(glimpses) – graceful mechanics

during the very last bit of our holiday recess, we managed to squeeze our one and only day trip …a drive into Cambridge, MA with our destination this time being the MIT Museum .

among slowly moving mechanics that beat quiet rhythms,  the baby doll gently rocking endlessly to the transparent mechanics that

and the mechanical man who attempted  emotional expressions through the varied lessons of passing strangers,

and the faucet that dripped perpetually metal beads of water

the autumn leaf’s graceful balanced walk on the turning wheel.  all knew not if it called themselves machine or art, but maybe names don’t matter …the exhibit titled “5000 Moving Parts” is up through November 2014, so there’s time to see these gracefully mechanical thoughts if you have the chance….

(around the table) – little worlds

it’s funny. … all the little things we have kept in jars, bowls and teacups ….

while one gallon size mason jar houses a very well loved bouncy ball collection, another very humbly keeps a colorful mix of beans for a big pot of our favorite chile or oats for a morning porridge …and still others…random quart jars have seen many fanciful creatures and  lovely little people while we paint ….

It is often while I am busy with my projects and notice the quiet that has settle into our home …. that I take a break to see why ….  most often I come to find yet another project my girl has been found and is busy at work with herself ….

in little glasses found while recycling and other cast-off containers that still with no purpose of their own …

she has made little lands from from the slowly greening world around the edges of our house

from bits of moss and early bird shoots and plants, she has made her own worlds to keep….

(around the table) – life as a giant

Besides the snake that has found a cool space to rest between the raised garden beds and the fence that acts as a shield against the garden marauders, all the growing things take small breaths between the changing weather lifting themselves up a little at a time ….

We are out with the return of the sun to see what has changed since the stormy weather has gone by…..and this is how we discover our life as giants ….

down below our feet, in the freshly shorn grass, the sun flashes tiny, bright and red … catching our eyes…

below our feet, as we must sit down and lean our heads low to see,  we discover the smallest berries that ever grew…

we we make ourselves a  tiny feast … stay very still and look carefully beyond the leaves that shelter the wild berry patch …

we find something indescribably happy about these hidden treasures….

we gather berries mixed from the garden and the field: the ever bearers, the little alpines and the ever so little wild ones… inside we make a tiny feast of little pancakes topped with mixed strawberries that have been so quickly eaten … no pictures were taken soon enough …

This is how our life as giants has gone on the first day. How would you feast on little hoard of found ruby-like treasures?

(around the table) – red hot chilies in winter

A little project we began just at the start of the new year … my daughter had plans of throwing a fiesta for my birthday … but with the return to regular life after the holidays, we are still working up to our fiesta ….

We started with strips of newspaper … and made a batch of homemade wheat paste.

There are many recipes available. Wheat paste is basically a mixture of flour and water (in many cases heated over a low heat and whisked for a smooth consistency).  Other strarchy, non-gluten flours will also work well.

we shaped our chili peppers … by dipping the newsprint strips in bowl of the wheat paste … and with our fingers squeegeed off the excess wheat paste.

twisting the newspaper around itself in a cones-like way … adding a layer or two more and then placing them on  a cooling rack to dry… this may take one to three days depending on the size of your peppers

Yes, traditional paper mache can be a bit messy depending on who’s cooking …but  I love this traditional folk craft method as it is always likely to have the materials on hand.

as the first layers of newspaper dry …. more layers can be used to build on the initial form… just make sure to leave time for layers to dry in between ….

we have painted ours with matte acyclic paint and let the writing of the newspaper show through in places.

I like the feel of having some of the process still revealed…  and the hot redness of those toasty paper chili peppers as winter lingers on…

… we will be making twisted stems, but that is still for another day!