Category Archives: crafting

Self Love Activism Terrifically Zaney!

#SLATZ #Provincetown

A movement beginz… A family day was called.

IMG_6231

IMG_3231
the street team!

A Lesson in guerilla art and activism.

Advertisements

Canoptic Jars, Blue Period, Bulbs and Basketball…

 

We are still plodding along.

In concluding Zoe’s study of Ancient Egypt we headed over to a friends house, who is a potter and she led us in a Canoptic jar Project….Canoptic Jars were used by the Ancient Egyptians during the mummification process to store and preserve the viscera of their owner for the afterlife. They were commonly either carved from limestone or were made of pottery.

canopic3

Though still fired and glazed the building stage is done. We used the coil method and slowly built up the jars.

 

Here she is working on her Anubis Canoptic JarCanoptic jars

My canoptic jar became more of an urn! I have had this owl head for years and finally found a use for it!

IMG_5120

The poem inscribed on the jar/urn is a Mary Oliver poem- Thirst! I’ll post more photos once they are glazed and fired!

 

As for art studies we discovered a new favorite artist a German artist Mary Bauermeister and her Lens Boxes, also known as her NYC Decade- There was a showing at the Smith College museum of Art, followed by a hands on art project! Very Inspiring.

Here is a sampling of her work followed by our projects…

d1993136r

 

I loved the combo of natural findings and ocean items, and the botanical art look, with a zentangle feel. Reminded me a little of another favorite, self-taught artist Joseph Cornell (1903–1972)who also created boxes using found objects, pages from old books, and dime-store trinkets,  transformed everyday materials into curiosity cabinets … He was a kind of magician, turning everyday objects into mysterious treasures.

IMG_5520 IMG_5521

 

 

 

Here is mine, I am now eager to make a natural curiosity lens box coffee table! Already collecting items for it!

IMG_5519

We have also been studying Picasso specifically his Blue Period, and the beginnings of abstract art and Cubism.  Here is her interpretation of abstract cubism! (collage and pastels)

Picasso Guitar

A trip to the Smith College Botanical Gardens bulb show last week introduced us to Impressionism…..when we are done with Picasso we will move onto the Impressionists. The flower show was a great way to introduce Impressionism and to compare to the abstract, realist and cubist styles. Zoe seems to really like history of art and history of music.

IMG_5319

Being at the flower show also allowed to take some pictures as she has been eager for good photo project

Here are creation:

Zoe photoa

In other non art related news! Basketball Season finally ended! We have Saturday mornings back! But rejoice not for long as baseball/softball season begins tomorrow!

IMG_5517

IMG_5298

The song writing is coming a long well….as soon as i get a chance to record her I’ll post her newest song “Send Romeo”

We are using the rest of April for finish off some loose ends, finish the Coursera Guitar Class, complete our Black History Month, finish up our Picasso unit, complete reading the Lord of the Flies, and focus on a mini women’s history unit which consists of  “The Diary of Anne Frank” and a biography on Elizabeth Cady Stanton. While still moving ahead with Math (Khan Academy), writing/spelling unit and latin.

Keep calm and carry on!

Checking in…..So much for weekly write ups!

Not even one post! and it is half way through the school year, SO it is only fair to summarize our experience so far. It has been hard, really hard. There are days when I think that we are falling so far behind that she will never catch up, ever and be so far behind, and it is all my fault, and then there are days when i flip through her binders and take a deep breath realizing that we are squeaking by!

My girl has changed so much this year! Last years crazy foot growth was the beginning, growing a foot size a month for almost 3 months!. She is no longer a little happy go lucky country girl! but a tall, strong preteen, experiencing life to its fullest! What a ride!

IMG_4575

Her love of music has also grown deep. Picking up her guitar several times a day to sing a song, practice her bar chords, or unwind. or sometimes a quick break downstairs to bang out a new rhythmn on the drums, or create a rhythm when memorizing a poem or speech. And in her spare time she mixes music on her expanding Dj set up. Yes the little girl who I tried to keep of electronics and pop media away  as long as I could! Now she has fully immersed in the pop music scene!  and I embrace it as i see her grow…in the past few months her musical taste has expanded (as has her physical taste she eats salami now!) Recently she developed an interest in playing cello and has started taking weekly lessons. Lucky for us out here in the boonies there is no shortage of really talented cello teachers.

We are both totally smitten with the cellist Zoe Keating, her CD “into the trees” is hauntingly gorgeous! We hope she makes it back to NY soon as we missed her this time around.

As well as her usual summer plans at the IMA PreTeen Rock and Roll Camp she has decided to try out the Village Harmony Program a teenage chorus/choir camp, in preparation for this she joined a weekly chorus in Northampton.

IMG_4993

I have taken advantage of her love of music and used it as a jump off point for History of Music. We are presently doing a short unit on the History of Hip Hop, and The Roaring 20’s and Harlem Rennaissance as part of music and Black History Month. We have also tied in some Poetry specifically that of Langston Hughes. (I would like to keep going through the depression as some of my fav music styles came from that period but I know as soon as I mention Woody Guthrie I have lost her- unless i get creative! (wink wink)

langston-hughes-dream-deferred

Before this unit is over she will write a rap song, complete a unit on Song Writing with GarageBand too. The book she is presently reading for fun is  The Young Musician’s Guide to Songwriting: How to Create Music & Lyrics which in my opinion is written well for this age group.

Z

In terms of Visual Arts we began the year studying Chuck Close the artist who has overcome such adversity. We recently saw The Theory of Everything about the life of Stephen Hawking and compared his life with that of Chuck Close. By the end of the year we will also study the Art and Life of Frida Kahlo another artist who overcame physical adversity.MV5BMTAwMTU4MDA3NDNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDk4NTMxNTIx._V1_SX214_AL_

So far we have also studies Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement. Zoe made her own pop art version of Taylor Swift! Presently we are studying Georgia O Keefe and she is working on a cow skull piece.

George_0001

We are linking our somewhat abstract topics together by creating a master timeline! I hope to introduce a few photographers to her before the end of the year namely Vivian Maier, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry and a new to me but instant fav. Imogen Cunningham (which we will tie in back to Friday Kahlo)

mosaicece14d98ba8f7c188688071e8e2aff1bdeafa0f7

The other big area we have focussed on so far and almost completed is Ancient Egypt, as planned we mostly followed Pandia Press Ancient History Odyssey- but I must admit to have hated the History Pockets book it recommended exactly what kills me about school all busy work no substance. I guess, if you have a detail oriented child it may work but it’s not for mine! We watched several Smithsian and National Geographic, History Channel Documentaries , the one on finding the mummy of  King Queen Hatshepsut was definitely a fav! as was the research project on her! Zoe has read The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, The Egypt Game byby Zilpha Keatley Snyder (def her least favorite) and Tales of Ancient Egypt by by Roger Lancelyn Green. She may still read Mara Daughter of the Nile also

IMG HATSEOHUT

 

She looks like she is reading but this fuzzy little trouble maker keeps her from focussing time and time again. Don’t let either of them fool you!

IMG_4615

In math we have been moving slowly along with kumon workbooks, and more recently some of the Math Mammouth Make it Real series, it seems to be working well for her. I still would like to return to some compass art and History of math. We will see!

English has been less inspiring that I had hoped and other than some creative writing  (642 Things to Write About: Young Writer’s Edition, songwriting (more on this in another post) and book reports and biographies) we are relying on the workbook MegaWords. She seems comfortable with it as it is what they used in school last year. She is reading ” The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again ” by J. R. R. Tolkien (book report and author bio) and listening to the “Lord Of The Flies” by William Golding on Audible (book report and author bio as well as a short paper on Dystopian Fiction as she has read “The Giver “and the “Hunger Games Trilogy” and “Divergent”, for fun)

We are way behind on the Geography mapping program I was so excited about! She finds it quite dull 😦 We will plod along and through Geography lessons in whenever I can. We also have abandoned Latin and Spanish

For current affairs/science she has been reading Going Blue: A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands Kaye M.A., Cathryn Berger and The Down-to-Earth Guide To Global Warming – by Laurie David which I hope to end with a photo essay on the environment to integrate her passion for photograhy. I am toying with the idea of introducing Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, but I am learning to get go of my attachments! 

Here are two of her photographs that she is pretty proud of

IMG_8067 IMG_8096

Also for current affairs she has chosen to memorize the Emma Watson HeForShe Speech at the United Nations | UN Women 2014.

IMG_3392

In terms of physical eduction she took a modern dance class this Fall with a local hero  Christina Gabriel who volunteer teaches fabulous dance classes in order to raise money for the Community Hall  in town (and she is juliard trained!) It was her first dance class in years! and looks forward to it again in the Spring. In the meantime she plays on the local 4-6 grade basketball team and an indoor soccer league which she also really enjoys.

Looking ahead, to next year while I feel like we are starting to find our groove, it’s not always graceful though! Zoe is eager to go back to school we have our fingers crossed that she will get into a regional local performing arts charter middle/high school- it seems like a good fit for this alternative young woman. And while I am up for the challenge on continuing on this path, I will be happy to have my days back again!

{this moment}

 {this moment} – A Friday ritual a la soulemama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see

. . . . . . . . . .

There has been a lot of manga drawing and dreaming in this house lately!

Mission Complete!

I always wanted to/planned to make Zoe a baby quilt, a twin sized one. I started it when she was around 2 1/2 thinking it would be ready for her first bed! At the time she was all about Pink and Brown! Her favorite color was brown with pink accents! All about pillowcase dresses!

I started buying fabric and cutting squares and laying out but sadly time got away…..and the quilt got moved to the bottom of the WIP basket and eventually into the UFO basket. Project after project took priority… Last May when we moved I found it and decided that as soon as we were settled I was going to begin work again and complete it, and put it on Zoe’s bed in her new room. True to my word a pulled it out and started laying it out but it now longer spoke to me, it was no longer the essence of Zoe. A decision had to be made. I had recently found an embroidery pattern “The Rainbow Warrior” here in the Little dear etsy store

It reminded me of Zoe in so many ways! That piece was the inspiration that got me going. . . The warrior girl that is Zoe and her love of color! A lot of the fabric used was remnants of items I have made for her over the years, plus some new fabrics purchased just because they symbolize something I love about Zoe or something she loves. Inspired by the rainbow warrior it is all about strength, determination and color!

And finally 8 1/2 years later Zoe has a mama-made quilt resting on her bed! Mission Complete!

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual a la soulemama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

. . . . . . . .

 

* Incase you are wondering Star Girl Pants designed and made by myself and Smarty Pants made out of red and silver pleather and lined with a cozy red flannel.