Despite it all, spring.

The equinox came and went this year without much ado. All our thoughts have been somewhere else. Our own biggest adventure in these days of confinement is the five minute walk to our garden. We are required to carry a signed and dated attestation of the reason for our straying from the shelter of home. We had some very sunny days early in the week, and it was a huge pleasure to observe the pregnant buds, the periwinkles, tulips and primroses popping out. The tiny violets and daisies are peeking through the grass which is in desperate need of mowing.

In “the shack” I found the table still covered with the art and science projects the grandchildren had left last fall.

I feel very grateful to have my studio where I continue to explore reduction printmaking. A day passes quickly for me.

I send you all very best wishes in these amazing times we are living in!

Vacation

Here in France kids go to school for long days and don’t finish their academic year until July, but they also get lots of vacations. In the winter they have a two week vacation, one of four such big breaks during the school year. It is often the grandparents that are on duty during these days, as most parents work. In our family it is no different. This time the kids went to camp for one of the weeks and stayed at the Maison Conti for the second one.

Drawing in the atelier is always part of the week’s activities, of course. Here the kids made a “museum book” which involves folding an 11 X 17″ paper into eighths and cutting up the middles leaving the last pair of rectangles attached. The paper can then be folded in various ways to make a book. They decided to create a “choose your own words” story.

Zinnie spent one day making suitcases for one of her dolls. She painted some boxes and tied on handles.

We also like doing science experiments. This one shows how atmospheric pressure works. You put a candle in the middle of a plate, you pour in some colored water, then light the candle. A cup is put over the candle, which puts it out, and soon the water begins to rise in the glass.

Another one involved having one glass filled with hot water and another glass filled with color water. One is colored blue, the other yellow. When you put the hot water on top of the cold water, the waters do not mix, but if you put the cold on top the the hot, they immediately mix together.

The week was mostly rainy and gray, but we found one afternoon when we could go to the lake, a favorite outing. We always play “Pooh Sticks,” the game Winnie the Pooh liked to play on a bridge with Piglet. Everyone drops a stick on one side of the bridge and races to the other side to see whose stick emerges first.

Sand castle building is also a long tradition. There are lots of nice sticks, rocks and leaves around for decorations.

Forts have been very elaborate in years past. This time Quinn made Mont Saint Michel.