Snowman sitting on bench in Glen Ellyn

Creating joyful urban snowmen: making the most of found materials

Forget rolling snowballs, transform found materials into a unique and joyful urban snowman by utilizing existing snow chunks and materials from the city’s trees and curb. Bring a touch of whimsy to the cityscape by placing your creation on a bench for all to see and enjoy.

Light snow on lawn. Grass is about 50% visible. Photographed in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The grumbling against snow

Sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out on a key cultural way that people relate to one another.

Estonian man makes an ice carousel

A man in Estonia spends hours cutting a circle in the bay ice, inserts a boat motor into a hole to make the circle spin.

A garden appeared on the Picasso sculpture at the end of winter

Possibly our last accumulating snow of the season, Chicago was freshly covered in a light blanket of snow. Wonderful white canvases became available once again across the city. This morning I made sure to walk above ground to enjoy the snow. Many Chicagoans avoid the snow by walking in the underground Pedway that goes directly …

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Uri Shulevitz paints like Kandinsky

One of my favorite children’s books to read to my kids is “Snow” by Uri Shulevitz. The architecture in this book is a jumble of buildings. Shulevitz’s delightful depiction of the architecture complements the playfulness of the storyline. Whenever I read this book, it’s so much fun to observe all the details of the city …

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A little more permanent origami

While walking to the train in the light snow/rain, an empty lot with lots of rocks and plants always grabs my attention. This lot reminds me of the empty lot next to my apartment of 13 years. I have the urge to leave origami flowers in the chain link fence. But in the rain, those …

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Chicago Picasso in the snow

Wipeout on the Picasso

Last year I was able to walk on the base of the Picasso sculpture in the snow. Only at the end did I slip a little. (Blog post, video) This morning a fresh blanket of snow covered Chicago, including the iconic statue by Pablo Picasso. I walked up to the Picasso to admire the beauty …

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Drawing winterflowers in the snow

The light dusting of snow created wonderful canvases all over the city. One in particular I couldn’t pass up. A planter in the same plaza as the Chicago Picasso sculpture had a beautiful layer of cotton snow. The combination of the round planter with the snow formed a beautiful ringed canvas. No flowers in the …

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Snowflakes on Chicago Picasso, screenshot of video

Video: Snowflakes gently landing on the Picasso in Chicago

Happy little snowflakes softly land on the cold hard metal of the Picasso sculpture. Such a beautiful scene: the contrast of the white snowflake against the dark, aged corten steel. I find this two-minute, 46-second video very calming. Nothing “happens” in this video. Just snowflakes falling down. Landing. Sitting. Then all of the sudden scooting. …

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