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August “Branches” Activity: Leaf Collecting

Take a walk in your favorite park and gather some leaves from the trees. Find a guide online and see if you can identify the trees from the leaf shapes.

You can keep the leaves to do a “pressed” collection, turn them into a  stamps activity or create leaf skeletons.

Pressing Leaves:

Find a heavy book like an encyclopedia or dictionary. Place leaves between 2 sheets of paper to protect the pages of the book. Leave at least 1/8″ of pages between pressings, weigh the book down and wait a couple of weeks.

Alternatively, you can put the leaves and paper in between two ceramic tiles, rubberbanded together, in the microwave and zap in short bursts, 30 seconds to a minute at a time Let cool between zaps, opening your press to let moisture/steam escape while cooling. Don’t over do it; avoid burning your flowers. Repeat until almost done, then put in a different book or flower press to finish drying.
Making Leaf Skeletons

  1. Press leaves between old book pages. They should remain inside the books or heavy objects in a dry, undisturbed place for several weeks.
  2. Make a solution of washing soda. Carefully lay the pressed leaves into the solution.
  3. When the flesh becomes pulpy, take the leaves out of the washing solution.Rinse them carefully in cold water.
  4. Gently brush away the pulp with a toothbrush. They’re now ready for use as a craft or art item.


 

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Road Trip Games

For those of you road-tripping this summer here’s some game suggestions for the car! Several are listed here. Comment below if you’ve got some more.

The first one below comes from a night Betony and I were at a restaurant and our waiter gave us this game. It was really fun to try to figure them all out.

Three-Letter Body

Name 10 Common Body Parts that are three letters long:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

The iPod Shuffle

The modern person’s “Name that Tune”. Put your iPod on shuffle and see who can guess the song fastest. Take turns using different iPods to avoid advantages.

Daring Hang Man

Smashing two favorites into one

game. Whoever loses the hangman

round must take a “truth or dare”

from the car!

Memorize a Poem or Rap

To pass the time in a car ride my wife would choose a rap song and memorize the whole thing. When we first met she had several charts she could perform. It was one of the many things that won me over about her.

Choose a rap song or a poem and repeat it over and over (perhaps put it on repeat?)

License Plate Decoder

Pretend that every license plate is a personalized message and decode it. “HDR 732″ might stand for “Hairdresser Diva Roller-derby, 7 days a week, 32 hours a day.”

Road Trip Game: Banana

Look around until you find a yellow colored vehicle. Shout “BANANA!” when you notice a one. If you don’t, it does not count, and someone else can call it. Whomever gets the most points is declared the “Top Banana”.

Other Road Trip Games: 

Twenty Q’s

I Spy

Riddles

I’m Going on a Picnic and…

Alphabet Game (can be played with signs, animals, cars, etc.)

License Plate Game (try to find all 50 states)

Telling your favorite jokes

Crosswords

The Quiet Game

Pick a letter and a topic: what songs, movies, other things come up?

The Cow Counting Game (and you lose your cows if you go by a graveyard…)

Truth or Truther: Like Truth or Dare except you are opening up for REALLY personal questions. Good to play late into the night with close friends willing to become closer.

Road Trip Game: Squares on Dots

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Each person gets to draw one line, dot to dot (only vertical or horizontal) at a time. When your line completes a square put your initial inside it (and you get to go again!) The person with the most squares wins.

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The Winners of Our #mundania Photo Challenge!

For our June Almanac we did a photo challenge called “mundania”. It was all about finding the majestic in the mundane. The photo prompts included things like laundry, dishes, favorite place to sit, pet, etc. (To see some of the photos we loved and highlighted go here or here. Or look up the hashtag #mundania on Instagram.)

It was tough to choose the winning photo. Below are the runner’s up. They will each receive a FREE limited edition art print from Almanac. Then above is the winner and she will receive 3 FREE limited edition art prints from Almanac and a copy of the album!

Above: Naomi Boyer submitted several great photos for #mundania. We LOVED this picture. It’s composition is beautiful, it gives you a sense of nostalgia, and the subject of “everyday life and play” is strongly captured. It’s a photograph you’d see on Instagram and stop for a moment because you’re arrested over the fact that our normal, everyday life is quite remarkable.

Below: Katrina Steele submitted several beautiful and well composed photos. This one was so clean. She made laundry and everyday chores look beautiful.

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Below: We don’t personally know Andrea Mouser from Louisiana, but we know she’s married to a chef. And we know she can take an engaging and joyful photo of just a pile of dishes. What a great picture!

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Many thanks to everyone who participated. What a great thing to get to witness. Enjoy your common (not so common) summer!

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More Miraculous #mundania Pictures!

Here’s another week in pictures for our Instagram game called #mundania. We’ve all been posting pictures that deal with seeing the majestic in the mundane or the uncanny in the common- recognizing just how miraculous this “normal” life is.

Below are some highlights. The “best in show” that we choose at the end of the month will be winning 3 limited-edition art prints from Giants & Pilgrims! Thanks and keep posting.

Photo by Katrina Steele. “One PM”

1 pm

Photo by James Everett. “Pets”

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Photo by Sarah Hanselin. “Front Porch”

front porch

 

Photo by Shannon (@Skipgo on Instagram). “Coffee”

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Best of the Week Pictures for #mundania

We’re doing a contest where people post photos catching everyday, normal things, but acknowledging those things as beautiful- the uncanny in the common, the noble in the nominal. You can read more about it here.

Here’s some of our favorites so far that people have posting on Instagram and Facebook! These photos are definitely in the running for the BEST OF prize that we’ll choose at the end of the contest, June 30th.

Keep the pictures coming, everyone! It’s quite wonderful to see glimpses into everyone’s everyday life and the true beauty that resides there.

Photo by Wes Sam-Bruce. “Common Things”

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Photo by Andrea Mouser. “Where I Sleep”

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Photo by Matt Sanders. “Favorite Place to Sit”

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For a Laugh

In honor of the pranks of April Fool’s Day and the joy of Easter we put some comedy in our April paper Almanac that was out this month. Enjoy some jokes done in the manor of their famous archetypes below.

If you’d like to share some jokes that you know, post them in the comments.

KNOCK, KNOCK JOKES

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
To
To who?
It’s to whom.

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
Control freak. Now YOU say control freak who.

PUNS
Did you hear about the short clairvoyant who escaped from prison?
She’s a small medium at large.

CHICKEN CROSSING ROAD
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because it doesn’t recognize the roads existence.
Its behavior is instinctual and random.

TWIST
What’s blue and smells like red paint?
Blue paint.

WALKS INTO A BAR
A grasshopper walks into a bar. The barman looks at him and says,
‘Did you know there’s a drink named after you?’
‘Really?’ says the grasshopper. ‘There’s a drink called Jeremy?’