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Silly Season

The silly season is upon us

horsing around

We’re all a wee bit stressed and tired as the year winds down. Where has the year gone?

dunk

To make matters worse, for those with little ones, what lies ahead are weeks and weeks of school holidays

batman

So heads down, bottoms up and be thankful for all the flipping good things we do have.

mum and child

Eat, drink, laugh and cry! As for me, will be taking a break from blogging to focus on the ‘new’ in the new year!

1painted ladies vintage swimwear

Good tidings!

silly tree


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The Regeneration Project, Wendy Goldstein & Sue Lennox

Turn on, tune in and drop out. The average American child spends 44 hours a week watching TV, whilst Australian kids spend twice as much time watching TV than they do reading a book. It’s a way of life now, it’s on in the background, it’s on during bath time and as you’re juggling the kids and making dinner. Children are spending less time outdoors and more time looking at a screen. In 1995, Richard Louv coined the term ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ to describe this disengagement of children from nature.

kids tv

If children spend less time in nature early in life, they’re less likely to care for nature as adults. In this increasingly digital age, how looks the future for nature?

Wendy Goldstein and Sue Lennox (from Macquarie University & Oz Green) have partnered to launch a project called The Re Generation Project, that is asking what can be done to reconnect young people with nature. They’re calling for young people to share their ideas on https://www.facebook.com/theregeneration.inspirenature

Nature’s not a destination, it’s as close as your own backyard!

1the kids picking flowers

So out we went, into the backyard to play and pick our small stash of plants for our pressed plant terrariums.

DIY PRESSED PLANT TERRARIUM

pressed leaf terrarium with dinos

Draw out your terrarium onto thick sheets of white paper, painting in a little dirt. Glue plants onto your terrarium and layer over with clear contact. Press down over the contact with your hands then cut out.

1 making pressed leaf terrarium

The kids making their pressed plant terrariums

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 Other nature craft ideas… with leaves

2 craft with leavesSticks & Twigs

3 craft with twigsRocks

1 craft with rocks

 


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Pretzel Teabag Anchor

Yesterday my daughter took her shoes off in class, and kept them off. all. day. long. She could have chosen to sit with a friend for the day, or at the teachers desk! alas shoes off it was, her chosen reward for being good. When I was growing up it was all about gold stars, but back in the 5th Century Italian kids were given pretzels for good behaviour! A kitchen bound monk shaped them from dough to resemble hands crossed over the chest in prayer. They called them Pretiola, Latin for “little reward.”

Latin might be dead but the twisted pretzel lives on, from food vans to the freekum…

pretzels collageGermans quickly cottoned on to the pretzels doughy goodness and adopted them as a national food staple and beer besty. They also represent good luck and so are worn as a necklace on New Years Day. Austrians adorn their Christmas trees with them, while the Swiss play break the pretzel at weddings. The phrase “tying the knot” comes from pretzels too!

DIY CLAY PRETZELS

Warm up the modelling clay by rolling in your hands for a minute or so. Work on a non porous surface. Shape your pretzel. The bigger the pretzel, the more knots.

1 to 6 sharpenedRest pretzels on baking paper & leave to dry 24 hours.

8ii

Water down acrylic paint to the consistency of pancake mix…

9ii

dunk…

10ii

Leave to dry 24hours and ponder the uses of your dipped pretzels.

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This is how I’ll be using mine.

When I’m feeling a little fancy or have a gal pal over for a cuppa!

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Warrior

Ever since man has been able to lift a club, shoot an arrow, throw a spear or wield an axe, there have been shields.

African shields are oval in shape, made with buffalo hide stretched over a wooden frame and divided in two; one half indicating which tribe the warrior belongs to, and the other half his age. Once a young man has fought, pillaged and killed, distinctive marks are added to his shield by his fellow tribesmen. Painted on with charcoal, powdered soil, ground up bones and blood, circle and semi-circle shapes feature often in shield design as they represent bravery.

1925 postcard

I designed my shields first and researched their meaning later. If you wish to a) design your own shield with b) personalized meaning, see the chart below and choose wisely. With hens legs, wooden combs and Siamese crocodiles to choose from, I kind of wish I had!

making a cardboard shield

Cardboard, sharpie, stencil and paints.

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Tigers are a symbol of personal strength. Good choice!

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In the garden…

1 tigers in the garden

African Shield Symbols and their Meaning

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Animal Print Paper Flowers

1 All the flowers

From cavemen to cougars, animal prints have been worn by many. Some wear it well…

Bee 1n2

 others not so much…

not so good in animal print

Many a four legged beast were thankful the world over, when in 1947 Dior turned from fur to animal print.  From Gucci to Givenchy, many designers followed.

When browsing for animal print patterns to make paper decorations with, found much of the usual safari palette… giraffe, leopard, zebra, until I stumbled across these Ashley Goldberg prints.

1 ashely goldberg collage

 My attempts at these fine prints using watercolours.

1 my collage ag inspired ii

Making Paper Lanterns using Ashley Goldberg inspired prints.

animal print paper lanterns collage

Animal print & crepe paper flowers

jungle print paper flowers


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Jungle Paintings

Henri Rousseau painted more than 25 jungle themed paintings. He painted ‘The Dream’ in 1910. Jadwigha, his Polish mistress from his youth is reclining nude on a velvet sofa in the middle of the jungle.

the-dream-rousseau

Critics were confused by this. So Rousseau wrote a poem to accompany the work… for clarification.

Yadwigha in a beautiful dream
Having fallen gently to sleep
Heard the sounds of a reed instrument   
Played by a well-intentioned [snake] charmer.
As the moon reflected
On the rivers [or flowers], the verdant trees,
The wild snakes lend an ear
To the joyous tunes of the instrument.

PAULA LEHTONEN Jungle 1-4

Paula Lehtonen, Jungle 1 – 4

This year, daughter is having a Jungle themed birthday party, so am spending spare moments during baby’s naps and late at night to paint party props. Jungle themed party props in the making…

monkeys

toucans

spraying pink paint on jungle caterpillars

Dali showed up about 20 years after Rousseau.

Melting clocks, body parts and innards scattered over landscapes… no wonder he blew their minds!

AliceDali1-377x550

Dali, 1969