Sculptor Allison Street

Allison Street Sculptor
Photo by Renee Street/Domus Aurea Photography

I would like to introduce you my friend, Allison Street. Not only is she a busy mom of 5, who educates her children at home, she is also a talented sculptor. What I love about her art is that she uses her classical training to wrestle with difficult modern issues such as Aids, or the war in Afghanistan. Some of her work displays heart break, yet there is always tenderness and hope. Allison, as she states on her blog, seeks to achieve a balance between the communication of truth, personal expression and the celebration of beauty.

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Beside the Still Waters
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Wartime Pieta, a Sudanese mother holding her dead child.
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Be Warmed be Filled, an Afghan mother and her child, displaced as the result of war.
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Aids

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Crossroads, Saul on the Road to Damascus

Allison’s sculptures are made of bronze, are 18 to 31 inches tall, and weigh about 20 lbs. Her skill, combined with her subject matter makes her a powerful contributor to the Christian art world. I hope to own the Afghan woman sculpture one day….

-Sofija

You can find her recent interview with Wold Magazine here.

All photos of the sculptures taken by Allison Street. Image of the artist taken by Domus Aurea Photography. For pricing contact the artist here.

Sculptor Allison Street

A House Concert

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Friends,

Have you ever done a house concert? A real life band playing at your house? We did our first one recently and it was so much fun, I can’t wait to do it again. Our friends, the Hollands! showed us how to do it. Not only is Jana Holland a great musician, she is also a seriously talented host. I learned a lot from her.

Here is a recap how we organized the evening. We invited about four families. We ended up with 12 adults and 22 children. A good amount for the living spaces we have. Jana and I picked a food theme. Jana made the main course, and everyone else brought side dishes, dessert, and drinks.

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When the guests arrived we ate, talked, and talked some more. The group was so well matched that it took some time to corral everybody to start the concert. Below are the children waiting with no adults or musicians in sight.

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The Hollands! started the concert with lots of kid’s participation. They always bring a bag of instruments children can play. Below is my Ella singing with Craig.i-vsVBSQc-Li-NqN292B-Li-tMWvKQB-L i-zQ3jqqJ-L

While my friend Emily took pictures, I filmed the whole concert with my iPhone.

Have you ever had a life concert at your house? Would you try it? Every time I have musicians at my house I am reminded how much I enjoy life music in an intimate setting. Sort of like going to an Irish Pub listening to random musicians jamming. This week I restarted piano lessons with my kids. Since I don’t have a musical bone in my body I am hoping my kids can supply me with music.

Have a lovely weekend, I will see you back here next week.

-Sofija

All pictures taken by Lonely Mountain Photography.

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A House Concert

Home-schooling on the Road

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Bloom Photography By Kara

Friends,

I’m so exited about this interview. I have heard people say “I wish I could take my kids out of school and go on the road for a year.” Well, here is and example of what that might look like. However the Hollands do so much more than just travel. Everywhere they stay they bless the people around them with their musical gifts and their gift of friendship.

1. Tell us a little about your family. Who lives with you?


We are The Hollands! A nomadic family of merrymakers. We are four, Jana- Mother, Craig-Father, Graciana-Sister, Banjo- Brother. We are folk musicians and observers of humanity, encouragers of community.

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2.How did you come to live on a bus?
We came to a cross roads in life whereby our family relationships were fragmented, our gifts stifled and a longing crept up for a more holistic way of life. And so, we began to dialog and dream of a simpler way. The bus life came as a result. It was apparent that a drastic change in lifestyle was necessary and the idea of giving away all we owned and traveling seemed a reasonable option.
3.What are the challenges of living on a bus and traveling?
We bought the bus off of Craig’s List in 2010. It was the Casper WY Trooper Drum and Bugle Corp Bus. It’s a 1984 MCI model. We had to strip it clean and build it out from scratch. The most challenging aspects have been building the electrical and plumbing systems, then the fact that we aren’t dealing with straight lines have added to the construction difficulties. However, Craig is a learner and these challenges suit him. As for the rest of us, living in a half built bus for a some time has been a struggle at times. We are much more comfortable now than when we left in the bus. We have electricity and now that my kitchen is built I can offer some pretty delicious meals. We have a working toilet and cold running water but look forward to the day we have hot water and a shower.

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4.What are the perks?

Mobility would be the greatest perk. It’s very comfortable to travel and be in. It’s home. Another perk would be the opportunity to share in life with neighbors across the US. You are our 32nd neighbor in the last year and a half. It is a real joy to have the opportunity to observe, learn and work out life with so many kinfolk.

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5.How do you home-school while traveling? Describe a typical day. 


We currently use the K-12 for our 6th grade son and E-Achive for our 10th grade daughter, both are on-line schools out of our home state of Wisconsin. Each program is slightly different and offers separate perks and challenges. Our days fluctuate depending on the community we are engaging with. Some days are more focused on the curriculum and others we are fully engaged with community around us.

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5. What are challenges of home-schooling on the road?
Because of the nature of our travels, the ebb and flow of virtual school can be a challenge and sometimes feels disjointed. Although the programs in and of themselves are quite good, we are beginning to explore other options for schooling that will bring the kids learning in line with our lifestyle and offer them more opportunity to really experience “live” learning. There is such pressure from the world system to “keep up with the jones” and when this concept seeps into our learning environments it stifles real growth. It takes us hostage and invokes a deep fear of failing and instead of learning we grow up regurgitating. We are tired of watching our children regurgitate. We long to see them really learn.

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6.What would you like your kids to learn from this experience?
We would like to give them an opportunity to take “ownership” their learning, to find freedom and joy in observing and fully participating in the environments we travel in. Homeschooling is a real gift and we are excited to begin to think out side of the box and explore ways to facilitate this.

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7.Tell us about a favorite stop. One that you go back to in your mind most often?
This is a difficult question because everyone of our visits has been unique and precious. Even places we’ve gone back to a second time around have offered a different experience. I don’t doubt we will have a favorite at some point. I wonder when we do, if that will be the place we stop indefinitely? For now, we aren’t looking for that, just taking it one day at a time and soaking up all that that day offers.

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Thank you, Jana! I like how you aim for your children to find “freedom and joy in observing and fully participating in the environments you travel in”. That is so contrary to our culture where we often raise children to revolve around themselves. I have seen your children being flexible, adapting to the environment they are in, and being willing to serve where it is needed.

Friends, Jana described her family like this:” We are folk musicians and observers of humanity, encouragers of community.” I would like to give you some examples of what that has looked like since they have been with us. In the last week and a half Craig has been teaching my 11 year old math every day. Jana has taught my daughter art and cooked some awesome meals for us. They as a family have gone to a local ministry that serves immigrants and the poor. They have encouraged the leadership there and today they will be teaching Australian Folklore to the children. While here they are doing two booked shows. On top of that they are doing two house concerts and maybe worship at our church. But most importantly they are just friends, open about their struggles and willing to join us in what we are doing.

You can keep up with their travels here. If they happen to be near you, be sure to invite them over, you will not want to miss them.

-Sofija

Home-schooling on the Road

Flannery O’Kafka

Hi there,

The fun part of blogging is coming across talented artist, who use their faith to inform their art. Andrea, known as Flannery O’Kafka,is one of them. She is a photographer who lives with her husband and five (yes!) children in Glasgow. I have been fortunate to get to know her a little bit through e-mail. She is one of those people I can converse with for hours and never run out of topics. I had a hard time selecting only a few pictures of her pretty impressive collection of children’s photography. She does photos shoots for magazines and children’s clothing designers. Take a look.

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untitled+(22+of+138)Novalee+(15+of+49)My favorite subjects are her son Hugo and daughter Olive (third and fourth picture). Hugo has the most amazing eyes…and Olive reminds me of my spunky toddler girls.

I like her styling, composition, and her ability to tell a story.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Flannery O’Kafka

Artist: Makoto Fujimura

OlanaMatthew6M-505x630Hi there,

One of my favorite artists is Makoto Fujimura. On top of being an accomplished international artist he is also a writer, speaker, and this is rare for Christian artists today, a cultural shaper. He trained in Tokyo and became a National Scholar in Nihonga (Japanese-style painting). Take a look.

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His paintings are so serene, yet full of expression and beauty. If I could ever afford his art I would buy the painting on top, Olana,  and I would stare at it for hours. He used real gold for some of his paintings. You can find all of his work here.

I think I’m going to encourage my kids to paint today.

-Sofija

Paintings featured from top to bottom:

Olana, Mathew Six

Golden Fire

Charis-Kairos, The Tears of Christ

Soliloquies, Genesis

John, In the Beginning

Artist: Makoto Fujimura

Winter in the Desert

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We have had a bit of snow lately and I am always in awe how beautiful the high desert is in the winter. Nearby us is a Bosque del Apache, a National Wildlife Refuge. Thousands of birds descent on it every year.  One photographer who has captured this event beautifully is our friend Sam Mulder. He is a father of four, scientist and a home-school dad, who does wildlife photography in his spare time. Take a look.

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He goes to the Bosque several times a year trying to photograph and then  catalog all  the wildlife that lives there. One time he took my oldest son who helped him spot a few animals. What an opportunity for my son to see what it takes to be a wildlife photographer. There is a  lot of hiking involved, and patience.

If you come to New Mexico in the wintertime, make Bosque del Apache one of your destinations. Stop by at Buckhorn and eat their famous green chili cheeseburger in San Antonio (NM) on the way (call first to make sure they are actually open). The best times to be visit the Bosque is at sunrise or sunset.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Winter in the Desert