Monday, 18 October 2010

Sharing and developing Ideas... and a spot of guerilla gardening

My friend Lily, who is incredibly creative, kindly shared a post on her blog last week about shrunken apple faces: "gurning in the natural world", or "from scrumping to scary". See her post here: 

Its a delightful activity for any age: sweet smelling, juicy, providing free food and a nice way of introducing tool use to children in the form of potato peelers. The end results are amazing and remarkably varied! We then talked about developing it for a Wacky Woods showcase event I'm doing for Halloween at the wonderful new Treacle Market in Macclesfield: by adding leafy capes and hats and creating wonderful characters that could be used to enhance some spooky story telling/role play.

I started to make my own shrunken apple face and to play around with it. It looked gruesome enough but there was something missing, it looked skeletal but not enough: I thought it needed some "garnishing". 
Ruminating, late at night, as usual, I remembered a wonderful pair of ladies I encountered at the first Just So Festival summer. The Lady Gardeners
The beautifully and extravagently dressed  Lady Gardeners were handing out little seed bombs: perfectly formed little balls of clay filled with wild flower seed that you could toss anywhere in anticipation of a future wild flower garden springing up. Guerrilla gardening! And that's when it came to me: how to garnish my shrunken apple face and apply a bit of guerrilla gardening of my own... so...

My shrunken apple head (who is affectionately know as Erik) now has spectacular ear hair in the form of aquilegia seed pods, parsley seed hair, bushy eyebrows of lavender seed and of course contains his own inner core of apple seeds.

Erik newly created before slow drying.
I think the possiblities are endless for adding seeds to various parts of his upper anatomy, and after Halloween is been and gone, I will carefully lob him into the greatoutdoors and wait to see what happens next year... Or I could introduce some spirituality and place him carefully in the ground on All Hallows Day and pray for the departed, and the rebirth of the spring to come.

Erik as he begins to dry out and shrink

I strongly suspect that someone reading this may develop the idea further... do let me know.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

This time of year.

The heron was by the river yesterday and the buzzards up above, in glorious sunshine against a backdrop of stunning blue sky, and there was a soft rustle of dry leaves gently floating to the grassy hillside next to my cottage. A beautiful autumnal day bursting with warmth and energy.

Today is very different, low cloud, grey sky with a little drizzle... my beautiful village and surrounding hills have been somewhat subdued. Noise has been blanketed by the cloud and it has been quiet.

The difference in our daily weather does really affect our mood, and I don't know why this should not be so. If we are attuned to our natural world, it makes sense for our own state to someway mirror what is going on around us... so for instance, yesterday I had bags of energy, did loads of stuff, was sociable, on the ball. Today I am more reflective and I suppose one of the reasons I decided to start blogging. I may not have much to say often, and therefore will often remain silent. When I do decide to write it will because what I' m writing is important to me or I want to share something.

The point of this reflection, (being an outdoorsy bod and an advocate of learning outside, outdoor play and a passionate believer in just "being" outside- preferably amongst trees), is that whilst we are all held within the confines of offices, indoor classrooms and homes, we lose the ability, not just to engage with nature, but also to lose the enrichment afforded by succumbing to the various mood facets that our local environment can draw from us if we let it.

We are lucky in England to have such a rich variety of weather, we should therefore consider ourselves equally fortunate to have such a potentially rich variety of approaches to our daily lives, unenforced and at one with our local space.

Go outside....feel the breeze against your skin, feel the sun in your eyes or feel the rain on your face. Tomorrow we have wind forecast...I expect I'll be bustling along all the day!