five lovely things…april 26

Greetings from Minnesota to all of you Orange Marmalade friends!
This past week has been one of greening up here!
Still just shy glimpses of leaves budding on our trees,
but frogs madly chorusing, turtles sun-basking,
eager shoots pushing up from the soil,
and lovely pink wood anemones winking up from the forest floor.

My five lovely things for today are a joyous springing forth of creativity, imagination, and ingenuity!

Masks for the deaf

ashley lawrence face mask
A young woman studying deaf and hard-of-hearing education devised these brilliant see-through masks for patients who rely on lip-reading to communicate with medical staff.
I love hearing about all the ways knowledge and compassion are being knit together
for the sake of many hurting people in the world just now.

Art Recreations
A Dutch instagram challenge called tussenkunstenquarantaine, which apparently translates to “between art and quarantine” has people recreating famous works of art using just themselves and materials they have on hand at home. They are brilliant! Here are a few faves.

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Find dozens and dozens more on their Instagram site. Maybe you’d like to join the challenge?

Spine Poem
A spine poem is one in which you arrange titles found on the spines of books in order to create new meaning, like this:


An artist named Phil Shaw who makes book spines into an art form has created not just a spine poem, but a spine corona-story! Very impressive ๐Ÿ™‚

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Shelf isolation 2 – the story so far…

A post shared by Phil Shaw (@philshaw775) on

Rube Goldberg comes to life!
Joseph Herscher is an artist who makes Rube Goldberg-esque machines. Not just the designs on paper, but crrrraazzzzyyy working gadgets.
Here is one called The Cake Server. Just how complicated can it be to serve a piece of cake? Watch and find out.

You can find many more of his astonishing contraptions on his Youtube channel. If your kids want to learn more about Rube Goldberg, try this book I reviewed awhile back.

Rube Goldberg's Day cover image

Foraged Ink
Last week I posted a list of lovely ways to celebrate Earth Day including an Earth Pigment art project.
So I was pleased to find this cool Weekend #drawtogether challenge by illustrator Wendy MacNaughton using goodies from your fridge and cupboard to make home-brewed ink!
Click through to see what her inks looked like.

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Weekend #DrawTogether project: Letโ€™s make ink! #DrawTogether took a field trip to visit the Wizard of Ink @torontoinkcompany (aka Jason Logan) and he taught us to make our own ink out of stuff in our kitchen. Here are instructions to try it yourself using beets, red onions and blueberries. 1. Kids, you MUST do this with a grown up, and always ask before using any ingredient. 2. BEETS: peel, cut and boil a red beet until you get bright pink-purple syrup. Let it cool. Dip brush in beet juice. PAINT. 3. RED ONION: cut 1/2 onion into little pieces and put in a small jar or bowl. Add about 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt. Let it sit for at least 2 hours. Dip brush in onion vinegar. PAINT. 4. FROZEN BLUEBERRIES: let one tablespoon of blueberries thaw overnight (or microwave for 45 secs on medium). Dip brush in blueberry juice. PAINT. Try changing the color of ink by adding some lemon juice, or a sprinkle of baking soda mixed with water. Other ingredients to try: black beans (soaked overnight in vinegar), turmeric, papaya, carrot juice, spinach, purple cabbage! Try boiling, crushing, and adding salt and vinegar. If you want to keep your inks to use later, strain them through a coffee filter, put in a glass jar or bottle, add a clove (to preserve the ink) and draw a label with your name on it and tape it to the jar. You are now an ink wizard apprentice!! Canโ€™t wait to see what everyone creates with their ink – tag photos #DrawTogether and #MakeInk to share your artwork. THANK YOU for sharing your wizardry with #DrawTogether, @torontoinkcompany!! ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™‚๏ธ ๐Ÿ”ฎ ๐ŸŒฑ ๐ŸŽจ

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In her challenge she links to the Toronto Ink Company who make foraged inks that are so extremely cool, like these made from everything from pokeberries to oak galls foraged in Central Park.

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Here’s to a creative, imaginative, compassionate week for you and your households
as you stay home and keep looking for the lovely!