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Take a tantalizing Taste of the Foothills

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From page B1 | October 14, 2013 | Leave Comment

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LEXI BOEGER arranges the yarn on a yarn owl hanging in her shop at the Boeger Winery in Placerville. She is participating in the Taste of the Foothills, a benefit for Cedar Springs Waldorf School, on Sunday, Oct. 20. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Lexi Boeger loves to spin a yarn, but you can trust every word she says when she speaks of her talent of turning sheep’s wool and goat hair into wearable works of art.

Boeger, 39, will be demonstrating the art of spinning during the third annual Taste of the Foothills, set for Sunday, Oct. 20, at the historical Smith Flat House in Placerville.

The spinner-weaver will be joined by more than half-a-dozen other artists, who will share their gifts in a setting that includes exquisite local wines and delicious offerings from fine local restaurants. Seven wineries will pour during the autumn afternoon, with the event running from 1 to 4.

Among the wineries is Boeger Winery, where founder Greg and Sue Boeger’s daughter Lexi lives and maintains a spinning studio in the midst of art itself, the gorgeous grapevines and autumn-colored trees providing a setting sure to inspire creativity.

Taste of the Foothills is a benefit for Cedar Springs Waldorf School, where Lexi’s two children, Atom and Pixel, attend. So the chance to contribute to the fund-raising effort was a natural for mom Lexi.

“What I love about Waldorf is that the school encourages kids from kindergarten-on to embrace the arts, whether it’s cooking, woodworking, painting or spinning,” said Lexi as she showed the fascinating works that fill her softly lit studio that once was a distillery shed in the 1860s.

“All the arts improve hand-eye coordination and I think it’s great that the kids are offered such a curriculum,” she said.

Waldorf’s Lynn Morgan amplified the school’s philosophy.

“As a Waldorf school, art is infused throughout our curriculum. Waldorf schools are very hands-on in their approach and art is one of the ways to deepen the learning and engage our students in a beautiful and meaningful way,” the teacher said.

“For example, our lower-grades students create beautiful watercolor paintings related to topics they are learning about, such as language arts and our upper-grades students construct three-dimensional geometric forms during math class. In this way, art is interwoven throughout our subjects to bring greater meaning for the children and also an appreciation of the arts, which includes drama and music, as well.”
Additionally, the Waldorf-trained faculty are all artists themselves, who value aesthetics and model this appreciation, Morgan said.
“We are excited to be featuring many local artists at the Taste of the Foothills, including the work of our own eighth-graders who will have items to sell at the event.”
Arty family 
Lexi’s children, Pixel, 9, and Atom, 7, both are adept at spinning, said Lexi. Atom sold several of his own works at a recent event, leaving Mom both proud and chagrined.
“He sold more than I did,” she laughed.
Lexi Boeger’s business is called pluckyfluff and can be accessed online.
She describes the art of spinning as a “zenlike” undertaking, providing a sense of serenity and accomplishment at the same time.
Lexi takes the raw materials, including wool and goat hair, along with other media such as silk, cotton and even plastic, and spins them into a brand-new life. She has been spinning since 1999, and recently has been throwing an annual “Yarnival” event at Boeger Winery that is growing in popularity.
“What I enjoy about spinning is being able to make something out of tradition — the art of spinning goes back thousands of years — into something of my own,” said Lexi, as she showed the finer points of a large macramé-and-yarn owl that hangs as the centerpiece of her studio.
Lexi Boeger will bring her spinning wheel and rope-making machine to the third annual Taste of the Foothills, which will be held in the spacious courtyard area behind the Smith Flat House, a venue that has been renovated to provide a comfortable setting for such events. The Smith Flat House is at 2021 Smith Flat Road in Placerville.
In addition to Boeger’s works, other local artists will offer for sale such items as felted art, sculpture, alpaca wool products, photography, jewelry, candles and much more.
In addition to the fine wines that will be poured, Placerville Brewing Co. will bring its line of beers and ales.
A raffle will feature a selection of wines from each participating winery, along with donated items from the artists and restaurants. Other items also will be offered for sale, including handmade works by Cedar Springs Waldorf’s eighth-graders.
“This is a premier event with selections of the best wine, food and art from our local community,” said Jennifer Bumgarner of Bumgarner Winery, one of the participants in Taste of the Foothills.
Contact Bumgarner at 530-306-2025 or call Cedar Springs Waldorf School at 530-642-9903 to purchase tickets, or do so online at tasteofthefoothills.com. Tickets are $25 presale and $30 at the event.

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