Nature Corner: Summer's End

IMG_4540In California Summer never really ends...We can always visit the beach, have a barbeque, turn on the sprinklers.  But now looking at our Season's corner, seeing the full breadth of their collections &  gatherings, I see that there's a deep sweetness & warmth to really, really celebrating this time.  My childhood Summers were marked by our trip to my uncle's apartment in Hollywood.  He would take my cousins & me to Venice Beach, Raging Waters & Knott's Berry Farm.  But mostly we were bored out of our minds & sang on the Karaoke tape deck.   And those were my favorite moments.  I find myself trying to recreate that kind of boredom for the boys.  Hot & sleepy, with family all around.  Lots of nothingness & time for creative musing.  It's odd that in the East the quiet time to endure comes mid-Winter, while in California it comes with the heat waves of August.  Ours just ended - yesterday was 107' (!) & today it's a balmy 95'.  So we can stay outside long enough to plant & play & eat now.  I feel the Fall coming, which is birthday & harvest Season for us (yay!).  So we're enjoying our little castle in it's last moments.  As you can see, it was a collaborative effort, a seaside scene with the brazen fire of the sun.


It's actually a couple of mermaid castles with turrets that light up at night.  I took a class with the very brilliant John McRae at Castle in the Air.  It's the dreamiest shop with workshops led my true masters of their art.  If you want to make your own, it's an easy project for everyone to get lost in.


Mermaid Sand Castle


materials + what to do with them:
paper garden pots
pine tree bark
cotton batting 
cardboard rolls
translucent decorative paper
sea fan
tacky glue + glue gun
sand + cardboard box
seashells, paper flower pistons, ephemera
acrylic paints + brushes


Use the paper garden pots as the base & the bark as coral & rock.  Use the glue gun to attach & paint with acrylics.  Use a craft knife to cut out windows & doors from the cardboard tubes.  Translucent decorative paper makes great "glass:" cut out bigger than holes.  Glue to inside.   Cut the same shapes from the seafan, but glue to the outside. Use cotton batting pieces to coat anything you want to look soft & organic, so the materials aren't so obvious.  Attach it with tacky glue & use your fingers to mold & fold it how you want.  Attach the pieces with the gun (hide the glue).  Coat cardboard & cotton batting with tacky glue.  Hold over a box & pour sand over surface to coat.  Now use the
seashells, paper flower pistons & ephemera to finished castle for sea flowers, balconies, turrets, rooftops, etc.  You can also border windows with tiny snail shells, etc.  If you want you can buy a night light fixture at the hardware store & cut a hole the base to make it light up gently.  The children just LOVE this, the neighborhood kids come over & show eachother how it works.


We just add to it all season.  It's the perfect spot for all those little bits we find outside.  Enjoy!