October 8 2009
Previously used material finds new purpose at a series of programs at Frozen Creek Floral Freeze Dried Flowers, 5959 Cannonsburg Road. Madame O, aka Amelia K. Sefton describes herself as a “proud practitioner of resourcery, the ancient and venerable art of making something out of nothing, or, turning negatives into positives.” The California native will be at the shop Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through October, offering workshops for all ages in creating fun and funky items out of previously-used material. “I like to say my activities are funny and funky and never grimy or junky,” O said. The story spinner and puppeteer has had a passion for recyclelry since the 1970s, during the “first flush of eco-consciousness. She said in California, teachers and manufacturers work together to provide clean, low-cost materials for classroom projects, a system she would like to see established here. Among her favorite materials is printer’s foil. In the print industry, she said foil sheets are used to create the metallic effect on cards and labels, but 99 percent of the material ends up in landfill. Madam O uses items such as this, garlands, broken jewelry, clean wrappers, and other items to create masks, wands, costumes and much more at her workshops. “We are careful to avoid items such as candy wrappers with candy still stuck on them,” she said. “Items like that either attract vermin and excite children or excite children and attract vermin.” She said one of the most exciting—chest-swelling and tail-wagging—phrases in any language is “Look at this, I did it myself.” Madam O said the programs are free of charge and all materials will be provided, although volunteer items are accepted. The workshops are appropriate for all ages, from preschool to geriatric, but it is not a baby-sitting service, so don’t leave the baby and the diaper bag. “There will be scissors,” she said.
The fun started with family, and now our heritage is behind us. The last weekend of Harvest Fest is the Children’s Weekend with events for kids highlighting activities. There will be plenty for teens and adults to do as well, with entertainment around town, the used book sale at Krause Library from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., hayrides and specials offered by local merchants. Events designed for children begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration for the Chamber Kids Pedal Tractor Pull. Registration and the event is at the City Hall parking lot. The pull begins at 10 a.m. This annual event, formerly organized by the Rockford Jaycees, but now a Rockford Chamber of Commerce event, puts kids behind the driver’s wheel and is always fun to watch. Another popular favorite is trick or treating around town, which begins at 2 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion on the corners of Squire and Courtland Street. Following the candy run, a costume contest will be held in the pavilion. Prizes will be awarded. Returning to Garden Club Park both days from 2 to 6 p.m. is Animals on the Go, where a variety of live farm animals always delight people of all ages. New this year, but back for the third weekend is Good Old Fashioned Games by the Rockford Youth Initiative Service Club of Rockford High School. Play like it is the past with low-tech favorites. Participation is free, but donations are welcome and will go to a worthy cause. The club hopes to fund a Habitat for Humanity house as their service project this year. For everyone, there are the popular hayrides offered annually for free. Pick up is at Reading Books. Flu shots will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday in D&W. The Rockford Fire Department and DARE will be at the pavilion from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday and many other fun demonstrations and entertainment will take place both days. See the schedule and plan your weekend.
NO ONE KNOWS CHILI LIKE FIREFIGHTERS—Our judges and chefs did a fine job. This year’s judges were Courtland-Oakfield Fire Chief Micky Davis, John Barnes of Algoma FD, Captain Brian Morris of Cannon FD, Lt. Pat Duvall of Plainfield FD and John Keillor of Grand Rapids FD. At right are two winning chefs of the five winning teams. Ten competed.