I have been trying to find something creative to post about but things have been fairly busy, as you can imagine, and there is not much making or creating going on. On our last trip to the valley though, I determined that I would do one thing, other than nursing the baby, and that was continue with the tradition of picking flowers for the house. (sorry, I know the last post was flowers too) I convinced Ruth to settle in the Moby Wrap and out we went into the drizzle.
Apple blossoms, forget-me-nots, a stray tulip and some primroses. As we approached the primroses we came upon two hummingbirds and I was surprised how close we managed to get. As I recounted this later to Gary I realized how nice it sounded to be saying “we did this” and “we saw that”. These first few walks and outings are the beginning of the adventures (if everyday adventures) I will have with Ruth as a baby appendage in a sling or wrap.
More baby, I’m afraid….
This past weekend we took Ruth to Good Cheer for the first time. I was a bit nervous about venturing forth but the trip needed to be made (the lawn needed to be mowed!) and I decided I’d sooner go there and be together than stay at home alone. In the end it was fine, and I’m glad we went. I realized when we were there that it was exactly a year ago that we saw the house for the first time, so it was fun to be introducing Ruth to the house a year later. (A lot changes in a year!) It is tricky to document Ruth’s first visit to Good Cheer as she is so small that she needs to be photographed close up….but you can see the telltale green floor behind her!
Our day was pretty much the same there as it is here – a lot of sitting and cuddling and nursing, but we also got out for a nice walk in the morning to take note of everything that was blooming (forsythia, primroses, daffodils….lots of yellow) and enjoy the birdsong. And we had some family visitors who brought a little bit of spring for Ruth to inspect close up. As I photographed this charming bouquet I remembered how I wrote about flowers in the house last summer and thought it fitting that I remember this bunch as Ruth’s first.
Often, one of the first things I do on arriving at Good Cheer is to pick some flowers for the house. Well, if I am truthful, sometimes I first have to throw out the old dried up flowers from the last time. But then I go out and wander about, looking for flowers, plants or grasses for “arrangements”. I wish I had documented this more deliberately but I did notice quite a few photos of flowers while browsing through pictures of our times there. I think I feel that no matter how sparse (or non existent) the furniture, having flowers in the house makes it feel instantly more lived in.
Another case of “I should be doing many other things, but instead I am doing this.” Fortunately, it was not a big project! I saw this idea in a book once – a simple jar of blossoms hung on the wall. In the book it was a round jam style jar but it struck me that this glass syrup jug would be perfect, for a number of reasons. For one thing, it has a tiny little loop handle, which makes me feel more secure about hanging it. And the jar is also flat, which makes it ideal for hanging against the wall. I knew I was saving that jar for something. So I soaked the jar in warm soapy water and scrubbed it to remove the label. I think a rustic twine would be great for this kind of thing but I only had raffia, so I used several strands braided together. Then I filled it half full of water and stuck in some flowers. I believe this could work with any jar, but you would want to make sure that it has a sizeable lip so you feel the string wouldn’t slip of and send you jar crashing to the ground. Perhaps you could also use some wire tightly wound around the top of the jar, for a more sturdy hanging option.
When I was finished I wandered around the house looking for a good place to hang my wall flowers. With plaster walls you don’t really want to put nails in without the little metal picture hanger bit (I believe that is what is it called), which takes away from the charm.
But with something this size there are still lots of options. I settled on the front porch (at top) because I think it makes the entryway look rather jolly.
Pink was the theme. Nice in early March to have some flowers to brighten things up!
Branches on the overhead. Not the best, but the only photo.
Just back from a fun (yes, and exhausting!) day at the Art Gallery’s Children’s Festival: Art Eco. I was working in the Young Learners Studio. There were many exciting and wonderful things going on all over the gallery, so I really tried to make sure the activities I chose were accessable to the VERY young. It’s a good thing I did because we were almost over-run by the two-and-unders!
We used pieces of corrugated cardboard to stamp trunks and branches on lovely pieces of wood veneer. The corrugated part of the cardboard looked a lot like birch bark.
Small pieces of rolled up card and sponge were perfect for making leaves. Of course, it was an open activity so we had a lot of abstract work, and “a digger” but there were some beautiful pieces. It’s funny – I felt the younger children (3 year olds) did the nicer work. While I was walking home it occurred to me that the younger children approached the art making by thinking “What is a tree? It is a stick with other sticks and some leaves on”. The older children who came in worked more along the lines of “What is a picture of a tree? It’s a trunk with a bumpy green bit at the top.” They may have made very obvious tree representations, but the first approach captured more of the “tree essence”. Well, I thought so anyway. Here are some beautiful birch forests.
We also made some simple recycled flowers using egg cartons, pieces of scrap fabric and centres from old magazines. They were fun and easy.
For the last activity I cut out a bunch of “recycling arrows” and set them out for the youngest participants to colour with pastels and paint. I’m glad I did, since this was perfect for those who just needed to get busy. All in all a pretty good day. I only wish I had more of a chance to look around at the other activities in the gallery!
A bouquet picked from my parents garden. Keep wanting to describe it as “riotous”.
Painting is not really my thing but I thought I’d have a go.