Earth Day in The 570

Earth Day in The 570

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful volunteers have removed 105,568,375 pounds of trash from the commonwealth’s landscape. Approximately 150,000 volunteers participate annually, most in association with the Great American Cleanup, with events scheduled this year from March 1 through May 31. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful offers cleanup resources including educational literature, safety videos, illegal dump surveys and technical assistance to those who want to help. Illegally dumped trash can cost up to $1,000 per ton to clean up.

Call (877) 772-3673 or visit for more information on the following cleanup events already scheduled in the region or to register your own.

Upcoming cleanups include the Coal Street Playground in Glen Lyon on April 19, multiple events in Carbondale from April 23 to 24 and Nay Aug Park on April 25. Events are scheduled on Saturday, April 26 in Old Forge, the City of Wilkes-Barre, Shickshinny, the Avondale Mine Disaster Site and Moon Lake in Hunlock Township, Nicholson Borough, Starucca, Tobyhanna State Park and the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. South Scranton’s Elm Street district and the Lower Green Ridge neighborhood of Scranton, Jefferson Township, Clifford Township, D & H Rail Trail in Forest City and Lee Park in Hanover Township will all see efforts on May 3.

The Lackawanna River Corridor Association holds its annual pre-RiverFest clean up on May 15. The “River Clearing Run” needs volunteers with canoes/kayaks to paddle the Lackawanna River from points upstream down to Olive Street in Scranton to remove debris, take note of downed trees (chain saw), navigation problems, or other hindrances for future paddlers. The River Cleanup entails prepping Sweeney’s Beach, clearing both river banks and river of litter and debris, prepping the Canoe-A-Thon landing area and removing litter from the RiverFest site.

American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire explores 50 years of environmental grassroots and global activism and premieres nationwide on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22 on PBS at 9 p.m. “Connecting all the major aspects of environmentalism, the documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace saving the whales to Chico Mendes and the rubber tappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, the film tells vivid stories about people fighting and succeeding — against enormous odds.” It is narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, and is written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Mark Kitchell (pictured).

American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire explores 50 years of environmental grassroots and global activism and premieres nationwide on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22 on PBS at 9 p.m.
“Connecting all the major aspects of environmentalism, the documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace saving the whales to Chico Mendes and the rubber tappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, the film tells vivid stories about people fighting and succeeding — against enormous odds.” It is narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, and is written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Mark Kitchell (pictured).

Additional Earth Day Events
Revived, April 22- May 5, Thursdays-Saturdays, noon-6 p.m. Group exhibition of artworks created from recycled and repurposed materials. The Vintage Theater, Scranton.

River Road Cleanup, April 26, 9-11:30 a.m. Visit the website to download a volunteer release prior to arriving for this 11th annual litter pick-up along River Road. The first 50 to register receive a T-shirt. All will receive safety gloves and vests. Also enjoy a continental breakfast at registration and a complimentary appreciation lunch at The Gem and Keystone brewpub. Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, Shawnee-On-Delaware. (570) 424-4050.

Hiking the Endless Mountains, April 22, 7 p.m. A multimedia presentation by Jeff Mitchell will be offered in celebration of Earth Day. Mitchell is the author of books including “Hiking the Endless Mountains,” “Backpacking Pennsylvania,” “Hiking the Allegheny National Forest” and “Paddling Pennsylvania.” Hibbard Student Center, LaPlume. (570) 945-8000.

Earth Day Fair, April 22, 11 a.m. Find interactive games, presentations and information related to the environment and sustainable practices on the patio. Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center, Scranton. (570) 941-7520 or

Play Again: Earth Day movie screening, April 22, 6:30 p.m. The Moose Exchange and Bloomsburg University’s Green Campus Initiative invite the community to play outside at 6:30 before watching Play Again at 7 p.m. “One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature; new media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways; information now appears with a click; overseas friends are part of our daily lives; and even grandma loves Wii. But what are we missing when we are behind screens?” the event poses. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bloomsburg. (570) 314-2596 or

Water Our Most Precious Resource, April 22, 7:30 p.m. Lecture and panel discussion offered as part of The University of Scranton’s Earth Week 2014 and in conjunction with the Spring Sustainability Symposium. In the McIlhenny Ballroom on the fourth floor. Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center, Scranton. Free. (570) 941-7400 or

Reptile & Amphibian Survey Program, April 23, 6-8:30 p.m. With Biologist John Jose of the PARS Project. Learn about local animals, how to find and identify them and how to make a contribution to their conservation. Registration recommended. Lackawanna College Environmental Institute, Covington Township. $5. (570) 842-1506.

Everybody into the Vernal Pool, April 24, 6-9 p.m. John Jose from Ottercreek Environmental Education Services leads an evening search for frogs and salamanders. Learn how to safely handle the animals, tips on how to identify them and take photographs. Registration requested. Lackawanna State Park, Dalton. (570) 945-3239 or

Spring Into Action Park Cleanup, April 26, 9 a.m.-noon. Registration required. Nescopeck State Park, Drums. Free. (570) 403-2006.

Earth Day Clean Up, April 26, 10 a.m.-noon. Volunteers are needed for shrub, flower and tree planting and for general park clean up. Meet at the park office. Gloves and bags will be provided. Frances Slocum State Park, Wyoming. (570) 696-9105 or

Earth Week Geocache CITO (Cache In Trash Out), April 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This park clean up is organized in honor of Earth Week and in conjunction with The Great American Clean Up of PA. Registration requested. Bags, gloves and safety vests will be provided. Lackawanna State Park, Dalton. (570) 945-3239 or

Earth Day Open House, April 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring your old and unwanted electronics for eco-friendly recycling. Also enjoy samples of organic, green and fair trade foods and listen to live music by Doreen Coleman from 1 to 3 p.m. Everything Natural, Clarks Summit. (570) 586-9684.

Guided Bird Walk, April 19, 8 a.m. Conservation volunteer Dave Kruel will lead a guided bird walk. Wear comfortable shoes and bring binoculars. Registration required. Nescopeck State Park, Drums. Free. (570) 403-2006.

Environmental Awareness 5 K Fun Run / Walk, April 26, 11 a.m. Registration begins at 10 a.m. The University of Scranton presents this race along the Lackawanna River as part of its Earth Week 2014 series of events. Lackawanna Heritage Trail, Scranton. Free.

Jim Thorpe Earth Day Festival, April 26, 10 a.m. Enjoy music and art in Josiah White Park, the Dimmick Memorial Library and the Mauch Chunk Opera House, a Lehigh River Cleanup, handmade and recycled crafts, hooping workshop, games, food and more at this event providing green information and promoting environmental awareness. Historic Jim Thorpe, Jim Thorpe. (570) 325-5810 or

House & Garden Show, April 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 27, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Featuring professional home and garden vendors, gift items, children’s gardening workshop, fly fishing demonstrations and lessons, and a gourmet luncheon by Camelot serving soup, quiche, sandwiches, and salad. Waverly Community House, Waverly. (570) 586-8191.
Pike-Wayne Earth Day Festival 2014, April 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This free, family-event focuses on celebrating natural resources and the people working to preserve, conserve and protect them. PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, Hawley.

Hawley Earth Fest, April 25-27. Three days of events in the Lake Region featuring discounts and music at participating restaurants in addition to cultural and educational programs.

Friday, April 25
2 to 5 p.m. – Hawley Farmer’s Market Opens outside the Hawley Library. Vendors include a petting zoo, prepared foods, wild edibles instruction and a bow and arrow demonstration, Northern Lights Natural Foods prepackaged herbal tea blends for wellness and more.
6 to 9:30 p.m. – Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Photographs by Geoffrey Partridge at Roots Yoga Studio
Saturday, April 26
10 to 11 a.m. – Species Parade in Bingham Park. Register at the Senior Center at 9 a.m.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Pike-Wayne Earth Day Festival at PPL
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Book readings, lectures, games and more at the Hawley Library.
1 to 5 p.m. – Yoga for Kids at Roots Yoga Studio. Kids will learn to connect to the natural world through their own bodies and breathe. Feel what it is like to be a tree while in tree pose, feel the power of a lions roar, blossom like a flower. Stop by with the kids for 5 minutes or 1 hour. Free. Parents are welcome to stay and participate.
2 to 6 p.m. – Block Party at The Belevedere Hotel
Sunday, April 27
8 to 9 a.m. – Nature Walk with Nathaniel Whitmore. Nathaniel teaches about botany, mycology, medical herbalism, plant and mushroom identification, foraging, and preparation of medicinal herbs. Meet by skateboard park in Bingham Park. Arrive 10 minutes early.
10 am – Tour De Towpath Bike Tour
10 am – Yoga in the Park with Roots Yoga with instructor Maggie Lehrian. Meet at the gazebo in Bingham Park. This class serves as an alternative to the usual 10 a.m. class held at Roots Yoga studio, weather permitting.
1 to 3 p.m. – Kids Yoga (ages 3-6) Earth Day Open House
3 to 5 p.m. – Kids Yoga (ages 7-10) Earth Day Open House. Kids will learn to connect to the natural world through their own bodies and breathe. Feel what it is like to be a tree while in tree pose, feel the power of a lions roar, blossom like a flower. Stop by with the kids for 5 minutes or 1 hour – these are free, open events! Parents are welcome to stay and participate.
3 to 4 p.m. – Green Cleaning: Northern Light Natural Foods (2591 Route 6 )presents a beginner’s guide to making your own non-toxic household cleaners with a handful of basic ingredients. Class will include information on some of the most common toxins found in conventional cleaning products, as well as a dozen or so ‘recipes’ for all areas of the house. (570) 226-5858.


The Presbypop Sextet features Al Hamme on saxophones, Michael Carbone on saxophones, Jeff Stockham on trumpet and French horn, Ron Vincent on drums, Joe Cole on bass, and pianist Bill Carter.

The Presbypop Sextet features Al Hamme on saxophones, Michael Carbone on saxophones, Jeff Stockham on trumpet and French horn, Ron Vincent on drums, Joe Cole on bass, and pianist Bill Carter.

Eco Jazz Concert, April 27, 4 p.m. The Presbybob Jazz Sextet will perform a program of music in honor of Earth Day and the return of spring. A brand-new suite inspired by the Canadian Rockies titled “Beyond Banff” will be featured. First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, Clarks Summit. (570) 586-6306 or

Scented Valentines

Scented Valentines

Scented Valentines

Create a custom love NOTE in downtown Scranton

If you’ve ever buried your face in the pillow he used or wore the T-shirt he left behind, you know how profoundly the smell of love can tug on our heartstrings. Nothing can whisk us away to another place and time like the scents lodged in our memory — Nana’s chicken paprikash on the stove, lilacs in the spring time, Independence Day sparklers, mentholated vapor rub, movie theater popcorn, even cleaning products grounded in pine and lemon. Certain fragrances have been scientifically proven to alter our moods, relax us, reduce blood pressure, relieve headache pain and increase alertness, as well as attract mates and act as an aphrodisiac.
“Scent is the only sense that connects directly to the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system is responsible for memory and emotion. So it’s a direct connect,” Danielle Fleming, founder and CEO of NOTE Fragrance told electric city.
It was the fascinating psychology of aromatherapy that attracted Danielle Fleming to start her own soap and candle making business out of her basement 12 years ago and we couldn’t turn down the offer to visit her latest venture and design our own custom perfume. NOTE Fragrance opened at Spruce Street and Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton on Black Friday.
It was about two years ago that Fleming looked back at her origins and asked, “What is it I really, really love?”
“After some serious reflection I knew it was really the scent of things that I love and how it makes you feel and how it defines who you are and is such a part of your personality. It’s really an accessory to everything that you do,” she said.
“Scent in its purest form is in perfumes and colognes. Perfume doesn’t clean you like a bar of soap or moisturize you like a lotion. It just provides a scent that makes you feel something. And that’s why I decided to do NOTE Fragrances.”
Among familiar Danielle and Company products on the shelves at NOTE are the proprietor’s own fragrance designs.
The “intriguing” Midnight Leather was created in her attempt to capture a transcendent experience she had one night alone on the streets of Florence, Italy. Many of her fragrances are unisex. Fleming avoids identifying them with one or another gender. One of NOTE’s best sellers is a “very fresh and clean” White Pepper Mandarin. It was initially created for her husband. He wore Acqua de Giò when they started dating, she said, and the cologne had to go when she realize it was the same one her brother used. He gave it up for her, but missed it and asked her to design something unique for him.
The best way to ensure your partner approves of your scent is to involve him or her in its design. Danielle’s custom perfume studio booths stocked with 50 scent samples (diluted in coconut oil) in what’s called “a perfumer’s organ.” (There are 250 different oils in Fleming’s own organ.) Small dishes of coffee beans are provided at each station to “cleanse the palate.”
“It can get overwhelming. Your nose can actually handle about three strong scents at a time and then when the fourth one comes along there is a fatigue. It will push out the weakest scent and let the next one come in,” Fleming explained.
She pointed to a trip to the movie theater as an example.
“When you walk in you smell that buttered popcorn smell everywhere. But then eventually you don’t smell it anymore. It’s not like that scent left. The scent is still there, it is just replaced by other stuff.”
The custom perfume booths provide a unique sensual experience for couples to open their minds to familiar and new fragrances together and compare notes. The perfumer’s organ is organized according by top, middle, and base notes in scent families with citruses in yellow labeled bottles, herbals in greens, fruity in orange, fresh and clean in blue, florals in pink, gourmand (edible) notes in tan and earthy/woody in brown.
“There are different debates as to what the olfactory families are — some people will break out spicy or orientals — there isn’t actually one (system.) Some people say there are twelve olfactory families, some say six, some say eight. Some people call the “fresh and cleans” aromatics or aquatics. But everyone does follow this idea of scent families.”
The most romantic approach might be to choose to create a gender neutral scent that both partners can share and both wear. Some couples design their own scents or create fragrances for each other. A few who have already created scents for a partner, she said, have been careful to include a few things they know will be liked. Of course, we don’t necessarily know what we like as well as we think we do. Reactions are unique. Scents have personalities. People who like anise in a cookie might not like it in a perfume oil. NOTE has scents you’ve never experienced before that you may find you like better than your old standbys, Fleming explained. Frangipani, she pointed out, is a Hawaiian floral many people haven’t experienced. People who come in with preconceived notions of what they like and don’t like and are often surprised, she said.
“They’ll come in and say, ‘I know I don’t like rose.’ And then they’ll smell rose and say, ‘Oh, I really don’t mind it that much.’”
Most customers go through the samples casually before suddenly having an “ah-ha moment” in response to some trigger, said Fleming. “Their face lights up and they are like, ‘This is it. I found it.’ And it resonates so deeply within them … It’s a huge behavioral experiment. There’s a definite art and science, and I bring them through the process showing them how to blend, how to put everything together.”
Fleming has developed a proprietary blending formula that she uses to combine the levels of essential and fragrance oils you select into an organic perfumers alcohol.
“In traditional perfumery there are top, middle, and base notes, which is why (the boutique) is called NOTE Fragrances. When you start building a fragrance, it starts at the note level. Traditionally, you want to have a mixture of all three. It’s all based on the viscosity of the molecules of the scent. Top notes are the lightest — those are your citruses, your fruit and some of your herbals. They are very light and they flash off the skin within the first half hour or so. They are very bright. Next are your middle notes, those are mostly florals and they ground the perfume.”
Modern perfumery throws this convention of balance out the window and invites scents of all top notes if so desired. Anything goes at NOTE, just don’t ask Fleming to recreate a name brand. She’ll give you some hints on what it is about a particular fragrance that you like and you might accomplish something similar on your own but duplicates do not interest her. Each custom oil is given its own ID number and record in her database. When your bottle is exhausted, she’ll make you another exactly like it or tweak it to any new specifications the customer might have.

Alicia’s NOTE: eau de electric city?

I began my journey with bergamot, which I knew I liked based on my experience of Earl Grey tea. I know a lot of words, but I struggled to describe what I smelled on the strip of paper, called a fragrance blotter, we had dipped into the sample oil. It was reminiscent of the tea but had a much fuller presence than I had anticipated. It was more piercing than I would have guessed, and more feminine but in an elegant way, not girlish in the least.
I was pretty sure I wanted to use bergamot in my final blend, so I wrote the name on the blotter and set it aside. The fragrance blotters would be placed into a metal clip, fanned like fingers and wafted in front of the nose to get a sense of how individual scents will work together when blended. Curious about “clary sage,” I sniffed that next. It had a medicinal quality that had no place in my “vision.”
“Some people absolutely love it,” she said. “It depends on what you are trying to blend. Are you looking for something that is relaxing and comforting or are you looking for something that is sexy and sensual and you’re going out and this going to make you feel awesome?”
The latter was more what I had in mind, I confessed. Determining what was it I wanted this scent to do was more of a challenge than deciding what smells I liked or didn’t like. What was it that I wanted to say about myself to the world on this subliminal level before language?
I am a huge fan of sandalwood and regularly burn sandalwood incense and fragrance oils in my home, but I wanted something different for this custom perfume. The tuberose sample appealed to me, but it didn’t fit my vision either. I love Ylang-Ylang, but found it too commanding of my attention and sensed it would distract from what I was trying to achieve. I wanted to create something unique, unlike any scent I already knew. The final result would offer a fresh, awakened quality, somewhat mysterious and spiritual, with a subtle, but still vibrant sexuality.
I found the frangipani very pretty, but too sweetly floral to suit my style. Neroli was another matter. It is steam-distilled from the blossoms of the orange tree that grow before the fruit grows, Fleming said. It smelled to me like spring and I was captivated. This would be part of the final blend. I briefly considered blackberry, but it was just too overwhelming. I love to eat fruit but I don’t necessarily want to smell like it.
My ah-ha moment would come with sweet bay, also known as bay laurel. I had no expectations of it, but after a few sniffs, was ready to build my entire scent around it. After not getting anything from an “airy, watery” blue musk, I selected a frankincense base note. We added some lime for a touch of the unexpected, basmati rice for another tingle of freshness, and one drop of cinnamon for a spicy edge. Danielle blended the perfume and let me sample it. It needed a touch more sweet bay and maybe a little more lime, I told her. The altered formula was right on.
“It feels alive to me. It makes me feel like I am here in this world and ready to go. It’s stimulating,” I told her. “It’s like making a new friend. I feel like I need to get to know it a little better.”
“It is very distinctive and it has an edge to it,” Fleming concluded. “It’s not too floral or soft and sweet. I would say it’s more on the sultry side.”
NOTE Fragrance is offering a Valentine’s Day special called the Love Note Project. Customers are invited to write a “Love NOTE” to their valentine and display it in the store. When your valentine visits the store and finds the NOTE they will receive a free bottle of Eau de Parfum as a gift. NOTE Fragrances is located at 401 Spruce St. at Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton. No appointment is needed. Call (570) 343-2100 for more information or find the boutique on Facebook.

Survey Says…

Survey Says…

Located at the key intersection of River and Market streets in Wilkes-Barre the Hotel Sterling was designed by local architect J.W. Hawkins and opened in 1898. It operated in various forms until 1998 when it closed and was subsequently abandoned. A small fire and lack of maintenance led to disrepair requiring expensive renovations. Unable to finance the estimated $100 million to complete this work, owner CitiVest was given permission by Wilkes-Barre City Council to demolish what was left of the historic building in July. Both electric city and dc readers would rather remember the good ‘ol days.

DC Survey Says

WTF moment of 2013 Government Shutdown
Our area really needs… A Bigger Arts Scene
Pandora Spotify or iTtunes? Pandora
Sunsets Or Selfies? Sunsets
Best Old Thing Majestic Lunch, Pittston
An Alien Lands in NEPA, what do you hand it? A copy of Heynabonics
Worst Local Trend Job Loss
Best Historic Building Hotel Sterling
Best T Shirt Slogan Get Your Mind Right
To Twerk or not to Twerk NOT
Best Use Of Social Media Stalking


Below, The Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton was one of the hundreds of national parks across the country forced to close during the government shutdown of 2013. PHOTO BY BUTCH COMEGYS


EC Survey Says

WTF moment of 2013 US Government Shutdown
Our area really needs… Money
Pandora Spotify or tunes? Pandora
Sunsets or Selfies? Sunsets
Best Old Thing In Our Area that Should Never Change People
Best Place Google Maps Can’t Find You Home
An Alien Lands in NEPA, what do you hand him? A beer or Old Forge pizza
Worst Local Trend Unemployment
Best Historic Building Sterling Hotel
Best T-shirt Slogan Keep Calm Chive On
To Twerk or Not to Twerk? Not
Best Use Of Social Media Networking
Best Local Trend Food Trucks
We can all breathe easy. Miley Cyrus was not named Time magaizne’s Person of the Year. That honor, most sensibly, went to Pope Francis a.k.a. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has people talking about 21st century issues like poverty, fracking, globalization, and technology as opposed to twerking and slut shaming.
The shame, of course, isn’t that Miley chose to shake her barely mature sexuality in our already desensitized faces, but rather that she’s chosen to use her enormous power to demand the right to “do what we want to” while other young women … let’s take 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai for example, who has no power, is risking her life to demand the right to an education. It’s not shameful, it’s just a shame. Party on, Hannah.
It just wasn’t a good year for twerking. The Oxford English Dictionary opted to include “selfie” rather than “twerk” in its latest edition.
Selfies are everywhere — even world leaders are getting caught shooting selfies at the funerals of world leaders. Even our grandmas are getting in on the action. You’re so sick of them you’re yearning for good old fashioned sunset photography.
Do we need a bigger arts scene? Maybe we should be thinking better, rather than bigger? Improved quality rather than increased quantity? Get people who aren’t currently attending arts events to participate the arts scene we already have? It’s your call.

Claiming it’s “Probably the Best Site in the World,” hit marketing gold in 2013 as Keep Calm and Chive On shirts could be seen on a wide demographic of folks across the land. EC voters found the slogan to be their favorite.

The Artists’ Studio

The Artists’ Studio

Bug Out

Washington D.C. based artist Joan Danziger was known for her “phantasmagorical object-stories composed of eccentric combinations of human and animal species” before she immersed herself in Coleoptera, writer Aneta Georgievska-Shine wrote in Sculpture magazine this summer when Danziger opened a show of 70 beetles at American University’s Katzen Arts Center. Thanks to Marywood University, you don’t have to drive six hours to get a closer look at these mysterious wire mesh, mosaic six-legged masterpieces. “Joan Danziger: Spectacular Beetles, Exploring the Order of Coleoptera” opened in the Mahady Gallery on Monday. A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. with a gallery talk to follow on Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. A special “Meet the Artist” Community Gallery Talk will be held prior to Saturday’s reception at 5:15 p.m.

“The installation of bejeweled crawling and climbing creatures taps into our human tendency to revere and disdain beetles, to see them as both beautiful and repulsive — creating a tension between the real and the imaginary,” a promotion for the exhibit proposes.
““They are real beetles, adapted … The whole idea, in my mind, is to elongate and exaggerate them and make them beautiful,” the artist said of the one-to six-foot long works in Smithsonian’s Art/Science Blog in 2012.
“Spectacular Beetles” will remain on display through Jan. 19. The galleries are open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 23, when they close through the New Year. January hours are on weekends Jan. 11-12 and Jan 18-19 from 1 to 4 p.m. Call (570) 348-6278 x2428 or visit for more information.

Wrap It Up

If you ever fantasized about making your own trademark design holiday gift wrapping, 2013 is a good year to get started. At least three different workshops in the next few weeks will offer instruction and inspiration in the arts of pretty packaging.
Furoshki is an ecologically-friendly Japanese style of wrapping gifts or other items in decorated cloth bundles. A workshop at the Everhart Museum (registration was requested by Dec. 4) on Wednesday will demonstrate the twists and turns of this traditional practice seeing a resurgence in the 21st century. The museum will also offer a Hand-Printed Wrapping Papper workshop on Dec. 18. Students will learn a stamping technique to create one-of-a-kind papers. A fee of $40 applies (only $35 museum members.) Call (570) 346-7186 for more information.
Valerie Kiser Design will host “Design Your Gift Wrap: Handprinting for the Holidays” at ArtWorks Gallery & Studio on Lackawanna Avenue in Scranton on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. A $50 fee includes all the supplies needed to carve your own design into a stamp and ink your own patterned wrapping papers. Registration is required. Call (570) 207-1815 or visit for more information.
Valerie Kiser is one of five artisans displaying fine crafts for sale at the gallery this month in Art x 5. The exhibit opens in conjunction with First Friday Scranton with a reception Dec. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. Complimentary gift wrapping is included with all purchases. Other participating artists include Jean Adams, Siri Beckman, Jenn Bell, and Zoe Poster.

“Winter Countryscape” by Brian Keeler, depicting a pastoral scene outside Towanda, is one of the many vividly colored works of art that will stimulate retinas this First Friday in Scranton. The artist will exhibit recent works along with Thomas Wise in a new exhibit at Laura Craig Gallery on Linden Street. A reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Call (570) 963-7995 or visit for more information.
Also promising this First Friday are the annual Members’ Show at AfA Gallery and Andrzej Szynal’s “Contemplation and Expression” at Marquis Art & Frame, both on the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue. Ike Design Group returns to The Bog on Adams Avenue with its rustic lighting and home decor fixtures crafted from reclaimed barn wood and scrap metals. If you haven’t visited Lindsay Barrasse’s new artrepreneural studio storefront collective at Arts on Adams yet, this month’s First Friday open house will likewise offer “Gifts for the Holidays” as well as live music by Natalie Gelman.
Eli Marsh will return to Northern Light Espresso Bar on Spruce Street with his unique assemblages of magical items crafted from surprising scrap pieces. Now in its 4th year, The Vintage Theater’s Moth Project is a synergistic installation benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sarah Yzkanin will provide live music at this Friday’s opening reception for the multi-artist show. Visit for more.

Shopping Small is Big

Shopping Small is Big

Shopping Small is Big

Shop local movement continues to grow

Black Friday may be suffering an awkward drawn out death but the Shop Local movement is gaining ground. If you didn’t see Christmas decorations on store shelves before Halloween was over with your own eyes, your ears surely heard someone complaining about the rush. Online retailers have turned Black Friday into a week and “we can’t wait until Black Friday to offer you these great deals” advance sales. Yet while retailers are panicking and pushing doorbusters up the calendar, economists aren’t preemptively blaming consumers this year, predicting holiday sales will rise. Without those one-day only special savings, its hard for more and more shoppers to justify spending a precious extra day off from work sitting in traffic and standing in long lines getting jostled and poked by crowds.
It’s not far fetched to guess that the more shoppers have heeded the call to buy from local sellers, the more they have remembered what a rewarding experience it can be to interact with people instead of corporate systems. In best cast scenarios, these sellers are also manufacturers, having crafted the goods they are selling with their own two hands, often taking custom orders.

Grain sack utility apron by Bachestinks, a Holiday on the Square participating vendor

After the dishes are done Thursday, you’ll still see that group of anxious shoppers pour over glossy big box store newspaper circulars while the rest of the family watches football, dozes off or plays games. And for as many people who conscientiously boycott shopping on Thanksgiving day, there will be bargain hunters defying family traditions for better deals. But slowly growing is a small army of smart and savvy community-minded adventurers who will hold their money a little closer and hold out in hopes of finding one-of-a-kind and handmade works of art and craft at one or all of this season’s holiday markets or independently owned boutiques and gift shops.
Holding its grand opening on Black Friday at 10 a.m., NOTE Fragrances is the latest brain child of scent-inspired entrepreneur Danielle Fleming of Danielle and Company. It’s located at the corner of Wyoming and Spruce (where Fanny Farmer Chocolates used to be and more recently Caferazzi and Jersey Subs) and is described as a “custom perfume studio and fragrance bar.”
“I realized that there really isn’t a place where you can go to explore scents on deeper level. A place where you can take your time, learn the world of perfumery and experience the wonders of scents and aromas,” Fleming writes in an announcement for NOTE. The shop will also stock the full line of Danielle and Company products. Call (570) 343-2100 for more information.
The Pocono Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen will open its third annual Holiday Store in Stroudsburg’s ArtSpace Gallery on Friday, Nov. 29. A special reception will be held Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and the show will run through Dec. 24. Exhibitors this year include Groundhog Blues (pottery), Louise Mehaffey (jewelry), Claire Marcus (jewelry), Linda Schwartz (multi media), John Saunders (pottery), Vicki Byrd (bronze jewelry and art), Larry Buss (pottery). Visit or for more information.
Small Business Saturday statistics estimate that “52 percent of what you spend stays in the community when you shop at locally owned independent businesses.” The national, increasingly-recognized day founded by American Express in 2012 follows Black Friday will be touted by mom and pops across The 570 and in downtown Scranton at The Vintage Theater, in particular.
The venue will hold its second annual Small Business Saturday “Cheap Art” showcase on Nov. 30. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of vendors local vendors will showcase original and/or handmade works including mixed media art, refurbished accessories and vintage jewelry, photography, candles, books published by local authors, baked goods, crocheted pieces, and tie dye. All items will be affordably priced at less than fifty dollars. Call (570) 507 9671 or visit for more information.
Also on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Wyoming Valley chapter of the American Red Cross hosts its 20th annual Holiday Craft Show at the Kingston Armory in Wilkes-Barre. More than 100 crafters will offer unique handcrafted items such as jewelry, fine art, holiday and country crafts, glassware, handmade soaps and lotions, clothing, pet accessories and more at this benefit for Red Cross programs. This year the event will also feature wine tastings by Pennsylvania wineries including O’Donnell Winery, Ferrone Family Winery, Capra Collina Winery, and Maiolatesi Winery. Catering is provided by Maer’s BBQ. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 shoppers attended last year’s show. Admission is $5 or free to children age 18 and younger. Sunday special admission is $3 after 2 p.m.

Chainmaille earrings by Jill LaPierre

The Scranton Cultural Center’s Buy Local Holiday Marketplace is back for its second year on Sunday, Dec. 1. Local businesses, artists, and crafters will sell on four floors of the historic Masonic Temple from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among those vendors chainmaille artist Jill LaPierre, based in Elmhurst. Her bold, statement jewelry designs are inspired in part by an appreciation that developed for indigenous artwork while living in Lima, Peru for 10 years.
“My jewelry came about with the desire to mesh the design motifs I was exposed to in Peru with traditional chainmaille weave structures, thereby offering an unexpected twist on hand-woven, contemporary jewelry,” she explains on the Jewelry by LaPierre Facebook page. Pieces include necklaces, bracelets and earrings in sterling silver, bronze, and 14K gold filled metal. Works are made upon request, and can be customized according to buyer preference of length and materials. Visit Admission and gift wrapping at the Buy Local Holiday Marketplace are free and the first 100 patrons will receive a free reusable shopping bag. Food will be available for purchase. Call (570) 344-1111 or visit for more information and a list of vendors.

Alchemy Home Company

Returning to the event for the second year is Alchemy Home Company, which plans to reveal a new Winter Atmosphere Spray in balsam, cedar, citrus, and myrrh on Dec. 1. Alchemy is likewise one of the vendors shoppers will find at Holiday on the Square in downtown Scranton Friday Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7. A joint initiative sponsored by ScrantonMade, Lackawanna County, and Scranton Tomorrow, Holiday on the Square is inspired by this summer’s notably successful Arts on the Square. While the main draw is Scranton Made-curated vendors braving unpredictable weather to sell outdoors under tents headed by forced air propane heaters, the outdoor marketplace imagines “downtown as a whole moveable space,” explained Deputy Director of Arts and Culture for Lackawanna County Maureen McGuigan. More than 30 businesses are cooperating with the fair through a Shop Scranton initiative that extends Holiday on the Square through Scranton’s entire downtown Friday and Saturday. Details of the special attractions these shops have planned will be made available online as the event draws nearer.
“The Commissioners have always wanted to make Lackawanna County’s annual tree lighting a larger Courthouse Square event and so it make sense to merge ScrantonMade’s plans for a holiday fair into a winter version of Arts on the Square,” McGuigan said. The tree lighting will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, shortly after the event opens at 5 p.m. Hot chocolate will be served and carriage rides will be available, McGuigan said. Vendors will sell under heated tents until 9 p.m. that night in conjunction with First Friday Scranton.
Several shops are donating to goody bags that the first 150 HOTS attendees will receive. In addition to the expected coupons the bangs contain some real prizes such as fingerless gloves donated by Modish. Lackawanna County Library System and the Everhart Museum are cosponsoring an activity tent on Linden Street and The Lackawanna County Vistors Bureau hosting an ugly holiday sweater contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. (register at the ScrantonMade Booth by 1:30) for a chance to win gift cards to downtown Scranton businesses including LAVISH Body+Home, Freedlove, Pierre’s Scranton, Northern Light Espresso Bar, The Fanciful Fox, Carl Von Luger Steak & Seafood, Modish LLC, Backyard Ale House, Burlap and Bourbon and more. Categories include ugliest, most festive, most creative, weirdest, and judge’s choice. The full entertainment schedule was not yet announced at press time but is expect to include live music by Sweatheart and Coal Town Rounders.

The Artists’ Studio: Aug. 15, 2013

The Artists’ Studio: Aug. 15, 2013

Painting by Patricia Pelehach

Ties that bind

The Wayne County Arts Alliance will draw attention to the “common thread that ties us all together” at a unique auction party titled Celebrating the Line on Saturday. A literal, visual line runs through each of the 50 canvases to be displayed in the former Sullum’s storefront at 564 Main Street in Honesdale. The event is free but only those who purchased one of 50 advance tickets will be eligible to vie for artwork. Prices range from $25 to $250 with those holding the highest-priced tickets first to choose. Participating artists include David Hamill, Alli Kubu, Cynthia Hanson, Lindsay Barrett George, Katelyn Pellegrino, Yanni Glykokakolos, Evan West, Ellen Silberlicht, Patricia Pelehach, Nancy Wells, Jill Carletti, Laura McManus, Roger Hill, Joe Kluck and dozens more. The benefit also features live music, food and a donation bar. A raffle will be held for a handmade quilt donated by Linda Cobb and several “Parade of Pigs” piggy banks. Visit for more information.

Erica Hart- “Rooted” – mixed media. (Current Hues of the Hudson, Bethel Woods Center.)

A New Hudson River Vision

A recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Lindsey Jarine has curated the first fine art exhibit to be displayed at The Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Titled Current Hues of the Hudson, the show opened on Aug. 10 and features works in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, video, photography and more by a diverse group of contemporary artists living and working in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
“The Hudson Valley has been a place of intense artistic interest since the mid-19th century when the Hudson River School of landscape artists became the focus of an art movement. Today, the Hudson Valley is home to hundreds of artists and more than 100 art galleries and museums,” a release for the show explains. It is part of the museum’s mission of active involvement in the community and advocacy for issues “that make Sullivan County, and the world at large, a better place.”
The more than 10 artists invited to exhibit their works hail from Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Their work will remain on display through Friday, Aug. 23. The historic site of the Woodstock music festival, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts also serves meals and snacks at its Muse Cafe. A menu is available online.
The museum’s permanent interactive exhibition combines film and interactive displays, text panels and artifacts to tell the story of the Sixties and Woodstock. On Assignment: Woodstock Photographs by Rolling Stone Photographer Baron Wolman closes on Aug. 18. Opening in its place on Thursday Aug. 29 is the special exhibition Keeping Time: The Photography of Don Hunstein The Unseen Archive of Columbia Records which highlights the 30-year career Columbia Records in-house photographer Don Hunstein. The collection focuses on performers including Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Simon and Garfunkel, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. This is the first time the exhibition will be seen anywhere.
Shohola Bells: The Sound of Peace is a sculptural and aural art installation by renowned potter David Greenbaum. “Embodying the magic of meditative sound and a graceful, restrained aesthetic, Shohola Bells have a profound transformative presence,” according to the museum. Consisting of four handmade ceramic bells mounted in wooden stands, Shohola Bells: The Sound of Peace is installed along the entrance plaza through Oct. 14.
Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week during the summer. All-inclusive admission is $15 or $13 for senior citizens; $11 for children ages 8 to 17; or $6 for children ages 3 to 7 (those age two and younger are admitted free.) New this year, guests may choose to view only the special exhibit gallery for a fee of $5. A 45-minute docent-led tour of the museum’s main exhibition is offered every Saturday at 1 p.m. Visit for more information.

Was it real, that scent of the surprised maiden? John Bert.

How Many Colors Are in All Questions?

In conjunction with this month’s Third Friday Wilkes-Barre art walk, The Wyoming Valley Art League will present a members’ exhibit from 5 to 8 p.m. in the second floor gallery at 130 South Franklin Street. Featured in the first floor gallery will be works in pastel, watercolor, and colored pencil by John Bert from his collection of 166 drawings about Pablo Neruda’s “The Book of Questions” titled How Many Colors are in all Questions? The artist and poets Mischelle Anthony and Brian Fanelli will read poems by Pablo Neruda as part of the evening’s reception.