The Retelling Of A Story: The Wizard Of Oz In China

I have been working on our homeschooling curriculum for next year.  After completing a year of homeschooling successfully (by which I mean we are all still alive!) I am empowered to delve deeper into certain subjects.  I enjoy the concept of the recreation of a myth or story influenced by various cultures.  I came across this artists rendition of the Wizard Of Oz with an Asian perspective.

I think it is important for children to realize that there is no 'right way' for a story to be told and that one culture is as significant as another.  Far from Kansas, Billy Nunez, a Boston based artist created the illustrations for this book titled The Wizard Of Oz In China.

What are some of your favorite retellings of familiar stories? 


Smudge Sticks DIY

Smudge Sticks are a Native American tradition of burning bundles of dried herbs to encourage spiritual cleansing and clearing negative energy. 
They are ideal for creating balance especially after an argument, bad news, bad day etc. 
I used to buy these bundles at Whole Foods until I smartened up and realized how easy they are to make at home.  

I use lavender, rosemary and sage as they grow in my garden and have specific purposes in my cleanse. 

The use of sage is for healing. The smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged. Sage is used to 'wash off' the outside world when one enters ceremony or other sacred space. Lavender, This native of Europe is often used for invitation of the spirits. The name may be derived from the Latin lavare (to wash) or livendula (meaning bluish). In ancient times lavender was an important herb used in mummification. Rosemary brings about mental clarity and calmness by allowing you to ’let go’ of any negative thoughts/programs you have been holding on to.

 Using a natural string wrap them around the base tucking the leaves in, I used sage on the outside as it had the widest leaves.  
Let them hang dry for about a week- more if you live in a high humidity area.  
I didn't get a good photo of them burning but just set the end on fire and wave it around or blow gently on the embers.  I use one smudge for about four cleanses.  I walk around the house, getting each room and corner, with stop off in the bathrooms and kitchen to shake off ashes.  Usually just walking around briskly will produce enough smoke, I try not to blow on it directly unless I'm over a sink so as to avoid ash damage or staining.  Feel free to meditate on your cleanse or declare your intentions. 
I'm also pretty obsessed with Incense  
Do you use smudge sticks or incense? 


Photography: Dina Goldstein- In The Doll House

I first featured Dina Goldstein and her Fallen Princess- Not So Happily Ever After series. This Vancouver based photographer's In The Doll House project examines the not so idyllic life of Barbie and Ken.  Stuck in a loveless marriage Ken is clearly grappling with his sexuality as Barbie comes to terms with the crumbling relationship.

The photos were shot over a long weekend and the set was designed with the help of volunteers.  The models, made to look like dolls do a fantastic job of creating expressionless faces while showing so much emotion. The set is presently in storage and will be set up at the gallery opening of the show.

I just love Dina Goldstein work!
Did you play with Barbies as a kid? 
In the story lines you made up was Barbie's life idyllic? 


Looking At The Past And Towards The Future

I remember the first car phone my family had.  I was supposed to be for emergencies only and it was big.
I thought this idea of creating Matryoshka, nesting dolls using old phones is pretty cool. 
Designed by UK based artist Kyle Bean they show the evolution of cell phones.  

Looking toward the future these pizza vending machines are definitely something my monkeys would get a kick out of.  I guess it beats a sub in a can and they apparently use organic ingredients which makes it seem like it might be healthy?!  These have been serving the European public and are set to be introduced in the US this summer.  

Has anyone ever tried one of these pizza vending machines? 

Would you? 


Gratitude Rocks

We do a lot of rock collecting over here.  I've enjoyed collecting rocks since I was a kid and when I met Dr. J I was introduced to a whole subculture of buying rocks and crystals.  Needless to say everywhere we go our family ends up bringing rocks, fossils and crystals home. 
I love the feel of a smooth rock and remember hearing the concept of 'Gratitude Rock' from the book The Secret.  The concept is that by having a tangible object to remind you and help you focus your gratitude, you will attract good energy. 
I decided to combine my love of words with some smooth rocks and make gratitude rocks.  
I bought these adhesive stickers at Target and rubbed them onto smooth rocks.  For rocks that were not as smooth I simply brushed on a layer of Mod Podge first and let it dry before adding the adhesive and repeating the step. 

After sticking on the adhesive I gave it a few brush overs with the Mod Podge

I'm pretty happy with the final result, especially with the Red Rock which we find plenty of close to home. 
I will be mailing these to friends and family with thank you notes as needed. 
Do you believe in the concept of a Gratitude Rock? 
To see some photos of some of our hiking expeditions visit: here, here, here, here and here.


Plexus Series By Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe is a Mexican born artist residing in Dallas.  Now on show at the PEEL gallery in Houston is his large scale installations from his Plexus Series.  Colorful thread crosses the room from top to bottom filling the space with ethereal rainbows.  Using just thread and wood, Dawe polychrome threads are reminiscent of the fabric arts in traditional clothing found in South and Central America. 

His work reminds me of Sebastien Preschoux's Beams In The Forest installations 
To see more of his work visit here

Would you have the patiences to string this much thread? 


May Moments

Here are our May Instagram moments.
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Would love to connect if we haven't already- My instagram name is ladyofthearts
Hope you had a good May and have an awesome June!

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