Such sweet and charming girls my chickens are. Each with their own personality; the escape artist, the hawk, little red, broody, and we mustn’t forget our little bantam rooster amongst a flock of big girls, Napoleon. They kindly share their varied and often humorous eggs with me, eat the nasty bugs, weed our gardens an fertilize the lawn. I was nearly appalled to witness the savagery they were instinctually capable of. I keep many logs and boards in their chicken yard for a couple of reasons. They like to perch on them and bugs love to gather in them and especially under them. So I periodically flip them around to expose the bugs and it’s a riotous clucking feeding frenzy. Well, I did just that recently and exposed a little field mouse with four or five little sucklings attached to her belly. Before I had the chance to register what I saw the mayhem broke loose. Mamma mouse frantically runs for cover, being pulled this way and that as the savage beasts I call my sweet girls were ripping the sucklings from her teats. A cacophony of clucking and squawking mingled with tiny little squeals of terror overwhelmed the chicken yard. The girls were running chaotically about attacking one another to get at the tasty little morsels. As I said, I was nearly appalled. It was a a grotesque moment of natures beauty and sickened as I was for the mice, I was equally mesmerized by the raw brutality of survival instincts in action. I stealthily slipped out of the yard and let my sweet girls sort this one out without the interference of stupid human emotions.
A week away from the HayLoft. Camping with my family for a week. Much needed as my poor son was moist of the eyes during one of my classes. A definite adjustment for him having me home thru the summer but unable to focus entirely on him. Work until recently was always away from home. I guess that is an easier concept of “going to work” to understand. Interestingly enough I haven’t seen hyde nor hair of him since we hit the campground. Have bicycle, be free! Besides, whenever I’m around I am a nag, nag, nag. And yet if I am home
I best not focus on the other kids or evil jealousy monster will creep up. What is a poor ole ma to do? Any who, I thought I’d post up some pics of the nature lab I am creating in the studio for student use and inspiration.
Day two was like working in a pot of pea soup. The rain refused to release and the humidity worked against us. Our paper mâché gods did not want to dry. One oven, heat gun and turbo fan helped to limp us along. Had our pieces dried sun god, Ra and chicken god, Bak would not have caused us so much grief. Ironically, Set the god of chaos behaved quite well. Delicate and deft hands allowed us to push forth and complete our deity sticks. I give great credit to these boys for such dedication and focus on these last two blistering days. Who doesn’t love knives, burners and power tools, anyway?
Today’s class was day one of Polynesian Deity Sticks. We began our inspirations from mythological gods of Polynesia and quickly veered in the direction of staffs for Egyptian gods due to the vast interest of the students. Ah! One of the many reasons I love art. Inspirations are just that. Ideas that spark the creative engine. When we can learn to ride the waves of imagination and let our inner currents lead the way, the process is far more enriching and satisfying. I try never to stifle an urge. It is where creative genius is born. The dam is broken at the Hay Loft and creativity is flowing. Tomorrow will be an exciting day of whittling, paper mâché, and leather work to finish out our Egyptian staffs.
Berries, berries, berries. On the counter, in the fridge, in the freezer, on my waffles, in the muffins, in my smoothies, with whipped cream, over ice cream, in my seltzer and yet there are still more to be picked! It is heavenly and while I generally appreciate the purposes of the little creepy crawly creatures we co-habitate with, I do wish that Pandora had not let the fruit fly out of the box! I’m sure most people know of the simple fruit fly trap but for those who don’t this little trick makes berry season tiny bit more blissful.
Simply role one of the perfectly good pieces of paper that your child has scribbled a dozen minuscule garbled letters on ( a very important code for dragon wizard something or other) into a cone with a little hole at the end the size of a pencil tip. Tape it, staple it, whatever. Drop a couple berries( fruit flies prefer rotten bits) into a mason jar and put the cone on top. The flies go down into the cone and can’t get back up through the tine hole at the end. It’s a beautiful thing. Just be sure where the cone meets the jar top is securely sealed and for heavens sake don’t bump it over! My son has knocked it a few times and ick! A cloud of fat drunken fruit flies.
Baah! Baaah! A wet wooly day at the Hay Loft! Nearly ninety degrees up in the loft and yet wool was the material of the day! A great group of kids harmoniously squishing, soaking and poking at wool. We listened to a little music, a couple of radiolab episodes about sleep and zoos, and shared plenty of dog stories since we all have a love of dogs. The projects were all fabulous. We had a shoulder bag, hand bag, cat toy, bracelets, a journal, stress balls and plenty of critters. There is something magically mesmerizing
and soothing about felting. What a great experience to share with these kids. Thank you all for such a fun day!
Oh and did I mention the clown?
Complete! While we didn’t all do twenty five and no one drew the apple for our 25 ways to draw an apple class, the second day certainly stretched our imaginations. We started rummaging through drawers and art books for ideas. Another fantastically fun class.
Oh almost forgot, I ate the apple. It was descent but definitely not a crisp local macoun right from the tree.
Okay, so they weren’t really apples but apples aren’t in season right now. We are choosing a simple subject and finding twenty-five ways to represent them 2-dimensionally. We stuck with produce, though and picked from the garden(a cucumber, a zucchini and a baby carrot). This has been an interesting challenge. We all flew through the first ten or so and then the mania began to fizzle out. The great thing about this is that the most interesting images emerged when creatively we felt drained. It’s the punchy, silly stuff that surpasses the mundane and produces the wow factor. More tomorrow.
Today was a day of giggles as we stared at ourselves in glass tree ornaments and tried to draw ourselves for our rubber ball portraits. How smashingly different each was. Goes to show that no matter how objective we try to be, we all have our inescapable inner perspectives. Ah, but that is why art is so fascinating!
All finished! A day of wrapping our heads around multi- universes while listening to radiolab and painting the finishes on our pieces. And the poor fledgling needed another boost to the proper window. What a blast! I couldn’t have wished for a greater companion. Thank you Gabriel for three days of sharing inspirations.