March 24th, 2019


Supplies for Painting Rocks

I started out our rock painting project by researching supplies.  These were some of the sources I consulted:

Guide to Supplies

Michaels Craft Store

From those I made this shopping list:
smooth stones
acrylic paints
fine brushes for details
wider brushes for background
paint pen(s)
disposable gloves
paper to cover table

I then forgot to put out the disposable gloves, but oh well.  Acrylic paint cleans up easily while it's wet.

You will hear crafters argue day in and night out about the "best" supplies.  Don't get too attached.  Buy what you can find and afford.  You may discover that some things work better for some purposes.  That's fine too.  We filled the whole list at Wal-Mart, although I did try a couple other places in search of smaller and more affordable rocks which I found at Big Lots.  If you need a LOT of rocks, consider buying a big bag at a garden center or building supply lot.  It's cheaper.  But I didn't really need 25 pounds of rocks this time.  You can also pick up your own and wash them, which is what I would've done if I had remembered this activity earlier.  0_o  Plan ahead, folks.

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All My Rock Painting Posts

Here is a gatherum of my recent posts about rock painting.

Rock Painting
I collated some instructions on how to paint rocks, with an emphasis on spring flowers.  We did wind up painting some flowers on our rocks, along with other things too.

Painting Rocks
This is my original note about the project.

Painted Rocks from Ostara
Here are group and individual pictures of some rocks we decorated for our Ostara ritual this year.

Supplies for Painting Rocks
This post includes photos of the supplies we bought, a discussion of their performance, and some rocks decorated with them. 

Lake Charleston
This is the first place I went to hide a couple of my painted rocks.

Cascading Collapses of Wildlife Populations

Here's an article about matching declines in native wildflowers and insects. Many insects rely on flowers for larval and adult food, shelter, etc.  Remove the host plants and you remove the insects.  Conversely, many plants rely on insects for pollination or other services.  Remove the insects and you remove the plants.

Bird species are collapsing too.  Many birds are insectivores.  Remove native plants, which kills off the insects, and the birds starve.  Birds need about 70% native plants to survive.  Most yards are food deserts for them.  

Amphibians are disappearing all over.  Most of those species are also insectivores.  Remove native plants, which kills off the insects, and there go frogs, toads, salamanders, etc.

This is a food web.  Plants fill in the bottom by creating biomass from soil, water, and sunlight.  Without the right plants, the insects that eat them die, and then the amphibians and songbirds that eat those insects die, and then the predators such as snakes, foxes, and birds of prey that eat the amphibians and songbirds will die.  Humans are the top of the food web now.  When too much of the food web collapses, it will take out the top, and then the detritivores like fungi will feast.  None of this is hard to understand, by the way, it's taught in grade school.  Apparently a lot of people slept through all that.

So when you read about plants and insects dying out, remember the food web ... and the fact that small things can knock over much larger things.

Everything is alive; everything is connected.  Whatever we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves.  Mitakuye oyasin.

Sunday Yardening

Today is sunny and mild, a beautiful spring day.  :D  Lots of birds are singing.

I planted 5 pots of assorted violas.  I still have several left but am too tired to keep working right now.  :/  These include Johnny jump-ups, purple-and-white faces, plain purple, plain white, and plain yellow.

EDIT 3/24/19: I finished planting the last two pots.  *goflopnow*

Benefits of Dancing

Dancing is a bonding activity that makes people feel good and enhances connections.

Most cultures have their own dances, although the importance of dancing varies from one culture to another.  Modern America values it very little.  We used to have lots of dances at all kinds of social occasions, and almost everybody danced themselves instead of sitting around watching other people  dance.  What little we have left is not structured and cohesive dancing; most of it is individual freestyle club dancing.  This shift correlates with people being less fit and feeling less connected today -- really not a good change.  >_<

So watch for opportunities to dance.  If you coordinate events, look for a way to incorporate dancing.  It doesn't have to be fancy, just frisky.  It helps to include a basic lesson in whatever dance you offer so that novices can join the fun.  Pay attention to local culture and feature dances that match your audience.  Ballroom dance, African folk dance, European folk dance, Latin dance, belly dance, break dance, hoop dance, etc. will all appeal to different folks.

Genogram Symbols

A genogram, like an egomap, uses geometric symbols to mark relationships between people.  A handful of symbols cover the most common relationships.  But there are a LOT more, and for some people, skipping those is incomplete to the point of misleading or abusive.

This is a basic set with a few useful additions

This one is more multicultural.

Here is an extensive QUILTBAG set.

There's a lot of overlap but they don't use all the exact same symbols.  That's okay.  What matters is finding a way to diagram the relationships that are useful in a given context.  That can vary because these things are used in psychotherapy, genetic counseling, genealogy, sociology, linguistics, and so on.

Discrimination Against Traveling Peoples

A wide variety of Travelers, Romani, and other nomadic folks face deepening discrimination.  If you don't pay money to occupy a parcel of land on at least a semi-permanent basis, you don't count as a real person.  Although nomadism is the original state of humanity, and residence only developed in the last few thousand years, most societies today are viciously intolerant of anyone who is unable or unwilling to stay in one place.

Poem: "Sky Blue and Grass Green"

This poem is spillover from the January 22, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "countryside" square in my 12-1-18 card for the Summer in December Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features insecurity, past educational abuse by art teachers, flashbacks, communication issues, impatience, past boot camp for troubled youth, past sexual assault, anxiety, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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