BJ Blanchard: Notes from Glen Ellen, Sept. 4

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Can you feel the seasons changing? The coolness of evening coming a little earlier in the afternoon? The mornings moist until the sun warms through? Fall is in the air. Here comes the Glen Ellen Village Fair.

The fair’s traditional quilt this year is a wall hanging called “Rising from the Ashes – Glen Ellen’s Road to Recovery.” Mary Ann Car, Margie Foster, Marsha Moran, Deb Pool and Pam Wiley are the current Glen Ellen Village Quilters and have created a beautiful wall hanging to represent the village’s recovery from the October fires.

The background fabric for the quilt was chosen to represent the hazy smoky woodland so familiar last October. In it, a burned oak tree survived and, looking closely, you’ll see a small bunch of green leaves sprouting, representing resiliency and hope.

Several of Glen Ellen’s landmark buildings are lovingly depicted. The Atwood Barn, Beltane Ranch, Oak Hill’s Red Barn, Bouverie Bell Tower, MFK Fisher’s Last House, Chauvet Hotel and the Community Church are illustrated. At the bottom of the quilt in reds, oranges, blacks and greys, the flames are depicted reflecting the smoke, wind and chaos that enveloped us a year ago. The borders up the sides and across the top are green, representing regrowth. Central on the wall hanging is the mighty rising Phoenix, symbolizing rebirth, renewal and regeneration,

Wall hanging raffle tickets are for sale in front of Les Pascals and the Village Market on weekends throughout the month and will be raffled off at the fair. Tickets are available from Leslie Vaughn at 494-6197, or

The fair itself is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 14, from noon to 5 p.m. Live music will include Rich Little and Creatures of Habit, Long Story Short, and the fabulous Poyntlyss Sisters Rockin’ Show Band. The day starts with the parade at noon, and follows with 80 booths, pony rides, face painting, Kids Alley and more.

Speaking of creativity, Art Escape is running a project called Sweet Home Sonoma. With a grant from Creative Sonoma, Art Escape has organized a project for the Sonoma Valley community in response to the fires.

They are inviting the community to paint a little birdhouse and insert their written experience of the fires. About 200 birdhouses are being created during five free sessions across the Valley. All of the birdhouses will be combined into a big display in front of Art Escape in Sonoma from Oct. 1 to 10 and then distributed during a celebration on Oct. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. Folks will take home a birdhouse created by someone else, which will create community connection.

In Glen Ellen, they are holding a “Creativity Session” from 2 to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 8, in the parking lot at Jack London Village, for Glen Ellen people to make their own birdhouses.

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