Thursday, July 15, 2010


My friend Ernie told me about a web project called Learning To Love You More that lists "assignments" to carryout and submit to the project founders. By the time I had looked at the website last fall, the project had ended and the website was not accepting anymore submissions for their assignments. Disappointed, my determination to participate fell into the dark abyss of "projects never to even begin for this reason or that". However, by some weird stroke of luck, a gust of wind or something blew my will out of that pool of despair (It may have something to do with 80 degree sunny weather & my body's increased production of Vitamin D) and I've decided to try the assignments out on my own and post them myself.

Here are the assignments that you can look forward to seeing on The Char Makes. They are in descending order:

70. Say goodbye.

69. Climb to the top of a tree and take a picture of the view.

68. Feel the news.

67. Repair something.

66. Make a field guide to your yard.

65. Perform the phone call someone else wished they could have.

64. Teach us an exercise.

63. Make an encouraging banner.

62. Make an educational public plaque.

61. Describe your ideal government.

60. Write a press release about an everyday event.

59. Interview someone who has experienced war.

58. Record the sound that is keeping you awake.

57. Lipsync to shy neighbor's Garth Brooks cover.

56. Make a portrait of your friend's desires.

55. Photograph a significant outfit.

54. Draw the news.

53. Give advice to yourself in the past.

52. Write the phone call you wish you could have.

51. Describe what to do with your body when you die.

50. Take a flash photo under your bed.

49. Draw a picture of your friend's friend.

48. Make the saddest song.

47. Re-enact a scene from a movie that made someone else cry.

46. Draw Raymond Carver's Cathedral.

45. Reread your favorite book from fifth grade.

44. Make a "LTLYM assignment".

43. Make an exhibition of the art in your parent's house.

42. List five events from 1984.

41. Document your bald spot.

40. Heal yourself.

39. Take a picture of your parents kissing.

38. Act out someone else's argument.

37. Write down a recent argument.

36. Grow a garden in an unexpected spot.

35. Ask your family to describe what you do.

34. Make a protest sign and protest.

33. Braid someone's hair.

32. Draw a scene from a movie that made you cry.

31. Spend time with a dying person.

30. Take a picture of strangers holding hands.

29. Make an audio recording of a choir.

28. Edit a photo album page.

27. Take a picture of the sun.

26. Design an article of clothing for Mona to crochet.

25. Make a video of someone dancing.

24. Cover the song"Don't Dream It's Over".

23. Recreate this snapshot.

22. Recreate a scene from Laura Lark's life story.

21. Sculpt a bust of Steve.

20. Take a family portrait of two families.

19. Illustrate a scene or make an object from Paul Arensmeyer's life story.

18. Recreate a poster you had as a teenager.

17. Record your own guided meditation.

16. Make a paper replica of your bed.

15. Hang a windchime on a tree in a parking lot.

14. Write your life story in less than a day.

13. Recreate the moment after a crime.

12. Get a temporary tattoo of one of Morgan Rozacky's neighbors.

11. Photograph a scar and write about it.

10. Make a flier of your day.

9. Draw a constellation from someone's freckles.

8. Curate an artist's retrospective in a public place.

7. Recreate 3 minutes of a Fresh Air interview.

6. Make a poster of shadows.

5. Recreate an object from someone's past.

4. Start a lecture series.

3. Make a documentary video about a small child.

2. Make a neighborhood field recording.

1. Make a child's outfit in an adult size.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How To Plantling

It occurred to me, that I didn't explain how to fill the cups with succulents. Someone out there reading this may want to try this also. Here is my explanation.

Succulents are very hardy plants that require little water, little care, and have an amazing ability to reproduce itself with ease. As pictured in my last post, there are 2 types that I'm trying to propagate: Leafy ones, and Pokey ones.

The stalks of these leafy succulents have the ability to grow hair like roots very quickly. I might even be comfortable saying in a matter of days, or within a week or two. I snipped the stalk below the leaves and stuck 1/2 inch of stem in the soil. Viola.


The Pokey ones shoot out runners with baby Pokeylings attached to the end. I snipped the little Pokeylings off of the "parent" Pokey, then stuck the stem 1/2 inch into the soil.

In this photograph you can see runners with baby Pokey succulents attached to the end along with little bits of stalks that I trimmed off of the pink and green Leafy ones.


An idea sprouted in my head over the past few weeks: To create terrariums in glass fishbowl/vases for table centerpieces. Practicing my habit of being as economical as possible, I've decided to use all the resources that are available to me for this project.

Since the Rents rid themselves of their chickens, we've been saving our egg cartons to use as an alternative to peat pots for starting seeds next spring. It is still summer, and I've already found another similar but different use for the cartons: succulent propagation. Once the little plantlings take root, they'll be ready to go into the terrariums!

Step 1. Poke holes in every cup.
Step 2: Fill cups with soil (courtesy of Mell)

Step 4: Fill cups with succulents (courtesy of the Morris Family)

Step 5: Water and wait.