Eye Love Art

July 6, 2011
I could probably wallpaper every house in the neighborhood just with the debris from this school year: worksheets, holiday cards, construction paper projects and sparkly posterboard. But even as I'm peeling the last few foam paper letters off the bottom of my feet every chair, counter and tabletop is already spawning piles of art made in day camp. Summer is definitely not my favorite season but I am thoroughly sentimental about the camp swag. Maybe it's the "found object" quality that appeals. Over the years I've catalogued the following:

+ Bundles of sticks, painted bundles of sticks and twigs used to bind "nature books."

+ A large stick wrapped in yarn with jingle bells.  (I don't remember signing her up for shaman camp. Had to hide it because she was getting good at wielding it like a martial arts weapon.)

+ A larger stick the end of which has been whittled to a sharp point.  (At least it felt pretty sharp the last time she jammed it into my backside. Have never witnessed her whittling, must have an accomplice on the inside. )

+ Rocks – just rocks.  (Teen Spirit loves his mineral life.)

+ Rocks painted to look like adorable insects with googly eyes. (Ok, sure I'd flipped my lid if I ever saw a spider that big but I just love rock-bugs.)

+ Rocks painted with calming words or phrases. (Like "peace" "family" "love" or "daiquiri.")

+ Tiny seedlings in plastic cups.  (These are also known by their common name, "weeds.")

+ Pine cone birdfeeders.  (Huh?)

+ Toilet paper roll binoculars. (Not so helpful on those rainy expeditions)

+ Paper towel tube yodeling sticks. (At least that's what I think La Principessa was calling them. Helloooo, mommy Helllooo. Sounded like a bad Seinfeld episode.)

+ Paper towel tubes filled with rice and sealed to make rainsticks. (Again, with the shaman thing?)

+ Kangaroo stickers from the vacation bible school.  ("Jesus makes you hoppy.")

I could devote a whole other post to just paper plate creations or clothespin art. For now, I will briefly mention one of my favorite objets d'art: the googly eyed Jesus paper plate medallion. La Principessa is a big fan of the googly eyes and not just on rocks. One day when she was very young, she'd had an exceptionally excited art session. We were all so thrilled at her progress.  Later that night, as I got her ready for bath, I was surprised to find some glitter, several googly eyes and a chunk of ham stuck to her belly. The googly eyes, of varying sizes, jiggled in different directions and stared back at me. Kind of unnerving. Not sure if they were casualties of lunch mixed with artistic fervor -- or if she was just saving some for later to decorate her room. Anyway, back to the cut-out of Jesus glued to a big red paper plate.  His wobbly peepers were two times too big for the face, giving Him the appearance of getting stuck in a staring contest. Everything about that piece screams La Principessa – not only has it gained entry to the curated collection of camp art, it's on permanent display in the kitchen.

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Eye Love Art

I could probably wallpaper every house in the neighborhood just with the debris from...