Saturday, July 30, 2011

Most Successful Kids Party Idea Ever

Today we celebrated Levity's eighth birthday with a Kid's Trade Show; her idea.  Three and a half weeks ago, when I posted the event on facebook, I was startled to receive R.S.V.P.'s within minutes.  Sure enough, we had thirty three kids with their wild assortment of hand made arts, crafts and creations.  From tinfoil "tornados" to hand knit caps, the kids started by voting on their top favorite items.  First place went to the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  Next: a Three way tie for second place: a drawing of a turtle, labeled "turtle," a lego barge, and finally, some puffball creatures.

Dress designed and constructed by Levity.
Kid's #1 Pick, by DeBow girls
Kid's Choice Award, by Ashley
Kid's Choice Award, by Kate Jeans
Kid's Choice Award, by Aiden Morris

Next time we do this, and there must be a next time, I will award prizes for Kid's Choice and Adults Choice.  I was amazed by ten year old Nici's photography.  She even developed her own logo and company name, which she stamped on the backs of each of her photo and painting greeting cards.  Impressive.  

Hand knit scarf and sewn bag by the Morris girls.
Some of Nici's photography

Pencil toppers

Sand art.

I've never hosted such an instantly popular, well attended party for elementary age kids.  And no one cried!  Everyone left with something they liked or traded for.  After the judging, the kids were released to trade willy-nilly-  It was a free for all, but for some reason, they find the wheeling and dealing empowering.  (smile)

 Finally, one of the Aiden's announced that he'd be washing the dishes, and organized a team of kids to break it down into an assembly line.  

Even the gifts Levity received were exceptional:  books, sketch book, her own kitchen implement set, oil pastels...Thank you so much to everyone who participated. 

Flowers provided by Erica Jeans!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Teacher's Heart

My little sister Hannah is visiting from California this month.  We've missed her horribly.  She didn't even get over the threshold before sitting down with my children and, in her soft spoken, patient way, showing them all sorts of bead making and metal working techniques.

The beauty of spirit that decides that all people are people, especially small ones; the spirit that takes what she knows and makes it accessible and tangible to them, takes my breath away.  So often we demand that children tag along in our world, and wait until they are grown to get to do real stuff.  Thank you, Hannah, for saying, with every part of who you are, that they are not too small, too clumsy, or too dim witted to grasp and achieve absolutely anything they can aspire to.

Some of Hannah's own designs and hand made pieces.

A friend's hand drawn design that she screen printed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Human" song

This song is about an idea, it is not about something that happened, exactly, but about something that happens. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspired by Art

I'd like to be at the Gardener museum in Boston, or the MFA right now, looking at art, but even huddling in the basement of the Public Library, poring over pages and pages of 19th century painting, is enough.  Recent pieces of inspiratu...

Tiny head.  What was the artist trying to say?
I love the stylized, illustrative quality of this religious piece.  
Breathtaking renderings.  Got this at the Library.
This is a great, Pg-13 depiction of the drama, the spiral of the Terror in France during the Revolution.
My initial sketch in a series I'm working on for my friend's children's book.  
Jason's watercolor illustration for same friend's project.
I love that Levity takes art seriously, and that our children emulate us, in this way.  Quite a good drawing, I think.

There are so very few things that are as brilliant, as honest, as truly imaginative, as children's art.  Levity drew this too.  I find myself concocting entire story lines in my head after just one glance.  Amazing.
The hands.  Her face.  She seems so familiar to me.
Having worn that identical expression countless times, when I look at this  painting,  I feel I'm in conversation with a kindred spirit, and someone who could be alive, rite now, in a coffee shop down the street.  But instead, she and I were born far flung centuries apart.  
portrait of Bella that Jason is working on right this second.  He's making art, I'm blogging about it.  Is that bad?  (laugh)
Not everyone was beautiful in the 19th century.  There were women who had to make the best of it.  This person is so REAL to me.