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12 South’s Art & Soul Studio

Art & Soul, Nashville Arts Studio, photo by Caryn

Art & Soul, Nashville Arts Studio, photo by Caryn

West Nashville’s Art & Soul is a co-operative creative space set up for members to utilize work areas or to take classes. It is located in the bustling 12 South neighborhood of West Nashville among, shops, restaurants, bars, and residences. Their vision statement stresses it be a safe and inviting environment set up for personal and creative growth and exploration as well as the betterment of its community.

Besides your own art supplies there are work stations with baskets of buttons, feathers,

Art & Soul, Nashville Arts Studio, photo by Caryn

Art & Soul, Nashville Arts Studio, photo by Caryn

twigs, pipe cleaners, material, paper, and-and-and … But Art & Soul is not only concerned with the 2 and 3 dimensional, expressions in movement and sound are also encouraged. This isn’t the ‘solo artist struggling in the ivory tower’, Art & Soul engenders a safe and non-judgmental environment to let go and discover. These discoveries will be shared and witnessed by those present. It is a very nurturing and positive environment.

What was does the Junk Lady have to do with a creative art space? A mutual friend connected me to Kathy Plourde as she was preparing for a workshop with a special needs group. She was needing old broken bits and bots of costume jewelry for them to use to create self-portraits. I left the meeting thinking of the very last line from the classic movie ‘Casablanca‘.

Art & Soul, Nashville Arts Studio, photo by Caryn

Art & Soul, Nashville Arts Studio, photo by Caryn

Creative Plastic Bottle Repurposing

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

After our daughter checked in at the Mid-South Quick Chess Championship on Hillsboro at St. Paul Christian Academy we went to wait in the gymnasium for the first pairings to get posted.

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

Hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room is a delightful use of discarded plastic bottles. The sculpture is approximately 5 feet high and is comprised of hundreds of colored and altered plastic water bottles. It’s kinetic to a degree which helps it catch and reflect the light. I don’t know who made this piece but it is likely a collaborative effort by children from this school.

Cardboard Recycling Via Vacation Bible School

Cane Ridge Free Will Baptist Church Vacation Bible School Airplane, photo by Bethany Wagner

Cane Ridge Free Will Baptist Church Vacation Bible School Airplane, photo by Bethany Wagner

Cardboard can be recycled into more cardboard or it can be reused. I received a message a couple weeks back from a neighbor asking if we had any larger boxes she could use to build an airplane for their Summer vacation Bible school. Here is the end result. Thank you, Bethany Wagner for the update. I am sure your VBS will be a full, fun, and successful event. Vacation Bible School starts tonight, July 8th, at the Cane Ridge Free Will Baptist Church, located at 13984 Old Hickory Blvd in Nashville, 37013. Registration is at the door starting at 6:00PM and all are welcome. Class runs between 6:00PM and 8:15PM.

Batey’s Berries Strawberry Picking – Murfreesboro, TN

Greer not slipping on the mud while strawberry picking at Batey's Berries, Murfreesboro, TN, photo by Caryn

Greer not slipping on the mud while strawberry picking at Batey’s Berries, Murfreesboro, TN, photo by Caryn

My husband’s first cousin once removed invited me to go strawberry picking yesterday. It was gloomy, misty and cool and not my usual Thursday morning as it involved being in a field instead of the warehouse. Sounded like a plan and a nice break. Neither Greer nor I had picked strawberries before. Had we been I would have known to wear boots and bring clean shoes to change into afterwards. The nice gentleman at Batey Farms’ ‘Batey’s Berries’ told us to go down the rows with grass between them. Well those had been thoroughly picked and the ones with the Holy Grail beauties nearly ready to hop into my freezer jam jar were on the muddy rows.  Go big or go home.

Batey Farms Berry Patch, Murfreesboro, TN, photo by Caryn

Batey Farms Berry Patch, Murfreesboro, TN, photo by Caryn

As you can see by my shoes and left knee I had a little trouble remaining vertical. Worth it? Yes. Do I need a new pair of shoes? Yes. Will I return? YES! Best way to know hours and days is to follow Batey Farms on Facebook and @bateyfarms on Twitter. If you look on their Facebook page you’ll see that today U-Pick buckets are $12 (instead of the usual $10) with the extra $2 going to help the Ellis Family of Rutherford County who were displaced from their home recently by fire and have immediate needs for their 10 family members.

We picked 4 buckets: 3 for Greer and 1 for me. Each bucket weighed approximately 4 pounds. I dropped off some berries to a couple friends and had enough left to make 10.5 pints of Strawberry Freezer Jam last evening from freshly picked and never chilled berries and still more left for snacking and fruit salad this weekend.

Sure-Jell + Sugar + H2O + strawberries and a little heat and a little cold = Freezer Jam, photo by Caryn at Publix

Sure-Jell + Sugar + H2O + strawberries and a little heat and a little cold = Freezer Jam, photo by Caryn at Publix

Junk Lady's Strawberry Freezer Jam, Photo by Caryn

Junk Lady’s Strawberry Freezer Jam, Photo by Caryn

Batey Farms Berry Patch, Murfreesboro, TN, photo by Caryn

Batey Farms Berry Patch, Murfreesboro, TN, photo by Caryn

 

Wacky Wednesday – Nashville, Music & Gold and Platinum Records

Fine Young Cannibals Double Platinum Record, photo by Caryn

Fine Young Cannibals Double Platinum Record, photo by Caryn

I cannot emphasize enough the wide range of items people have Junk King of Nashville haul away for recycling. There are the stalwarts: old appliances, mattresses, broken furniture and lawn mowers, and wind-blown trampolines. Then there are the head scratchers like the five framed gold and platinum records that came in last week.

What did we do with the framed records? A crew member took one home to hang on his wall. I dropped one off as a present to a friend’s son who is about to graduate from high school. He is a great kid with musical aspirations and having a Van Halen platinum record (and cassette) to hang in his Jam Room/Bat Cave is quite possibly, in his words, “The coolest thing EVER!”. Two went to the property closet for the locally filmed ABC drama “Nashville”. We kept one for the office wall and posterity. (Yes, it was the Fine Young Cannibals double platinum one because The Junk Lady is a child of the 1980s.)

Nashville Chess Center Spring Clean Up

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Saturday Junk King of Nashville donated time to work along side other volunteers to haul away items from the garage, attic, and main floors of the Nashville Chess Center for an overdue spring clean up. The Center is located at the corner of Primrose and Belmont in the beautiful historic Belmont-Hillsboro district. Middle Tennessee is very lucky to have the Nashville Chess Center. It is one of a few stand alone chess centers in the United States, with the others being in St. Louis, New York City, and Washington, D.C.. The center welcomes visitors and they have three visits to make a decision whether or not to get a reasonably priced membership. Our grade schooler has had a junior membership here for the last two years, but the Chess Center isn’t just for kids. There are also adult and all ages member nights for games, education, and tournaments. It’s filled with nice and interesting folks and it is a great way to improve your game.

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Petey’s 5K Face Off Against Parkinson’s

Petey’s 5K Face-Off Against Parkinsons. Photo courtesy of Petey’s 5K Face-Off Against Parkinsons

Petey’s 5K Face-Off Against Parkinsons. Graphic courtesy of Petey’s 5K Face-Off Against Parkinsons

Saturday May 3, 2014 is the date for Petey’s 5K Face Off Against Parkinson’s. Who is Petey? Petey is Brent Peterson, former Vancouver Canuck and current Associate Coach to Barry Trotz and the Nashville Predators.  Brent Peterson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 5 years ago and besides continuing to work hard with the Predators organization he is also doing what he can to raise funds for research and a cure for this disease. Brent has written a book about his battle with the disease. Please check it out!

Come join me May 3rd in Hendersonville for a 7:30AM start at The Streets of Indian Lake in Hendersonville, TN, 300 Indian Lake Boulevard for this fun run for a great cause. The 5K walk/run is $25 to register and the Fun Walk is $10 to register. Do you need to be lured with shirts? Good, because there’ll be shirts. Just register online and pick your size.

Hoarding: Buried Alive! Junk King of Hudson Valley Edition

graphic courtesy of junk king corporate for tlc's 'hoarding: buried alive!'

Graphic courtesy of Junk King Corporate for TLC’s ‘Hoarding: Buried Alive!’

Wednesday, March 5 at 9:00PM Central Time will have another NEW episode of TLC’s ‘Hoarding: Buried Alive!. It was filmed with New York’s Jean Leon of Junk King of Hudson Valley helping with the clean out. Junk King of Nashville participated on an episode which will air in late May 2014. I’ll keep you posted. Tonight’s episode is titled: We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat.

Safe Haven Family Shelter Needs Volunteers

logo courtesy of safe haven family shelter

Logo courtesy of Safe Haven Family Shelter

Safe Haven Family Shelter has an urgent need for volunteers this Saturday, February 8th. Please check out their Facebook and web pages if you are not familiar with Safe Haven. They need help moving and assembling furniture for families heading into apartments next week as well as helping to help get a transitional house ready. Volunteers are to gather at 9AM at Safe Haven (1234 3rd Ave South, Nashville). Contact Jennifer Reason at jreason@safehaven.org. Let her know if you will be coming with a pick up truck, as that could be very helpful. 

Guest Blogger: Kimble Bosworth of Proforma Printelligence

Kimble Bosworth of Proforma Printelligence is a friend and her annual project could use some help. It’s down to the wire and shopping is done or close to it (though funding may still be sorely needed), but volunteering with food prep and the event itself would be greatly appreciated. If Junk Lady continues to get better from this cold/flu she will be there. Please give her story a read.

Christmas Spirit Needs Your Help

December 5, 2012 at 10:03am

In 2006, when Boz and I moved to Werthan Lofts, Germantown was new to us. I did not know anything about the public housing across the street – Cheatham Place. So, when I heard sirens there during our fist week in our new ‘hood, I called MDHA to find out what happened.

Turns out, their housing office administration was just across the street. A nice lady, Peaches Manning, offered to meet me and address my concerns in person.

She took me on a tour of Cheatham, introduced me to the on-site property manager and several members of the community association. She showed me the plaques announcing that Cheatham Place is on the National Historic Registry.

As we walked the grounds, I noticed that their landscaping was nicer than much of ours in the luxury, gated community across the road.

She waved at children as she explained there were currently 120 kids in residence and many more seniors. She also explained, “Honey, most of the sirens you hear around here will be ambulances. We don’t tolerate misbehaving and we have a waiting list to replace anyone who does.”

I learned a lot that day – about poverty, about judgment, about assumptions and prejudices. And I wanted to do something special for my new neighbors. So, when December came around and Peaches called to invite me to the Cheatham Christmas Party; I decided to bring gifts. Called all my Werthan neighbors and asked for donations. Gathered up about $1000 and headed out the day before the party to go shopping.

I had asked for help, but all my friends and neighbors bagged out at the last minute, so I was on my own for the shopping trip. Wasn’t exactly feeling ‘in the spirit. Had a lot to do, not much time and I don’t know a darn thing about toy shopping. But I grabbed a cart and borrowed a few boys and girls and parents at Big Lots to help me pick things out. The manager even went to the back of the store and pulled 50 radios from inventory and sold them to me at a discount for the kids.

So there I was, standing in line with two carts full of toys, holding up everyone behind me at the checkout line. A lady behind me asked, “So who are you anyway? Why you got all those toys.”

“I’m nobody.” I answered.

The manager, who had been helping me and had heard the story of why I was doing this chimed in and told the curoius shopper, “She’s buying all these toys for some kids in her neighborhood who may not get anything this year.”

“Well,” the lady said, “Then you ain’t nobody. You’re Santa Clause.”

That’s when I realized what Christmas spirit feels like. After all my years, I had literally never felt THAT.

Cheatham Christmas Gift Table

Cheatham Christmas Gift Table

And now, this is year 7 of gathering money and gifts for the kids of Cheatham Place. Every year, this act of giving fills me with that same spirit. You should try it. I really need your help!

  • Donate some money – we need at least $1000 to get each kid a nice gift. Contact me on facebook if you have something to give.
  • Donate an unwrapped gift for ages 2-17. The toughest ones to shop for the teens and tweens.
  • Since year 3, we have also provided the food. There are about 150 people to feed for the Christmas party where we distribute gifts and the community has very little money to get food and drinks. Donate money or Kroger Gift Cards. We tried restaurant food, but found that the favorite menu is right next to the community at the local Kroger. It takes about $500 to feed everyone.
  • Donate your time – I could use help on the shopping trip, as usual. Shopping day is THIS SATURDAY and starts at noon at Big Lots in Madison at Due West and Gallatin Rd.
  • Come to the Cheatham Place Christmas party – we need volunteers to bring presents, prepare food, serve food and hand out presents. The party is 5-9pm on the 17th. Get in touch for directions and details.

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