If you are between 8 and 108 years old and like to read middle grade books, then you are especially welcome here!

Happy Fourth of July!

Posted: July 4th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Fourth of July is a holiday traditionally celebrated with fireworks. And fireworks come in many forms. Colorful explosions of flowers. Vibrant crayon drawings. And corn!

This is glass gem corn, a heritage variety cultivated by Oklahoma farmer Carl “White Eagle” Barnes.

Photo and story found at Seedbroadcast

Seed-keeper Carl was half-Cherokee, half Scottish-Irish, and in the course of growing older corn varieties he was able to isolate and cultivate ancestral types that had been lost to various Native tribes after their relocation to the Oklahoma territory in the 1880s. Carl’s philosophy: “The Seed Remembers.”

I stand in a radiant Glory

My roots in the heart of Mother Earth

My crown in the clouds of Father Sky

The Four Winds encircle me in spirals of Love

One going up, then down

One going down, then up

They meet in the Center of Complete Perfection—

The Human Stalk of Corn

—Carl Barnes

 

Share

When every action has a fun reaction

Posted: June 15th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Kinetic artist Joseph Herscher is the creative genius behind YouTube’s Joseph’s Machines. His amazing chain-reaction devices are sometimes referred to as Rube Goldberg machines. Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist who drew complicated gadgets that performed simple tasks. Behold the diagram for Rube Goldberg’s Self-Operating Napkin!

And here’s Joseph Herscher’s tooth-brushing technique.

More work=less fun is true in most cases.

Not with Joseph’s Machines!

Check out more of them on YouTube.

Share

Paper great

Posted: March 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

Danish artist HuskMitNavn (RememberMyName) lives and works in Copenhagen. His simple drawings bring a whole lot of life and fun to simple sheets of paper.

HuskMitNavn proves you don’t need a lot of stuff when you’ve got a lot of imagination. Check out more of his drawings on Instagram. And see his paintings and installations here.

Share

Yadiloh greetings!

Posted: December 14th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Letters to T | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Dan’s Mom writes:

Dear T,

I would like to tell you about a fabulous new holiday celebration. It’s called Yadiloh, the Festival of Brooms and Mice, and it happens on the second Sunday of December, right before the traditional holidays begin. I had an artist friend of mine make up a card for it.

Yadiloh begins early in the morning as each and every kid in the family sweeps (or vacuums) their room and then cleans the whole house. Then, in the spirit of Yadiloh fun, they hide the broom (or vacuum).

After that, for even more fun, they sit quietly together and draw a picture of an adorable mouse. The fun doesn’t stop there! At this point, Mom or Dad takes on the role of Atnas, the Yadiloh Broom Finder. Atnas asks the kids (the Mice) where the broom (or vacuum) is. They tell him (or her), and then go outside to quietly play while Atnas takes a much-deserved Yadiloh nap.

Let’s get cracking and help make Yadiloh a part of every family’s holiday tradition! Here are a couple of rousing Yadiloh carols to get everyone in the mood.

Oh, Yadiloh!

(Sung to the tune of Oh, Tannenbaum)

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

My favorite time of year.

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

I’m glad you’re finally here.

I cleaned my room

and swept the house,

then hid the broom

and drew a mouse.

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

You fill us all with cheer.

And:

Here Comes Atnas

(Sung to the tune of Here Comes Santa)

Here comes Atnas, here comes Atnas,

looking for the broom.

Here comes Atnas, here comes Atnas,

checking every room.

Searching twice and asking mice for any little clue,

Atnas knows a broom hunt is the funnest thing to do!

T replies:

Hey, Dan’s Mom. Yadiloh sounds like a real hoot, but if I didn’t know better, I’d think you made it up to get Dan to clean the house before the regular holidays begin. If so, you get credit for a very crafty plan. Let’s see if Dan (or anyone else) falls for it!

Share

Beat the heat

Posted: September 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Things get hot in the summertime. There’s too much sun and too little shade. But simply watching this may help you cool off!

Share

Targeting summer heat

Posted: August 17th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

This watermelon is not messing around. Superlaser, set on cool!

Share

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

May the luck of the Irish be with you today…

And may your leprechaun trap trap a leprechaun!

Share

Plane crazy

Posted: January 11th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

American artist Harry Everett Smith is mostly known for his experimental film making in the 1940s. But he also composed music and painted. From 1961 to 1983, he picked up every paper airplane he found on the streets of Manhattan. The survivors of his dedicated collection have been photographed by Jason Fulford and published in Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith, Catalogue Raisonné, Volume I.

Harry found this colorful plane on October 29, 1980 at Broadway and East 23rd Street.

He found this slim flyer March 17, 1979 at West 28th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

This newspaper plane was picked up on January 20, 1968 at Fifth Avenue between West 34th Street and West 35th Street.

And where did Harry find this polka-dotted beauty? You’ll have to buy the book to find out!

I think I’ll make an eye-catching paper plane and leave it on the street for some present-day soulmate of Harry to find and pick up. Maybe you should, too!

For more on Harry Everett Smith and his paper planes, visit hyperallergic.com and junk-culture.com.

(All photos © Jason Fulford)

Share

Gingerbready for action, Captain!

Posted: December 19th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise could only dream of a command this sweet, this spicy, this crunchy and delicious.

Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa, CA not only dreamed of a gingerbread Enterprise, they made it a reality for a shop display, complete with icing lights and a candy-cane tractor beam.

Ever since the U.S.S. Enterprise crash-landed in an especially gripping Star Trek: Generations episode, fans have realized it’s not easy keeping such a vast vessel space-borne. Reddit user ejustice has used the creative power of gingerbread to picture a similar calamity in baked-good 3D. I like to think this is just the Enterprise heading into the clouds to evade cookie-craving Klingons!

Share

Outsider art

Posted: November 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy heads into nature to create works of art by arranging leaves, sticks, rocks, and ice into dazzling patterns.

Andy Goldsworthy

His art is transient. Wind can blow it away. Movement can scatter it. Heat can melt it. But for a short, precious time it brings beauty, order, and innovation to the wilderness.

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

“When I make something, it may vanish, but it’s part of the history of those places,” he says.

See more of Andy Goldsworthy’s amazing art here. And check out his books. They would make wonderful holiday presents!

Share