Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The FLV Experience at Our Very 1st Festival!

It was May 2010 and I had a vision: to bring the Family Love Village Experience to an amazing and inspiring green music and arts festival called Lightning in a Bottle (LIB).  I wanted to organize speakers who would share their wisdom about conscious parenting, sustainable living and holistic wellness for families attending the festival.

Although it wasn't in the stars for my family to attend that year, the Universe was definitely aligning everything to ensure it would happen in 2011!  And I have my good friend Arpad's birthday celebration to thank for that one.  Thanks Arpad for your beautiful soul and for being born!  Woohoo!!  It was that very night that I saw Josh Fleming (one of the founders of The Do LaB and creators of LIB). 

When I saw him, something told me that this would be my only chance to share my vision and see if him and his brothers along with the rest of The Do LaB crew would be open to this vision.  He loved the idea and told me to get in touch with Marsi.  I was so ecstatic that I believe I emailed her that same night and well...the rest is history!  What was a mere dream a year ago was rapidly gushing forward into fruition!

Four months later, I had pulled together my resources and manifested a team of amazing speakers, leaders and volunteers excited to be on board with creating the ultimate FLV Experience!  From holistic wellness to conscious birthing and parenting to homeschooling to raw foods and eco-friendly skincare for the whole family to Baby and Me Yoga & Pilates to even sharing a sustainable way of communicating your babies elimination needs!  We had pretty much covered every aspect of parenting for families and curious bystanders to learn about what we had to offer them.  Including the most fun part, creating eco-friendly art projects and activities for children through FLV's EcoArt Kids Kollectiv (EAKK!) program!

Not only were we bringing the FLV Experience but we organized our very first FLV theme camp!!  Which I could seriously have never done without the amazing bad-ass organizer and DJ, Sammy Bliss!  (Oops did I just say ass?)... This whole experience at LIB got me all excited and well, my potty mouth can't help itself!    LOL Ok so it's a mild potty mouth - I remember the days (pre-Andrik) when a certain four letter word was considered my first language!  LOL Anyways, the word bad-ass best describes just how awesome Sammy Bliss is and how amazing he was with helping to coordinate our camp for us (of course with the amazing help of his beautiful wife, Rayna and all the families that camped with us)!  I was amazed at how many families joined us for our very first theme camp at LIB and that wasn't even all the families that were listed on our facebook group.  I'd say we had at least around 60+ members (including lil ones in tow) that were excited to be with other like-minded families!  Not bad for our first year!  And yes we had the dopest location, right next to the biggest sandbox I've ever seen!!  :o)

It was a lot of hard work to get everything organized within 4 months but we did it!  And to actually see our name and logo on the LIB website made all of those sleepless nights of working until 2am every night to get things done (not to mention my "Clark Kent" job, organizing our local monthly gatherings and being a mama to a very active 2 year old) made it all well worth it!   I couldn't believe it!  It was actually happening! 

To share in our rejoice, here is a link with the list of FLV speakers and workshops.   And here is the link to all the fun EAKK! activities that we prepared for the kids (thanks to our innovative and hard working EAKK! leader, Sonia Von Wike and all the volunteers that helped us prepare before and during the festival).  Sonia actually pre-made 50 green journals by herself for the kids to write about regarding their experience at LIB (as you could see with the picture in the beginning of the post)!  And wow!  Talk about mad props to the boy (I believe his name was Zack) with his art!

We were really excited to be a part of a bigger collective for the kids at the Kidz Village where we joined forces with Melissa Wynne-Jones from Mystic Family Circus and Audette Sophia from MagiKids.  

Upon arriving at LIB, everything was just so surreal.  My heart welled up with tears of pure bliss.  One of my goals was actually happening!  Even during one of our EAKK! activities at Kidz Village, Sonia came up to me with tears of joy.  I was (and still am) in such deep gratitude to everyone for believing in my vision and for happily taking this journey with me!  I'm especially thankful to Marsi (bless that woman's soul for having to put up with my slew of emails)!  Anyone that knows me, knows that I can tend to get a little carried away with, novels.  LOL

Speaking of novels, I think instead of writing another novel, I'd rather share the experience through the pictures and videos instead.  Oh wait - you thought what I wrote above was a novel...hahahahaha!  Ok continuuing on...Alot of the pictures that I took (and thankfully that my dear friend Regan took when I got too busy) were of all the kids and families during the EAKK! activities and art projects since I practically lived there the whole weekend.  LOL Note to self: must get to LIB earlier and stay later so I can actually enjoy perusing the rest of the festival!  :o)

So here ya go!  Enjoy!

These are pics of some of us prepping the EAKK! projects before LIB.  The whole concept behind the EAKK! Program is to recycle items from your home, restaurants, schools and businesses that would normally end up in the landfill and use them for art projects for the kids.

Ok I know this looks bad having beer bottle caps as part of the kids art projects but the kids actually painted over the beer symbols and used them to decorate their journals, drums and basically anything that could use a little pizzazz! 

Beans for the music shakers
Although these were plastic eggs, they were all recycled from Easter egg hunts the month prior to LIB.

A sample of a drum that Sonia, our EAKK! Leader made.

Stargazing anyone?  A bunch of us FLV families recycled empty toilet and paper rolls for crafting "telescopes".

Chimes or Noise clankers or even a bomb!? (as one older kid creatively made it into)!  Either way, curious to know what those plastic tubes are?  Well you know those rolls of paper that print out receipts at restaurants?  It's the holder for the receipt paper.  And there were tons and tons of them piling up waiting to go into the landfill until Sonia saved the day, took them from her work and found a very creative way to incorporate them into an art project!
Sample of the book designing for the kids to journal in about their LIB experiences.
Noise clankers, journals and guitars! Oh My!  The "guitar" Tangee is playing is a recycled almond milk container with rubber bands as strings


Our very 1st banner.  FLVillagers Ariel and Oti Vergez helped cut out the words and logo.  It took my hubby, Dalmacio 14 hours to hand sew most of the words and logo.  Damn, I love that man of mine!  Oops there I go swearing again!  ;o)

Our 1st EAKK! activity of the weekend: The Sensory Hike

On our hike, the kids touched ice

I bet this guy never thought his dreads would be a fun part of a sensory hike! 

The "tractor" was the only thing Andrik wanted to touch on our hike.  He loves his vehicles that's for sure!
Alas!  We made it to the Kidz Village!

Time to bust out those books to design and journal what you experienced at LIB!

An overjoyed Sonia!!  Our incredibly creative EAKK! Leader!

Here's Zack (I believe that's his name) with his awesome eco-friendly LIB journal!

Me and Sonia giddy as can be!

Lola and Ozmo with his glitter 'stache
Greg Larsen and his lil man

Lisa and her lil one

Me, Lauren, and Super Izzo!

Dana & Myles

Disco Nap!

Even us parents need a nap!

Alexandria and her lil one

FLV's very 1st art installation: The Nature Man Projekt!  We dedicated this to Marsi, the Do Lab boys and the LIB team!

FLVillage DJ's: Fatfinger and Sean Mace spinning the boombastic beatz for the kids!

Evita and Jonah

Story time or booby time?  How about both?

Travis and Sean with their  mini-me DJ's (Rylo and Sasha)


My beautiful Samurai!

Dr. Solar getting his groove on!

My 2 boys enjoying the balance of life!

Had enough with looking at the fun photos?  Well here's a few awesome videos that our dear homey, Smitty beautifully created that has a few snippets here and there of our FLV crew:

So there you have it!  FLV's first emergence of being a part of a bigger movement, a bigger collective that was beautifully celebrated with like-minded beings who were there to experience not only boombastic beats and awe-inspiring art but to embrace consciousness together...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Are you guys still here? Wow thank you a thousand times over for still wanting to check out what I passionately write about. It truly has been a busy few months for me so I do again apologize for not writing as much as I would like to.  There have been a lot of positive transitions for the Family Love Village and now have an amazing team of leaders, innovators, thinkers, doers and be-ers on board to bring our vision to the next level of elevation!   Which is why I have been on hiatus with writing in our blog so please be patient as I do my best to write and post from previous gatherings in the last couple of months.  I WILL get to them!  :o)

In the interim, I wanted to share something with all of you for some heart-warming inspiration.  I saw this on my cousin, Maya's blog, Urban Organica and I just had to share! Now this is what I'm talking about!! This 11 year old boy, Birke Baehr is truly an inspiration that all of us adults can learn from! This gets my heart pumping full of passion for what I am wanting to create here for the children of our village - especially since our children are the citizens of the world!!

And yes I do believe that this is the shortest post in history that I have ever written! LOL With that said, please enjoy the video.