The Cafe for February

Looking for more ideas to help you get creative? Below are links, videos, and some ideas to help you get over the “blank canvas” or “blank piece of paper” effect. Note: all links to outside the Artists Work B.e.n.c.h. Webzine will open in a new window.

The birthstone for February is amethyst, the flower is the violet or iris.

To learn how to make violets from rouched ribbon, click here.

February is: Black History Month, American Heart Month, National Grapefruit Month and National Cherry Month.

Super Bowl XLIII- February 1st

Clowns Service at Holy Trinity Church in Dalston, East London- February 1st. This annual festival is held in memory of Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), who was said to be the greatest clown of all time. For more information, click here.

Groundhog Day- February 2nd. For the official Groundhog Day website, click here.

Candlemas-February 2nd (or 15th on Julian calendar)-
Candlemas is 40 days after Christmas, and it is celebrated as the day when Mary’s 40-day purification after the birth of Jesus (according to the Mosaic Law) was over. For more information, click here.

“The Day the Music Died”-February 3rd.This year marks the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. For an in-depth interpretation of Don McLean's song "American Pie", click here.

Western Monarch Day-February 4th. This is a day to celebrate these majestic and beautiful butterflies. Learn more about them by clicking here.

Charles Dickens Day and/or Laura Ingalls Wilder Day-February 7th.
Read more about the London of Charles Dickens here.

This site has links for recipes, crafts, historical sites, biography, and more. Inside of Laura’s Bible, she had a reference sheet so she could find verses that pertained to her daily living. On the sheet, she had the following references:

*In facing a crisis read 46 Psalm
*When discouraged " 23 & 24 "
*Lonely or fearful " 27 "
*Planning budget " St. Luke chapter 19
*To live successfully with others read Romans, chapter 12
*Sick or in pain read 91 Psalm
*When you travel carry with you 121 Psalm
*When very weary read Matthew 11:28 & 30 and Romans 8:31 to 39
*When things are going from bad to worse 2 Timothy 3d
*When friends go back on you hold to I Corinthians 13th
*For inward peace the 14th chapter of St. John
*To avoid misfortune Matthew 7:24 to 27
*For record for what trust in God can do Hebrews 11
*If you are having to put up a fight -- the end of Ephesians
*When you have sinned read I John 3:1 to 21
And make Psalm 51 your prayer

Thomas Edison’s birthday-February 11th

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday- February 12th

Valentine's Day- February 14th

Susan B. Anthony’s birthday- February 15th. For more information about her, click here.

Planet Pluto discovered- February 18th- Feeling insignificant? Do you get the idea that your talents aren’t appreciated? You probably know about the controversy about Pluto’s planet status. The fact is that whether we call Pluto a planet, a dwarf planet, a rock, a floating ginger snap, or a teacup, it actually doesn’t change one single thing about Pluto at all. You can rest in that knowledge! To learn more about Pluto, click here.

George Washington’s birthday- February 22nd

Mardi Gras- February 24th. The video below is from the 150th anniversary of Mardi Gras in 2006.

Ash Wednesday- February 25th

Other Interesting Links and Things

Ben Glenn is "The Chalk Guy". As a child he was diagnosed with dyslexia, but he got inspired to pursue art at an Athletes in Action meeting. Now he travels to schools and churches as a motivational speaker and chalk artist.

In honor of Valentine's Day and National Heart Month, we have two interesting hearts for you to peruse.

Above is Laurel True’s mosaic heart at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, across from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Laurel True has made several community art pieces, including a sandbox for a playground, park benches, planters, and wall murals. You can read more about her and see a gallery of her work here.

The poster above can be downloaded from The Plow by clicking here. The link is a website made by two advertising execs who are also Christians. In their own words, “The Plow wants to see the Church give glory to God through art. We are working to build a discussion about how design is being used, and how good theology and soft hearts towards God can help make dynamic design that both teaches and challenges. We want to see the church be attractional in the way Christ is attractional, and call people to repentance the way Christ called people to repentance…”

Arabic Christian worship
This is a clip of a worship song being sung at the Arabic Christian Church, on the corner of 30th Street and Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino. While the roots of the music are clearly from Arabic culture, it’s wonderful to hear how this community lifts up praises to the true and living God.

GO San Bernardino
This isn’t especially arts-oriented, per se, but it reflects how one local congregation, Community Bible Church, is tackling the problems in their city and publicizing their efforts through the creative use of video.

A creative use of dance and percussion by a youth troupe at Iglesia Camino de Santidad in Ontario. The song is “Lord, You Are Good” in Spanish (and “panderista” is, of course, Spanish for “tambourine player”).

Sculpting the Impossible: Solid Renditions of Visual Illusions
And, just for kicks, we think you might enjoy this fascinating article from Scientific American about artists who create really functional sculptures of some seemingly impossible optical illusions. To read the article and see the photo gallery, click here.

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