This blog has moved to my new art/creativity site (Mouse House BLOG). The new blog is also about getting you connected with nature for creative expression, along with my art, workshops, and my personal journey.

Please feel free to explore past posts here, some of which will re-appear for encore showings in Mouse House. Let nature be your muse...

Thank you for visiting Your Nature, and if you like what you read here, be sure to follow my blog at its new home, to continue to receive creative fun and inspiration in your mailbox!

Friday, September 17, 2010

International Observe the Moon Night

Hello creatives! Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 is International Observe the Moon Night. Here in the Coachella Valley, the moon will rise at 4:17 p.m. and set by 2:17 a.m. Sounds like a great night for lunar-inspired creativity. Get your creative juices flowing with activities like sky watching, moon watching through a telescope or binoculars, moon haiku, even going on a moonlit walk! Here are a couple of other ideas you may want to try...

Visit the IOMN site:

Sketch or write under the light of the moon, or come do it with fellow creatives:

Get to know this ancient and historical muse with this moon map:

Write a folding poem (requires a buddy) about the moon, after spending time with it: http://restoreyournature.blogspot.com/2009/12/night-sky.html

Moon Meditations that inspire you to live fully, creatively:

Enjoy the moon! Share you experience...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spore Prints

I recently came across an easy, artistic family activity of creating mushroom spore prints. It's certainly not new, and I'm sure some of you are familiar with this technique if not already have tried your own prints. The simplicity of the process truly makes it a great opportunity for combining art and nature with your children. Artists and other creatives would surely find it irresistable and take inspiration from these simple spore prints, creating unique, altered expressions (like nature-inspired artist Chris Drury's Destroying Angel – Trinity).

Creating a few delicate looking prints begins with finding good mushrooms (please KNOW WHAT YOU ARE HARVESTING, SOME MUSHROOM SPECIES CAN BE DEADLY, always wash your face and hands thoroughly during and after handling mushrooms and do not inhale spores). Gilled mushrooms seem to be the easiest to get nice prints. You might get different colors per mushroom, depending on the species in your area. One source shares that very young or very old mushrooms do not produce spores, so try to collect growing, healthy looking mushrooms.

Slice off stems and place caps (reproductive) side down on paper. Some spores are light, some are dark; experimenting with light/dark colored paper helps, or do a little homework. One source below mentions you might be able to tell by looking at the gills (if they're light or dark spores). Place a glass or bowl over mushroom caps to protect spores from floating off by preventing air flow--even the slightest, and maintaining moisture. Let sit, undisturbed for 6 to 24 hours. Remove glass, remove mushrooms and admire your creations.

For additional examples and how-to, for preserving tips, guidelines, poisonous mushroom warnings and proper handling, please visit either of these links:

I cannot wait to try this one! Now, where to find mushrooms in the desert...

Images: “blue spore prints” Craftzine and “spore print” Nova Scotia Canada Conservation

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