Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can't get enough of that CAMP!!

Camp is just way too much fun so I'm coming back for more.

Art, Science and Cooking Camp part 2 (ages 1-5) July 14-16, 9-1, $90

We'll make some pizza, homemade bubble solution, and even whip up a few baking soda and vinegar volcanoes... stir up some refreshing fizzy drinks, paint, make popsicles, splash around in the pool to keep cool, and give those poor parents a break right here in the thick of the summer!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gustafer Yellowgold

Way back ten million years ago around the dawn of Time when I lived in NYC, I worked at The Living Room and Morgan Taylor was the sound man there, he fell in love with the amazing Rachel Loshak who played there often... Fast forward ten million years to present time and Morgan Taylor has created Gustafer Yellowgold to great acclaim and reknown, and Rachel and Morgan are married and have a baby, Harvey Valentine (best name ever, am I right?). Anyway, Morgan will be performing these songs tomorrow (Sunday the 28th) at the Arboretum Barnes and Noble. And then I get to hang out with them and see their sweet little new little baby boy. I can't wait! I had such great memories with these guys... Rachel in silver pants dancing on the bar (very out of character for this gentle, soft spoken soul), acting in short films with Morgan for some cable access show my ex was making... ('Big Knees on Marco Polo", "Big Knees on Emily Post"... man those were funny) and so much great music, so many great shows by both of them. Anyway, check out the show... it's free and it will surely be hugely enjoyable for young and old.

Friday, June 26, 2009


C to the A to the M to the P

Fnishing up Preschool Camp we made popovers, pink lemonade, and blue berry pancakes.... we did lots more painting, lots more swimming, and had an encounter with Ooblek (pink, as per a certain young lady's request).

Camp is over for the summer, at least in my world. I'm tired but triumphant, and will miss my happy little campers...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Preschool Camp

Otherwise known as Science, Art and Cooking Camp for ages 1-3... otherwise otherwise known as Camp Kamalamadingdong....We've been painting, making playdough, making peanut butter playdough (that's our little mudkitten sitting on the table in the middle of it all eating the raisins we used for decorating), swam a whole bunch, pushed dollbabies around in strollers a whole bunch, played in the sand box a whole bunch, and made rocket balls... this is a really easy and fun toy you can make by cutting the leg off some hose or tights (I found a whole lot of cheap cool stripey ones at Savers, still in the package so you don't have to feel all skeeved out or nothin') knot one end, shove a tennis ball down to the end, tie a knot on the other side of the tennis ball securing it in place, and then you can whip it around and throw it quite far, or just bounce it around like a yo yo, whatever your pleasure may be.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Baby Baby

Choices have been made that I had nothing to do with---
Mistakes have been made,
And, worse than that,
Death has been served tea and fresh figs.
I was not present in that room,
At the table polished with citron oil.
I did not take part in the extended discussion
Whereby the decision was refined.
So don't point your finger at me someday.
I was here by the crib, looking at you.
Chewing your toes
Blowing raspberries
Blowing little thought balloons
With your labials, fricatives, glottal stops, and retroflexes,
Your mint condition neurons firing.
(the languages can't be understood,
but the purpose is plain.)
I was here advising you that even though
All the women want to stroke you
And all the men want to be your pal
You should probably start developing your own resources.
Popularity like that never lasts.
I was saying how difficult it is to be
Courteous, loyal, thrifty,
Brave, cheerful, obedient, and wise
Separately, let alone all at once.
I was pointing you far into the future, to the day
You go down to the river
And wade out deep into the sacred element
And turn and see on the river bank
Seven luminous beings lined up and looking at you.
To which will you put your question
When you wade back? The Christians say
The story of the universe is the story of a boy and his dad.
They are absolutely right.
I can see that now, waiting here
For the smiles I'd kill for,
Watching you sleep curling your fist,
Which, in a time I can barely recollect
Did not, or maybe did, exist.

by Vijay Seshadri

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mother's Day

What? Mother's Day? Wait, what month are we in? Oh, that's right, June. Dang it.

Just kidding... much as I'd love to be lauded and celebrated all over again tomorrow, I also love celebrating these great papas in the world, and I just happen to be married to one of the best ever. I thought I'd share the co-creation he made for me with the kids last month... I thought it was SO funny and charming and heart-melting, and any of y'all are welcome to borrow the idea if you'd like to make a father's day Mad Lib for a special papa in your life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Egg-drop challenge, making ice cream, and love from my graduates.

An egg drop challenge is a great way to use up mungo... and kids get SO excited about it. Let them raid the recycling bin and go to town designing a missile sturdy enough to protect their egg when dropped from a great height.

We also dissected a typewriter, made homemade ice cream (which makes children do a dance of joy on a hot day, or any time, really...), and worked more on our houses. Someone just really needed to install a tether ball in their living room...

We also celebrated everyone's graduation from tinkering class and strongly advised everyone to go to Maker Faire in the fall, continue to tinker in the months to come, and see you all next summer!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy campers

We made these ultra simple dollhouses today... or, y'know, forts or batcaves or whatever you prefer... I don't want to turn off any boys in the audience, though none of these boys seemed the slightest bit phased... and one had a dungeon and a mummy, that was pretty cool. One person also had a tire swing in the bedroom, and another had a swimming pool in the kitchen... it was SO FUN to see what they dreamed up and designed and built. This might not seem that tinker-y but this was really the direction that I wanted to move in... just an open-ended project with total freedom to make and create. And some people also installed a real working light or lamp.

I really would like to have a whole class around this in the fall... build a dollhouse or fort with working light and doorbell, with great people and all wonderful tiny food and dishes and appliances, the works... this was always my dream when I was little... it's so thrilling to create a whole complete tiny world...

Oh yes, that makes me remember the ultimate dollhouse that I used to visit when I was a kid... this completely bizarre wonderland with a bowling ball garden, three-headed mannequin, and a goat that lived in the back of a pink Studebaker... outside of Bend, Oregon of all places, it was a junk shop/antique store that had an enormous dollhouse with a real working TV set that played Wizard of Oz on a loop. It had all these grounds that you could wander for absolutely free and all this wierd and wonderful imaginings come to life from the mind of owner and proprietor Gene Carsey, and it was home to all sorts of retired farm animals, the horses that were bound for the glue factory and the 2 legged cats.... Once known as Buffet Flat, now reborn as the Funny Farm, and survives against all odds and the city of Bend doing everything in its power to shut it down for years and years and years... wow, I feel so blessed that I got to visit that place at least once a year when I was growing up. I'm returning to Oregon in a couple of weeks... I'll have to make a pilgrimage out there and show it to my kids. Rock on, Gene Carsey, real true tinkerer and maker supremo.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tinkering camp

Two days into tinkering camp and we're still all about paper airplanes, but we've also done secret treasure boxes with an alarm inside to ward off snoopers, taken apart loads of remote control cars and (most excitingly) a cash register, made blinky bugs and marshmallow shooters and obstacle courses of mud pits and rope swings...not sure if the next three days can possibly measure up, but... we'll just do our darndest to meet or exceed expectations!

Tinkering camp only comes once a year, you know....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More camp

Kid-made blueberry popsicles, marbled paper, and boat-creating out of a huge batch of beautiful wood scraps I got from a guitar maker... yeah, it was a pretty good day.