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Of dinosaurs, film trailers and happy valentines

  • Jada Mattrey, 3, of Amherst creates design elements for a card to be sent in the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Jada Mattrey, 3, of Amherst creates design elements for a card to be sent in the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Stephanie Mattrey of Amherst puts the finishing touches on a card she created Sunday for the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Stephanie Mattrey of Amherst puts the finishing touches on a card she created Sunday for the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jack and Stephanie Mattrey and their daughter Jada, 3, of Amherst gathered around the dining room table on Sunday to create cards of their own design for the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Jack and Stephanie Mattrey and their daughter Jada, 3, of Amherst gathered around the dining room table on Sunday to create cards of their own design for the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  •  Hunter Menard, 9, left, and his friend Cole Porter, 8, both of Worthington, make dinosaur replicas at the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington  Jan. 18. <br/>Photo by Laura Rodley<br/><br/>

    Hunter Menard, 9, left, and his friend Cole Porter, 8, both of Worthington, make dinosaur replicas at the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington Jan. 18.
    Photo by Laura Rodley

    Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jada Mattrey, 3, of Amherst creates design elements for a card to be sent in the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Jada Mattrey, 3, of Amherst creates design elements for a card to be sent in the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jada Mattrey, 3, of Amherst creates design elements for a card to be sent in the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Stephanie Mattrey of Amherst puts the finishing touches on a card she created Sunday for the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Jack and Stephanie Mattrey and their daughter Jada, 3, of Amherst gathered around the dining room table on Sunday to create cards of their own design for the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  •  Hunter Menard, 9, left, and his friend Cole Porter, 8, both of Worthington, make dinosaur replicas at the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington  Jan. 18. <br/>Photo by Laura Rodley<br/><br/>
  • Jada Mattrey, 3, of Amherst creates design elements for a card to be sent in the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap. Anyone in the four counties of Western Massachusetts can take part in the free event by signing up at the hilltownfamilies.org website by January 31. Then on February 1 each family will receive ten addresses to send their cards to and soon thereafter be the recipient of cards from ten other participants. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING

In keeping with this month’s learning theme, exploring when dinosaurs roamed the earth, students at the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington have been making dinosaur models for display around the private school.

Hunter Menard, 9, and Cole Porter, 8, who both live in Worthington, agreed that dinosaurs would have been big and noisy.

“And sometimes really, really, scary,” added Porter.

While Ashlyn Page of Worthington, 7, was working on a brontosaurus with Andrew Jason Royer, 6, of Heath, her mind was on something else.

“It’s my birthday,” she said gleefully, as she glued pellets onto Styrofoam to make her creature.

Students created their dinosaur replicas piece by piece using wood pellets donated by Sandri Oil Company in Greenfield. The company also donated a $200 gift card so the school could purchase other supplies for the project, including lots of glue.

When finished, three dinosaurs will be displayed at Sandri’s headquarters on Chapman Street in Greenfield.

•••

Hollywood calls

Worthington residents Mariam Massaro and her partner, Dameron Midgett, were all set to travel to Peru in December. But when they got a call saying informing then that their five-minute-long “Gaea Star Crystal” film trailer, filmed in Worthington and Chesterfield, had won the best trailer award at the 2012 Hollywood and Vine Film Festival in Hollywood, Calif., they quickly changed their destination. The festival celebrates “artisticpreneurs” — independent filmmakers.

On Dec. 7, Massaro and Midgett received their awards, software programs and an upcoming feature article about each of them in the Hollywood and Vine Magazine. “People loved the setting,” Massaro said. The trailer featured her handmade costumes and original music played by her Gaea Star Band.

The event included a screening of their trailer and 22 other films.

“When I went, I didn’t know if it was a hokey thing or not,” Massaro said. But, she discovered, “The trailers were all very well made by people very serious about film.”

Massaro wrote and starred in the “Gaea Star” trailer, and Midgett produced it. She said they were part of a wave of people at the festival who were “writing, starring, and producing their own films in a more budget-friendly way.”

Massaro added that their “humble, small, five-minute trailer” was one of the only presentations that didn’t contain violence. “It was very inspiring. There’s a real need for nonviolence,” she said.

“We have to live our lives in peace. It’s not about going to scary movies with guns and violence. It’s about being happy with who we are with the beautiful lightness of ‘being.’ That’s the first step to changing what’s going on with the world.”

Area residents will get a chance to see the trailer plus “Createss of the Hilltowns,” a 20-minute documentary about Massaro by Haydenville filmmaker Ben Tobin, during the 26th anniversary celebration for Wiseways Herbals, her Worthington business. The free event is set for Saturday at the Worthington Town Hall at 160 Huntington Road.

“I’m inviting people to come out with their kids dressed as elves, pixies, snow fairies and snow queens,” Massaro said. A pot luck dinner starts at 6 p.m., followed by films at 7 p.m., a half-hour kids’ program by Gaea Star Pixies led by Worthington resident Robin Rooney at 7:30 p.m., then music with Massaro’s Gaea Star Band.

•••

Valentine swap

It’s time to make valentines for the free fifth annual Hilltown Families Community Handmade Valentine’s Swap.

Area families are invited to sign up on Hilltown Families website, www.hilltownfamilies.org, and send out 10 valentines no later than Feb. 7 to ensure Feb. 14 arrival. In turn, they will receive 10 valentines.

The sign-up deadline is Jan. 31, and names will be emailed to participants the next day, Feb 1.

Laura Rodley can be reached at lrodley.gazette@gmail.com.

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