29.6.11

Pecans And Fun And Games

A few of you asked what we were going to do with the Pecans we were gifted
Truth be told we're just eating them.  
They are time consuming to crack open a pile large enough to make something with- 
Despite our best efforts to even make an assembly line of cracking- we usually end up eating more than we save-  

If you want to make a monkey happy- give them a hammer

My vampire


We would make awful squirrels!

Once the craft supplies were out- creativity ensued and my older monkey invented a game called:
Flying Ball
As always I love creating, with what we have on hand- 
In this case beer bottles!
(they have also been working hard making more Beer Cap Art)



What kind of fun and games have you been up to? 

28.6.11

Poland Lantern- World Record

On Midsummer's night the longest day of the year- The town of Poznan in Poland, not far from where my father was born, set the World Record last week for the most lanterns released on this day-
With the music playing in the background and the beauty of the glow it is quite a spectacular sight to see.








27.6.11

Street Sketchbook Journeys-Get Inside The Mind Of A Graffiti Artist

It is no surprise that I am passionate about graffiti art.  I take photographs anywhere I can- click to see my photos of graffiti art in Venice Beach, San Francisco, Prague and Vienna
I found these books that gives us a glimpse of the process of graffiti artist from around the world.  Both by Tristan Manco- the first book is called Street Sketchbook: Inside the Journals of International Street and Graffiti Artists (2007) and the recently released Street Sketchbook Journeys.
Street Sketchbook Journeys takes us from the Flavelas in Brazil to the back alleys in Tokyo covering a variety of styles from the idea born in a sketchbook to the process and the ultimate installation unveiled in urban settings.

These books are beautifully designed, comprehensive thick 227 page pieces of art work themselves.

Do you have a favorite Graffiti Art book? 
What is your favorite place in the world for seeing graffiti art?

24.6.11

A Week In Reflection-

When you live in the desert and the temperatures sore over a hundred (or 45*c) you can either hole up in air-conditioned indoor spaces or embrace it and get wet-  We spend every day in water (seems unnatural in a desert but none the less effective).
I took the monkeys to two different playgrounds that have water features- which here means soft squishy recycled plastic flooring- with fountain like water spouts.

Paseo Park
Mountain Ridge Park

We also went to our club where the water slides and 'other kids' factors are a huge draw.

Most morning we hang out by our pool and I get some quiet time to read- this is what I'm reading now

To make our pool more 'brother friendly' I try and stock it up with shoot 'em toys-
This weeks find (at Home Goods) was a set of inflatable rafts with water shooter features

And when we are all pruned up and do need to be indoors- we like to head to our library


Or do some indoor climbing

How was your week? 
Have a lovely weekend! 

23.6.11

Spinach

I love cooking with spinach- it is so easy to use and packed full of many health benefits.
Spinach is a great source of vitamin C, Iron and has antioxidants that can help prevent cancer. 
image by Bart Hickman
Here are two easy meals I made- both are suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The first one is actually a leftover dish- I had a few crepes left over from a breakfast meal we made so I wilted some spinach with salt and a pinch of nutmeg and layered it:

I added a layer of Canadian Back Bacon- just gave it a quick turn on a non-stick frying pan
Made a b├ęchamel sauce (just google a recipe)
And came up with this deliciousness: 

I love making egg Frittata-
Here I used sauteed mushrooms, wilted spinach and Brie 
Add whisked eggs, cream and salt
pour over top of other ingredients and cook on low heat with a lid on


What is your favorite thing to make using spinach?

22.6.11

Film: Blue Valentine


This is a great love story.  Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling trained for their roles to portray a couple for years.  The director Derek Cianfrance had the two rent an apartment together, buy groceries and live on a small fixed budget to research their roles.  The result is raw and real. 
I always pull for the under dog and this story is no exception.  I also believe that once you find love it doesn't just go away- You can't fall out of love with someone- You can have period of time where things are tough but that is why marriage vows say 'in good times and in bad'.  
The film bounces back and forth between 'real' time where the couple have a daughter and have been married for a few years to when their love first blossomed.  
The film was shot in 16mm for the flashbacks which gives it a dream like vintage vibe.  

Have you seen Blue Valentine? 

Click to read my reviews on two other Michelle Williams films:
Mammoth

21.6.11

Words

I love words- and I love art that incorporates words. 
When I was thinking about what to do with my older monkey's room- inspiration hit me one night when I was home alone drinking wine.  
I didn't have a plan I just painted out the words as fast as I could, not even allowing for the paint to dry off the stencils. 
His room is covered in about forty words- 
Words that I hope will inspire and perhaps put a smile on my monkeys face.  












What words would you put up on the wall?

20.6.11

Diorama- Art Education

A diorama is a three dimensional replica of something like a historical event, nature, city or made up world.  These can be used to showcase for the purpose of entertainment or education.  
In the 19th century they were often used as a showcasing tool for theatre:

This one is of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice






I took all the above images at the National Gallery in Prague- but unfortunately didn't get all the information regarding them.




Here are some shots of my youngest making a replica of a Torah story (his idea).
We always use recycled material and things we find around our house. 
Usually the project is done over the course of a few days and is continually added to and played with-
We made a large scale city last summer which the monkeys played with forever.
This summer we are planning on making a forest diorama with found objects (chosen carefully to preserve nature) from a trip we have planned.
We are also going to make dioramas of a scene from a favorite book we are reading this summer. 

Questions to consider while creating:
Make a plan, tell a story, what is your intention to showcase? Draw a plan or outline. 
What materials (medium) are we using to create?
What types of art genres use found objects or recycled objects? (most commonly Assemblage but also Found Art, Junk Art and a fairly new term is Up-cycled Art) 
Could this be considered a sculpture? (yes- it is three dimensional art)

Do you enjoy making dioramas? 

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