free to use that idea, and may I suggest hiring Amanda to facilitate it.

sparrowsflowers arrange1 sparrowsflowers arrange2sparrowsflowers collage2 sparrowsflowers collage3 sparrowsflowers collage4The bouquets were all different and spectacular, and we realized they sorta represented each of us. My arrangement was tall, extending way past the rim of the vase and sorta leaning over to one side. Like me. I heard, “Mine’s all over the place” and “Mine doesn’t make any sense.” And of course, Ella’s was just plain cute.

sparrowsflowers ellaEveryone meandered back to the food table for a last nibble or two, and we all got to bring our beautiful arrangements home, plus a couple of floral sachets, too! My bouquet is still intact, still tall and lopsided, and still just as pretty as ever. It reminds me how nice it is to have fresh flowers in my home. I could get used to it.

sparrowsflowers sachetssparrowsflowers groupYou can contact Amanda at Sparrow’s Floral Design through her Facebook page, or if you don’t have Facebook, you can email her at sparrowsflowers@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

city kids: a guide to summer fun in the burg.

I don’t know about you, but during the school year, I am BUSY. And my kids are busy. The end of the year arrives none too soon, but still shockingly fast, and I often find I’m… unprepared. Come Monday, June 10, I’m going to have that “oh-my-gosh-what-the-heck-am-I-gonna-do-with-the-kids-now” freak out. But this year, I’m determined to be prepared when they ask, “Mom, what are we going to do today?” So I’ve compiled this list — for myself, for you, for everyone who might find themselves in this predicament — of activities, camps and classes offered by Harrisonburg businesses and organizations to keep your kiddos busy allll summer long.

kids on a slip-n-slideSpitzer Art Center Children’s Workshops
Children ages 5 – 10 can sign up for one of many classes offered at the center. Register one week ahead for topics such as collage, drawing, water color, greeting cards, and more.

Larkin Arts Youth Summer Art Program
Kids ages 6 – 14 can attend week-long, 3-hour classes for $85. Classes include papier mache, sculpture, basket making, drawing, collage, photography, food art, painting, and a bunch of others.

larkin arts signArts Council of the Valley and Court Square Theater Summer Art Camp
These 3-hour, Monday to Friday classes cost $80 and include acting, characterization, script writing, choreography, improv, singing, dancing, poetry, filmmaking, comic creation, plus many more. Ages 6 – 15.

You Made It! also offers week-long camps, Monday to Friday for three hours, for $185. Ages 6 and up. Classes include clay, canvas painting, wheel throwing, pottery painting, fused glass, and several others.

kid in treeExplore More Children’s Museum offers 4-day classes, three hours per day, for ages 3 – 5th grade. Topics include LEGO engineering, Jedi training, Culinary Kids, Project Funway, Castles, Crowns and Catapults, Animal Adventures, and Construction Junction, to name a few.

kids hands holding LEGOSBlue Ridge Community College Learning Can Be Fun 
BRCC offers a zillion classes for grades K – 12, including art, music, dance, theater, culture, history, literature, nature, science, technology, sports and outdoor recreation. The classes run Monday – Friday for 3 hours each day, through the end of July.

James Madison University
JMU also boasts a large assortment of camps for summer kids, including baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, football, fencing and field hockey. They also offer band camp, diversity studies, poetry workshops, nonviolence seminars, and STEM classes.

Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation
In addition to spending some time at one of our many city parks, like Purcell, A Dream Come True, or Hillandale, your child can enjoy swimming at Westover Pool (open Monday through Saturday noon to 7pm and Sunday 1pm to 7pm) and a variety of classes. Some of their offerings include guitar, mountain biking, water adventure, adventure sports, rock climbing, rafting/kayaking, a ton of dance classes, archery, fishing, jump rope, skate boarding, and pretty much every major sport.

child in pool child at poolMassanutten Regional Library kicks off its annual Summer Reading Games, but you have to register THIS WEEK to get the free pass to the Massanutten Water Park. Other activities include Baseball Storytimes (Turks read to kids), Crafty Kids, LEGO Club, and Stitch and Knit, plus others.

RMH Wellness Center has full- or half-day camps on a weekly basis, for kids ages 4 – 11. Kids will learn about topics like dinosaurs, medieval times, the ocean, and space, plus participate in activities like swimming, rock climbing, indoor and outdoor games, playground time, crafts, fitness, and sports.

Library signYes, summer is about relaxing and decompressing after a stressful school year, but keeping your kids active will make them healthy, blah blah blah. Really, it’ll make them SLEEP WELL at night :) So sign up for something today! Consider it an investment in the sanity of your household. You’ll all be better for it.

child asleep in carCopyright © 2012-13 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.