Have a sparkly July!

~ Toy Mashup. Copyright © 2015 Ruth Green Concepts, Inc. All rights reserved
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If a tree falls in the forest,…does anyone hear it?

Chances are, you won’t lose the forest from the trees with these characters. Read about these intree-guing sculptures, straight from The Bangor Daily News.

Belfast artist unlocks the personality of trees

These faces carved in wood stand sentinel by sculptor Ron Cowan's outdoor studio space in Belfast.
Abigail Curtis | BDN
These faces carved in wood stand sentinel by sculptor Ron Cowan’s outdoor studio space in Belfast.
Posted July 05, 2015, at 6:12 a.m.
Reposted from: https://bangordailynews.com/2015/07/05/news/midcoast/belfast-artist-unlocks-the-personality-of-trees/?ref=storyPrevNextLinks

BELFAST, Maine — Tap, tap, tap.

In the shade of a spreading maple tree and under the lazily waving branches of a weeping willow, Belfast sculptor Ron Cowan used a chisel Thursday morning to carve a personality into his newest face.

As the artist worked in his sun-dappled outdoor studio, many of his other creations are placed nearby in various stages of weathering. The faces carved into old barn beams, stumps and logs seem to gaze upon him benevolently as he employed chainsaw and chisel to discover more of their brethren.

“Wood is alive — it’s like us, cells and earth,” Cowan said as he gestured around the faces that surrounded him. “Any day I get the inspiration and my chain saw has gas, I work on them.”

The 72-year-old artist was getting his faces ready for the 20th annual Arts in the Park show in Belfast, which has named him the 2015 artist of the year. He said that he has participated in the show every summer since it began, and loves the scene at the waterfront park.

“It’s such a great atmosphere,” Cowan said. “I always get really positive feedback. I gather all my people and meet all the live humans … it’s just a nice kind of family, and a carefree weekend.”

The sculptor said that he arrived at his avocation via a winding path that included a stint serving in Germany in the U.S. Army in the early 1960s, a few years working as a restaurateur in Florida and an attempt — ultimately unsuccessful — to be a New York City high-roller.

“I really wanted to be a rich businessman. I was keyed towards making a million dollars,” he said, smiling at the memory. “But I went really bust in Manhattan in the late 1970s.”

He and his wife, Cherie, ended up “limping back” to an old farmhouse in Vermont, and that was where he learned that he was a sculptor. Someone gave him a bag of clay, and he went to work on it.

“A face came right up and was looking at me,” Cowan said. “That was the one that led to all the rest.”

The Cowans came to Belfast in 1988, and for a time Ron Cowan rented a studio on the waterfront. One day he was gazing out at the harbor and decided that the scenery needed something special.

“What a wonderful place to put people in the harbor and watch the tide come and go,” he said.

So Cowan put seven faces, adorned with seaweed hair, into the harbor. That was in 2000, and while he’s had to replace and refresh some of the works, he still gets a kick out of watching tourists and other visitors notice them.

“It’s really enjoyable,” he said.

The city of Belfast now owns the work, which he called “Long Breath.”

Cowan uses lots of different types of wood for his art, including cherry, black locust, white birch, spruce and oak that had been used for harbor piers at the Belfast waterfront. He bought a stash of 37 of the 37-foot-long piers when the city replaced them several years ago, and is still “fishing in that pile.”

He estimates that he completes about 20 faces every year. He does some commissions and also works from his imagination. He also gazes at the faces he sees in humans around him to see if they could get translated to wood.

“Nobody else really does this,” he said. “I get a lot of requests [to carve] animals, but I like faces, because therein rests the soul. That tiny little hole in the center of your eye — there it is.”

Cowan and the other 80 or so Arts in the Park artists will show their works from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12, at Heritage Park on the Belfast Waterfront. There also will be lots of live music, strawberry shortcake and other food options. For more information, check out artsintheparkbelfast.org.

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Coaster To Coaster

Make these cool Scrabble tile coasters for your next party or get-together. Theme them with party-specific words, or use them for everyday. Everyone’s a winner with these coasters!

Reposted from –  http://www.recyclart.org/2012/02/scrabble-tile-coasters/

Scrabble coasters

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Pop Art Toys

WAIT! Don’t toss that can! 

After holiday parties are over and guests have gone home…try some of these unique and eco-responsible ways to use your tossed soda cans.

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans

Reposted from: http://www.redesignrevolution.com/upcycle-this-soda-cans/

We are back with our second installment of Upcycle This! Following the theme of Eco Monday for environmental awareness, our weekly feature is meant to focus on the growing trend of attempting to scale back our waste production by reusing – or upcycling – materials we already consume. In this installment of inspiring things upcycled from everyday objects, we decided to focus on great crafty projects created from discarded soda cans.

Upcycled-Soda-Can-PikachuSoda cans are everywhere in modern day society – half of Americans drink soda everyday – and what’s worse, we’re drinking an average of 2.6 glasses of soda per day. Not only is this obscene level of soda consumption bad for our health, but it’s hard on our environment as well!

Hopefully, you’re already diligent about properly recycling the soda cans you are drinking. But why not do something a little crafty with the material? We found 21 awesome projects, from sculptures to candles, that use parts of a soda can.

Check out the recycled soda can toy concepts, below!

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans
 16. Soda Can Airplane (source: TwiceBakedArts)

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans





17. Handmade Toy Cars (source: max_thinks_sees)


Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans



Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans
18-21 Batman, Pikachu, WALL-E and Yoshi Sculpture by Makaon.
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Bricks That Touch The Sky

11-Story LEGO Tower Is Officially the World’s Tallest

Painstakingly constructed from over 500,000 bricks, the 113-ft. tall tower weighs more than a ton


Delaware Online

As the Beatles said, you’ll get by with a little help from your friends — or, you know, build the world’s tallest LEGO tower with a little help from an entire school district.

Brick by tiny plastic brick, the students of Red Clay School District toiled for months to assemble sections of a tower comprising over half a million LEGOs. After several days of what Delaware Online describes as “painstaking engineering,” the LEGO brick tower was complete, an improbable “toy” edifice soaring over John Dickinson High School near Wilmington, Delaware flaunting colorful layers of pumpkin orange, electric green and light royal blue.

“Wow. Just — wow,” said Ralph Storner, one of the students who helped build the tower (via Delaware Online). “You know when you’re talking about a world record it’s going to be big. But seeing it now, it’s really cool.”

All told, the tower weighs nearly a ton and stands nearly 113 feet tall, making it the tallest structure composed of toy bricks ever assembled, according to the Guinness Book of World Records (the prior record-holder was a 106-foot tower built in Prague in 2012). The bricks were pieced together in sections by students over the past several months, then those sections were stacked by contractors who’d volunteered to help out, constructing the tower around a metal cylinder and using tension cables to keep it from tipping over.

While the number of feet in a story varies, it’s generally around 10 (think room height plus space for floor and ceiling), allowing the school district to reasonably claim the tower is around 11 stories tall.

Why — aside from fleeting Guinness record notoriety — enlist a bunch of students to build an 11-story-tall LEGO tower at all?

“We want kids to get a message out of this,” said district superintendent Mervin Daugherty. “One kid could never put this together. But when we all work together, when we’re all a team, we can do something that people probably thought would be impossible.”

lego.h1Photo reposted from:   http://www.gearfuse.com/worlds-tallest-lego-tower-has-been-built/


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Lego My Egg-ohh!

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try this sunny side up Lego egg and see if you agree. OR, try the waffle.

Just don’t break a tooth!

egg lego_httpwww.runningwithollie.com201304the-secret-to-quick-and-easy-eggs.html#.VYyp2Ebigb4 00-lego-eggo-waffle-709906

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The Eyes Have It

The first meeting of the Cycloptic Support Group will now come to order.

Reposted from: http://underscoopfire.com/underscoopfirephotocontest-winner/



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Family Fun

While there’s a lot of overlap between Burning Man and Maker Faire, the latter is more family-friendly. And there were a lot of families here, as Bay Area geeks brought their progeny for fun and inspiration.

Here, Montana Gura, 5, daughter of Elisa Gura of San Francisco, works on the LegoJeep, a street-legal car sporting lots of flat green Lego panels to which Lego bricks can be added.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com

Reposted from http://www.wired.com/2010/05/maker-faire-2010/all/1


lego jeep



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Yummy Gummy LEGOs

Make Your Own Stackable LEGO Gummies

filed under: LEGO
Reposted from mental_floss
May 26, 2015 – 6:00am
gummy legos

The brilliant minds behind YouTube Channel King of Random recently shared a video (http://mentalfloss.com/article/64340/make-your-own-stackable-lego-gummies) explaining how to make gorgeous and functional LEGO pieces that you can eat. Mixing Jello powder, gelatin, and corn syrup on the stove creates a liquid concoction that can be poured into any mold—even ones you make yourself. That’s how you can cook up LEGO gummies that can be used to build delicious architectural wonders. They’ll probably also hurt a lot less if you step on one.[h/t: ThisisColossal.com]

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I Am Chewbacca…Hoodie

The I Am Chewbacca Hoodie. Ships June 1st.




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Kitty Rock & Roll Over

What If Kittens Were on Your Favorite Rock Album Covers?

Read More:  http://ultimateclassicrock.com/classic-rock-cat-album-covers/?footer&trackback=tsmclip

Reposted from ultimateclassicrock.com

Cats on Album Covers
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Mashin’ for Mom

article-1299868-0A9EE06D000005DC-704_468x305Still haven’t picked up a gift for mom? Take a looksee at these upcycled items for inspiration. Her gift may be closer than you realized!




























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Rubik’s Cubecake

Want a puzzling culinary experience? Here’s the perfect answer: Rubik’s Cubecake. Reposted from http://www.instructables.com/id/Rubiks-Battenburg-Cake/


Why make this cake?
The Rubik’s cube is close to my heart as I am a child of the eighties and the Rubik’s cube always brings me back to a time of joy and wonder. It’s hard to imagine kids today being as fascinated as I was by such a simple but clever toy. I wanted to make a cake that epitomizes this ingenious and timeless invention. I knew it would have to be a clever cake that would make you question how it was made. Thankfully I had the help of my other half and his engineering brain to assist with the planning and general maths of this cake. It took an entire day to make but was definitely worthwhile, especially when we cut the first slice.

Materials List
One Basic Battenberg – White coloured and Yellow coloured cake
– 6 oz. of butter
– 6 oz. of castor sugar
– 3 eggs
– 6oz of self-rising flour
– 2 drops of almond essence (optional for the white)
– Zest of half an unwaxed lemon (optional for the yellow)
– few drops of yellow food colouring

One Basic Battenberg – Red coloured and Orange coloured cake
– 6 oz. of butter
– 6 oz. of castor sugar
– 3 eggs
– 6oz of self-rising flour
– few drops of red food colouring
– Zest of half an orange (optional for the orange)
– few drops of orange food colouring

One Basic Battenberg – Blue coloured and Green coloured cake
– 6 oz. of butter
– 6 oz. of castor sugar
– 3 eggs
– 6oz of self-rising flour
– few drops of blue food colouring
– few drops of green food colouring

To finish
– 14oz of blackcurrant jam sieved
– 14oz. of plain white marzipan to cover the entire cake
– 2oz of icing sugar for rolling out the marzipan

– Weighing scales
– Electric beaters
– Large mixing bowl
– Battenberg Tin
– Wire rack for cooling
– Large Serrated knife
– Saucepan
– Sieve
– Rolling pin
– Pastry brush
– Ruler

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