Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Generosity of my Students

Every now and then, a student will give me a little gift.  sometimes they will be a handmade card - one I received recently said on the front: to miss heather. open now, close later.  Inside it exclaimed "your the best!"  From this same student, I received another something in an envelope, which turned out to be this.  I'm not sure what it has to do with me, really, but it was a very nice little fashion drawing.  look out, project runway!

I have another student who likes to give me candy at the end of every lesson.  While I will only occasionally eat the candy, I always accept it, just in case he comes up with something really really good sometime.  Yesterday, he gave me a pumpkin head pez dispenser with a full roll of lemon pez (he says "my favorite flavor, even though they taste nothing like lemon").

My personal favorite item in the past few years was Piano Pig: a girl scouts project, which is nothing more than a paper lunch bag with some faux pink fur on it and a face drawn on.  The student who bestowed it upon me said I was to show it to every student . . .  maybe I will someday.  For now I just keep it at home by my own piano.  

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Horto in Urbs.

Which is the Chicago Parks motto, meaning Garden in a City.  This is the opposite of Chicago's motto, which is Urbs in Horto, city in a garden.  
On my back deck, I have my own garden in a city.  It's comprised of flowers which my mom helped me pick out and plant, as she did last year as well (my first summer in this house).  This year, I added some of my own plants, some seedlings which I started inside back in February or March.  Out of the 6 different flowers I planted back then (including some candy cane striped zinnias - I was really disappointed that they never sprouted) I had only 2 viable plants: some white marigolds and 2 (out of 8 possible) morning glory plants, which I proceeded to put outside while it was still cold and I had given up for dead.  
I could tell that the marigolds were going to be fine and when they started flowering in early July they proved me right.  Now they are about 2 feet high and can barely support themselves (you can see them on the left in the above photo).  I'm not normally a big marigold fan, but these have been very satisfying flowers.  
I was ready to throw out the morning glories, but my mother said they would be fine and she was certainly right.  Some people call morning glories weeds, but a weed is really just any flower that you don't want growing, and I did want these to grow.  Grow they did - covering my trellis better than either of the honeysuckle bushes I had bought to fill up that trellis.  And about a week ago I noticed we had our first blooms.  One thing I love about them, and my African daisies do the same thing: they curl up for the night.  All of these flowers are living and breathing, of course, but there's something even more human about these flowers that go to bed and wake up each day, and don't really wake up on those cloudy days, just like us.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

crafty saturdays

Last summer, my friend Jenny and I got together on a Saturday for crafting.  The project we decided on was making a tshirt for our friend Dan who was getting ready to move to L.A.  Equipped with stencils, "spouncers," paints, and a red handkerchief for inspiration, we set to work making what would become a legend in crafts projects.  The scarf I'm wearing in my profile picture is the prototype for the stenciling we did on the front of the shirt.
This past Saturday, we set to work again, this time making seed paper.  Using my blender, my shredded documents, water, and food coloring (and a half broken window screen), we made some blue paper and mixed in small flower seeds, the idea being that we can make confetti from the paper and the confetti recipients can plant it and grow daisies.  I'm a little skeptical, but I'll try anything once.  Time to clean the bathtub!
and here's what we did while we waited for the paper to dry: make duct tape wallets.  here's Jenny (stuck to the makings of her wallet):
and here's my wallet!