The Donuts

A small class of 8th graders created these trompe l’oeil donuts. They each created a half dozen to be placed in a real DD box provided by the local Dunkin’ Donuts on Route 5 in Chittenango, NY.

Here’s how they did it –

  1. Armature consisted of aluminum foil and masking tape with paper towel pieces wrapped around each. The goal was to create life-sized donuts of the same size and thickness. Two classes.
  2. Papier mache was added in the form of paper towel bits adhered with Mod Podge. They used bamboo brushes. This step took several classes.
  3. Celluclay is a paper pulp that when mixed with water, makes a type of gooey glue/clay substance that sticks when dry. This was used for the frosting element. One or two classes.
  4. Students painted the Celluclay portion of the donuts with acrylic paint. They used different tints of colors plus browns to depict chocolate. Each donut a different color. Two classes.
  5. They added designs with paint. This included dashes and dots, stripes and/or splatter painting. One class.
  6. Finally, they painted Mod Podge in spots and sprinkled various glitters/sequins/glass beads to the donuts. One class.

Everyone who sees them in the boxes thinks they are real. “Oh, can I have one?” LOL – so great! <3

Found Money 2023

Found January 18, 2023 – Wegmans parking lot, East Syracuse, NY
Found January 21, 2023 – Target parking lot, Fayetteville, NY

These are my money finds so far in 2023. Forty-one cents.

For the past seven years, I texted the photographs to a friend and we called them pennies from heaven. I thought they meant the two of us had a strong connection that would last forever but now I understand that it is the personal connection that I have with my own spirituality that is the meaningful one.

So, thank you, universe, for giving me clarity and making me realize that the money finds are still incredibly special and that their meaning doesn’t lead to a particular result less one – I am abundant. <3

Found January 25, 2023 – Chittenango Middle School hallway, Chittenango, NY
Found January 28, 2023 – PetSmart, DeWitt, NY

The “Humanoids”

My friend Joyce introduced me to Ithaca brand hummus. I also take various vitamins and eat cottage cheese on occasion. The recycling began to accumulate and I thought, if we add styrofoam balls, we could make humanoid sculptures.

I kept thinking about the sculptures from Sharif Bey’s retrospective at the Everson Museum. His work represented his heritage.

It is so fun to create something new. A derivative of a contemporary artist based on found object materials that reflects cohesive themes. My sample was an angel (not pictured). I added the Ithaca hummus container lids for wings. It, sort of, resembled a Golden Globe award, so I added that concept. It would be the Angel on Earth award.

Students assembled their armature, used paper towels and Mod Podge for papier mache then used at least three different materials for texture and design. They considered themes based on personal interests and/or were inspired by classroom materials.

I had patterned papers with animal motifs and packages of fabric papers, Origami paper, African designs and Navajo-inspired designs. I also had actual fabric donated by the Home Ec. teacher last year and wallpaper sample books that someone recently shared with me.

In addition, I have a backroom stocked with old Barbie dolls that we harvested for parts. I brought a few things in from my personal art supplies (antique flag toothpicks, an extra lion head cat costume, assorted buttons, twine, peacock feathers).

Students were graded on construction, use of materials, theme and quality of papier mache application. Can you guess what award each sculpture represents?

P.S. Artists are 8th graders who have art class every other day for one semester. Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, NY 13037

Rocky Road

The M to the K to the T. Does that mean anything to you?

They are the trails I hiked at Highland Forest today. There are twenty miles of trails at this spectacular park where you can also take a horse drawn carriage ride! Once it starts snowing again, there will be skiing and sledding too.

Highland Forest is located at 1254 Highland Park Road, Fabius, NY. They open tomorrow at 8:30 am in case you want to go and search for some bear rocks.

Beary Christmas

If you are looking for a place to take a moonlit walk, go directly to Marcellus Park now. Right now (from 4:00 – 9:00 pm). They’re having hot cider and snacks.

Marcellus Park is located at 2443 Platt Road, Marcellus, New York 13108. They have a playground, basketball and tennis courts and a trail surrounding a trout-filled creek. It is a gem of a place!

Beaver Lake

The last time I visited Beaver Lake Nature Center, I think I was about seven years old. I saw an upside down tree while on a school field trip and I couldn’t wait to tell my dad about it. We took a family trip there that weekend and when I pointed out the tree – it turned out to be an uprooted one.

At the time, I felt stupid. But now the part of this story that I truly love is that Dad wanted to experience the hike with me. I felt like he was with me when I placed these angels on the trails. I always feel like he is with me when I am hiking, but, well, you know.

The trails felt vaguely familiar. They have different names – back in 1970 they were called Trail 1, trail 2, etc. And I didn’t remember the fabulous visitor’s center complete with a shop, a library, a museum and restrooms.

Beaver Lake Nature Center is located at 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville, New York 13027. There is a $5.00 fee, which you pay upon exiting the park.

You can hike or jog several trails of various lengths. But no biking. It is incredibly serene with pine woods, old growth areas, a swamp trail and others that overlook the lake. I saw several deer milling about and tons of squirrels chirping like cray-cray.

They open tomorrow at 7:30 am. The park closes at dark (5:00 pm).

P.S. There is a guided tour with a naturalist scheduled for 2:00-3:00 pm on Saturday, December 3, 2022. Free with park admission.

The Bears

Chittenango Falls State Park is located at 2300 Rathbun Road (RT. 13), Cazenovia, NY 13035. The attraction is a 167-foot waterfall. There are hiking trails, a playground, plenty of spots to have a picnic and as of two hours ago, home to a dozen painted rocks.

I painted these yesterday for this park because we are the bears. I have worked for the Chittenango school district for 26 years and this is the first time I visited this park. It won’t be the last. Go bears! <3