Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shoebox City Craft Exhibition- Call for Entries

The always inspiring Lilla A has another amazing craft exhibition coming up. 

If you haven't seen any of the others she's hosted, take a moment and check them out. They are stunning and so amazingly creative. 

How it works: She puts out a project and specifies some parameters for photos, and you send yours in and she makes it into an unbelievable photo/collage/exhibit.

Here is the Self-portrait Exhibit:

Such a fun project and a way to encourage creativity and interconnectedness around the world!

This project is going to be a shoebox city. 

So head over to lilla a for the quick instructions, and then grab those extra shoe boxes you've been squirreling away for crafty purposes, and the paint and paper and get creative!

After you've entered, be sure to post here too, so we can see what everyone's houses look like.
Happy crafting!

City blocks and Skyscrapers,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boy Craft

Sometimes it can be difficult to get boys involved in (and excited about) crafting. Especially when we insist on making 'cute' things that involve glitter and stickers and fluffy bunnies. 
But once in a while, when things go right, there are times when they totally take the craft out of your hands and run amok with it. 

These are some of those times. 

I saw This Post a few weeks ago from Last Minute Mel (don't you LOVE that blog title!... maybe the degree of my love for it is proportional to the 'last-minute-ness' of my own life...sigh) and called the boys over to see how Mel's boys had made the COOLEST Lego ski resort. 

Here's a picture of thiers: 

And I was immediately kicked off the computer so the boys could have a chance to study the above handiwork. About an hour later they called me into the bedroom to see this:

Not quite as fancy, but entirely theirs. It stayed up for about two weeks. 


Then there was the embroidery day. I had been working on improving my (aka acquiring any kind of) embroidery skills, for a while making easy little handkerchiefs  (see This Post), and was completely taken aback one day when the boys declared that they wanted to make some of their own. 

So we sat down and i showed them a few things, and said, go for it. 
They went. 

 This was the result. 
Max wanted his smack in the middle of the hanky, a wonky little happy face. 
I love it to pieces. 

And how cool (and ... well done) is Owen's robot guy. 
Great job.


That one day during spring break when it rained and everyone was going nuts inside the house, I gave the boys a free pass to build a fort right in the middle of the living room. 
They built this.

I was pretty impressed. It was like a mini circus tent, strung up with pulleys and held up with chairs and tables and even stitched together a little bit so there wouldn't be any gaps in the ceiling. 


And who could forget the day of the cups... 
If you missed it, Here's the Link
When Max gave us a run-down on how to build a super-cool rocket out of plastic cups,
and Owen built the largest cup-tower ever. 

It's so much fun being mom to some seriously creative boys. And I've learned that, while instruction and step-by-step crafting is good, there are also times when you just need to provide the materials and the occasional suggestion, and let them see what they can do. 

I'm always amazed and impressed. 

What have your kids made on their own that surprised you?

Slips and Snails,

Monday, April 25, 2011

people are poetry

Sometimes, I see a person (usually someone who is doing nothing in particular - standing on a street corner, drinking coffee in a sunwarmed window, walking a dog, leaning against a building at just the right angle at just the right time of day...) and I am suddenly struck by the fact that they are alive. That there before me is another human being. Complete, though unknown, full of their own memories and thoughts an ideas and philosophies... and I have to resist the urge to run up to them and demand of them their life stories, or slide in beside them at the corner booth and just sit quietly... or break out the sketchbook... In general, I'm successful.

But I'm intensely grateful to The Sartorialist for taking snapshots for me, so I can look and look and get lost in the vast, spinning universe of another person... at leisure. And without the threat of police intervention and multiple restraining orders. 

Here are a few souls to get lost in.

all images via the sartorialist

See people today. 

Shuffle and Wry,

Friday, April 22, 2011

Something Pretty, Something Smart

Because every week should contain

Something Pretty,
Something Smart,
Something to do,
And a bit of art.

... and also one or two things just for fun.

Something Pretty

## I don't know if this counts as pretty, but it is pretty seriously awesome... and the rest of the stuff at LennyMud is fantastic too. 

I would totally roll out of bed and start 'pitying' every 'fo' who got in the way of me and this teapot. love. it. 

## Grey skies? no problem. keep a rainbow in your pocket. great idea from Masa-ka.

Something Smart

## Ever read those choose-your-own-adventure novels as a kid? They were my road-trip staple. Love this comic, philosopher's version from Luke Surl

## If you happen to be a physics geek, like me, or if you've ever read Flatland by Edwin Abbot, you will appreciate This Video from Tenth Dimension. If you hated physics and wouldn't touch Flatland with a 40 foot pole made of duct tape and pool cues... watch it anyway. it will change your mind. 

Something to do: 

## First.. go Here to Jackson Pollock [dot] org and fingerpaint  online. Seriously. GO. i'll wait.
ok. you know you feel better now. 

## Then look at these...

images found via a cup of jo

and go find some ugly thing you can make beautiful. 

A bit of art:

## Since we seem to be on the subject, I'm a huge fan of street art. HUGE (i blame it on a too-young-and-impressionable viewing of Basquiat). I may or may not have defaced certain pieces of public property in the name of art once or ... thrice. these are pretty rad.

pvc pipe! genius.

## and OH MY WORD, look at THESE insane sidewalk chalk images. 

and... one for the road...
Remember this - the hug me pillow -  it's still just about the creepiest thing i've ever seen.

why would anyone want to share a bed with half a man's upper torso?
it's a valid question. 

wonderful weekend wishes to you all. 
Graffiti and Ganglion, 

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So I was putting Annika down for her nap today and she always complains that she can't sleep because the sun is in her eyes. So I laid her down and walked over to close the curtains, and she sat up and yelled:

"No, no! Don't put the sun away! I love the sun! The sun is my sweeeeetieeeee!

love that kid. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Artist Love: Lizzy Stewart

I am completely enamoured of the work of Edinburgh artist, Lizzy Stewart

It seems to be at once alive with joy, and quietly melancholy. 

It has things to say,

And says them eloquently.

Things to teach,

and with such grace.

She has a new project that has just come out called Toska, which is an illustrated book (it's breathtaking) based on the uniquely Russian experience of Toska, as described by Vladimir Nabokov. He says, 

“No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

Go and check out all of her work, and take a moment to be abashed. These are the things, folks. The things that make us human and alive. 

You can find her at her site, Here
Her blog, Here
And her Etsy shop, Here

I'll leave you with a few more, for good measure

Whirlwinds and Wonderlands,